PUBG Keeps Soaring Despite Major Roadblocks and PUBG BP
Afkers Flood the Servers
Battle Point Farmers
In light of the most recent milestones, namely record breaking 1.35 million concurrent players and 10 million units sold, a disturbing trend of auto-queuing and idling/afking for in-game currency called PUBG BP (Battle Points) emerged. When something like this happens, it’s a reminder of a slippery slope PUBG has to tread on due to absolutely mind-boggling rate of growth.
The trend was reaching disturbing levels lately, with as many as 20+ afk players in certain games, depending on game modes and other circumstances. This was then further exploited by active players who specifically went after the afkers, resulting in situations where more than 30 people would die within a minute or two since the match start.
For players participating in this trend, either actively or passively, it was worth the trouble. The game itself auto-kicks you out of the plane at the edge of the map, and the parachute automatically opens itself up once the in-game character is close to the ground. After that, all it takes is a couple of minutes before the blue circle starts, inevitably killing the idle players and any remaining active ones in the process. Dying equals easy 50-100 BP. Rinse and repeat for thousands of BP every day.
Easily earned BP can then be spent on crates. While unlocking and opening crates actually costs $3 a piece, the crates themselves are being sold on the Steam Community Market. At the time of writing this, the crate prices range from $0.5 to $2. The demand is high, with thousands of these flying off the “shelves” every passing hour. It’s not hard to imagine someone making upwards of $10+ or even $100+ in Steam Wallet cash daily, as the process is somewhat scalable with multiple accounts.
No More Easy BP for Farmers
Obviously, the developers had to act quickly to fix a dire situation. In fact, they released a patch that supposedly prevents idle players from earning BP while afking/idling. How successful the implementation of these new counter-measures is can best be described by this video, which has since gone viral in the PUBG community. Apparently, the guy in the video was invited to dinner, decided to go prone in the bathtub, hit the record button and proceeded to win the match purely by chance and luck, earning 810 BP in the process.
First of all, this is surely a one in a million occurrence. The guy was clearly geared up and actively played the game until there were 34 players left. However, Battle Royale genre as a whole is known for players running away from fights or any kind of engagement with other players. This was apparent in recent tournaments, where some of the participants were hiding, stalling and waiting as much as possible.
Blatant afking to farm BP is an easy thing for Bluehole to detect and fix. On the other hand, idling is actually a viable strategy to increase your chances of being the last survivor. The goal of the game is not to run around murdering everybody, although doing that surely helps drive the number of survivors down. On the contrary, the goal is to be the last one to survive, by any means necessary, even if that means hiding and idling instead of risking getting killed by engaging everybody you see.
Still, if everybody just starts hiding and waiting for everyone else to die, the games would turn into snail-paced crawl-fests. While Bluehole can’t and shouldn’t explicitly prohibit such behaviours, you can’t deny the choice of survival strategies either. It’s a tough challenge to tackle, one that will likely have to be dealt with indirectly by modifying game mechanics such as timer lengths, damage-over-time while in the blue zone and/or the speed of the blue circle.
New Gun and Other Novelties in the Pipeline
On a brighter note, the same patch mentioned above introduced a new gun into the game, the Mini-14. It is a semi-auto marksman rifle that does a bit less damage in exchange for higher rate of fire and super fast muzzle velocity. In fact, it has the highest muzzle velocity of all guns in the game. It uses sniper rifle attachments for muzzle and magazine slots, and any type of optics for the sight slot. The mag size allows for 20 bullets. With mag extensions that number goes to 30. The recoil is minimal in comparison to other guns out there. The gun is simply awesome.
Read More: PUBG August Update and the Latest Mk14 Rifle
Despite PUBG already featuring a wide range of weapons, this gun in particular has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the players. Some players even expressed concerns over how good the gun actually feels, fearing Bluehole might nerf the gun in the future. As of right now, if you find this gun, pick it up and run with it, it’s that good!
The patch also touched on the vaulting mechanic. It has been one of the hot, recurring topics in the community. At the moment, the jumping mechanic is really clunky and counterintuitive. Players are unable to jump and climb over a bunch of short obstacles in game. This definitely ruins the overall gameplay.
Vaulting seeks to solve these issues. It has been in the development pipeline for a while now, and the patch notes offered a brief explanation of why it hasn’t been introduced to the main branch of the game yet. Basically, it’s a complex mechanic that requires careful implementation, otherwise there’s potential for even more bugs and glitches if the system is not polished enough. The wait is surely going to be worth it, as this feature alone will make the game much better than it currently is.
The long awaited second PUBG map might be closer than we think. The new desert map has been datamined from the patch. With city and town names like Hard Luck, Punishment, Kill Box and Murderland, the desert map is set to bring even tougher survival conditions to players who dare parachute down onto it. It was confirmed by Brendan Greene (PlayerUnknown) that this new map will be about the same size (8×8 km, or 64 square km) as the current map (Erangel).
Now that most of the afk BP farmers are gone and while we’re waiting for these major updates to hit the servers, it would be wise to keep an eye on the marketplace. The prices could go up now as supply slowly dwindles, or they might not. In the meantime, keep stocking up on those crates because they might become worth more than you think.