It has now been 24 hours since the early access for Sony Online Entertainment’s (SOE) zombie survival game, H1Z1, has opened up. Those 24 hours have seen a myriad of login issues, bugs, and other game “breaking” mechanics. That’s to be expected from a free-to-play game that is still tagging itself as being in an “Early Access Alpha.” SOE President, John Smedley, even warned players ahead of time that if they expected a smooth ride right out of the gate they would be better served skipping the early access buy-in period.
Outside of those expected issues though, another controversy has emerged: Airdrops. On paper, airdrops sound like a pretty cool event, in my opinion. Players can call in an airdrop, a plane flies by a drops a crate of supplies, and players on PvP servers can nuke each other trying to get the supplies, even robbing the player that called the airdrop of the supplies. The airdrop itself has a chance to drop a plethora of items, including guns and ammo. Cue the controversy.
Airdrops are a cash shop item only at this time and, initially, were dropping guns and ammo at a MUCH higher rate than intended. This led to a very vocal playerbase taking up the pitchforks and yelling, “P2W!” Previous statememts regarding guns and ammo not being a cash shop item and comments in streams and videos seemed to conflict. While the recent statements in streams did call out that these drops could contain ammo, they were harder to find and, in fairness, you had to be a close follower of H1Z1’s development to know about this change prior to early access launch.Since the outcry, John Smedley has authorized refunds to those players who really just don’t want this type of mechanic in the game. Sr. Game Designer, Adam Clegg, has also taken to reddit to clarify his previous statements and to detail the changes to airdrops being made ASAP, changes John Smedley previously mentioned on Twitter.
Clegg’s outline details the speed changes of the airdropping plane and even gives the drop rates for the various packages that come flying in. Drops that contain actual weapons or ammo are currently set at a 10% chance.
Clegg’s post really clears up quite a bit, but do players still view ANY chance for weapons (that they may not even get themselves) as P2W? Leave your thoughts below!