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Survarium details its DayZ-esque Freeplay mode

Gimme shelter.

Survarium, the free-to-play first-person-shooter by several ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers at Vostok Games, has finally detailed its much anticipated Freeplay mode.

Freeplay mode gives player's specific missions which they're tasked with pulling off in a single life. When they die, their gear will remain on their corpse and is ripe for the looting.

The Freeplay map will be very large in scope. Much larger than the usual PvP maps. They'll be so big and full of so many structures that not everyone will even be equipped to explore them to completion. "New players in a weak outfit will not be able to explore the entire map. The most dangerous areas will be available only to players with the best gear and access to some areas will require playing through the story quest chain," the developer wrote in a new blog post.

Exploring a map won't be limited by time, but will be limited by player count. "We want to maintain an atmosphere of exploration and this is only possible when meeting with another player will be a rare event, not an ordinary situation," Vostok explained. "If one of the players dies or leaves the location, his or her place will be taken by a beginner. To leave the location the player must travel to one of the special locations which are located on the edge of the map where he will be asked if he wishes leave the map."

Sharing is caring in Survarium's Freeplay mode, where enemy and ally are nebulous concepts.

The game world will be a persistent one with events happening throughout the season. Based on what faction is winning overall, this will affect story missions in Freeplay, making them easier or harder.

In a strange twist, Freeplay mode's world will succumb to a storm every two hours in real-time. Player will be given a 15 minute heads up when this is going to occur and the game won't allow new players to join at this time. Those in the game will have to flee to shelter during this. When the storm clears those who are left will be given 10 minutes to grab whatever loot they can before a fresh wave of new players will be allowed in to replace the player count left by the dead.

Like DayZ, players are never intrinsically told which other players should be friends or foes. It's up to player to decide whether they want to play nice with each other or not. However, sometimes players missions will pit them in opposition of one another. For example, one player may be tasked with protecting a camp while another's mission is to destroy it. Awkward!

There will also be a karma system in place that discourages random slaughter. Killing other players lowers your karma, and this is visible to other players. If your karma is too low, a bounty can be placed on your head. While the game features permadeath, karma will remain a persistent thing across multiple sessions.

In order to balance the combat in a world where some folks will have more powerful gear, Vostok will implement a radar of sorts that warns you when another player is within fighting distance. "One of the most challenging aspects is the battle between the players. On the one hand, we don't want to make players 'terminators' that can withstand a shot in the head from a sniper rifle, but on the other hand; players dying from an invisible enemy is also not a good thing," the developer explained. "We decided to display the 'counter contacts' which indicates the number of other players in the range of approximately 150 meters. You will be able to see which players are nearby, as well as contact them."

Survarium's Freeplay maps will be HUGE. Plus you'll be able to travel to other maps mid-game.

Vostok noted that there will be three types of missions available. They are described as follows:

  • "Story quests are given to the players in the lobby. They are associated with advancing the plot and can only be done in Freeplay mode. Story quests allow multiple solutions and are added to the game as the story progresses with updates."
  • "Secondary quests are issued on behalf of a faction, with which the player cooperates. This quest is issued at the entrance to the location and usually indicates some side goal or solution to the current story quest."
  • "In addition, there are random quests which the player receives during the game directly while playing."

It all sounds very ambitious, but Vostok has roughly 65 staffers on its payroll, so hopefully it can pull this off. There's no word on when Freeplay mode will be available, but you can try the PvP modes in Survarium's open beta, which Eurogamer contributor Dan Whitehead found to be very promising indeed.

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