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H1Z1 … hmm

h1z1-teaser

SOE just officially revealed (sort of) H1Z1, the game John Smedley hinted at 2 months ago when he said:

 “SWG PLAYERS – OUR NEXT GAME (not announced yet) IS DEDICATED TO YOU. Once we launch it… you can come home now.”

As a former / current SWG super-fan, I think I’m qualified to address how I feel after learning a bit about the game, as well as some of my initial thoughts and ramblings on why SOE is making H1Z1.

H1Z1 & SWG

I don’t get it.  I see DayZ meets Rust in a massively multiplayer persistent world.  Don’t get me wrong… that’s sounds like it can be a fantastic game, but that’s not SWG.  SWG was about building a community and living your life in a galaxy far, far away. H1Z1 is about surviving, hiding in the shadows, and being afraid.  I think, perhaps, the only trait the two will share is a sandbox nature and an involved crafting system.

Why a zombie survival game?

Simple. SOE is targeingt a completely different market.  They were live streaming about Landmark at the exact same time they did this first-look at H1Z1 on someone’s live stream show.  This isn’t for the fans who are hyped up about Landmark, EQ Next, or heck even Planetside.  This isn’t for the people who go to fanfare (SOE Live) or post on message boards.  H1Z1 from the moment they came out of the gate has been aimed directly that that L337 crowd of DayZ gamers – the “bros” of gaming.

I get why they are trying new things.  SOE went for the kiddie market for a while, the F2P Eastern model for a bit, the shooter market, then heavily back to the Fantasy RPG crowd (their roots), and now they want a taste of the growing zombie survival scene.

There’s no accounting for taste

Personally, I’m not a big fan of post-apocalyptic settings.  I’m also not big on zombies.  I prefer elves, magic, swords, etc. I’m not interested in games where the aforementioned ‘bros’ run around circle strafing and looting your backpack.  I’m not a big fan of FFA PvP, so I would probably play on a PvE server or a ruleset where I have to opt-in when I’m ready.  I’m not big of dark and scary, and I really hate how most post-apoc games are all brown and gross terrain.

H1Z1 may not be the game for me, but I am intrigued by the scope of a game where Smedley claims people can build anything, burn anything, and drive or fly vehicles all over the place.  Put that on a console (like they plan) and maybe this will be a great ‘sit back on the couch for a few hours’ kind of game.

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Comments

  1. theredcomet says:

    They had me until zombies. I am so tired of zombies, that at this point I wish more games would go back to WW2…

  2. “H1Z1 from the moment they came out of the gate has been aimed directly that that L337 crowd of DayZ gamers – the “bros” of gaming.”

    I agree completely.

    Nothing builds a sense of “brotherhood” more than being shot at by three snipers in Elektro and running into a friendly in the area, circling through the city under a hail of fire and then finding yet more friendlies – themselves armed to the teeth – bunkered down in a four storey building trying to counter snipe the ones in the forest.

    And then being invited into their clan. Guess I can be one of the frat boys now.

    Who am I kidding, though, that sounds shit. I’d much rather be an anonymous grunt in a meaningless army, playing alone together in a former capital city masquerading as something remotely worth fighting over so I can rack up the points for my totally-not-a-server campaign pals. And at a bargain price too!

  3. wufiavelli says:

    I like scary like secret world, But zombie settings I find meh. Post apocalyptic is ok, line fallout but zombie settings are bland and boring.

  4. @Wufiavelli: I think Secret World was more of a mystical setting and not really post-apoc. While intriguing, I really do prefer other settings. Zombie survival is really played-out.

  5. I LOVE post apoc, really really love it, but on the other hand I’m dead tired of zombies, such a cheap and easy way out to make a setting for an apocalypse.

  6. Caldazar says:

    I don’t mind zombies/undead as long as they are actually scary, not irrelevant like dayz which is more pvp.

    If the zombies are dangerous enough to instill a real sense of fear, and to force people to cooperate, it is fine for me.

    I also personally don’t think zombie survival is played out, as most of the warz/dayz games are mostly focused on pvp. A real dangerous coop against aggressive and attacking zombies who actively hunt players would be quite interesting.

  7. @Caldazar: Problem is there’s only so many ways you can do zombies before you’re tired of just being chased by zombies. To me the zombie survival genre has always represented a jump-in-jump-out experience with deep in-the-moment gameplay but overall something more shallow. SOE is saying they want to make the game a persistent sandbox MMO, which is cool, but I think it’ll be challenging for long-term MMO-style appeal.

  8. JJ Robinson says:

    Classic SOE move, like Keen pointed out with all their other experiments. IMO, if you are hoping and praying for EQ Next, this should be another sign to not hold your breath. Landmark appears to have all ready petered out, to little surprise. Although SOE did capture a nice chunk of change with their trailblazer sales… Now, SOE will be focused on a console sandbox with a more mass market appeal, likely to the detriment of EQ Next. If MMO players and gamers in general have learned anything, and many appear to have not, it’s don’t ever buy the hype! SOE just keeps throwing stuff at the wall hoping something will stick, or at least stick long enough to make another POS to toss up there. Hope I’m wrong about all this, but until I’m proven so I’ll doubt it.

  9. Landmark just went into beta after being in public alpha. I feel like 60-70% of the game (if that) has been shown. There’s no way the excitement is gone yet. Heck, for me it hasn’t even begun. All of the things that I personally want to do in Landmark aren’t even implemented yet.

    Back to H1Z1, I do see it as a bandwagon title unless they can radically alter the way zombie survival games are played and provide something entirely unique.

  10. nukethesitefromorbit says:

    The most appealing thing about this game so far to me is the claim about the deep crafting and the fact they are including it in the All Access Subscription. I really enjoy Landmark and DCUO but neither enough to justify me paying a monthly sub. Giving me access to this game at the subscription level along with DCUO and Landmark though is a great way to get me to at least try it out.

  11. Damage Inc says:

    My predictions on EQNext and H1Z1: they will suck. You heard it here first.

  12. Classic SOE; just as gamers are getting sick of DayZ clones, SOE announces they are bringing out a DayZ clone.

    I honestly believe at this point, they are just dumping salt into the NGE wound with this as well.

  13. JJ Robinson says:

    Completely agree with the sentiment that SOE is lost. Claiming H1Z1 will relate to the SWG crowd because there will be in depth crafting is about as out of touch as one could be.

  14. Damage Inc says:

    The only way I would play H1Z1 is if your character died it would become a zombie and you’d have to play as a zombie until a PC killed you.

  15. Well Smeed cleared up the whole SWG on livestream. When he made the comment, he was thinking along the lines of the deep crafting system and ability to build large communities. As an avid Rust/DayZ player I love the idea of the setting being in an MMO. Zombies are done a lot, but I’m more interested in the post apoc setting where my friends and I can build our own village of madmen.

    I can understand this game isn’t for everyone. I hope it attracts enough of the hardcore crowd, though. I couldn’t play this with anything less than FFA PVP. The stress that comes from meeting another player in those games is so intense and forming an alliance with someone who’s more than likely going to stab you in the back is an adrenaline rush like none other for me. One thing I really hope for though with the building system and communities is a way to make people have to interact non-violently. A good economy and ways for player enforced retribution are two of the major things I’d like to see in other post apoc games.

  16. A game where communities and people have to interact non-violently, and a game like DayZ. Those two things are diametrically opposed. The only time people will work together is when they work together to steal YOUR stuff.

  17. Time for new leadership at SOE. They created two truly fantastic games in the past, namely Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies. The currently running Everquest hardly resembles the Everquest of the past and Galaxies is shut down. Now why they are stumbling around, unable to duplicate the success of both of those prior games is beyond me.

  18. Not necessarily. I played on a 200 man Rust server where there were about 6 big groups. My group had diplomatic relations with 3 others and we spent a lot of time building our cities and hunting bandits. Occasionally a few of the big groups would go to war and it was always good fun to be had. The biggest problem in these games right now is that there’s mostly *nothing* to do except torment other players. Zombies are a joke. I’d bet that if they were less nuisance and more *FEAR FOR LIFE AT EVERY CORNER* players would band together real quick.

  19. @Sanar: I can absolutely agree that if the environment were harsher players would spend less time looking to each other for a challenge. FFA PvP games bring out the failings of humanity. Add a bit of structure and some actual ‘game’ in there, and FFA PvP can be great… I just haven’t seen it done well in a very, very long time.

  20. JJ Robinson says:

    @Keen: You’re right on target with the success of FFA PvP. If there is proper structure, incentives and disincentives, combined with a good game outside of PvP, i.e. more than just crafting, it can succeed and be a wildly exciting and contributing part of any game. However, it can be extremely hard to get this type of system right.

    I personally dislike factions, but guild warfare is one way to introduce PvP with some structure. I’d like to see more games experiment with guild warfare as a primary means to PvP.

  21. Gankatron says:

    In FFA sandboxes one frequently reads this amazing sales pitch of survival against the elements and fighting against lurking horrors in the dark, but the reality often ends up with getting rock bludgeoned to death by a group of Darth Vader voice masked screaming adolescents who then repeatedly macro sit-stand-sit-stand on your face.

  22. By the way guys. The true spritual successor to SWG is right here: https://www.therepopulation.com/

    I’ve been following this game for two years and everything they’re designing (they’ve got tons of pages with info on gameplay systems.) screams SWG 2.0

  23. Gankatron says:

    Thanks for the information Sanar.

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