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H1Z1 plays with zombie spawn rates in “big damn patch”


Sony Online Entertainment’s detachment from its parent company hasn’t been entirely clean – the rechristened Daybreak Studios laid off EverQuest Next’s leads in the week following the name change. But H1Z1 and its one million players have managed to keep their feet despite the tectonic movement beneath them.

Work continues apace on the massively-multiplayer survival sim – and visible results appeared in the game this weekend. Zombies now wear hats, and move about the world in newly varied numbers.

Yup: the lootable hats and helmets the dead have in their inventories will now be reflected on their rotting bonces. You won’t see the shirts and pants they’re carrying yet, but soon enough those zeds will form a stumbling fashion parade for you to take your pick from.

It seems the Big Damn Patch is named, with a concession to good spelling, after the Dam area of H1Z1’s map. That’s just now benefitted from a major overhaul, alongside the Battle Royale starting area.

Most intriguingly, though, the Artists and Programmers Formerly Known As SOE have fiddled with zombie population. It’ll now better mirror player population – preventing sparser servers from becoming totally overrun and leaving full servers unchanged.

As in DayZ, the highest dead spawn rates can now be expected around cities and camps – so sticking to the wilderness will be a valid tactical approach. Moreover, the zombies that appear in player spawn areas are more likely to be low-speed shamblers – giving newcomers with no weapons the option of scarpering.

Crafting’s very much in flux, too, as you’ll discover if you turn the page to the full patch notes. Have you been dismantling guns in Daybreak’s DayZ-alike lately?

Patch Notes

  • New Male character model is available
  • The Dam area has been given a major overhaul.
  • Battle Royale starting area has been updated.
  • Current Grid position is now shown on-screen(like BR). Hand drawn map has basic grid markers.
  • Added a new equip slot for the face
  • Fixed Bug – player will now exit a vehicle towards the same side on which they are seated.
  • Fixed bug where player could sometimes get injured when moving off a rock.
  • Fixed a lot of erroneous terrain bugs that have caused objects to float including cars, campsites and other smaller objects
  • Added a small improvement to placing free placed items, preventing them from being able to clip through walls.
  • Server optimizations made to the body sim
  • Zombies will now wear the lootable hats and helmets they have in their inventory. They will carry weapons. Note: They do not the wear lootable shirts or pants yet.
  • Pickup Truck first person interior has been enhanced.
  • R380 pistol added to game, it is a high fire rate, low caliber pocket pistol. The R380 can be found in BR and around the world in the core game.
  • 12GA Shotgun damage increased.

Zombie Spawn Changes

  • Made zombie total population based on player population, to keep low-pop servers from getting completely overrun. This does not include the current wandering hordes (which are accounted for outside this number). On a server full of players, the total number of zombies is unchanged.
  • Biased zombie spawns toward areas with more player heat, and more items, so that cities, camps and player firefights have the highest rate of zombie spawns, and the wilderness areas have less.
  • Made the spawned zombies that occur in player spawn areas biased more toward low-speed shamblers, so that new players (with no weapons) can more easily run away.

Workbenches, Ammo Conversion, Gun Dismantling, and You

  • Workbenches can be found in the world or crafted and placed. If you are close enough to the workbench you will be able to use it to create specific recipes. You don’t actually interact with the workbench at this time, you just need to have it in your proximity. It can be used to convert ammo into other types of ammo, break down guns into gun repair kits, or to create some of the existing recipes that would be too difficult to do by hand.
  • Any type of ammunition can be broken down into “Gun Components”. Each bullet or shell will give you 1 Bullet Component. You can then use 2 Bullet Components to make any other type of ammunition.
  • Guns can be dismantled into “Gun Parts”. Larger guns will give more gun parts. You can then use three gun parts to create a “Gun Repair Kit”. This repair kit can be used on weapons to repair them. Currently this will repair any weapon, but in the future it will be restricted to guns only.
  • Metal crafting recipes will now require a workbench to create. This includes the recipes for Metal Sheets, Metal Pipes, Machete, Combat Knife, Bear Trap, Landmine, IED, and the above mentioned conversion recipes for ammo and guns.