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The War Z Not Worth The Money Or Time Yet

The War Z Not Worth The Money Or Time Yet
Posted on Dec 19, 2012 by Stephen Owens
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They could change the name to, "The Hiking to Die Game - where you work really hard, and walk for hours of real world time, to acquire a few items, only to be shot by other players that have been on longer than you." 

Then everyone would know exactly what they are paying for.

The War Z

The concept is an open ended zombie survival MMO game. In my own opinon 50 to 100 players isn't massive, but that's a topic for another day. This game, was recently released on Steam (release date: December 17, 2012) http://store.steampowered.com/app/226700 

The basic concept is good, but I'm keeping my eye on State of Decay (another Zombie survival MMO not available yet). War Z  is boring.

Here is an excellent video review of War Z:

Update [Dec 19, 2012]: Valve pulls War Z from their Steam Store until the developer get's their act together and polishes up their turd. 

There are also other concerns over the launch on Steam, which you can read all about in this GameSpy interview.

My thoughts are based upon my initial experiences from December 17 to 18, 2012. Some day this game could be great. As of right now it's not ready for prime time yet. I know the developers have a loyal following of players that have been with them through the Alpha and Beta phases, but as the noob, just starting out in their world, here are my thoughts.

Paying for the Game & Micro Transactions?

Not only do you have to pay for the game, there are also micro transaction. Micro transactions are where you have to pay real money for in game items. These items can be lost if another player kills you, or you die from zombies. That's being a real comic book villain.

Suggestions for Initial Improvement

Just a few ideas to make it a little more friendly to new players starting out.

Newbie Server that's Non-PvP

A non PvP server for n00bs to get a foothold, and learn how to play. Let them kill some zombies and not worry about established players taking them out for a single granola bar.

Better Item Spawning & Re-spawning

More consistent item spawning / re-spawning. I ending up making 12 different characters today because people kept killing me from a distance with guns.

One of the characters I played for over an hour and only found one granola bar. I kept walking around looking for things in small towns until someone shot me.

The very next character I found a 9mm handgun, hammer, baseball bat, five bottles of water, more food than I could carry, med kit and other medical supplies, a large backpack, helmet, all within the first 15 minutes. This was all found in a small town. Then I was shot about six minutes after finding that jack pot.

Some Kind of Quicker Movement

Walking for hours without anything happening isn't much fun. I mean nothing happens. No zombies. Mo zombie rabbits. No zombie squirrels. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I love to hike in real life, but in a game world... no. That's kind of lame.

Perhaps a sort of auto walking mechanism. Such as, trading stamina and a granola bar to skip the 20 minute walk to the next town. I don't care what, just something to make it so walking, with nothing else going on, isn't the main activity of the game.

Ideas for a Better Survival Game Experience

Some things that could be added, since this is a survival game, but are definitely not required to fix the game in the short term...

  • Melting snow for drinking water.
  • Being able to swim across water (lakes and rivers)
  • Drink river water. I'm dieing of thirst, and I can't at minimum boil then drink the river water? Seems silly to me.
  • Hunt for food, or gather wild food sources. Right now you can only find pre-packaged food. Like potted meat and granola bars.
  • Regenerate stamina quicker by laying down (going prone).
  • Building shelters and other fortifications, beyond purchasing barricades in the marketplace before logging into a server. I see lots of wood pallets and other things laying around that would make a good temporary wall.
  • Shut the door on houses. If the door is there. I should be able to shut it and keep the zombies out.
  • Weather conditions. Rain, Snow, Hail, Server thunder storms. The map is Colorado. That state does have a good amount of sun, but they also have weather that changes quickly.
  • Climbing trees.
  • Why can zombies climb on top the firetruck but not a humvee? That seems strange to me.
  • Being able to punch or kick things. If you spawn without items, and that does happen from time to time, you are completely defenseless.

Those are just some of the things I remember thinking as I was playing. Others have created bucket lists of what they would like to see in game on the War Z forum.

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