Storypost | 2020.05.31
|Open chat in the queue was rife with... well exactly what you'd expect from internet randos. Still, it was something to do. And I'm pretty sure you could turn it off. Plane rides were a lot more fun with Music Guy (the guy who would play music on all-chat).
|The obligatory money maker. Cosmetics meant they added an XP/grinding system. That's sure to keep players around!
|The prevalence of cheating forced Blue Hole to add anti-cheat software and, more recently, phone verification. Naturally, having a level playing field is pretty darn important to keeping people engaged. They didn't really succeed here, but they made progress.
|After Erangel and Miramar came Sanhok, Vikendi, and Karakin. New scenery, new tactics, new game speed. These were good!
|Guns were steadily added, not making a huge difference but they were nice to have. The introduction of the Panzerfaust had the potential to be a major change but Blue Hole played it safe and left it somewhat underpowered.
|Cars, trucks, and bikes speckle the PUBG landscape. And then there was an airdropped APC that was very fun to use. And an ultralight. And then an automated Vikendi train. Each of these added variation to the experience regardless of how well they were used.
|For a brief period there were multi-day events that served as the groundwork for the deathmatch mode. Their coolness ranged from 'meh' to the awesomeness of vehicles and smoke grenades only. Then they stopped doing them. Why???
|The older maps got visual refreshes. This probably didn't matter since serious players use low graphics settings.
|The ability to select your map came and went. It should have remained.
|Blue Hole added a few beta MMR tests. These made a substantial difference to how fun the game was since it's more fun to play with people your skill level.
|Game tweaks and map additions changed how quickly the game progressed from drop to final circle. A lot of players asked for quicker matches.
|Rain and fog were neat effects that had an impact on play.
Ever the optimist, I think, "Ranked mode, great! We'll get placed in whatever is below bronze league and it'll be like MMR on stims." Cattle and I set out to play our five pre-rank matches. First red flag: squads only. So we play as a two-man squad, further diminishing our chances to get any ranking points. Second red flag: "BTW queue times will be upwards of seven minutes". Okay, at least they're honest, is this reflective of all ranked mode or just the pre-rank?
We play four pre-rank matches. All Sanhok. Everyone on the server hides until late. No big deal. Not fun, but rip the band-aid off. Through bad luck and lack of skill, we do pretty bad, which is kind of what we want. Pre-rank match five: Erangel. Okay. We're on the plane with 16 other players. What? You put us on the second-biggest map with a handful of players? We laugh that it might be the bronze pre-league. As you might imagine, it's pretty quiet til the end. We play it right except that everyone is level 3'd and we're still a two-man squad.
Get back to the ranked menu: "You've played 4/5 pre-rank matches." To quote the player mantra that Blue Hole adopted, "Fix PUBG".
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