Posts Tagged ‘SOE’

Catching Up on Sony’s H1Z1 Game

H1Z1-logoMany gamers may recall back in January that SOE’s John Smedley held a reddit Ask Me Anything where he answered a bunch of questions, but more importantly, promised “SWG PLAYERS – OUR NEXT GAME (not announced yet) IS DEDICATED TO YOU. Once we launch it… you can come home now.”

If you were a Star Wars Galaxies player, and like me, you were likely just as skeptical as I was of that rather bold statement he made in answer to “If you could relaunch a shutdown title which one would you pick and what would you do differently this time?”

Fast forward to the beginning of April and the podcast Game Talk Live where Smedley reveals their next game – H1Z1.

“H1Z1 is an MMO that allows players to take on the role of an apocalypse survivor who is in a world that is filled with zombies,” Smedley explained on Game Talk Live. “A world! Not just a little tiny server.”

I remember pausing for a moment after hearing that and shaking my head.  A zombie game is what SOE thinks will appeal to SWG Players and bring us “home”?  Seriously?  What?  Are our vehicles going to burn out and die halfway across the planet in BFE like they did in SWG?  Will our buildings take damage?  Yes, I get you’re going to be able to, as I paraphrase Smedly, “burn shit down” in the game – but I’d like to understand WHY they think this would appeal to SWG players.

Keep in mind, I’m about burned out on Zombies.  Zombies this, zombie that, zombies zombies zombies.  They are almost everywhere in every game.  If I wanted to play an apocalyptic game with zombies that I can create and build stuff in and have destroyed by zombies or physics, etc. I’d be playing 7 Days to Die – which is, sadly, what this game is starting to sound like.  Which means, no offense Sony, I’m not seeing -anything- new here.

All of that bitterness being said, I’m trying to keep an open mind about the MMO and the fact that it -may- appeal to SWG players.  I just can’t call it a “unique” game when I haven’t seen much of anything unique about the game.

Unless you fast forward to the post made late last night on the H1Z1 reddit channel regarding player servers:

Hello fellow Infected,

I’d like to announce a new feature for H1Z1. Player Servers. Similar to other games from SOE, H1Z1 is an MMO. We will launch with different rulesets and variants to cater to different playstyles.

We’re excited about taking our dedication to letting you get a say in our games to a whole new level with Player Servers.

The idea is simple – If a community of our players wants to host a server with a specific theme or ruleset then we’re going to do our best to give it to them. players will recieve a pledge token for free if they’ve played more than 5 hours. This pledge token can be used to cast a vote for a server. But use it wisely. You only get one free one per year. Make sure it’s a community you believe in and that has a good chance to succeed because we’re going to set the bar such that the community can sustain an MMO server (more details will be announced later). If you find yourself dying to vote on another server initiative we’ll also sell pledge tokens but you can only use 2 pledge tokens a year max. So again, it’s up to you but we want to make sure if we build it you’re coming. We’re also going to refund the station cash you used to buy it to your account if the Player Server Initiative succeeds. The Pledge token also comes with a wearable that’s going to look sweet.

Why refund it if it succeeds? Simple – we really want to give you the kind of servers you want. We’re going to set that bar high. If it succeeds, you’ve built a community of fellow players you want and as our customers we want to give you that. But we also need some indication of reality in order to make this work.

At SOE we’ve been doing a whole lot of asking our players what you think of our ideas. This is no exception. If you have better ones, we are all ears.

Hope you dig this.

Smed

 Even though this is quite interesting, it doesn’t really make a huge difference to the game yet, in my opinion.  I think they have to show HOW they’ll be different from every other FPS out there with zombies in it.

That being said, there were a lot of other interesting Q&A points in the announcement, including the following two tidbits.

[–]-nd123- 4 points 8 hours ago

Great idea! Can you clarify what’s happening with the store? (Items for sale for IRL money)

[–]j_smedley[S] 14 points 8 hours ago

we are absorbing what the community has said in the thread about monetization. There are ideas in there that have already changed minds. So the truth is we aren’t sure yet. We have an internal meeting on Monday to discuss the way forward and once we do we’ll announce it. It’s going to be something the community feels good about supporting or we just can’t do it. It doesn’t mean everyone is going to be 100% happy. But I hope we find a place where people feel good about it. That’s why we make games. To make people happy. Including ourselves 🙂

[–]LoneWolfrenegadeimp 3 points 7 hours ago

So let me get this right in my mind. We get to vote on server rules and a large community gets to host it and admin it? If this is right, are you worried about splitting the community up too much and having them spread over too many servers? If this is true then are you worried about over zealous admins?

Or

Do you mean that we get to vote on different rule sets for servers and soe host and admin them?

The reason I ask is because the first scenario is a dangerous road to travel down.

[–]j_smedley[S] 5 points 5 hours ago

the latter. But it’s more than just rulesets. We’re going to put game features on that list too. It’s easy to do rulesets.. we’re talking about a system where entire features could be turned on or off. Or even requested of us.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Were you an SWG player? Does H1Z1 appeal to you on the level SWG appealed to you? Does it appeal to you for different reasons? Or does it not appeal to you at all? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave your replies in the comments or on our forums/Facebook pages.

About Grace "Kayhynn" Snoke

Grace Snoke is a corporate journalist and author who enjoys gaming, reading, writing and jewelry making. Outside of her day job, she writes for a number of sites including: Video Game Scoreboard.com, Obsolete Gamer, SciTech Nerds and for a couple blogs and sites she owns. You can learn more about her adventures as an author here.

Everquest Next: The Next Generation MMO

everquest-next-logo

Key Features as listed by the FAQ:

  • Full Destructibility — Everything in EverQuest Next can be destroyed. Destroy the ground beneath your enemy’s feet — or crush him under an avalanche you created. The possibilities are endless!
  • Permanent Change — The land of Norrath changes every day, based on the actions of all players… including you. Cities rise and fall, kings live and die, even the gods may change. You won’t want to miss a moment of it!
  • A Life of Consequence — Your choices will rule your destiny. Do you save a villager’s burning farm or choose to do nothing? Do you clear orc camps away from Qeynos or help them destroy the city? You will make your own story — and shape the story for those who follow you.
  • A Class Revolution — Our character classes are streamlined and designed to be mixed. Want to be a teleporting rogue or a backstabbing barbarian? The choice is yours!

Website : https://www.everquestnext.com

So, this game has me excited. It’s a Next Generation Sandbox game with a few novel features, such as the destructibility – which in itself is pretty cool.  I’ll go through the main features and describe them as best I can with the current revealed knowledge, which, admittedly, isn’t THAT much.

Deep World

In Everquest Next, there’s not just the land you’re walking on.  Underneath that land will be more places, more dungeons and caves, full of ruins and secret places – and of course monsters- so there’s lots to explore and plenty of new places to find, not just moving around the world, but under your feet too! Even more exciting, these places can be accessed and left via destructibility!

everquest-next-10Destructibility

Another cool feature is the ability to break stuff. So when you use some earth shattering ability, it can be LITERALLY earth shattering. It’s not limited to just you; monsters can do it too.

So you can create avalanches, destroy bridges and outcroppings, dig tunnels, all in the world, as far as we’ve been told, that’s not instances or phases, but actually in the permanent world, so you’ll know when a battle has been around!

Dynamic World

Finally! A world not based on a static places, but a changing one! This plays out in several ways:

NPC Spawns: The example they used was Orcs. Orcs like to ambush people for their gold, so they like to tackle lightly defended targets without guards or guard patrols. So if there’s a road that gets some traffic, but no guards are patrolling it, that’s a place orcs are likely to set up a camp. If someone tells the guards to start patrolling down that road and they do, or some adventurers wipe out the camp, that’s it, the orcs will move on to somewhere else, no more orcs at that location.

everquest-next-5It also plays out in the rest of the world. There are these things called Rallies, which are sort of like public quests, except you don’t really know the objectives or triggers and they could take months to complete, but when they do, something will happen in world. Permanently.

So if you help build a palisade wall around a new village, there WILL be a palisade wall around the village. If you clear out all the goblins in the surrounding forest, there might be no more goblins, or the goblins might get some allies, so have a BIGGER goblin problem, or maybe they’ll get some orc and ogre allies and siege the town. OR they could leave the area, the villagers could expand and start a mine to build some stone walls instead, but when they get deep enough… they hit one of those underground places and monsters pour out, so you have to defend the village, explore the cave… or you could always help that orc invasion to destroy the town.

Once the town is gone, it’s gone. Destroyed. It doesn’t come back. The world has changed forever. Lucky new ones will be built, right?

everquest-next-8Characters

They wanted characters to feel heroic, and to be customisable, they want you to play how you want to play. We’ve been told that if you want a chainmail bikini, you can have one, if you want full plate, you can have it. The hair and cloth moves in the wind, it looks quite nice. The characters are a bit cartoony, but that is partially to get the expressiveness of the faces using emotes and SOEmote.

To add to the heroic feel of the characters, they move in a fairly acrobatic style through the world, doing a sort of parkour, leaping low obstacles, sliding down slopes, and double jumps, as shown here.

As for the classes, we’re told there are 40 and you can collect them in game. They  don’t say how, just that you collect them, then you can add their abilities to your character. Each class is leveled individually, so you could be a level 8 warrior and a level 2 wizard, and apply your points or whatever (I don’t yet know how leveling works)  to whatever class you like to use abilities from there.

Your characters are constructed with a class, which determines what armor you wear (you only get one choice of armor type) and 2 weapon types, which play differently. Your class determines your weapon types (eg longsword and 2 handed sword) and your weapon abilities. Different classes will look and stand differently even if they’re using the same weapon, so they have different fighting stances and have their own unique feel.

everquest-next-9On top of weapon abilities, you then have your ability slots, which are divided up into categories. Offensive, Defensive and Movement. Different classes will have different combinations. For example, a wizard might have 2 offensive slots, a defensive slot and a movement slot, where a rogue might have 2 movement slots and 2 offensive slots. These are not locked to your class however, if you have the abilities of another class, you can use any of those abilities in your slots, so you might be a warrior, but you could have a wizard’s ability in your movement slot, a ranger’s ability in your offensive slot etc, giving you some unique templates, which you can then save and switch between whenever you like (out of combat). I assume you can also switch classes to suit your mood and style.

There is no trinity.  There are no dedicated healers and no dedicated tanks.  They want anyone to be able to fill whatever need and not be waiting for your specialist friends all the time to play.

There will also be items that will help with your templates, such as a ring that reduces the ability cost of movement abilities, or the boots of the zephyr shown in the video. Equipment, we are told, is not just a stat modifier, but a strategic choice, there will be differences between different types of longsword.

The combat is fast paced, dynamic and movement based, which fits in with the breakable world nicely.

everquest-next-landmarkEverquest Next Landmark

Landmark is coming out at the end of the year apparently, and is Everquest Minecraft essentially, with a procedural world where you can stake a claim, harvest resources and build anything you like, but better, if you build something that fits into the world of Norrath, you can import the plan of your design into Everquest Next, you can even sell your plan for real money, and if someone used your plan as part of one they’re selling, you get royalties based on the amount. So there will be custom buildings.

Best of all, both of these games are free to play, so you have nothing to lose by trying it when it comes out if your interest has been piqued.

Beta Signups are currently open from the website.

You can check out a couple of the time lapse videos of Landmark below:

Article reprinted with permission from: JameOw.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017
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