H1Z1 shows off its dynamic weather system in new batch of images

PC Gamer at

SOE recently showed off its new zombie MMO, H1Z1, with some screenshots of the game’s lovely, snow covered scenery—and word that such blustery weather will affect gameplay. The newest batch of in-game screens shows off the engine's dynamic weather system, and includes new details and explanation of how it works from programmer Ryan Favale, including that weather changes will all be handled serverside.

Planetside 2 to get weather system, new H1Z1 screens show snow effects

Phil Savage at

It's a double-whammy of weather news, courtesy of SOE's John Smedley. The studio's CEO dropped falling facts across Twitter last night, showing a series of snow-covered landscapes from the upcoming H1Z1. In addition, Smedley revealed that weather effects are being planned for Planetside 2.

Major PlanetSide 2 update is live now, adds swampy Hossin continent

Shaun Prescott at

Two years in development, the Hossin continent is now accessible in PlanetSide 2 thanks to a major update rolling out as we speak. Originally scheduled for an April 2013 launch, Hossin is a swampy, infantry-oriented map which should please fans of mud and shades of brown. It also boasts an Interlink Facility and 80 new bases in a brand new biome.

SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 part ways; European PS2, DCUO and EQ2 accounts must soon be transferred

Phil Savage at

Back in April, SOE launched an All Access subscription service designed to unify membership across SOE's free-to-play games—including Planetside 2, DC Universe Online and Everquest 2, as well as the upcoming Everquest Next, Landmark and H1Z1. In Europe, though, it's a less attractive offer. SOE's EU portfolio is more fragmented, as their existing games are managed and distributed by ProSiebenSat.1 Games.

That soon won't be the case. SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 have today announced that, going forward, all ProSiebenSat.1 accounts for SOE games must be migrated to Sony's service. For EU players of Planetside 2, DC Universe Online and Everquest 2, existing accounts must be transferred from July 1st in order to keep playing. In addition, SOE have removed their region lock, so new accounts can be created directly on their system.

H1Z1 designer claims engine supports "more zombies than you can kill in a lifetime"

Ian Birnbaum at

H1Z1 is SOE’s next game, and the confluence of the Planetside 2 engine and the zombie survival setting has a shot of adding an interesting amount of depth to the walking-dead genre. Jimmy Whisenhunt, senior designer on H1Z1, came by the live Twitch stream show at E3 to talk more about the game’s goals and SOE’s devotion to involving the community in the development process.

H1Z1 trailer forgoes flashy effects in favour of open-world drama

Phil Savage at

There's a Microsoft conference happening as I write this, and—in a tiny window in a corner of my stream—I'm being distracted by the whizz-bang particles and drama of the big-budget shooter. Pft, and maybe even tish, say I. I'll take the decidedly more lo-fi action depicted in H1Z1's survive-'em-up. SOE have released a new E3 trailer showing the range and scope of their open-world alpha.

Landmark closed beta now on Steam Early Access

Tyler Wilde at

Landmark, which as of a couple months ago was "EverQuest Next Landmark," is now on Steam Early Access. The voxel building MMO was pitched as both a standalone creative game and a testbed for the RPG features and environments of the new EverQuest, and that remains the case despite the new title. As of right now, though, Landmark is all about exploring, mining, crafting, and crazy projects like the manor above (see more like that in Tim's gallery of the best creations).

SOE launch unified All Access subscription

Phil Savage at

As reported earlier this year, SOE are today launching their revised All Access Pass. It's a unified service that, for $15 per month, gives subscribers "top-tier" membership across all SOE games. As part of the transfer, individual subscriptions are being dropped; meaning Planetside 1 is now free-to-play. Or will be, at least, once they finish their maintenance period.

H1Z1 developers streaming design meetings, gameplay for 12 hours today

Cory Banks at

I applaud Sony Online Entertainment's transparency lately. The MMO developer and publisher has been extremely forthcoming with new details on H1Z1, its in-development zombie apocalypse MMO. CEO John Smedley has addressed lots of community questions on the game's subreddit, and we're bound to learn a lot of info from the 12 hours of livestream that the development team is doing today.

H1Z1 money-making strategy will focus on player customization, won't be pay-to-win

Ian Birnbaum at

H1Z1, SOE’s upcoming zombie MMO, continues to draw ideas and feedback from the growing community and new subreddit. In a new post, SOE’s John Smedley has shared some notes from a recent meeting on monetization—that is, how the free-to-play H1Z1 will make money for its developers. The short version: character customization and wearable items will be up for sale.

H1Z1 footage shows that, yep, it looks a lot like DayZ [Update: DayZ similarities addressed in Reddit post]

Tom Sykes at

The Long Dark's creative director reckons the apocalypse doesn't have to feature zombies - but, erm, here's one more open world post-apocalyptic game that does. As announced last week, Sony's entry into the DayZ genre is the wittily (if clinically) named H1Z1, a game that differentiates itself from Dean Hall and Bohemia's game by...well, that part's not totally clear yet, but it's been a fairly democratic process so far. H1Z1 game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and technical director Tom Schenk took to Twitch a few hours ago to show off the game as it stands now; you'll find 50-odd minutes of walking, zombie-battering, scavenging and driving, in a game that admittedly looks very pretty but so far doesn't seem to boast any distinguishing characteristics.

SOE shows H1Z1, its new zombie MMO [Update: monetization and game map discussed]

PC Gamer at

Well, isn’t this always the way? You wait years for a massively-multiplayer, post-apocalyptic, zombie survival sandbox to come along, then several hundred come staggering over the horizon at once. Next to join their rotting ranks is H1Z1, the new free-to-play MMO from Sony Online Entertainment.

H1Z1 is probably Sony Online Entertainment's next game, but what is it?

Evan Lahti at

What is H1Z1? We’ve spotted what seems to be a game homepage for Sony Online’s next project. We’ve heard the name H1Z1 before, actually: in January, when we learned that SOE had registered it as a trademark.

SOE's Player Studio marketplace expands to Canada and Europe

Chris Thursten at

SOE's Player Studio program allows players to earn money submitting new EverQuest or Planetside items for consideration by each game's developers. It comes from the same set of ideas as Valve's Steam Workshop - the notion that any body of players has enough talent within it to substantially expand a game if given the chance, and that this expansion can be tied to economic incentives that benefit everybody.

Announcing our PAX East 2014 panel with Palmer Luckey, Chris Roberts, and more

PC Gamer at

Virtual reality, SteamOS, fiber broadband, 4K displays, holodecks (you know, maybe)—the next five years of PC gaming will radically transform our immortal hobby. What new experiences will the PC games of the near future provide? How will technology surprise us? This April at PAX East 2014, we'll look into that glowing future with the innovators and PC gaming stakeholders shaping it.

Planetside 2 message notifications disabled after players receive in-game pop-up ads

Ian Birnbaum at

Image via Reddit user chipay.

Planetside 2’s latest update riled up members of the player community when it appeared that pop-up ads had been introduced to the game. In reality, a pop-up message notification was sending out offers for SOE’s premium membership, and a server error was causing the offers to be sent out several times every hour. Now, SOE has disabled the message notifications and membership offers completely while it sorts out the problem.

The best (and strangest) EverQuest Next Landmark creations

Tim Clark at

On Wednesday SOE will take EverQuest Next Landmark out of alpha and into closed beta, in the process taking a wrecking ball to the painstaking creations of its users so far. (The reason you haven't seen an angry petition is 1) this was always the deal, and 2) the users get to keep templates of the stuff they've made.) What better time, then, to look back at the weird and wonderful creations that the community has built so far. Beginning with this AT-AT homage made by Pharoso Fluoroso.

EverQuest Next Landmark enters closed beta on March 26, SOE talks player collaboration

Samuel Roberts at

EverQuest Next Landmark will leave alpha and enter a closed beta on 26 March, SOE told us at GDC this week. Anyone who has purchased one of the founder's packs, now including the $20 Settler option, will be able to play the game as it reaches this stage—SOE promised it would be happening before the end of March, and here that day is.

PlanetSide 2's PlayerStudio helps players get rich by making hats

PC Gamer at

Looking for an exit strategy from your dead end job and have a keen eye for showstopping sci-fi helmet design? Perhaps you should consider a sideline making user-generated content for PlanetSide 2. We spoke with the game’s senior art director Trammel Isaac, who told us power users like CoffeeOutlaw are already making thousands of dollars making and selling new looks for existing weapons and equipment in the game through the Player Studio program.

Planetside 2 update redesigns Amerish, new trailer rounds up the changes

Phil Savage at

Dammit, Planetside 2! Every time they release a new continent-wide update, they upgrade the chosen landmass to utilise the redesigned Lattice system. What they mean is a linking series of attack avenues, designed to focus the flow of battle and create natural chokepoints for large-scale battles. What I always think of is lovely, tasty pastries. I'm hungry now, so thanks a lot SOE.

Other than the delicious lattice, Amerish has also been spruced up with more detail, optimised performance and repositioned bases. You can see a full round of the changes in the new update trailer.