H1Z1 survivalists can vote to create custom servers
H1Z1 wants to give us a more personal apocalypse. The upcoming zombie MMO will let players vote to establish and join custom servers, according to a Reddit post from Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley. The system will revolve around a token system the developer hopes will let it gauge the interest and commitment of the free-to-play game's player base before it ramps up support for a specific custom server.
"The idea is simple - If a community of our players wants to host a server with a specific theme or ruleset then we're going to do our best to give it to them," Smedley writes. "[P]layers will receive a pledge token for free if they've played more than 5 hours. This pledge token can be used to cast a vote for a server. But use it wisely. You only get one free one per year. Make sure it's a community you believe in and that has a good chance to succeed because we're going to set the bar such that the community can sustain an MMO server."
While the first token will be free, SOE plans to put a second token up for sale, with each player allowed a maximum of two server votes per year, according to Smedley. Happily, he writes that if the server a player voted for with a real-money token succeeds and is created, the value of the token will be refunded in the form of in-game Station Cash. In addition, each pledge token includes "a wearable that's going to look sweet," according to the SOE president.
"Why refund it if it succeeds?" Smedley writes. "Simple - we really want to give you the kind of servers you want. We're going to set that bar high. If it succeeds, you've built a community of fellow players you want and as our customers we want to give you that. But we also need some indication of reality in order to make this work."
This proposal seems to fit nicely into what we heard about H1Z1 during its announcement, in that monetization won't impact the core gameplay surrounding survival, but will instead be restricted to features on the margins of the game's survival systems, such as wearable items. Although Smedley writes that the rulesets and features of each custom server could vary widely depending on specific interests, the developer will remain as the server admin.