World War Z - Saber Interactive, zombie piles

Why do you hate immersion?

But, yeah, first-person mode felt just the quick-n’-dirty hack I assumed it was going to be.

-Tom

Strangely enough, my boys just love it. “Dad, its so much better than the old way”. And now they know about perspective and the difference between first and third person.

I will say that after playing the Back 4 Blood beta, it’s so refreshing to just play a straight-up zombie horde game without all the garbage card collecting nonsense. The progression here is straightforward and simple.

I quite liked the card mechanic in B4B. I find WWZ progression, while straightforward kind of boring. I like the idea of each run varying a bit and me having some control over that which the cards provide. Shame the controls suck in B4B though so I still won’t be playing it.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is excellent for this, also letting you use cards to change up the experience. Unfortunately, the card system is pretty limited. You need to have the card you want; only one card will apply and in a multiplayer game with randoms, you have no control over whether it’s going to be the card you chose; and the card is used up when you’re done. It’s a weird system and I’ll be curious to see how Back 4 Blood compares.

But, yeah, it would be cool to have something like this in World War Z. As it is, the challenges offer some interesting tweaks, but it’s nothing like the card system you’re talking about. World War Z doesn’t seem interested in letting players mess with the basic gameplay formula.

@Harkonis, when you say you find the progression boring, do you mean compared to Back 4 Blood or just overall?

-Tom

just overall really. didn’t play enough of B4B to compare due to control issues. The type of progression we have in WWZ is perfectly serviceable but feels like with the number of years we’ve had these types of systems that things would have evolved by now. Progression mechanics feel stagnant in many games to me.

I’m not sure where I am at on my feelings about WWZ progression. I like how it is so open ended with lots to work towards, but I sort of feel like they stepped on their own systems. It seems like the best use of Supplies (the progression currency) is to not use them at all. I should just use the already unlocked DLC guns, upgrade nothing, bank Supplies, then prestige an unupgraded class as soon as I have the requirements met. It feels like a punishment to use any currency for skills or guns. This makes the progression feel very hollow. It feels like they needed to have the DLC guns locked behind blue coins, gun levels, Supplies, or something.

I self imposed a limit of not using a DLC gun until I unlock gun level 5 for that gun. It makes the progression feel a bit better, but then I know I am sapping my prestige options as is unlocking any class skills.

It’s not thermal nuclear war, but I feel like the best way to win the WWZ progression game is to not play at all (until hundreds of hours of currency are banked).

I’m doing the same thing with the weapons: not using the uber-guns that are already unlocked for whatever dumb reason. I really like how different weapons have personality in World War Z, and the progression system just feeds into this even more. Again, such a stupid decision to throw in all those uber-guns and undermine the fine work they’ve done with weapon personality and progression. I even like the sniper rifle, which I previously scoffed at. Who brings a sniper rifle to a World War Z shootfest? I do.

I don’t know the first thing about prestige stuff, since I presume you have to max out a class’s level to unlock whatever prestige is. And instead of focusing on one class, I’ve been sampling them all. I really like the variety they introduce, and how they play differently. Although at this point, I’m leaning into the Gunslinger, which just makes the weapons that much more cool. Which brings me back to my first paragraph.

@Chaplin, have you gotten hip to the virus samples yet? I noticed I was getting a bonus for virus samples in a public game, but I had no idea what that was until I looked it up online. Seems to be totally undocumented ingame.

-Tom

The only thing I’ve seen is one of the tutorial popups in the right-hand side of the screen right after I found a virus sample. Easy to miss during a fight.

Same here, one match we found 2 of them, took me forever to get the rando player I was with to pick it up.

Wait what? Is this in a special mode or can you find them in campaign? My group has never seen them. Exciting!

In the campaign, usually a little off the main path.

Oh yeah, we know about and hunt for virus samples every round. My co-op buddy and I are both brand new to the game so we picked up knowledge about them somewhere in game. It was probably a loading tool-tip or message of the day thing. Really the tool tips in WWZ reveal some pretty deep game features rather than being the silly and obvious game functions “revealed” by other games’ tips. I often read them then say something to my buddy like, “well based on that tip, there is a [previously unknown something] mechanic in the game.” So, take that as a positive or negative.

The samples tend to be very well hidden near slumped over soldiers. Like so much of the game, their location is random though. However, what degree of random I am not sure yet. When we open up the game to match making, it seems like most players seem to find virus samples much faster than my friend or I do.

Basically, the samples are very similar to books in Vermintide. They give your team a boost at the end if you can keep them. In WWZ’s case they don’t seem to lower health, but they do potentially break and get lost if the player carrying them takes damage. I like the thematic element of protecting the virus sample carrier. You can see when the sample takes damage as it starts to leak it’s yellow gas.

On the prestige/ tool tip front, while I’m not there to confirm, I think prestige might effect the green numbers in class abilities. One tool tip said that when you prestige the class, then abilities get better. Thus there has to be more to it than just unlocking the prestige guns. I am 29 on my medic, so I might find out soon. But you are right, the other classes are quite tempting so I hop over to others periodically which slows my leveling.

Basically, the gun pre-unlock was a goof in my mind, but I self “patched” that. Outside of that, I have been very pleased with WWZ as it is very familiar, but also doing some cool new things for the L4D formula.

I think the one issue the devs were trying to mitigate for new Aftermath players was the fact that vets have had a couple of years to unlock way better weapons when they start a match. But yeah, the presale gun unlocks screwed up the progression something fierce.

I got to level 30 on the medic class last night. I can’t tell what prestige will do to the class yet, but it will take 7500 supplies to find out. Ouch.

Oof, thanks for the heads up. I guess I should be saving up my supplies instead of sprinkling them around into the different classes I’m trying. And does my assault rifle really need a silencer that costs 1000 supplies just because I’ve unlocked it?

-Tom

Playing horde mode is the quickest way to accumulate supplies. Getting beyond wave 25 probably nets enough xp and supplies to go from 0 to the next prestige level. The only downside is it takes awhile and must be done in a single sitting.

NB there are no further rewards for going beyond prestige 5.

The most I’ve managed in horde mode was wave 49. Can’t remember how many supplies I got for that, 30,000 - 40,000 maybe? Gunslinger is probably best for it; the tier 3 shotgun plus the perk that replenishes your ammo in the mag for scoring headshots means you can obliterate entire hordes singlehandedly as you never need to reload. You do run out of ammo eventually though as it takes it from your ammo pool. Getting the grenade perks that give you free ammo back into your pool for grenade kills plus the one that has them regenerate is a good way to stay in the fight longer, though.

This is getting some sort of boosted horde mode today:

I can’t tell what, if anything, is different? I mean, weren’t there 1000 zombies onscreen already? There’s a supposed rework of weapon progression, so that might be cool?

But when it comes to horde shooters, this ended up being the one I didn’t break up with. I hated how Back 4 Blood abandoned their deck-building system (I’m still mad about that one!); I managed to max everything out in the Aliens game (and I also hated how little they took advantage of their own card system); and Outriders relied too much on massive bullet sponges for pushback. Which left me with World War Z when it came to horde shooters. So I think I’m going to jump in this week and take a look at what’s changed. Anyone want to join me or do I have to play with bots and randos?

I’m surprised you didn’t think that about Aliens! On the harder difficulties even the standard drones were a nightmare to take down (speaking as a maxed out gunner and demo). Anything larger was even worse! I’ll admit we didn’t do another campaign run but that was because we wanted to bump the difficult up and change classes which is obviously problematic with the class (and to some degree the weapon) progression system. That said, we loved Fireteam Elite and had a good time with the DLC as well.

From the trailer that does look like more zombies to me but it has been a while! It was always a joy watching them pour over everything (then launching them with explosives). We tried the horde mode and I can’t for the life of me remember how long we lasted. It was over an hour and we died very quickly after being comfortable for quite a while!

I played this for a few hours last night and I can safely say the new Horde XL feature is…virtually unnoticeable. Basically, there’s a single horde level with more approaches than normal. Big whoop, as far as I can tell. And I furthermore don’t really “get” the horde modes in World War Z. They’re repetitive, and they don’t leverage the cool things about the game. So from someone who never cared for horde mode in the first place – it’s basically a tedious way to grind for xp – the new Horde XL is like an unwanted knit sweater.

The weapon progression redesign is a bit baffling. I seem to recall World War Z had a ton of incremental upgrades as you improved the various weapons you’d find, and even the weapons you start with. That seems to be gone in favor of fewer upgrades, now spread out among prestige levels? I didn’t look very closely, but however it works, I didn’t need the notes on weapons and upgrades I’d been keeping from the last time I was playing, a year or so ago.

So as a long-time World War Z dabbler, I declare this update “thoroughly unimpressive”.