Yesterday, my group and I experienced our first day in the WarZ Alpha – exploring Colorado and scavenging for supplies in this upcoming zombie survival MMO. After a day filled with both frustration and heart-pounding excitement, we were all pretty fed up with the crashes and hoped day 2 would be much better. The developers have released a hotfix that will apparently fix the crashes and more.
Meeting up with one of my group members in one of the northern towns, I learned that he had been up early stocking up on supplies and doing loot runs to the town we were at. We moved in together to make another run, moving in to a parking lot to search the cars for loot while scouting the area.
It wasn’t long before a player came out from behind a building in to the car park – armed with an automatic rifle there was a tense pause. My friend had picked up a shotgun, but it was out of ammo – shots began firing and we made for cover. Quickly working an angle around the cars we made straight for him with melee weapons in hand – he fires and takes us both down at his feet, start again.
My friend spawned again in the northern town, but I had a character waiting on hand near the major city, so I decided to make a quick loot run before heading out. Arming myself with a shotgun this time, I crept through the suburbs on the outskirts of the city – I begin searching the diner and stalking the streets killing the zombies I encounter.
Loot spawns seem to have been increased; I managed to find a decent amount of loot to last a trip up north. After playing for a decent amount of time, I am already beginning to notice the absence of any crashes. I continue playing uninterrupted and decide to meet up with my friend just a little north of the city. We’re noticing more players populating the same areas and decide to venture further out of the central towns and city.
Meeting up with my friend he begins to talk about how there are rumours of a crashed heli in the wilderness – it’s meant to spawn a decent amount of loot if you can find it. We figure the best place to head is the northern forests, and we were right – there was a crashed heli with two flares on either side right in the middle of the forest, we crept over to find no loot – we would soon discover people are already quite fond of server hopping.
It was already growing quite dark in the forest, and we decided to split up for a bit and search the map. I began to head further north to the very edge of the map where a ridge ran from the east to west. Stumbling around in the dark, I heard an extremely loud noise echo through the mountains – it sounded like a zombie t-rex roaring, if that makes any sense.
I figured it was one of the super zombies the devs spoke about, you are meant to be able to kill them and retrieve their stem cells to hand in for currency. I searched and searched, but I couldn’t find the source of the noise, it was either inaccessible or the echoes were throwing me off but I passed it off as an ambient noise and decided to meet up with my friend at a town that lies on the far north east of the map.
The town turned up a decent amount of drinks, enough to keep us stocked for the night at least. The crashed helicopter turned up with nothing, but we were still feeling adventurous and wanted to see whether any other towns that lied on the outskirts were still unknown to the majority of the players. We begin heading down the east side of the map, searching for a town we saw in a video that had a church by a lake. It isn’t long before we find it, that’s the great thing about WarZ – you are never running long before there’s something interesting to check out or you are where you need to be.
The town is pretty quiet, we manage to sneak in to the church and some surrounding houses and find some great loot. It seems not many players are coming this way, so we loot the area for a while before my friend mysteriously dies. I go to where his body is to retrieve his loot, but of course just as I am doing so another player turns up with a shotgun and the same intentions as us.
I am quick to crouch and hide, I watch as he begins entering the houses next to the church – entering them one by one down the street. I move under the front porch of the house before the one he is in and begin moving closer and closer as he checks the houses. He moves out of the last house and enters a building opposite the church, I wait for him to come back out and quickly swing – thanks for the shotgun.
Retrieving my friends gear, I store it and prepare to meet up with him but he has to leave. I decide to spend the rest of my night stocking up on gear, I am getting rather low and as I mentioned yesterday it’s quite important to ration your supplies properly. Hitting up some towns and a police station, I find some more supplies and masks. The game crashes twice throughout the night, but that’s it for the entire day.
As I am looting I notice that the invisible zombie problem I had encountered – where you would suddenly be attacked out of nowhere by nothing – was apparently happening a lot more. Nearly no crashes at all, but invisible zombies – it’s a tradeoff only fixed by the fact that I can play for more 30 seconds.
Able to get in and play for a lot longer than the previous day, it was much more enjoyable. The developers apologized throughout the day for the instability of the game and said it’s practically not even an alpha. To show their gratitude, they unlocked the other characters for everyone in an effort to sway public opinion.
There’s a lot of work to be done still, and some areas were quite obviously rushed – but the developers seem to be working really hard to make up for their mistakes and show that they care about their community. Whatever their motives were when creating the game, it seems like inexperience has tripped them up and they are working hard to make up for it. To be fair, they regularly post information and respond to their players more often than most companies I have seen – bravo on that so far.
I can still say that I am enjoying The WarZ, and the hotfixes did actually fix some important issues. If the developers can keep up the frequent patches, and get a lot of polish done fast – they may just have a decent title on their hands. There’s still much to see though, and we’re only in the early days of Alpha.