King of the Kill update adds team spectate cam, tweaks hit feedback, and nerfs Magnum

After taking servers down for a few hours Thursday, Daybreak's popular battle royale shooter H1Z1: King of the Kill came roaring back with a meaty update. Many of the changes focus on team-based play—in particular, a nice new spectate mode has been added that allows you to watch your teammates finish the match after you've been killed. I played a few team matches last night, and since I spend most of my time dead because I suck, I have to say the new spectate cam is pretty great.

There were changes to the team HUD as well. At a glance, you can get information on your teammates to tell if they're re wearing helmets and armor and which weapon they have equipped. Each team member is also now outlined in a different color.

New KotK East Coast servers have been added for North America, and players are now restricted from playing on servers "where your ping exceeds acceptable thresholds."

Hit feedback has been tweaked, with color-coded hit-markers "and new animations to help differentiate different impact types such as hitting or breaking armor versus body shots." (If you don't care for them, you can switch to classic hit-markers in your settings.) And, the Magnum, which was perhaps a bit too powerful—"particularly against vehicles in team games where a group of players with magnums can bring down a vehicle in seconds from hundreds of meters away"—has been re-tuned for greater bullet slowdown and an increased bullet drop rate beyond 80 yards.

Below, check out the full patch notes. You can also read the Producer's Letter about the changes here.

New feature: Team follow cam

  • In Duos and Fives, once eliminated there is now an option to “Spectate” to watch your teammates play out the rest of the match.
  • Pressing Camera Toggle View (default: T) will swap between locked to players POV and free cam (still locked to character).
  • New In-Game Group HUD has been added to Duos and Fives to provide more information on your team, such as weapon equipped and whether they have a helmet.
  • Team members now all have unique outline colors which match their color in the Group HUD.
  • Teams Remaining will now display next to Players Remaining in Duos and Fives
  • On the Main Menu, the new Lobby allows you to invite friends from anywhere in the UI.

Region connection test

  • Selecting your region now happens upon initial login rather than in the Main Menu.
  • Region select will indicate your connection quality to each region, and you will not be allowed to play in a region where your ping exceeds acceptable thresholds.
  • We’ve added new East Coast Servers in North America.

Vehicle updates

  • Vehicles now lose performance as they take damage.
  • 50% health – 50% torque reduction
  • 35% health – loss of turbo functionality
  • 20% health – 75% torque reduction, vehicle takes damage over time
  • 10% health – 90% torque reduction, vehicle takes increased damage over time
  • Vehicle health states as well as lost functionality are now displayed in an all-new HUD element.
  • Vehicles can now be hotwired by holding the Gas button (default: W). This addresses a known exploit where players could change seats while hotwiring.
  • Items in the Vehicle Inventory (e.g. Sparkplugs) can now be moved via drag and drop.

New hit feedback

  • Incoming and outgoing hit-markers have been updated with colors and new animations to help differentiate different impact types such as hitting or breaking armor versus body shots.
  • Red – Body
  • Yellow – Armor or Helmet
  • White – Vehicle
  • Green – Friendly Fire
  • New animations and sound effects have been added to better indicate when armor and helmets have been broken.
  • You can use the classic hit-markers (with new colors) via Settings -> Use Classic Hit Feedback.

The Arena

  • Optimized Pleasant Valley, Ranchito, and all residential areas for improved performance.
  • Some homes have been boarded up, which is made clear when parachuting when you look at the yard. Green grass means loot!
  • Interior layouts have been improved to make them easier to navigate.
  • Zimms has a new storefront and interior layout that will improve performance and navigation.
  • There should be far fewer floating or clipping objects, or objects that prevent looting.
  • Smoothed out the collision of many objects and structures in the world that could cause vehicles to unexpectedly explode when running into them.
  • Wheelbarrows and gravestones are now destructible.

Magnum tuning

The Magnum is a bit too powerful at long range right now, particularly against vehicles in team games where a group of players with magnums can bring down a vehicle in seconds from hundreds of meters away.

The following changes should make the Magnum a bit more difficult to use at higher distances, without compromising its effectiveness at close range or overall damage.

  • Magnum bullet slowdown will now occur over 60 yards
  • Magnum bullet drop rate has been increased after 80 yards

Quality of life updates

  • Ammunition boxes, gas grenades, and smoke grenades have new, unique models to be more easily distinguishable at a glance.
  • Hit feedback audio is now tied to sound effects volume instead of interface volume.
  • Balanced out the sound effects in the Main Menu.
  • Rounded out the edges of the “dot” reticle.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue that could cause players to fall through the world and get stuck when dismounting their parachute.
  • Removed the ability to instantly go prone by side-stepping.
  • Removed the ability to switch seats in a vehicle while hotwiring.
  • Removed the ability to switch seats in a vehicle while moving.
  • Fixed an issue where players could exit vehicles, particularly at high speeds, at inconsistent locations. The location where players exit should be much more consistent now.
  • Fixed an exploit that would allow players to shoot behind them using alt-look.
  • Switching to ADS while strafing from free look will no longer make you lose mouse input.
  • Aligned the range of the gas grenades visual effect and its damage.
  • Fixed a rare case that could cause vehicle horns to get stuck on.
  • Synced up the AK-47 reload animation with the actual reload timing.
  • Fixed an issue where shift-dragging items could double the amount requested.
  • Numpad 0 will no longer act like “enter” when splitting stacks of items.
  • Laminated Armor will correctly show damaged state when in the Inventory.
  • Teammate health will be updated reliably even when at long range.
  • Cleaned up several issues that could cause the client or UI to become unresponsive when using Alt+Tab or Alt+Enter.
  • Victory music should correctly play after winning the match.
  • Removed durability from weapons.
  • Nightmare Mask should now correctly show in your Steam inventory.

Known issues

  • In team games, the winner may see incorrect information on their end-screens if all their teammates have exited the match.
  • The “Kill Count” field in the UI doesn’t count kills that occur when your target bleeds out after you die. You should still get credit (XP, Score) for the kill, however.
  • Field bandages currently do not have an aura attractor while on the ground.
  • The Twitch link account button can lose functionality if the user cancels authorization or closes the web page. Backing out of the screen and back in will fix this issue.
  • The Gas Grenade’s visual effects will carry over into the spectate mode if the user dies while under gas grenade effects.
  • The Spectate cam may become less smooth if the client spectating has a high (above 100) ping.
  • Going from Training to a team match may cause the Team HUD UI to disappear. Re-logging with fix this issue.
  • Smoke grenades will render out while in gas.
Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.