The PUBG Roadmap for 2018, the development plan for the most popular Battle Royale game, has finally been released. Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Green has revealed his vision for the future of PUBG and it seems to hold a lot of promise…
Bluehole has left its player base waiting for updates and bugfixes way too long, their response time not being what the fans expected. 2017 was a year of broken promises for PUBG, with features and updates announced to be mere “couple of weeks” ahead but never actually materialized. The year 2018 should change all that and deliver fully upon expectations of the players, with one of the promised items being major PUBG content updates every two months. We are not certain what they would consider “major”; our hopes would be new maps, new weapons and vehicles, stability issues fixes and anti-cheating measures. If it turns out that they mean “more lootboxes”, then we predict all hell breaking loose.
PUBG players were “stuck” on Erangel map only for a long time, getting Miramar only as the game left the early access. Unfortunately, it seems that a large number of players ended up disliking Miramar and is leaving the lobby as soon as it appears in the rotation. However, it seems that we are finally getting the third map, the smaller Adriatic island map that was first hinted at a half a year ago, although no actual info has been released yet except for an image of the map. The new PUBG map will be a 4x4 kilometers in size, a quarter size of Miramar map, so that the matches can be held at a much faster pace. This probably means that the number of players dropped on this map would be also the standard hundred, as it was the case of the previous modes. It remains to be seen how the loot will be deposited, since the image of the new map indicates a lot of outdoor terrain and not so many houses. Will this mean that the weapons and gear will start spawning outside buildings, in the woods and out in the open fields? We will have to wait and see.
There is also the talk about a new winter PUBG map size 8x8 that should be a part of the 2018 roadmap, but that may be a bit too much to expect. Our careful prediction is that we will have three maps to play PUBG on by the end of 2018.
One of the major points for the improvement of PlayerUnknown’s battlegrounds is the continuous effort to make the game look more beautiful. To that effect, the developers have been working on enhancement of visuals, trying to get the PUBG aesthetics to the next level. Currently we have some screenshots of improved building textures that are in work, with more details coming soon. For many players this is only of secondary importance, with the gameplay taking up the first place.
There is also the mention about improving the animations both in TFP and FPP. The main idea is to make them smoother, possibly to avoid those shoulder breaking acrobatic distortions when switching weapons, and overall improve how they fit into the world of PUBG. For example, if you consider how the car existing animation works now - the avatar simply jumps out - you can tell that it is obviously flawed. A smooth, fluid animation of people entering and exiting the car, even changing seats in the car would add significantly to the gameplay. Whether you are hurrying to get into the car or if you are stalking an enemy team of players who are about to enter one, the new animations would definitely affect the length of the process and the resulting tactical situation. There is also the intention to change and improve a number of armed and unarmed combat animations, which should also enhance the overall experience.
Finally, when speaking of animations let us not forget the introduction of emotes to PUBG. This seems to be a popular addition to the game, since the prospect of being able to additionally taunt and mock defeated enemies seems to really please the majority of players. We should be able to try it out on the test servers. “Soon”.
Now, these are the truly important issues in PUBG, ones that are currently breaking the game. The cheating intensity has gone through the proverbial roof, and it seems that tens and tens of thousands accounts are being banned for cheating on daily bases. Just the other day we had the privilege to experience an indestructible flying car dropping on the players from the sky, including our own avatar. Maybe PUBG had no intention whatsoever to introduce flying vehicles into the game, but some other witty fellows found a crude way to do exactly that. Anti-cheating measures are currently woefully insufficient to stem the flood of cheaters from all over the world, but especially China, where we recently witnessed a series of arrests of organized groups involved in creation and sales of PUBG cheats.
Stability and optimization of servers and clients are the best thing that can happen to this game that impact the experience of millions of players across the world. Recent changes in spawning point distribution and plane fixes, where the door is no longer being opened and players no longer see directly into the plane now have been very beneficial to the game performance overall. We have seen improvements in FPS for the transport flight across the map going from 40 FPS to 140 FPS, which is a huge and noticeable positive change. Unfortunately, the initial phases after the drop are still a huge load on servers, with significant lag and frame drops in the first couple of minutes where the hundred players engage in fights.
It is good to hear that the team is going to work on these and other related issues, however, it is a bit disheartening not to be able to learn anything beyond that, no details or time schedules for optimizations.
There are numerous changes that have been announced for implementation that were mentioned only in small increments, leaving the players to wonder about the details. We will list them all here under the gameplay changes, hoping we will soon them as soon as possible. One of the frequent changes people want to see are new PUBG game modes, and it seems that Brendan Greene is steering his team in exactly that direction. The talk about the Zombie mod (wait, are we allowed to write the “Z” word at all these days!?) has been an ongoing affair, and so far the best that was delivered there was a skin for players that could assume the role of unarmed, almost naked zombies to wander the server and attack the few remaining human, well-armed players. Apparently, the map with the random spawning zombie NPC mode hasn’t taken off, but that just might change in the near future. Fingers crossed! Unfortunately, Greene once again refuses to talk any specifics since they are sill “hammering out on the kinks and details”.
There will be new vehicles and new weapons introduced to PUBG very soon. While there is no word on the type of vehicles, we anticipate it would be just another variant of existing cars and water transports. It would be too much to hope for an actual bicycle in PUBG, right? However, there is more info on the next weapon coming into the fold, with a single tease image being released so far. From what we can tell, it looks like this 7.62 rifle is the Belgian FAL, probably the American licensed copy DSA 58 which is quite similar to StG 58 (Sturmgewehr 58). We can’t tell whether this weapon will be crate only, or even possibly limited to the new map only.
While we are talking about the weapons, let us look at the upcoming PUBG ballistic changes as well. Apparently, there was/is a problem with players blocking the incoming bullets with their forearms, propping the base to refer to this as the “Wonder Woman” effect. If a player would be hit in the swaying forearms, while running, the damage would be registered as hit in the limbs. Now PUBG developer team is going to look into limb penetration to make sure that these bullets go that extra bit farther and hit the actual body. While we don’t consider this to be a huge issue, another item on their list is the bullet vehicle penetration, where driver and passengers are no longer fully shielded from bullets hitting the car chassis. We believe that every implementation of more realistic ballistic system in PUBG is a step in the right direction and hiding behind a thin brick wall should not be a sufficient cover against an M249.
Changes to the sound is yet another interesting aspect of the new gameplay. While the changes to the vehicle sounds are esthetically pleasing, there are some changes that are coming which should have a far more impact on the game. There should be changes to the sound people make in PUBG under different circumstances. For example, a person running will breathing heavily while person walking should be quieter, and a fully geared up player with two rifles, military grade backpack filled to the brim and grenades hanging from his vest should make a significantly more noise than a player who has nothing but a shotgun. This makes us wonder if the invincible pan is going to clatter and make enough noise to alert an entire town that we just entered.
eSports have been notably a weak link in otherwise strong community presence, but it seems that PUBG is moving in the right direction now. Some issues like, for instance, how to choose on which team the broadcasters should focus their attention on when there can be three or more simultaneous team fights in a match seem to be near impossible to resolve. However, Greene hopes to be able to resolve that with the 3D replay system for PUBG matches, which should give organizers much more control over the match replays and broadcasting overall. Basically, it is all about improving the existing PUBG spectator tools while at the same time allowing broadcasters for more flexibility during live matches through replay systems.
One of the most exciting news is the announcement for introduction of PUBG developer Portal that will bring to the public the PUBG Developer API, a development blog and technical notes regarding the game updates. This will allow modders to create content for this game, ranging from slightly modified game modes to full conversions. If you recall that PUBG itself has started its life as a mod, you can only imagine what dedicated fans could produce based on this great platform.
We are huge fans of the game, and as such we believe that it is not only our right, but also our duty to criticize it in hope that a proper feedback helps in its development. The first thought that crosses our mind is the fact that this 2018 PUBG roadmap is too vague when it comes to time plans or specific data regarding announced changes. For example, alone the mention of the individual game modes would go a long way to give players some idea what to expect, while not actually creating any obstacles for the development team. If the new map is going to be introduced on the experimental test server in the next month, then some more information on the nature of island, its weapon spawn locations or even the number of intended players would be nothing they cannot afford to divulge.
Overall, the changes are good, and we can’t wait to see them implemented. The Bluehole must make sure they hurry if they want to keep pace with games such as Fortnite, which is being constantly improved and upgraded, while PUBG sometimes feels like it is scrabbling to catch up.
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