September 20 Game Update
Executive Producer Chris Wynn discusses the next game update, including the new map and UI!
Lots to talk about today. I am really proud of how much the team has accomplished over the last four weeks. From work going into the Arena, the all-new UI, Twitch integration, regional servers, and even some new features (I go into in more detail below), there have been a lot of long days and focused work, and the game has come miles in just the last month.
While we’ve mentioned that there are a lot of new features, systems, and polish coming, I know there is some uncertainty in the community around September 20th given that many of these features have not yet made it to the Test server for you to get your hands-on, explore, and provide feedback on-- you are operating in the dark with only our word to go on. There are a lot of reasons why we have not pushed those features to test, but reading all of your feedback made us recognize that we definitely need time to test all of these new features at scale.
I have said before that quality is our top priority, and that continues to be our commitment. As we work through Early Access and simultaneously shape how this stage of development is defined, we also have to resolve the best process to develop a quality, live game, AND also keep our community well-informed. You have expectations, we have expectations, and we need to be certain those expectations are in alignment.
Ultimately, this means that we are going to let the game “bake” a bit longer and ensure that you continue to have a voice and are able to provide feedback into the features that you have not had the opportunity to play. We will still release a MASSIVE update on September 20th, but we are going to keep King of the Kill in Early Access, at the Early Access pricing, in order to allow us and you to test the features and provide feedback on them. We will continue to listen and read your thoughts and use it to plot the course for King of the Kill to make it as good as we all know it can be. Testing the game at scale will be important, and it is just not something that we can replicate within our own walls or even on the Test servers. We want to be sure everything is working as intended with you, prior to an official launch – it would be unfair to do anything otherwise.
This same Live update, as previously announced, is planned to head to our Test servers later today. This update includes an updated version of the Arena, the new UI, and a glimpse into the new match scoring and Twitch integration. It is an absolutely huge update, and we are expecting to bring the servers down for an extended period of time in order to line everything up properly.
When we launch, I can assure you that the game will achieve the quality targets we are putting in front of us. A game that is competitive, enjoyable, consistent and fair, and as fun to watch as it is to play. I know you want nothing else in King of the Kill, and I want you to help us get it there.
Now, let’s get into some details on some features that we have not yet outlined but will be included in the September 20th update, and that you will see on Test starting today.
I have previously talked about the goal behind new UI-- make the game easier to initiate and play including the ability to set your skins prior to a match, an improved and more readable HUD, and streamlined user flows. All this will be included in the update on the 20th so you can check it out and provide feedback.
Part of the new UI is an entirely new Grinder experience; we are calling it the Scrapyard. The idea was to make it simple to deal with your duplicate items. You can break down duplicates into “Scrap” and then you can use the scrap to get a new item. The item list within the Scrapyard will be quite large and full of a lot of items out of the recent crates, and it will get refreshed each time a new crate is released. The Scrapyard is much easier to use, and gives you something to do with those duplicate items should you want to.
We have talked about this as well, but I am excited to see it in action. Linking your Twitch account and Daybreak accounts is easy and gives you access that you just won’t find in another game. You can discover new streamers as a viewer, or participate with your followers directly in the game as a streamer and see where you place on the leaderboards next to other streamers playing the game. This is just the start for King of the Kill and Twitch, and we plan on extending this integration even further in the future.
Crowns, Skulls, and Credits
We are introducing some new in-game currencies and updating the current system a bit. To start, Crowns will be replacing Daybreak Cash as the primary purchasing currency. You will have the option to convert all, or just a select amount of DBC over to Crowns within the game’s launcher. This conversion will be one to one, one DBC for one crown. In-game items and crates remain the same price, just converted to Crowns. We are also introducing Skulls and Credits. Skulls are a new currency which can be used to buy new rewards for your character, while Credits will be earned through normal gameplay and can then be used in the Bounty System to earn Skulls. We’ve included a breakdown of Crowns, Skulls, and Credits in a recent article.
The beginning of a whole new system will make its debut with this update – the Bounty System. The system will start small and then expand over time. On the 20th, you can back your performance in a single match. By doing that, and doing well in the match, you can win Skulls, the new in-game currency mentioned above. You have the option to back your performance with any of the three in-game currencies (Skulls, Crowns or credits), with Skulls always being the currency that you are paid out in. Rewards may include emotes, character skins, and/or vehicle skins as rewards.
Scoring System & Leaderboards
I previously mentioned a new scoring system within a match. Each time you play, you will receive a score for that match. That score is based on your finishing position and number of kills within the match. Your top ten scores will contribute to your overall score and that will place you on a leaderboard. The leaderboards are tiered, so it is all about seeing which tier you can land in and working to improve your top ten score. This is the foundation of Seasons and competition for rewards within each Season will be based on your scores.
The leaderboard tiers start at Bronze, and then move through Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and finally Royalty. On the 20th, we will begin testing out this system in the live environment. We want to see how it plays out and balances to see if any changes are needed. From there we will determine the official start of the first Season.
We are adding a whole training zone for... training. It is a version of the Arena with no gas, and respawning enabled. There are no scoring or match results in this zone as the idea is if you want to just practice up on some skills, learn the game, or learn the Arena, you have a place to do that.
The old Box of Destiny has some lovers and some haters. The best aspect of it was the emergent gameplay that came from it. Unfortunately, aspects of it also annoyed some players given the complete chaos that it represented. We hope you welcome Fort Destiny. We re-envisioned it to go along with the Arena. It is much larger so players can spread out and run around. If you don’t want to be around people, you don’t have to be; you can go hide in a secluded area. If you miss the vehicles, I am happy to say that they are back now, complete with their own area and a race track for some pre-game fun.
Regional Servers and Fair Play
We have now tested servers in all of the regions that we will support on the 20th: North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. These will all be up and running on the 20th, and players will default to their closest region. All of the fair play detection will be enabled, included ping and disconnect restrictions.
Team Follow Cam
When playing 2’s or 5’s, if you die before your teammates you will now follow your surviving teammates in a locked 3rd person camera so you can continue to track the match and your team’s progress.
Changes on the 20th
There is a list of changes that we are making to the game based on improving UI flows and the ease of playing the game. All of our Early Access players should be aware of these changes and what they mean.
- Crowns: As mentioned above, Daybreak cash will no longer be the primary currency in King of the Kill. Instead we will be using Crowns to purchase any in-game items and rewards. You will have the option to convert all, or just a select amount of DBC over to Crowns within the game’s launcher. This conversion will be one to one, one DBC for one crown. In game items remain the same price, just converted to crowns.
- Keys:We are removing keys to help streamline the crate opening experience. On September 20th, all keys in players’ inventories will be converted to standard unlocked Predator crates, our most popular crate to date. If you would prefer a different crate, please consume that key prior to September 20th. We also have a new crate opening experience, make sure you check it out.
- The removal of keys will also happen in Just Survive. So we will be making a small update to Just Survive on the 20th to account for this change.
- Air Drop Tickets: Some users still have Air Drop tickets in their inventories. As previously stated, those obviously have no value in King of the Kill and are leftover from the split of H1Z1 back in February. On September 20th, those air drop tickets will be converted to scrap to be used in the Scrapyard.
- Loot Bags: The idea of loot bags are going away. If you have a loot bag in your inventory, it will be converted into a mirror image of itself as an unlocked crate. This is so the new UI can handle it as a crate within your inventory. You will be able to do everything to it that you would normally with an unlocked crate. You will have the same shot at the same contents within it, it will just show up as a crate in your player’s inventory.
- Minor Gameplay Changes:A few minor gameplay changes to talk about as well.
- Gas: The initial gas ring will now be displayed one minute faster (two minutes into the match), and the first ring will be slightly larger in diameter. We wanted to increase the early tension, but still make it reasonable to reach the first ring.
- Explosive Arrows: The explosive arrow recipe is being tweaked; it now just takes one frag grenade along with the other components to create a bundle of explosive arrows. One explosive arrow does a lot less damage than one frag grenade to keep it well balanced.
- New Default Settings: All of the graphics settings have been revamped and rebalanced. This update will reset all default options, if you were using custom options, you will need to reset those after the update.
- Character Server Wipe: Finally, we will also be wiping all character servers for King of the Kill on the 20th. This means all of your character names and stats will be wiped out to accommodate the new UI and other changes to the game. This does not affect your account name or anything associated with the account. All of your in game items will still transfer over as those live with your account, not your character.
The team is working crazy hard right now and is making tremendous progress each and every day. Things are getting to be quite exciting. We will communicate this out more clearly when we get closer, but we are planning on extended downtime in order to support the release on the 20th. Right now we are looking at 24+ hours of downtime in order to get everything in place and tested.
Thanks again for all of your feedback and support, especially the dedicated players on Test.