Z1BR Season 3: The Return of the King (March 6th Patch Notes)

A foreword from our General Manager, Anthony Castoro.

"Today's patch is huge, not just because it contains tons of content, or that it's the start of the first new Season since early November, or even that the game now has a new name. It's also huge because it represents the first big delivery on the promise that the new NantG team made when it took over development last September: Bring back the game that so many of you fell in love with in the classic "King of the Kill" era around Preseason 3 at the end of 2016 and in early 2017.

Since September, the NantG team has been as transparent as possible about our goals and plans and many of you have stuck with us through the challenges of starting a new company, transferring the development and operations of a live game and releasing updates on an almost weekly basis. We want to take this opportunity to thank so many of you for sticking with us and to welcome those of you who are returning, or even just discovering the game for the first time.

We're not done! We still plan to address old weapon models, classic in-game UI elements and more. So if you want to keep up with the latest plans go to https://www.z1roadmap.com or join us in the official forums at https://forums.z1.live!"

Thank you Anthony. Today's patch is absolutely one of epic proportions as you will all soon see in the massive patch notes below. It has been a crazy ride since making the transition from player to Community Manager and I am ecstatic for you all to get to play this first giant step in the development of Z1 Battle Royale.

On behalf of the team I would just like to say "Welcome Home!"

Jason "SUP3RSoN1K" Burns
Z1BR Community Manager

User Interface - Rebrand
The first thing you see when you launch a game is the loading screens and the front end user interface. It is a massive point of nostalgia for players and we knew we had to get it in for this patch. Upon loading up after updating you will find a very new yet very familiar interface awaiting you. Our UI Programmer recreated the front end UI, menu system, kill feed, and players remain sections of the interface while giving it a bit of an update to accommodate new game systems that you will find out more about further down in the patch notes.

Another change you will notice is that the rebrand has occurred, and going forward the game has been renamed to Z1 Battle Royale on all platforms. Twitch, Steam, Twitter, and in game.

Along with the rebrand we have brought our new website and forums online. We will be using the forums as a place for players to hangout, discuss the game, conduct polls, and collect feedback from the community as a whole on the current state of the game, future updates, and test server patches. Feel free to hop into the conversations on http://Z1.live

One of the two biggest systems when it comes to the "feel" of a game's combat is the movement and animations. Since the combat update the game lost its arcade like feel due to changes to everything from movement speed to the animations system as a whole. Recapturing that arcade feel again was an absolute must.
  • Recreated animations in relation to the following list:
    • Run
    • Jump
    • Crouch
    • Weapon Swap
    • Weapon Reloads
    • ADS
    • Passive Stance
    • Active Stance
    • Player Framing
  • Restored the following list of PS3 movement values:
    • Run Speed
    • Jump Height
    • Strafe Speed

Combat and Gun Mechanics
Since the NantG team took over on Z1 Battle Royale we have made multiple changes in previous patches related to gun mechanics and feel. All with one goal, bring back PS3 combat. Changes were made to internal systems and tools to rebuild the weapon mechanics of that season. Below is a list of all the changes that have occurred to the weapon mechanics since Season 2:
  • AR-15 restored PS3 recoil and bullet speed.
  • AK-47 restored PS3 recoil and bullet speed.
  • Shotgun restored PS3 recoil and bullet speed.
  • M1911 restored PS3 recoil, fire rate, and bullet speed.
  • Sniper Rifle restored PS3 recoil, sway, and bullet speed.
  • Removed the Hellfire SMG and reintroduced the M1911A1.
  • Melee Weapons had a QoL clean up to responsiveness.
  • ADS snap speed when strafing/jumping.

World and Environment Rework
Outside of gun mechanics and combat, another major player in the feel of the KotK era was the overall color palette, textures, and lighting of the world. These systems had major overhauls and changes to the tools that dictate how they interact with the world since that season. All of these were things that we had to track down, find out what changed, and fix or many times find new ways to recreate to make the game feel like itself again.

Changes made to the world/environment:
  • POIs Removed: Ponyvale, Coy Scrapyard, and the Pleasant Valley County Carnival.
  • Restored lighting model to PS3 values.
  • Restored PS3 ground textures and roads.
  • Restored and optimized PS3 flora.
  • Restored and optimized PS3 trees. (We were able to fix the LOD and hit/collision issues with these assets that existed during the PS3 era)

    Another large part of the world is the loot distribution system. With the addition of the Ranked Pro play mode (more info further down in the patch notes) we can now tune competitive mode loot distribution independent of the standard play mode. The first change that we are rolling this out with is a change to the spawning of laminated armors in the world. No longer will they be restricted to the airdrops. However, once you graduate into the Ranked Pro list they will once again return to only spawning inside of the air drops.

Vehicle Mechanics Tuning
Since Preseason 3 vehicles have had many aspects of their mechanics tuned and tweaked. We wanted to bring back the snappy and quick acceleration/handling from this era of the game. Here is a list of all changes to the vehicle handling that were made with this patch:
  • All Vehicles
    • Boost system reworked to provide forward acceleration that propels the vehicle forward in general.
    • Seat swapping mechanics returned to PS3 format.

  • Offroader
    • Reworked Max Torque to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked acceleration timings to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked brake system for front and back breaks to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked airborne boost system.
    • Reverted gear changing system and timings back to PS3 values.

  • Pick Up Truck
    • Reworked Max Torque to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked acceleration timings to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked brake system for front and back breaks to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked airborne boost system.
    • Reverted gear changing system and timings back to PS3 values .
    • Reverted and reworked the suspension system to match PS3 behavior.

  • Police Car/Taxi
    • Reworked Max Torque to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked acceleration timings to match PS3 values.
    • Reverted hill climb power attribute back to PS3 values.
    • Reworked brake system for front and back breaks to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked airborne boost system.

  • ATV
    • Reworked Max Torque to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked acceleration timings to match PS3 values.
    • Reverted hill climb power attribute back to PS3 values.
    • Reworked brake system for front and back breaks to match PS3 values.
    • Reworked airborne boost system.
    • Improved overall stability of the ATV.

  • Parachute
    • Increased max strafe speed back to PS3 values.

First up on the new feature list is the Missions system. Players will be given in match missions or "quests" as optional tasks to try and complete during a game. The challenges will show up as you are parachuting into the game and will expire at the end of the match. This system will have many different challenges that rotate and have different degrees of difficulty. Completing challenges will reward the player with credits, fragments, or crates depending on what difficulty the challenge completed was. You will be able to track these missions in a widget on the front end menu (pictured below).

Next up on the docket is the Fragment system. As you compete in matches, you will be able to find fragments in defeated players loot bags. Whoever loots the fragment first will receive the credit, first come first serve, so make sure to check not only your own kills but others as well. There are 2 different color types of fragments, red and blue. Twenty blue fragments will net you 100 in game credits, while 5 red fragments will grant you a Conquest Crate. Blue fragments drop off every eliminated player, and red fragments will drop off of 1 out of every 20 players. Time to get looting.

Another new system that you will also be able to track on the front end menu screen is the Daily/Weekly challenges. This is a new modified version of the challenges players were already familiar with. We have added a ton of new challenges to freshen things up a bit and give players more to do. Much like the missions and fragments these are optional systems that give out credit rewards along the way if you choose to complete them.

Hey I Know That Guy!
If you are big into the duos and squads you will notice your team mates now showing up in the front end menu with you. This is something the player base has been asking for and we knew we had to get this in. One thing to note is that your team leader will always be the center of attention front and center on the screen, with the rest of the team loading into the positions around them.

Season 3 and Ranked Pro Mode
Last up on the new features list is Season 3 and the introduction of the Ranked Pro mode (available in Solos). Below you will find information and tables explaining the changes made to the ranking systems for Standard play and the ranking system for Ranked Pro play.

Note: Ranked Pro will be locked for the first 48 hours after release.

Standard Solo vs Ranked Pro Scoring
  • Standard Solo Scoring
    Standard solos mode maintains the scoring system that players are familiar with. As you play matches your top 10 best games build your scorecard that determines your rank. As players skill increases their rank will rise and eventually unlock the Ranked Pro solo mode (unlocked upon reaching the Diamond tier rank), which is where they will want to go to continue climbing their way to the coveted Royalty rank.

    Note: Standard Solos remains unlocked for players even after unlocking Ranked Pro, however Diamond 1 is the highest rank you can achieve inside of the standard play mode.

  • Ranked Pro Scoring
    Ranked Pro will utilize a scoring model which emphasizes aggressive play with a elimination focused scoring model. No longer is placement the primary form of scoring, but rather eliminations (kills). Placement still has an effect on the overall score in the form of a modifier of your elimination points. It’s a rather simple system, and works as follows:

    Example: a player that places 5th with 11 kills would see a final modified score total of 17 points.

    Note: We will always round up a decimal scored value to the nearest whole number.
  • Ranked Pro Thresholds

    Similar to Standard Solo Ranked scoring, Ranked Pro takes the top 10 Matches the player has recorded to create the a score for players that determines their rank (Diamond, Master, Royalty). However, the season overall ranking (determining your position in relation to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) is determined by the cumulative score achieved from the start of the season to the end of the season.

    May 29th - 31st
    The Showdown is back! At the conclusion of Season 3, we will be taking the Top 75 SOLO players from each region and putting them into a competitive battle to see who the best of the season is.

    The Schedule

    Qualifying for the Showdown
    In order to give all players equal chance, we wanted to outline what players are required to do in order to be eligible for a Showdown invitation.
    1. Obtain a rank of Royalty within the Ranked Pro play mode.
    2. Obtain a position of Top 75 within the Ranked Pro overall cumulative season score leaderboard found here: https://my.h1z1.com
    3. Maintain an account in good standing.
      1. This includes, but is not limited to being flagged for any or all of the following.
        1. Harassment.
        2. Cheating.
        3. Toxic Behavior.
        4. Teaming.
        5. Any other disruptive behavior as flagged by Customer Service.

    Showdown Rewards
    With the showdown comes a new set of showdown skins. We have something for everyone! Participant rewards, top 10 placement rewards, viewer rewards, and of course the coveted gold weapon skin for the winner. You can check out all the showdown skins below.

    (Winner: Gold Magnum // Top 10 Placement: Animated Showdown Logo AR // Participant: Showdown Logo Tactical Backpack // Viewer: Showdown Logo Motorcycle Helmet)

    Seasonal Placement Rewards
    Our first skin that levels up as you level up. This denim jacket will gain a new patch every time you rank up in game. Below are examples of the jacket in its Bronze, Platinum, and Royalty states. We are hyped to see how you all like this one and what it means for future rewards that we can create.

    Placement Rewards
    A returning classic that the OG players will remember is the mystery and elite bags that you got for placement. We have brought back this system. Placing top 3 in a standard solo will net you a Mystery Bag, and top 3 in a Ranked Pro will grant you an Elite Bag.
    • Mystery Bag

    • Elite Bag

    Hotshot Crate
    We are introducing 21 brand new skins with the new premium crate we are calling Hotshot. This crate is packed full of color and freshly designed new skins for everything from your helmet, to your weapons, to your pickup. Also, following the theme of the more recent crates there is a legendary skin which is in limited quantity and once all of the legendaries have been unboxed the crate will lock and no longer be available for purchase. 40 legendary combat knife skins with a special inspect flourish are up for grabs this time around and we expect them to go fast. (By clicking on the images all of skin thumbnails below can be enlarged for your viewing pleasure)

    • Legendary
      (Reaver Combat Knife)

    • Ultra-Rares
      (Kraken AR-15, Hotshot Riot Shotgun, Frostbite AK-47, Plushicorn Military Backpack, Statesman's Wrath)

    • Rares
      (Critical Strike Sniper Rifle, Invictus Gladiator Helmet, Mandala Effect Magnum, Venus Sunglasses)

    • Uncommons
      (Battle Royale Crown Parachute, Exterminator M1991A1, Hoard Hoodie, Neko-chan Pickup Truck)

    • Commons
      (Full Throttle Conveys, Lasher Hockey Mask, Mandala Effect Pants, Varsity Makeshift Armor, Abductor Rucksack)

    Misc. Updates
    • Windows Fullscreen Menu Option
    • Players will now have the option to enable proximity chat from players that are spectating them. This will be an option in the audio settings that is turned off by default.

    Bug Fixes
    • Fixed: Marauder and Mercenary skins in crate preview
    • Fixed: Items that didn't have a Steam Item ID weren't showing up in crate previews
    • Fixed: Various map/world issues.

    Known Issues
    Below is a list of issues that have fixes coming for them in 2 phases. One set is scheduled for a hot fix that will occur later this week, and the another which is fixes scheduled for next week's patch.

    Scheduled for Hot Fix
    • Leaderboards for solos are not showing up properly in the front end menu. This issue will be corrected with the hot fix.
    • Weapon: Restore M9 to PS3 fire rate timings.
    • Front End UI: When exiting a match, the camera will focus on the user’s position rather than the group.
    • Front End UI: Joining a party of 5 while in game or in the BOD and leaving the game will result in a camera panning issue.
    • Front End UI: There are 3 fixes coming for issues involving white backgrounds.
      • UI: A generic dialogue background image is in the old UI style
      • UI: Hosted Games menu uses the old UI style
      • Swap back the older version for screens that have "white background"
    • Challenges: The recycle shoes and boots match challenge description is currently inaccurate.

    Scheduled for Next Patch
    • Controls: Using the default hotkey for turning on/off spectate chat will also move the character.
    • Frontend: The crates in the background of the Redeem a Code" menu have the H1Z1 logo on them.
    • Email Opt in: The model window has "PII" in the field where you enter your email address.
    • Animations: Alt look toggle posture animations to be touched up.
    • UI: While in a group, the UI will show 2 ranked pro options to any group member who has not unlocked ranked pro.
    • UI: In-Queue: Browsing the Main Menu during queue will display two Ranked Pro tabs in Play.
    • Combat: Fix first shot accuracy on jump shots with the M1911.
    • Challenges: Adjust text for one of the elite challenges, so it describes how many kills you need to achieve.
    • Steam: The Blue Racing Jacket description is inconsistent with other chest items.
    • Steam: Zimms Lavender Helmet description is inconsistent.
    • Steam: Pink Passion Shorts description is inconsistent with other leg items.
    • Settings: When the user clicks default in the user options, the changes aren't the PS3 default settings. (Note: This is only for the button. New installs are using the PS3 defaults upon installation).
    • Animations: The recoil animations when firing the AK-47 while crouch strafing appears overly exaggerated.
    • Using ALT for free look can sometimes cause camera stutters.
    • UI: Parts of the UI cover up weapons when viewing skins in the customization menu.
    • Audio: The fragment pickup audio plays for the winner at the end of the match.
    • UI: Leaderboards: All the leaderboard options currently link to the Solo leaderboards.
    • Animation: The animation of getting up from prone does not play while reloading.
    • Nameplates of players are shown before player is drawing and appears at feet.
    • UI: If a player accepts a group invite on the press any key screen, they will receive a ping lock message.
    • UI: If a player accepts a group invite on the character select screen they will be seen standing in place by other group members.
    • Front End UI: Team mates stutter and are slightly out of place when loading in.
    • End Screen UI: The end screen does not complete its animations.