H1Z1: First Impressions & Wishlist

While I was really turned off by Smed’s attitude (even joking attitude) towards PVEers, and the whole P2W airdrop fiasco was a bit headshaking, I got dragged into H1Z1 anyhow. I really would have rather waited until development was further along (and I could play for free), but my sister got hooked on watching H1Z1 Twitch streams, then bought the game. I knew I was probably doomed because I when my little sister and her hubby pick up something to play, it’s hard for me to stick to my guns and tell them “no.”

SO. I figure if I’m going to play it, I might as well talk about my first two nights on H1Z1.

It’s obviously early access. But at least its early access has a lot more systems in place than Landmark early beta did. There’s zombie (and PVP – depending on your server) fights with various weapons, a crafting system, a survival food/hydration/health system, in-game voice chat by proximity, vehicles, fairly nice atmosphere and… well… that’s the extent of what I’ve seen.

Romero’s is my favorite supermarket chain!

We play on a “disgusting PVE carebear” server. I don’t find pleasure in being killed on sight and having to run away from every other player I see. So my experiences will come from that.

Most of what I did on the first night was run and run and run and run and run (seriously, hours of running) just to try to get our randomly-spawned team together in one group. I’m going to be ticked if I die and get sent halfway around the world from my folks. You don’t start with a compass or map (maybe get them later?), so all your team has to go by are the /loc coordinates. And that’s a huge pain.

Thank the devs for berry bushes! Everything was picked over when I did find a POI to try and loot. All I was able to loot all night was berries and sticks. I did what I could with what I had (made a bow and arrows), but it was rather disappointing that there wasn’t a single thing left to find. And man, I really need more inventory space. What my pants pockets and fanny pack can carry is very limited. (How do you carry arrows in your pants?)

Having to switch to the inventory screen to eat berries one at a time is rather annoying. I much prefer the 7D2D method where you can place food and drink on your main inventory bar to use them. That way, you don’t have to take your eyes away from what’s going on around you.

Zombies seemed to spawn mostly around POIs, which was good and bad. Running across country was pretty uneventful. But considering I spent hours doing that just to find my group members, I’d prefer not getting slammed in the face with zombies along the way.

Zombie battle is somewhat clunky right now. I did take a few out with arrows, and was happy to see I sometimes got my arrow back as loot.

I really like the discovery tab and how you can learn new recipes as you find new items in the world. Crafting seems like something I’ll enjoy eventually, though building looks to be contained to these little player shacks I’ve seen sitting around. At least things players make do place in the world in a consistent way.

But for a builder/crafter like me, I don’t see myself sinking anywhere as much time into this as 7D2D. The voxel mining/crafting/building aspect of that game is far more deep and enthralling for me.

At the moment, it seems the most there is to do is run around and try to loot things that are probably already looted. The world itself looks nice, and the ambiance is certainly there. It’s got promise for an early access, but it needs a lot more for those of us who easily get bored by just fighting zombies and looting buildings.

On night two of playing, I did get super lucky to find a backpack after killing a random zombie. It was one in 20-something I killed to find it. Not very good odds. But for as many hours as I’ve put into this game, finding nothing but an empty water bottle and a piece of charcoal in buildings is really off-putting. They need to do something about the lack of loot, especially on PVE servers, because there’s no reason for me to play if I can’t ever find anything to advance with.

What H1Z1 Needs (And Soon)

I hope these things are coming. They need to make it soon.

  • Friends list
  • Grouping feature
  • A way to FIND people in your group (even if you don’t have a map or compass…) I mean, really! I know it’s survival, but it’s an MMO. I want to group with my friends and not spend hours running across the map because all we have to go on are confusing coordinates.
  • A way to eat/drink without going to the inventory screen.

What I’d Love to See in H1Z1 Eventually

I have no idea what they have on the list for the future, as I haven’t read up on this game and its roadmap yet. But here are the things they’ll need to add to hook me to liking it more than its current competitors.

  • Female avatars (I think they’re coming)
  • Character customization
  • Fishing! 🙂
  • Expanded building system. I wanna build a house for my group and decorate it!
  • Farming! 🙂
H1Z1 can be quite atmospheric at times.