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There are a lot of things covered in the latest update for the DayZ standalone, due out sometime this year, maybe? Anyway, the closed beta is nearing and the team is working hard on some really cool features that will easily set DayZ apart from a ton of other games out there, including how they're dealing with hack prevention and character customization.

As many people know, the original DayZ mod was a semi-MMO of sorts...it relied a lot on social interaction and real people as much as it did the zombies. To this effect, as stated in the DayZ Tumblr, the new server structure will now be MMO focused with some elements stored server-side to prevent people from easily hacking the game. This makes sense given that the game's core concept was that of an MMO, it just didn't have the proper measures in place to “protect” the experience, so to speak.

Anyway, a list of new changes have been made or updated in the DayZ standalone, including volumetric clouds, which could play a pretty big role in shadow casting and visibility, new and improved lighting and color grading so the game has a more grimy post-apocalyptic feel, additional customization options for weapons, and more clothing options.

One thing for sure is that they really want players to customize and create identities for their characters. With perma-death still playing a big part in the game, it's going to be very interesting to see how high-level players deal with the stress of trying to stay alive. Tattoos, hair styles and clothing will all be made available throughout the game experience to further give your character a unique identity.

What's more is that diseased items will play a part in the game as well, so killing someone and taking their stuff may not always turn out to be beneficial.

One thing for sure is that Dean “Rocket” Hall has confirmed that the team is taking their time and that they want to get the basics right to avoid the clusterfack that was The WarZ.

To help give gamers a taste of what's to come in the forthcoming closed beta, Hall released some new screenshots of DayZ's standalone that you can view below. If you're as excited as I am about the project, then I'm sure the anticipation is grating!