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    [PUBG] Dev Letter - Development Priorities

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    Smiff a2ND LT
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    Dev Letter: Recent Feedback and Our Development Priorities

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    Hi everyone,

    Ever since we launched the 1.0 version of PUBG earlier this year, we’ve been focused on building our team so we can invest in the game’s ongoing development. We’ve been building new content (like Sanhok), quality-of-life improvements (like map selection and weapon balance), and a whole series of aggressive anti-cheat measures. We want PUBG to be the best game possible so players like you keep loving—and playing—it.

    Although we’ve made some meaningful improvements to PUBG, we’ve fallen short in other ways. Players have rightfully called us out for failing to address complaints about performance, and recently we haven’t done the best job of communicating about the changes we’re making to the game. Today we want to change that by talking in-depth about the things we’re prioritizing. We’ll also tease some of upcoming content we plan to add to the game.

    This Dev Letter is the first of many more to come. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

    OUR TOP PRIORITIES

    We look at feedback from players around the world when determining our priorities. We’ve heard your voices, and as a result we believe that the biggest issues which deserve our attention are performance, server-side optimization, and cheating.

    Performance and Server-Side Optimization - Over the past few patches, we’ve seen a big increase in complaints about performance problems, including unpredictable FPS drops, visual stuttering, and overall sluggish performance. Some of the root problems are occurring client-side, and others are server-side.

    First things first. We’ve identified a few simple fixes we can make to improve overall game performance:
    • We’ve discovered that when vehicles move over many different types of ground materials quickly, too many effects are produced, causing players’ GPUS to overload.
    • Another cause of GPU overloading (and FPS drops) has to do with the way lighting effects are processed.

    We’re already working on fixes for both of the issues above.

    We’re also changing the way we ship optimizations. We’re planning to push updates to live servers whenever fixes are ready, instead of simply waiting for major patches. We’ll announce each of these improvements in subsequent patch notes.

    Looking more toward the future, we’ve identified quite a number of ways we can optimize different aspects of the game to improve performance holistically.

    Upcoming Client-Side Optimization Work
    Character optimization
    • We’ll optimize the way the game handles the movement of opponents who you can’t see.
    • The vaulting process and animations will also be improved—we believe this will address certain screen stuttering issues affecting low-powered PCs.
    • We’ll improve the character model rendering process to prevent some small frame drop issues.
    • We’ll optimize character movement and animation while skydiving to improve framerate when multiple characters are skydiving at the same time.
    • We’ll optimize parachute animations to cut down on frame drops near the start of the match

    We expect the final three changes above will make the early stages of each match feel much smoother. War Mode will also benefit immensely from these changes.

    Vehicle optimization
    • We’ll optimize the way the game handles unseen (far away) vehicle movement and the movement of player models inside faraway vehicles.
    • Currently stopped vehicles demand an unnecessary amount from your CPU. We’ll fix it.

    Loading optimization/stabilization
    • We’ll optimize the core structures of Miramar and Sanhok to improve map loading speed.
    • We’ll optimize physical texture loading while level streaming, which should address screen stuttering issues.
    • There’s a crashing issue caused by some level-streaming processes that we’ll address.

    Other optimization work
    We’ll address the frame drop issue caused by high-magnification scopes
    Certain other far-away objects will be rendered in a less taxing way
    We’ll optimize the replay system to improve framerate for players who have the replay/death cam activated

    Upcoming Server-Side Optimization Work
    • We’ll optimize network code and reduce network latency. As a result, basic player inputs will be revealed to other players much more quickly.
    • We’re going to increase the speed at which the server transfers data about objects (items, doors, fences), to address the fact that sometimes item spawn in late after players parachute in.
    • We’re going to eliminate some inefficient network code. Currently, some objects send updates to the server unnecessarily
    • Currently the server rapidly updates certain frames (on vehicles and character models) in an inefficient way. When we address this, we believe it will also resolve some abnormal physics affecting vehicles.

    Obviously these are a lot of changes. Even once we implement every single one of the optimization opportunities listed above, we will keep looking for more chances to improve the game.

    Cheating - Cheating is the area where we’ve made the most progress in recent months. We’ve introduced a variety of encryption based solutions to make it harder for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. We’ve also banned hundreds of thousands of cheaters’ accounts and refined the process by which we identify cheaters—most cheaters are now banned within hours of using an exploit. We’ve also begun taking serious legal action against the people responsible for creating hacks and cheats.

    All of this will continue, but there’s more we can do. We believe we’re winning the battle against cheating, but we won’t stop fighting until we’ve eliminated it. Look for more updates on this in future dev letters.


    OTHER UPCOMING WORK

    Of course, PUBG Corp. is made up of many different teams, and they’re each focused on improving the game in different ways. The people who work on maps, gameplay balance, or cosmetics aren’t going to stop making things simply because we’ve declared that our top priorities lie elsewhere.

    The biggest content drop coming in the near future is Sanhok. We’re aiming to bring it to live servers before the end of June, and development on the map won’t stop there. We’re planning new exclusive vehicles and an exclusive weapon for Sanhok, each of which will drop sometime in the month after the map officially launches. Among these is a big fan request: a drivable three-wheeled vehicle we’re currently calling the Tukshai.
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    n many ways, Sanhok’s test servers have become a place for us to experiment with all sorts of changes and features, including dynamic weather, a variety of circle systems, and weapon spawn behavior. We’ll continue to test out changes during the upcoming test cycle.

    We’re also excited to show off the work that our worldbuilding team has been doing to make Sanhok our most beautiful map yet.

    For instance, one person on the team has spent countless hours touching up the island’s various rocks and cliffaces, adding moss to those near water:
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    Another member of the team has been carefully creating decorative items to make towns feel more like places which once hosted life. A massive pile of original art assets like this...
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    ...will appear in game in places like the abandoned market below:
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    The team is focused on making literally every inch of Sanhok perfect for players, whether it’s the texture on a rock wall or little unique trimmings around each of the islands houses. Every detail matters, and the team is eager to get feedback from you guys during the latest test.

    We’ll have a lot more to share about the other goodies coming to Sanhok in the coming weeks. And you can expect more letters like this from us going forward. There’s so much work we have to do to truly deliver on PUBG’s potential. We’ve teased just a few of the upcoming changes for this year in our Roadmap earlier this year, but the things contained there are really just the beginning.

    We’ll talk again soon!

    Thank you for playing,
    The PUBG Dev Team
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    Posted May 27, 18 · OP · Last edited May 27, 18 by Smiff
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    Interesting. I hope things continue to improve. I think what I would most like to see is a reduction in the rollout of loot boxes. I want to get my hands on the new map on OC servers too.
    Posted May 30, 18
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    Banicks SSGT
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    One of their priorities is trying to sue Fortnite!
    I'm beginning to get more grey hairs than frags these days.
    Posted Jun 2, 18
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    Smiff a2ND LT
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    Patch Notes PC 1.0 Update #14
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    UPDATE 1 (5/30/2018)
    We removed one performance change that was causing problems with reloading and loot spawn load-in times.
    ____________

    Hi everyone,

    This patch we’re overhauling throwables, continuing to tune weapon and attachment balance, and shipping a whole mess of performance improvements.

    First, let’s share a little context about the changes to throwables:
    1. Frag grenades: In a recent update we removed the frag grenade’s knockback effect, greatly reducing its potential impact. To restore the trusty frag’s killing power we’re buffing its effective range and its damage.
    2. Stun grenades: Stun grenades have never been the most popular pickups, and recent changes to frag grenade audio effects have made them feel a bit redundant. To make stun grenades more rewarding, they’ll now affect stunned players’ vision, hearing, and their ability to shoot accurately. We’re also bumping up the stun grenade’s effective radius and introducing new animations so it’s possible to tell when your grenades have stunned opponents.
    3. Molotovs: These have traditionally been among the least popular items in the game. To make molotovs more useful, we’re increasing their area of effect, introducing new properties that allow fire to spread along walls and wooden surfaces in houses, and imposing new debuffs on players who catch on fire. Molotovs will also now explode when shot mid-air.

    One last thing before we jump into the patch notes: we’re nerfing the M24, removing it from care packages, and adding it into the world spawn loot tables. Our goal is to make it a viable alternative to the Kar98k (that players actually get to use). As always, we’ll keep an eye on all of these balance changes and continuously make adjustments and improvements.

    Patch Notes

    Gameplay

    Improvements have been made to throwables (frag grenades, stun grenades, and molotovs).
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    Increased frag grenade damage and effective range
    • Frags previously had to be within 2.6m of player models to deal lethal damage. They now deal lethal damage within 3.5m, moderate damage from 3.5m through 8.5m, and low damage from 8.5m through 10m.
    Stun grenades’ blinding effects have been improved
    • First, let’s explain some terms. “Direct effect” is defined as stun grenade explosions occurring within a 100˚ angle of the player’s visual field. “Indirect effect” occurs when stun grenades explode outside of that “direct effect” range and players are within 5.5m of the explosion
    • The maximum effective range of stun grenade has been increased to 20m
    • Depending on distance from the explosion, the direct effect can blind the player for a maximum of 5.5 seconds, and a minimum of one second (when 20m away).
    • Depending on distance from the explosion, the indirect effect can blind the player for a maximum of three seconds.
    • Characters blinded by a stun grenade now cover their faces. This is a new animation.
    • Spectators are now also blinded when spectating someone hit with a stun grenade
    • Stun grenades will now briefly blind and deafen the thrower if they explode behind their back when cooked.
    • You’ll now be unable to ADS while blinded.
    Molotov cocktails now have new effects and their damage has been increased.
    • Molotovs can now deal indirect damage and burn damage (as damage over time), depending on whether or not you're standing directly in the flames. If you're in the flames you'll take both types of damage.
    • Indirect damage (taken when standing in the flames) has been increased from 10 to 12.5 damage per second.
    • After catching fire, players will take burn damage as damage over time (10 damage per second) for a total of four seconds.
    • You’ll now be unable to ADS while taking burn damage.
    • Flames now spread further along wooden surfaces in houses
    • Flames from Molotovs spread further if another Molotov is thrown on top of the flames.
    • Molotovs will now explode when shot mid-air.
    • A new animation has been added for character models who are suffering burn damage. They’ll attempt to pat out the flames using their hands.
    Adjusting some weapon and attachment balance:
    • Reduced vertical and horizontal recoil of the SCAR-L
    • Decreased basic damage of the M24 from 88 to 79
    • M24 will no longer dropped in care package. It spawns in the world
    • The tactical stock and cheek pad are now less effective at improving recoil recovery rate. It now improves ADS speed.
    • Adjusted light grip
    • Light grip no longer affects weapon basic recoil control or recoil recovery speed
    • Light grip now decreases first shot/single shot recoil by about 15%. Animation kick reduction has been changed to 20% (from 30%).
    • To make the Vector a little easier to find, we’ve increased its spawn rate at the expense of the spawn rate of the UMP-9 (overall SMG spawn rate remains the same).
    • Increased world spawn rate of DMRs.

    UI / UX
    • Added a UI message showing when healing items can’t be used.

    New Anti-Cheat Tech
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    Note: The new anti-cheat tech is currently only on the test servers, once additional testing is complete, it will be added to live servers.

    We’ve added a new anti-cheat solution, developed in-house at PUBG Corp. Before we implement this tech on live servers, we’d first like to see how it works out on the test server. For this, we’ll need your help!

    Expect to see a new popup when you start the client. To help us refine our anti-cheat service it would be helpful for us if you play with the "Enable Anti-cheat" box checked, if you experience issues you can disable this.

    The option to disable the anti-cheat service will not be available when this is moved to live servers.

    Performance
    In last week’s dev blog we wrote in detail about upcoming work we’ll be doing to increase performance holistically. Many of these fixes will take time to deliver, but we’ve already finished a handful of fixes that should make a positive difference:
    • We’ve improved the character model rendering process to prevent some small frame drop issues.
    • We’ve optimized character movement and animation while skydiving to improve framerate when multiple players are nearby.
    • We’ve made some improvements to our network code to reduce network latency.
    • We’ve improved some inefficient processes with the way the server updates certain frames on vehicles and character models. This should resolve resolve some abnormal physics affecting vehicles.

    Sound
    • You can now toggle the new HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) sound feature in the options menu (for opponent’s gunshot sounds only). The feature, which simulates fully three dimensional sound even for two-channel stereo headphones, was explained in greater detail in our dev blog last week.
    • Reduced the volume of the care package airplane.

    UI / UX
    • Average swimming distance has been added to player stats, on the career screen

    Leaderboard
    • The total rating points gained/lost per match has been increased, to better define the skill difference between players.

    Bug fixes
    • Fixed some issues causing abnormal collisions in spots on Erangel and Miramar.
    • Characters should no longer get stuck while vaulting in particular spots around Erangel.
    • Fixed an issues allowing characters to pass through objects in certain locations on Miramar.
    • Improved the accuracy of the throwing trajectory indicator for stun grenades
    • Fixed a visual glitch in the inventory screen that occurred when attaching a choke to the sawed-off .
    • Fixed an issue that was resulting in some strange collisions if players ever jumped on top of a vehicle which had players in it.
    • Scope zeroing on the crossbow is no longer incorrectly enabled and set to an incorrect value by default.
    • Fixed an issue causing stun grenades to appear to bounce around for while after breaking a window.
    • Fixed an issue where the cheek pad’s vertical recoil control attribute was excluded in in-game tooltip.
    • Fixed an issue which prevented the cheek pad from adding 10% vertical recoil recovery when attached to the SLR.
    • Fixed an issue when hip-firing for an extended duration, the gun would appear to be lowered
    • Fixed an issue that caused the effect from stun grenades to appear differently depending on graphical settings
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    Posted Jun 4, 18 · OP
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