Cheap armor destroys the economy
At first, this new patch (0.86) looked exciting, something new about armor. But then I looked at the price tags. Ghzel was reduced from 70k to 48k. Other armors suffered similar price drops. And I use the word suffered, because it has a cascading effect on the game's economy. Armor is too cheap, and so are rifles.
Let's go through this sequence.
- Back in March, the game became pretty repetitive and boring. Every streamer was always seen with 6b43 armor, and his favorite weapon, usually an M4 with drum mag. Their stashes were full of the best gear.
- Then something great happened. BSG increased armor prices. A class 3 armor would cost nearly 450$, a class 4 70k. This increase in armor cost, put heavy armor out of reach for everyday use. Players had to make difficult decisions, because the cost of a full class 4 set would cost 120k (with helmet). Players were not seen as often with the best armor. Firefights took much longer, the game was not about walking full armor players using their armor as a battering ram. Players had to use cover in a fight. Of course many skipped actually taking cover in a firefight and likely used a macro on their mouse to tab out of the game and write a post about how armor is useless before their corpse stopped ragdolling.
- At this point I was worried, whether BSG would resist the wave of angry casual complaints on reddit that oppose anything that does not make the game a fun, casual experience for everyone. Just like Fortnite. But I hoped for BSG staying true to their promise of "maximum possible realism".
- Then something odd happened. The SMG prices were dropped by 33%. Someone at BSG probably did not see the forest for the trees and wondered why no one uses SMGS anymore. (The answer: Rifles are so cheap, you dont have to bother with an SMG but that apparently is not something BSG considered).
- Of course the easy brigade started complaing how useless armor was because they used it as a battering ram in the factory office hallway. For reasons I dont understand, as soon as an idea on reddit gets more than 200 upvotes, BSG will add it to the game, no matter how stupid or casual it is. So armor was buffed, that in itself is not stupid. But the issue is that armor "balance" is entirely directed by how many people on reddit complain. BSG should use realism as a base and completely shut out any reddit complaints. No matter how much players claim they will not play anymore or hatchet run. So armor is now stronger, but it is also cheaper. And that destroys all other parts of the game. Here is what will happen next:
- Everyone will simply get a class 4 armor for 48k, instead of a class 3 for 35k.
- Everyone realizes that only rifle calibers are good enough to engage class 4. So anything below an AK74 will be ignored. SMGS or shotguns or pistols are removed from the game.
- BSG will wonder again why no one uses SMGS, so they will lower the prices even further to pistol levels in an attempt to compensate.
- Players will refuse to use pistols because why get a pistol when you can get an SMG for the same price. So BSG wonders again why no one uses pistols. So their prices are pushed to the price of a makarov.
- The end result is: Exactly where we have been in March, the game is filled with only assault rifles, affordable heavy armor, large guns with drum mags. And then everyone wonders "hey the game is repetitive and boring."
This is how the game should be:
- You load into your stash. You are happy that you can bring a pump action shotgun with 4 shells.
- You worry that the shotgun might jam because the barrel is damaged. But you cant afford repairs so you hope for the best and go in with a half broken paca.
- In combat you kill a player and take his Vepr with a fully loaded 10 round magazine. You feel like you won big. Because you have a full 10 rounds of firepower that can reach targets a few hundred meters away. However the magazine feed lip is worn out. So you the thing might jam in combat, but its the best you can get.
This is how the game is:
- You load into your stash. You play a scav round, skillfully sneak through interchange, grabbing 100k of loot in 5 minutes and run out.
- Then you worry about whether you should bring 3 60 round mags or 5 30 round mags.You buy a full set of class 4 armor and have a 1 shot battle vs other players. His loot is identical to yours so you dont feel any excitement about what you find.
- In case you actually do get hit by a cheap weapon by a scav, you switch to you second monitor and post on reddit how scavs are OP.
The game is not fun when it is predictable. In the first example, the game is full of difficult engaging choices to make because the economics of the game pressure you into making hard choices, and this is fun. Should I bring paca or class 3? Should I bring a grach or a shotgun? How many magazines can I afford? In the second example, there are never any hard choices to make. You know exactly what choices you will make for the next hour, you know what gun you will bring, and you know what loot you will pick up and what you will leave behind. Nothing is rare and anything is replacable. Money does not even matter. Why not give everyone a free default loadout with class 4 armor? Why bother with pretending to have a variety of weapons if the absolute best is demanded by casuals to be available at all times.
The resale value fixBSG tried to fix this early last week by lowering resale prices for items. That would have pressured players into using what they find instead of converting loot into cash and then into their favorite gear. But what happened? The great casual brigade came in, threatened to stop playing or hatchet run and BSG complied.
What BSG needs to do is to revert class 4 prices to 70k, so it costs considerably more, and considerably more than a class 3 armor. The cost difference between class 3 and class 4 is too low. It's the exact same issue with rifles and smgs. No one will bring an smg even if it costs only 20k because for only 10k more (the loot from half of a dead scav) one can buy a weapon that will destroy anything at any distance.
And BSG should stop listening to reddit complaints. This is supposed to be a hardcore realistic FPS game, the most realistic one. But the economic balance changes recently are turning this into reddit-balanced casual fun for the whole family with hard edges removed