There's a PUBG update coming, and the game will finally be leaving Early Access.
(Featured image via Bluehole.)

PUBG’s Massive December Update

Nov 28, 2017
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(Featured image via Bluehole.)

PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is finally getting some of the features the community has been requesting for months. Currently, the test servers are running an updated version of the game while Bluehole irons out the bugs, and the update will be live at some point in early December. This patch will mark the official launch of PUBG, and the game’s long tenure as an Early Access title will finally be over.

Vaulting

Out of the new features that will be added in the upcoming patch, the addition of vaulting might be the most intriguing. Once Patch 1.0 comes to PUBG, we’ll finally have the ability to jump over small objects, including fences and low walls. Players will also be able to jump through windows.

Currently, PUBG does have vaulting, but it requires a precise series of inputs from the player to be executed correctly. If you crouch and jump at the exact same time, you will perform a crouch jump. If you get the timing right, crouch jumping gets you higher than a normal jump, because your legs are lifted up at the same time. This accomplishes the same thing as vaulting.

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If the game already has crouch jumps, why does vaulting have to be added? Most of the professional players have mentioned that they wish the crouch jump was being left in, on the basis that the mechanic adds a level of skill to the gameplay.

There’s a small problem. I have a keyboard that only allows two inputs at a time, and many other players are in the same boat as I am. This means I can’t run forwards, jump, and crouch at the same time. I have to stop in front of a window, perform the crouch jump, and immediately hit my forwards key to go through the window. If you’re like me, you’ve been looking forward to vaulting for months.

New Guns

Two new guns will be added with the update: the DP-28 and the AUG A3. According to Bluehole, the DP-28 has a “low firing rate but a long effective firing range with high damage.” However, the DP-28 can fire quickly, but you sacrifice a fair bit of accuracy in the process. It can be found around the map, like most other weapons. The DP-28 only has an attachment for a sight, and uses 7.62mm ammo. It carries 47 bullets in the disc.

Since it has no room for attachments, the weapon type doesn’t actually matter, but it looks like an SMG. The firing on full auto is definitely hard to control, but it’s worth mentioning that it uses 7.62mm ammo, so if you land a shot on your target, it hits like a truck. It also has legs, so if you’re lying down, the gun will have reduced recoil, much like the M249.

The AUG A3 is a crate-only weapon. It has room for a scope, magazine, front stock, and front piece. Compensators attach to the front of the gun, so you won’t be limited to using silencers the way the Groza is. The AUG A3 seems to have a vertical kick, while the Groza has a horizontal one. It uses 5.56mm ammo, and the fire rate is excellent and fast—it feels like the assault rifle equivalent of the Mini-14.

The AUG is definitely a force to be reckoned with, but it matches the Groza in many ways. Both weapons seem strong, but not overpowered.

Balance Changes and Scopes

PUBG’s 1.0 patch will also include a handful of small tweaks to existing guns and a rework of how bullet damage is registered on different parts of the body. When the update goes live, bullets will deal reduced damage for hand and foot hits, and the damage for thigh and arm hits will be increased. Personally, I don’t care much for this change, since it’s already impossible to tell where you’ve hit someone in a game with such a low tick rate. That being said, here’s a helpful graph from Bluehole showing the reworked damage values.

Here's how damage will be dealt when PUBG's 1.0 patch launches.
Image taken from balance post.

The gun reworks are as follows:

  • Decreased fire rate of SKS and Mini-14.
  • Increased sprinting speed while holding DMR.
  • Decreased recoil for the Mk14.
  • 8X and 15x scopes can no longer be attached to an M16A.
  • The Kar98 can no longer be obtained from air drops.

The healing period for bandages has been reduced from 8.5 seconds to 4.5 seconds.

Scopes definitely have received the biggest balance changes. First, you can now zoom in and out while using certain scopes. This is a massive change, and means the bigger scopes are now better in nearly every situation. The 4x scope also has a new reticle, making it easier to see targets. In addition, the space outside of a scope will now be blurred out, rather than magnified by the scope.

Kill Cam

PUBG will finally be getting a kill cam! Since the game has a report function, but no way to see the other player’s perspective, players were essentially ‘forced’ to report anyone who killed us from out of sight or incredibly quickly. With kill cams, players will finally have the ability to see whether or not their opponents were actually hacking.

On the less cynical side of things, the kill cam will be a nice way to see what kind of cool tricks players are pulling off. It’s a huge improvement to the game, and gives players a chance to learn from their deaths. To avoid kill cam abuse, you’ll only be able to see your kill cam in duos and squads after your entire team has died.

UI Changes

The entire UI will be getting a visual makeover in the upcoming patch. Your team’s health bars are at the bottom left now. The compass is bigger and easier to read. Your teammates have big colored numbers over them, rather than their names. The numbers correspond to their map marker, and are displayed beside the player name at the bottom. The health bar, when under 75%, shows a different design marking how far away from 75% you are. This makes it much easier to know whether to use a bandage or first aid kit.

After the next PUBG update hits and the game leaves Early Access, this is what the health bar UI will look like.
The new health bar UI.

In fact, the entire bottom of the screen is much cleaner. The kill feed is now in the top right, just under the number of alive players remaining. All in all, the UI looks much better, and feels like something you’d see in an official launch, not an Early Access title.

Say Goodbye to Early Access

Which brings us to the last big change, which is that the game is will be officially launching with this patch. This is a huge deal for any game, but it’s especially huge for one that’s been called the biggest game in the world. And, of course, PUBG has been in Early Access for nine months at this point.

What changes when a game leaves Early Access? Nothing, really. The price stays the same, the launcher is the same, and future updates are still in the hands of the developers.

However, the developers now have a serious obligation to make the game as polished as possible. For a long time, Bluehole has been hiding behind the fact that PUBG is an Early Access title. There’s a level of ‘roughness’ that you can expect from Early Access games, but once it officially launches, there aren’t any more excuses. Bad bugs and poor balancing no longer get a free pass.

Will anything truly change with the official launch? Again, probably not. But when people discuss the flaws of a new patch or point out bugs, Early Access can’t be used as an excuse. This puts more pressure on the developers to present a finished product, and hopefully make the game better for everyone.

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Stephen Draper
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Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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