If you are a fan of the zombie trope, you no doubt have heard of the Arma 2 mod called DayZ. This mod was released in early May and quickly became one of the most popular games on PC. In fact, steam sales of Arma 2, a requirement if you want to play DayZ, went up no less than 500% since the DayZ’s release.
This game situates players in a permadeath situation. When a player dies, that player’s items are destroyed or thrown on the ground for others to take. Players can kill each other, get hungry, thirsty, and lose themselves as the sun goes down in the real world – as the server slowly becomes pitch black. The zombies in game do not stop chasing you unless they are killed and the mod’s creator, Dean “Rocket” Hall has said he isn’t going to stop there. The most recent release has players entering this simulation without weapons of any kind.
As popular as this game is, it is no surprise that it has been targeted by a variety of hackers, cheaters, and general griefers. Weeks after release, an unnamed person “known to the creators” gained access to and vandalized the game’s forums and servers. Since that time, new security measures have been responsible for severe server lag that resulted in players being unable to properly gauge whether a person was behind or in front of them. Popularity can be hard on independent game designers and DayZ’s creator – Rocket – has been no exception.
After nearly a month of constant lag, intrusion, and hacking issues, Rocket has taken several steps to ensure his mod regains a degree of security. However, this step could be considered a bit extreme even by internet gaming standards, Rocket has banned anyone who has used any type of script in DayZ. This ban has been issued by Arma 2’s security program – Battle Eye – and takes aim at each player’s Arma 2 CD Key. Additionally, many people using the Kronzsky single player package will be unable to update their game past Day Z version 1.7 due to Rocket’s demand that this package be taken down due to hacks being testing in solo play and then taken to the multi-player servers.
The time leading up to this event seems to have involved three different Internet communities – Reddit, Something Awful, and 4Chan. At the center of this controversy is a Something Awful poster who goes by the name Slamscooty:
Well, I figured out how to spawn bombs on top of players in game using the scripting engine, while thousands of people had already been using the scripting engine to do inconsequential stuff like spawn weapons. I then proceeded to post the script all over 4chan, knowing they would make full use of it as my friend and I went from server to server and systematically blew each one of them up, mostly having targeted the reddit server. This went on for about 3 days before it became super rampant, and the reddit server got so upset by this that they decided to password their server, which is against the developer's rules and will lead to their server being blacklisted. (http://www.reddit.com/r/dayz/commen…ing_we_will_be/)
All of this happening lead to the developer, rocket, to become extremely upset. He shut down ALL of the servers for about 30 minutes, and then banned any player who ever ran a script in the game, which totaled in the thousands. This perma-banned all of the users across all of the ARMA 2 servers which have battleye on.
I made a few videos of it, they're nothing spectaular, you can read
the chat though at the bottom left if you set it to 1080p.
What this mod allowed users to do was to destroy players from anywhere on the map. The result from the player’s perspective looked like this Youtube video. The actions of this player have resulted in “thousands” of bans in DayZ with Rocket additionally posting that because the bans occurred through Arma 2’s security engine, they couldn’t unban anyone even if they wanted to.
On the mod community TKC, Rocket posted that he felt that DayZ had been destroyed, like the modders went out of their way to ruin a “free project.”
With a significant amount of the playerbase gone, it will be interesting to see if this mod can maintain its popularity. Perhaps the Steam Summer sale will answer fan demands and offer Arma 2 at an extremely discounted rate.