DayZ standalone Beta expected 'no sooner than end of 2014'
DayZ, despite being supported by over 875,000 early adopters, will seemingly remain in an Alpha stage for at least a while longer. Giving players an early look at some of the "existing top priorities" on the DayZ to-do list, Bohemia also reaffirmed that they "do not expect to reach Beta status sooner than the end of 2014."
So the good news is we can expect a more stable Beta phase sometime this year -- we just don't know when exactly. In the meantime, those interested can still purchase the game through the Steam Early Access program, though Bohemia strongly advises "you not to buy and play the game... unless you clearly understand what Early Access means and are interested in participating in the ongoing development cycle."
Basically, it's still a major work in progress with a number of bugs that need to be addressed. You can still have fun with the game, but just remember that there's still a lot of work left. A few noteworthy priorities for developers include improvements to server performance, stability and security, upgrading the graphics and physics engine, and streamlining user actions and interface.
"These changes may be more subtle than when comparing the relatively limited amount of content in the standalone game against the mod in its very mature state itself, but it should be much more valid in the long term for the overall game experience and of course we’re aware how much more work is ahead," Bohemia concluded. "We’re already seeing unbelievable player stories happening every day in the game even in its very limited Alpha and we’re focused to make huge progress in 2014 on many areas of the game. In the short term, we’re going to focus on the most critical problems you’re experiencing atm and at the same time we’re going to work on the road to the DayZ Beta."