Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds adding weapon skins, considering server region lock

In the ongoing war against lag in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, the developers are considering a soft form of region lock to stop distant players lagging up other regions’ servers. Should the plan go ahead, Plunkers won’t be able to see and play on a server outside their region unless they’re in a squad together with someone who is in its region. This still just a potential change at this point, not decided, and still a way away.

A lot sooner, weapon skins are coming to Plunkbat. The next update will add them in two new crates, one of which requires a paid key to open. They are mostly ugly.

The devs recently started factoring ping into matchmaking to help provide stable games, which they say “has shown great results”, but now they’re considering doing more. Today’s announcement laid out one possible plan:

“One of the solutions we are considering is operating servers so that only those players who reside in that region can connect and play. These servers will be made invisible to players residing in other regions. But, at the same time, if a player in an exclusive server region forms a team with a player from another region, they can connect to and play on any of the servers available to either of them.

“Through this new approach we are aiming to provide a better gameplay experience as it will improve network issues and help with linguistic barriers. We are going to run a limited test of this approach as more detailed research and analysis should come before global application.”

Server region locks are certainly the Plunkbat feature most requested by loudmouths. Look at the comments of any Plunkpost on Steam and you’ll find it flooded with people spamming “REGION LOCK CHINA” while scapegoating Chinese players for all the game’s ills. Maybe this will make them shut up. I would certainly not take it as validation of everything loudmouths claim about China.

If PUBG Corp do go ahead with this plan, I do hope they have something in mind for players seeking modes not available in their region. Some regions don’t have the first-person mode at all and some only have FPP for select squad sizes, apparently because they don’t have enough players to support them, so people wanting them need to connect elsewhere.

Right now, cosmetic weapon skins are coming to Plunkbat. They hit the test server today and should go live on the main client later this week. They make guns look a little different, yeah? They still work the same and use the same model, but have been given makeovers. Weapon skins are equipped through the customisation menu in the same way as your starting outfit then, unlike clothes, will appear on all weapons of that type you scavenge.

Two new crates contain the initial batch of weapon skins. The Triumph Crate is in the regular pool of crates you can randomly get when trading your Plunkbucks for crates, with a 20% chance to get one, but you’ll need to buy a key with real money (or trade for one) to open it. Yup, having paid crates in the random pool still sucks. The other is the Raider Crate, which appears as an entirely separate option in the Rewards screen, costs 1200 Plunkbucks, and does not require a key to unlock it.

All of the skins I’ve received on the test servers are uglier than their defaults. The common skins in both crates look like they were painted with orange or beige matt emulsion then thrown down a hill, which is okay as a joke about scavenging and using anything at hand but not attractive. The rarer skins are pristine and far fancier but many are ugly too, with unfocused blasts of colour and pattern, splashing gold, digital camo, plasticky metal, and accents all over.

But hey, most of Plunkbat’s clothes are hideous yet some still sell for hundreds of pounds. And this AKM skin is kinda neat:

39 Comments

  1. caff says:

    … and this is where Plunkbat stops for me. It’s been fun, but loot crate culture is my tipping point. I learnt from CS:GO crates that it’s fun for a while, but eventually you realise you’re spending more time collecting texture maps than you are enjoying the core mechanics of the game.

    • mlcarter815 says:

      The crates are far from a focus in the game. I often don’t even spend my battle points on them.

      • Chrithu says:

        You should though. None of the folks I play with are interested in skins. But we always sell the unopened crates (non-key crates go for .30€ to .50€ per piece). By now most of us already made back the money paid for PubG from selling crates.

    • Kyle700 says:

      what a bizarre comment. Cosmetics literally don’t affect the game at all. You can actually boot up the game, and NEVER look up at the BP, and you’d be playing the exact same game.

      • caff says:

        Not true. There are plenty of obsessive compulsive people who do get drawn into loot crate culture, myself included, and it clearly makes a lot of money out of people like me. Fortunately I’ve learned to recognise this and now don’t absorb myself with such things.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I feel like Plunkbat Co. does not know what to add to the game, so they are just slapping stuff on that they’ve seen elsewhere. Feels a little unfocused.

    Plus most of the fun of weapon skins is nicking someone else’s after you knock them out. If the skins automatically apply to any gun you pick up, then you don’t even get that. Boo.

    • tranchera says:

      As far as I’m aware, if someone has already applied a skin to a gun, it won’t get overridden by whatever skins you have enabled. So if you have a shit Kar skin and you find a cool-ass lookin’ Kar, when you pick it up it’ll still be cool-ass lookin’.

  3. Umberto Bongo says:

    Funny, East Asia servers have been the only times where I’ve consistently placed in the top three, just due to how cautious and seemingly averse to conflict they all are.

    • flexm says:

      It’s probably because there’s different matchmaking for different regions. So if you normally play somewhere else and drop into a new region for a few rounds you’ll be playing mostly with people completely new to the game and/or not very good at the game.

      Recommended if you like me are kinda crap at shooting in the game and wants to practice dropping into a hotzone, and get a bunch of kills instead of dying instantly.
      If you’re unfortunate to win a few games though you’ll climb the rankings really fast and will face decent opponents again quickly. Thus no more target practice.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Mikemcn says:

    The region lock movement has creepy racist underpinnings. Supposedy it’s primarily about stopping hackers/cheaters.

    But my understanding is that PUBG sold better in asia than anywhere else, so of course the majority of hackers/cheaters are from asian countries. I’d much rather them prioritize ping in matchmaking and create effective anti cheat software, rather than put strict walls up between playerbases because of the loudmouths who likely have an alterior motive.

    Locking them out won’t stop hacking or cheating, it’ll just change the country the hacker/cheater you run into is likely from. A fair portion of PUBG players are more upset that asian players are in their games than they are about actual foul play it seems… and that’s weird.

    • mlcarter815 says:

      It’s more than just underpinnings. Just listen to the open chat while waiting for a match to start.

      • Churba says:

        I remember, back when I started playing, I looked up a few guides just to get the lay of the land a bit, pick up a few hints. Most of them differed somewhat and even outright contradicted each other. But the one thing that was universally agreed upon was that unless you had a perverse need to hear a torrent of racial slurs and abuse before every match, the first thing you should do is mute all voice chat in the game.

    • Poor says:

      The game’s anti-cheat provider, BattlEye and PlayerUnknown himself have confirmed that over 99% of the cheating players come from China. But even ignoring that fact, region lock was severely needed.

      Before the recent soft ping lock, the majority of players in the North American servers were Chinese. This made communicating with your team near impossible and communication is absolutely essential in this game. Additionally, their high latency would cause them to register hits on players seconds after they had already moved behind cover, because their representation of the game state is so significantly delayed.

      These three issues made the game hard to enjoy and will be solved with region locking.

      • Beefenstein says:

        No it didn’t. This is because there are dedicated subreddits and discord channels to easily and quickly find teammates who speak English, make friends and learn to play better together.

        There is absolutely no reason that anyone ever has to put themselves through random matchmaking. I literally can always find people to play with without any effort at all, and we’re all shit, and we love each other very much.

        • Asurmen says:

          Because every player totally knows about those sources for team players, right? I mean, it’s advertised all over the place in the game, right?

        • hungrycookpot says:

          You put yourself through it because its a feature of the game that I’m sure the devs would like to work as intended and be a good experience. Why wouldn’t they want it to work well, instead of making people waste time finding a squad. Sometimes I just wanna play a quick squad game and then drop back out, I don’t wanna waste 3 other peoples time teaming up for one game.

    • MrUnimport says:

      There is definitely a lot of anti-Chinese resentment, but ping in a first person shooter is always a legitimate issue.

    • Ham Solo says:

      By their own admission they banned 1,044,000 players in January. 99% of all banned people were from china. Are you telling me people from china bought 99% of all sold copies of the game? Up to February 30 million copies were sold, and you’re telling me that only 300.000 people outside of china owned the game back then? Because if not, then chinese players cheat far more than any other.

    • Cim says:

      This is nonsense. There is no ulterior motive. Stop assuming everyone is racist.

      When you come across someone with a high ping in PUBG, what happens is that they have an advantage due to it. In PUBG damage is calculated mainly client-side, meaning that if you hit them on *your* screen, they *will* take that damage regardless of anything else.

      You might have ran behind a wall but on your screen, but if you’re still out on theirs due to their bad connection… the result would be you taking damage behind cover anyway. It’s extremely frustrating and unfair.

      Add to that the language barrier, where Chinese players most commonly don’t speak English *at all*. If you get a Chinese player in your squad – 99% of the time you can just forget any teamwork. In a game that focuses so heavily on teamwork, not being able to communicate with your squad ruins the experience entirely.

      Region locking to stop cheating is not a good idea, that much I agree with… but even that has some merit when it comes to PUBG. Due to the game being so much cheaper (about half price compared to US) in those regions, getting banned doesn’t mean much for those particular players. In fact they can often farm crates in-game before getting banned and actually make money off it. Due to the pricing they get rewarded for cheating basically.

      Cross-region play in a game with the netcode and gameplay that PUBG has simply doesn’t work.

    • tranchera says:

      You don’t need to ring the racist bell in this situation. A disproportionate amount of cheaters are from China, and flooding other regions with even legitimate Chinese players creates issues with ping and communication.

      Are people expressing their frustration in racist ways? Yes. Doesn’t change the underlying issue.

    • Kyle700 says:

      it’s because lag is a big deal in pubg. hits are registered client side, which means that laggy players make hitting them much more difficult

  5. Shadow says:

    What is it with weapon skins that’s so appealing? They’re so outlandish only some kind of flamboyant gangster would use them in real life.

    Are some people so desperate to feel like a special snowflake gangsta that they’ll actually fork over real money for them? There’s a whole, unfathomably large market for them, it seems, if CS:GO is any indication.

    • Ham Solo says:

      Kids like shiny things and slot machines, look at all the CSGO gambling stuff. Won’t be any different here, they will milk it until legislation is passed in several countries.

  6. shaneleelevin says:

    Ahem…. REGION LOCK CHINA.
    Why? Cheaters and Ping

    I’m not alone as someone who returned the game because of a terrible online experience. It’s nice that they are willing to address these issues.

    It would be GREAT if they could simply make a cheaters pool but I’m very confident that region locking the game WILL result in less cheaters, a better chance of meeting playing with people who speak my language, and a better ping in general. (Some people will certainly bypass this but, I’d rather have a smaller pool of cheaters, and I’d rather have areas that people script region locked) I hope they speed this update up so I can give it another go.

    • shaneleelevin says:

      and it’s worth noting that most of us have been on a russian or chinese website for non-legal gaming. So saying it’s racial to assume that piracy and cheating go hand in hand, region by region, is a little strong…

    • Premium User Badge

      Mikemcn says:

      You’d get your smaller pool of cheaters, but you would also get fewer regular players so it would likely change nothing about your experience. There’s no reason to think Asian players cheat/hack at higher rates than european or north american players.

      I’ve also encountered numerous foreign players who spoke solid english and played well with me, why kick those people out?

      • that_guy_strife says:

        Didn’t the devs and the anti-cheat provider both say an overwhelming amount of cheaters are from China ?

        It’s too bad to lose good players, but I certainly don’t want to team up with someone that is 12 server hops away and never goes under 80 ping. Gotta break some eggs and all that.

      • gtdp says:

        BattlEye, the company which runs the anti-cheat service for PUBG, confirmed that 99% of all of the accounts banned for cheating in this came come from China. link to youxistory.com

        • theirongiant says:

          I’ve seen links to that article on youxistory (who?) but no-one has ever linked to the stats that Battleye apparently released.

      • Ham Solo says:

        You don’t seem to understand ping/location based matchmaking. It will not reduce the overall amount of players, it will only reduce overall latency issues.

    • MajorLag says:

      Genuine question: why does their ping matter? Is the netcode in plunkbat employing latency compensation? I thought the industry had learned its lesson on that one in the early aughties.

      • The48thRonin says:

        Pubg does almost all of its hit detection on the clientside, so if you are having a lag spike and the other players do damage, you’ll still be damaged because their client detected a hit. Now if they are on another continent, and everyone but them is lagging, this gives them an unfair advantage.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Ever since they introduced ping locking, I’ve probably played a handful of games with Chinese players, as opposed to before where 6/10 random squads would be all chinese. I’ve also yet to see an obvious hacker since about that same time frame, when all the anti-cheat and bans and such went out. Region locking China is not really imo needed anymore, but if it shuts up the haters, I don’t blame them for implementing it. Although, they’re haters, they’ll just find something else to complain about

  7. Savage says:

    @PUBG add skin inspecting like Counterstrike, so people in first person like me can enjoy our skins

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