DayZ Of Our Lives: SOE Also Doing Zombie-Based Survival

By Nathan Grayson on April 11th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

'ArooOOOOoooOOOOoobrains,' went the zombified wolf. 'Moonsoundsbraaaaaaaains,' replied The Moon, for it was also a zombie.

If it wasn’t already plainly obvious, survival games are all the rage these day(z), and zombies – thanks to DayZ’s ever-looming influence – come part and parcel with that. The War Z/Infestation: Survivor Stories hit a little too close to home on that front, and Nether, with its possibly dubious ties to the former, also deals in apocalyptic baddie bashing, but with a slant toward the occult. Rust, meanwhile, frolicked through the gray-green fields with the shambling undead only for as long as it had to. And now it seems EverQuest and PlanetSide developer SOE has come down with a case of the Z diseaze as well, with its “soon” to be available H1Z1 promising DayZ-style antics on a much larger scale.

When Smedley promised a game “dedicated” to longtime Star Wars Galaxies fans, I’m not sure if this is what they had in mind.

SOE head John Smedley revealed the game in a lengthy post on Reddit:

“I will also go right to the heart of the question a lot of players will have – ‘There are a lot of survival/Zombie games… how is this one going to be any different?’ First off, it’s a persistent MMO that can hold thousands of players on servers we host (yes there will be multiple servers with very different rule sets). Why is that a good thing? It means a thriving economy (oh yes, there’s trading). It also means you have potential allies in the all-out war on the Infected… and many an enemy as well.”

“The main thing that differentiates H1Z1 from the other great games in the genre is the emphasis we are putting on player ownership and building. We want you to be able to form roving gangs that are headquartered out of an abandoned warehouse that you’ve taken over. We want our players to make Woodbury from The Walking Dead if they want to. Or take over a prison. Or fix an old car so you and your friends (yeah we have multiplayer vehicles) can run zombies and players over mercilessly, and revel in the sheer delight of hearing a zombie scream as you light it on fire.”

Major focuses will apparently include light/darkness and a fully functional fire system (think Far Cry), all of which will apparently come together to create a “scary” experience.

Smedley also tweeted that H1Z1 will be “fully” playable very soon. So probably expect some kind of alpha to open up before too long.

Presumably, this is the game Smedley was referring to when he promised Star Wars Galaxies fans that SOE’s next project would be a treat worthy of a slavering gaze from Jar-Jar Binks himself, but I’ve mailed SOE to be absolutely certain.

So yeah, more zombies, more survival, more people banding together and tearing each other apart, but bigger and fiery-er. What do you think?

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47 Comments »

    • Terragot says:

      Hijacking this top comment. Their senior designer was on a twitch stream with Lirik yesterday, and he had some interesting things to say regarding their free to play model. They are focusing on allowing the player to purchase “buffs”, this includes what he said “a speed boost, so you can maybe run faster” and left it at that.

      I wouldn’t hold out hope of this being anything other than a developer jumping on the trend wagon of hardcore survival, and then adding in their free to lose, pay to win strategy.

      I understand it’s hard to make games, and even harder to make money from them, but and sort of free to play model built around a game that has scavenging and survival as their core pillars just isn’t going to work. Even cosmetics are going to feel like cheating, as you didn’t have to scavenge that pink neon cowboy hat with fire particle effects pouring out.

      Edit: Here’s the source : http://youtu.be/noR3ijZ6ZU0?t=35m50s

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Stopped reading at “Free 2 Play”.

        • Flopper says:

          Because F2P is so bad for Planetside 2… Please go away.

          • Press X to Gary Busey says:

            I don’t think Planetside 2 is really comparable to a zombie survival game in a pay2win discussion.

            I don’t think this is what I had in mind when they told us old SWG players had something to look forward to…
            Will SOE be able to make a more interesting sandbox than any of the indie alternatives already on the market?
            I don’t think they have the balls to make it hardcore enough but it will probably be less broken [insert SOE bugs joke] and have a few interesting mechanics.

      • Moraven says:

        Smedley help an open discussion over monetization on reddit.

        http://www.reddit.com/r/h1z1/comments/22p8rc/monetization_in_h1z1/

      • Jenks says:

        It doesn’t work for me in any game, regardless of genre or theme.

      • The Random One says:

        “Free to lose” is an excellent corollary to “pay to win”.

        That reddit thread has a lot of really interesting monetization strategies that don’t fleece players. It’d be great if the devs used some of them, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Exitium says:

        No, no there not focusing on that. If you didn’t notice they have not planned on how the micro-transactions will work out. At that point Jimmy was just sort of tossing some ideas around, with nothing definite. I would say you need to work on your listening comprehension, but it seems as though there were others who also failed in that regard. Here is Jimmy Whisenhunt’s response to them:

        “Maybe I used the wrong wording? I have no intention of promoting speed buffs. Along with that point, all of that conversation was just idea dumping and getting feedback :). I’ll take a listen to make sure.”

  1. Notelpats says:

    Oh great, another unfinished game people are going to throw vast amounts of cash at.

  2. P.Funk says:

    When I envisioned a spiritual successor to SWG… I didn’t see this coming.

  3. 69stabcat says:

    wow zombies are hot right now.

  4. gschmidl says:

    Still waiting for the inevitable Star Wars MOBA, the only way that franchise can still get worse.

  5. fish99 says:

    It’s a genre no one seems to have really nailed yet, so who knows, it could be good.

  6. Menthalion says:

    There’s good possibility this IS the Star Wars game he was talking about. After all, the franchise died and still went on as a shambling incoherent version of it’s glorious former self since the prequels.

  7. Kollega says:

    I never got to play Star Wars Galaxies, have almost zero interest in MMOs… and yet I still agree that billing a zombie-survival F2P game as a “successor to SWG” is bullshit.

    EDIT: Was meant as a reply to P.Funk.

    • morgofborg says:

      SWG’s strength was in player ownership, which seems to be a pillar of this game as well.

  8. Premium User Badge

    DarkLiberator says:

    DayZ is a great concept, just the engine on it is awful, Maybe this can rectify it.

  9. NoseBagUK says:

    I would assume that the spiritual successor to SWG refers only to the Crafting / Player Housing elements of SWG which were without doubt the best thing in Galaxies.

  10. bstard says:

    Maybe Sony can deliver a working, finished game? Would be the first in this genre. I’m still looking forward to act like a Complete Bastard (by E. Edmondson) somewhere in a digital slum. I’m not sure I’d fit in though.

  11. KhanIHelpYou says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu-bpNaNw88

    Here’s a link to a video with gameplay. Its forgelight based which is good for the enviroment, it will look lovely. And they already have vehicle and massive player count technology laid down as well a melee weapons… kind of. They talk about using “emergent AI” for the zombies to make them react differently.

    I don’t know.. on the one hand its a shameless cash in on a popular trend, on the other hand its basically a cross between Planetside 2 and Everquest Next/Landmark supposedly complete with base building. It could be the best of the bunch or it could be a stiff, empty experience where the gunplay has zero weight, the animations are canned and clunky and it takes them over a year to optimse the game to the point that having more than 50 zombies in an area doesn’t tank your FPS to 10.

    • EveryoneIsWrong says:

      “or it could be a stiff, empty experience where the gunplay has zero weight, the animations are canned and clunky and it takes them over a year to optimse the game to the point that having more than 50 zombies in an area doesn’t tank your FPS to 10″

      I honestly can’t tell if you are making an intentional jab at DayZ here or not.

      • KhanIHelpYou says:

        I was actually taking the piss out of planetside 2 but purely by coincidence it is a rather apt description of both dayZ and rust too.

        • veniteo says:

          Sandy vaginas all around. pay for a processor capable of playing planetside 2 and realize you’re a dumbass. Planetside 2 is one of the best F2P Games on the market, both for graphics and gameplay. i have a PC that runs most games at 1080p ultra settings with around 130 FPS. stop asking for ‘optimization’ where optimization means running it on your potato gateway from 1995. *end rage* if SOE makes this a ‘successor’ to SWG they are committing suicide.

  12. Cooper says:

    MAKE ME A HOLODECK SMED!

  13. Stupoider says:

    So I guess maybe the SWG aspects might involve player towns? And vendors and professions? And a decent skill system?

    I’ll keep my eye on it but come on Smedley, do we really need more zombies?

  14. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I can’t decide if I want to call it “Hyzy” or “HoneZone”.

  15. Moraven says:

    Early Access is in 4-6 weeks, $20 entry.

    My hope is this stays a zombie game, which DayZ is not one. State of Decay is good but would want to see it in a MMO environment.

    Give us zombies raids that will raid your shelter, forcing you to abandon it and barely escaping.

  16. The Random One says:

    I’d really like a DayZ style game with emphasis on lasting, useful structures. Like, the endgame isn’t driving around in your Humvee shooting new spawns but building and governing a permanent settlement. You can drive around in your Humvee shooting people if you want but that’ll make you the equivalent of raiders from Fallout and you’d have to stay away from the areas where strong factions have a foothold.

  17. yabonn says:

    I’m surprised at the title : from what I hear, DayZ is actually an Assholes-Based Survival.

  18. iseemonkeys says:

    I like zombie and survival games but I have not found one I really enjoyed playing other then the dayz mod before it got popular. I’m still hoping a interesting one still comes that gets it right.

  19. sdry says:

    It’s also trendy to bitch that there are too many “dayz clones”/zombie survival multiplayer games.
    Sure there are is, but pretty much all of them are just promising something great in the future.
    - Dayz currently 40 player deathamatch on huge map without vehicles
    - Dead linger, 7daystodie, project zomboid, forest, roam etc. : All promising but all heavily in alpha or not even released yet.
    - Nether just blows lol

    So what Im saying it’s nice to hear proper aaa class developer gives this a shot. Not some soviets or indie folks.
    They already got sick technology on their hands. Take ps2 engine and make it dayz sounds amazing. You need thousands of players on one server to disable server hopping. Dayz folks are fucked because of this. 40 or 100 player cap is not nearly enough. They can’t lock one character to one server, so they need to allow this in order that people get to play. This means everybodu just goes to place full of nice loot and hop to 0 population server to another and get best gear in no time.

    • iseemonkeys says:

      Nether not only blows it seems like it getting worst. Before I had some mild fun playing that game like a death match now with the recent updates it annoying and unplayable. What really annoys me is the graphic glitches and visible clipping that never going get fixed. Like you can see with the metal bars in each subway station.

  20. Kelduum Revaan says:

    Hi all, I’m one of the designers on H1Z1, and been a reader of RPS (and occasional commenter) since the beginning, back in 1873.

    I’m personally holding everyone to John’s Rules for Games, as far as printing them out, wrapping them around a brick, and throwing them at people who don’t follow them.

    • Distec says:

      Kelduum Revaan of EVE “fame”? I didn’t know you landed a gig at SOE!

      Now my harsh words feel silly.

      • Kelduum Revaan says:

        Yep, thats me.

        And don’t worry, it’s a common thing – its a very popular “genre” right now, but give us a chance – we’re making a game that we want to play, as all the existing stuff either has some fairly major flaws either in tech or gameplay.

        H1Z1 has elements of Stalker, Left4Dead, DayZ, Rust, Project Zomboid and EVE, but its it’s own thing. Just give it a go when we go live, and provide feedback if/when you do/don’t like it.

        • Goregeous says:

          This is my genre. Good luck and can’t wait. Ican never get enough survival or zombies, especially both, and am an Alpha Landmark tester, and longtime SOE fan itching to get my hands on a polished version of a game in my favorite burgeoning genre. Gonna be sick!

  21. Distec says:

    Maybe this will be good, maybe it won’t.

    But I sincerely hope this is not the SWG successor he mentioned. Because as great as it could potentially be, I am fucking done with the zombie shit and will not touch it.

    Okay, maybe not. But I have never been a big fan of that particular flavor.

  22. Flank Sinatra says:

    Maybe if there’s a “Jump to Flightspeed” expansion that adds aerial combat with zombie airplanes, I’ll give it a shot.

  23. ITPalg says:

    Nether has absolutely nothing to do with the occult.

    Just one look at the trailer and you will understand how the Nether came to be.

    How you got the occult into this I have no idea.

  24. R.Neville says:

    So you want to have me believe that Wile E. Smed has changed since the SWG debacle, which he single handedly created?
    Smed will do what HE wants to do and not listen to his player base. P2W and Survival? They kind of contradict each other. You should take the survival out of the equation because if you can buy boosts or whatever, that’s not really trying to survive is it?
    Also, $20 early access for a supposed F2P game. If this F2P modelled game is going to be so great why the $20 for early access? Especially from a AAA studio such as SOE, something doesn’t smell right.