SOE’s senior game designer apologises for “lying” about H1Z1 airdrops


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SOE and H1Z1‘s senior game designer steps up and takes the heat over the pay to win debate and the airdrop system.

With unhappy players now able to receive refunds because of the pay to win aspect of airdrops, SOE’s senior game designer Adam Clegg has issued a statement explaining what has happened/changed and why there’s been a misunderstanding.

The upshot is that they had said you could not “buy” weapons or ammo from a store, which is still the case, but never stated that this would also apply to the airdrop system. Clegg also acknowledges that he “was at the time lying” and apologised to players. He added that it was not his intention to have players “tricked into buying the game”.

The whole incident has been unfortunate for H1Z1 which has now received more negative reviews on Steam than you can shake a stick at. This will settle down once refunds have been issued and hopefully the new changes to the airdrop system, which are outlined below, will improve the mechanic for players that continue to play.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. Don’t discuss features that have not been nailed down just to appease the fans. The full statement from Clegg can be read below along with notes on planned airdrop changes..

Hey guys, first I want to say thank you to all of you, even the ones that are very upset with us. We have received an overwhelming amount of support and feedback from everyone and the dev team is all working hard on all of the current issues and I appreciate your patience as we try to get H1Z1 up and running smoothly. We are a little over 24 hours in and it has been and absolute roller coaster.

2nd I wanted to address what I said in an earlier stream with NGTZombies prior to our release. I said you cannot buy a gun or ammo and it had to be found in the world. When you are on a stream, and you are talking about your game, you tend to talk a million miles an hour both to keep the information flowing and to keep it entertaining. But sometimes things get said without completely thinking about what you are saying 100% through. H1Z1 is a massive game with a lot of systems, some of which we were tuning every day and finishing last minute. When I said you can’t buy any guns or ammo, I completely disregarded the possibility of airdrops and meant that you can’t buy a gun or ammo and have it go into your starting loadout, or your loadout immediately like you were buying a gun from the gun store.

All that being said, I totally understand how what I said was at the time lying to you guys and I apologize. But please understand that’s not what I was trying to do. For those of you that don’t know me or understand me, know that I’m not trying to be this monster that is conniving and lying in hopes that you get tricked into buying the game. I am very passionate about making video games and I want more than anything in the world for people to love the games that I am a part of making.

The dev team loves airdrops, and in testing, every time we used one, they were highly contested where the person who actually called in the airdrop had to earn it through a gladiator style brawl. They usually weren’t the one that ended up with the airdrop but no matter what, the person who called it in was satisfied with the event that they got to make happen. That event is the magic we are trying to capture with everyone. The last thing we want is it to be a boring item that someone can sneak around and quietly get to find gear without it being contested. In our opinion that is basically cheating and nobody should be able to do that.

Whether you agree with us or not, that is how we want airdrops to work. We are going to be tuning them throughout early access until we can get them to work that way, here are the first pass initial changes.

1) Make the plane move slowly (53% of current) This increases the ability for other players to react to the plane coming in.

2) Make the drop fall more slowly (80% of current) This increases the ability for other players to react to the plane coming in.

3) Less accurate maximum drop radius (was 250m now 700m, so with these settings it would drop up to 700m from the calling player)

4) New minimum distance of 250m for airdrops to appear from a player. This is a little less than ½ the player density of 700m distance with 120 players on a server. Therefore more players are likely to be near the airdrop when deployed.

5) Increase the minimum number of required players to 120 (a little higher after more discussion about player density being important to keeping airdrops contested)

H1Z1 Airdrop Events and drop percentages

65% chance to call in one of these airdrops

The Caveman

  • Bow 1x
  • Bundle of Arrows 2x
  • Torch 1x
  • Waist pack 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Welder

  • Wrench 1x
  • Hammer 1x
  • Metal Sheets 4x
  • Metal Pipes 2x
  • Weapon Repair Kit 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Medic

  • First Aid Kits 2x
  • Bandages 5x
  • Cloth 6x
  • Purified Water 2x
  • Saline 2x
  • 7 Zombies

The Demolition Man

  • IED 2x
  • Lighter 1x
  • Landmine 1x
  • Flares 2x
  • Smoke Flare 2x
  • Ethonol 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Builder

  • Nails 20x
  • Furnace 1x
  • Logs 4x
  • Metal Bits 10x
  • Scrap Metal 10x
  • Wood Axe 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Farmer

  • Tamper 10x
  • Corn Seeds 10x
  • Wheat Seeds 10x
  • Fertilizer 10x
  • Purified Water 5x
  • 7 Zombies

The Hiker

  • Motorcycle Helmet 1x
  • Military Backpack 1x
  • Goggles 1x
  • Binoculars 1x
  • Compass 1x
  • 7 Zombies

12.5 % chance to call in one of these airdrops

Life of the Party

  • IED 5x
  • Swizzle 20x
  • Moonshine 15x
  • Flare 30x
  • 7 Zombies

10.0% Chance to call in this airdrop

The Hobo

  • Shotgun 1x
  • Shells 12x
  • Moonshine 2x
  • Torch 1x
  • Twine 1x
  • Bear Sandwich 1x
  • 7 Zombies

The Lone Wolf

  • Pistol 1x
  • Ammo.45 14x
  • Logs 2x
  • Wolf Sandwich 1x
  • Animal Trap 1x
  • Deer Bladder 2x
  • 7 Zombies

Thank you guys for being patient with us!

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Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.