While the friendly fire incident was blatant, it’s within the performed character of DrDisRepect’s standard behaviour, only done with entertainment in mind rather than malice. Bluehole Studios, the team behind PUBG, have decided to take a zero tolerance approach to team-killing even if it involves a well known player.
Definite team killing
The Doctor and Brendan “PLAYERUNKNOWN” Greene had an exchange via Twitter after the banning that was largely cordial, but re-emphasised the point that the code of conduct exists for a reason.
Putting aside the specifics of this particular suspension, team killing is part and parcel of any game that involves friendly fire. Whether it is intentional or accidental, it’s going to happen and a reporting system is going to lead to a whole different kind of abuse.
If you break the rules in @PUBATTLEGROUNDS… no matter who you are… you're gonna have a bad time!
— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) July 18, 2017
Trolling or griefing players in order to get them banned is as old a “hobby” for some gamers as gaming itself. In the context of Battlegrounds it’s pretty easy to get yourself killed by a team-mate, whether by running through their firing lane or exiting a car they’re driving. There’s an additional wrinkle in PUBG’s approach in that you don’t even need to have been in the game to make a team-kill report – if you can provide video evidence of it having happened, you only need to submit it for the perpetrator to be on the receiving end of justice.
The problem here, griefing aside, is that this does not take intent into account, nor does it take the mood of the killed player into consideration. As a regular and largely incompetent player of Battlegrounds I routinely kill members of my squad accidentally (especially if they let me drive) and not on one occasion was it anything other than accidental, and none of them would report me for doing so. Not because I’m a special case, but because I’m playing with friends. Friendly fire among friends can be hilarious, after all.
You then also have to consider those playing in a pickup group who automatically select the “punish” option when team-killed no matter what the situation.
Between griefers getting themselves killed, friends having fun with the game and players who refuse to accept that accidents happen, there will be a significant grey area when it comes to friendly-fire.
With the number of people playing Battlegrounds at present it will be impossible to check for grey-area cases without each incident having human investigation involved, and it’s highly unlikely that will be possible.
Let’s be clear, being deliberately team killed by a jackass in a random group is the kind of behaviour that should be punished, but an automated system will generate false positives galore and without understanding intent in each situation there will be good players receiving bans unjustly.
We’re sure Bluehole have a plan here, and we’re hopeful that the system will work as intended, but this is one area of player behaviour that has always proved to be a significant headache to monitor well.
You can get more info on PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS from our dedicated hub which can be found right here.