In a dev blog posted on their official Steam page, the PUBG developers have announced some sweeping changes to weapon damage, the attachment system, and the loot table arriving in an upcoming patch.
In the short post, the team explained that there is currently an imbalance of weapon use in the game. Players are often opting for assault rifles over the other weapons in the game in all forms of conflict. Apparently, this goes against the design goals of the team, and in the post they explicitly mention that the team’s “goal is to make it so no one gun will feel objectively better than the others.” While they are being cagey with numbers until the actual patch notes, it seems that PUBG Corp. is about to make some big shifts where weapon damage is concerned.
These aren’t the only significant changes coming down the pipe, as the post also mentions big moves in the weapon attachment system. Currently there are a wide array of attachments for the muzzles, stocks, magazines, and sights of the various weapons in the game. The shifts that will be happening for this system are designed to give players a “wider array of attachment options,” although what that might mean exactly is a little murky.
An additional significant alteration to the game is the removal of the level three helmet from the normal loot table. The developers note in their post that having a level three helmet functionally gives players an “extra life” because even a headshot from the game’s most powerful weapons will not fully down a player wearing an undamaged level three helmet. Using that logic, the team are going to be making the level three helmet into an item that can only be gotten from the plane-dropped care packages that appear sporadically during a game.
To me, this last decision is the most impactful one for the average player. Changing weapon damage and the attachment system universally alters the game for everyone, but changing who has access to level three helmets means that there will be a reduction in mid-level players who make it to final circles on good fundamentals and fading a lucky headshot from a better player. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that’s one of the goals for the change. “We don’t want luck alone to determine who gets items like this,” the devs explain, “so we’re removing it from the normal loot spawn tables and limiting it to care packages only.”
I’m not quite sure how to work out the logic that differentiates finding an item on the ground as more or less lucky than hoping you’re in the flight path of a crate that might spawn an item you want in it (and how lucky you need to be for that crate to be uncontested), but clearly there’s some kind of calculus going on here that’s I’m not aware of.
As Reddit user Ryan_Lim notes in the top comment in the Reddit thread dedicated to the post, “Demotion of Level 3 Helmet to Air-Crate only is basically a buff to pro Kar98k users.” In a game like PUBG, where its systems all have significant impacts on each other, removing gear like the level three helmet from the world means that a skillful (or just a lucky) shot from a powerful gun at a long range is enough to take you out of a given game. I’m also not sure how this figures into the “luck vs skill” ideas evoked in the post. Figuring out how to balance these things together is a difficult task, especially since weapon damage is being operated on at the same time.