Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Why I stay in PUBG despite clear corruption

Game update for yesterday:
  • 3 chrashed games
  • 5 top 10 results (#5, #5, #8, #4, #7)
  • 6 bad results
  • 3 kills
I promised an analysis of player performance distribution, but it has to wait because of recent events.

Just after the loot crates, PlayerUnknown's battleground is hit with a community outrage (4500 comments) over a clear corruption issue: they banned someone for the horrible crime of shooting a "famous content creator" in a shooting game and the lead dev Brendan Greene aka PlayerUnknown stands by the decision. It reminds me badly about the situation when a community manager did his best to remove me from a spaceship shooting game for the atrocious crime of facilitating the shooting of spaceships of a "famous content creator". To make it worse, the PUBG devs had no shame and literally put "don't kill streamers" into their rules (#12). On a second thought maybe it's decency since it at least allows players to know what the consequences are for messing with "famous content creators" and have the option to not play instead of putting 2 years into a game project and being very surprised when the dev says it's off limits when it starts to succeed.

Anyway, openly putting "famous content creators" into god mode in a competitive game is as bad as it gets. Why am I not leaving PUBG in disgust? "Because I see the same corruption everywhere" is not an acceptable excuse. I could just quit video games completely and play tabletop games in real life like Tobold. However I believe that you don't need Saints for a good society. Remember that the same corrupted devs are not robbing banks, not raping on streets and don't beat up random people in the mall while streaming. Unless you assume they are possessed by the Holy Ghost when they leave their computers, you have to accept that it has to do something with the police, the courts and the jails which are present in real life and not in the video gaming industry. Having proper laws and enforcing them make ordinary non-saints law-abiding citizens.

The central rule of PUBG is "everyone vs everyone" with no player-player collusion is allowed or even practical. Which means that Adam having privilege for buying loot crates or being a streamer or having "beers" with devs is not my problem alone. It's shared between all other 98 players of the same match, including other privileged players. Good question: if only 2 players left at the end of the game and both are famous streamers, who will be banned?!

My point is that in an 5v5 League of Legends match if in the mid lane the game placed a belligerent Yasuo teammate against someone who can play against Yasuo, I'm screwed, no matter what, because that guy will be 10/0/0 unless I babysit mid, when the other lanes suffer. I'm locked into a team with 0/10 Yasuo and forced to face the 10/0 guy. But in PUBG, the "Yasuo" guy is not my problem, he'll be listed as "Katarina killed Yasuo with a punch, 98 left". The streamer can be my problem, but my chances of being the guy who has to take the ban for killing the streamer is very low, even if he is in the match where I am. I'm not locked into battle with him, most likely someone else kills him and gets banned for it.

I don't think they designed PUBG as corruption-resistant, they just coded Battle Royal and Battle Royal itself is corruption resistant. I believe that corruption resistant games can be designed and PUBG is a great example. Similar example would be stopping botting by making grinding 10 hours straight impossible. If resources wouldn't repop endlessly and players had to explore or PvP to get them, there would be no point botting. If players couldn't give anything of value to a random stranger, just to long-standing guildmates, there would be no RMT which is based on the action of giving in-game value without in-game reciprocation to strangers.

I of course can't guarantee that I reach the end goal of getting my name to the very top list of the game. But I see no reason why I shouldn't get into the top 0.1% despite the devs clearly and openly favor some players, since the game isn't forcing me to ever face these privileged players. The EVE equivalent would be locking nullsec players out of highsec, so Goons couldn't come in and bother me, forcing me to fight them. Then we could coexist, I'd still be making content in highsec while they in nullsec together with Falcon. Wouldn't that be a better outcome for everyone?!

21 comments:

Carson 63000 said...

12. Do not stream snipe: this is a form of cheating and you will be banned if you do it.

Um, that doesn't mean "don't kill streamers" at all, let alone literally.

"Stream sniping" means watching a streamer's stream whilst you are playing against them, to get an unfair advantage by seeing from their perspective as well as your own. It's much more understood in e.g. a card game, where stream sniping means seeing exactly what your opponent has in their hand, but I guess for a game of hide and seek like PUBG, it's also pretty serious.

Gevlon said...

@Carson: theoretically yes. But unless you have a witness in their room when they kill the streamer, there is no way to determine that they stream sniped or not. The only thing they can determine is that they killed the streamer and maybe that he wanted to be in the same game as the streamer, by queuing when he did. So the decision is fully opinionated and mainly boils down to "how much the GM wants to pander to the streamer who creams bloody murder to his audience".

Don't you think a "put a delay to your stream if you don't want to be sniped" would be a smarter rule?

Anonymous said...

There is no easy way for a hard proof for stream sniping, yes.
However there are many indicators that can be used:

- directed running towards the streamer (and noone els)
- higher perception to where they are in fights (compared to the players usual tactics)

especially if the above are done more than once.

"I play a lot better but only against streamers" is a kind of weird coincidence.

Yes it may be able to hide those tells, but for that you'd need to be a clever/good player, in which case you don't need stream sniping.


It is essentially the same with wallhacks etc.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: it's not hard to play better against streamers than normal people, because streamers do stupid shit for the show. Camping is not good for viewers, these guys run around like a moron looking for trouble and rely only on their truly superior mechanics. But nothing helps them being hit from a hill with a scope.

bg. said...

Well, thanks for the heads up.

I was about to shell the $30 on steam to check this game, but this kind of streamer-dev collusion put a big stop sign right there.

I am sure these devs prefer money from 12 years old start-struck kids, anyway, so good for them...

Anonymous said...

" Unless you assume they are possessed by the Holy Ghost when they leave their computers, you have to accept that it has to do something with the police, the courts and the jails which are present in real life and not in the video gaming industry."

Video games industry does not exist in the real world? Cheating customers is not subject to legislation?

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: "I of course can't guarantee that I reach the end goal of getting my name to the very top list of the game. But I see no reason why I shouldn't get into the top 0.1% despite the devs clearly and openly favor some players, since the game isn't forcing me to ever face these privileged players."

Doesn't the same apply in EVE?

Anonymous said...

12. Do not stream snipe: this is a form of cheating and you will be banned if you do it.

This is absolutely retarded. If you're jumping around like a retard on the internet, live streaming yourself at the same time... you can expect people to take advantage of that.

It's like holding your cards backwards in a poker tournament, then expecting the people running the tournament to ban people who use that information against you.

They need to change that one to "Don't stream live. It disturbs the game by giving others an opportunity to use it against you. If you stream, use a delay of at least 5 minutes." This is easy to enforce, too. All you have to do is wait for some idiot to complain that they were sniped while streaming live.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: nope, because you forfeit all your rights by clicking that "OK" at start. Sure, you can choose to not click OK and not play any video games.

@Next anon: Goons came and burned Jita. They also took highsec POCOs. They could encroach everywhere, attack everyone as they pleased. There was nowhere to hide, one had to fight. Then they lost their POCOs, their freighters, their ships and Deklein.

@Anon: obviously. It's indeed holding the cards backwards.

Slawomir Chmielewski said...

Banning stream snipers is fine in my book. The only controversy is actually proving the sniping, not the rule itself. Now, if the game keeps replays then it can be quite easily shown with a high level of confidence.

Streamers bring in crowds, they can't do it when others deliberately hunt them in an unfair manner.

Xmas said...

If you weren't aware of it, they are doing a reset of the rankings today.

http://steamcommunity.com/games/578080/announcements/detail/1451700696550878710

There is a big patch coming out this week too. Mostly bug fixes, a new Care Package sniper rifle and some UI changes.


Anonymous said...

stream sniping.
those who really think this should be banable. well why bother broadcasting your GPS position non-stop to the open world? and if you do why don't you adept you play towards that handicap?

is it cheating? I don't think so. in FPS 4 minutes delay is more than enough if you play aggressive enough, but people don't delay their broadcast.

Anonymous said...

Many of the streamers are aided by their chat regularly. Chat often tells the streamer that they missed a gun/medkit/whatever, or where an enemy player ran to. It's pathetic that using their stream against them is ban-worthy, but the streamers can benefit from having thousands of eyes helping them with no punishment.

Anonymous said...

@Next anon: Goons came and burned Jita. They also took highsec POCOs. They could encroach everywhere, attack everyone as they pleased. There was nowhere to hide, one had to fight. Then they lost their POCOs, their freighters, their ships and Deklein.

And yet, the vast majority of people in highsec go about their business without getting affected. Perhaps we should make highsec a safezone where nobody can kill each other.

You were also able to interfere with the playstyle of others in highsec with impunity. And then, to pay people from the safety of a highsec station to attack those down in nullsec.

Gevlon said...

@Slawomir: Streamers don't bring anyone. They might increase the engagement of already playing people, but why would anyone who is not playing a game already would watch a stream of a game?!

@Last anon: I didn't have a problem with the "everyone can interfere with everyone" while I assumed that I'm facing players. I have to accept the reality that in practically every game some players (whales or monetizers) are favored by devs. Then the only protection I have left if I'm NOT locked in battle with these players. In EVE I couldn't hide from the Goons and their patron saint Falcon because they were everywhere, affecting everything. In PUBG my contact with streamers and other "more equal than you" players is random and rare.

Anonymous said...

"Streamers don't bring anyone." - this is your fundamental misunderstanding of others, most of whom are not like you. I read so many comments of people who decide what to play based upon watching a stream. Before the FTC crackdown, some streamers were charging devs $20k+ to play a game.

You can say that a famous actress endorsing a $100,000 car or $1000 phone would not persuade you to buy. But it does others or they would not do it.

A very few streamers make millions a year and "some" can do it for a living. Advertisers value the eyeballs watching a stream enough so these streamers can make tens or hundreds of thousands a year.

Even ignoring they already have your money (which still baffles me) any streamer is worth hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands more to the company than you are. Regardless of what should be, uou are never going to be able to make rational, correct decisions if you don't accept reality.

Slawomir Chmielewski said...

@Gevlon
Streamers also create gameplay content for YouTube. Personally, I don't buy games until I check what the gameplay is like.
Second, streamers don't have to play just one game. Some frequently switch between games, therefore advertising to a wider audience.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: I don't have to understand the reasons of the company, are they rig the games for corporate income or for individual dev corruption. Some players are above the rules.

In real life sports, even the largest stars are not above the rules. Lance Armstrong was banned for life and Sarapova got a 2 years "temp ban" for cheating, despite both worth more than all the streamers combined.

Esteban said...

As far as I know, neither Blizzard nor Bethesda have issued any rules against stream-sniping of their card games - despite the fact that at least in Blizzard's case, a lot more money is involved all around.

It's a douche move (though occasionally funny) and acknowledged as such by the streamer's audience, but not actively policed by the creators of games. This is the first I've ever heard of a company actively issuing bans for it, though I would be interested to learn whether there is an earlier precedent.

Caldazar said...

Streamers certainly bring in people.
A non negligible amount of the games I bought I learned about through streamers. And I tend to watch youtube/stream to check gameplay before I buy.

Carson 63000 said...

@Gevlon: "Don't you think a "put a delay to your stream if you don't want to be sniped" would be a smarter rule?"

100% yes! I absolutely think that this is a stupid rule, a very bad idea indeed.

It's just that your description of a player being "banned for the horrible crime of shooting a famous content creator", and claiming that the devs "literally put "don't kill streamers" into their rules" was so inaccurate that I honestly thought you didn't know what the phrase "stream sniping" meant.