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[The War Z] Alphas, Zombies, Stability oh my! (KEYS AVAILABLE)
War Z? What's this crazyness!
War Z is a new zombie survival quasi-MMO that has been in development for about a year. Comparisons to DayZ will be very easy and quite apt, but War Z has some important differences which I think are in most cases good. The basic game play will seem very familiar to anyone who has played DayZ, but the level of polish even in the alpha is quite a bit higher. As some would say, it's considerably less "janky".
What do I mean when I say quasi-MMO? Well, it has some of the trappings of an MMO such as character storage and a global inventory, with more planned (friends, groups, etc). That said, you don't play on servers with thousands of other people. The server setup is much more like a first person shooter, where you will join one of many servers, all capped at 40 players. Players can also rent a "stronghold" server, which will eventually confer benefits for playing on your 'home' server.
While the game is currently in the alpha state, the developers are very receptive to player feedback and the pace of updates is brisk. Updates usually total two to three a week, and the developers are opening up the complete game map at a reasonable pace. It is currently around 60% open.
Okay, but if it's just DayZ whyfore I care?
Well, there are differences. Lets go over them:
Improvements over DayZ
Much more stable, feels less alpha. No annoying graphics errors, little to no geometry glitches.
Runs smoother, seems to have fewer memory leaks.
Smaller map. This is actually a good thing. The Day Z map is too large relative to the number of players on most servers. The War Z map was crafted to be a zombie survival map, so the map funnels you in to more tense situations, even when not in cities. It's still quite large though, with room to roam.
More enterable buildings. It's not 100% (yet), but in most places buildings are more likely to be open than not, and even non open buildings will tend to have external spawns.
Safe zones. Areas where you can go where there is no PvP allowed. They are small, and there are only a couple, but they at least allow some trading, a place for players to gather and chat, and a place to access your global inventory.
Global inventory. This essentially replaces tents from DayZ, but is actually stable and works. The space is limited, so you can't just stockpile forever, but it gives you a nice cache to build up.
It's playable at night without night vision. Woo!
Things DayZ did better
Alt-look. You will miss this if you played a lot of DayZ. I find myself trying to do it quite a bit. It's being discussed by the developers.
Weapon physics. The shooting in DayZ is a lot better, but in some cases that's to be expected; It's based on one of the more realistic shooting models in gaming. The War Z shooting is still very passable, FPS gunplay, but it's lacking the depth of DayZ.
Vehicles. Right now The War Z does not have them. It's less of an issue because of the small map, but I know some people love vehicle construction.
Larger map. Wait, didn't I just say a smaller map was better? Well yes, but for some people the larger map is a big deal. There are some advantages to the larger map, and some people may just enjoy it more, so I'm giving it as a good mark for DayZ.
Built in voicecomms. I believe this is coming, but it's not in yet. This was pretty useful in DayZ, especially the proximity voice.
In practice the two games have a very different feel, for all the surface similarities. DayZ is much more a simulation, while War Z plays out a bit more "game like". Which of the two you enjoy more is likely going to depend on whether you prefer the simulation side of your zombie survival feast, or the game and player conflict side.
Great. So where can I learn more?
Well, the best place is probably the website:
I wanna play. How?
There are two ways. Get a 48 hour buddy key from someone with some. Or buy in to the founders program. This works much like MechWarrior Online, and several other games that have done this. You are essentially buying in to the alpha, and at higher pay levels you get some extra things like buddy keys and credits for the in game marketplace.
Oddly there are no links (that I can find) directly to that page, so it's a bit obtuse, but there it is.
What is the final pricing model for the game?
The information so far has stated that the game will follow a model similar to Guild Wars, where a one time purchase gets you the game forever. From there the game will have micro transactions and the rented server system to generate income (and hopefully new content). We don't know much about the micro transactions right now, but there are two currencies: One in-game and one converted from real money. So far things can only be bought with one or the other, but these systems are still very early.
The founders packages get you access to the game, plus some extra goodies for the two higher buy in levels. The cheaper founds package just gets you access to the game, but the access is early (aka now) and at a reduced price from the final product. The two more expensive packages get you early and reduced cost game access, plus some amount of the market currency, some buddy keys and rental time for a stronghold server when that system is put in to place.