At the start of every Playerunknown's Battlegrounds match, players wake up confused and hungover after a fierce night on the lash at their stag and hen parties. They blink, squint at the 99 other zombies, search in vain for a Red Bull or ideally a fried breakfast, then pass out before awaking on a plane. This will change, a little. With the next update (currently live on the test servers), the game will split players in the loading lobby between several different areas of the map. Having 100 people in the same spot harms performance too much, the devs say, so they're spreading people out. Guns will be removed from the lobby too.
"Lots of interaction among multiple players in such a small area had a high impact on the servers," developers PUBG Corp said in this morning's Plunkbat test server notes.
"To solve this, we have introduced multiple areas where players gather before the match start. As a result, the performance, both server and client-side, has improved."
That's also why the weapons are removed from the lobby Erangel (the new map, Miramar, hasn't had any anyway). If this all improves performance at the start of matches, ah sure, go on. The current bug of weapons spawning after some players have already landed is terrible and while I don't know if these change fix that, I hope to god they will.
I will miss the old lobby antics a little. I've had races and chases, crawled in long snakes of players, danced along to players blasting the Cha-Cha Slide, enjoyed filling faces with crossbow bolts which poke out like eye stalks on a snail, got my hands on some weapons for the very first time, and heard so very many shouted ethnic slurs and racial epithets. Okay, so I won't miss all of lobby.
I hopped on the test server to check out the new lobbies and ah, it's not so bad. It is nice to have some variety, and the new lobby zones I've seen were more interesting then Erangel's island and Miramar's prison - more places to scamper, climb, and circle punching someone wearing a hideous rare jacket. I've counted 25-ish players each time, so I'd guess each match has three or four lobby zones. That's probably still enough for a bit of bants if everyone's in the mood. Do the responsible thing and start a chant of "LADS LADS LADS" on your lobby.
Having recently found another 100,000 cheaters to ban, Plunkbat's makers are cracking down further. "We will also be testing a new security (anti-cheat) measure that is still under development but we want to start gathering some data regarding it's stability and compatibility," they say. I think I ran into a problem with that myself.
A wild bug on the test server made my screen flash pink and green, which I assume is related to the anti-cheat doodad. While I do quite like the Night of the Comet vibe, the strobing is certainly unkind on the eyes. I've seen a few other players report the same problem so people sensitive to such things might want to steer clear, just in case.
I suppose maybe I could use those weird new Nvidia filter bits to create an effect like this, if I really wanted to.
Assuming all goes well, I'd expect the update to hit the main servers in a day or two.
Beyond this update, the devs say "Additional modifications are also on the way related to the airplane performance improvement", which is a confusing series of words but gives the general idea: more fixing.