Any multiplayer game can fall victim to AFK farming, in that players enter a game without truly participating to gain the rewards it yields. Developer Bluehole has recognised that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the latest target of this and is working to address the problem.
This is a problem that affects MMOs more so than any other genre, with players farming currency and items by using bots that are online pretty much 24/7. The systems that are in place to gain rewards on PUBG don’t necessarily require bots at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it is any less of an exploit.
This problem has been an issue since the game first launched back in March, but has since grown alongside the introduction of paid cosmetics. This becomes particularly obvious when watching unusual amounts of deaths occurring at once from the blue.
At PAX West 2017, Battlegrounds producer Chang-Han Kim told PC Gamer that Bluehole recognises that it is a growing problem and wants to do something before it gets out of hand. Kim says that while the problem is there, not many people are idling right now, but they will implement changes in hopes of stopping it.
Details on how this will be dealt with are yet to be revealed by the developer, but it might result in alterations to how battle points are earned, or “preventing AFKs as a whole.” In a game where waiting and stealth are key tactics, it’s difficult to implement a similar system to other games in which idlers are kicked after so many minutes of inactivity, but there are, of course, things that can be done to combat the problem.
For now, players can rest assured that “it’s something [the developers] will definitely be addressing.”
KitGuru Says: I’ve seen plenty more wins from active players I know and watch since idlers have become more of a thing, as it becomes significantly easier with less competition fighting for items and weapons. Have you experienced AFKers in your matches? What do you think of the problem?