The latest big 'monthly' update to early access Battle Royale 'em up Playerunknown's Battlegrounds [official site] may have been delayed to this Thursday but the wait will be worth it: the patch will finally add Plunkbat's Blue Hi-top Trainers to the pool of permanent unlockable clothing. In this hell of xtreme '90s fashion, at least we'll have good shoes every round. Oh, and the update will also add first-person-only servers, and a field of view slider, and performance optimisations, and Brendan 'Playerunknown' Greene has apologised for how poorly they handled announcing this update's paid cosmetic crate, but the important point is: unlockable Blue Hi-tops.
Along with new regular cosmetic crates, this update will introduce a 'Gamescom Invitational Crate' which contains a load of garments inspired by the Battle Royale movie - and must be unlocked by paying $2.50 for a key. The proceeds will help fund a Plunkbat tournament. That's fairly standard these days but does go against what Plunk had said in February:
"As far as monetization is concerned, know that we eventually intend to give the player options to purchase cosmetic items only. However, until the game is out of Early Access, our development resources will be focused entirely on improving the Battle Royale game mode. Only then will we consider the addition of in-game purchases."
That was before Plunkbat even hit early access, and the early access certainly will change a game's plans. In this morning's update, Plunk says that crate & key is a system that'd need testing in early access anyway.
"While our intention was and still is to add the full feature to the game when we move into actual release, we do need to test it prior to launch and at Early Access so that it is stable and ready to be fully introduced to our community," he said.
"I do understand your concerns about the system, but I feel testing for a sturdy economy on the Steam Marketplace is necessary at this stage and ultimately beneficial for the game. And once again, this is a purely optional system, and you are not forced into participating if you do not feel like it."
"But still, I must admit that our messaging wasn't very clear, so I extend my sincere apologies for the confusion caused. The process of communicating our intentions precisely to our fans and communities should have been done in a more careful and prudent manner. I've learned a lot, and we'll try to communicate better moving forward.
I myself do not care in the least. The items are only cosmetic and a fair portion are ugly. It doesn't seem worth getting annoyed over. I've shot people wearing that hideous Twitch Prime outfit and I'll shoot Battle Royale cosplayers too.
Okay! Storm in a teacup addressed, let's talk about the fun game I've enjoyed playing almost every day (and now won twice - in back to back wins!).
The patch notes are in for this week's patch, which was due in July but ended up delayed by bug-fixing. The full notes are over there but here are some highlights to me:
- Optimized memory usage for world objects
- Optimized terrain rendering
- Optimized vehicle physics
- Optimized User Interface
- Added new weapon Mk14 EBR. Mk14 EBR is a Designated Marksman Rifle that can only be obtained from Carepackages. This weapon is chambered for 7.62mm and sniper rifle attachments
- Added two new face presets and hairstyles to character customization for both genders
- Added 1st Person server options to NA and EU Solo and Duo game-modes
- Players who choose 1st Person mode will be matched together
- Added a new feature to report players
- Added new animation when using different consumables
- Decreased the reload time of VSS
- Players may now re-enter games if they have been disconnected mid-game
- Sound volume difference from inside and outside of building is more obvious
- Added new effects when a character is running or sprinting over different types of surfaces
Items and Vehicles
- Added a lower rail attachment slot to SKS
- You may now honk a car horn when sitting in the driver's seat with Left Mouse Click
- Eliminated firing delay of S1897 from pump action after reload
- Reduced cast time of First Aid Kit / Painkiller to 6 seconds
- Reduced cast time of Med Kit / Adrenaline Syringe to 8 seconds
- Added more features and hot keys to the Options Menu
- You may now designate a maximum of two different keys for each key bind
- Added new option to set toggle on certain actions and features
- Added new keybinds to use specific throwables
- Added Colorblind Mode
- Added an FOV slider for 1st person view
- Partially fixed client crash issues
- Fixed an issue of weapons sporadically ceasing to fire despite being set to auto firing mode
- Characters farther than 500m away from a vehicle will no longer hear the tire screech sound
- Fixed a bug where a character could see through the other side of wall when scoping or crouching against certain walls
Hi-tops AND honking. Dreams really can come true.
Plunk also revealed the contents of the two non-paid crates, which contain a mix of new items, items previously in crates, and items already in the game but only as drops not permanent unlockables. New bits include (I think?) ill-fitting jeans and several plaid shirts, which is presumably a games journalist cosplay outfit.