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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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).
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.
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, 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]
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.