As of the last month or so, zombies have been making another stand against the human race in gaming. We’ve got Day Z, Dynamic Zombie Sandbox, and now The War Z working its way into the spotlight. If Day Z can attract one million survivors and a good portion of them most likely bought Arma 2: Combined Ops for it, then why can’t The War Z do just the same? With over 95% off the population gone, you’ll have to survive by scavenging and hunting for supplies day after day while fighting off the zombie threat. We got the chance to interview Sergey Titov, the Executive Producer of The War Z.
Aaron Hosterman from our community was wondering how you plan to tackle player interaction. When we look at Day Z, we can see that players are often out to kill each other the second they see each other. Do you feel that in The War Z this will be the same thing and players are unlikely to cooperate?
Certainly, there will be players that engage more in the PvP aspect rather than focusing on exploring the world and killing zombies. That said, every action will have an impact in terms of your reputation and how easily you’ll be able to interact with other players as you delve deeper into the game. There are certain areas of the world that are more heavily infested by zombies and, for these areas, it will require players to band together and clear the area in order to acquire more valuable gear and weapons. Players that focus on killing other players will have a harder time finding others that will trust them and partner with them. This also holds true for trading, if you have developed a reputation for killing other players – then it will be harder to find others that will help you or trade with you in times of need.
Will players be able to make an impact on The War Z world? Will they be able to make a fortified compound, a small camp, etc. if they have the right tools and friends to help?
You will definitely be able to make an impact because what we are providing is simply the tools and the setting/theme for the player to do with what he/she chooses. If you come across an abandoned village/town while exploring the map, and you have enough friends or recruits to hold that area and control it from being overrun by zombies and/or other players then that is an option. Also, we are renting private servers where players will be able to create their own “mini world” so to speak. In this environment, players can set their own rules and other players visiting will need to observe those rules.
With people consistently comparing The War Z to Day Z, does it make it more difficult to work on The War Z?
It doesn’t make it more difficult at all. We have been working on the design for this game for a couple of years and when we became aware of Day Z we were instant fans. I think the comparisons are great for both of us and really proves that there is an audience and player base for this type of open world, survival simulation.
As Day Z is a free mod that anyone can play as long as they own Arma 2: Combined Ops, do you feel that The War Z will be able to attract as large of an audience to fill up your servers?
Ultimately, we’re sure that there will be some players that prefer to play Day Z, some that prefer War Z and some that end up playing both on a regular basis. Really one of the main differences is that Day Z is set in the Arma 2 world and our world is completely designed around a zombie-apocalypse. Also, accessibility in terms of The War Z being a standalone game that someone can purchase, download, install and play in minutes.
Your new website states that there are no classes, levels, or level caps, but that you can customize your skills and earn experience. Can I play The War Z and after living so long end up being an expert at every skill or is there a limit somewhere?
We have one very extensive “Training Tree” where you spend your earned experience points to train your survivor in certain areas. If you are able to live long enough and you train in all the available skills then you will end up with a character that is slightly better stats wise than a newly created character, but it isn’t like in a traditional MMORPG where older characters will be “God Like” compared to newer characters. So as an example, you might be able to sprint twice as long and have better stamina, but your moving speed will be almost the same and your health will be the same. In terms of shooting skills, you may be slightly better at controlling recoil when shooting an assault rifle, but your weapon won’t do more damage.
Is there any story as to what went wrong or how the outbreak began?
There isn’t really a storyline IN the game, but yes, we do have a backstory about what happened, how it all started and how things progressed. Players will be able to find pieces of information that will help the story to unfold as they explore. It’s completely optional and does not affect gameplay, but gives a much better understanding of how the world got to the point it’s at and helps to immerse the player in the environment.
As there is going to be a Marketplace in The War Z where players can spend “Gold Coins”, do we have to worry about The War Z becoming Pay to Win?
“Pay to Win” is definitely NOT what The War Z is about. There will be general stores located in the safe settlements where players can buy base supplies and gear. They will also be able to trade with other players in order to get additional ammo and better weapons/gear.
Do you have any plans to encourage PvE or should I say PvZ over PvP or vice versa, or let it fall in the hands of the players? If you have plans to encourage one over the other, why and how?
Our main goal is to leave the experience in the hands of the player. We want to provide a theme (in this case a zombie apocalypse) and a main objective (in this case stay alive) as well as a box of “tools” and then step back and let the player run with it. We think that players will ultimately follow their own moral compass, with some focusing on helping others and killing zombies, while others will focus more on PvP.
Do you have any plans right now for when the beta will start?
We should be making an announcement concerning beta at the latter part of this month and players can sign up now for access to the closed beta as well as our forums at http://thewarz.com as well as on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/
Do you have anything you’d like to tell our readers?
We just hope that everyone will enjoy The War Z when we launch and we will continue to develop and provide additional downloadable content after launch!