The neat-o climbing and vaulting system coming to Playerunknown's Battlegrounds [official site] on its path through early access is still several months away, developers Bluehole Studio have confirmed. It should hit public testing in November, and take extra test time. That's a shame, as this is the one game-changing feature I'm waiting for.
In better news, the patch launching later this week is great. It's now live on the test server, packing changes including a creepy foggy weather variant, a whole new town on the map, a decent new marksman rifle, measures to deter AFK farming, and neat tweaks like a key bind to drop a map marker on your location.
I'm among those aching for climbing and vaulting in Plunkbat, as it'll really change movement and improve awkward urban combat. Unfortunately, "there are some challenges to introducing the feature as soon as people are requesting", Bluehole said in today's announcement.
"First of all, our vaulting system is not built on predefined objects or locations in the map. There are tens of thousands of objects that should be vaultable or climbable in Erangel. To perform the action, the geometry and properties of each object have to be dynamically detected and analyzed. The algorithm is quite complex and requires rigorous testing and fine-tuning of the map. Testing it for only a couple of days before deployment on the Live servers won’t be enough for us to identify all bugs and side effects."
The plan is to launch the system into testing in early November, and to test it "for a longer period of time" than usual. Test patches usually launch properly after a few days but who knows how long that could be? They might even start publicly testing the system before November. This does seem to point to mid-late November as being the time to launch it, assuming all goes well.
That's the distant future. Right now, this week's patch is already in public testing on the test client. It's a big'un, bringing new content and some solid changes. The full notes are over here but I'll pick out some personal highlights:
- Improved performance on low-end PCs by optimizing buildings
- Added Foggy weather
- Added a new town, East of Stalber
- Added new Option to change Cross-hair color
- Added new key bind to mark your current position on the map (Default key set to Insert)
- Added a new key bind to use the Consumables in the order of Med Kit, First Aid Kit, and Bandage (Default key set to "-")
- Added a new feature to reset the zeroing distance using Mouse wheel click
- Added a new weapon, the Mini-14. The Mini-14 is a lightweight and compact 5.56 semi-automatic marksman rifle
o The weapon uses sniper rifle attachments for both the muzzle and magazine slots, and can take any type of optic sight
o This weapon has lower damage stats than other DMR's, which is compensated by very high muzzle velocity and low bullet drop
- Distance at which shadows are rendered are now synchronized across all graphics settings to ensure fair play
- Tommy gun has been removed from Care Packages and become a world spawn. It now supports attachments such as the Silencer, Vertical Foregrip, and Magazines
- Decreased fuse time of the Flash Grenade to 2.5 seconds
- Increased the lethal and injury ranges of the Frag Grenade
- Improved the animation for throwing grenades to allow for increased speeds and more accurate trajectories, but decreased visual trajectory distance of throwables
- Added a new sound for collisions between vehicles and characters
- Characters that fall or glitch underneath the map will now be reset to the ground automatically
- Revised the BP methodology to prevent BP farming and idle users from gaining BP
- Added FPP Leaderboard for all regions with FPP
The fog is wild. Very creepy. Good wind. Real easy to miss buildings, let alone players.
The new town is Kameshki, on the north-east coast where a small cluster of buildings formerly stood. It's not huge -- a dozen or so houses -- but is big enough to be a solid drop point. Kameshki also has a good variety of buildings and cover, supporting good fights. And though the patch notes don't list it, a lot more has changed in the north-east corner. Stalber, the big mountain, now has a small military radar installation next to the ruins; those usually pack good loot. The mountainside and coastal road have a few more houses too.
Reworking that corner of the world sounds great. Currently, it's nearly empty. Few teams ever drop or even go there, as the loot isn't good enough and it's a real trek between places. Any flight path passing over that corner may as well terminate early (or start late) because players will instead overcrowd nearby places like Yasnaya Polyana.
Assuming all goes well, I'd expect the update to launch on Thursday. If you want to poke around on the test server, be aware that Kameshki is currently spicy as heck. The test server is also playing the foggy map in most rounds, which is a grand adventure.
Dataminers have dug into the test update's files and discovered that Plunkbat's upcoming desert level has some very intimidating work-in-progress place names.
Today's post repeats that Battlegrounds is currently expected to leave early access by the end of 2017. That's a bit behind the initial plan but hey, development takes time and Plunkbat is a great game in its current state.