We're getting scav Karma in the upcoming patch and, eventually, PMC karma because Nikita wants to remove the "kill on sight" mentality of EFT. This is, quite frankly, some of the best news I've ever heard from Battlestate.
Kill on sight it removes a lot of the nuance that would be possible within Escape from Tarkov once local VoiP is introduced. However, since this isn't currently present in EFT we need to talk about the failure of a different game: Deadside.
For those of you not in the know Deadside is yet another survival shooter game in an open world setting with missions that populate defended by "Scavs." Max server size of 50, and an emphasis on PvP with VoiP. You can meet friendly players in the world and squad up with them in order to form massive parties. You can build bases, etc, all the usual crap. And, if you join the wrong server, you're going to have a less than great time.
Deadside doesn't have great PvP. The guns sound like hollow tins, the movement is off, the terrain is just terrible for PvP style battles, and the base building doesn't really incentivize it. Its barely passable and in a world with a ton of games that just do PvP better like CoD, Battlefield, ARMA, Squad, Apex, Tarkov, and so on and so forth the main draw of Deadside isn't really the PvP. Its, quite frankly, roughly the same draw of EFT: Open World Hardcore Immersive Game with Survival Elements.
One of my best encounters in Deadside I had was when I was playing solo. I went over to a mission and cleared it up only to have another player roll up on me. He was strafing back and forth a door I was watching. He and I started chatting. I was interested in being friendly with this guy but their was this palpable air of tension. Is he going to kill me if I just put my gun up? And I'm certain he was thinking the same thing. I took the risk, put my gun up, and walked outside. He didn't kill me, we squadded up and it turned out he had four buddies just a little bit away from him. That tension was amazing, when meeting someone else and not knowing what will happen. Unfortunately, that is not the common occurrence in Deadside.
If you join a public populated server in Deadside you'll quickly learn only kill on sight. Why? Because there's no reason to take the risk and a whole host of reasons to shoot them before they shoot you. Since there's no consequences to your actions beyond another player nearby killing you if you see someone and you're loaded down with loot its better not to take the risk. They could one tap you in the head with a pistol and take all your crap. Hell, you can even squad up with people and shoot them in the back of the head without consequence. All that potential nuance and tension is just completely gone. There's no decisions to be made because the only upside of making a friend is they don't shoot you now but the potential downsides are: lose everything on you that you worked hard to obtain. I'm not saying you can't get great experiences in Deadside but you have to join the right server and there's few and far between of those, at least in the States.
That's the kind of tension Nikita wants to bring to EFT, where you have to weigh killing another PMC or even Player Scav on sight. Now, there's a whole HOST of issues we could get into from an inability to clearly distinguish factions on sight given gear to how the karma system will be implemented but, at the very least, if implemented properly it'll add another level of complexity and depth that would elevate EFT to a whole other level.