Just Survive Server Capacity Changes

Posted on 19/05/2016 at 12:30AM UTC

Daybreak have announced that they will be lowering server capacities in an update tomorrow. We know that the current maximum server capacity is 200 but they have not specified by how much they are loweing this number. Here is what they had to say about the change:  

Hey everyone

We have noticed in the past few days that performance has been taking a hit on the most populated Just Survive servers. We are going to be making a few changes on our end that should boost performance across the board. There will be some minor downtime tomorrow (5/19) at 3AM as we roll out these changes.

In an effort to reduce KOS and crank up the zombie fear factor we are going to be lowering the max player cap per server. This should make encounters with other survivors a little rarer while still keeping the high zombie count. This will come with the minor server downtime. These changes might cause you to see longer than normal queue times at peak hours.

Source: Reddit r/h1z1

The Peaks and Valleys of Z2

Posted on 18/05/2016 at 5:55PM UTC

We've mentioned Z2, an upcoming new map, a few times. Now, Senior Artist Alen Lapidis is here to give you more insight into the design and the process:

“At this point in the process, the terrain geometry has been generated based on Design's needs for game play. The mountains, internal hills, and valleys are formed to connect the towns and locations on the map. In these shots, we're establishing height/slope rules to ensure rock only appears where rock would be exposed naturally, breaking into rubble at its base and transitioning into grassy fields and dirt in the depressions. A zone-wide mask has to be made for each texture used. Afterwards, a coverage map will be generated to help add color variety and depth to the textures on the terrain. This will give cavities more darkness, rocky peaks a sun bleached quality, and scatter some yellow and green in the fields to help the grass have a natural patchy look rather than being uniformly lush. The mountains along the perimeter of the zone will then get snow-capped peaks and the water bodies their rocky riverbeds.”

As you can see, work continues on Z2 here at Daybreak! Be sure to follow @H1Z1JustSurvive and @H1Z1KOTK for more behind the scenes looks at the development of H1Z1.






Source: h1z1.com

Producer's Update May 18th

Posted on 18/05/2016 at 5:45PM UTC

H1Z1: King of the Kill Producer Notes for May 18th, 2016 

Hi everyone, and thanks for taking the time to give this a read.  I know that many of you have poured countless hours into H1Z1 and all of the developers thank you for that.  

This will be one of the largest updates we’ve executed this year and it contains a lot of great changes.  Some of the larger notes are detailed below, but this update also brings with it every change that has been on the Test server for the last couple of weeks. You can expect to see a full list of patch notes on Friday.

Ignition is Going Live FRIDAY!

Really excited to share that Ignition will be launching onto our Live servers this coming Friday, May 20th.  With feedback from the public Test server runs and many, many internal play tests, we have put a lot of work into tuning this new mode to make it as fun as possible.  We think Ignition has turned out great. It truly captures all of the tension and excitement of Battle Royale while encouraging players to engage a new perspective and balance getting to the correct location while also searching for gear, and skillfully outliving the competition.

 For those of you not in the know, rather than parachuting into the action, Ignition starts each player off with their very own ATV and a pack of explosives strapped to their body. To stay in the game, players need to quickly gear up, jump on their ATV, and gun it to the safe zone before the time runs out and your explosives go BOOM!

Two of my favorite streamers, OPscT and AngryPug will be here in studio to livestream the new mode.  Be sure to tune into the King of the Kill Twitch channel at 2pm PST this Friday, May 20 to see Ops and Pug play the new mode and share some giveaways. 

A few tips here for you to help you find some early success.

  • As you descend into the arena on your ATV, turn left or right to orient yourself in the direction that you want to head, this way you can set off as soon as you touch the ground.
  • Be very aware of the safe zone locations! You will see a helicopter hovering over the safe zones, so look for these to help you find your way.  The ground will be clearly marked for you once you make it.  Red means you are not safe, green means you are.
  • Don’t leave getting to the safe zone to the last minute. There is a real balance between gearing up, looting, and getting to a safe zone.  If you are outside of the safe zone when the timer hits zero, it is game over for you, so don’t let that happen.
  • Once time expires, you have to remain in the ring for 30 seconds.  If you slip outside of the ring, you explode and are knocked out of the match.
  • Look for the special airdrops at the end of the ring locks.  They may contain a loaded-up off-roader to help get you to the next safe zone and give you the extra advantage you may need to get the win.

Small UI Flow Change

In order to make selection of your preferred game mode or type more clear, we made a small change to the UI flow.  The classic server select screen should be thought of as a game select screen.  Remember to filter down to your region at the top, then just pick the game that you want to play.

  • Battle Royale
  • Battle Royale Team (2 or 5)
  • Battle Royale: Zombies
  • Ignition
  • Skirmish (when available)

The Battle Royale button has been removed.  A lot of people use that button to join a game, but it is really unnecessary and just confusing now that there are various modes to choose from.  Just pick the game you want to play and click the “Join Game” button.

At the end of a match, we removed the “Play Again” button.  It didn’t do what you expect it to do, and will be different in the future with a whole new flow there.  So we simplified it for now and there will be an “Exit to Main” button in the lower right that takes you back to the game select screen where you can pick a game and join right into it.

Team Games

Ignition is not the only change coming to King of the Kill this week.  A number of improvements have gone in to help the team experience.

We have added an always on outline that is rendered around each character on your team.  This is visible through objects, walls, and other obstructions.  Just Survive players take note that this will also apply to groups in Just Survive.  So if you are grouped up you will be able to see those people in your group.

We fixed up some bugs that were resulting in teams getting split up and put into different games.  This is reliable again and you should count on ending up in the same game as a team.  If this ends up happening to you, please send some info over so we can check it out.

Those changes will be on Live with Ignition.  There is one more change working its way through to help with team play.  That is an option to allow you to enter a 5-man game with a team that is less than 5.  There will be an option to auto-fill or not auto-fill the rest of your group to make a 5-man team.  If you want to go in as a 3-man team into the 5-man game, you will be able to do that.

Sync’d Match Starts

I mentioned this last week and you will see changes in the Live environment this Friday.  Players now all begin at the same time at the beginning of a match in both Battle Royale and Ignition.  I saw some concern over sitting and waiting on people with slow machines.  This does have a time cap, initially set to 45 seconds, where it will start the match and stragglers will be at a disadvantage in starting behind the others.  In the majority of instances, the game will start prior to that time cap.  Our data shows that more than 90% of all players load faster than 45 seconds.

Rewards

A few changes to rewards are coming in this update as well.

First, all match rewards are being updated.  There will be all new items to earn by doing well in a match.

Additionally, rewards in the Skirmish are going to be distributed differently to dis-incentivize teaming.  You will now receive a loot bag drop, just like a crate drop, for spending time in the game.  Each reward in the bag should be unique, until you have earned them, all of course.

As a reminder, teaming or colluding of any kind is prohibited.  We are constantly monitoring these games and if you are caught breaking these rules, we will take action on your account.  This is looked at on a case by case basis, but that action can range from a suspension to an all-out account ban.  It isn’t worth it; teaming ruins the game for everyone else.  Don’t do it.  If you see some suspected cheating, please report the instance to[email protected].

Forced Scope

I know this has been a topic of discussion since we first talked about it.  This isn’t quite ready to go Live yet, but let me provide some context here.  Some changes will go in that not all people will agree with; this is one of them.  King of the Kill has a lot of medium to long range encounters given the nature of the experience and the design of the map.  Currently the scoped weapons are too easy and forgiving from long range.  We will be forcing a scoped view to add a bit of a trade-off to the power of the weapon.  If you are going to get the advantage of the scope, then you lose some of your peripheral vision.  It is a trade-off for you to decide on and balance as you are playing the game. 

Recent Bug Fixes

  • Bombing run tuning so the area is not filled with bombs. I mentioned this in my last update and it will be Live this Friday.
  • Jumping and entering a vehicle could result in a crazy shaky character in the vehicle.  We removed this bug, so expect your character to sit nicely.
  • Seat swapping is now fixed.  May that exploit be forever dead.

That’s it for now folks, as always feedback is appreciated! 

Source: h1z1.com

KOTK Ignition Helicopter WIP

Posted on 17/05/2016 at 12:13AM UTC

Producer's Update May 13th

Posted on 13/05/2016 at 10:10PM UTC

Howdy All! @ShockDev here with a quick update.

As usual, thanks for reading my updates. I really enjoy all the discussion and feedback.

Zombies

At this point, you’re starting to see our zombie development efforts come together. While we will continue to make adjustments, we’re on a solid path to what we believe will be an experience that is both challenging and fair. Based in your feedback, we understand that to many in their current state, zombies may be unfair (some people may actually like them), but we are actively mitigating. This brings us to the next topic….

Melee

Yes, zombies are difficult to engage right now from a melee perspective. We’re doing some work on making melee feel better. Our current focus in on introducing a stagger mechanic (Think, pushback(Q) but more advanced) which gives more depth to melee weapon use and selection. I’ll get you more details as we get closer to implementation.

Nomad Server (No build + More Zombies)

Ruleset servers are where we can really have some fun and we love all the ideas you guys are throwing at us. That being said, a “No build, more zombies” ruleset server is in the works and we will get it in your hands as soon as possible. We first want to implement our changes to zombies and melee before we turn on what we will call the Nomad Server. There are some really interesting ideas being presented by the JS community regarding this ruleset and we will take them into consideration once we see how live play goes and take it from there.

Vehicle Hoarding

  • Okay, we know this has been a hot topic for many of you for some time now. I’ll give you a brief outline on the direction we are heading:
  • Disposable Vehicles - In a nutshell, you find a vehicle, use it for a while, it decays and you must go find another.
  • No vehicle repair - Once it decays, it stops functioning.
  • Raise the spawn cap - We want more vehicles available to support this new direction
  • More randomness to spawn locations - They might not be located under a car port but it will give everyone a better chance at grabbing one.

We’d like to hear your feedback on this one. If you are a vehicle hoarder, maybe not so much!

Incoming fixes

  • Modified the ratio of bears and wolf spawns
  • Screamer grenade adjustments
  • Retuning zombie damage and attack speed
  • Combat knife headshots should work again

We’re also aware of the issues introduced in the last publish re: players dying on stairs and tarps, etc. We’re looking into it and will address it soon. We’ll get you a full change list after we publish to Test server.

BTW, Thanks for hanging in there with us on that last publish. We know it ended up a bit rocky but we pushed through it. Thanks for the instant feedback.

Peace Out!

Steve George

Source: h1z1.com

Producer's Update May 5th

Posted on 06/05/2016 at 1:00AM UTC

Hi everyone, and thanks for taking the time to give this a read.  I appreciate having this regular touch base with you, our community, so keep the feedback coming! 

Skirmishes

The first exciting thing to talk about is a new weekend game type going up on May 6th.  We are calling these ruleset variations Skirmishes, and they can be joined simply by selecting the Skirmish server in the server list.  This Skirmish will run every weekend (turned off during the week) through May, and, we think, they add some fun new ways to play Battle Royale.  The first ruleset going up this weekend will be a “Small Arms” ruleset.  This means no AR’s, Ak’s,shotguns, or hunting rifles, just pistols, crossbows, and bows.  Oh, and keep a look out for those airdrops, there are some new skins to collect that can only be obtained through an air drop in the Small Arms Skirmish.  Again, this will continue each weekend through May and then we will aim to set up a new Skirmish regularly after that.

Scoped Weapons

If you aim while equipped with a scoped weapon you will now be forced into a first person view looking down the scope.  This was done to balance the range and damage vs your ability to acquire targets.

Start of Matches

This one will take a couple of weeks to cascade up to the Live environment.  All players will begin a match at the same time.  It no longer will be dependent on if your game happens to load faster, then you start sooner.  Players will be held until everyone has loaded, and then begin parachuting all at the same time.

Recent Bug Fixes (that will be working their way up to the Live servers over the next few weeks)

  • Bombing run tuning so the area is not filled with bombs
  • Combat improvements, ongoing changes to hit registration, bullet patterns, and bugs
  • Accuracy when shooting while jumping has been nerfed, you will be very inaccurate if trying to fire while in the middle of a jump
  • Mouse wheel fixes for spectator modes
  • Audio improvements for weapons and bullets as well as improved balancing of the sound mix
  • Fix to the double melee bug.  Just Survive players can take note of this one as it was really detracting the Just Survive experience.

Source: h1z1.com

April Art Wrap-Up

Posted on 02/05/2016 at 11:00PM UTC

Don't forget to take part in the discussion about this video on the r/h1z1 subreddit.

Producer's Update April 28th

Posted on 28/04/2016 at 5:00PM UTC

Hi everyone! 

@ShockDev here with a Just Survive update. I appreciate that you enjoy reading these updates and keep asking for more! I have fun writing them! 

By the time you read this, the Live server should have been updated with the latest data direct from the Test Server. I really want to point out that we’re doing our best to provide you with the most stable updates possible. This is why we’re tightening up our publish rules a bit for Test server. With the exception of emergency hotfixes, updates should be available on Test server for roughly a week before going live. This gives us enough time to react to player discovered issues. 

We’re working on a handful of initiatives right now. Most of these revolve around tightening the core game play experience, identifying systems that need a “once over,” and going completely experimental with systems that are just not working out as we hoped.

This leads to my first topic… 

Experimental servers

Very soon, you will see a few experimental servers going live. These servers are specifically being put in place to test out things we would normally be hesitant to try on the live environment. During team discussion, features/fixes which seem like reasonable ideas on our side will be discussed, but no matter how we vet it on our end, after going live, said feature doesn’t always work out as imagined.  Hence, the experimental server! Here is how the experimental servers will play out:

  • Experimental features/fixes/tests are scheduled for deployment on these servers.
  • We publish and observe the change for some time. Usually a couple weeks.
  • We then make a decision as to how we want to implement:
    • The feature graduates to official live status and is scheduled with a live update
    • We remove it, revise it or just straight burn it in a fire 

Typically, experimental servers will be focused on a single or related set of changes to insure accurate analysis on our end. 

No base building + more Zombies

This is our first experimental server test. We’re going to turn off the ability to build structures and crank up the zombie count.  We believe this experiment could lead to a very cool ruleset server in the future.  Let’s see how it plays out! Tell us what you think. 

Zombie AI

We’ve been talking about Zombie AI changes for some time now. The reality is, it’s a huge system which significantly affects the way zombies operate in our game. A lot of the code base has been released in smaller chunks over the last couple months.  Although we refer to it as Zombie AI, it’s really a system for all non-player controlled creatures. It’s currently only connected to the zombies though. At some point soon we’ll transition this system over to the wildlife. This may give you some insight as to why we’ve been holding back on making sweeping changes to the wolves, bears...etc. We really just want to quit tinkering with the old system and do it right with the new AI codebase. Zombies will be aware of bases and structures in the near future also. This should increase the threat level to your constructed safe havens. When there’s a zombie situation outside your base, you’ll actually need to deal with it

Spawn Points

We’ve been watching player patterns regarding respawning. Basically it goes something like this. “/respawn...did I get a good drop…No?.../respawn again.” Eventually, after some time, you end up with a spawn point you are happy with.  We’re making some changes to make this a more ideal experience for all players and we are instituting that all the spawn location manifest around POI regions.  So, your starting point will be within one of the following areas: 

  • Villas
  • Dam
  • Radio Tower
  • Wilderness Camp
  • Desoto
  • Wake Hills
  • Bumjick
  • Runamok
  • LonePine
  • Ranchito Taquito
  • Cranberry
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Bubbas
  • Hemingway
  • Military Base
  • Governor’s Mansion

I understand this doesn’t mean much for veteran players who know the map in precise detail, but the main goal here is to help new players as well as casual players to get their bearings faster. This change will go to the Test server fairly soon. 

But wait! There’s an additional component to this change which we’ll be testing on the “Experimental Servers”. Upon death (or character create), you’ll be presented with a map of the world. This map will have a handful of spawn regions based on the POI’s above. You will also see a marker representing your last death point.  With this interface, you can choose a respawn region and get back to the action at an accelerated pace. This should also help foster timelier group play sessions. Keep in mind; we’re not talking pin point accuracy respawning. It’s literally a random spot within a POI region. 

Z2 Map

I wanted to touch base regarding Z2 just to clarify a few things. I’m sure most of you read Chris’s KOTK Producer update last week. He mentioned that KOTK would be getting Z2 before Just Survive.  There is a very logical reason behind this. As you all are aware, our loot spawning and balance has been a challenge over the past year for survival. Without going into too much detail, we essentially over engineered the original system for Just Survive. We gave it so many tuning knobs, it became a beast to manage when we needed just a simple change. Often, the output would be completely contradictory to the result we had in mind! That being said, we’re reworking the way item spawns function in Just Survive. We want to be able to implement this new system on Z2 and completely avoid the legacy mechanic. This will put us in a much better position to react and tune the game going forward. This system has been in progress and should be available for our designers to use by the time Z2 is ready for population. So, although both teams (KOTK & JS) are populating Z2 around the same time, Just Survive is a significantly larger task and will naturally take longer to complete. AS we dive in, I will give you updates on progress. 

That sums it up for me this week! See you in game!

Steve George

Source: h1z1.com

Producer's Update April 20th

Posted on 20/04/2016 at 11:45PM UTC

Hi everyone, and thanks for taking the time to give this a read.  I know that many of you have poured countless hours into H1Z1 and all of the developers thank you for that. 

Before I get into things, I wanted to make sure everyone caught the announcement about King of the Kill being at this year’s TwitchCon.

Z2

I promised an update on Z2 recently, so let’s start there.  If you are new to things, Z2 is the codename for an all new map being built to replace the current map (Z1) in the game.  While this update note is specific to King of the Kill, Z2 will be used in Just Survive as well; more on that below.

Compared to any other single feature, Z2 is the most resource intensive to develop.  It has the largest single team working on it, and it will be in development for many months in total.  With an 8km x 8km playable space, it is easy to see why it needs so much effort.  Every part of the map needs to be populated with terrain, trees, grass, stumps, rocks, gravel, houses, buildings, roads, etc.  Every single one of those assets has been rebuilt from the ground up, started entirely from scratch.

It is also being re-architected in comparison to Z1 so that when we optimize it, it can provide better performance.  It is coming alongside some updates to our lighting and other rendering systems, the visual quality of the map will be a significant increase in quality.

As I mentioned, the process of building a map of this size takes many months.    The general order of development looks as follows.  There are some simultaneous activities here, but this is the rough order things are worked on.

  • Generate terrain
  • Point of interest population
  • Spawn and loot population
  • Building layout and design
  • City layout and design
  • Art pass on terrain
  • Tree pass
  • Art pass on buildings
  • Lighting pass
  • Optimizations

Each sector of the map is being designed to have a POI.  Those are being added in to compliment the major POI’s (like the dam and Pleasant Valley).  This is being done to provide something of interest in each area and provide a lot of gameplay and discovery to go along with it.  In the King of the Kill, no matter where you spawn, you will not be too far from a POI (some more major than others) to go explore and loot.

A lot of the early work that has been shared publicly was done as tests to new systems and tools to get ready to go into full production of the map (which is where we are now).  I can understand some frustration in that the map was talked about quite some time ago and then not really mentioned since then.  We are definitely hard at work on it, reviewing it regularly and making changes to accommodate the feedback from those reviews.

I am sure that what you care most about is when you will get to see it.  We are working on a plan right now that will get it out sooner rather than later (although that doesn’t mean tomorrow, sorry!).  We are going to embrace the Early Access part of H1Z1 and get the map up prior to it being complete.  That means that when we release it, some of the buildings will probably be bright white (as we layout a map we work with white buildings to represent buildings that will be added later by artists), and other areas may not be fully fleshed out.  But you will see it develop in real time as we continue to update other parts of the game.  Doing this allows us to collect feedback and make changes as we go along. 

A special note for Just Survive players: there are some additional steps that we have to go through to make the map work well in Just Survive, so we will likely release it in King of the Kill first, get it ready for Just Survive, and then release it into Just Survive.  This is simply so we can get it out quicker. If we waited on both until it was ready for both, we would just be holding on to one, and we don’t want to do that.

We will continue to share progress in these updates, as well as our monthly art videos that we share.  Follow @H1Z1JustSurvive and @H1Z1KotK on Twitter; they will sometimes provide you with a sneak peek from our artists at work in development. In fact, here’s a sneak peek right now:

Ignition

Please join our Test servers this weekend for another look at our new mode, Ignition.  This is likely our final test run of the new mode, so get in now to check it out and give us some feedback.  Our plan is to do this last test, make a final iteration on the mode, and then add it to the Live servers for regular play in early May.  Again, we’re embracing the Early Access part of this and want to get it out; we will continue to tune and iterate, but we believe that it is close and ready for large scale play.

Cameras and Combat

Cameras and combat continue to be a heavy focus for us.  A lot of times they go hand-in-hand.  We are reviewing every video that we can find where someone is confused as to why a combat encounter resulted the way it did.  In some cases we have found bugs, some have highlighted problems with our feedback systems, and some just are not clear enough to the player when those situations played out correctly.  We are slowly rolling out changes and monitoring to see if there was an impact or not to continue to make this better.  When I am really confident that everything is working as expected, I will wrap up everything that we did to address it. 

Working their way up to our live servers now are some changes to make the camera smoother going through doors and prevention of camera going through walls and other objects,  as well as some improvements to the camera while in vehicles to make it less “shaky.”

New Crate

We have a new crate coming online next Tuesday, April 26th.  We have a small team of folks who work on the items that go into crates as well as building items that we can use as rewards in future systems.  Whenever they get enough items that we can pull them together into a new crate, we go ahead and do that.  This particular crate is a little bit more on the wild side, all being themed around big time Wrestling.  Called the Extreme Zombie Wrestling (EZW) Crate, it is a collection of wrestling-themed items like masks and tights.  My favorite is the champion’s belt.  It actually is a skin to go in place of body armor, so if you find body armor in the world and have the belt to skin to it, you get a pretty sweet look going on.

Recent Bug Fixes (that will be working their way up to the Live servers over the next few weeks)

  • Cameras, as mentioned above
  • Hit markers should no longer appear when hitting a door
  • Parachutes should get stuck on objects much less frequently
  • You should no longer take damage at the end of the parachute sequence
  • Added a UI option to auto fill your team in 2 and 5 man BR matches

We also have another potential fix for the entire map turning green (we cannot reproduce this issue, so we are making some educated guesses on a fix).

Source: h1z1.com

Introducing the EZW (Extreme Zombie Wrestling) Crate...

Posted on 20/04/2016 at 11:00PM UTC

Can you smell what the art team is cooking? It’s the new EZW (Extreme Zombie Wrestling) Crate! This crate is not yet available in game or in the Marketplace, but we knew you’d want a sneak peek at the rowdy madness coming your way!

Over the next few days, keep your eye on @H1Z1KotK on Twitter as we unveil different items in the soon-to-be-released crate. That’s right, the skins and emotes (yes, emotes!) will be available in both games.

So get ready for Luchador masks, half top shirts, championship belts, and the ability to strike a Power Pose, all coming your way when the EZW heads in game.

And that’s the bottom line.

Source: h1z1.com