Meet and greet and beat
In my first H1Z1 diary, I spent the entire time alone on a low population server in the Early Access zombie survival game, trying to craft, build, and fortify a small town. While I had a good time, H1Z1 is a game that may have over a hundred people playing on the same server at the same time. I think it's time to go meet them.
For today's diary, I joined a high population server and went looking for people. I found them and they found me. In an afternoon spent playing, this is a chronicle of every single person I met.
I spawn at night and immediately find a small house. I step into the kitchen, and a player named Mingzi appears a moment later at the back door. I shine a flashlight in his face, and he immediately delivers a right cross to my jaw. Fair enough. We duke it out in the yard. He wins. I've been in the game for two minutes.
I respawn in the middle of nowhere, and soon meet DayneZ. He's being chased by a zombie, so I beat it to un-death with my mighty stick of wood. DayneZ and I chat a bit over the mic. Since neither of us know where we are, and neither of us has seen any buildings, we decide to travel together for a bit. While we're running through the woods, H1Z1 crashes to desktop. Looking at Twitter, a lot of people have been complaining about crashes since the last patch. This will become a regular feature of this diary, unfortunately.
I've rejoined, and it's now daytime. I'm still out in the wilderness with no buildings or roads in sight. I meet DogWithSilencedGlock. He does not have a silenced Glock, though he is pretty good at killing zombies with his bow. We chat, then run off together, eventually coming across a large, player-made structure. We can hear people inside doing something, but they don't answer our calls. We move on.
Dog tries hunting a deer with his bow, but after landing one shot the deer runs away. We continue looking for civilization. On a hillside we run into someone called Quest, who puts both his hands up until Dog puts away his bow. Then Quest starts punching Dog. We both tell Quest to chill, but he won't. Eventually, we beat him to death with sticks.
Dog and I meet maxno1, who doesn't speak but doesn't try to kill us, either. The three of us finally spot an actual road. Dog disappears breifly—he's been trying to bag a deer since I met him, so I assume he's off hunting—so max and I search cars and campers for supplies. While I'm searching a van, I hear a twang, and turn around just in time to see max slump to the ground with an arrow through his head. Gasp. Has Dog betrayed us? Find out in the next slide!
The shocking mystery is solved. maxno1's murderer is revealed as yarlarz, who is some guy in a hat who snuck up on us. After quickly yet respectfully looting max's corpse, I chase yarlarz around, trying to beat him with a stick, while he runs and occasionally tries to stab me with a knife. Neither of us hit or stab each other enough to win, and he eventually runs off. Dog returns in time to fire a few arrows at him, but misses.
We find Tewsdai at a campsite. He's not looking for any trouble, and joins us. We search the cars and campers, finding little. My food meter is nearly empty, and I've been gobbling blackberries every time we stop. Tewsdai and Dog fill a zombie with arrows. We spot yarlarz lurking around the edge of the camp, but he runs away again.
Two guys come running down the road in our direction. They're both friendly and neither have much in the way of gear. There are now five in our group, but we're still finding precious little in the way of supplies, and yarlarz is still shadowing us from a distance. I decide to call in an airdrop. Will this give us the edge we need to survive, or drive our newly formed community into a frenzy of greed and back-stabbery?
The drop and the dropped
The plane flies slowly overhead and drops the supply container over the road. We all groan as we see it's back in the direction we've come from, but hustle over anyway. As the crate touches down and explodes, a bunch of things happen at once. Three new people appear, running in from various directions. Someone new shouts "What's happening? I don't know what's happening!" I see a sack of possessions appear at my feet, then hear a thunk. My character is suddenly dead, and spills onto the ground. I hear Dog flatly say "We've got a hacker."
I hear reports of hackers, not just in H1Z1 but in lots of games. I typically think most reports of hackers are just sour grapes from players miffed that they've encounted someone better, but reports of hackers in H1Z1 have been officially confirmed and are currently being combated by the developers. I don't know for a fact that I was killed by a hacker, all I know is I died very suddenly and I'm not sure from what.
I spawn near a large hardware store. Out front are two massive, player-made structures, and the beginnings of a third. I run around looking at them while hearing some movement from inside. Then there's a gunshot and I see blood spray out of my shoulder. I run.
Players unknown, continued
I run around the corner and under a player-made walkway. I hear a twang, and the upper half of my body is bent completely backwards as my stuff-sack appears on the ground. I'm dead. Quite dead. With a bend like that, I'm glad I'm dead.
I spawn in the woods and spot someone running around. His name is IvanDrago, and he's building a little settlement among the trees. "I'm just looking," I say. "I won't cause you trouble." He says something into his mic that I can't make out, but seems unconcerned with me hanging around. I start inspecting his camp, and the game crashes. When I restart, I'm still at his camp but he's gone.
I spot chillx running across a field in the other direction, and hustle over to talk to him. Looking over his shoulder at me while he runs, he suddenly stops, spins around, and yells "What the FUCK could you even want from me?" and begins throwing punches. "You don't seem very chill, chillx," I observe. He wins the fight. I die.
Thoughts on darkness
Not to single out H1Z1, since I've been having this thought about a lot of games, but here's the thing: screw nighttime in games. Unless night has a specific purpose or effect in your game, as it does in Dying Light, do we really need a realistic, 1:1 day/night cycle in most games? Do you really want me to spend half of my time in your game not being able to see 95% of your game? At the very least, there's no need to make night and day an even split. Anyway. On with it.
The drop and the dropped, part 2
This is a picture of me hiding in a bush. I spawned, called in an airdrop in the middle of nowhere, and carefully crept into a shrub to hide and watch what happened. As you can see, it's nighttime. I saw no one, and for a while, there was nothing but the lurching zombies that arrived with the drop. Then, there's a loud bang and I'm dead. I'm not saying it was a hacker. I'm just saying I was wearing a dark green shirt and dark pants and crouching in a bush in the middle of the night for five minutes before I was suddenly shot in the head by someone unseen.
I come across another player-made building. Inside, two players are talking. Dirtyspot is answering speedsslayer1234's questions about crafting and building. Dirtyspot also says that if speedsslayer1234 proves trustworthy, he'll give him the combination to the door of the fort someday. "Hello?" I yell. "Can I come in?" I see someone pop up and look over the wall. speedsslayer1234 suddenly yells in alarm "There's someone outside!" He seems rather panicky, so I leave.
I briefly meet Modified while we're both looting buildings on the same street. He seems nice, but the game crashes shortly after we exchange greetings.
This is a picture of me looking at an invisible car. After rejoining, I was running through a neighborhood and I heard the sound of an approaching car. The sound came over a hill, but the car itself was not visible. There was a brief flickering of some part of it, which I unfortunately did not capture in this screenshot, but otherwise it was invisible. The invisible car stopped a few feet away and the engine died. Then the engine restarted and the invisible car rolled forward a few more feet until it stopped right in front of me. The engine died again. Then, nothing. It was the creepiest thing to ever happen to me in H1Z1.
FAWWWKZHUUU, Storm11, PeePeeStick
Later, in the same town, two police cars (visible) go speeding by with their sirens blaring. I lose sight of them, but follow the sound and eventually find the two cars parked outside a large player fort. I jump into one car, but they've removed some of the parts so it can't be stolen, because they're not stupid. As I get out, three players charge over and hold me at gunpoint. "Put your hands up or we'll shoot you in the face."
FAWWWKZHUUU, Storm11, PeePeeStick, part 2
I am not given even a moment to try to remember how to put my hands up before one of them shoots me in the face. I feel this is fair because I absolutely would have stolen their police car if I could have.
I remember which button puts my hands in the air, and decide to run around like that for a while. Then the game crashes to desktop for, what, the sixth time? Also, it's night again, which annoys me. These two things convince me I'm done for the day.