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.


  1. manio22 says:

    I was always wondered how came it had such a silly name. Now i know.

    Thanks Alice!

  2. Anti-Skub says:

    Ah SOE/DBG…never quite understanding what it is about their own games that people like. Every single game they’ve ever made goes the same way. They start losing popularity and then SOE decides to spend a year developing changes no one asked for that then makes everyone hate it.

    The killed the original Planetside with additions no one wanted, underground combat and BFRs.

    Star Wars Galaxies they revamped the classes and combat and allowed people to play Jedi from the start (before they were a class only long time players could hope to have access to)and in the process, killed stone dead the things that people actually liked about the game.

    Planetside 2 has been a string of missteps and features no one gave a fuck about. Construction, the mission system, Hossin, implants, etc, etc.

    And now this with H1Z1. As if anyone playing a survival game wants an arcadey, fast paced shooter feel.

    There is no other company in the world like SOE. They repeatedly make such interesting, ambitious, unique games, and then proceed to throw them down a flight of stairs. It’s almost impressive how good they are at mismanaging titles after launch. It’s really telling that, when working with DBG, H1Z1 is the best PlayerUnknown can do…but away from DBGs incompetence he can blow them out of the water despite Bluehole being a significantly smaller and less experienced studio.

    • Flopper says:

      Pretty sure DBG retained less than half of SOE’s dev team. DBG is where titles go to die when being picked apart by investor vultures. They just tack on P2W content until the game has no players left and turn the servers off.

  3. Alfius says:

    Admittedly, I’ve not experienced the full range of survive-em-ups on offer these days, but describing PUBG as “slower [and] more tactical” than anything seems false.

    PUBG being the game where rounds last, at most, 30 minutes and you’re forced to constantly relocate yourself for most of that time by an obnoxious ever shrinking circle, the expediency required by the speed at which the death zone approaches usually means than all thoughts of tactical movement go right out the window.

    Maybe I’m skewed by my earlier experiences of the genre (DayZ, Breaking Point), but holing for three hours up in an attic with a rifle, binoculars and a six pack is my idea of a good evening’s entertainment.

    • plugmonkey says:

      I’m somewhere in the middle. I like the reducing play area, but I find the speed at which it ramps up at the end a little steep.

      It’s kind of like a poker tournament where the blinds shoot and everyone is suddenly all-in every hand, and it’s not as much fun as it was when you had a bit more room for strategy.

    • jeremyalexander says:

      With all due respect, I couldn’t disagree more. It’s the pressure of that ever shrinking environment that forces you to think tactically. Do you loot more or do you move on to get in the safe zone, do you rush a house you know has enemies in it, or do you hope they leave their positions before the barrier gets to you, are you in a position to cover all entrances to your space, should you take the high ground, or defend the doors? You are forced to constantly make tactical decisions every second. There are those that turtle, but they seldom win as they never get better at combat. I’ve seen countless Let’s Plays of PUBG where a lone target takes out a team of three or four turtles because they were better in the heat of combat while the other players simply panic under the pressure.

  4. Raoul Duke says:

    I am certainly not sick of the term “Plunkbat”.

  5. HCN-Cyanid says:

    I came here for one reason, to say this: No one calles it plunkbat. OK? NO ONE! It’s PUBG for christs sake!

    • plugmonkey says:

      Next you’ll be saying that you didn’t call codblops “codblops”.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      What, and I suppose they call them “MOBAs” rather than “lane-pushers” or “Lords Management?”

    • Faldrath says:

      I mean, the real issue here is: if you’re aware that you can use “Plunkbat” instead of “Pubg”, why in heavens would you ever use the latter?

    • Thants says:

      Welcome to Rock Paper Shotgun! Sometimes they make up silly names for games.

  6. ThePuzzler says:

    Pubg? That’s not even a word!

  7. dan! says:

    Remember when John Smedley said this would be the game ex-Star Wars Galaxies players would call home?

    • Ghostwise says:

      That was well after they said they’d listen to the EQ1 Ranger community to improve the class.

    • fish99 says:

      To be fair he was talking about the original H1Z1, now called Just Survive, which is a DayZ-clone survival game, whereas the article is about KotK, the BR game.

  8. racccoon says:

    Along side dayz this game is better with more playable time spans than the NAME game.

  9. Remb says:

    No more vehicles please, and do not remove the hunt for weapons, that will make this game just another shotem-up. Do not make it easier! Finally a multiplayer-game where stealth is really valued!