We might get to clamber and leap around in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds [official site] before the end of October, Bluehole Studio said today. The climbing and vaulting system is one of the main features headed to Plunkbat before it leaves early access, along with a new map set in a desert. A new dev update today reaffirms that the Battle Royale-ing multiplayer shooter is still on course to launch by the end of this year, with all that plus optimisations and more. And that desert map ↑ is looking good.
Today's post is a little vague and avoids dates or precise details, but does restate that the main features they plan to add by version 1.0 plans are new vehicles (remember the Kombi, yeah?), vaulting and climbing, and replays, while working on performance optimisations and stability fixes too.
Continuing their process of testing for longer, Bluehole say that the big additions will need to be on the test servers for at least 2 to 4 weeks before going live. So they'll be rolled into three big phases. The first, hitting the test servers "in late October or early November", will introduce climbing and vaulting:
1st phase: Focus on testing vaulting & climbing
2nd phase: More testing of vaulting & climbing, test other new content and features
3rd phase: All new content and features including the desert map
While Bluehole had previously raised the possibility of clambering hitting Plunkbat's test servers in October, I had the impression it'd likely be mid-late November. I am stoked to clamber. While I'm not bad at the 'crouch-jumping' technique which serves a similar function to vaulting by letting players jump onto objects that a normal jump couldn't, it does feel a bit like an expert and is a bit finicky.
Anyway! That Mexico-inspired desert map? Cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer had a cheeky preview peek over the weekend. It's certainly a lot greener and more bountiful in cover than I had imagined. And it has a wrestling ring. And driving off-road affects vehicle handling. Good stuff. (You can check out our PUBG map guide for pointers to the game's existing terrain. --Ed)
In other Plunknews, leaderboards are now expected to return on October 20th. The new season was already delayed from the 11th to the 17th. This is all to make servers and bits more stable, which is welcome. I'll happily lose stats for a week to improve servers. A minor patch will hit this week too, as detailed in today's announcement.
Plunkbat is already running behind schedule. When it hit Steam Early Access on March 23rd, the devs insisted the full version would arrive within six months. That did not happen. But that's never a surprise with early access.
This almost always happens, especially with big games - and especially ones which grow faster than expected. I've been annoyed by server instability and irked by performance problems -- and really would like to get vaulting already -- but it's all within what I'd expect from an early access game. I'm still having a great time with the lads.