PAX West 2017: A closer look at H1Z1 King of the Kill’s combat practice

If you’ve been away from H1Z1 for a long time, you need to known that Daybreak’s been making it easier to get back into the game, both for former players and for newbies.

I spoke with Daybreak Lead Systems Designer Tony Morton at PAX West about the recent combat update, and he showed off the upcoming combat practice feature.

“What we’re doing is system by system and segment by segment,” he told me. “We’re kind of gutting it; we’re starting over from scratch in a more systematic standpoint.”

Combat upgrade

At the end of August, King of the Kill received a combat update that included a number of quality-of-life improvements aimed at enhancing the gameplay and increasing the speed of the action for new players and veterans alike. Morton described these QoL changes as “a lot of little things [Daybreak is] doing to combat to increase the fluidity of combat and make it a lot easier and faster to play.”

The changes include a dynamic combat reticle to help new folks with aiming and a new camera view (both of which veteran players can revert right back to classic). Bullets now also have tracers to add a visual cue to where they go, which is even more helpful since bullet speeds were more than doubled. Morton explained this is intended to “make the game feel more snappy and more responsive.”

Additionally, the crafting panel has been merged with the inventory UI to speed up the whole process. A much-appreciated new feature is that players actually show up on the map as do their groupmates; add to that a more detailed compass that includes degrees and players won’t be wasting time trying to decipher where friends are. And speaking of the map, the distribution of the gas has changed, so battle can end anywhere on the map now and not just dead center every time.

Combat practice

Combat practice is a new feature that Morton said has been used internally for about six months, although it was being shown for the first time at PAX. It will be released to the game before the next major milestone, so within the next six weeks. Combat practice is a concentrated map (only 2km by 2km) meant to help players get back into the game after a long absence, introduce new players to the game, or even just provide a warm up for regular players.

“The idea behind it is you spawn in fully geared,” Morton told me. “You don’t need to scavenge for anything; you run around, you get some kills, and then if you get killed, you simply respawn and you are back in the action.” The whole point is to decrease the time it takes to get in on the action so you can get the feel for the gameplay — to practice without a lot of downtime.  The small map is modeled after the main one to give a feel for the situations you may encounter. There is even a shooting range with distance markers to test out different guns.

On top of this, Morton also said that devs are working on removing some of the RNG from the loot distribution so that players don’t have to waste time scavenging in building after building looking for enough gear to start play. Instead, he explained, “you hit the ground, you hit a couple of buildings, you get what you need, and then you just get out into the fight. Because that’s the fun, the exciting part.”

Massively Overpowered was on the ground in Seattle for PAX West 2017, bringing you expert MMO coverage on Ashes of Creation, Ship of Heroes, Dual Universe, and everything else on display at the latest Penny Arcade Expo!
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6 Comments on "PAX West 2017: A closer look at H1Z1 King of the Kill’s combat practice"

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FVerret
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FVerret

I thought the name of this game was King of the Hill ever since its announcement, up until I heard Justin’s interview on the podcast a little while back.

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Sally Bowls

The MOP article had PUBG at 1017k players and H1Z1 at 87k. Which kinda surprised me both ways. PUBG is 12 times larger than H1. OTOH, 87K simultaneous players is kinda impressive.
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Is it because I am old and crotchety or have people just given up about Early Access? IMO, back in the day, month 32 of EA might have caused some to inquire whether it will be releasing soon. It seems to be a non-issue any more.

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Mr Poolaty

These game devs are class act fuck ups. This game has changed so many times I don’t think they know wtf they’re trying to do…

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Greaterdivinity

“you hit the ground, you hit a couple of buildings, you get what you need, and then you just get out into the fight. Because that’s the fun, the exciting part.”

So if the scavenging part of it isn’t fun…why does it still exist?

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thickenergy

As a reason for, and to provide context to, RNG loadouts I assume. And LOOTS. Gamers love their LOOTS.

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