• Archimedes777

Wild Blueberries

I said last time that I wanted to start writing shorter pieces a little more frequently. Of course, by saying that, I jinxed myself, and here I am more than a week later with my next post. So, I am not sticking to the faster tempo, and, as you may have noticed, this post isn't that short. The best laid plans...

[Note: Some of the points in this article were inspired by TILLALLR1's "How to Be a Useful Potato." You can listen to the boys interview him on the podcast ("The art of being a potato").]

Feels Bad, Man

I have been frustrated playing Apex Legends for the past week or two. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the server stability is terrible. I can think of maybe one or two matches prior to the introduction of the Legendary Hunt where I was seeing major latency issues, but now I am seeing them almost every night, and it is making things a lot less fun. The second reason I am having less fun is that I'm playing more frequently while alone, so I am joining up with blueberries a lot.

(Destiny/former Destiny players can skip to the next paragraph, thereby making this article shorter - yay(?)!) For those of you who listen to the podcast and don't come from a Destiny background, this may be a good time to explain the term blueberry. In Destiny, when you are in a fireteam with friends, they will show up as a green dot on your mini-map. Non-party members appear as a blue dot, which doesn't look anything like a blueberry, but it is blue and round, so blueberry is the term the community adopted for non-party members in one's squad. (Also note: this term existed prior to Destiny, but it is where many of us are most familiar with it from. It likely started with one of the Battlefield communities.)

Okay, so why is playing with blueberries so frustrating? Here's a brief rundown:

Who's in Charge Here, Anyway?

Are you the Jumpmaster in your team? No? Okay. Then feel free to make some suggestions as to where to land. If your Jumpmaster makes a selection you don't like, just ping "No!" and hope for them to understand you don't love that jump for whatever reason (maybe you never have success at Artillery, or your heart can't take the insanity that is Skull Town). They may suggest another jump, or they may jump there anyway. For the love of all things good, just drop with them.

I have spent several games in the past week either alone because my team just jumped to wherever they wanted to jump after I called and made a jump or because (more commonly) a blueberry decided to jump somewhere alone, only to get killed. Dude, you could have come with me and been killed just as easily!

If you are a God-tier player, you can still play with your team. The fact of the matter is, you aren't, as none of the blueberries whom I have seen do this have ever done anything other than get killed and disconnect. That's not cool. If you want to play like that, play a battle royale that has a solo mode.

I Repeat: You Aren't a God

This brings me to the next thing that is frustrating. Blueberries who tell you where they are going but don't wait for a response or team movement. You look up, and the blueberry is in Cascades while you and your other squad mate are in Slums. Then the blueberry starts pinging that they've seen an enemy. Then they engage. Then they get knocked. They ping the enemy for a while. They get finished. They disconnect. (I know in your mind you are picturing a blueberry playing Octane. That is the correct thing to picture; it's always an Octane, right?)

I get that you want to fight things. I get that you have great loot and are ready to roll, but your team may not be ready to roll. Or you moved into an area where fights happen at mid-range and your squad mates have an EVA-8 and a P-2020. Just because you have great loot and are ready to fight doesn't mean everyone in your squad is.

The flip side of this is the squad mate who lags behind. Mea culpa: this is me. I tend to lag behind looting for too long. I am sorry to all of you who have suffered through this. I will try to be better. Don't be like me; stick with your squad.

Also, you aren't as good as you seem to think you are. You can't take on squads by yourself regularly just because one time you ran into a weak team that played poorly, and you wiped them. If you 1v3 the other team, you will lose most of the time because you are almost certainly not a God-tier player. I have played with a handful of blueberries who were phenomenal players. It is obvious from their play that they are exceptionally skilled. Guess what? Most of them didn't run off alone. Most of them stuck with the team and won encounters through skill and using their teammates to their advantage. Be like these players.

Share the Loot!

Has this happened to you? You are moving to a crate to loot it, and then you hear an Octane popping his stim or a Pathfinder grappling. You watch as your teammate passes by you, opens the crate you were headed toward and proceeds to take everything in it. Yeah. That's annoying. Don't do that.

Great. You have the best guns and good armor. Your teammate got nothing and spent time moving somewhere when they could have spent the time looting. If you can get further, faster, you can go a little further to loot rather than leaving your squad mate hanging. You are back in the position where you have to 1v3 because your teammates are hamstrung by your greed. (Note: I am not talking about when you legitimately end up at the same bin as a teammate, particularly in the early game when you aren't sure if you are next to a teammate or an enemy. I am talking about actively trolling your team.)

I Know I'm Ranting

Okay, so I realize the above was a rant. Most of you reading this don't play this way. None of my friends play this way. Here's the problem: I really enjoy playing this game, and I can't always play with friends, but lately the game is a lot less fun without them. Some of that is just because my friends are cool, fun people. Some of it, though, is because people in this game need to realize that they need to play as part of a team to have success in this game.

Get on mic if you can. Communicate with pings if you can't. Land with your squad and then move with them throughout King's Canyon. It will be more fun for all of us, particularly if this kind of teamwork leads to a win.

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