H1Z1 Experimenting With Bold Concepts
We had a chance to check out the current build of the free-to-play zombie-survival MMORPG H1Z1 at PAX Prime 2014, and things are looking interesting to say the least.
Ravens circle around corpses warning players of danger at a distance, the virus can now infect players to various degrees before death that provide abilities such that a player may intentionally seek out the plague, and the craziest of all, toying with the idea of a real-money purchase supply drop item that’s visible from quite far away - Meaning the person purchasing the drop (filled with high-quality loot) has just alerted every hungry human in the area that there’s valuable loot on the way.
“One of the things we’re looking at is selling airdrops. We don’t want to mess with the hardcore survival aspects, but… Once you order one, it spawns into the world. Players see the C130 spawn into the world, so you’re giving other players the opportunity to jack your stuff,” says senior game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt.
“We want to see what happens, because in the end you want to get something from it but you’re also impacting the world. I mean, you could plop this into the world and cause chaos. We want to see how it goes. Various things can be in the crates, including high-end gear.”
During our demo we decided to seek out the H1Z1 virus, intentionally being chewed on a bit by a zombie. At stage 4 of the virus (Stage 5 kills you) you can sense the pheromones in the environment so you’ll be able to see hues of other players at long range. It’s an option for players to balance, as they will be risking death by virus and dealing with a blurry “zombievision” screen as well.
At this stage prior to early access, many systems are still in flux. We’ll see what happens when the zombies take the stage and players begin interacting on live servers!