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As Play­erUn­known’s Bat­tle­grounds hits 500,000 play­ers, griefers are get­ting cre­ative

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS -

Play­erUn­known’s Bat­tle­grounds re­cently broke 500,000 con­cur­rent play­ers on Steam, plac­ing it along­side the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Of­fen­sive and Dota 2 in terms of pop­u­lar­ity. It’s one of the big­gest suc­cess sto­ries on PC, but a new fea­ture is prov­ing both­er­some. Horns were re­cently added to the game’s cars, which stream snipers have found a way to ex­ploit. Stream snip­ing typ­i­cally in­volves play­ing on a server with a streamer while watch­ing their stream to gain an ad­van­tage. It’s un­sports­man­like, but some gamers find this en­ter­tain­ing. Snipers have now found a way to use Bat­tle­grounds’ horns to help them out. Stream honk­ing, as some re­fer to it, in­volves get­ting into a car, hold­ing the horn but­ton down, then chas­ing stream­ers around.

Some will view it as lit­tle more than a bit of harm­less tom­fool­ery

When they get shot at, they speed away, only to re­turn later with more mad­den­ing honk­ing. Bat­tle­grounds de­vel­oper Blue­hole has a strict pol­icy of ban­ning stream snipers, so it re­mains to be seen whether this will ex­tend to stream honkers. Some will view it as lit­tle more than harm­less tom­fool­ery, but for oth­ers it will ruin their en­joy­ment of the game.

Bat­tle­grounds has also in­tro­duced FPS-only servers. These re­strict all play­ers to a first-per­son per­spec­tive, which makes the game dou­bly tense. Con­sid­er­ing how tense it al­ready was, that’s say­ing some­thing. It’s a purer, tougher way to play.

CRATE EX­PEC­TA­TIONS

A new fea­ture that hasn’t been quite as well re­ceived, how­ever, is paid-for crates con­tain­ing cos­metic items. “I do un­der­stand your con­cerns, but I feel test­ing for a sturdy econ­omy on the Steam Mar­ket­place is nec­es­sary at this stage, and ul­ti­mately ben­e­fi­cial for the game,” says Bat­tle­gournds’ cre­ator, Bren­dan ‘Play­erUn­known’ Greene. “We are tak­ing your con­cerns into con­sid­er­a­tion when it comes to the abil­ity to get free cos­met­ics by play­ing the game.”

A game as widely-played as Bat­tle­grounds is al­ways go­ing to make de­ci­sions that divide the com­mu­nity, but the game’s wild pop­u­lar­ity shows no sign of wan­ing. I can’t help but think of how DayZ was the hot new thing for about a year, but slowly fiz­zled out. It’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how Bat­tle­grounds’ longevity com­pares, and how it evolves with fu­ture up­dates. Andy Kelly

LEFT:

This is a bull­shot, but it’s what play­ing Bat­tle­grounds feels like in your mind.

BE­LOW:

Stream honkers use the Da­cia to wage psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare on play­ers.

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