Old 6th June 2012, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post dayz - orienteering 101 or "i am lost, what do"

Hello and welcome to a thread on tips on how to become better at not getting lost

One of the core challenges in DayZ mod is orienteering - recognizing in-game landmarks and translating that information into your position on the map in order to move between places.

You should always know three things when not in combat:
1. Your current location
2. Your current direction (where north is) and
3. goal (where you want to go)

I am hoping that in the course of this thread I and many others perhaps will be able to assist you in order to get lost less. Some of this information comes from my own real life orienteering skills (some of which do not work at all in dayZ, but some do) but most come from the experience and hard learned lessons in playing DayZ.

Why is this needed? We need to cut down on "lost" chatter in TS. with 3-4 people or more it is already very hard to communicate and 1-2 people being lost and asking where they might be causes huge issues. Figuring out where you are is your job - when you make it someone else's job - well, no one will say no and not help you, in fact it can be fun - but sometimes more important stuff is going on.

So lets get started.

Step 1: You realise you have no idea where you are. Go prone in bushes. You might not be part of the dual monitor master race and be one of the few remaining unfortunate members of the single-monitor under-class so you might have to alt tab to a map. So you want to be safe in this brief (hopefully) period of being lost instead of standing in the middle of the field.

Step2: Landmarks - once you are safe and won't get shot on sight it's time to find some landmarks. There is a number of methods but the one I was taught is the "relations method". You need to find 2 points in your surroundings that are related to each other. A church with road pointing at it. Powerlines intersecting a road. A pair of mountains. A sharp tip of a forest pointing at the ocean/road/city. Basically two o anything large enough to appear on the map.

step3: the relation method - In your head, draw a line or a something through the two landmarks that you can see and figure out where you are in relation to this line. Why you are doing it will come soon and trust me it will be good. Next it's time to bring up a map!

Step 3: Wait what map ? You need a map and most likely you will need more than one. At the moment, there are a few out there but none of them show everything. For example, a lot of people in TOG use this map:
MapLib.net - DayZ Map
but it doesn't show barns/deer huts/wells which is very important. On the plus side it shows: Cyrillic (russian) names of towns, lakes,

(edit: http://dayzdb.com/map has a brilliant map too)

Personally i use this one: DayZ Map - Ultimate Beans Finder because it has the most detail/zoom than most others. Huge issue with this map is no Cyrillic names and no lakes.

The lesson is -don't use just one map, have several open and know which one is good for what. Check out this fantastic post http://www.theoldergamers.com/forum/...ml#post3534186 - it has links to good maps for specific purpose.

Step 4: Next comes the real orienteering part of the game - if you have real life orinenteering skills this will be easy. If not you are going to learn a subset of real life orienteering skills that will actually come in handy when the Z-Day comes. You need to read your map. Remember the landmarks you found in step 2 ? You now have to translate these landmarks into a map. Hopefully you have SOME idea which part of the map you are in (if not we'll get to it later) so you don't have to look through the whole thing. You need to picture your landmark in your mind and then try to think how the map would display it. Think of the scale of the map - 500m stretch of forest in game - how big would it be on the map? A weird twist on the road -would it show as a tiny z or a huge S ? A pile of logs that you spotted - would they even show up on the map or are they too small/not marked (logs aren't shown on most maps)

Step5: relation method - once again. Do this for the 2nd landmark also. This is where you realise "those polish guys aren't so bad at this actually" Once you have both landmarks on the map, draw a line between them (you could take a pen or a straw and put it on the screen, i've done this a few times haha) and place yourself. Provided you can re-create the same line in game, now can very easily/quickly figure out not only where exactly you are but also which direction is which in game. Your imagination basically overlays the reality with an easy map overlay (the line).

Keep in mind, this is assuming you have no compass - which simplifies things a lot. Also assumes you have no map+gps unit which of course makes this whole thing pointless since it just puts you on the in-game map for you

You might be asking yourself "that's a really long post, why should I do it when I can just ask my friends on TS ?" The reason being is that orienteering is part of the game and if you can't/wont do it - someone else will do almost exactly this for you:
They will ask you "ok dude, what landmarks can you see?" and then they will try to point you in the correct direction by relation - it will go like this:

can you see power lines? yes ? ok can you see forst edge that runs parallel to power lines? face towards the forest (relation between forest edge and power lines) and go to your left

Basically every time you ask "where am i" - someone else will play the game of orienteering for you by asking you the very same questions you could as well ask yourself, then looking it up on the same map that is available to everyone else.

While in the next post I'll write a bit about group dynamics I'll go over some basic troubleshooting:

Q. I don't see any landmarks
A. look harder, there are always some unless ...

Q. No seriously it's just all flat forest all around me
A. If you know which direction you are roughly supposed to go, use this video Tutorial: Find true north with just your watch. and/or position of the sun (someone else will need to help you with the current position of the sun). If you have no idea which direction you are supposed to go and no one can pick you up/knows your last location/etc - pick any direction and go till you reach forest edge and can locate landmarks (this is not IRL advice)

Q. I just spawned. Where am I ?
A. A few seconds after you spawn, your current location will scroll at the bottom right hand corner for a few seconds. Note it - there will be 3 lines, the location is the 3rd one. Airstrip is balota usually though a few times i spawned near balota and it said factory. Wilderness/forest generally means southwest corner.

Q. I pressed alt tab because I could not be bothered waiting for server and I missed spawn information.
A. Respawn. But if server is being dodgy - head away from the shore till you reach road+train tracks. if train tracks are between road and water for most of the way you are on the south coast. if it goes Ocean>road>tracks for the most part then you're on the east coast (or northeast of electro). Area between electro and cherno is a bit of both but then you can see either of the two towns in the distance.

Q. Aren't there cities in the game ?
A. Cities are even easier to navigate/recognise than wilderness because most cities will have a chuch which is clearly marked on most maps and/or other landmarks. Still, two good tips: lots of sky scrapers and a ton of silos = cherno. Lots of powerlines, power station and lots of train tracks = electro

Q. This is post is too long, can I have a TL;DR ?
A. Sure. Find two landmarks and find them on a map that you have open in a browser to find where you are. Then just kill batman - so simple!

Q. This is too complicated, is there any simpler way ?
A. I assumed worst case scenario of lostness here. Sometimes you will have some idea where you are, othertimes there will be a road sign explaining which village you are approaching. Other times the relation method will be too obvious to use: you're at an edge of the Vysota mountain and you know how it looks/which way is north already etc.

Q. does playing longer help you learn where you are ?
A. Sort of . When you navigate certain area for a while it becomes a lot easier to find yourself/figure out where you are because your brain will naturally recognize even the smallest patterns. This of course won't help you when you go some place new and the map is pretty huge so lots of it will be new for a long time. Certain large landmarks however will be always useful however. Cheno/electro city scape, green mountain, castle zub - those are very common and helpful.

Q. People are using names I don't recognise, hapl!
A.. "loot hill" is the 2nd hill after rail bridge when approaching cherno from the east. "respawn barn" is the first barn east of cherno. Other than that it's great to have a map that contains barns/huts/shops/churches - so when someone says "zelnogorsk shop" you find zelnogorsk town, then then shop there is marked. Make sure you have a map that contains landmark names like Kopyko lake (between cherno and electro) or Geeen Mountain (northeast of zelno)

Q. I was taught the "grid" method of orienteering, can I use it in DayZ?
A. It is really cool and if my life depended on it I'd probably use that. It's more of a irl thing though than a dayZ. It's much more accurate but also more involved/time consuming.

Q. Unlike you I am not a nerd and have friends who can help me find myself!
A. Great - just don't monopolise the TS channel with your orienteering adventure

Last edited by red_one; 11th August 2012 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 6th June 2012, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Arrow Do's and Don't Do's

The DOODOOs and don't doos of getting around Chernorus.

1. Do NOT run across open fields - you're an easy target. I have came under fire lots of times in open fields but only once in a forest while traveling. Trees obscure vision and make firing at you at range very difficult. Open fields offer no protection

2. Do travel in trees, in cover and if you do have to cross an open field, scout tree lines for a while and/or ask friends to cover you.

3. When you are lost do not say "i am traveling under power lines, can someone come out and meet me?' or "I am the dirt road, can someone walk on to it ?"

4. Travel within view distance of landmarks, not near/next to them. People congregate around landmarks - use them as meeting spots. If there are any hostiles in the area, they are watching open spaces and/or landmarks.

5. Your friends will be in hiding. Don't ask them to come out in the open. When they have visual on you they will guide you towards their position. Asking them to meet you in open spaces and/or AT landmarks is a bad idea for many reasons. You lose 1 pair of eyes, you expose 2 people and so on.

6. Always be aware where your friends are - even roughly.. If everyone does this then everyone benefits not just you. If one of your friends gets lost you can say "last i seen you, you were west of me, so head east to meet up". Also knowing where your friends are will help you know when you see an enemy. Very useful. At the moment we say "all toggers go prone" - this adds a time delay between hostile identification. Ideally, and we are far from this i think, we should all think "i know where everyone is and that guy is definitely nowhere near where any of my friends are, therefore he is hostile"

7.Communicate your location whenever you can - sometimes people don't know where you are/forget/lose you. Remind them with stuff like "jarni, i am at your six, following you distance 50meters" If you don't they might just panic and shoot you. It sounds funny but has happened more than once

8. Do not use flares/gunshots to help your friends find you. This sounds like an awesome idea and obviously it's perfect IRL (not in the actual army maybe) but in DayZ it just attracts unwanted attention. With 1 or more people lost the last thing you want is hostiles adding to the confusion with gunfire. Exception of this is of course an issue of extreme/mortal emergency we had last night with spiritwalker dying and us needing to locate him ASAP.

9. do not wait for people in exposed locations. Take cover, get good visual on surrounding area, look for your friends. Do not stand around looking up maps/alt tab while your guy is an easy kill.

10. do try to find/ask for a spare for a compass. This will help you get around a lot. It is a great item that will allow you to move huge distances with a lot less trouble. I have been in situation when i had to travel far without a compass - it is not easy and adds a lot of time to your journey. Compass lets you easily go in the straight line. Also helps you a lot with orienteering. Instead of needing to find 2 points you only have find 1 and then just use a compass to in relation to that 1 point. This is in fact how proper/normal orienteering works - you are supposed (hah) have a compass with you!

11. do ask what is the current objective/goal if you don't know it. Getting separated is not as bad if you at least head in the right direction towards your goal. Sure, it is best to travel as a group but failing that it's better to move towards the goal than not. Also if you arrive late/early - better than making the whole group stop and look for you . Lastly, if you are moving in the right direction, despite being separated, more likely you will run into your friends.

12. Do not use left and right as directions unless you are 100% certain it is appropriate. And it almost never is appropriate. Ideally you always want to use compass directions "zombie to your west" is better than "zombie to your 9 oclock" is better than "zombie to your left". The reason for this is that left/right can be confusing if a 3rd person wants to know where to help/look/etc. Clock direction requires 3rd person to have 100% visual on the reference person. Compass direction works for everyone.

13. If you don't know directions, are slow/bad/new at orienteering, can't spot landmarks - volunteer for overwatch and use that time to pick out landmarks, compare them to a map, figure out which landmark is in which direction and so on. When you're on overwatch I assume you know exactly where on the map you area so that is great time to learn "ok that bit of forest over there, how does it look on the map"

14. Speaking of being on overwatch/covering - there's a lot of down time so practice your scout reporting. Pick a random spot in your field of view and imagine there's a hostile there. How would you call it out ? Is that really the most descriptive location ? Will your friends who you are covering be able to figure out EXACTLY where the hostile is immediately on hearing your report or would they have to get a compass out/check map so basically could you improve your report ?
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Old 6th June 2012, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great post! I approve!!
"Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can start a war."
Currently playing: Loving Borderlands 2. Dabbling in Planetside 2. Dreaming of TSW!
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Old 6th June 2012, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some very VERY nice stuff in those two posts. So thanks Veilo for taking the time in putting it together.

+1 for you Sir!

Here are few tidbits that I would also like to add -

In my (ever humble) opinion the following items are ranked in importance - compass, binoculars, hunting knife, matches, hatchet, watch, toolbox, entrenching tool. You can get a GPS and that is a high priority tool, however it is so rare that I don't bother actively raiding military bases for it.

I always carry two canteens, sometimes even three (if I have an Alice pack). Being able to produce your own cooked meat is also an advantage as you can then "live off the land" and leave the pesky pvp magnet cities/towns alone.

Always have three bandages. Rank bandages the #1 medical supply because if you can't stop bleeding, no other medical supply is going to help you. It is worth noting that a blood bag (which restores your blood to max) needs to be applied by ANOTHER player, so you can't use it when you are solo.

Tatical consumables - I really don't even bother carrying road flares or chemlights. I never play on pitch black servers. Smoke grenades can be used to distract Z's so I do have one of those handy "just in case".

(Man this mod really has changed my fps style of play. I'm even thinking of getting Arma III when it is released!)
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Old 6th June 2012, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Veilo View Post
If train tracks are between road and water for most of the way you are on the south coast. if it goes Ocean>road>tracks for the most part then you're on the east coast (or northeast of electro). Area between electro and cherno is a bit of both but then you can see either of the two towns in the distance.

Airstrip is balota usually though a few times i spawned near balota and it said factory.
Two great tips, if I had known eaither of these the other day I would have got more of my gear back after dying instead of wasting 10 mins running along the south coast thinking I had spawned at the factory on the east coast.

Originally Posted by BishopNZ View Post
In my (ever humble) opinion the following items are ranked in importance - compass, binoculars, hunting knife, matches, hatchet, watch, toolbox, entrenching tool.
I would rate them
1. Compass
2. Matches (Wood and food can both be looted, warming up can be a higher priority)
3. Knife
4. Toolbox (There are many obstacles that can impede your path to loot without one.
5. Hatchet (A convienience as wood still spawns as loot)
6. Binos (CZ 550 can replace binos until found)
7. Map
8. Everything else

EDIT: NVM wrong side of the earth.
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Last edited by Bru1zer; 6th June 2012 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 6th June 2012, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for comments

Regarding: finding north

I could be wrong about this but isn't the sun/moon in exactly the same position for everyone on a given map/server at a given moment? If this is the case, simply ask someone with a compass "hey guys, where be all the suns/moons at ?". Someone with a compass checks in which direction either of these fine celestial bodies is and says "sun is currently over the northeast horizon.

This obviously fails when the sun/moon is obscured and/or directly above you. Also the information becomes sort of wrong after a few hours but every bit that helps someone lost go in the roughly right direction helps!

So, would this work ?
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BishopNZ View Post
(Man this mod really has changed my fps style of play. I'm even thinking of getting Arma III when it is released!)
How true it is. I played a bit of BF3 earlier today and I was like - prone, crouch, sprint, prone, look left/right, sprint, prone, check map etc. Never spent so much time prone or crouched in BF before. I kept pressing L-alt to turn my character's head too derp. ArmA3 is shaping up to be pretty schmick I must admit, I'll be keeping a close eye on it.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The best map, in real life or in any game, is the one in your head, once you know an area.

Day Z is played on the Chernarus map, available in the ArmA II single player mission editor.

That means, you can load up the Day Z map, spawn a single player for yourself and an empty helicopter, then fly yourself around the map learning the various landmarks, learning to recognise towns and geographical features on sight etc, all without the stress of bandits, zoms, or having to actually find the parts for and repair a chopper.

As with most PvP video games, having detailed personal map knowledge gives you an edge over people who don't have it. Seeing the lay of the land from the air is a very quick way to get to know the place. If you can drag yourself out of the multiplayer goodness that is day z, some single player time learning the map will change your game.
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Old 6th June 2012, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bru1zer View Post

A much simpler way to find north without the reversing of angles etc, you don't need a watch just need to know the hour of the day and to be able to visualise where the hour hand would be pointing.
While that is correct for the southern hemisphere in the northern hemisphere you point the hour hand at the sun then bisect the angle between the hour hand and Twelve to get the north-south line, north being the direction further from the sun.
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Old 6th June 2012, 08:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BishopNZ View Post
(Man this mod really has changed my fps style of play. I'm even thinking of getting Arma III when it is released!)
I've never been that keen on small map, round based vanilla FPS. Tribes, yeah, the jetpacks and vehicles are a hoot. The only shooter I ever really liked though was the original Operation Flashpoint. Fun fact if you didn't know, Op Flash was one of Bohemia Interactive's first titles, and when BI lost the Op Flash franchise, they made ArmA, which plays more like op flash than any other game I've played. The difference for me? People seem to care more about not dying in a military sim. a generic FPS is just about seeing who dies last, whereas Day Z, arma and op flash are (meant to be) more about staying alive.

I really hope BI works in a way to reward longevity in the game. Better fitness, faster recovery times after running before your breath steadies and your aim is tight, that sort of thing.
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