Attached below is an open letter I wrote to Hammerpoint Interactive, developers of the upcoming game WarZ. The game is currently in alpha and is being play tested by players who bought any one of the three pre-order packs. The game had originally intended not to wipe in game inventory of weapons and other materials but due to hackers, exploiters, and server hoppers a mass wipe is planned for November 30th.
Today (November 27th, 2012) the WarZ devs launched the greatly anticipated patch update that held the long shouted for clan feature.
Bearing in mind that this particular patch has some notoriety due to it being delayed due to last minute polish and the devs not wanting to release a potentially buggy patch just before a long weekend. The patch finally launched today and it is rife with bugs still and at present some have been fixed others have not. That is to be expected though when you’re building a large open world, anyone who has played a Bethesda game knows to expect certain glitches and incongruencies.
What shocked me was in regards to the clan feature. Now, clans have been talked about at some length for a long while now. This feature was in fact, meant to have come out long ago but due to hackers being a greater issue it got pushed back. In all of the discussions and Q & A sessions, not once do I recall it ever being mentioned that it would cost money to setup a clan with 15 slots and additional slots would cost more GC. It makes sense to me that Strongholds and Gameworld servers would cost money, and honestly I would rather pay the gamemakers my money rather than a third party server rental service. It also makes sense to me that this game would have a marketplace where items could be purchased via GC that could be obtained in world at some length or purchased outright for real world currency. This marketplace would have cosmetic and convenience items as well as instant revives for players who didn’t want to wait for their character to revive on the normal timer. While I might not particularly agree with all of that, I understood it. It is a way for the devs to generate some revenue to continue developing the game as well as pay their bills. Again, I’m fine with this as I would like to be able to support a game I play in any way I’m able and it makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense to me is the idea of Clans being a paid service. At this point in the alpha process we have all been told to spend our GC as everything purchased with them was going to be wiped and our GC would be returned to us. Some opted to spend more than others, but most spent their GC that they had been holding onto in order to experience more of the game and try out some of the items on the marketplace. At no point were we ever told that Clans would be a paid feature, so unless all the clans are also being reset after the wipe those who happened to still have enough GC to purchase an unlock can do so and then the company is essentially paying for it by refunding all the GC. On top of this, those players will also have secured clan names while others have no ability to lock down the name for their clan.
Now, I’m all for a some things boiling down to luck but what bothers me is that we as players were never given the knowledge that we would need the GC before the wipe in order to secure our clan. Part of being an early adopter are perks like this, you played the game from day one so you were able to secure your clan’s name before the mass of people came in to claim it. I’m doubly upset by the idea that once the GC is refunded players who didn’t have enough left to buy their clan will now have to pay out GC that won’t be refunded and that seems unfair.
What would be nice to see is a post regarding clans and whether or not those clans created now before the wipe will also be wiped with inventory and GC so that everyone stays on equal footing.or is it simply a tough luck scenario for those of us who spent enough of our GC as to not be able to afford clans. I would also like to know if this feature had been planned from the beginning or was added last minute. Ideally it would be nice if everyone who had GC (pioneer and legend) could be refunded the amount so they too can pay for a clan, or even better set it like you did with the characters and make it one GC to unlock so those of us who want to create a clan can do so. I apologize for this being so long winded, but this was a turn of events that is very frustrating for someone who has supported the game since day one. If this feature was intended to always be a paid for feature, why weren’t we told in advance to plan ahead for it. While I may not agree with charging for Clans, I can understand it. What is most upsetting is that we weren’t told about it and now may miss out or have to pay more just to get the game experience we thought was paid for when we bought the game.
All the best,