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H1Z1 focuses on differentiating itself from Plunkbat

Daybreak’s H1Z1: King of the Kill [official site] was once the king of the Battle Royale hill but has been dethroned — and how! — by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. The way forward, developers Daybreak Game Company say, is for H1Z1 to focus more on pace and action to offer a difference experience from the slower, more tactical of Plunkbat. Across future updates, they intend “to put less emphasis on the tedious aspects of looting and more emphasis on power progression and vehicles to speed up gameplay.”

Daybreak said in Friday’s announcement:

“Our vision is for H1Z1 to be the dominant fast-paced, action packed game in the genre. This is what sets H1Z1 apart from its competition. PUBG is very clearly a slow paced, tactical experience. And they have certainly delivered on that vision. But ours has always been and will continue to be based on fast paced & action packed moment to moment gameplay. In the coming months, all of the updates and features we bring to the game will be driving towards fully delivering on this vision.”

Expect quicker looting, more vehicle spawns, and loads of airdropped crates containing fancy items. They’re hoping the crates will be flashpoints for action, as people go for the loot or use them as bait to pick off greedy players. Daybreak also shared a timeline for how they expect individual rounds to play out, pushing to an end around 20 minutes in.

Daybreak followed up with another post on Sunday to clarify a few things that got players into a tizzy.

No, Plunkbat-style weapon attachments are not coming to H1Z1. Yes, Daybreak do have plans to combat the power of vehicles, including explosive-tipped weapons to murder cars. No, airdrop weapons won’t do more damage or be turbo-powerful, but might have handy custom bits like a red dot sight. And here’s this on looting:

“Right now loot is 110% RNG​, which ​kinda sucks. You can run through the game, hit up 10 houses​, and find zero helmets. Then, on your 11th house, you find 10 helmets and it results in you being frustrated at the game (rightfully so). We have been working on a new loot system to take the RNG edge off of looting, provide a more consistent experience, and get you out of the looting phase and onto the killing phase in a more efficient manner. Now, there is still some level of RNG with loot, but our goal is for you to never feel screwed by the loot distribution. This will also provide players with the tools to push forward and contest those airdrops we’ve talked about.”

King of the Kill was the first big commercial Battle Royale game on the scene. The genre’s roots are in the Arma mod scene, where some fella named Brendan ‘Playerunknown’ Greene made a Battle Royale mod then was drafted by Daybreak to help make King of the Kill. Well, after that he joined Bluehole Studio to make Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and that’s blown H1Z1 away.

Plunkbat is the most-played game on Steam, going by concurrent player counts, with numbers ten times H1Z1. H1Z1’s numbers are falling, despite a small bump from the recent ‘Combat Update’. Leaning on offering something different seems sensible, though H1Z1 is now fighting the domino effect multiplayer games get as players follow their friends to other games.

Our last look at H1Z1: King of the Kill was several weeks ago. Rich McCormick didn’t really feel it.

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