It’s a hard-knock life in DayZ. The zombies aren’t nearly as dangerous as the people roaming the wasteland, and rookies and veterans alike know that death is always looming close. And so it’s all the more remarkable that there are men and women out there like Dr Wasteland, a flinty, dedicated surgeon who makes it his business to travel around the gameworld dodging incoming fire and healing the sick.
Wasteland is profiled in a fantastic article over at Ars Technica, where he discusses the ins and outs of his survival philosophy. Among other things, he describes the “white list” he maintains of players who can be trusted in any circumstance, reports that he’s never been betrayed by someone he’s helped, and explains why he’s an anti-clan lone wolf. “Most medics on the White List are self-sufficient,” he says. “And that’s the way I want it. I want them to operate on their own in hostile environments. I don’t want them to register, check in. It’s still their game, their way of playing.”
From the article:
Dr. Wasteland sees himself as a teacher, but he has turned into a kind of folk hero in the game, more Robin Hood than The Hero of Canton. “It’s not only medical assistance. It’s advice and direction. I give them my strategies for the best ways to get out of certain areas,” he says. “If someone contacts me and says they’re in Chernogorsk and they need help I tell them, ‘I don’t go into Cherno, it’s too dangerous… you’re going to have to crawl out for me to help you, and here’s the best route, and I will meet you the second you get out.’”
Like a true folk hero, Dr. Wasteland isn’t in this business for (virtual) material gain. “I usually don’t accept payment,” he says. “My biggest objective is to keep repeat customers from happening. Why would I want to take things from them that they need to succeed? The stuff I have now, NVGs, rangefinder… it’s people who like what I’m doing who have given this kit to me. Not patients. The whole reason I got here tonight is someone that likes what I do drove me here in their scavenged car. They gave me the NVGs, rangefinder, and the ride. All for free.”
Dr Wasteland sounds like the kind of hero the zombie apocalypse needs.