The War Z: What did I do to deserve this?
The War Z: What did I do to deserve this?
Pools of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor had a bug which would delete your system files when you uninstalled it. The War Z doesnít have any bugs of that magnitude, but I think it's only because Hammerpoint haven't figured out a way of making money off of it. That's really what The War Z is all about. I donít need to tell you that though, do I? The Pope is Catholic, Bears poop in the woods and The War Z is a cash grab.
You look like Vic Mackey if Vic Mackey looked like an idiot
You have to pay $15 upfront to play the game, but unless you have extraordinary luck you're going to need to pay for 'Gold Coins' - The War Z's microtransaction currency. Once you start playing the game, you have to pay if you want to unlock any character model other than the standard 'ex-military' white guy - that's right ladies, you have to pay if you want to play as a woman. Apparently this is new - people who purchased the game before now have all of the models unlocked.
Once you've made your character you can begin playing immediately - but your starter character comes equipped with a flashlight, a bandage, a granola bar and a can of soft drink - and you will not survive many encounters with just these at your disposal.
Luckily I had the foresight to purchase a couple of items from the in-game store before heading in - a Katana, some armour and a couple of extra bandages. Ready to kick some butt, I hit the play button. Quick Join or Server Browser? Naturally I didnít want to be thrown in somewhere willy-nilly, so I chose to browse the servers and...
The game didnít crash, which I guess is a plus? It did freeze though, with Windows Task Manager telling me The War Z was Not Responding. Alt tabbing did nothing at first, but after Ctrl-Alt-Deleting my way to the task manager I was able to close it down. Time for round 2.
Fact: Colorado has never had a native English speaker on its Tourism board.
Back in the game, I was worried I had lost my inventory - needlessly worried in fact, since buying equipment from the in-game store sends it to your global inventory first - if Iíd made it in I wouldnít have had my fancy new items at all. Equipping them and hitting Play again, I once again chose the Server Browser and... it froze again.
I decided to wait a while I browsed Google Reader on my phone - a tactic which paid off, as several minutes later the game began responding again! You could sort by server name, map (choose from the lush green hills of Colorado, or the majestic beauty of Colorado) game mode (like the maps there is only one mode - Gameworld) or Ping. You can't sort by how many players there are, but who cares right? I can look through and find somewhere suitable. I chose to sort by Ping and... you guessed it, it froze again. Magical. This time I decided to time it though - 3 minutes and 43 seconds! What a treat!
There are hundreds of servers, ranging in size from 30 players to the 100 players no longer advertised on the gameís information page. 90% of them are empty. After scrolling through hundreds of empty servers and servers with one or two people in them, or finding a close to full server that had filled up by the time my computer began responding again, I eventually found a half full server and began playing.
This zombie lady chased me on top of this jeep, then got bored and picked at the ground. I envied her so much.
As far as the actual gameplay of The War Z goes, it actually does some things better than DayZ. Put down your pitchforks. You donít have to middle mouse click and then type in your least favourite Golden Girl just to transfer an item to your backpack, like DayZ. You can actually successfully fight off enemies with melee weapons. And.. nope, wait, thatís it. Those two things. Everything else about The War Z is a simplified version of DayZ which has then been made worse in various ways.
Take that melee combat for example. You know how I mentioned needing extraordinary luck if you donít want to pay any money on top of the cover charge for The War Z? I meant it. In fact, just saying extraordinary luck is understating it - you need to have bathed in leprechaun blood and sewn rabbitís feet right into your skin to play The War Z without forking over extra cash for gold coins.
By default you start with a flashlight, which, as far as killing zombies goes, is about as effective as running at them. In DayZ this isn't a problem - zombies are to be avoided, not killed - but in The War Z avoiding zombies isn't an option. This is thanks to the experience points and dollars - the world's currency (as opposed to the microtransaction currency of Gold Coins.)
Running down this incline dropped me to 10% health, lucky I had Bandages DX! Also of note: Raeker's advice in chat.
Zombies give you 5 experience points per kill and occasionally drop between $50 and $100 in cash. If you ever want to purchase supplies from one of the games strongholds without using Gold Coins, you'll need a massive stack of experience (unlocking additional character models costs 650 Gold Coins or 150,000 experience points - 30,000 dead zombies) or a massive stack of cash ('Civilian' Night Vision Goggles run $15,500, while 'Military' Night Vision Goggles can be acquired for 270 Gold Coins.)
In other words, if you want even a sliver of a chance of playing The War Z without microtransactions, you will need to find something better than your flashlight.
I didn't see any weapons at all during my first six lives. On my seventh I lucked out - I found a baseball bat, a hatchet and a Mossberg 590 - my first gun, with 8 bullets - evidently if you want some weapons you should head to the Crystal Lake Resort, because that's where they all are. Not the Military Base, not the Delta Ranger station - those places are lucky if they have a bottle of water between them.
The Mossberg appears to be the DayZ equivalent of the Double Barrelled Shotgun however, ie itís for chumps. It is loud enough to bring every zombie in Colorado down on you in seconds. I died soon after killing the first eight zombies to come barreling towards me. I wasnít bothered though - I was just happy to have finally found a gun - it's hard to discuss a shooter when you haven't shot anything.
Time Capsules are like chalk in Dark Souls! This game has everything.
I got shot though. Or rather, exploded. That's what it seemed like to me - I ran out of a small hut and exploded, my body armour and hat hovering in the shape of a man over a splatter of blood as four men teleported their way through the area. Hacking is a major problem in The War Z, affecting every populated, non-password protected server.
The War Z's fans say if you don't want hackers, play in an empty server - a sentiment I've heard from the DayZ crowd on occasion too - and freaking lunacy. Why am I playing either game if not to interact with other people? The other suggestion - making a private server for myself and friends (now apparently possible, but I already forked out too much of my own damned money on this heap of junk to confirm it) is also out of the question for some of us, who don't have friends who play The War Z. Shut up, I have friends.
And speaking of dying alone, dying in The War Z costs you big time. You don't have a three hour downtime anymore when your character dies - itís just sixty minutes - but you also lose every single thing you had on you. The 600 Gold Coins you spent decking your character out in armour, weapons and equipment is all gone - your character has been stripped bare.
A bat, standing upright on a chair just like all bats do in real life.
For some reason you are blessed with 5 slots - but I can't fathom why. If your character dies they have nothing left - not even the crappy flashlight and granola bar combo a new character gets. Oh wait, I do know why.
It's because Hammerpoint Interactive are either insane, arrogant beyond belief, scam artists flirting with the boundaries of legality or a combination of all three. That's the why of everything about The War Z as near as I can tell. And yet the game has its fans. I never heard anyone say it was unequivocally better than DayZ, but some global chats got very heated when I asked what people liked about the game and someone would say 'Nothing.'
When I asked them to specify why, they'd just say their friends play it, or 'it's fun'. Can a game give you stockholm syndrome? I'm beginning to think it can. Truly the best thing we can all do at this point is stay away, because you know what they say about people who avoid peer pressure! -
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Wed 06 Mar 13, 3:00pmMachinist
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