Colorado V2 Finally Goes Live!

Posted: 5th December 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

“It’s a whole new dead world!” proclaims the patch notes thread on the official Infestation forums. The Colorado Version 2 map has been playable on public test servers for a while, but today it officially usurped its predecessor and became the new Infestation location. All servers have been converted, or will be shortly, including trial servers and private servers. Bad news for those renting private servers though, your rate is about to increase by 10%. The servers were down for a good chunk of the afternoon, and when they come back up we’ll all be spawning in random locations around the map just like Day Z.

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The V2 map has also seen a couple of fixes prior to the update, just a few small updates to town layout and zombie movement, but nothing that should be terribly noticeable or send you screaming for your War Z aimbot, we’re told. Missions were also updated with a few new projects and collision fixes so you can actually complete your damned mission without using any Infestation cheats. Items should now stack properly, no matter how new, used, or repaired they may be. You won’t be able to move whole stacks of inventory into lockboxes anymore, you’ll have to chuck them in one at a time. Speaking of lockboxes, anything you had stored in a lockbox in a V1 map should now be in your Global Inventory. However, clans should keep in mind that the owner of the lockbox is the person who originally dropped it. Anything you had stuffed in a lockbox on a public test server is now gone for good.

This patch also mentioned a new message to warn players that they were nearing the limit of their Global Inventory, leaving legions of players wondering just what the hell happened to our survey. The limit is quite high, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 items, but we distinctly remember that over 80% of the community said they wanted unlimited inventory. The experimental 200 item limit enraged pretty much everyone, and it seems that the devs just didn’t learn. Rumor has it that there was always a very high limit and that the devs have explained everything on the Infestation Facebook page, but the lack of info in the patch notes isn’t helping anything.

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Not included in this patch: strongholds, vehicles, the California map. We did get slightly better performance for low-end players though. Still, we won’t be seeing any Battlefield 4 style car wrecks anytime soon.

Unpopular Changes

Posted: 27th November 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

With the news of last week’s patch, things got a little heated at the Infestation: Survivor Stories forums. While the development team at Hammerpoint Interactive don’t have the world’s greatest track record for listening to their player base, they’ve improved tremendously since the game’s original release. Today the development team is working hard at fixing the biggest issues their fans face, and working hard at keeping things in balance while making sure everyone is having fun.

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Leave GI Alone!

One of the least popular changes this month was the limiting of the Global Inventory. Before the switch, you could have as many items as you could find or purchase. This collection could be safely stowed in your Global Inventory, where any of your characters could access its bounty. Food, weapons, ammo, medical supplies, you name it. Anything you needed, right there waiting for you. It’s a popular concept, and for good reason. However, the development team recently decided that infinite storage might be a bad thing. You see, they’ve been trying to do something to stem the tide of goods flowing into the game. Items are constantly created, spawning into the game for players to find. Items can also be purchased for real money or in-game GC. Items are constantly being created, but for the most part they are being collected and hoarded. When few items are ever destroyed, the worldwide quantity of in-game stuff can change everything.

In order to limit hoarding and reduce the quantity of items floating around, the dev team decided to limit the Global Inventory to a mere 200 slots. For casual players, this could be all they would ever need. However, not everyone is a casual. Serious players found the new limitation to be barbaric and cruel, and their cries of injustice range across the Infestation forums. The backlash was so huge that the change was reversed, and the dev team is now surveying players for their thoughts and ideas. Much better plan.

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Lockers are Forever

Item locker storage was another way to prevent items from piling up in corners around the game. The idea was that hoards stored in hidden lockers would eventually degrade just like items in use. This meant that your stuff might not be pristine when you got back to it. Naturally everyone hated the change, we like our stuff just the way it is, thanks. Sure, poor storage can damage stuff, but plenty of antiques have been found locked away in attics and barns in real life. Storage does not necessarily destroy clothes or tools. The devs also reversed this change rather quickly due to the overwhelmingly negative player response, so they’ll have to go back to the drawing board to find ways to keep loot spawning without letting the number of existing items get out of hand.

Flying Helmets

Posted: 27th November 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

The new item degradation mechanic that arrived with the recent patch definitely has some bugs to be worked out. While most of us can get on board with the concept of item degradation as a way to add realism to the story, we’re not entirely certain that our benevolent Hammerpoint developers have thought it all the way through. The basic concept is that our clothes and supplies will gradually lose functionality the longer they are used. Shoes wear out, helmets provide less protection. We get the idea. Day Z has been perfecting the concept for a long time, and it’s the ideal way to prevent certain resources from piling up in the game.

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The other purpose of the item degradation mechanic is to give us one less reason to shoot each other on sight. Gone were the days when you could waste a noob and then collect his perfectly serviceable gear. Now you have to pick your shot carefully and decide which piece of his outfit you like least. Is he wearing a crummy tshirt? Chest shot. Crappy headgear? Headshot. Anything you put a bullet through is going to be in less than mint condition when you loot it off his corpse.

Probably the weirdest mechanic here is the way that helmets now fly off if you shoot someone in the head. Just try to imagine this scenario in real life: You aim your sniper at some poor soul’s head and fire. No matter what type of helmet they were wearing, or how tightly it was strapped on, it then flies off and hits the ground in a ruined state. In a world with real physics, a tightly strapped helmet would likely absorb a lot of the impact and be ruined but stay in place. An unstrapped helmet would absorb most of the energy from the bullet by flying off, so a headshot that sent it flying would be less likely to render it junk.

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In actual gameplay, the biggest complaint about the flying helmets seems to be how many shots it now takes to kill someone. Even with an Infestation aimbot, the first shot is only going to pop their top. Some players have found that the hitbox seems to suffer some lag afterward, and even with War Z cheats it may take up to five headshots to dispatch an enemy. Some have switched to making all of their pvp kills with chest shots to save time.

November Patch Notes

Posted: 19th November 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

This month has already seen one major patch and several hotfixes, some affecting both Colorado versions 1 and 2, others affecting just one or the other. The biggest change? Probably bleeding. This new mechanic changes the way your characters lose and gain health, and adds a little more complexity to the current system. Bleeding has taken affect on both the V1 and V2 maps, while most of the bug fixes are only for V2.

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Blood

How does blood work? When attacked, your character now has a chance to begin bleeding just like a real human. Getting shot is the most reliable way to start bleeding, melee attacks have a lower chance of drawing blood. Once begun, bleeding can only be stopped by applying bandages, just like real life. Your character can also suffer a blood infection if you fail to address their leakage problem. You’ll need antibiotics to cure this problem.

Item Degradation

Item degradation has now been added to both V1 and V2, so your stuff can break no matter where you are. Shoot someone for their hat and you are likely to damage that hat. Just wearing your clothes and using your weapons and attachments can cause these items to break over time. Eventually these items will hit zero durability and cease to function. Fortunately, a broken item does not automatically become junk. In safe zones and garages around Colorado you can find repair benches where you can fix your stuff. This is not like Minecraft at all, we’re certain. You can also find repair kits among the usual loot. We think it’s kind of cool that a helmet can potentially prevent a headshot even from a player wielding an Infestation aimbot. Sure your helmet will be at or near zero durability afterwards, but at least you’ll have a chance to escape. What’s not so cool is that your helmet will also fly off and hit the ground, where anyone can retrieve and repair it. Stealing helmets by shooting them off other players? Now a new sport.

Crafting

Crafting materials and recipes have been added to V2, but this technology is in its infancy and our expectations are low.

Bug Fixes

The bug fixes this time all seem to center around preventing V2 from crashing. Loading crashes, server crashes, low hard drive space crashes…

Week in a Nutshell

Posted: 1st November 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

This has been a busy, busy week over at Infestation: Survivor Stories. The public test servers are now open so that everyone can check out the Colorado V2 map, and the devs have been busily fixing, repairing, and patching everything that has gone wrong or not quite right.

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Servers

In addition to the V2 servers, there is also now a South America region in the server browser. Unfortunately, there still aren’t designated servers for the many Brazilian players, but it’s only a matter of time. PlanetSide 2 just did it.

Friendly Fire

You can no longer randomly shoot people in your group for fun or spite, but you can blow everybody up with grenades if you get really desperate. This will allow you to spray an area with bullets and flamethrower everyone in range with no problems. When your group splits up, you will get a 30 second head start to run like hell before attempting to murder each other. The devs are nice that way.

Abilities

To make life in Colorado V2 a little easier for everyone, you can now swim just by entering water. You won’t be able to walk along the bottom of the lake, but life will feel a little less absurd. In V2 your sprint stamina has also been increased by 60% even if you aren’t using War Z cheats to speed things up. The bad news: you can no longer talk on VOIP if you’re dead. This will diminish some of the obnoxiousness inherent in voice chat, but it’s probably a good thing. Dead men tell no tales.

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Environment

Ambient sounds have been added everywhere, Colorado just keeps getting more lifelike. You should also be able to hear yourself walking now, but the devs admit this feature isn’t perfect yet. Please let them know if you find yourself silently tip-toeing through the tulips or any other surface.

Other Stuff

Your food and medical supplies now have cooldowns, so you can’t stay alive by pounding coconut water. You can also develop a variety of medical problems that will be indicated by various medical icons. Actually, zombie plague infestation is the only one you can actually catch right now. Hypothetically there could be more later.

Hot, Hot Hotfixes

Posted: 26th October 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

This is apparently Hotfix week, but we really can’t complain since they seem to be actually fixing things for us. Since the Colorado V2 map opened up for public testing, there’s bound to be a whole bunch of things wrong. Anyone who has worked in programming knows that every change brings with it a host of new bugs. If the system is designed properly, the programmer will eventually kick over all the rocks and discover all the bugs hiding beneath. If there are fundamental flaws however, they may find that it’s just earwigs all the way down.

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Today they fixed that damned dock that everyone was getting stuck on. Finally.

More importantly, they came up with a proper error for users with older video cards. If your card is too old to support the vertex texture fetch, you’ll be seeing a message informing you of the issue now. If your video card crashed every time you tried to load Colorado V2, this could be your problem. It might be time to upgrade that card, you won’t regret it. Some of your video options will now be defaulted to off instead of on, which could potentially improve performance for some of us.

Some of the other Colorado V2 crashes were being cause by users logging in as anything other than “administrator”. This was also fixed today. Frame rates in various parts of the map were improved, so things should be going a little bit faster for many of us. If you have a Premium account and your revive time has been blinking 00:00 like your alarm clock after a power failure, that particular issue has also been cleared up by now.

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Make sure to swing by Boulder again, because additional items have been added. No specifics yet on what those might be, but feel free to explore and find out. The spawn protection effect should also be more visible, everyone had a hard time seeing it before. Between that and your Infestation hacks you should be able to tell who is a ripe target and who isn’t worth the effort just yet.

It’s not secret that the vast majority of internet forums poster are terrible. Even if a user manages to refrain from making zero-content posts and resists outright trolling, those who can make and follow a logical discussion are few and far between. There are a few good forums out there, but these are cultivated over time through a combination of ruthless moderation, strictly enforced posting rules, and merciless torment by fellow posters. Bad posting can range from lack of punctuation, grammar, and spelling, to long-winded diatribes full of logical fallacies. In an attempt to bring up the cultural level of the Infestation: Survivor Stories forums, user Kitten Sniper has written a basic guide to being a less-shitty forums poster.

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Step 1: Keep it Civil

It’s a fair concept, most insulting posts are also low-content wastes of space anyway. Kitten cites posts like “That’s stupid!” and “This game sucks!” as examples of the wrong way to post. Let’s face it, nobody cares whether or not you like the game, and nobody cares about your unsolicited opinion. The way to make them care, of course, is to keep your statement civil and back it up with some actual content. Think the game sucks? Keep it to yourself unless you’re prepared to explain exactly why in an articulate fashion. “This game sucks!” is a useless post, try “I really dislike this game and am extremely frustrated at the slow pace of development. I feel that the developers are focusing too much on aesthetic aspects of the game while letting bugs like the black boxes go unaddressed for far too long.”

Step 2: Have Something to Say

Same concept, honestly. If someone says they think ammo should litter the ground like snow, don’t waste an entire forum post just to say “That’s stupid” or “You’re an idiot.” Nobody cares what you think unless you can actually articulate the reasoning behind it. “I think that’s a terrible idea because ammo scarcity is what creates the balance in the game. If we all had unlimited ammunition we’d never have a reason to think before shooting anyone else, and the entire survival aspect of the game would be lost in one giant pvp bloodbath.”

Step 3: Type Like a Grown-Up

We’re on the internet here, and nobody should be texting with their thumbs while posting on a gaming forum. You aren’t paying by the letter and if you’re too busy to type out “you’re” instead of “ur” then you probably shouldn’t be posting anyway. You can complain about people using Infestation hacks, Infestation cheats, and lambast that guy you saw using an Infestation aimbot, but for the love of zombies, please use capitals, punctuation, and spellcheck. When you type like a child, it’s hard for the rest of the internet to take you seriously.

Getting the Party Started

Posted: 16th October 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

Last week was the CMG Party, which took place on the Half Cocked and Fully Loaded servers. The plan was to gather a bunch of friendly players and play some games like Battlefield 4 fans. It’s a phenomenon that happens in any game with a decent engine and mechanics. In-game games usually pop up when the majority of the players have met the majority of the challenges created by the developers. Once we’ve fought for survival and overrun the zombies, it’s only natural to ponder “so what else can we do?”

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If you’re a Battlefield player you start killing people with defibrillators and repair machinery. If you’re in PlanetSide 2 you start experimenting with vehicles and inappropriate situations. In War Z you’ve pretty much just got yourself, your fellow players, and a variety of weapons. If we had instant respawns like some MMOs, we could race naked, unarmed characters across the treacherous landscape. Unfortunately nobody wants to spend the GC on that kind of event. Instead, Infestation events pretty much come down to scavenger hunts or harming each other.

Scavenger hunts can be fun, avoiding zombies while poking around for carefully-hidden goodies and hoping to locate them before anyone else. Triumphantly brandishing the sought-for item as you return to the safe zone can be magnificent. This type of event takes an awful lot of setup and planning, though. While the CMG Party contained some of these elements, the real fun was in the PvP play.

We’re already used to killing anyone in sight with whatever’s handy, but some real challenges can be had when the fights are limited with artificial rules. This type of game was at the heart of the party. The event kicked off with a Boxing match. Normally you at least have a flashlight or a nailbat at your disposal, but how much skill does it take to throw down your weapons and kill someone with your bare hands? Other fun included nailgun fights and flashlight melees.

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While the CMG Party was severely hyped, it started out rather disappointing with only a handful of participants. Things went downhill when a few Brazilian bandits crashed the party and broke the “no killing until we say so” rule by wasting everyone in range. Eventually the party picked up steam and everyone had a good time.

Sniper Solutions

Posted: 1st October 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

The Official Infestation Forums are busy brainstorming effective ways to combat sniping in the game. We all know exactly how it feels to log in and get sniped within seconds. Most of the time you don’t even know the guy is there, unless you’re using War Z cheats to set up proximity warnings. Half the time the guy is so far away he has to be using a War Z aimbot to get a headshot on the first try. While the devs at Hammerpoint seemed to be fine with the kill-on-sight mentality of most of the players, it’s true that sniping is a major source of frustration for many and one of the biggest reasons people quit after playing for a short time.

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By now most players have tried loading up on Infestations hacks to keep the game playable, and it seems to be a workable solution. Others have decided that they can’t beat the snipers and might as well join them, some use an Infestation aimbot and get most of their gear from their victims. Some forward-thinking players have noted that the sheer number of sniper rifles in the game is overwhelming, and that reducing the number of these weapons would help the shoot-first mentality tremendously. Sure, some players will still use War Z hacks to spawn them in, but fewer sniper rifles overall would mean fewer snipers.

One player has suggested removing all the existing snipers from the game when we switch to the Colorado V2 map. New snipers would still spawn, but at a severely reduce rate so they would truly be rare. Reducing spawn rates for sniper ammo would also reduce the use of snipers for everyone who isn’t using Infestation cheats. Other suggestions include limiting mobility and ability to carry gear for anyone who has a sniper equipped, which may be more difficult to add to the game than these players believe. Reducing sniper firing speed, limiting the number of snipers allowed in the global inventory, and subjecting the rifles to more intense item degradation have also been suggested.

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Perhaps though, the number of snipers in the game is more a symptom of a greater problem. Perhaps if shooting other players on sight wasn’t the default playstyle for everyone in the game, sniper rifles wouldn’t be such a hot issue. The Standalone Day Z game, if it ever sees release, will supposedly have items take damage when their bearer is killed, so it will be less worthwhile to murder everyone for the purpose of taking their stuff. Is this a viable solution for Infestation’s sniper proliferation?

Get Out of There!

Posted: 28th September 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

You’ll be pleased to know that this week’s patch finally finished the bug that allowed zombies to get stuck inside objects in the game. It’s about damned time. Seriously, sometimes it feels like the undead are using Infestation hacks to get into those places. Then you end up using Infestation cheats like the wall hack just to kill them. Additionally, the game should no longer crash when you kill those bastards. Life just isn’t fair sometimes, you know? Many players wish we had been warned about this issue before disconnecting and losing GC in the process.

Buggy zombies are still plaguing Colorado, but this is a small step towards fixing one of the more prominent issues. Next, we’d like to see them fix that thing where you kill someone standing next to a tree and the look falls into the tree and is lost forever. Stuck zombies are bad, but disappearing loot is worse in our opinion. Glitchy zombies than whack into each other and count as hits against players are kind of a buzzkill, and the teleporting zombies as well. Honestly, there could have been quite a few additions to this patch, and most were hoping for a more extensive zombie fix. Small steps.

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Colorado V2 definitely tops the list of things we were all expecting in this patch. Why isn’t it here yet? Who knows? A forums user did raise a significant issue though: won’t these sorts of bugs arise again on the new map? Why are we fixing the small things when there will be a whole new collection of small things as soon as we get there?

For those unaware, we are supposed to be getting the new map sometime next week if everything goes according to plan. The devs have given us a timetable, and we know when to expect the things they have promised. We should be seeing Strongholds added in November if they stay on schedule, which would be amazing. For vehicles we’re going to have to wait until the California map is released, but that is supposed to happen in December so it won’t really be that long.

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While there are big things on the horizon, we’re honestly looking forward to the little bug fixes more than anything else. It’s the little things, like loot dropping into solid things and disappearing, that make the game feel unfinished and rushed. Many players have to use War Z hacks just to combat the glitches in the game itself, and that is something the developers should be taking care of.