‘H1Z1’ Now Live On Steam Early Access, SOE Says Don’t Buy If You Aren’t Ready For Bugs

Scott Grill - Author
By

Jan. 15 2015, Updated 3:42 p.m. ET

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The free-to-play zombie survival game, H1Z1, for the PC finally went live on Steam Thursday. There were some hiccups in getting the title deployed to the service’s Early Access program, but it is now available. However, there are some things you may want to consider before jumping in.

H1Z1 was supposed to be released at 1 p.m. ET today. However, there were some problems getting it deployed. Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley tried to keep anxious players apprised of the situation, but getting the game launched was out of the developer’s hands.

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The game finally went live around 5 p.m. ET, but even the flood of players trying to sign in created all sorts of problems.

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Don’t expect this to be the only problem with H1Z1, though. Early Access Games are not for the faint of heart or those expecting fully functioning completed games. They aren’t even for those expecting halfway functioning games as this is not even a beta, it is an alpha version of the title.

This is something that Sony Online Entertainment is well aware of and is actively encouraging people not play if they aren’t willing to accept some problems going in. The studio provided a lengthy explanation on just some of what to expect before dropping the $20 or $40 needed to gain early access to H1Z1. It suggests waiting until the game is completely free-to-play if you aren’t ready to deal with early access issues.

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“1) It’s very early – there are lots of bugs. There are likely to be some bad ones. You should fully expect that there will be bugs that persist for a while. Even potentially game breaking ones.”

“2) The Artwork should all be considered placeholder – The terrain is an 8k x 8k area that is still being worked on. It’s probably 10% of where we expect the quality level to be at launch. There are tons of placeholder textures in and everything hasn’t been updated to the fidelity it needs to be at and will be at given time.”

“3) The character model is not done. We’re not satisfied with what we’ve got in there now, but it’s good enough for Early Access so we can focus on gameplay. It’s probably 30% of the quality level we’re shooting for and it’s being worked on right now.”

“4) We don’t have climbing in yet – we have lots of ways to get to high ground, but no ladders yet.”

“5) Water is only knee deep right now.”

“6) We don’t have much in the way of military gear in the game yet. It’s coming, but isn’t in there yet. We can’t promise when it will be in there but it is a priority.”

“7) We don’t have attachment points in yet, so you can’t see that awesome rifle you or someone else is carrying hanging off their backpack or over their shoulder. This leads to situations where you’re fighting a guy with a knife and all of a sudden he brings a gun into it and you didn’t know he had it. This is something we intend to correct quickly but that’s how it is day 1.”

“8) We have made the decision to allow paid for airdrops into the game with things like guns and other things being randomly selected as part of the airdrop. We’re making them highly contested and building a whole set of rules around this, but you should be aware that our goal is to make this a way to keep things interesting on the servers but still be contested. If these offend your sensibilities just know that they are going to be there. We have gone out of our way to make sure the airdrops are contested in-game and that you can’t simply expect to easily walk about to the airdrop and grab it. Even if you paid for it.”

“9) Expect the servers to be offline sometimes… even unexpectedly. We plan on making frequent changes to the game, and this means sometimes the servers need to come down. This will happen more frequently during Early Access.”

“10) Balance problems – expect that early on the game won’t be balanced properly.”

“11) We have building in the game, but it’s what we would consider phase 1. We have a lot more to add to it and it’s going to be a focus… but we have the basics only at this point.”

“12) We don’t have female characters yet. We will, but can’t promise when they will be in.”

“13) Keybindings via our interface – we don’t have this done yet. It’s high on our priority list though.”

“14) Crates – one of our primary monetization methods is crates. You are given crates over time simply for playing. The keys will cost 250 Station Cash ($2.50) and can be purchased in bundles for less per key. Inside the crate are skins that can make your character or equipment even cooler. However you have to actually find items in-game to reskin. So if you get a military backpack camo pattern.. you still have to find a military backpack in game (which has the same # of slots btw). The crates have one item each in them and there is a random rarity, so you might get a common item or you might get a rare item (obviously less chance for the rare). Crates are not necessary for gameplay. You never have to buy one if you don’t want to.”

“15) Event Tickets / Event Servers – We have many different types of servers that you can play on. One type (Event Servers) requires an Event Ticket which can be purchased for roughly 100SC ($1). At the start we have Player Unknown’s Battle Royale servers that you can play on. This is an awesome Last Man Standing kind of game that we think you’ll really enjoy. You don’t need to buy the tickets.. you will earn them simply by playing H1Z1. If you like it and want to play that more, you can buy them. If you get good at it, we give you additional tickets for being near the top of the leaderboard after the end of a match.”

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[Images via H1Z1]

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