Ever since H1Z1 was announced earlier this year, the core essentials have remained the same- it’s going to be a zombie survival game on a massive scale, and that’s pretty awesome. And while we’ve learned more and more of the mechanics as time has gone on, the basics have all remained the same.
Apparently, that is no longer true, though, as the developers went back to the drawing board and made some dramatic changes to the gameplay after PAX and SOE Live, based on fan feedback.
“Over the past month or so we’ve been really focusing our design efforts. We are fortunate to have players in our game at such an early stage and have utilized your direct feedback to make a lot of small, iterative design changes in our pre-alpha build,” senior game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt said.
“After much discussion and some debate, we decided to make several targeted and deliberate changes to how the player will be dropped into our world. One of the biggest changes we’ve made is to the starting equipment your character spawns into our apocalypse ridden world with. Being a massive sandbox MMO without XP patting you on the back, progression mechanics have to feel solid and early game combat needed to be more challenging.”
And they’ve gone ahead and actually made changes to the gameplay with that core belief in mind- for example, you no longer spawn into the world with an axe to start out with. This means when you first show up in the world, you are unarmed and defenseless, and have to make your way up from there. Sort of like how it would be if there was a real life zombie apocalypse, ever.
However, not all changes were made with realism in mind- some concessions were also made to the fact that this is a game after all. So, for instance, weapons all spawn in visible locations now (no going through every single cabinet and closet in a house to find something to defend yourself with), and melee attacks can be strung into combos more easily.
H1Z1 is a massively multiplayer online survival action game by Sony Online Entertainment. For now, it is targeted exclusively for PC, although it will also be coming to the PS4 in the future.