The original H1Z1 map, titled Outbreak, is now available for PC players, and developer Daybreak Games gave Screen Rant a brief rundown of all the changes and updates they've made to the map to better fit the Battle Royale genre. Years ago, the Z1 map was the map that essentially spawned the Battle Royale trend, but it wasn't initially built for that purpose. Rather, it was built for a survival game that incorporated free-for-all and looting elements. And ever since, the studio has been wanting to remake it for their longtime fans as well as newcomers who never played the map before.
Outbreak - an 8x8 square kilometer map - officially released today and brought with it a variety of updates, such as smoother and refined terrain for better off-road exploration, additional loot sites, and redesigned interiors so that players have plenty of covers and can traverse through buildings easier. Before, there were too many open spaces that wouldn't work today for a Battle Royale game - and giving their fans something old and new at the same time was just one of the reasons the studio was convinced to pursue a remaster in the first place.
In addition to various design changes, Daybreak has also tweaked the vehicle spawns, changing their locations as well as randomizing spawns based on a percentage system. A similar system applies to the four lighting schemes that the studio has teased, offering a semblance of variety on a singular map. While veteran players will already be accustomed to the general layout of the map, not to mention its "macro shapes," producer Terrence Yee says that new players will still "have a chance" at winning the game due to everyone learning the remastered map at the same time. Of course, some things are still being adjusted and tweaked at this time, such as gas pacing (which may be too fast at the moment) and the rotation for the lighting schemes, not to mention fixing the FPS issues that are plaguing the city.
Yee is adamant about listening to the community and adjusting the map - as well as potentially the game's future - based on what the players want. After all, what good is a Battle Royale game without a solid player base behind it? And they remastered the map now instead of making a new one outright because it was what the players wanted: "It was actually one of the things that our player base was asking for. They really wanted to go back to an old feel of Z1, and so, before we did that, we had to figure out what that exactly means and how we support that. We took a step back and decided that we would go ahead and try to update for a more Battle Royale experience from the ground up, not just a survival map."
At the moment, Daybreak isn't planning on releasing the H1Z1 Outbreak map for the PS4 version of the game, but Yee says that he's "sure" it will come over to the console at some point down the line. "Those players on the PS4 really haven't experienced Z2 very much, so Z2 should still have a lot of variety of life in there for them. But I'm sure at some point Z1 will come over. That will probably happen after the PC community has Z1 for awhile and we can listen to their feedback there." The studio is looking to continue testing and fine-tuning the map with the PC community first before making any decisions on bringing it over to the PS4. Considering everything that they've done with the map so far, this H1Z1 update looks like a definite win for the studio.