The real problem with Tarkov is that it’s a great shooter, but a terrible MMORPG

Nikita has said multiple times that Tarkov is meant to borrow elements from MMORPGs. Now, Nikita's opinions are worthless because he's never played the game, but let's say that that is their goal. We can see some elements of this in the skills that you level up by performing different tasks (crafting, searching, etc.). If you look at RuneScape or WoW or any MMORPG, you'll see similar sets of skills that you level up in various ways. Tarkov has crafting like most MMOs do, it has PvP like most MMOs do, and it has quests like most MMOs do.

However, it is missing one of the most important elements of balance in an MMO. Think back to the last MMO you played, whether it was RuneScape or WoW or EverQuest. Think back to when you first got out of the tutorial area, and you finally got into the real game world.

Imagine if you, a level 1 player, had been 1-shotted the moment you spawned by a level 100 player with gear that does 10x the damage of your health bar in a millisecond.

You probably would've stopped playing, right? And most MMO designers realize this. That's why PvP is locked behind certain areas (Wilderness) or voluntary acceptance of the match (Duels). The point is that the new player should have some say in whether or not they engage with this level 100 player who they have no mathematical hope of beating. Because if a new player can come in and suddenly get ganked by someone who they never could've hoped to beat, odds are they're going to uninstall the game and never give it another chance.

We can even carry this through to other shooters. It's a little bit harder, because in other shooters you don't typically "lose" anything when you die–you just don't win the match. However, there is one important parallel we can draw, and that is ranked points. Any game with a ranking system means that players have something to lose when they go into a ranked match.

Now tell me, in most ranked systems, can a level 1 Bronze player go against a full team of level 100 Diamond players? The answer is no. Because if a Bronze player goes into a match against a level 100 Diamond team, they're going to lose. Every time. And they're never going to play Ranked again. Which is why most Ranked systems try to match players of similar skill levels.

Now, obviously Tarkov doesn't have enough players to do this. It's lucky if it sees 1% of the daily average players that the other games I named do. But they need to find a way to implement it if they ever want to get more players. As long as new players can load up their first game and get sniped by a Megachad with a 10 million ruble kit when they literally don't even have bullets that can kill him, this game isn't going to grow.

TL;DR: BSG doesn't engage with their own game, or any other games, enough to understand why the systems they've implemented don't create a good gameplay experience.


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