H1Z1 bests login issues, justifies and tweaks 'pay-to-win' airdrops [Update: Refunds being granted]


Zombie sandbox MMO H1Z1 launched into early access on Steam yesterday evening only to be plagued with login server issues that caused even us to cancel our planned stream. In other words, it was an MMO launch. Overnight, SOE's John Smedley told Reddit that those problems have been mopped up that that SOE is currently working on G29 and G99 errors, server framerates, disappearing chats, crash bugs, and a "runaway memory situation."

Reddit and Steam's user review section have exploded not over the predictable early access technical issues but over cash-shop airdrops, which some players say constitute pay-to-win in violation of SOE's stated philosophy. Smed denied obfuscating the presence of airdrops, saying SOE has "been straight about it" and justifying the mechanic:

1) You cannot call in airdrops until the servers are 1/4 full. 2) You can't call in airdrops without generating a ton of zombie heat. 3) the airdrops are random in what they deliver. 4) you are not guaranteed to get a single thing out of the airdrop you called in. You could die trying and you're out the money. 5) We fly the plane in very slowly and loudly.. we also stream green smoke from it you can see from very far away.

But he does note that SOE will be "making some big changes" to airdrops, including widening the radius, reducing the chance they'll drop guns, slowing the airdrop planes even more, and increasing the number of players who can call them at any given time. "If you think it's P2W don't buy it. Don't play it," Smed posted. "But I have to say wait until you've personally tried them before making the call."

[Update Jan 16 12:42 EST: Smed has told Twitter fans that SOE will grant refunds to those who request it: "if you are upset about the airdrop P2W issue and want a refund email and we will take care of you. please note we are NOT doing this through Steam. We're doing it ourselves. This will be a no questions asked policy. also please be a little patient about this - because the purchase was made through Steam it takes more work on our end. so far we've had 30 requests for refunds. Please note - if you want your refund request it now - this offer is good until Monday."]