New announcements were fairly light coming out of SOE Live 2014‘s H1Z1 keynote, but one bit of information that caught our attention was the addition of randomized loot drops to the post-apocalyptic world.
At seemingly random times (more on this in a bit), planes will fly over H1Z1‘s massive world and drop a single crate of loot. This loot will slowly drift towards the ground at which time it will be available for anyone to take. Contents of the crates will be random, but rare, ranging from guns to supplies and should be considered highly desirable. The whole idea feels very reminiscent of the Hunger Game’s Cornucopia bloodbath and could potentially spawn similarly brutal in-game fights.
SOE is hopeful that these loot drops will drive players together. The developers want to attract players to a single location so they are forced to interact with each other. Whether the end results be democratic or homicidal, it doesn’t matter so long as it inspires dynamic events and stories worth sharing.
The most interesting, and perhaps most polarizing, aspect of these random H1Z1 loot drops is that they may not, in fact, be so seemingly random. Players will be able to purchase a loot drop via microtransactions, cuing a plane to launch another crate. The only advantage this player has over others is that they know when to expect it. Other than that, it’s an all-out race between the highly motivated: the buyer and the greedy trolls attempting to steal that which is not rightfully theirs.
Loot drops are by no means unique to H1Z1, but the added twist of a small financial investment raises the stakes significantly and gives great incentive for everyone to try and participate. They will, no doubt, add some spice to the grim, day-to-day life of H1Z1 when it finally releases in early access on a yet-to-be announced date.