The release of the DayZ Livonia DLC, together with Game Update 1.06, was a big moment for DayZ, and we are delighted to see the positive reception so far. We saw a record number of players enjoying the game around the new year, and were pleasantly surprised by your support in the Steam Awards 2019, where DayZ won the "Better With Friends" category. This news has certainly given us a lot of motivation for the new year, and as things are already moving forward fast, it is time we talk about DayZ in 2020.
But before delving into that, let's talk about the changes in our development team. As outlined in our Bohemia in 2019 blog post, Enfusion technology will power all of Bohemia Interactive's future titles, and to support it, some team members moved to work fully on it last June, leaving DayZ with a much smaller development team consisting of seasoned developers across various departments. While this change has obviously affected the overall development, make no mistake, the team is full of passionate people who want to make DayZ the best game it can be with the time and resources available. We are happy with what we achieved in 2019, and we are very excited about 2020.
So, what about 2020? The most important thing is that we are going to continue with the post-release support of DayZ in 2020. But, as last year's schedule was pretty busy for us, we would like to dedicate more time for each update this year and thus will leave bigger gaps between the updates to make sure we have more time to prepare for all platforms, which leaves us currently at 5 Game Updates planned for this year.
This year, the development will focus on stability, bug fixing, and gameplay improvements, along with some new small-scale content. Please keep in mind that our policy on announcing exact release dates – or when a feature is coming – will not change. We will only make said announcements when we are certain we can deliver within a reasonable time frame – which usually means a feature is already well into its production.
Last year, we had ups and downs regarding the stability of both clients and servers on all platforms. We will continue to monitor this and take any action necessary to ensure the best possible gameplay experience for our players.
DayZ is a complex beast of a game and bug fixing is a constant necessity – therefore, we'll continue our best efforts to squash as many bugs as we can. The last Game Update introduced some major issues with the inventory manipulations, so fixing this is our top priority with the next Game Update. We are also well aware of several issues tied to the vehicle handling (e.g. physics, simulation) in the game, and we are looking into the options we have to tackle these.
There are several features in DayZ that are in dire need of improvement and/or balancing. We do have a huge library of items and a lot of versatile systems already implemented, but many of them are heavily underused. There is huge potential here as these changes often impact the gameplay in a big way, and so we intend to continue our efforts in going through various systems, focusing strongly on the survival aspect of the game. To give you a few examples of areas we intend to look into:
- Base Building is a big part of the game for many of you and we intend to focus on fixing most common issues, proceed with the overall balance pass, and perhaps even add some new toys to play with.
- The impact of the environment on characters is not yet in the state we want it to be, and so we intend to proceed with numerous improvements and balancing changes to make the so called "environment exposure" a much more interesting part of the game.
- We intend to make several quality-of-life improvements for cooking by, for example, implementing direct cooking slots (grill), adjusting lifetimes of different fireplace stages, and even offering more types of indoor ovens.
- We also intend to look into the systems surrounding diseases and their symptoms to make sure they are better balanced, utilised, and perhaps even expand them a bit.
Modding is a huge part of the game and we intend to continue supporting the needs of our very creative community. Every Game Update contains several additions or changes to support various community creations. To give you some examples of what are we looking at in terms of modding:
- We will unlock the server mission folder for full modifications on console community servers. This should give console server owners total control over the Central Economy and the ability to add custom locations to the existing maps.
- We will release our animation rig in fbx format and p3d samples of male and female character body parts.
- As teased in our 2019 blog post about the game update, we intend to finalise the full implementation of the server browser with full mod support in the official DayZ Launcher. If all goes through, this launcher update will significantly improve the accessibility to modded servers.
While we will prioritise stability, bug fixing, and improving/balancing existing features this year, it does not necessarily mean there won't be anything new coming to the game. To keep the Game Updates interesting enough (for both you and us), we need to mix things up from time to time by adding something new between our bug-squashing and system-adjusting efforts. We can provide a few examples, which you can expect in 2020:
- We intend to continue adding more of the original and/or new firearms into the game.
- We know how important broken body parts (legs in particular) are to the overall DayZ experience, and we intend to bring this mechanic back to the game.
- We know how much you like the new vehicle wrecks on Livonia, so we will add them to Chernarus.
There are also improvements for the nighttime lighting (giving options to server owners), amusement parks on Chernarus, a new weapon, general balancing, bug fixing, and various goodies for our modding community. We have got experimental servers already running the build, so if you own DayZ on PC, please hop on these and let us know how it went on the official forums and the feedback tracker.
On behalf of the DayZ team,