The War Z – Interview With Executive Producer, Sergey Titov
Captain Camper has been enjoying his The War Z experience so far but after many hours exploring the official forums he came across a number of concerns from players. Executive Producer, Sergey Titov, was kind enough to spare some time with CC, answering some of the questions that seem commonplace in The War Z discussions.
The War Z Sergey Titov Interview
Although the forums are filled with hundreds of different questions, which is expected during an Alpha phase, I noticed a number of questions popping up on a regular basis. I’ve tried to pitch as many as I could to the Sergey Titov, and I believe he answered them thoroughly, hoping to ease the concerns of players.
Q. What is the end-goal with weapon spawns? Do you want people to have a GI filled with various low-quality guns and a few high-end ones or are you aiming for a more vicious society?
Weapon Spawns are currently a hot topic on the forum. Previously many complained that it was too easy to collect powerful weapons, now many have changed their opinion to the opposite end of the scale. Server hoppers are struggling to get weapons, so a lot of the players that play “properly” feel they have no chance.
A. Our goal is to have a situation at the end, where it’s easy to find various melee weapons, especially things like knives, hammers, improvised weapons, yet harder to find firearms and especially military grade firearms making them extremely rare in the world.
Q. How to you plan to balance people switching between servers with all of the current exploits?
Many have reported players logging in/out to get into secured buildings and the likes. Many have also said that the easiest way of getting weapons is finding a high percentage spawn and server hopping to collect goods. Leaving players that are loyal to one server very little chance of finding anything rare.
A. We’re already addressing server hopping issues, but I do not want to go into detail since it will help players involved figure out what exactly we’re doing. They will eventually and hopefully decide it’s not worth it, but for now I really want them to get to the point that server hopping is bringing them mostly frustration.
Q. Currently changing the settings allows for players to avoid any brush on screen. We’ve heard several possible remedies but what are you plans to avoid this exploit in future builds?
Many have said that you will force brush to be on all clients. If that’s so, how will this impact players that use low-end machines.
A. We’re testing right now grass code on lower end machines to figure out if this is something that will allow players with lower end systems to play at decent framerates. This is part of the general optimization process.
Q. When will more of the map become open?
It was said pre-Alpha that more of the map would be opened in the build up to closed beta. Is this still the plan or will the entire map be released on October 31st?
A. We’re preparing another 30% of the map to be opened in a coming week. After that you’ll get last piece of the map unlocked. So far we’ve received a huge amount of data that allowed us to redesign certain parts of the map to provide better player spawns and overall flow.
Q. Will swimming be a feature we’ll see in the near future?
We’ve had a lot of personal questions from our readers on this particular issue.
A. We have pretty large features wishlist, that includes swimming, climbing over fences and walls, pet animals, drinking water from lakes, etc, etc – basically everything you can imagine J. We do not have set times for those, since our first goal is to launch the game with a polished set of features that we’ve already promised to players.
Q. When can we expect the release of upgraded Zombie AI?
A record of one of your developers on Ventrilo was leaked, in that leak he spoke about Zombie AI being more polished but wasn’t currently uploaded to servers. When will this happen? Does the new Zombie AI remove the exploit players use when standing on top of certain vehicles?
A. We have a couple guys who’re working on zombie AI improvements, mostly related to navigation. Actually we’re updating AI code with every patch we’re doing – so literally small improvements are happening every day. As for “leaked ventrillo record” – this particular member of our team is a remote ( ie not working from our office ) senior artist, who’s not involved in code or design development. So I think it wasn’t right for him to make any statements of state of code or design or our plans for community management.
Q. Will there be an Alpha character wipe?
It appears a LOT of the player base aren’t sure on the official stand point regarding a wipe. We’d love to be able to help educate them on the official view point.
A. We’re not sure either. I just posted to forums about that
Q. What are your personal feelings on the incident regarding the GM spawning items?
The incident where one of the developers spawned a number of rare items for nearby players.
A. First of all I think that during the alpha test, it’s our right and more important it’s what needs to be done to test all aspects of the game to give people the ability to use certain items. For example – silencers. We found that if there were a certain number of silencers in the game at one moment – they stop working ! This was by the way, found by this developer you’re referring to ( RussianKaliber ).So this part I wouldn’t call an “incident.”There’s another part where this guy declared that “I’ll get God Mode next week and will be killing spawn campers” – this was in appropriate and also completely untrue.
Q. What are you personal feelings towards the scam accusations for The War Z?
Some popular Youtube channels and websites are labeling The War Z a scam, just trying to cash in on the DayZ standalone hype. What are you personal feelings on this matter considering you’ve worked so hard to provide a high-quality product?
A. LOL, I haven’t seen any significant website or youtube channel make this claim. There’s one relatively new youtuber who seems to have an agenda since we announced the game. Most of his “facts” are not surviving even a small fact check. I personally think he’s spreading lies and misleading facts to boost his popularity on a hot subject in order to get more views and higher advertising revenues, but that’s just my opinion.
On the overall topic – we’ve got VERY good reception from both media and players from around the world. And while at first there were some players who said “okay this is too similar to DayZ”, I think by now most realized that the game design is pretty far from DayZ. Our goal is to create living breathing world for gamers to create their own survival stories and “societies”, and I think as we’re progressing thru Alpha and Beta tests it’ll be pretty clear that the game will become more and more distant from the original DayZ design.
Plus yes – both us and DayZ are using same inspirations when it comes to the title of the game, so it may cause additional confusion. In my recent interview with VG247 I said that we have tremendous respect for DayZ creator Dean Hall, and we really hope that the standalone version of DayZ will surpass the popularity of the mod.
Q. Are there any plans to improve the sound quality in upcoming patches?
Currently the sounds for enemy guns fail to give much direction or distance information. Enemy player footsteps also seem to be void. As well as the clash of sounds on various materials, such as metal when running on concrete.
A. While we’re still working on the sounds, I disagree with statement that sounds are not giving direction or distance information. In fact this is one of the most praised features of the game from players, that are saying that they‘re able to detect where gunshots are coming from, how close they’re to the zombies and locate them solely based on sound information from either headphones or 5surround speaker system.
We’re aware there’s thousands more questions that could have been asked but the developers are constantly pushing out updates and fixes and we didn’t want to detract from that. Hopefully this will clear up some concerns expressed by players and fans, especially over the developer incident which seemed to explode on the forums. Rest assured guys, The War Z is real, legitimate and setting up to be a great MMO title.