Bringing innovative ideas into games is always a risk and often it happens that the community is not fond of it. The same happened with Just Survive, while going two steps forward they also went one back.
Is new always better?
Let’s start at the beginning: After its separation in H1Z1: King of the Kill (now H1Z1) and H1Z1: Just Survive (now Just Survive) Daybreak Games deployed a new team to rework the very foundations of their survival title. For the better part of a year, updates became rare and maps were filled with the ruins of its former inhabitants. A big update in Juli 2017 should bring resolve to this state of stagnation.
The new update should give Just Survive its own take on the survival genre and included several changes to its core mechanics. The first step should be a new map: Badwater Canyon was crafted to fit with the improved loot distribution, verticality and exploration causing it to be a lively map. Military camps were introduced as safe zones where players could respawn and trade.
Secondly, the base building system was reworked: With the new Strongholds, players lost the ability to choose their place for a house freely but had to find certain foundations all across the map. If you would die you were able to choose between re-spawning at your stronghold or military base.
The Big Reversal
But the success did not come. The players who waited for months for an update were disappointed by the loss of freedom. Daybreaks hope to attract new survivors was also not fulfilled. What followed was a big reversal: The unfinished map Badwater Canyon was replaced by a slightly modified version of the legacy map Z1. The base building system was reversed as well. Small changes like loot balancing, tiered weaponry, improved shacks and health and damage values remained in the game, but all the innovative changes of Badwater Canyon were reversed.
While many players are happy about going backwards and the new updates didn’t attract as many new players as expected, some find it a bit troubling. Listening to your community is always a good thing, but following the wishes of a community where the unhappy always outspeak the content players, can often lead to chaos. Whether that will happen to Just Survive or if they will be able to find a new, stable path for their development has yet to been seen.