Latest PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds patch shows the dev is listening to players
Here's why I believe this latest patch from Bluehole to be a good one for the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds community.
The Battle Royale game that has taken the PC gaming world by storm has already amassed more than $100 million prior to being fully complete, but unlike other developers trying to make it big in the same genre, it appears as though Bluehole is actually listening to players. And this is a great thing for not only the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) community, but the entire Battle Royale one too. I'm talking about the latest patch to be loaded on servers.
The company is working hard to improve performance both on the server and client ends, which has plagued numerous games, especially in the early game. Performance has improved over the past weeks, but issues still remain, notably with the servers that still have high latency and desynchronization — not ideal for a fast-paced shooting game that requires pinpointing accurate shots. That said, Bluehole is making progress and some serious progress it is.
Not only is the team working on flattening bugs and sorting out performance issues, but more than 25,000 accounts have been banned in the last three months alone. That's a huge number to take off servers and ensure skill and luck of RNG are the only variables that affect matches, not whether or not you've remembered to activate the aimbot. Bluehole is also working with BattlEye to add new protection measures in place and more effectively detect cheating, but it'll always be a constant fight.
Updates are one area of similar title, H1Z1, that always confused me. It always appeared to me that the developer would rather focus on cosmetic items and some small improvements over fundamentally fixing and improving the game. I also had Intel and AMD in mind when transferring my play time from Daybreak's title to PUBG. H1Z1 akin to Intel was the top dog in Battle Royale with a massive player base. Now that a (new) underdog has come along with what is arguably a better experience, the competition is heating up.
This is great news for all communities that are part of the Battle Royale genre. With more fierce competition from numerous titles, it gives the developers incentives to push on with major improvements to entice players to land on their barren land, loot up and take down foes. Take loot for example, Bluehole has a data science team at hand who have analyzed PUBG's current system and made an initial comprehensive pass on addressing loot balance.
Fixes are the best type of updates for these early access games. It was said in a recent announcement that regular tweaks and changes will be made based on community feedback to get certain features and balances just right.
The big one
The above was shared by "davidpatonred". Here's what has just gone live on PUBG servers:
- Improved network performance by reducing the amount of data being sent from the server to the client.
- Reduced network lag by preventing a large amount of data being sent from the server to the client simultaneously.
- Fixed an issue of frame drop when other characters were around by optimizing nearby characters.
- Fixed an issue of frame drop when vehicles were around by optimizing vehicles.
- Optimized the starting airplane and Care Package airplanes.
- Improved rendering performance of weapons from far-off.
- Made improvements to the weapon animations.
- Optimized many in-game effects, including the red zone bombing effect.
- Improved many UI features.
- Improved features regarding rainy weather.
- Added Groza. Groza is an AR chambered for 7.62mm ammo, and can only be acquired in Care Packages.
- Added P18C. P18C is a pistol chambered for 9mm ammo with a full auto fire-mode.
- Vector and UMP now support burst mode.
- You can now pick up items while moving. The interaction animation will not force you to stop anymore, but make you walk slowly.
- You may interact with doors, items, or vehicles while reloading. Reloads will be canceled with such interactions.
- The screen will be gradually desaturated based on remaining health during the REVIVE state.
- Blood effect does not appear during the REVIVE state anymore.
- Adjusted kill count system in Duo and Squad modes. A person knocking an opponent out will receive a kill count regardless of the actual killer.
- Adjusted F key (interaction) to prioritize the REVIVE action in certain cases
- You can now pull out pistols faster.
- Fire mode can no longer be switched during reload.
- Adjusted the play area to spawn more evenly within a circle, so that the play area does not appear in the center so frequently.
- Adjusted default quantity to be selected at 1 when pressing CTRL key at inventory to partially drop or pick up items.
- Adjusted motorcycle and motorcycle with sidecar to move more smoothly.
- You can no longer switch to/from prone while picking up items.
- Red Dot Sight is now attachable to pistols, except for the revolver.
- Increased the recoil on UMP.
- Added two new weather settings: Sunset and Clear Skies.
- Added destructible cabins.
- Added new animation for when a character is at the speed of taking fall damage.
- Items & Vehicles
- Adjusted vehicles to face random directions at spawn.
- Adjusted loot balance for certain items.
- VSS will no longer be found in Care Packages. It will remain to be spawned in the map.
- At a low probability, you will be able to acquire AR Silencers, SR Silencers, and 4x Scopes in Care Packages.
- Spawn rate of UMP was slightly decreased.
- Spawn rate of UZI was slightly increased.
- Level 1 Helmet was being spawned at a much higher rate than the Level 1 Vest, and the spawn rate was adjusted so that both items will be spawned at a similar rate.
- Increased spawn rate of items in regions and buildings with relatively low spawn rate.
- Changed the names of certain weapon attachments.
- Adjusted the spawn time of vehicles and speedboats, so that they can be seen from farther away.
- Improved the starting airplanes.
- Cargo door opens when participants get ejected from the airplane.
- Optimized lighting inside and outside of the airplane.
- Adjusted the direction of teammate icons to the direction the teammate faces.
- Added teammate list on World Map.
- Improved character's recoil animation.
- Removed death marks of teammates after a certain period of time or distance away from the place of death.
- Added three new languages: Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.
- Fixed an issue when the voice chat volume blasted momentarily after getting on an airplane.
- Fixed an issue where the character was not at the center of the screen while on a parachute.
- If you reload into game while in a parachute, you will still be in the parachute.
- Prevented users from removing outer walls of buildings by deleting certain files.
- Partially fixed a bug that caused a character to be stuck in terrain.
- Fixed a bug that caused a character to be misplaced after getting in a vehicle.
- Fixed a bug that caused effects to look identical underwater and outside of water.
- Fixed a bug that caused a character to make an interaction motion trying to pick up an item when there is no inventory space.
- Fixed a client crash that occurred when fences were destroyed.
- Fixed an issue of invisible fences even after destruction.
That's pretty major and covers many of the issues I've personally found throughout my gametime, as well as feedback provided by players on Reddit, community forums, and more. I stand by what I wrote about PUBG, H1Z1 and other Battle Royale games not being ready for the eSports stage, but if this is the sort of updates we could be holding out for in the future, I doubt it'll be long before we're at a stage where professionals could take these titles to the next level.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.