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,
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