Tarkov seems to be at a crossroads with the last two or three wipes, with a battle in the community braking out over the future of the game. From Pestily, to Veritas, to Jesse Kazam, to Shroud, to Klean, many big and small EFT content creators seem to be getting bored with the game and have similar criticisms of it. Every raid feels the same after early wipe, there is not much new content, movement feels too much like a twitch shooter, ect. These criticisms resonate perfectly with my experience playing the game, both as a supped up chad in an earlier wipe, and now as an early level shitter mid way through current wipe. There are simple fixes to address the most most mentioned problem, same old raids, different day.
Making meta loadouts risky and rare, especially top tier ammo, would improve the game. If top tier loadouts were risky, it would force players to consider cheaper alternatives and increase time to kill, while still allowing a rare and expensive kit to dominate. The easiest way to achieve rare meta loadouts would be to remove them from being purchasable through traders, letting the market decide the price.
Anytime this is brought up, there is a small vocal minority that prefer EFT as a meta twitch shooter and not the realistic survival shooter it was intended to be. Any discussion with them feels like having a argument with Golum about throwing the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. They do not want their precious taken away, that feeling of power in a game that is supposed to make you feel the threat of death at every corner. Pretty much everyone says "early wipe is the best time to play" well it would be best for the game to extend that early wipe magic, at least in some small way.
The main problem comes from simply unlocking top tier stuff through traders to have instant access to cheap, high tier loadouts. The problem hit its peak last wipe with the huge injection of cash via bitcoin mining, making trader prices stupid cheap for those with access to a farm, and even injecting cash into the economy for everyone else. I, like many, got burnt out during that wipe. It was nothing to take in a vector with drum mags of 7n31 and wipe whole newbie four mans in factory, or just run into Reserve with a meta m4 fighting the same chads over the same loot. Making meta loadouts rare would increase the variability in the game, and the ultra chads would still have the potential to take their toys into raid.
Instead of [meta-loadout = go to closest high tier loot spawn] being the default, players could be forced to weigh risk and reward more carefully. Do you push for health resort with lvl4 armor and mid tier rounds? Or do you go to the swamp for lower tier loot? If you are able to take the highest risk kit every time, of course you will choose the highest reward area. Hatchet runners are obviously always a problem, but more innovative solutions like more early scav spawns around high tier loot and a secure container animation would be better than allowing meta chads to full tilt every time. The most necessary change to ammo would hardly even effect hatchet runners and the chads attempting to keep up.
All meta ammo types essentially make all but the best armor useless. Fights do not feel tactical, because there is usually no time for it to feel tactical. Whomever points and clicks first, with good ammo, wins. Ammo availability needs to be heavily nerfed, with the top two or three best types of most rounds being unpurchaseable through traders. It would make those meta rounds conceivably rare, with the flea market deciding the price and risk level. In turn, rare top tier ammo would make armor an actually viable consideration and increase the time to kill, making for a more tactical experience and varied experience.
The argument against this is "Why would people want to unlock traders then?" Well, you simply move up all the other ammo types to be unlocked at higher levels. Gear rarity and usefulness is relative anyways. Unlocking 7.62 PS rounds could be what motivates a player, so could unlocking 5.45 BP or M80, making the trash ammo no one takes be the early starting ammo. The trash ammo will still kill, and unlocking anything useful could be the first goal, with good rounds being the final goal. Moreover, unlocking ammo for rare guns such as the AS-VAL or SIG MCX could also be a goal. Either way, Igolnik, M995, and m61 need to be incredibly rare in raid. Otherwise, EFT will remain "get access meta ammo to win" kind of game for most players.
Armor should also be restricted in availability, but not to the degree of ammo. Having slicks, Hexgrids, altyns, and airframes be only found in raid would shake up some of the armor meta. New players would actually get a chance when engaging people openly, making an intense tactical firefight. Mid-tier and some top-tier armor should still be purchasable through traders in order to increase the time to kill. However, the only level 6 armor that should be available through traders are ones with heavy movement and stamina debuffs. The spirit of the changes remain, make meta loadouts rare enough to put the player on edge, forcing them to consider cheaper alternatives.
EFT has gotten into the trap of, once you have given something or set an expectation, it is hard to take it away. There is no way that forcing players to consider lesser than meta loadouts would impact the game negatively, with the one exception of cheaters. People still widely praise early wipe for its varied player loadouts and goals in raid. You do not generally see people complaining that thermals or lapua rounds being too expensive, despite them being the meta for mid-range engagements. All other gear is just as relative to its rarity and risk as lapua/thermals, and BSG needs to reevaluate that rarity.
The potential of cheating does heighten when you make more of the game harder for a player to get his or her hands on. However, the frustration of being stuck with shitty gear until 200+ hours of gameplay also drives many players to cheat. Ultimately, cheaters are still going to cheat regardless. It comes from access to cheats, the fact certain gear takes winning to unlock, and a general moral failing among a certain size of the player base. Minimal risk of cheater exploits should not halt good changes to the game. Again, people do not argue that lapua or thermals should be taken out because cheaters would want to have their hands on it, or would use them to make more money on the market.
Ultimately, the game is not made for meta chads, nor newbie players. It is made to be a hardcore survival FPS, with a high risk = high reward mindset. Making positive changes towards that goal would make the game standout as a completely different FPS experience for new potential customers, remain interesting for streamers to showcase EFT, and make it more fun for the player base that came for that experience. "This game is just not for you" could be used as an argument against any positive changes, and adds nothing to the conversation. I cannot wait for BSG to implement some of their big content updates, but I do not see a way around the crucial issue of same old raids until they limit top-tier loadouts.
Do you guys see the same issue? Do you see any other solutions?