I’m still playing a good amount of PUBG, and surprise, playing more leads to getting better at a game (at least for most people). Am I Shroud yet? Not exactly, but I am at the point where if combat happens, I expect to win rather than praying the other guy is a bigger potato. That’s a big jump for me, especially because FPS games are BY FAR my worst genre of games when played competitively.
My best game to date, a 7 kill, fairly high damage squad win, happened recently. The ending was especially crazy, as the final circle was around the trench near Gatka, with myself and one squad member down inside the trench, and the final two enemies on top, one on each side. This was after a lengthy firefight with another squad on the opposite end of the trench that lead to the death of a squad mate.
After that fight ended, I peeked the top of the trench to see one enemy crawling towards us. He didn’t have vision on me (yay third-person-perspective camera shenanigans), so when I saw him peak in the other direction, I popped out and gave him the business end of my UMP. He got a shot on me, so once he was dead, I turned and backed away into the trench to heal, only to see the final enemy on the other side, looking directly at me. Or at least, I thought he was, because for whatever reason he didn’t shoot at me. This gave me the chance to get out of his view, heal up, and wait for him to peak in the other direction before lighting him up for the chicken dinner. Wins where you do more of the carrying for a squad always feel great, because god knows I’ve been on plenty of wins where I’m more weight than help.
As with most PUBG games, it was a combo of skill and luck to get that win. If the final enemy wasn’t blind, I’m dead after killing the first guy, and then it would have been a 1v1 with my squad mate. On the other hand, getting to the final circle was the result of good shooting, good movement/planning, and playing well as a squad. I never get to the final potato player if the first 6 people I killed end up killing me.
Speaking of our squad, I feel we are also improving as a unit. We are still sometimes spotty on communication (I’ll hear “cross the street” when someone actually said “enemy across the street” and run head-first into a bullet), but it’s getting better, and just takes time. You have to learn to fight the instinct to say something like “I see an enemy!”, and instead say “enemy at 235, solo”. I’m still the guy going “I’m hit” on comms, when that helps absolutely nobody and is just distracting noise, but again, improving.
I think the gradual improvement in PUBG is also a reason it’s so successful. It’s not like CS:GO where landing headshots is 90% of the game, and until you get to that point, you are basically fodder. In PUBG, great aim is important, no doubt, but so much more goes into winning, and even if your aim and reactions aren’t improving as fast as you’d like, you can still continue to improve in other areas and continue to become an overall better player.
Another key to the games success is that, unless you are someone like Shroud, victory doesn’t happen so often that it becomes normal, so each one feels great. Some better than others, but I doubt many players out of the millions don’t get a high from seeing that chicken dinner screen. The other group I play with has two guys who are insanely good at the game, and win fairly often (20% maybe?), but even for them each win is still a feel-good moment.
Those two factors keep people interested in the game, and keep them playing. It’s almost MMO-like in a way; you have long-term progression, and each major success feels great. Oh, and there is also the ‘collect fluff’ mini-game that some people take to extreme lengths (the pre-order coat item sells for over $1500 on Steam trade, and the price continues to go up).
I’m very excited for the big patch that has vaulting and a bunch of other stuff to hit the test servers, because it should make what is already an incredibly fun game that much better. Too bad it was delayed this week, but I’m sure it’s coming ‘soon’.