Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020

PUBG’s newest season will give Sanhok a fresh coat of paint

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is back for another season of new content. This new content includes a reworked version of the Sanhok map complete with new locations, updates of players’ favorite spots, and a few new surprises.

Sanhok is one of PUBG’s oldest maps. It was the third battle royale map released for the game — nearly two years ago — and the first to shift the size of the battlefield. Rather than the 8×8 size of maps like Erangel and Miramar. Sanhok is 4×4, making it a faster paced and more deadly version of PUBG.

“What was kind of fun about developing Miramar and Sanhok originally is it’s almost like you’re a band trying to avoid that sophomore slump,” PUBG Corp. executive producers Dave Curd recently told Polygon during an interview.

While most of the map’s most prominent features and towns will be changed in this rework, the size and pace of Sanhok’s jungle warfare is one thing that isn’t going anywhere.

The newly updated Sanhok map
Image: PUBG Corp.

“With Sanhok it was really freeing because we just wanted to a quicker pace,” Curd said. “We wanted that same risk-reward, high tension, challenging gun play, getting third partied, but [we] wanted to get it done in 25 minutes, not 35. And I think a lot of those guts are still there. That pace is really good.”

One problem that Curd says the team wanted to solve was letting players feel like they could use the whole map. According to the developer’s heat maps, there were some areas that were hardly seeing any fights.

Image: PUBG Corp.

One example Curd brings up is Docks. The area is tucked in at the south-eastern edge of the map, which means it isn’t great for most circles. In order to be drop somewhere like that, Curd explains that players need to feel like they’re getting great loot and fighting in an interesting area. So, as part of the rework, PUBG Corp. replaced Docks with Getaway, a tropical party town outfitted with plenty of loot for a few teams to fight over.

Image: PUBG Corp.

This Sanhok rework won’t just change some of the map’s least popular areas though. Other areas like Bootcamp, which was one of PUBG’s most popular drops across any map, is getting a few changes as well. Curd describes the new version of Bootcamp as more focused and less cluttered, but it’s also got a hidden secret. Underneath the main building are dozens of underground tunnels that crisscross the area, giving players new places to fight and new bits of story to explore — something the team couldn’t include in the first version of Sanhok.

Image: PUBG Corp.

Sanhok also has a new addition called the Loot Truck. This heavily armored vehicle will roll around the map like a care package on wheels. If players can destroy it they can collect level three armor and powerful guns that will come pre-outfitted with attachments. But destroying it takes time and where ever the Loot Truck is, Curd says, turns into a small hotspot for intense firefights.

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The updated version of Sanhok will hit PUBG’s Test Server later this week, along with all the other additions coming to the game for season 8. The map’s full release is scheduled for July 22 on PC and July 30 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Stadia.

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