Q&A with Sergey Titov WarZ

I promised some people to do a written version of the Q&A with Sergey Titov and here it is guys! Enjoy!

(this is a summary of the things that have been asked during the interview, and not a copy from the interview to keep this easy to read)

The last couple of weeks have been quiet with patches, is there a big patch in the works and what can can we expect as the next thing coming out?
Sergey Titov:
Yes we are actually working on a large patch.
It will contain several important things.
Number 1 we are unlocking most of the map. On the next patch we will have new areas and areas you already know will be changed. It will be much more open now.
When we first launched the game (Alpha) the map was open for 30% and in order to kinda contain the map we had to build in steep ledges to channel people. We are removing those restrictions so the whole map will feel more open so you can go everywhere and also get on top of the mountains. That is a pretty big update to the map.
Next thing is we are adding new cool stuff. For example a low calibre (.22) pistol and rifle. It doesn’t do much of the damage but you have to see it as your basic civilian weapon. Hopefully it will be pretty.
It will be much more common than other weapons ingame (not as common as melee weapons).
We will also implement the friends and clan system. So you will be able to form your clan, use a clan bank, share stuff with clan members, play with friends on the same server.
We are doing constant updates to our anti-cheat system.
You probably have noticed in the last week a drop of people that tried to use cheats.
I think we banned around 600 people from the 300.000 people that play the game. So we see that as pretty good.
We have a zero tolerance system for hackers.
We still believe that people that cheat are ruining it for everyone so we will ban them and fight that as much as we can.

You mentioned your moving some of the restrictions on moving around. Is there any update on crossing water yet?
Sergey Titov:
There are actually 2 answers to that:
If water is really shallow you can walk there. We will add pieces in the river and lakes where you can cross thru shallow water.
Second thing is are we gonna implement swimming? Yes we will do that ingame but that will not be implemented any soon, because we have other things that are more important right now.

Will there be a horde of Zombie feature? Like other games as Left 4 Dead and DayZ have this, where zombies club up and maybe horde into town or certain areas.. Will that be a feature or are your going to keep it more realistic zombie-thing where there is this many zombies around this many type of housing units or how you guys are approaching the zombie horde feel.
Sergey Titov:
I’m not sure how it is done in DayZ… and Left4dead just spawns zombies that constantly go in waves towards you.
What we are doing is we basically spawn zombies at random points around buildings and towns.
We spawn zombies at random locations in a world, what happen next is up to the players. If they go into a town and get noticed by all the zombies in that town and end up running with close to a 100 zombies around them, they create their own horde and steer them around in the place they want.
We do not script the unnatural feeling. It is in your hands, do whatever you want with them.

Is there in the future any place to have spawns for the zombies in the forests or special creatures or special mutated zombies. So people don’t feel safe in the forest cus of them.
Sergey Titov:
We actually played around with that idea. We placed zombie spawns inside the forest. We are not a 100% sure that it is a good idea but we will experiment more with it.
As for special zombies: We have 2 types of zombies inside the game.
1 is the common walker with different stats and speeds, some are faster some are slower. We call them normal.
And the other type is the specially mutated zombies they will only be found in big cities. At this moment that is two spots in the map. They mostly hunt around at night, they are fast and dangerous (around 4 times more hitpoints than normal zombies).
If you kill them you can harvest stem cells that you can use to create vaccines. But they are pretty rare. I have not read anything about people already engaging them.

There has been a rumour about a strong zombie around Rifle Ridge. Is that a hoax or is that real?
Sergey Titov:
No i think that is one of the special zombies that has been there. Someone actually saw this rare creature. In a way it is funny because the guys here said we should track the special Zombies around the world, like bird tracking, but we aren’t doing that so we do not have a clue where they are right now.

Is there a timeline, or is this actually gonna be a feature for proximity ingame chat or voip?
Sergey Titov:
We know that we need this. It is on the to-do list. It will happen somewhere in the first quarter of 2013. It is not gonna happen this year.
We are actually trying different libraries to support that.
When we started development we thought it is a nice feature but not important cus people have teamspeak. But we realise that it is hard to use chat.

Are the loot spawns completely random or is there a system for the loot spawning? (for example this spawns here and that spawns there… like there are hardly any weapons in military compounds)
Sergey Titov:
Basically we have different types of loot spawns. When we assign spawn points we decide what type of loot will spawn. And we have realism in our heads. So military weapons will spawn at military spawns. And police station will have more low grade ammo and lower grade weapons. So it is not completely random, but more environment based.

Some people are speculating that the current engine (the ecplise engine) may not be able to support vehicles. Are you planning on adding vehicles? And if so is that gonna be something difficult.
Sergey Titov:
First of all we did vehicles coding. Our engine-team at Arktos did the vehicles for the game called War Inc but it didn’t got implemented yet.
When Hammerpoint started working on warZ we said we want vehicles and we have had playable vehicles on the first tests of WarZ (february/march 2012).
We didn’t put vehicles in the game yet because we have a bunch of issues with collisions with zombies. What will happen with a lot of vehicles at one spot. Is it gonna be stable etc.
They are not in the game now but they will be there relatively soon. That is gonna be a pretty big update.

Pre-Alpha build had some videos where the zombies did some cool animations, and those animations are gone now. Will they be back? Or is that scrapped.
Sergey Titov:
That depends on what they saw and what is not in the game. As far as i know not much of the zombie-behaviour has changed from the logics standpoint since may.

there was some animations where the zombies are running and trying to grab players by the hand.
And now the zombies seem to run with the hands down towards players.
Sergey Titov:
We are changing zombie animations for movement and running. And i think the initial animations they were running like they grab you. But right now they run with the hands down and that swing.
But there is a change we will change that again.

People are wondering if there is gonna be any wildlife animals, birds, dogs that is gonna be out in the wild to either interact with or static.
Is that gonna be there in the future?
Sergey Titov:
If every time i have been asked this by our team members i would get 1 cent i would probably have enough money to buy an Xbox or something.
Yeah it is one of the features we want to get in there as soon as possible. But it is more a future feature. This will get there after all has been fine tuned. Maybe as in hunting, make a meal out of them. But it needs to be done good.

what is the current actual state of the game right now?
Sergey Titov:
We started pre orders on the 2nd or 3rd of october. We opened the game for the Pioneer and Legend buyers on the 15th of october.
And since the 31st of October the game is wide open. People can play it.
The game is out there from our perspective. Are we done with developing all features? No, and i don’t think we will ever do that. It is a going development, we will create more features as we go forward and more people will buy the game there will be more money to support the development.

Currently you have the colorado map which is unlocked for around 40-60% and you say you will unlock more in the future.
How many additional maps can we expect in the future and what are the types of environment can we expect. And how will these new maps interact with the Colorado map?
Sergey Titov:
I do not think the maps will interact with each other. Only thing that will be done for sure is that different kind of loot will be found only on specific spots on several maps.
As for the maps, we are in preproduction for two new maps.
1 map is based on California so we stay in the United States.
The other map would be an urban large scaled map. Or that is what our artistic people would love to have (they would like to do something like Manhattan). But that will take more effort from the engine. Designwise.
When will they be there? That i cannot tell you. But it will be more around june 2013.
Our next California map will be much bigger than the Colorado map. It will be at least 4 times bigger than Colorado.
That map will need vehicles or otherwise…oh boy…

Colorado has been getting more open asfar buildings go…. but with the last update some buildings have opened up.
Are we gonna expect gear and loot in those buildings?
Sergey Titov:
Yes and more and more buildings will be enterable. Also smaller buildings are being opened and also furniture will be put in.

What is the Stronghold server about? How is it gonna work? What can we build? Can you give us an overall image, more detailed information of the stronghold server? How is it gonna work? Why should people get a stronghold server?
Sergey Titov:
Pretty soon people will be able to interact between game-worlds. In this situation only Colorado. U can have your own server to play with friends.

We created this idea because of the questions:
– But what is my safe-haven?
– What if i want to build a farm?
And that is why created the Stronghold. A small map. The size is 3×9 km2. That is no where close to colorado but big enough to function as safe haven. It is protected with maybe max 2 point of interests. You can password protect this server. You can use it as a stash house for your loot so friends can pick it up.
U can use “buildblocks”, they are special types of objects. It is not to build but more to do special stuff like harvest food.
Other blocks can be used to build structures, but not like doors or windows. More a less like a barricade (wall structures).
What you can do on the stronghold server is really up to the player. It is a tool for ur imagination.On the test phase we created a large farm and we managed to trade vegetables in the real world for guns and gear.
On the Stronghold map you will always know where your spawn is.
Another guy build a huge arena with walls and he lured zombies inside. And people could do gladiator fights. People vs Zombies.
The amount of slots is variable. The lowest amount is 10 and the max is 30.

What about the nr of players on the normal world servers? What is the max number? What is the average number.
Sergey Titov:
Right now it is 40 or 50. We found that the proper number for Colorado is around 70 players. Technically there is no limit so you can have like 200/300 and gather them on a single spot. The engine allows us to do that, but basically we are restricting servers on the size of the map.
In the case of colorado we feel that when fully unlocked 70 players is the best amount of max players.

So bigger maps in the future will have more slots and will there be tents in WarZ
Sergey Titov:
Yes sure there will be larger maps for more slots.
We are not gonna have tents. We will have something called lockers. That will be released around the end of the year.
You will find them, put them in your backpack. Then deploy it somewhere and then you can put stuff in there and move stuff around from locker to backpack. There will be a pincode feature on there around 4 or 5 digits and only those that have the PIN can enter it. That is our plan.

In the future when people throw flares are zombies gonna be attracted to that?
Sergey Titov:
Yes in future we are gonna implement that zombies will be attracted by light. Even by a flashlight.
And also sound will be involved (like sirens).

Will people be infected by zombies?
Sergey Titov:
That is actually already implemented in the game. It is just rare that you will be infected. I have been infected a couple of times (and i play maybe 1 hour a day). We will increase the chance in future.

What does infected mean, because i have never been infected myself.
Sergey Titov:
What will happen when you’re infected is that your blood toxic level will raise up to 100. It will turn green and you will start to lose health and eventually you will die when you don’t have the vaccine and reach 0.

Will you turn into a zombie after that?
Sergey Titov:
Thats is what a lot of people ask and that was the idea from the start but we decided that we are not going to do that.
It takes a lot of designing and modeling and more textures. Because u need state of decay etc.
So no for now you just die.

Are the going to be new sounds for zombies and weapons and how many weapons are we looking at in total in the game?
Sergey Titov:
We are doing tweaks to the sounds all the time. We are happy with a lot of weapon sounds and environment sounds.
We are waiting for a new batch of zombie sounds to come in.
But we are happy with the sounds as they are.
As for the number of weapons ingame…. we have around 40 or even more weapons ingame. A dozen of melee weapons and we are gonna add more weapons. Sports Calibre (5 or 6 more).
Hopefully we will never stop creating weapons and implement them maybe once every month.

Weather conditions. Can they affect people’s health? And are we going to see broken legs and broken bones to specific actions, and the last one is can we see body parts from zombie disassemblement f.i. cutting of the heads?
Sergey Titov:
We really are looking for decapitation. Cutting heads of. That will be there sooner or later because we all want to see that.
The weather conditions. We kinda had it working but it wasn’t cool enough to keep it in for now. It was not convincing enough for us. So we decided to put more energy in other parts of the games. It is on the wishlist for the future tho.
About the broken legs and how it affects the player. A month ago i asked on the forums i asked people about their thoughts about several medical systems (from a cool old metal gear solid video). That shows all kinds of wounds on your body and you need to treat them with different material. A broken bone needs penicillin and painkillers and then it is kinda healed.
Or somebody stabbed you with a knife u need to disinfect it.
We want to implement something like that in the game. But it is a feature we need to take serious. It requires a lot of design and that is what we are working on right now but it takes time.

A lot of people keep sending me this question but Car parts car pimping and repairs and end goals to the game . What is up with that.
Sergey Titov:
Painting the cars and fixing the cars is one of the reasons why the cars are not in the game yet. We probably will not have weird repair mechanics like windshields.
If a car is there and it is in running condition it will drive. All u need is gasoline.
Will you be able to pimp the car? Not from the start but that is also on our wishlist and we are exploring it (paint and decals).
About the End goals. There is no formal end goal to the game. For us the end goal is actually people starting their own stronghold and people start their own gameplay. The stronghold can be seen as a simplified minecraft gameplay.

Is there anything you want to say to the 234 people in this room right now?
Sergey Titov:
All i want to say is thank you thank you thank you guys very much. When we started the project we knew that people love zombies but the amount of interest and support is way beyond our expectations and we will try to do our best to meet your expectations from the game.

Maybe you cannot answer this one because you guys have a lot of secret projects going on. But is there any kind of secret you can let the community know… maybe a patch? Or a release date?
To give these guys a little secret?
Sergey Titov::
I can tell you that when the rest of the map is released there will be an area that is pretty cool and at the same time it contains a dark story. You will recognize that immediately. Pretty cool and special rare epic items can spawn there like a really cool limited weapon.
we plan to do that like a treasure-hunt story.

Thank you all guys for joining us and also a big thanks for Sergey to answer our questions.


Synopsis of video/interview:
Unlocking the rest of the map.
Older map areas will be re-vamped and rock walls removed.
.22 cal weapons added. (YAY! My scoped 10/22 and 622 are in my personal zombie load out)
Clan options added.
Anti-cheat system updated.
Confirmed no swimming (now).
No hoards, Zombie spawns are random.
There are two “special” (4x hit points) zombie spawns. They are stronger & faster and more active at night.
VOIP coming beginning of 2013.
Item spawns are random, but some are location bound.
Cars are coming, at some point.
Zombie movement is being worked on.
Animals and birds are coming, but not any time soon.
There will be other maps, not linked to one another. Different maps will have some different loot.
Large and small building are being opened for player to enter.
Strong hold maps explained.
Colorado Map will be locked to around 70 players max.
Larger maps are on the way with a larger number of max players.
Flares, eventually zombies will be drawn to flares and lights.
Infection is already implemented but rare. Infection rate will be increased soon.
No you will not turn into a zombie, you just die.
More sounds are coming.
More weapons are coming, they are hoping to have new weapons constantly.
Weather is being worked on but is difficult.
Cars will require gasoline, either cars will work or they won’t repairs are not in the works.
A new area of the map will spawn uber rare/special items at times.


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