Couch Podtatoes Episode 30: The H1Z1 Controversy


This week we’re taking a look at the controversy surrounding H1Z1’s launch. I happen to be playing the game as you all well know, and I happen to enjoy it, and don’t see what the big deal is. Eri is respectfully disagreeing with me on more than one issue, so we hash it out for a bit. Coincidentally, we’re also talking about another controversy that popped up during the week, where Heroes of the Storm went into Beta, and Blizzard decided to throw “founder’s packs” into the mix, adding more fuel to the already hateful Early Access fire. Count them for our Idiots on the Internet this week. Lastly we take a look at Aywren’s blog once again, where she wrote an interesting piece on storytelling in MMOs, and how mediocre it is these days. Let the battle begin. Fight!


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Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 30: The H1Z1 Controversy (runtime: 1:01:05)

What are we playing? (starts at 1:25)
Discussion: H1Z1 (starts at 8:11)
Idiots on the Internet: HotS (starts at 44:35)
Community Spotlight: Aywren (starts at 54:10)

Host Contact information:

Blog: Me vs. Myself and I

Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Idiots on the Internet Article:

Community Spotlight:
Clean Casuals
The Article

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Six Pack” by Black Flag (from the album The First Four Years)
“Traitors” by Misery Index (from the album Traitors)
“Some Kinda Hate” by Misfits (from the box set)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

H1Z1: One Week In

It’s been a week since the H1Z1 launch, but if we’re to be honest, it wasn’t really available til the wee hours of the 16th, at least that’s when I got into it. So what have we seen happen in that week?

For starters, there was the complaints about G99 login errors.
Then there was the Airdrop controversy.
There have been 3+ patches, providing various tweaks to the game.
SOE has been very transparent through the process, providing feedback and news via Twitter and Reddit.
Anook started an H1Z1 page.
I wrote about the game twice. The podcast tomorrow talks about the game as well.

I was ganked. I paid it forward:

I’m still thoroughly enjoying the game. The other night the above happened, where I had been playing for a few hours and gathered some goods, when out of nowhere I was attacked by a player who had nothing on them, therefore nothing to lose. It was while the loot bug was active, so there was very little in the way of supplies, yet I had still managed to get a nice collection. The guy attacking me got the drop on me, and I had my bow and arrow out which put me at a disadvantage close up. By the time I realized I was getting my ass kicked, I was low health. I made him earn the kill, I seriously ran around and tried to duck him for a good 20 minutes. He still managed to get me eventually. When I respawned, I paid that forward to the first guy I came across, which is where that picture came in.


Yesterday I started up fresh, and spawned near the Ruby Lake. I wandered around a bit, until I came to the neighboring town of Cranberry.


I’m not sure if it was put in by the devs, or if players started to wall off the city, but there was a barricade barring my way on the main drag into town. There were also spike traps and the like at nearby entry points. I did eventually work my way into the city, and as I was scavenging, I kept hearing people talking. I couldn’t tell if they were friendly with each other or fighting, but I skulked around for a bit just waiting to see what happened. Shots were fired, and I wasn’t sure where the players were at.


Later, while still wandering around, I came across a lone bear cruising down the street. I took a picture.


I decided I would try and kill it, because why not? I shot an arrow into it, and it quickly charged me. I ran for quite some time, and thought that if I hid in a building I’d get away, but it managed to fit through narrow passages with ease. Two hits later I was dead. Note to self, don’t mess with the bears without a gun.


When I respawned, I had come full circle. This was the same area I had started in when I first played the game a week ago. I followed the bridge to the gas station and houses I knew to be on the other side. This ended in my demise much like the first time I played the game. This time I was scavenging and had already made a new bow. I heard someone running around outside of the building I was in, and I hid. Apparently they were either a ganker to begin with, or they were just attacking me because they thought I was trying to gank them. He simply said “hello buddy” and then popped into view, shooting me with an arrow and taking my stuff. Such is life on a PvP server.

Looking forward, I really need to get someone in the game to roll with. When I’ve been flying solo I end up losing my stuff to whoever comes around to kill me. I’ve gotten a couple of kills myself, but haven’t really gone out of my way to gank fools. Strength in numbers might be where it’s at. I’m Izlain on the Romero server, and Izzy on Pandemic. If you have the game and want to group up, let me know.

#h1z1 #zombies #survival

State of the Game: Smed’s Dead


I know, I’m late again. Yesterday was spent watching the playoffs, and then wallowing in misery because of the horrible comeback we let happen. The Packers should have went to the Superbowl… but let’s not get into that. As you can see I made a little banner for this segment, as it is a regular feature on the blog, and I’ve gotten in the habit of having banners for my regular columns (By The Numbers, Couch Podtatoes posts). And, if you’re wondering about the post title, it’s not a reference to Smed (prez of SOE) being actually dead, but rather a reference to a server name in H1Z1. I thought it was fitting, as this week I spent most of my game time in H1Z1, so that’s what we’ll be covering today.

After my Impressions post about the game, I have had a few more sessions with H1Z1 and I honestly love it. There is something new around every corner, I don’t think I’ve seen even 50% of the world yet, and this is just the starter stuff, the game world is supposed to get expanded with time. All of the bitching and moaning about the airdrops seems to have subsided, as the devs decided to change up what comes in them, and change some values as far as plane speed, drop radius, and things like that. Honestly I haven’t even used any of the airdrop calls that I have on my account, and I have only seen/heard a couple here and there. It doesn’t seem to be as rampant as people would have thought. Originally I was thinking it was pretty stupid for people to even buy them, because I read somewhere that you can find tickets in the game (so you could get an airdrop without paying for it), and because I was having no trouble finding weapons and supplies. Of course, I haven’t actually found a ticket in-game, so I can’t confirm this. Still, I wasn’t having a problem with surviving. I think people who complained the loudest haven’t even tried the game, and those complaining a little less loudly are the ones who played for a couple of hours and then wrote it off. Get your facts straight, and you’ll see it’s not game-breaking whatsoever.

So I had a fantastic run where I was fully loaded with a sniper rifle, and bunch of supplies, and things were going great. I was running around on my own when I was approached by another player, who asked me via voice chat if I had any food. He pleaded that he was starving and wondered if I could help. I didn’t have my mic set up, so I went ahead and dropped a freshly cooked deer steak on the ground for him. I gestured enough that he figured out I had dropped it, and he thanked me profusely. I went about my business, when a few minutes later I ran into him again. This time he asked if I would mind if he tagged along. I gestured with some hand clapping (is that the appropriate emote?) and he followed along. Soon we came along another player, and they both proceeded to determine that we were all friendlies, but my first buddy told the other guy that I was without a mic. I was getting sick of not being able to communicate, so I decided to start setting up my mic and getting the settings right. As I was doing so, a zombie came along and killed me. Go figure. This is why we need a chat function. Doesn’t need to be global, just in the immediate area, or at least a way to talk to your group of friendlies.

Yesterday I gave the game another whirl, and decided to start on another server. I had been playing on Pandemic, and decided to give Romero a try. Through my travels I figured out more crafting recipes, and also figured out how to fill bottles from a water source and then boil the water over a campfire. Fair warning, fires attract zombies!

2015-01-17_00004 2015-01-17_00006 2015-01-17_00007

I also learned to make a bow and arrows, because apparently there was a bug that has been discovered, that was affecting the amount of loot in the game. They lowered the rate at which your energy (food) and hydration (water) levels decreased, but in the process that patch bugged loot. I was wandering for a long ass time and not finding much of anything. I would have given my left arm for an axe, as it’s so necessary for many of the things you need to do, such as cutting up deer for their meat, and getting scraps of cloth off of zombie corpses. I also found bullets for the first time, but no guns. Apparently the fix for that bug is coming in tonight’s patch. During my run last night, I came across a landfill, and was heading inside to check it out.


I experience my first real gank inside. I was just shuffling around, never heard or saw anyone, and suddenly I was getting shot with arrows. I dropped like a bad habit. I mumbled “fuck you” into the mic… and my attacker says “I love you too.” Good times.


I came across an interesting bug where everything was shifted where it didn’t belong. Items that should have been hanging on walls were floating in mid air.


This was during my current life. I am doing fairly well despite the loot bug. I managed to find a couple of weapons/tools, a helmet, and a military backpack that holds more stuff than the usual kind. All I really need is a gun and an axe and I’d be in business. I logged out in a safe place, and when I pick things back up hopefully loot will be a bit more plentiful. I want to learn more recipes and maybe do some ganking of my own. Til next time.

#stateofthegame #h1z1 #survival #zombies

The Forest v0.12

The other Early Access game I’ve been following for a long time had another set of patch notes come out. It’s funny because I had a few discussions (we’ll call them that, yeah) about H1Z1 on Twitter recently, mainly with how it’s Early Access and not finished and how I’m stupid for buying into games like that. The Forest came up at the tail end of one of those discussions, and the other participant in the conversation said something along the lines of “you just don’t like to buy finished games do you?” I have to say it now, buying The Forest in Early Access was one of the best decisions I have made. I don’t usually buy into it. Sure you get into a game before people who wait for the finished product, but, like an MMO, it is constantly evolving and changing and I love seeing what comes next. Of course you’d have all of the changes all at once if you waited for the finished product, but you do get something that those who wait do not: the ability to send feedback and help to shape the game.

I’ll be getting that same benefit from playing H1Z1 in Early Access, and if you have been following it on Twitter and Reddit, you’ll see that the devs are actually listening to player feedback and looking at improving things that the players want changed. The same deal happens with The Forest. Early Access isn’t a bad thing, that is unless the devs are shady. I have been choosy in the EA games that I want to support, and thus far haven’t been burned. It’s been a great experience and one that I will continue to enjoy. With all that said, on to the new version of The Forest:

Hey Everyone,

This patch introduces proper Steam multiplayer support. You no longer need to open ports or give people your ip address. Simply click and invite friends or make a public server. Hint: make games private if you don’t want anyone who you haven’t invited to join.

We’ve also improved crafting, added paint, a craftable berry pouch, fixed a bunch of bugs and lots more, all listed below.

Old save games should continue to work, however if you notice anything weird start from a new game to ensure everything is up to date.

As always, please continue to post your bug reports and feedback in the Discussions area of the Community Hub or send them in to
Version 0.12 Changelog:
Steam multiplayer! No more manual ip entering or having to open ports! You can now invite friends to play and they can easily join your game through steam!
MP Client loading added – will now keep client player stats and inventory when client continues a multiplayer game (buildings are still saved on server)
Improved craft item multiview placement on crafting mat
New item added: Rabbit skin
New item added: Rabbit Pouch (can be crafted with 2 rabbit skins)
New items added: Collectable blueberries, snowberries and twinberries (approach bushes whilst holding rabbit pouch to collect)
New item added: Blue Paint (can be crafted by combining 2x blueberries with tree sap)
New item added: Orange Paint (can be crafted by combining 2x Marigold with tree sap)
New upgrade recipes: Stick/Upgraded Stick + Blue/Orange paint
New upgrade recipes: Rock/Upgraded Rock + Blue/Orange paint
New upgrade recipes: Plane Axe + Blue/Orange paint
New upgrade recipe: LizardSkin + tree sap + 15 Leaves = Stealth armour!
(audio)New leaf wind rustle and ambient wind sounds zones added
(performance) Optimized collision on cave wall chunks
(performance) Added some optimizations to distant enemies, disabling physics checks etc
(performance) Improved material memory usage in inventory
(performance)Improved memory usage over time
Added some small streams to world
Entering water in caves will now make player cold. (Hint: Build a fire to warm up)
Entering water at night will also make players cold
(audio)New cave 2 waterfall sounds added
Fixed cassette player overlapping pedometer in inventory making it unselectable
Fixed tree houses not falling when tree is cut down after loading
Fixed bug where you could build structures in trees which already have something built
Fixed crash clearing not removing trees on loading a save game (fixing issue where trees would sometimes block exit from plane or from home you’ve built near crash site)
Fixed bug that caused inventory to stay up when dying while in inventory
Fixed bug that allowed players to craft items for free after closing inventory while having a valid recipe ready on the crafting mat
Fixed missing material cave dead ground
Fixed energy mix inventory info
Fixed generic meat floating above fire
Fixed some a.i. issues where enemies would find players almost instantly
Fixed bug where building would sometimes break near standing fires
Rock and stick pickups added to caves, along with some new body parts
Crafting progress bar! You can now see if the items you are adding to the crafting mat are building towards something.
Crafting recipe output images! You can now see what item you are building towards on crafting mat
Fixed overbright moon
Enemies will now attempt to jump over small player built items (benches etc) instead of getting stuck
Cave 2 – added sky opening to big lake room letting some light in
Tree attack animations added to armsy
Mid and close trees can now be torn up by armsy
(multiplayer)After being downed in a multiplayer game, player will enter an injured state. In this state they can choose to restart, or wait to be revived by another player. A kind player with medicine can approach downed player and heal them, or a mean player can hit them with a stick.
(multiplayer) Days survived screen will appear for a few seconds after players are killed and before they can respawn.
Balanced enemy amounts at night to limit players being swarmed by 15 enemies at a time
(multiplayer) First bash at performance improvements.
Increased range animals will spawn from player to avoid pop-in
Fixed some bugs with enemy pathfinding
Added a repeat delay for enemies spotting player and screaming
Increased vision range on enemies slightly
Fixed bug where placing a building near a fallen log could break the placement orientation
(multiplayer) Fixed bug where fire would appear overbright for other players who didn’t start fire
(multiplayer) Increased chat log visibility length and history
WalkyTalky locking feature removed (can now equip another utility item without stashing it first)
(audio) Fixed missing underwater sounds
(audio) Fixed bunch of 2d sounds which could be heard in multiplayer by both players (hammer audio, enter water etc)
(Multiplayer) Can no longer have more than one set of corpse items waiting to be retrieved. Dying will cause your current items and location to be the corpse items.
(audio) cave rock sound will now correctly play when walking in caves
Added more stick, rock and cash pickups to caves
Fixed bug where opening inventory would sometimes give you a black screen!!!
(audio)Player jump breath and land sound effects added
Fixed bug where killing leader of a group could sometimes cause the other members to stand around corpse doing nothing
Toy robot added to sleeping Timmy hand
Broken toy pickups added to world, along with new examine item animation
Paper money can now be used in place of leaves to start fires
Paper money can now be found in some suitcases
You can now build structures inside caves (although fires are most practical)

Obviously the big news here is the Steam multiplayer integration, which I had a feeling (and I believe I mentioned needing to happen) would come soon enough. Now you don’t have to know someone with a copy of the game, you can get matched up with people via Steam. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I love all of the systems this game has to offer thus far, and I know that eventually I’ll get some co-op going. It’s not massive like H1Z1, but it’s still different enough to keep me interested in both. This game keeps getting better and better.

#theforest #patchnotes

Impressions: H1Z1


I spent the majority of yesterday thinking I wasn’t going to get into the Early Access for H1Z1 right away. I also spent the day reading about the game, and the issues it was having via Twitter and Reddit. Not only was the game just released on Steam, but it is an Alpha version, and as such SOE was charging a fee to get involved (but also using those fees towards development costs), despite the game being designated as a free to play title upon release. I didn’t see an issue with paying a little bit, particularly when the money spent goes towards things you would buy via micro transactions in the RMT store once the game was live. So it’s not as if you weren’t getting your money’s worth, unless you are a supremely entitled gamer who isn’t willing to deal with some issues a game might have during its launch, particularly one that isn’t even a full release. Besides, it’s not as if you are paying a subscription fee, and even if you were, you’d probably be compensated with more game time because of these issues. One thing I will commend SOE on is the fact that they have been so transparent about everything, and literally blowing up Twitter and Reddit with feedback as to what is going on. They know the issues, they tell you when they figure out the problem, and tell you when it’s going to be fixed. Looking back at the ArcheAge launch, Trion was mysteriously silent when things weren’t running smoothly, and most people who played that game didn’t bitch nearly as much as those who have been involved with the H1Z1 launch.

Another issue that cropped up was surrounding “lies” perpetrated by SOE, calling the game pay to win. At some point during development streams, it was said that there wouldn’t be a way to buy guns or ammo via RMT, and yet there are airdrops that can be bought, which have a percentage chance to drop guns and ammo (albeit in small amounts, hardly game-breaking). These were designed to be a public event, in which the purchaser of the air drop will be vulnerable to anyone else coming along and killing them to take the loot. Sounds to me like it’s a gamble to have an airdrop called in, as someone else might get your stuff that you paid for. Sounds to me like the people bitching about this feature should be lying in wait to try and take the loot that they didn’t pay for. Doesn’t seem game-breaking at all, but there has been some clarification about changes coming to airdrops today. In another respectable move by Smedley, people who were clamoring over this issue have been offered a no questions asked refund. I guess bitching will get you your money back at least, but seriously, why not see how the game changes during the Early Access period? At most you paid $40, at least $20, and you couldn’t have possibly seen enough of the game to know what’s what, especially since there were login errors and server problems til later on last night. Knee-jerk reactions for the win.

Many shitty reviews have popped up on Steam, and Reddit is awash with negativity. However, there are some people who aren’t so mad about things, and have a more realistic view of the state of the game at this point. I was happy to see this thread talking about the features people like and how much they are enjoying the game. Like I said, I didn’t think I’d be getting involved right away, and was okay with waiting around til most of the initial issues were fixed before trying to pick up the game, but my father decided to get both of us copies of the game, so I was able to check it out for a while last night. When I first tried to get in game I was met with similar issues, but I kept an eye on Twitter and once things were said to be working as intended, I tried again. This time I got into the game, and was plopped down in the middle of nowhere, while rain poured from the sky.


Equipped with my fists and a flashlight, along with the clothes on my back, I wandered around until I found this road, which I followed looking for signs of civilization.


I found this abandoned van on a bridge, hoping that I might be able to drive it. Unfortunately it was “wrecked” and didn’t have anything inside of it either. Moving farther down the bridge, I found some Zombies and saw some buildings up ahead.


I searched vehicles and buildings, eventually finding some more gear, including a backpack, an axe, and some food. Another vehicle had some binoculars inside, which I figured would be of good use.


The rain eventually cleared up, and as I was rummaging through a garage, I spotted another player skulking around outside.


He’s through the door reading a sign, hard to see unless you click on the picture. I approached him, and he didn’t want none, heading another direction. I saw more houses up ahead and decided to keep scavenging. Coming out of one of the houses, I saw this guy running around swinging his fists wildly. He came at me and we fought… and somehow after hitting him repeatedly with an axe, he still managed to kill me with his bare fists. Don’t ask me how.


At this point I was frustrated with something. As you can see the above screenshots show me in first person view, and according to the settings, “mouse button 4” would change the camera view. There wasn’t any alternate listed. I did some searching after logging out of the game, and found that hitting “T” will actually change the camera view as well. I logged back in to try my luck again, but this time I’d run around in 3rd person.


Oh look, I’m back in the middle of nowhere again. And my stuff is gone. That’ll teach me to die! I headed off to find more stuff.


This outpost provided me with some food and other gear, but no backpack. I’ve also not seen any form of water to this point. Hydration looks to be an issue. I did find another pair of binoculars and took a look around the area.


Another ground of buildings on the horizon. I would head there to look for other stuff. Lucky me, I found an AR-15 inside, but alas it didn’t come with ammo. I still carried it around for a while though.


At another little outpost further along the road, I stumbled upon the first usable vehicle I had seen to that point. It was only a jeep, but I was prepared to go running around at a faster pace. Unfortunately it was lacking spark plugs, and I didn’t have any of those on me. Nor did I ever come across any. No matter, there’s other things to see and do.


Apologies for all the dark screens, it was night time and it looks a bit brighter while actually playing the game. I followed a road for quite a while until I came to “Pleasant Valley,” where I hoped to find some water as I was starting to dehydrate.


The sun started to come up, and I found a grocery store and a restaurant where I found plenty of food and water, a couple of handguns with no ammo, and a couple of people wandering around. I picked a server where the population was listed as medium rather than high (when I first tried that I was annoyed to find a queue), and it was getting late at this point so people weren’t super abundant. Zombies also felt somewhat “dumb” because they didn’t really react to things the way I would expect. That was mentioned on Twitter as being something that would be fixed up with a patch. We’ll touch back on that later.


I got into an apartment building, which was something I remember seeing in one of the dev streams, and the dev had said that sometimes guns spawn in these buildings. I checked all of the rooms and found plenty of supplies, and when I got to the roof, this sniper rifle and some bullets were waiting for me. Score! I finally have a gun that’s more than just a paperweight. I logged out on this rooftop, where I’m hoping I’ll be when I log back in (not sure with all of the issues with servers). Will be fun to ninja gank some fools aimlessly wandering around the town 🙂

Overall I’m happy with the game so far. It’s graphically pleasing, the ambiance is just right, and I like the various meters you have to watch to survive. I haven’t engaged in much PvP yet but it feels like it will be cool. I’m looking forward to trying out vehicles and for the Zombie AI to be improved. About the only other thing I see missing right now is the ability to form groups or guilds and things like that, along with maybe a world chat, but this is a different type of game so perhaps they don’t want those features in it. I’m okay with being a lone wolf for now. Excited to see the game develop. More to come as I experience it!

#h1z1 #zombies #survival #pvp #mmo