Sergey has just posted a thread on the official forum answering some of the questions he’s been getting from the community. These include hackers, War Z hate, skill trees and the future of War Z. Check it out, and don’t forget to follow us on twitter for the latest War Z news.
1) What does “Foundation Release” means? Where all those features you promised ?
I really hoped that we’ve been communicating to community our development plans really well, but apparently some people are still have questions. First of all – “Foundation Release’ means that we feel that game reached state when we can drop “Beta version” designation. It means that our system are mature enough to represent BASE for future feature development and expansion.
As we’ve noted several times in a past – online games in general, and The War Z in particular – are not boxed products – it’s a game service to our users. We start with a basic set of features and we keep adding more content and features working together with community to make sure that game is going into direction our PAYING customers want. Ie – if you have bought the game, and keep playing game – your voice will count.
In next 1-4 weeks we plan to add more features to our initial Release :
- Rental for Gameworld and Stronghold servers
- Locker items so you’ll be able to store your loot in a game world, as well as way to facilitate items dealing between players.
- New “building blocks” – items that will allow you to customize your Stronghold meta game experience
This should cover all base features that we’ve promised game will have at release when we’ve announced it back in July 2012.
2) What happened to Skills ?
We’ve launched our Skills test for a small group of players 1.5 weeks ago. We’ve hoped that we’ll be able to make skills available to all players this year, but I can tell you that it’s not going to happen. Our initial tests showed that we still have work to do, and we’re working with active War z players to make sure that skill trees alone will be huge part of the gameplay and character development and will create value for your characters.
Bottom line – we’re moving full steam ahead, but at the same time we know that now we CAN’T afford to rush half baked feature that as important as Skill Trees.
3) What’s with hackers – how many of them you’ve banned ? Also – did you really banned innocent players ?
Let me just say this again – we have ZERO tolerance toward hackers and cheaters. And we’ll fight them as hard as we can. Over last week we’ve banned over 3,000 players. Just to give you idea – this is less than 1% of our active players. As we’ve learned later – few hundred of those who been banned was using game exploits that are not considered by us being hacks, but still – we don’t appreciate people trying to break game and not reporting it.
Anyway – we’ve adjusted our system, and we’ve unbanned all those “innocent” players and gave them 700GC to compensate for 2-3 days they were unable to play.
Now – some people said that we do not have anti cheat engine or anything and we’ve caught those guys by placing objects in a world that can’t be accessed other than by using hacks. First of all – yes we did that. Second – it was up to system ( yes we have one developed by special anticheat engine team ) to catch those guys and report them to operators. Yet – this “one time” trick only helped us to catch around 1000 potential cheaters. Rest was up to our automated wallhack/ESP/noclip detection engine and our behavioral analytic software.
What will happens next ? We’ll be actively fighting hackers. Hopefully we’ll get it to the point when risk of being banned will be much greater than any benefits than they potentially get from using hacks.
4) What’s about all that hate toward The War Z ?
Okay I can say “I don’t know’ and I’ll be right – I don’t know for sure, but at same time I have some ideas. As far as you know we’re doing surveys asking our players what they like and what they don’t like about our game and service. We’re doing it once a month.
We’ve did our last survey yesterday. It got us over 100,000 replies – so we can safely say statistically it represent what our players think. We’ve got an overall approval of 93% !!! That’s INSANE number. 40% just like game as is, 50% like game, but feel it needs more polishing and adding some new features ( yes – server rentals ). 5.5% played game, didn’t like it and only 1.5% of respondents – some of the are guys who been recently banned – said they hate game.
Statistically speaking we can just say “okay, who cares about that 1.5%”, but we really like to know what those guys are thinking. Because there’s another set of numbers :
- 30% of our players played DayZ
- 70% of our players never played Dayz
- 5% of our players never heard about DayZ before they started looking into The War Z
This means that most of our players are new to the “genre” of zombie survival game. They either like zombie games, or they like MMO’s or they like survival games. They do not play The War Z because they’ve been fans of Dayz or even played it.
I think there are a few groups of players who don’t like us for what we’re doing :
1) Extreme DayZ fanboys. I really envy to Dayz creators for having such loyal players, yet I don’t think we can do anything – yes we’ve announced game right before DayZ mod reached it’s prime and it started losing popularity after that. And yes – The War Z and DayZ themes are similar. Heck – both projects are using same reference to other products in their titles )). So – if I’ll be a Dayz fanboy – I’ll be royally pissed off at The War Z. Especially since they won’t be able to do anything about it, all they can do is to spread lies and false information about game. They just love to omit obvious facts and bend words.
2) Players that got a different game from what they expected. One example of this – is whole PVE vs PVP discussion. When we asked our players – we’ve got very interesting results – half of players want unrestricted PVP, half want to eliminate PVP aspect of the game and keep game strictly PVE. Problem that can’t be solved by us.
And it doesn’t help obviously that The War Z got super popular despite any negativity that those people try to spread. I mean – game IS a big success for a small indie, self funded development team. It’s nowhere near success stories like Minecraft, but at same time we’re just two months old – we’ve launched first public alpha of the game on October 15th.
5) What’s next for The War Z ?
Is to have nice holidays time off, with only operations team working 24/7. And after that get back to release more content, new features and listen to what our players will want game to be.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone !