Tarkov is too casual

EFT does not live up to the promise of being a hardcore, realistic fps. While many systems are hardcore, like modding and inventory managegement, they are let down by very disappointing AI. However it does not have to be this way. The AI could be better, but it appears it is this disappointing by design.

To illustrate the point, take a look at this short video of a combat situation in Ghost Recon Wildlands:

Take a look at how the AI very agressively keeps the pressure on the player to remain in cover. This is on 3/4 difficulty. On 4/4, my character would already be dead. Once combat starts, the AI is very effective at keeping you suppressed or dead if you don't use cover. At distances beyond 50 meters too. And by suppressed I meann actually forcing you to duck instead of applying an abstract "suppression" effect that makes your screen blur. If you get the attention of large groups of enemies, you won't be able to peek out of cover for most of the time.

Now let's look at a very similar situation in EFT:

Despite my efforts to alert the enemy only one out of a large group even bothered to come close and I was able to dodge most shots at throwing distance. Without the use of cover. In Ghost Recon Wildlands, one would be dead in literally 1-2 seconds at that distance.

From that we can conclude, EFT is more casual than Ghost Recon Wildlands, when it comes to fighting AI. So please spare me the counter-argument that Wildlands has other systems far more casual.

I have posted many reddit posts asking for the AI to be made more difficult. So it can quickly kill a player in the open at 200 meters. But that was met with the usual downvotes and the counter points were:

"I don't want to be one-shotted by TOZ in factory!"
"As a gamer with a real job/family I only have.."

From this I derive 2 problems:

1. Players want nothing to get in their way of easy loot.
2. Players expect to get everything from the game with limited playtime.

The first point is simply not applicable in a hardcore game. Hardcore means that a game is uncomfortably difficult for most players. A constant struggle to overcome. Not getting what you want all the time. In fact, you should not get what you want most of the time. In dayz most players spend their time not getting the guns they want.

Now let's look at this survey:

Most players are happy with the amount of free AKM weapons lying around in the open. Happy with the cost of ammo and happy that everyone gets an AK for a cheap price.

What is the problem with that? It's not hardcore. If the largest bulk of the players feels the difficulty is "just right", then it is too easy. And the effects of not fixing this will be evident only in months. The game will become ultra repetitive, and the only motivation to keep playing is to get that last trader level, gated by impossible to find items.

And the access to loot, or the need to fight for it, is gone. Scavs are peaceful and easy to kill loot cows, and hatchet players can use their pouch to rush to a loot spot, put something in it, then die or disconnect. Having to complete a raid by getting to the exit is removed. I posted a suggestion on how to fix it, but that was downvoted with the usual threat of "more hatchet runs". ( https://www.reddit.com/r/EscapefromTarkov/comments/7r2pg1/supreme_hatchet_fix_players_hatchet_run_because/ )

This then feeds more and more money into the system, paired with assault rifles being dirt cheap, most of the weapons in the game are obsolete. Anything below an AK74 is effectively removed from the game. Because why buy a vityaz or kedr if they cost the same as an AK74?

How to fix

What this game needs is a set of HARSH difficulty measures to remain fun for years to come:

  • A player-run economy that removes all weapons and ammo from traders so that prices freely float because all trade is between players. This should be complemented by very tight spawn rates for weapons beyond pistols. The game will be more fun because of it, because the "loot ceiling" is full of smgs and rifles.
  • Very hard AI. It should make quick work of players caught out of cover, at distances beyond 200m even. This would turn every gun battle into an intense situation, instead of the peaceful loot farming it is now. It should be modeled after the accuracy and reaction time of players. How much time does a player need to kill another player at 100 meters? The AI can be tweaked towards this goal.
  • All other systems in the game should be set towards uncomfortably difficult, and the developers should NOT listen to complaints of players wanting it easier. Throw the players into cold water and let them adapt. Don't appease them, let them work it out. Unreasonably high difficulty works, there is an entire genre built for it: Roguelikes. These games are designed so you fail over and over which makes the occasional win even better.
  • For players: Instead of wanting it easier, resist the difficulty. Adapt and enjoy the fun of failing and finding out ways to play better. It will be more rewarding.


  1. For what it's worth: I agree. The med spamming, instant bullet loading and non lethal head shots are not even mentioned, but this game at it's current state is not challenging at all. Hardcore??? LMAO!

    1. Med will become a Animation, so no more Spamming of that. The Bullet to Mags will become a reload timer. don't know about non lethal Headshots other than Desynch. but they are working on it.

    2. Head shots are way too iffy. Ran factory in fort and kiver, got head shot once and died. Another time I shot a guy with kiver twice in the head with AP 556 and he didn't die. Headshot with no helmet should be death, kiver/kolpak should stop only small caliber ammo (just like irl), and the ops core should be the only one to take 1-2 rifle bullets. Face hitboxes should help

  2. I feel like Nikita fell in love with reddit and he is in 100% reddit approval mode. Feels bad that the opinion of lazy players gets upvoted there very high... This game might end up having a lot of simplifications.

  3. I think the AI is still in progress.. So i hope it will be harder to beat the AI.
    At the moment i think AI ist just sometimes a hard enemy. But usually just a plant with a weapon.

    I'm not sure if a game like Tarkov would gain a benefit from an purely player-run economy. Since i dont want to trade things in this game and want to play, the focus of the game will be a lot more on trading with a player-run economy.

    But yes. AKM is too easy to get atm! :D XD like everything is easy to get.

  4. This is lost hope, I wish this game was more hardcore as you do, and I'm trying to do my best by sending feedback to devs, reporting bugs. But obviously the way the game has taken the last 2 months says it all. Dog tags, uber loot on shoreline, more and more bugs, nothing to be done about hatchets, they got it all wrong, all. It's easy to understand why they choose that path. They need money, they have no micro transactions system, their fanbase is not an hardcore stable fanbase, their only way to do money is buy selling games. When I post a topic on the forum about hatchets ruining this game, and make it more hardcore bla bla, people are making fun of me and telling me to chill, relax, beta my ass and this kind of stuff. 1 out 20 is feeling like me. Done.
    20 guys wants to play tarkov with hatchets, 1 dude don't want hatchet but want that dayz hardcore feeling (might even be 1 out of 30 or more). It's done. I wish I did not buy EOD now. It's lost to me, well, there is no hope, ever, such a game will ever exists because there are more casual than hardcore players. My advice is If you are already disappointed by this game, don't stick around, make somes casual games from time to time and move on. Don't expect much from this game. Find the hardcore stuff you need somewhere else.

  5. The devs said that the current loot tables are only for the beta. Full release is far away, The AI sometimes oneshots you from far away and sometimes it misses whole mag. The game is in early acces. I agree that loot is too easy to come by, I would forbid going hatchets, I would remove the tags (or make some trade for them instead of money), I would double the ammount of scavs we have now, especially at the prime loot places. Whole spa are has like 3 scavs WTF, dorms are empty, saw mill on woods has like 3 scavs around it... But hardcore doesnt mean that scavs have to be aimboting you from 200m away. I hope that they will increase the player count by a lot. More PVP is always better than PVE in my book.

  6. i think they should if instead of loseing their casual playerbase by doing this fix should have hardcore mode and (casual more by the fitting label of = slightly less hardcore) both player bases are happy and a happy ending no? as instead of forcing people to just deal with it which is a very quick way to lose players IE=EA COUGH cough and let the player bases cross naturally by their own chose to chose between mode/characters for each mode they want to go hard core? for a few hours then they can play hard core mode they want to relax with out a brain aneurysm and stroke in 30 secounds flat (and i think such a system will allow for people to cool down espaically the highly volatile anger salt machine people angry german kids of the world and yes im sugesting this because well when life gives you lemons make lemon aid = they have a large very large casual player base now cater to what players you aquired while also staying true to the games vision aka making two modes

    1. essentially what im saying is that the game should be cardcore yes but you should also be able to experince the content of the game more then 10 minuits ever 10 hours per game play you have what i mean is that most people are bad at games and wwith rouge likes well you can play over and over again to experince that aspect of the game for hours once you master it but adding mutiplayer to it most people will literly be stuck to the realm of pistols and smgs for over 3000 hours most people will not stick though that at all and the game will diy because people cant use the high their weapons they want to use cool guns in a card core game not play master the art of competive PVP FPS games at a professional level for 3000+ hours simulator 2015 just to even stand a chance at even killing some person invested 20,000 hours in the game and knows ever spec of dirt in the textures of every map and how many secounds down to the pico secounds to press w to be in the exact spot to throw a nade and kill ever one on the map (you see my point if the game dosent diy because it's not hardcore enough and their is to much loot but will diy because their is the top 10% of players in the game who know the super serct 15,000 hours required press w and s and x, y and square five times to give them selfs all knowing map status and exactly where to crouch to throw a nade and shot 5 times to the left and up a quick flick of the mouse and ever one the map is dead) my point is that the game will diy because no one can use nothing more then a smg because they can get anything better because of said 10% people with 50,000 hours in the game that have the level of omni potent skill achieved and batter down the other 90% of the player base so they cant get any good gear can ecperince more then 30% of the games guns and just quit because they can play the game and use the content and play with the guns pain stakenly developed so no what you end up with is only that 10% player base making the game old guard from asguard 2016 and officially dead top players being thor odin and loki

    2. also forgive the typos my keyboard is out of possition and i kept missing key etc (just read it as you know what i intented as i mostly forgot a lot of t's on the can's XD) and i havent had my meds as i ran out and just got them and the disorganized thoughts and schizophrenia are kinda strong atm

    3. Hope you feel better man, I agree with a lot of what everyone is saying here but the game WILL change drastically after open beta. The devs have mostly delivered on what they've said so far so I don't doubt the persistent health and whatnot will add that extra layer of difficulty some people are looking for.

  7. Lol Very Hard AI, the AI shouldn't be the main threat, it should be players... Do you remember when we had Terminator AI? That wasn't fun for anyone.

    This game just needs to be completed, because it will solve hatcheteers, it will solve the economy, etc... AI are just fuckin random citizens with guns, they aren't a threat to PMCs.. they're a nuisance at best and they'll sometimes overwhelm some unfortunate PMC's thats what it should be.

    And then players can scav in and ambush geared PMCs ... THATS what scavs should be. Not terminator Very Hard AI..

    OH, and Ghost Recon Wildlands is hardly hard core.. its the most arcade shit i've ever played

    1. I think his point was the AI in an arcadey game was more hardcore than the AI in a "hardcore game".

      We dont need terminator AI, just AI that can shoot a target 10ft in front of them. I dont care if your a PMC or a civilian, give someone a gun and they could shoot someone 10ft away.

      But it's EA so I'm sure AI will get some love in due time. The dev's are focusing on the networking issues right now

      And yeah I can't wait for the faction system, scavs should be working together, not killing each other.

    2. But in wildlands you're fighting trained "soldiers", scavs are literally just criminals with guns.

  8. I feel like there should be 3-4 scav difficulties (Benhind the scenes work) indicating at a realistic Civilian/Amature/hunter/Ex-Military would be the backgrounds so the AI right now would be probably just a civilian trying to fend of being really scared to push up and conserving ammo, whereas hunters and ex military would aim for limbs and suppress, flank and so on

  9. I dont disagree with you, however there are a couple things to remember:

    1) As the devs have said over and over, the loot is this high just for testing purposes and will be reduced.

    2) The hatchling problem will be solved mostly when the loot is reduced.

    3) Your pouch idea is really dumb, as it destroys the purpose of the pouch. However, rustywraith on your post had a much better idea of making the pouch only save what you store into it at before the raid.

  10. Seems rather unfair to compare the AI of an indie game to one of ubisoft that spent tons and tons of money on ai coding, the ai will evolve over time im sure.

  11. this was written so far before release that my mind is actually boggled. This is a game that has been coded and developed by something around the ballpark of 12 people total and they deserve some respect for what they have accomplished so far. That being said, the game isn't even done yet. The game has been headed in the right direction for years. All of the issues you stated have already been addressed by the devs and they are working on it. Some of the issues even correlate with things that have been announced that havent been implemented yet; like a faction system, lasting damage after extracting, removal of secure containers, etc. Reserve these opinions for when the game comes out or at least educate yourself about the roadmap this game has. Because discouraging support for a game that isnt even done yet is rather stupid, right?

  12. The people posting here are children. This game is in closed beta far from release. Of course it's not finished. They have to put SOMETHING as a place holder. This game has changed leaps and bounds over the past year. Grow up.

  13. But keep in mind, AI in EFT are untrained bandits, they might lack of tactical skills.

  14. There is an armor bug so when you spawn in you have to take off the armor and put it back on for it to register. When EFT was in alpha the AI was crazy OP. Many times the AI didn't even face you and you were shot dead. So they dumbed it down for the time being.

  15. Once you reach level 3 in all the traders, the game becomes boring. The Assault rifles being so cheap make the game easy to hoard gear and money. Your suggestions make the most sense. I hope this testing phase will be good for the developers to realize all of this before they release the full version. Making the game more difficult and unforgiving is realistic and makes the gear more important. For example, if they removed the ability to heal yourself outside your gear menu. It would remove the button spamming heals during firefights which isn't realistic at all. You can't fix your wounds while going on a killing spree. It's nonsense. The current gameplay meta is definitely not realistic. I feel like the devs who play the game have gotten use to it and don't want to change it. They should not forget they set out to make a videogame based off realism. Not based off some gamey mechanics that they think is fun.


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