Live service games are booming with fresh content and fresh ideas. So PUBG: Battlegrounds is getting a new map. Deston, as the new map is called, has been part of the game since today, July 13th, and takes you to a futuristic mega-city. The large 8×8 map does not reflect any technology utopia, but rather a flooded fantasy city. ugly fate.
As of this writing, Deston is the largest and most populated map in PUBG and offers a number of new features. Taego, the last new map to come out about a year ago, already had high aspirations. In this exclusive interview, we asked PUBG Creative Director Dave Curd how you can always offer something unexpected to players, where the idea for Deston came from, and how Deston changes the game’s dynamics.
Deston is said to represent a “partially submerged futuristic mega-city”. What countries or cities were your inspiration for the new map? Have you thought about climate change and its consequences?
David Cord: We spent a lot of time exploring Houston, Texas, the Coastal Bend region, and parts of the Oklahoma Panhandles. With the fall of levees and the issue of evictions, we have certainly factored the climate crisis into fiction.
Haven has received a fair amount of community feedback. What hints and criticisms from your fans did you take into account when creating Deston?
David Cord: Deston was developed based on feedback from Haven and lessons learned from creating large buildings on other maps. When we create new maps, we always try to make sure the look, feel and mechanics are worthy of a new PUBG map. Especially with 8×8 maps, we need to provide diverse terrain types with a wide range of uses.
Deston is said to be “the biggest, longest, and most built-in PUBG map”. How did you adjust the map so that matches don’t just continue?
David Cord: The overall motive behind the design of each PUBG map is to offer a unique or new experience. With Deston, our goal was to ensure diverse fights. Vertical cities, steep hills, treacherous mountains, thick swamps – we want the final circuits to feel exciting no matter where they land. Haven was our first attempt at this idea and I think we learned a lot from it. One of the most important things to have is that it’s better to focus or confine gameplay within huge structures rather than offering a fully open realistic experience. We have learned that players need guidance, otherwise confrontations will lead to imminent mistakes and unintended surprises.
Do you feel that each map should be bigger, higher and better than the previous one? How do you try to make each map unique and different from the previous ones?
David Cord: Nor any way. The goal of each PUBG map is to offer players a unique or new experience. Especially with 8×8 maps, we need to provide diverse terrain types with a wide range of uses. They also need to offer something new by being visually unique and keeping the player entertained with the locations to explore, new mechanics and everything else that makes a great PUBG map.
With the O12, the “world’s fastest hunting rifle” comes to Deston. Why did you choose a new hunting rifle on this particularly extensive map?
David Cord: It’s funny to mention that. On test servers, players learned that O12 is balanced for close to midrange encounters! The great thing about Deston is that it offers many different biomes and areas of interest. This gives players the opportunity to choose a wide range of playing styles that suit them. If players prefer hand-to-hand combat, there are points of interest dedicated to them. If players prefer to fight opponents at a distance with long-range weapons, the map offers suitable options for that as well.
It’s climbing: base-jumping parachutes, boarding ropes and airboats ensure you get over Deston’s vertical meters quickly. Gas stations also indirectly guarantee more traffic. How do these tools change the dynamics of the game?
David Cord: The goal is to create an easily accessible map, but there is still room to grow and master the more time the player spends with it. For new players, features like cell towers and canopies will make surveying and exploration easier than ever. The hope is that having these cell towers scattered across the map will make going down the edge of the map more viable as it allows the player to cover a great distance in a short amount of time. But as they play the map more and more over time, we want them to discover our alternate routes, drone-accessible locations, keycard-locked rooms, and more!
Will new weapons and mechanics eventually be used in old or future maps?
David Cord: The mechanics of the movement and the O12/MP9 will be available exclusively at Deston for the foreseeable future. We are closely monitoring player feedback on this and will assess whether these new movement mechanics can be ported to other maps in the future.
What is your favorite Deston attraction and why?
David Cord: Central Plains is home to my favorite landing point, The Lodge, which happens to be the largest building we’ve built for PUBG so far. You can think of it as a hunting lodge… except for the super-rich who prefer their prey to be bipedal and human. I also like Assembly, Arena, Concert, and Ripton for quick upgrades. Smart players use Keycard rooms and drone rooms to get great loot with little effort.