… figuratively at least. For those who are unfamilliar, it's a fable, the premise of which is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
It's like the 45th law of power: Preach the need to change, but never reform too much at once. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.
The writing is on the wall. It's been said from the beginning – it will only get harder. Now with the Hideout and many survival mechanics in place Nikita is slowly cranking up the heat. He does after all need to think about a stage of the game that will sustain itself without wipes, but needs to gradually build up to it.
Right now, he's just manually fiddling with prices, changing barters, spawn rates and such. He's only getting started and we can make a pretty educated guess what will come next.
- Prices will be manually tweaked on some key commodities (AP ammo, fuel, etc) to pseudo follow the market. We're already seeing this happen. At some point dynamic prices will be turned on again.
- The hideout will start requiring maintenance, where broken down parts will need to be periodically replaced. And seeing how everything in the hideout cascades down, these might be almost mandatory if you want to keep your hideout running.
- Fuel consumption will be dependent on your hideout use. If you want to keep it running full steam ahead with crafting and 50/50 bitcoin mining, you'll be burning through fuel quite quickly.
- Speaking of fuel, there will probably be a gradual shift to get fuel in raid only. Even now I see increased spawn rates across maps. Food and Water will be probably only barter and loot only. So commodity runs will be probably a thing.
- Traders will probably start having their stock shaved off with only barebones stuff will be easily available as a backup to keep you going or as a foundation to build upon as you loot.
- Furthermore, traders will suffer shortages or days "off" when their supply lines get comprimised.
- Trader reputation will no longer just be a hard gate for loyalty levels but also provide discounts, more rare loot opportunities or info about incoming transports or one off stashes with valuables.
- Speaking of reputation, there might be some conflict between one or more (like Skier vs Prapor) when buying at one or the other where you'll have to balance your reputation.
- All top tier meta attachments/mods will be loot only or in limited quantities once in a while.
- Speaking of ammo – traders will probably have only standard types with the good stuff being mostly loot only or crafted in the hideout. Variable armor zones will make more ammo types viable.
- Crafting will be drastically expanded upon and one of the centerpieces of your progression.
I think what Nikita is going for is a sort of reverse S-shaped distribution where the mid tier stuff is king, meta's are essentially unviable to run consistently, interrupted with periods of boom and bust. Where endgame will be a state that you have to maintain rather than a stage that you get to. You'll be less inclinded to min max value per slot but rather compromise what is actually needed and looting itself will be shifted from insta selling to the highest bidder but rather retaining what you found.
I might be right I might be wrong, but hey…. that's just a theory, a gaaaame theory.