Why Killing On Sight Is Important In DayZ

The DayZ standalone is right around the corner. We don't have an official date on its release, but there's just one small (or rather large) piece of the puzzle that needs to be completed before we're all diving headfirst into Chernarus, surviving, shooting zombies and killing other players on sight, even though some people hate the shoot-on-sight mentality like they hate people who always reference Hitler in subjects where he doesn't belong.

One of the biggest debates about DayZ the mod (and its inevitable standalone) is the unfortunate situation of killing other players on sight. Dean “Rocket” Hall, the lead designer of DayZ has talked to great lengths about ways they plan to address KOS and how they have mechanics and features in place to “discourage” players from instantly pulling the trigger (or swinging the axe) after encountering another player. However, I think what lengths they've gone to are lengths enough to "fix" the situation as best they can (which basically includes a lot of item degradation when killing a player as opposed to keeping them alive), and from there they just need to let the game world play out its own kind of karma.

Now, I'm not arguing against any sort of measures to give people pause in pulling the trigger on other players, but with the influx of players bound to hop into the game and start killing each other once the standalone goes live, I don't think it's important for the team to further address the kill-on-sight mentality than they already have.

You see, there's a bit of a meta-game involved with killing other players on sight, so much so that it involves more than just the douche bags who kill everyone and the bandits who only kill to scavenge. There's also the opposing factor to those situations: the bandit hunters, the vigilantes and the self-appointed police of the wasteland.

While the biggest complaint of DayZ next to the hackers was the whole ordeal of getting shot by random people just for being in a post apocalyptic civilization (or lack thereof), it actually sets up a narrative for a different kind of play-style, one that has become just as popular as those who have taken on the task of being bandits: the bandit hunters.

Enabling bandits to kill or not disabling from killing whoever they want whenever they want, keeps the game open for all sorts of possibilities. One of the biggest discussions across the forum boards and message threads for DayZ's standalone is that the developers need to address the players who only go out of their way to kill everyone, to shoot, stab and blow up whoever they come across – to fix the sociopaths that gather the scorn and hatred from others.

However, those “douche bags” and “a-holes” that people claim to hate with no limit of passionate gamer-rage are the very reason why videos like the one below exist.

Those contemptible individuals who make your post-apocalyptic story of survival dire enough to want to complain about it, to want to blog about it and to beg, with great fervor, your friends and family to join you in that wasteland we call DayZ, actually helps grow the game.

The kill or be killed mantra goes both ways, and while I'm glad “Rocket” and the crew are making killing-on-sight a little less inviting to the average player, keeping it viable enough to make it a pastime suited for the most vile of bandits still gives us reason to root for the bandit hunting “heroes” and the vigilantes of steel resolve to hunt these guys down, kill them and film it for us to watch as some sort of sick television episode of our favorite show.

But hey, if we didn't derive all these strange, cool, thrilling and exciting meta experiences out of DayZ, it wouldn't have become as popular as it is and we wouldn't be pouting and pulling out our hair desperately trying to find out when we can log into the standalone and get killed on sight by those aforementioned bandits.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.