H1Z1 will soon become known as Z1 Battle Royale. It’s been a rough period for the game following some very impressive stats at the height to the battle royale boom. A patch went live for the game which promises to be “the first major step in that transition.” A “re-formed dev team” is now working on the battle royale, and the developers want to “return the game to its roots as the world’s most competitive BR Game.”
There are big changes to matchmaking in particular, with reduced lobby times that should lessen your wait for a round. Across all modes, lobby time now tops off at 135 seconds as long as there are at least two players in a match, and rounds will dynamically scale if there are less than 100 people. Scaled matches will start the gas at more advanced phases to keep things tight, and will similarly reduce to number of airdrops.
Those are some essential changes given how far the H1Z1 player count has fallen. It was one of Steam’s top games in 2017, but bled over 90% of its player base in just over half a year. It still maintains a healthy average in the thousands, but given the needs of battle royale any changes to make it easier for those players to find each other is very helpful.
There are a host of other changes detailed in the patch notes, including weapon rebalances for the AR-15, AK-47, M-9, Shotgun, and Magnum, each of which have been changed based on Preseason 3 characteristics. You’ll also a generally sunnier look in most matches, with the default time set to 2pm and climate selections now weighted 90% to sunny days.
H1Z1 went free-to-play earlier this year, but nothing seems to have quite reversed the game’s fortunes so far. Layoffs hit Daybreak a few months ago, and the community’s response to recent developments has not been kind. The reformed team is keeping its plans open for viewing on Trello, and hopefully these new, more open plans can present a better game for fans of H1Z1 – or Z1, as I suppose we’re soon going to be calling it.