Coming off a successful PMC run and another abysmal Scav run, I made some observations about why Scav runs feel so much less successful for me this wipe.
This post was inspired because — despite my PMC survival rate and overall skill at the game being a clear improvement over last wipe — my scav run extract rate is notably tanked this "season".
I think that the topic of early player scav spawns has been bitched about to death, but I think an unfortunate side effect of the player scav situation is the almost necessity of scav-on-scav violence.
If I scav-run into a round of interchange at 39 minutes remaining, and it throws 3 other player scavs in there with me, you have a perfect powder keg of ensuring that no player scav coordination will occur.
You've got >4 player scavs on high alert, and potentially even looking like PMCs (due to what players have observed as beefier scav loadouts this wipe), as well as the actual PMCs on high alert and only 5 minutes into a round.
The PMCs are fresh, with full mags, full grenades, full meds, and well into their preferred looting routes, and that knowledge — whether conscious or unconscious — immediately puts me in defense mode when I'm a scav and I see that "39:00" ticking down.
You might think that this is just bad spawning luck, but enough of the playerbase seems to be experiencing early player scav spawns. Can you honestly say you've had more than a couple scav runs spawn in with <15 min left? Or even <20 min?
I have been tracking my scav runs since wipe, and only 3/43 scavs have spawned with less than 25 minutes left in the round, and only 2 of those were less than 20 minutes left.
A whopping 28 of these scav runs have been with 40 minutes or more remaining.
"So why does spawn time matter? Player scavs have always shot each other on sight."
This is true. However, the power dynamic between PMCs and late-spawning Scavs used to be more balanced because of resource depletion, and player drop-off. After 20-30 minutes in a match, players have died, extracted, or used up ammo/armour/nades/meds.
I was watching a DeadlySlob video from 9 months ago and about 20 minutes into a PMC run full of loot and kills he comments:
"Damn, I'm going to have to start heading to extract, because the scavs are going to be spawning in"
This guy is a pro Tarkov player who has just wiped a server of sweaty PMCs, and even he gets a little sweaty under the Ushanka at the idea of the wolves entering the server.
Because when that video aired, the Scavs were spawning in after the map dynamics had been established, and the PMCs had the gear advantage while player scavs had the positional and numbers advantage.
This is part of what motivated me to coordinate with fellow player scavs to prowl the map and try to take on the PMCs.
Now? A player scav that spawns in at 5 minutes into the game has even worse of a gear disadvantage AND the positional disadvantage that NPC scavs have.
Combine this with you being further on edge after being airdropped into the middle of Customs terminal at 39:00, you also lose the numbers advantage when you will naturally be more defensive with other player scavs that you interact with.
Lest you trust the wrong cheekie breekie, get Head,Eyes'd, and have to face that countdown.
Introducing Scav karma might put a dent in the trust-issues by making people think twice about killing a fellow scav, but I don't think it's enough to make up for the drastic power shift this wipe has seen.