The blue circle of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is a mysterious god. We cannot predict its whims, only hope that it favours us - then we thank it for its benevolence. Inside the circle is life, outside is death. Some say the circle gives the game structure by forcing us closer together, but I don't think the circle cares or even knows we're there. The-closing wall of electrodeath's whims and motives will soon change again, as the developers are now testing changes to its speed and movements.
The devs are also gabbing about cheats, saying they're preparing to wipe out another 100,000 cheaters they've found - and warning that if you're fuming thinking you've spotted a cheater in a replay, it might just be a bug.
First, our god. PUBG Corp have launched a new patch on the test server, changing the speed, rest breaks, and damage of the blue zone at times. Ol' Bluey being what drives players onwards (well, other than bloodlust and a pack rat mentality), it should change the pace of rounds.
"Over the course of the Early Access period, we received a lot of feedback from you that the pacing and distribution of combat encounters in a match could be more even and less chaotic," the devs said in last night's post. They say they tested a few ideas internally but couldn't roll them out because they were busy with others matters. Well, now these changes are live on the public test server:
- Slightly decreased the waiting time of the blue zones in mid-to-late phase of a match
- Slightly decreased the shrinking speed of the blue zones in mid-to-late phase (In this phase, blue zones will now move at a slower speed and the travel time of blue zones has slightly increased due to this change)
- Slightly increased the damage per second of the last blue zone
So circles will spend less time standing still in the mid-to-late game but move more slowly, then right at the end they'll really burn you if you get caught in the blue.
That's the current plan. They say they'll tweak this following feedback and data from the test server, and will be testing further afterwards. If you want to try the changes yourself, download the separate client labelled 'Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (Test Server)' in your Steam library.
I hope this achieves the goal of evening out rounds. At the moment, half the players seem to die in the opening minutes then the game stalls at 40-ish players alive for ages.
As for cheaters, they say they have "performed a thorough gameplay data review of 10 million players and completed analysis of tens of millions of data logs," which has turned up a new pattern identify cheaters. 100,000 people will be permanently banned in one fell swoop. See you in heck, jerks.
However! If you've watched a replay and been suspicious of how someone appears to fire their gun without any recoil, be aware that might be down to a bug rather than a recoil hack. They say:
"We have identified an issue in our deathcam, replay and observing systems which is related to showing other players as if they are using cheats. When you watch the gameplay video of another player in the systems, it looks like there is no recoil even for a player who is not using a cheat. Please note that it is caused by a bug in the systems. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused in reporting cheaters and the confusion the bug has created for many of you. We are going to fix this bug as soon as possible."
Or maybe they might actually have been cheating. As long as this bug stands, it's all a bit confusing.