PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is one of the most successful battle royale experiences ever released, and set the ground works for most titles that followed, including the likes of Epic Games' Fortnite and recently, Call of Duty: Warzone. With these titles, the more you play, the better you get, and considering PUBG has been around for years, it is fairly difficult for someone installing the game today to compete with players who have it since 2017.
That's why the latest announcement made by the studio reveals the introduction of bots into public matches as part of the PUBG update 7.1. The blog post went into detail on how the development team tried to mimic real players' movement, shooting, and looting patterns to make them feel as authentic as possible. Their purpose is to lower the skill gap between veterans and newbies to let the latter enjoy PUBG a little more with a kill here and there to boost their confidence. This is similar to what Epic Games introduced to Fortnite a while back for the same purpose, but you can spot them from a mile away so hopefully, PUBG's bots aren't as obvious.
Without getting too complicated, movement of our bots is governed by what are called navigation meshes. Think of navigation meshes as boundaries in which the bots can move within. For each of our maps, big or small, much attention had to be put in to carefully lay out these navigation meshes on every corner of our maps in a way that prevents bots from throwing themselves off of a cliff or something else that, while hilarious, doesn’t line up with its intended functions.
Whatever the distance is, a crucial factor that makes shooting in PUBG so fun is the bullet physics, and we wanted to incorporate that into the bots’ shooting as well. So instead of letting the bots hit its enemies based on rather simple probability, PUBG’s bots were designed to consider bullet physics when shooting.
If our bots have too little loot, or loot that wouldn’t be appropriate for the phase in a match, it would look unrealistic. Our analysts and game designers went through lots of data from our live servers to not only see what players generally loot, but to see what types of items players usually carry into each phase of a match.
Do you think bots can fix a battle royale's ecosystem? Will they be an effective method to encourage new players to try out PUBG? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.