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Scarcity in Tarkov

We need more of it.

By JirasuPublished 4 months ago 7 min read

While Tarkov in its current iteration has many glaring issues and it’s not even a matter of opinion at this point; we all are aware of how rough the game currently is right now. Fingers crossed all the issues we are currently experiencing will be addressed sooner rather than later. It sounds like that’s what the plan is for BSG, but in the meantime, these issues and the community at large coming together to talk about what has been happening has made me think a little more about some deeper layers of the game. I can’t speak for anyone at BSG, but I want to speak for myself a little bit. I go back, and watch the first in game trailer on factory, and I find myself having a stupid grin on my face. This is the Tarkov that I personally fell in love with. What we have now is still an incredible feat. But, it’s different. The game has come a long way from those early videos, and a lot has happened between then and now. And there are a couple core components that I feel as though Tarkov... hasn’t lost but maybe, misplaced? I’m not sure what the word is, but for me, one of the pinnacle components of Tarkov is scarcity, and the emotions that gameplay element brings alongside it.

We haven’t had true scarcity for years in Tarkov. And what I mean by this, is that feeling that things are just not only rare, but limited in general commodities. There is an argument to be made that Tarkov might have added too many items into the game. Crazy, I know. But the more guns, mods, meds, crafting items, barter items, etc., they add to the game, the more it becomes just a sheer overwhelming feeling, of having to manage every item you find, and asking yourself, does this item serve a purpose. For veterans of any length of time, we kind of already get that. At least with quest items; making sure you have items stocked up for a quest that won’t be unlocked until you’re in the mid 20’s. I have my pilgrim, ski mask for that task ready to go, and have had them since very early in this wipe. I have my 2 Gzhel’s already to rock and roll as well. It’s like, there’s being prepared, and then there’s just going overboard because we know what to expect. But for the rest of the items in the game, it almost feels detrimental to more to what already feels like a game that’s about to burst at the seams. Whether or not I truly think that the game is bloated for content, I’m unsure. But, comparing it to 5-6 years ago, there was something satisfying about having maybe 20 weapons in the game. It was simple, straightforward and everything had a purpose and reason to exist. Every gun was good, even the TOZ; being in the world of Tarkov and knowing just a small bit about the lore, it feels weird having weapons like the SR-25 exist within it. Don’t get me wrong, love the gun and think it’s freaking awesome, but just going to the wiki and scrolling through the guns it’s like... whew, that’s a lot. And their availability, although being hit relatively hard this wipe, can still be purchased at a somewhat consistent rate. Even if it’s only one per trader reset, that is still a lot. There isn’t a real sense of scarcity in the game anymore.

It’s really hard to explain, but I see old footage of the game, and I just think back to the old trader stocks; how little there actually was, and how, as someone with little to no knowledge of the game, that stock doesn’t mean anything to you. You aren’t aware of the guns, ammo types, meds, and everything else at your disposal to purchase and use to try and survive with. It’s just overwhelming because you don’t know what each item does. And because of that lack of knowledge, you’re maybe less inclined to make a purchase and risk wasting your money on something that may or may not help you. Speaking of, money was also a lot less common back in the day. Having hundreds of millions of rubles just wasn’t realistic. Besides, everything was so much cheaper back then to purchase as well, that having only a couple million rubles, meant that money could go a long way in terms of buying gear for a kit. But it wasn’t uncommon to only have a couple hundred thousand rubles on you at any one time under normal circumstances. Nowadays, everything is so inflated, because money acquisition is really easy. You just need to put a little time into either some scav runs or a few PMC stash runs and you’ll usually be set for the next few hours. Or, if you’re lucky, you’ll just find gear in those stashes that you’ll end up just using in your normal raids. You would never find those kinds of armors out in the world, or if you did, it would be so rare, it was a maybe 1-500 raid kind of situation. Scavs used to wear Zabralo’s back in the day. But only on certain maps, and only during the last 10 minutes of raids. Who remembers that? Either way, these kinds of powerful protections were a rare sighting out in the wild. And while BSG has been taking steps to address this in 2023, no matter what they do, the slick is still in the game. The hex-grid is still here, alongside all the other new powerful armors. Again, I’m not advocating they be deleted or anything, but there’s just so much in terms of what you can find and acquire, that it begs the question of is there too much in the game.

Very recently, Veritas made a video about the overall direction Tarkov has been going for the last couple years now, and it’s a very good watch. If you haven’t checked it out, please do so. And as someone who has been playing since 2017, his words resonated; everything he mentioned is valid as hell. The overall direction of the game has been skewed and things in the development pipeline have been subjected to change due to demands from a larger-than-life community of people playing the game I think Nikita was maybe perhaps not ready to undertake. Understandably so, their ambition for the game has always been big, but I’m starting to have reservations about perhaps maybe they bit off a little more than they can chew. The scale and scope of this game has only gotten bigger from hearing the team ever talk about what they want for it. And while I wish to see it through to the end, I wonder if that’s even realistically possible anymore. I mean, to be fair, we got Streets finally, and the first trader in game, Lightkeeper (even though as of right now he is useless and has a horde of tasks that basically less than a percent of the player base will actually get to, but whatever). Those are very monumental milestones. But where do we go from here? Do we just keep adding stuff to the game? Does Tarkov continue to grow and feel bloated as time goes on, without addressing some of these underlying issues that still plague the game? And while I am kind of referring to the classic stuff, like desync, cheaters, sound, etc. I am more referring to getting, like Veritas said in his video, the old feelings or Tarkov evoked back into the community. But whether or not it’s a fruitless endeavor, we will have to wait and see.

I know things are rough right now. I myself have a lot of frustrations with the game. It’s hard to look back and think of a time where there was enough negative collectively wrong at the same time, to make the Tarkov experience this egregious. Normally, it’s just one issue or two, but right now it’s a handful and then some. But I think a lot of my negative emotions are with decisions and thought processes as to how BSG has handled their game getting popular and what that means for the rest of us. They will fix the issues with the game that we currently have (I mean I really really really hope so). But if there is one thing, I hope they try to lean into, is the idea of true, actual scarcity in Tarkov once more. They are certainly trying with ammo and armor restrictions across the board. But I feel as though that won’t be enough sadly. But what are your thoughts in regards to what Tarkov needs to do in order to evoke those scarce feelings back again. Be sure to let me know in the comments sections, and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Tarkov and the underlying issues that are currently plaguing the game. I hope to see you in future ones.

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About the Creator


Stories about the things I find interesting/personal. Thank you for taking the time out of your day for checking me out.

I do the same thing with videos on my YouTube Channel


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