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H1Z1

SOE Live 2014: H1Z1 is a full-fledged survival experience

Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

With an event like Zombie Prom, it was hard not to notice a certain undead theme at this year's SOE Live. That's all courtesy of the studio's upcoming apocalyptic survival game H1Z1. And thanks to plenty of panels, interviews, and the keynote, we learned even more about the game: The new sandbox is so much more than a zombie shooter; it's a full fledged survival experience. There were even opportunities for fans to nab some hands-on playtime.

We had the chance to mix and mingle with Producer Steve George, Senior Game Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt, Art Director Bill Yeatts, Technical Director Tom Schenck, and Game Designer Adam Clegg to discuss where H1Z1 came from, where it is going, and how far it has gotten. Delve into the new air drops, the heat and temperature systems, and so much more. We've also embedded the full keynote panel for you.

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SOE Live 2014: Thursday keynote liveblog announces EQ and EQII expansions, more

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Expansions, MMO Industry, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Dragon's Prophet, H1Z1

Are you looking forward to getting a hint of what's to come for your favorite SOE games this next year? SOE Live's Thursday keynote has just kicked off, and SOE notables like John Smedley are taking the stage to give fans a hint of the announcements coming over the course of the weekend. We're here live to give you the scoop directly from the devs, and we'll be keeping this post updated as it progresses. You can also can watch the presentation streamed live below.
  • Keynote announcements on Friday have all the juicy details, so don't miss them!
  • Four awards for Player Studio: Highest creator - BeastBuster with over $25,000 to date; Most Prolific creator - Rollen; Most Improved Creator - Jerry "Rawl" Dechant; and Most inspirational - Neko Zero.
  • Player Direct awards -- you can see all full-length film on the official site.
  • H1Z1 is coming out on the PS4.
  • The Play it Forward initiative is gamers helping others, in game or in life.
  • Tournaments: Prize money on the line for participants.
  • Dragon's Prophet is introducing a new system where you find and raise dragon hatchlings.
  • EverQuest is introducing a new category to Player Studio.
  • EQ working on a new advanced looting feature.
  • EQ's next expansion is The Darkened Sea.
  • EverQuest II's 10th anniversary in November, the 11th expansion Alter of Malice is launching on 11/11.
  • New classes for EverQuest Next will be announced tomorrow.
  • A touching video tribute to EQII's Ribbitribbit was presented.
  • SOE encouraged support for AbleGamers, Gamers4Life, and Military Gamers.

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SOE Live 2014: Studio to stream convention for free

Events (Real-World), Promotions, Livestream, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

ps2
SOE Live's streaming schedule is up for this week's convention on the official Twitch channel, and fans of the studio have a very good reason to check it out: It's totally free.

SOE announced today that players will not need to spend any money to watch the convention's 20-plus hours of livestream coverage. The stream will begin on Thursday evening at 10:00 p.m. EDT and continue off and on through Saturday night.

If you really insist on giving SOE money for this, however, the studio will bow to your demands. SOE is selling a SOE Live Digital Pass upgrade that will deliver to the buyer a 7-day Landmark beta key, a Twitch chat badge, several emoticons for the Twitch channel, and in-game items for both H1Z1 and PlanetSide 2.

H1Z1 graphics programmer hints at other weather types

Betas, Horror, Video, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, H1Z1

h1z1
SOE Graphics Programmer Ryan Favale is the target of a new H1Z1 video. In it, he discusses the games that he's playing, notable bugs, and his role on the upcoming zombie sandbox. Favale said that he's primarily working on the dynamic weather system.

"That's my main job on H1Z1, to bring as many weather conditions and effects and environmental immersion as possible," Favale said. He teased the possibility of hurricanes, tornadoes, and dust storms, but didn't promise that they'd make them into the game.

You can watch the video after the break.

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SOE teases H1Z1's dynamic weather

Horror, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
We all know that the most important thing to your MMO immersions when you're neck-deep in zombies and dastardly corpse-looting player-killers is whether you can wear a t-shirt in a blizzard with impunity. Worry not, roleplay fiends, for SOE has today teased its dynamic weather system for upcoming survival MMO H1Z1 via a septet of screenshots that show the effect of changing seasons on the environment. Enjoy!

SOE Live player panels include support for military gamers

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

soe live
SOE Live posted its list of player panels today for its convention, with topics ranging from supporting military gamers to fansite management. The full list is as follows:

Friday, August 15
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm -– EQ2U & Dragon's Armory
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm –- Live Together, Die Alone: Surviving H1Z1 as a Group
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Inter-Outfit Operations in PS2
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm –- Become Your Character: Tricks and Tips for Cosplay
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm –- Military Gamers: Taking Care of Each Other
Saturday, August 16
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am -– Social Media/Steaming & Fansites
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm -– Effective Guild and League Management
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Improving Your EverQuest
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- DCUO – Advanced Raid Tactics
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- The New Conglomerate
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm -– Hardcore Decorating in EQII
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm –- EQII Game Macros, ACT Triggers, and You!

H1Z1 releases E3 gameplay demo

Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, H1Z1

H1Z1
Unless you were personally at E3, you didn't get to see the H1Z1 gameplay demo shown to the media, but SOE rectifies that injustice today with a new video in which Senior Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt walks viewers through a version of the same demo shown at the con. Clocking in at over 11 minutes, the video demonstrates resource acquisition, crafting, driving, scavenging, archery, dynamic weather, and more gameplay elements. You know -- killin' baddies, choppin' trees, just a day in the life of a dude with a rusty jeep and a zombie plague chasing him down.

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H1Z1 working hard on Steam early access prep

Betas, Horror, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, H1Z1

SOE Technical Director Tom Schenck penned the first dev blog for H1Z1 yesterday, saying that the team is in overdrive preparing the title for its debut on Steam Early Access. However, in regard to a specific date as to when H1Z1 will be publicly available, Schenck wasn't sharing.

Schenck said that the team is strongly focusing on getting the antagonists to look and play the part: "High priority on our Early Access feature list is polishing group behavior and tuning Emergent AI systems to the entire ecosystem. Our AI team is going nuts regulating interactions for all of the NPC characters in the game including zombies, deer, wolves, and more."

Other stated priorities for the team right now include fine tuning melee combat, maxing out performance, and bug hunting.

Smedley plays H1Z1 on Steam, talks early access

Betas, Horror, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, H1Z1

John Smedley tells Reddit that he has played H1Z1 on Steam. "It's our first step toward early access launch," he writes, though the date is still up in the air.

"We don't mean to be coy about the date," he says. "We just realized after that initial date it would be smarter to announce it after our feature list was complete. So expect to hear more on the date fairly soon." Smedley also mentions a few features that the dev team is currently working on, including bow crafting, "shooting a deer in the eye with the bow," and more.

[Header image by H1Z1Jane via SOE]

E3 2014: Hands-on with H1Z1

Betas, Horror, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
I'm coughing. My head hurts. I'm tired, hungry, and thirsty. I'm not hearing things anymore, but when I close my eyes for too long, I feel disoriented. And this was before I got my hands on H1Z1! I'm sick at E3, but well enough to see through some spin while looking at a winner. If you're tired of hype, false promises, and pay-to-play alphas, come read between the lines with me as I recount the experience of my H1Z1 demo.

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E3 2014: SOE's evil ways on display in this H1Z1 teaser

Horror, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, H1Z1

How original
SOE has taken the wraps off "My Evil Ways," a new trailer for zombie sandbox H1Z1. The clip is comprised of gameplay footage and seems to endorse the kill-or-be-killed mentality that typically permeates apocalyptic fiction.

View it in full after the break!

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H1Z1 floats possible server rulesets

Betas, Horror, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, H1Z1

H1Z1
A short Reddit post from SOE revealed a few possible server rulesets that the team has been discussing for H1Z1. While these aren't set in stone, it is an interesting peek into the possibilities of both official and player-run servers. The possible server rulesets include:
  • Hardcore ruleset (wipes all ownership and recipes upon death)
  • PvP vs. PvE
  • Military weapons toggle
  • Guns toggle (melee/bows only server)
  • Roleplay (VOIP attracts zombies and other tidbits)
  • World chat vs. area chat
  • Hardcore ruleset #2: Starvation! (food and water consumption are much higher)
  • Hardcore ruleset #3: Zombies and wolves are deadlier, faster, and hardier
  • Base destructibility (easy, hard, not at all)
SOE also indicated that it would be possible to create rulesets that mix-and-matched between these ideas.

Special H1Z1 livestream event going on right now

Betas, Horror, Free-to-Play, Livestream, H1Z1

H1Z1
SOE is planning a special livestream event covering H1Z1 starting at 2:00 p.m. EST today. President John Smedley tweeted, "It's a surprise. It's entirely live. Its either going to be epic awesome or epic fail. Either way it will be worth tuning into. Either way, it's not going to bore you."

You can watch it on H1Z1's Twitch channel or after the jump.

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Not So Massively: GTA Online's expansion, Reaper of Souls on console, and LoL's Braum spotlight

Betas, Horror, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Community Q&A, World of Tanks, Post-Apocalyptic, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, H1Z1

GTAO
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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SOE's Jimmy Whisenhunt on the paranoia and potential of H1Z1

Betas, Horror, Interviews, Previews, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
What's more dangerous to your survival after the apocalypse: undead abominations or your fellow humans? OK, that's certainly not a new question in the zombie gaming genre, although it's not going to stop H1Z1 from asking it. In fact, there's a haze of extreme familiarity that's settled around this title, even though it's the first full MMO on this scale to tackle a zombie survival sandbox. Is it almost too familiar for its own good? Will that familiarity be an asset or a drawback? Is SOE merely trying to cash in on the DayZ craze without trying much new? Or are these assumptions blinding us to the grander plan?

To get a better feel for H1Z1, we got on the phone with Senior Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt. To start off, Whisenhunt gave us a quick summary of the game for those who aren't clued in to the whole. H1Z1 is a post-apocalyptic survival MMO that's more focused on physicality than stats. So instead of needing to level up, you'll find your initial challenges will be things like foraging for food, finding a shelter, building a campfire, and getting your hands on a weapon because everything wants to kill you. And when Whisenhunt says "everything," he means not just zombies but the environment, infection, weather, wildlife, and even other players.

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