If you’re a 7 Days to Die fan then the entire fiber of your being is laser-focused on the upcoming Alpha 21 major update. It’s been nearly a year since A20 graced us with its presence so we’re all understandably chomping at the bit for some fresh features and content.
The Fun Pimps have been hard at work on this next release which promises to bring new items, systems, features, and performance improvements to enhance our post-apocalyptic adventures. Now that 2022 is on the brink of coming to a close, we’ve got more than enough confirmed changes to lay out for you.
Here’s everything we know about A21 and what we can expect when it launches.
Alpha 21 Release Date
Officially, there is no release date for the 7D2D Alpha 21 update. The devs have posted a pretty decisive “it’ll be done when it’s done” on their development diary so that’s a pretty clear indication that even they don’t know when it will launch. The best we can do is speculate.
We know that the team tries to aim for 1 major update to the game per year. They released the A20 update in December 2021, which was cutting it pretty close to the end of that year. It’s quite possible that A21 will see the light of day before 2022 comes to a close but we don’t recommend holding your breath.
As of this writing, we’re over halfway through November with no definitive release window from official channels. Ergo, sometime in early 2023 is the safer bet for your money.
What to Expect from Alpha 21
As one can expect from a major 7D2D update, there are a ton of features to look forward to, both confirmed and unconfirmed by the dev team. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of what has been revealed so far is subject to change or delays. If the Fun Pimps don’t think something is ready, then they’ll push it back to another release.
It has been confirmed by the devs that armor will be getting some love in A21. Specifically, there’ll be new Iron Armor and Commando Military Armor to deck out our characters with. Some speculation seems to indicate that this won’t necessarily be new pieces of armor but rather graphical updates to existing ones.
Beyond that, we’ve also had confirmation that the not-so-well-received armor sets system proposed back in A19 and A20, later pushed for A21, has now been scrapped.
A much-requested feature the community has been clamoring for is the inclusion of double doors. Despite receiving a smattering of other door types, such as roll-up doors and cellar doors, double doors have been MIA. It has been confirmed, though, that these will finally be added to the game in A21.
On top of that, doors in general will be seeing some improvement in their hitboxes and collision detection. This will mean that attacks and projectiles will more naturally fit through gaps and openings.
Learn by Looting System
Arguably the most controversial new feature for A21 is the Learn by Looting system. In a nutshell, when the new update drops, the only way to learn new skills and acquire perks will be by looting magazines and books as well as purchasing them from traders. The current system that allows you to gain experience by doing things will be removed.
While this will have a pretty big impact and not many people are going to like it, the new system does feel a bit more relevant to how 7D2D’s post-apocalyptic world works. Some fans, however, are estimating this system will need another overhaul down the line.
Water Drinking Overhaul
It’s looking like water will receive the same treatment food did in previous updates with the aim of making it scarcer. When A21 lands, Murky Water will require a cooking pot to boil it in and make it drinkable. This was the way of things several updates ago but the devs removed it as they felt water was too rare. Now, they’re bringing it back to make quenching your thirst a bit harder.
Beyond that, Empty Glass bottles will be removed from the game and will be replaced by a new Dew Collector Station that’ll give you a way to make water over time. You’ll also be able to, once again, drink water from sources with your empty hands. Finally, bodies of water will be voxel-based instead of block-based. This will help make water feel more natural and avoid weird situations where bodies of water have weird holes in them.
As can be expected, there’ll be a host of new POIs as well as revamped ones. There’s a new hospital that looks pretty cool compared to what currently exists in the game. It has more details and a more modern look, giving it the feel that it was part of a former advanced society.
Trader Bob is getting a new compound that the Fun Pimps shared in concept form on Twitter. Some eagle-eyed fans were quick to point out a helicopter pad, though this has been in existence in other POIs in the past.
On top of that, the devs are working on optimizations for the way windows are rendered in POIs and cities. At the moment, when you enter a city, the performance drops noticeably because of the way the game draws windows. With the new update, the experience will likely become much better.
Tons of New Decorations & Environmental Art
The Fun Pimps have been putting out a ton of images on social media depicting all the cool new decorations that’ll come with A21. From different types of gadgets and radios to new plants and furniture, there’s a definite push being made to make our 7D2D worlds look even better.
There will also be some new vehicle wrecks, including cars, trucks, and tractors to make the outside world look more diverse and realistic. On top of that, there’ll be new interactive environmental hazards, such as flaming broken gas pipes that’ll block your path. You’ll need to find and turn the valve in order to open up the way forward.
Other Confirmed A21 Features
Beyond the above inclusions, we have a lot more to look forward to in A21 whenever it launches. It’s important to also keep in mind that these are all confirmed to be part of the update’s roadmap. In all likelihood, there’s more stuff the devs are working on that they’re not ready to announce yet.
- Biome percentage sliders for advanced world generation
- 23 new skills for crafting
- Water movement enhanced
- Spear damage is increased
- Spear power attacks are thrusts and no longer throw the weapon
What about Bandits?
One of the features teased earlier in the year was the introduction of Bandits. The devs had posted an image depicting three models wearing different types of gear, leading to a lot of speculation. As of now, there’s no real confirmation that Bandits will be a part of A21. However, the Fun Pimps have stated numerous times that they’re putting a lot of effort into making them happen.
Based on the above-mentioned image, we can speculate that Bandits will bring a whole new challenge to 7D2D. They appear to have holstered melee and ranged weapons, meaning their attack capabilities will be varied. On the shoulders, you can also see a radio which may indicate that they will be able to call in reinforcements. Beyond all that, Bandits will likely have varying levels of armor.
While all of this is likely making you salivate, there’s some bad news. Recent interviews with the Fun Pimps have revealed that the Bandits feature is looking less and less likely to be a part of A21. They’ve stated that they’re roughly at 20-30% of where they want the feature to be and that’s not good enough for them. Some fans have expressed that they’d like to at least get a feel for the feature to give feedback. However, that’s not likely to happen. We can still hold out hope for Bandits getting introduced in a smaller update down the line.
What’s going on with console?
The Fun Pimps have expressed in a few interviews that they hope to bring the console versions of 7 Days to Die in alignment with their PC counterparts. At the moment, on Playstation and Xbox, the game is at A14 with some parts of A15 thrown in. The main problem comes from the previous team handling the console versions which was Telltale Games.
Now that they’re out of the picture, the original devs are at the helm but they’ve got a lot of work cut out for them. One interesting point they made was how they were going to sell this to an audience that already owns the Telltale Games version, with one avenue they’re exploring being to offer it at a discounted price for existing owners.
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