An option to pick which map you’d like to play will indeed come to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, developers PUBG Corp. have confirmed, but not in time for the game’s launch out of early access. Right now on the test servers, which feature both the original island map Erangel and its desert-y sibling Miramar, players don’t get to pick which map and weather/time-of-day variant they’re placed on. Well, officially they don’t: unofficially, many players will quit if they don’t like the map, resulting in smaller Battles Royale for those who stay. I’ll be glad to have this resolved.
The original decision to not offers players a choice was down to an ethos of “this is Battle Royale and players should be able to survive in any environment,” the Plunkgang said in Friday’s dev blog post announcing this (hey, I was in meetings that afternoon and didn’t see this until today). If that is what they thought, it’s a little silly. But they’ve come to accept that many players see different maps “as an almost separate mode”, which I’d probably agree with – they do play wildly differently.
The devs are concerned that giving players a choice might make it trickier for the game to find enough players to fill a match, though.
“However, we have 3 team modes and 2 perspectives – TPP and FPP. Adding map selection will result in there effectively being 12 game modes in total. You also need 100 players to fully experience Battle Royale. When all these factors are combined, it could be very difficult to offer a seamless experience 24/7 to players looking for matches. In some regions with smaller player bases, many issues are already expected to occur; queueing times could be extremely lengthy, matches may not start at all, matches may start with a number of players that is much lower than 100 in off-peak times.”
One of Plunkbat’s strengths is that if you die, hey, click Ready again and three seconds alter you’ll be loading into a new match. I can see why the devs are wary of harming that. At the same time, matches are already being harmed by players quitting if they don’t want Erangel, or rain, or fog – I’d rather wait a little for a full match than instantly get into one where 20 players will instantly quit.
While I think I’d probably stick with random map and weather selections myself (I even wish fog and rain appeared more often), I’ll glad to see this option added. The devs say “we will do our best to add the feature and required systems as soon as we can” after Plunkbat launches.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds leaves early access this Wednesday, December 20th.