The Battle of the Bowstards #95183

Greetings Contestants!

The Major Update is Coming.

As our forefathers have ...fore..told, The Major Update is Coming. As we prepare for its impending arrival, we continue our crusade to address major aspects of the core game, setting the bloody stage for greater things to come.

Last week we overhauled our Perk list. This week we’re casting our gaze on a weapon that has been rumored to be found in different area codes. Bows. That’s right. We’ve got bows, in different area codes.

The new patch will be released on Wednesday, October 12th. Servers will be down starting at 8AM Eastern for *up to* 4 hours.

Over the months since launch, we’ve learned a lot about the role bows play on the island. Bows makes up a small but significant percentage of the damage done in The Culling. Just like traps, explosives, and guns, bows can help you gain an advantage before the axes start swinging and the fur starts flying.

A problem we’ve identified is the steep learning curve for bows that prevents many players from using them effectively, while making them an extremely powerful combat tool for those who are able to attain master status.

Our goal with this patch is to close the gap somewhat by making bows easier, more rewarding, and ultimately more fun to use, while preventing them from being the only weapon in a player’s arsenal and maintaining a skilled level of play for experienced players.

In addition to bow rework, we’ve made some tweaks to a few Perks based on the behavior we’ve observed and feedback we’ve received in the last week. We have a couple more big areas to address before we’re ready to devote all of our attention to the exciting new features we have planned for the major update.

Upon its arrival people will tell tales of cold water and chemical combustion.
Until then: Stay tuned.


We’ll see you on the island!

Balance and Gameplay

  • Bows Balance Changes:

    • Crosshairs turned on

      • Dev comments: Some players were already using external means to enable crosshairs, which gave them an advantage that we were unable to mitigate. Rather than leave the rest at a disadvantage, we’ve enabled crosshairs for everyone! Note that crosshairs no longer expand/contract based on movement. This was not an accurate depiction of accuracy.

    • Arrow velocity increased by 66%, with increased projectile drop from gravity

      • Dev comments: This change supports the general goal that short- and medium-range targets will be easier for most players to hit. Bow users will not have to lead moving targets as much, but will have to increase elevation compensation at greater range.

    • Removed bow accuracy penalties

      • Dev comments: To be Frank, our accuracy system for bows was somewhat disjointed. There was a baseline accuracy modifier, which was intensified by low Stamina and hip fire, making bows somewhat unpredictable. We didn’t have a good way to communicate any of this to players. Since bows rely on projectile physics, they already require more skill than a hitscan weapon does. As such, we have removed all of the artificial accuracy modifiers. Note that built-in animation sway has not been changed.

    • Blocking reduces damage from arrows by 50%

      • Dev comments: We’ve effectively made bows more accurate, but our goal is not to shift the focus of the game to ranged combat, so we’re giving players a skill-based method to counter bow users.

    • Ammo capacity reduced to 12 arrows (from 18 arrows)

      • Dev comments: To further limit the overall firepower of bows, we’re reducing the maximum arrow capacity to 12. Committed bow users may choose to carry an additional bow, but this requires the sacrifice of an inventory slot, which we think is a fair trade.

    • Bows no longer apply Bleed wound

      • Dev comments: The power of the Bleed wound meant that landing a single arrow against a melee opponent could give a bow user a distinct advantage in an ensuing melee fight. Removing bleed means bow users will need to land more hits to deal equivalent damage, which should be easier to accomplish with the accuracy measures we’ve taken.

    • Bow Damage Changes:

      • Crafted: 5-10 (from 4-12)

      • Recurve: 7-14 (from 5-16)

      • Autobow: 5 (from 6)

      • Compound: 9-18 (from 7-20)

      • Dev comments: Uncharged bow damage gets a slight boost and charged damage gets a moderate reduction. We’re now consistently scaling bow damage from from 1-2X based on level of charge, which supports our goal of spacing the tiers a little more clearly.

  • Perks Changes:

    • Removed Stealthy Perk, replaced with Stealthy Shot stim. The stim behaves like the perk did, lasts 2 minutes, and spawns in lockers

      • Dev comments: with the changes in the last patch, Stealthy distinguished itself with the advantage it offers in terms of sneaking up on your enemy unawares and successfully escaping a fight that isn’t going your way. We like the gameplay Stealthy brings to the table and didn’t want to water down its effects, so we’re moving it to a stim. It requires the Stealthy player to acquire the stim and use it situationally, rather than having it permanently.

    • Angry Octopus Perk Changes

      • Smoke Bomb procs once per match (previously 60 sec cooldown)

      • Smoke Bomb procs below 20 HP (previously below 30 HP)

      • Dev comments: Angry Octopus also jumped to the top of the perk list along with Stealthy, meaning the island was often difficult to see because of the all the smoke. Based on how effective Angry Octopus is at turning the tide of a fight (offensively or defensively), some rebalancing was in order.

    • Removed Immunity Perk

      • Dev comments: By canceling bonus damage from backstabs and headshots, Immunity provided a hard counter for the Brutus perk. While backstabs and headshots are situational and generally require skill to achieve, we’ve decided to remove Immunity as our goal is to avoid perks that cancel one another.

    • Chemist extends stim duration by 35% (from 25%)

      • Dev comments: Chemist was hit pretty hard with the last patch, so we’re restoring some of its former glory. This means most stims will last for 2 minutes and 42 seconds when Chemist is active.

  • Stealthy Stim available in the following Airdrops: Ninja (replaces one Crafted Smoke Bomb), Boar Hunter (replaces X-plosive Runs), Addict (replaces Muscleman Milk)

    • Dev comments: Having a fun new stim means we can add some variety to our Airdrops, so we’ve made a few choice replacements to make Stealthy Shot accessible.

  • Increase stamina cost of jumping to 8 (from 4)

    • Dev comments: Now that combat actions don’t cost stamina, we’re free to up the cost of jumping. This may or may not be intended to have a small impact on bow-kiting tactics.

  • Master Crafter replaces Stealthy in the Stalker preset


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where stims and some items can falsely appear to remain in your inventory after use

    • Dev comments: This one has plagued us for a while and we’re happy to report that it’s been resolved. As always, please report annoying bugs at .

  • Fixed a bug where chainsaw continued to use stamina when used

  • Removed some invalid game tips