Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley has been very generous in sharing details about the upcoming sandbox MMO H1Z1 and in holding an open dialogue with the game’s budding community, and today he gave further information on what we can expect on Reddit.
First of all he talked in detail about the plans on the game’s map, which will be massive and grow further from what we’ll see in the early access:
I’ve seen a bunch of people asking questions about the Map size. Forgelight is built to handle arbitrarily sized worlds. Our plan is simple – we’re building the core of “anywhere USA”. When we first open it up to users the map will be huge, but nowhere near as big as it’s going to be in short order. Our Map Editing system allows us to quickly add massive areas. We want to make sure we clearly understand how the players are playing the game before we do that. On Planetside 2 we made a mistake by making multiple continents before we had a strong enough idea of what worked and what didn’t. This game is different. We’re doing it smarter.
When we open up the Early Access there will be a massive map for players to enjoy. Over time (very quickly) they’ll magically just be able to keep going further than they’ve gone before. It’s a very unique way of doing it, but we actually think this is a better way to go.
So not to worry. Zombie Apocalypse isn’t going to be any fun if it’s like Disneyland on Spring Break and super crowded. We want remote.. haunting… being scared when you see someone. Your first instinct needs to be to hide. If there are 20 players in your view it’s not a very convincing Apocalypse : )
So how many players per server? Who knows. As we add more land the number of people we can hold on a server goes way up. So we’re excited. We have a ton of zombies for you to fight too. You’ll be seeing hordes : ) oh yes you will.
He also clarified further the plans about microtransaction, firmly denying that there will be any “pay to win” options, or even anything that could give “a small edge.”
There will be none of that.
Smedley also denied the possibility of any XP boosting items, for obvious reasons, even if he proved more lenient and willing to listen about the idea of items that provide a boost to crafting:
There will be no XP boosts. We have no XP. In reading the monetization thread we saw a lot of people comment about accelerating crafting. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. I want us to listen more.
No worries. We want to play this game. No one will allow P2W in this game.
Personally, I have to say that I am a bit iffy about items that could boost crafting, especially since it’ll play a major role in the game. Something like that could definitely give an edge, and not even a small one. We’ll have to see what the dialogue with the community will bring on that front.