Ok, that’s probably not our best title, but we’re running with it. H1Z1: Just Survive is now titled just Just Survive, as it’s breaking free from King of the Kill, and running off into its own zombie filled world with its own lore and own mechanics. Set to have its biggest patch ever today, the Daybreak Games team has been hard at work since October of 2016 overhauling most everything in Just Survive. The result is a game that is recognizable to its original release, but far more polished and playable today.
Since the splitting of Just Survive from King of the Kill (the two main H1Z1 game modes), Daybreak has been quietly hard at work retooling the original MMO version of the game into something they can be proud to call their own. While as of today’s patch Just Survive will only support 65 players at a time, the new map is just the beginning and as the game world expands, so too will the player cap. And yes, for those of you carebears like me – there will be PVE and PVP servers as well.
In fact, a big part of the eventual goal of Just Survive is to craft a whole world with NPCs, story, and more for Just Survive. The core of the game is still building, crafting, looting, and surviving in the wild, but now new players start in a military base that’s the equivalent of a “Safe Zone” for PVE and PVP fans alike. Armed guards defend the walls from onrushing zombies, and they defend those inside from griefing players as well.
As a player, you wake up on this base after being rescued by the military, you’re given basic supplies, including weapons, and are set out into the wild to explore and make your own living. Most importantly, you’re set out to make your own Stronghold and rally more survivors to your cause. The Stronghold system is the possibly the highlight of this new version, aside from the massive hand-created new map. There are 52 Stronghold locations on the map at this release, and each one can be customized, tweaked, built entirely from the ground up by its owners.
These are the core goal of PVP in the update, but also a great place for enterprising PVE fans to build their dream fortress. PVE servers won’t have Stronghold battles enabled, but Daybreak assured me that loads of PVE content is being made for those who don’t want to worry about other players in their zombie survival game. For now though, even PVE fans might want to consider finding a group to play with and try the PVP game, as the Stronghold system will be where most of the fun is to be had. Wars aren’t waged randomly, rather challenges are made and times to battle are set. The owners set up their Stronghold like a puzzle of construction and traps to be solved, and if the attacking team wins, they get the Stronghold, along with everything in it to call their own.
The zombies, the wildlife, the loot, the harvesting – it’s all been overhauled to be more entertaining and less of a hassle. Gas stations have gas for your cars, enemy AI has been amped up to be more of a challenge and more fun to fight, and even the act of tearing apart a car to get metal and scraps is more sensible. Plus, barricading off structures is back in the game. You can board up windows of a cabin to make it your own and place your stashes inside. There’s even a vendor at the main military base, the sort of central hub where the game begins and everyone is forced to get along. He buys your unwanted items, and gives a currency you can use to buy things from him for use in the game.
These are the first steps towards making Just Survive the pinnacle of zombie MMOs. Daybreak has big plans for this one, even if they’ve been quiet in ramping up to this major overhaul. It’s still in early access, but the goal is to hit official launch soon. If they can add to the PVE content, keep the map growing, and add in more and more stronghold locations, perhaps Just Survive truly can be that ultimate zombie MMO it was meant to be.