As you read this, youâll notice I say Z2 a lot, and by that I mean the revamped zone. A lot of these plans are contradictory to what youâve been told in the past, Iâm not going to try to hide that. But please believe me when I say weâre laying out our map plan as plainly as possible and not trying to hide or cover anything up.
Letâs get the big, uncomfortable things out of the way first.
- The new city zone weâve been talking about is gone, and not coming out this month. The work weâve put towards it isnât getting thrown out, weâre going to integrate all the assets into Z2.
- The often discussed 16,000 square kilometer zone is also gone for the immediate term. We feel itâs best to actually finish our map to a polished, shippable state before trying to build something 1000x bigger. I canât say if or when that tech plan might resurface, those conversations happen on a level above me. Itâs safe to say you wonât hear about it for awhile. We feel whatâs best for H1Z1 right now is to finish what we started and make it great.
- âMap expansionsâ to use a general term are not on the immediate horizon. Weâre going to give you one fun, well running, and varied zone first. After that, we can discuss how to expand on that. Internally amongst the team, we all have different ideas of what that could be. But right now, again, weâre gonna knock Z2 out of the park first.
Why are we throwing out all these plans? The simplest answer I have is that weâve chosen to focus on finishing our feature set. The map is another feature like combat or body sim, and itâs not complete. In some cases, itâs downright broken still. We canât in good faith go trailblazing to new destinations and leave our house half-finished behind us.
Letâs talk about what you can expect to see in Z2. The best way to think about Z2 is that itâs the finished version of the game map. What you play on now is a rough draft. I can tell you with complete confidence that Z2 will be completely improved for pretty much every playstyle.
Letâs run through the list.
- Weâre going to finish off the remaining forests. You should expect fully fleshed out deciduous forests, and unique flora for the grasslands. No more fields of only blackberries, and no more isolated orange trees. Our plan has been to have around 3 unique flora biomes, and now we can go tackle the last two. Players who like to play hermit in the woods rejoice!
- Mountains and terrain that looks nicer. No more blobby green hills and blobby brown mountains. We should be able to give them a little more character, so youâll be able to use the mountains for wayfinding a bit better. Less time getting confused which direction youâre facing!
- All three towns will be scaled up (some more than others) to feel like more dense urban areas. Expect grids of city streets, alleys between the buildings, and lots of nooks and crannies. Everyone who wants to pretend to be Glenn doing supply runs into the city should be pleased. Maybe youâll be able to take over the parks in the town as your own private fortressâ¦
- All the major POIs in the map (like the suburban developments, cabins, or Zimms) will be rehauled with exciting new shaders we developed for the city zone. What that means for you is the game will look a lot better, and run a lot better. Weâre taking a hard look at how weâre populating those areas too. The team is discussing it, but I hope weâll be able to improve the gameplay loop a bit so you donât feel like your endlessly searching things with no reward of feedback. What if when you went into a house, the containers that have already been looted are opened and askewâ¦ sounds cool, right?!
- The map layout as a whole will change for the better. How many of you really end up going to Ranchito Taquito? Itâs in a weird spot, we can move it now so that the dynamic between the three towns is improved. Weâll now have the freedom to tweak the map layout based on how weâve been watching you all play.
- Using the aforementioned shaders, weâll be able to make some proper street signs everywhere. Now you can tell your friends to meet you on the corner of 5th and Broadway, and it will make sense.
Weâll all be checking in on this thread, so ask questions and Iâll answer them as best I can. Way out in the weeds technical answers, I'm totally game! As promised, here are some screenshots of the assets and looks we're developing for Z2. Iâm sharing these so you can get a sense for what H1Z1 can and will be when weâre done with this push. Weâre all excited to make it and canât wait to watch everyone fighting over water bottles in our pretty new buildings.
Additional assets in progress
EDIT: OH! One more thing. All of this should also make some exciting new wrinkles to the BR experience. Imagine shooting it out for top spot in an alley, hiding behind dumpsters!