‘H1Z1’ Dev Apologizes, Explains Coming Air Drop Changes

The launch of the H1Z1 Early Alpha Access on Steam was marred by accusations of pay-to-win toward the free-to-play zombie survival game. One of the Sony Online Entertainment developers who was at the center of the complaints apologized on Friday and backed up one of the points I made on why some of the complaints were wrong.

Sr. Game Designer Adam Clegg took to Reddit to personally apologize to H1Z1 fans for a comment he made during a pre-launch livestream that helped stir the controversy with airdrops.

During the stream (40:40 mark), he said, “You can’t buy ammo. You can’t buy guns. You can’t get them out of a crate. There’s zero way. You have to find them in the world.”

This led many to believe that the inclusion of weapons and ammo in airdrops was a pay-to-win mechanic that SOE underhandedly snuck into the game. However, I pointed out in my article that the developer had already mentioned airdrops containing weapons and ammo as early as August of last year. Clegg simply misspoke while talking off the cuff on the livestream, as he admitted to.

“I wanted to address what I said in an earlier stream with NGTZombies prior to our release,” Clegg wrote. “I said you cannot buy a gun or ammo and it had to be found in the world. When you are on a stream, and you are talking about your game, you tend to talk a million miles an hour both to keep the information flowing and to keep it entertaining. But sometimes things get said without completely thinking about what you are saying 100% through.”

“‘H1Z1’ is a massive game with a lot of systems, some of which we were tuning every day and finishing last minute. When I said you can’t buy any guns or ammo, I completely disregarded the possibility of airdrops and meant that you can’t buy a gun or ammo and have it go into your starting loadout, or your loadout immediately like you were buying a gun from the gun store,” he continued.

“All that being said, I totally understand how what I said was at the time lying to you guys and I apologize,” he added. “But please understand that’s not what I was trying to do. For those of you that don’t know me or understand me, know that I’m not trying to be this monster that is conniving and lying in hopes that you get tricked into buying the game. I am very passionate about making video games and I want more than anything in the world for people to love the games that I am a part of making.”

H1Z1 (PC)

Clearly airdrops were not working the way SOE intended. The game is in an alpha state after all, and is full of bugs and incomplete features. Clegg detailed some of the changes that are coming to make them the competitive slugfest events that they were intended to be.

1) Make the plane move slowly (53% of current). This increases the ability for other players to react to the plane coming in.

2) Make the drop fall more slowly (80% of current). This increases the ability for other players to react to the plane coming in.

3) Less accurate maximum drop radius (was 250m now 700m, so with these settings it would drop up to 700m from the calling player)

4) New minimum distance of 250m for airdrops to appear from a player. This is a little less than ½ the player density of 700m distance with 120 players on a server. Therefore more players are likely to be near the airdrop when deployed.

5) Increase the minimum number of required players to 120 (a little higher after more discussion about player density being important to keeping airdrops contested)

For those interested in knowing the contents of the various airdrops and the chances to get them, Clegg provided the following.

65% chance to call in one of these airdrops

The Caveman

  • Bow 1x
  • Bundle of Arrows 2x
  • Torch 1x
  • Waist pack 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Welder

  • Wrench 1x
  • Hammer 1x
  • Metal Sheets 4x
  • Metal Pipes 2x
  • Weapon Repair Kit 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Medic

  • First Aid Kits 2x
  • Bandages 5x
  • Cloth 6x
  • Purified Water 2x
  • Saline 2x
  • 7 Zombies

The Demolition Man

  • IED 2x
  • Lighter 1x
  • Landmine 1x
  • Flares 2x
  • Smoke Flare 2x
  • Ethonol 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Builder

  • Nails 20x
  • Furnace 1x
  • Logs 4x
  • Metal Bits 10x
  • Scrap Metal 10x
  • Wood Axe 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Farmer

  • Tamper 10x
  • Corn Seeds 10x
  • Wheat Seeds 10x
  • Fertilizer 10x
  • Purified Water 5x
  • 7 Zombies

The Hiker

  • Motorcycle Helmet 1x
  • Military Backpack 1x
  • Goggles 1x
  • Binoculars 1x
  • Compass 1x
  • 7 Zombies

12.5 % chance to call in one of these airdrops

Life of the Party

  • IED 5x
  • Swizzle 20x
  • Moonshine 15x
  • Flare 30x
  • 7 Zombies

10.0% Chance to call in this airdrop

The Hobo

  • Shotgun 1x
  • Shells 12x
  • Moonshine 2x
  • Torch 1x
  • Twine 1x
  • Bear Sandwich 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Lone Wolf

  • Pistol 1x
  • Ammo.45 14x
  • Logs 2x
  • Wolf Sandwich 1x
  • Animal Trap 1x
  • Deer Bladder 2x
  • 7 Zombies

What do you think of Clegg’s apology and the changes to airdrops in H1Z1? What other changes would you like to see? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via H1Z1]

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