Over the last weeks, me and my friends started to play different online games again. It’s cold outside, and this is usually the best time to play some online PC games again with friends. One of the games we play is PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds). I wrote a PUBG review some time ago, but I will give you a short explanation what the game is about. A round starts with 100 people sitting in an aircraft, and with a large map and you have to decide where you want to drop out with your parachute. Depending on the game mode, it’s about being the last standing person on the map, or the last team. The game has a solo mode, where everyone is against each other. Same for the team modes, except that you join as a team. With that said, if you know the Hunger Games movies, that’s pretty much the same concept. PUBG is basically a battle royale shooter.
There is for example a mode where you can join as a 4-man squad. So, we got 4 friends together and used our TeamSpeak (Voice-over-internet) server, because you definitely need to communicate to survive a round. It’s enough if just 1 person survives, but of course you try to get your whole team through a round, and it’s most exciting if you manage it to be the last team standing. To make that happen, we often use a hierarchy or command structure. That means, before we even start to join a round, we choose a squad leader, so that we don’t get into any confusing situations. We also don’t want to run around like chickens and die a minute after the parachute landing. There is a reason why they do this in the military, and this works perfectly in a game too. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun. We also rotate a bit each round and everyone gets a chance at some point, because it’s a game. Today I was the leader.
That wasn’t an easy job because today we played with one of our friends who sometimes looks for a different kind of experience. He’s sometimes doing awkward things and at times it is funny, but there is a point where the whole team doesn’t find it funny anymore, because at the end you also would like to win a round. Usually we aren’t super emotional or serious, but there is a point where you want to remind someone when it is enough with awkward jokes that might get us in danger during a round. There is a certain point when it’s not funny anymore if someone is doing pranks, while everyone else just tries to win a round, tries to be the last team standing on the map. This is where I want to tell you a real story (laugh), one that we experienced today in PUBG.
The Arrow Prank Went Wrong
Today I was leading our 4-man squad. Previously we had great success, even if one of our team members pranked us several times. It was funny, but at some point it became annoying. But we got a promise that he would stop this round since we wanted to be a bit more serious now. We started a new round and dropped out of the airplane. Everyone saw my marker on the map, the goal was to get as far away from the airplane route as possible with our chute. After the landing we searched different villages for weapons and armor and found some things. Medication was still missing, because if we would get hurt in a firefight, we would need the first aid. In the last village we heard shots, and while we saw an enemy team far away in a field, I ordered not to open fire due to the distance and the lack of long-range sights. I told the team that my plan was to stay unnoticed unless we definitely could take out another team or player. With caution I decided to lead them through a tree-covered and hilly area near the last village.
On the way we found a tiny barn and I wanted to search it because one of us still needed a weapon. He found a tommy gun and a crossbow. Not perfect, but at least something. But that also meant we would continue to search for something better. We also still didn’t find any first aid kits. On the way down the hill, we saw a tent camp. I asked everyone to be careful, I wanted us to observe the camp first from the distance. But it seemed to be empty and I decided to go down with the group.
Arrived in the camp we started to search for weapons and medication. We found some things but not what we were looking for. But we haven’t been in a hurry because the whole terrain was perfect with all the rocks and trees as cover. We could find cover very fast in case we would hear or see something. So, I told everyone to take their time and continue to look around.
Sometimes it’s also good to wait things out, especially if the terrain allows a break. You can look at the map and plan your route and things like that. But the camp was the place where trouble started. Our friend with the crossbow got bored, that was not good because we knew where this could lead to. In games, he gets bored during long hikes, or long breaks easily, and that’s where things sometimes can get out of control. Not always, but sometimes. We’ve already been annoyed by his pranks and I hoped he wouldn’t be up to shenanigans again because we really wanted to play serious now and win a round. So, when I wanted to get into one of the tents where two of my friends rested, the friend with the crossbow shot an arrow in my direction and almost hit me. Another friend was in the tent too and said “What the fu..??” while I just asked “Do you seriously like to shoot arrows at your team mates??”. He replied “Nah, everything fine, I shot past you”.
The other friend in the tent said “I just hope it’s not that time again”. I went into the tent and the friend with the crossbow didn’t say anything anymore but he continued to point that thing closely to my head. I told him “Look, I think you are bored but if you believe this is still funny, I can tell you it isn’t anymore”. Having said that, he was still pointing that thing at me.
I was now a bit upset about the fact that we had to pay attention to his silly pranks, while we couldn’t really pay attention anymore to our surroundings. That’s just one of the situations where you would be an easy target for an enemy team. I now told him that I have zero issues with the idea to shoot his player character some bullets in the head if he doesn’t stop and asked him if he really would like to leave that round so early. At that point I wasn’t really serious, I just wanted to make clear that I am starting to get annoyed. But to put some pressure on him, I ran into his direction and did repeat what I just said. Now we both were pointing weapons at each other.
The other friend in the tent was probably still trying to feature out what was just happening in Mister Crossbow’s head and begged to get back to actual team work and the main goal of the game, to survive and kill enemy teams. Nobody expected that this would continue, but the crossbow was now pointed at him. The friend with the crossbow now said “You know that I can’t kill you in this game if I shoot one arrow in your foot, but it looks really funny!”. The other friend replied “Stop being an idiot, we didn’t even find first aid kits yet, now you’re just annoying!”. A moment later he had an arrow in the foot.
Meanwhile, we still had one of our friends a couple of meters away from the camp in the hill to secure our area, just in case. He didn’t say anything, he must have been baffled. His job was to secure the camp, to watch out for enemy teams. What was going on between us in the camp must have confused him and left him speechless, at that position. The friend with the arrow in the foot was upset but then speechless too because all he said was “I can’t believe that you think this is funny”. After that I was absolutely serious when I told the friend who went nuts with the crossbow that I definitely would open fire on him if he doesn’t stop to be annoying right now. He went around the corner of our tent and I tought he was done with the pranking. That’s when I heard another crossbow shot. As I later featured out (in the replay), that arrow was aimed at a tree near our fourth men in the hills who gave us rear cover.
From then on, things escalated quickly. I ran out of the tent and said “You’ve got it coming”. I opened fire on him after I said “I think your game is over, you really called the shot”. I often really have fun when I play with him because he can be serious, but there are days like this one where he really doesn’t understand where to stop. The last days it was too much and now he crossed a line because we really wanted to achieve something in the game. It can be fun to mess around in a game, but there is a point where you want to play it seriously, where you want to fight some really good matches. When I opened fire on him, I really thought that’s the only way he might understand that we want to achieve something in a competitive game and that we don’t want to get entertained by pranks a whole evening. He really needed that lesson. And I was not the only one who taught that, because after I opened fire, the other friend in the tent did so as well. And the friend who gave us rear cover could watch the drama through the scope of his weapon.
Our rear cover still didn’t believe that we would shoot each other. He actually thought an enemy team got us, even if he heard our dispute. He just couldn’t believe that, he thought we got shot by an enemy team and since he couldn’t see any other players, he left his position and got some distance from the camp. Just after Mister Crossbow complained how unjustified it would be to kill him just because of a prank, our rear cover came back down to the camp. There was no enemy team, it was really a wild west mood in the own team. We still heard the other friend complaining how unreasonable the team kill was, but now the friend who gave us rear cover found his voice again and said “Nope, I think they are right, you asked for it”.
Yet again we heard “So unreasonable, I just had a crossbow and didn’t kill anyone, it was all fun” and I replied “In life, every action has a consequence” while the other friend in the tent said “I think if you don’t saw that coming even if we said that’s not funny anymore, I am not sure if I still want to play any games with you”. The reply to that was “Really? Is that so? Well… bye” and our prankster left the voice chat. Now you must think a real-life friendship broke because of a game, but I can set your mind at rest. We play games with him since two decades and it’s not the first time he left the TeamSpeak server sore. He usually comes back a week later and says “Sorry, I should have seen the point where you guys started feeling that I spoil your game”.
It happens once every two months or so, but he always comes back. It’s just that he doesn’t really learn something out of it. He is a cool dude, he just has some days where he doesn’t get when things turn into an annoyance. He doesn’t have the talent to see that, it’s his weakness. But not one that is strong enough to cancel a friendship for. After he left the voice chat, we continued the game. We walked down the hill and had to cross a street where we came under enemy fire. On the other side was a large rock that gave us cover, and we found a city where we had firefights other teams in the streets and houses.
We were able to kill some other remaining teams, but at some point they pinned us down in a small alley. That’s where we died. We ranked 7th, not the best round, but we’ve been three guys now and most of them were still a team of four. The prank session did cost too much time, and time is really valuable in this game. If you wonder how I could illustrate the whole story or why I have screenshots of everything… you can watch each match with a free camera, because the replays are stored, which is pretty awesome because you can analyze the matches. Today was not very glorious in the game, but I think now after this lesson, we will have a lot less pranks again for some months until he falls back to old habits. Which can be fun at first, until he crosses the border again.