The success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds shows no signs of slowing. Peak players are reaching 140,000+ on a daily basis now and are eclipsing the old Battle Royale favorite, H1Z1.
Originally published 4/24/17.
Besides the freshness of Battlegrounds, one reason for the surging popularity is the developer support. New weapons and gameplay features have already been added and barely a month has passed by since launch.
Developer Bluehole outlined their approach to patches and content updates shortly after launch. Daily and weekly updates bring server improvements, bug fixes and client performance updates. Monthly updates add new content and tweak gameplay balance. It’s great the devs are letting their players know when to expect new content.
Before we dive into the teases of what’s coming next, let’s take a look at what was recently added.
The first monthly content update
Bluehole isn’t kidding around. On the content side, a new Vector SMG was added along with the return of the crossbow. A Motorbike w/sidecar gives squads of up to three a new option for getting around. Just don’t roll it. Trust me.
A 2X Aimpoint scope fills the close-to-mid-range niche nicely. And a Ballistic Mask will make you feel a little safer, maybe.
But it’s the new frying pan mechanics that are stealing the show.
What new stuff is coming to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
A dev stream just after launch detailed the types of content we can expect from Battlegrounds over the next few months. Bluehole’s Lead Community Manager is also giving us a look at features the team is working on. One of them is an Observer mode.
I guess this will be put to good use during PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 2017 Charity Invitational. I’m almost positive we’re going to be able to watch replays of previous matches too. Here’s a cool video showing a barebones replay feature during alpha. (Note: This is NOT in the current game)
It’s barebones but still looks great here. Look for that Observer mode to make its way into replays. Great for finding out where the hell you got shot from, and potentially, finding folks who are hacking/glitching.
Ok, those are the features we’ve seen video of. Let’s dive into the stuff we’ve heard from the developers.
Vault Mechanic – This can’t come soon enough. I don’t know what sadistic person designed the walls in Battlegrounds, but c’mon. There’s always those breaks you can’t quite jump over. A vault mechanic should take care of that. This system might come in next month’s update.
FOV Slider – It’s coming, but no ETA.
Seasonal Leaderboards with ranks – The ladder system is a hit in H1Z1: KOTK (Solo), and it’s no surprise to see Battlegrounds doing something similar.
Hardcore 1st Person matches – That’ll add an extra layer of tension to an already heart-stopping game.
Rangefinders/Binoculars – If there’s one thing I miss from H1Z1 it’s this.
New handguns – You know one of them will be a Desert Eagle.
New maps – This was touched on in the Inven interview. New maps will be added once the devs are done tweaking the current one.
Bluehole is busy working on not just one map, but two new maps. Game Informer’s Dan Tack shows a rough sketch of a desert map.
Two new maps are in the works for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Check out more in this month’s issue of Game Informer 🏝️ pic.twitter.com/y2YexbtxeL
In a livestream yesterday, Dan went into a little more detail. He describes the desert map as a “small-scale desert town affair.” The other is an island with different temperate zones. A snowy mountain in the middle with jungles around the edges. Sounds awesome! No word on a specific release date for either one, but we now know the devs are busy working on two new maps.
Mode toolkit – We’ll be waiting until Battlegrounds gets our of early access for this one. “At the official launch, we will introduce the whole mode toolkit. It’s got quite a bit more freedom; you can even resize the map,” says Project Director Changham Kim.
Killcams – Hopefully, we’ll see this one sooner rather than later.
What’s NOT coming
Now, it’s time to dash some hopes. Don’t expect to carry multiple armor and helmets. That took some getting used to from H1Z1, but I like the change. If you knock someone’s helmet off, you shouldn’t have to worry if they have a couple of spares in their back pocket.
Oh, and no helicopters.
That’s just a small taste of what Bluehole says is coming to Battlegrounds. So far, they’re living up to the monthly content updates. Stabilization and bug fixes will take priority though as they pop up.
I’ll keep this post updated as we learn more about the new guns, features, cars and more coming to Battlegrounds.