Two days we published an article on the release of The War Z on Steam, or shall I say the Foundation Release. Yesterday we published a brief article discussing how the community has been reacting to The War Z. Well, now that we're on the third day after release, the sh*t has most certainly hit the fan for Hammerpoint Interactive.
“First of all - Foundation Release means that we feel that game reached state when we can drop Beta version" designation.” - Sergey Titov, Executive Producer of Hammerpoint Interactive
Let's start out with a few of the things that happened on day two. On day two, it was almost impossible for anyone to not realize what was wrong with The War Z whether you had bought it and been playing it or even not. In fact, the people who have never heard of The War Z probably now know how bad of a position it's in. On day two, many of us learned that what the developers over at Hammerpoint Interactive call the Foundation Release, may as well be called beta or even alpha. Because man did the internet explode after getting their hands on The War Z. People have been complaining about bugs, large amounts of hackers, being banned unruly, which Hammerpoint has stated is true. They actually went as far as to un-ban some of those unruly banned and said they'd give them some in-game currency, which many have stated they never even got. Their forums, the Steam forums, and any other way of getting the attention of Hammerpoint also began to explode with people asking for refunds.
Original Steam product page for The War Z, now revised.
This is when people learned that the many features on Steam product page for The War Z aren't even in the game yet. And probably won't be for a long period of time. Some of the features have been stated are coming in a few weeks, while others have been said they have no idea when will be released. Let's get into the specifics on the features.
It states that each world in The War Z is from 100 to 400 square kilometers. Reddit responded by saying one, there is only one map, which is true. And that it's only 72 square km, while Titov has stated this is not true. He's only stated that it's above 100 km.
It states that you can rent and create private servers. This feature is not in the game and supposedly won't be for 1-4 weeks as of a forum post by Titov. But in the same post he's stated they won't be working due to the holidays, which is fine of course. But, 1-4 weeks may be pushing it.
It also states that you can gain experience points and spend it to learn a dozen of available skills. There's no skill system in the game right now and Titov has only stated that it's being tested and there's no estimate on when it'll be ready.
The Steam page states that there can be up to 50 players on a server, while Titov has responded by saying it can go up to 70, while most servers are still only 50.
Those features are on the Steam product page and are either in the, “About the Game” area or “Key Features” area. Do you feel that these should be there without anything maybe stating that these features aren't in yet? Maybe that they're coming soon, are in the works, or being planned? Nope, they're all there for a gamer to come along and drop $13.49 on.
The Precious GameSpy Interview
Before moving onto another topic, I'll give Sergey Titov a little credit, he went and updated the Steam product page at some point yesterday to be more accurate. It's still a bit faulty and misleading, but he made it much better than well, than the original page. But regardless, after an interview with GameSpy, it's clear that he's putting the blame on the consumers for reading the features wrong on the page. And that it's a matter of perception, meanwhile it wasn't on our end and more so on their end for providing faulty information and making it seem like The War Z is a finished product. The interviewer, Dan Stapleton had to practically interrogate Titov to get him to admit that The War Z features were wrong and just to figure out what this Foundation Release really is. It's even better that the steam page doesn't mention at all that the version of The War Z is the Foundation Release, but rather still appears to be fully released. I'm going to quote Stapleton on a comparison he made between PlanetSide 2 and The War Z.
“By "fully released," of course, I mean as released as any online game is at its official launch. For example, when PlanetSide 2 removed its beta label and opened its doors to the public, it was considered fully released even though it will obviously continue to evolve.”
Despite in that interview with GameSpy Sergey Titov repeatedly makes sure Dan Stapleton knows that it's not fully released, but is the Foundation Release, he refrains to mention it on the steam page. What Titov calls Foundation Release, we call beta. Their beta even only lasted 13 days. But with the way things are looking, it may as well still be beta. Better yet, in the interview there's an image showing that areas in the game such as safe zones still mention, “Alpha Test Functionality, Subject to Change”. If you saw that in the beta, it'd even be something to laugh at. But the fact that it's in the released version? Er.. Foundation Release.
The War Z Survey States 93% Overall Approval
Now that we're done with The War Z impressions on the first and second day, let's move onto what I've managed to learn on my own going into the third day. That forum post up there I mentioned in the article also mentions that Hammerpoint Interactive ran survey that got over 100,000 replies. Here's what Titov stated about the results,
“We've got an overall approval of 93% !!! That's INSANE number. 40% just like game as is, 50% like game, but feel it needs more polishing and adding some new features. 5.5% played game, didn't like it and only 1.5% of respondents - some of the are guys who been recently banned - said they hate game.” - Sergey Titov
Just think about those statistics for a second. I'm not saying they're wrong, without a doubt people could have picked those, but I don't think that's what the whole community things. I've played The War Z, but I didn't vote on the survey. You know how many other people hadn't voted on the survey either? I'm sure a lot. I also find it interesting that Titov goes to say that 1.5% of those that didn't like the game are some of the guys who have been recently banned. I don't know if that was necessarily the right way to word things. It kind of sounds like, if I don't like the game, then I get banned.
That reflection in the water. That is all.
But let's get to why Titov thinks players don't like The War Z. In the same forum post, he goes to say that they're either extreme Day Z fanboys, which without a doubt is possible for some of the people that dislike The War Z. Or that, “Players got a different game from what they expected,” going on to say that half of their community want unrestricted PvP while the other want to get rid of PvP. In which Titov thinks, “Problem that can't be solved by us.” I'm pretty sure I can think of several solutions off the top of my head right now that could fix the issue. But regardless, that's the other reason he thinks players dislike The War Z. Which somewhat ties into the features argument, but he doesn't go to mention that at all.
On another note, yesterday Hammerpoint has changed the way respawning works. Originally upon dying in The War Z you'd have to quit from the server, which you don't even realize until spending a few minutes looking at a screen that just says you're dead. Which doesn't give any implication that you should press escape and then quit the server. Anyway, then you'd be brought back to the lobby where it'd tell you it'd be an hour to respawn. Otherwise you'd have to create a new character. Well, if that wasn't annoying already, they've increased it to four hours or you can spend 50GC, which is real money currency to respawn. An update also launched with this is that players are forced to agree with a TOS to play that now disallows refunds. So say goodbye to that refund you were expecting. Source being Reddit.
In the words of Total Biscuit, “THIS GAME SUCKS!”
Total Biscuit also got the chance to throw in his two cents. Check out the long video below even if you just skip through. After dying several times to zombies and players under 20 minutes, he's learned that there are several issues with this. He's mentioned several things above, also noting specifically poor animations, losing items on death you spend real money on, models not loading right away, stealth being a poor method in The War Z, and even more about not enjoying it.
Total Biscuit isn't a reviewer and if anything is a first impression type of guy which you'll know if you follow him. In which case, he's learned from his first impression that this isn't that great. Even worse he's gotten to the point that everything about this game seems wrong and to buy it would be, "silly". One thing I'd like to mention which I reminded me in the video is that you can't swim. In a survival zombie MMO, you can't swim. That's a bit of an issue when there are lakes everywhere and even cities overflown with water. Something he also mentioned makes you realize that you can't really call The War Z an MMO. An MMO is most likely bigger than 50 players on a server.
Read the first letter of each line. Yeah.
Let's something I've learned after making my way to a forum thread on Rhino Crunch, here. There's seven pages in that forum thread, so feel free to read through it. Heads up, this thread is also before release. But on that page specifically, people are saying the same developers under a different studio name created War Inc., a free to play shooter some of you may know. Well, they've also realized that there are a lot of similarities between the two to the point that some of the stuff was probably just directly taken from it and used. Let's get onto the fact that people among that forum are stating that the infamous forum moderator Kewk tends to ban users from the forum if they express anything against The War Z. While I don't have proof of this, it'd certainly be interesting.
“In regards to DayZ being alpha and WarZ being released: DayZ HAS potential, WarZ HAD potential.” - In the words of my brother
Personally I never go to MetaCritic, but just for an idea of how poorly people think The War Z is, take a look at their game page.
Also, back in July, Evan Lahti of PCGamer spoke with Day Z creator, Dean Hall aka Rocket. In which Hall reacted rather well to the announcement of The War Z, but here's one of the things he said in particular,
"But if it is a list of promises, then it’s a bad thing. Because those things are hard to do, and Day Z is only possible because it rests on the shoulders of ten years of development in a fantastic engine. It is one thing to speculate for comment, but it’s something else to promise a feature that hasn’t been developed. Gamers react really badly to that, even when the end result is a good product. They remember and they are harsh critics."
It looks like Dean Hall may have been onto something after all.
I'll leave you off with one more thing. Sergey Titov has worked on Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. If you don't know what it is, here's GameSpot's review of how good it is. Enjoy.
TL;DR - Nobody likes The War Z and at this rate, Hammerpoint Interactive is further implying that it's a scam.
Remember this isn't our review of The War Z, this is just me ranting about how badly of a direction Hammerpoint is going with it. But I certainly don't recommend buying it, until truly realizing what you're buying.
To further clarify my mention of the comparisons before about reusing assets from War Inc. in The War Z, here's a link to several comparisons. The link shows several images that are literally spot on. And after looking through them it's funny to think that The War Z has been in development for years before Day Z. Here's the link.