Escape from Tarkov: The complete problems to design, technical and scandals

The Escape from Tarkov game is viral, but this game is not perfect. The only fault of this game is that friezes and errors hit the sensations harder because of the game design. Your screen froze for three seconds – and you died in a shootout. Through no fault of your own, you just lost a large amount of equipment and about 10-20 minutes of personal time spent looking for a game and collecting in a raid.

The most obvious problem is the technical part. The game is still not in its final version and is still stuck in a closed beta. Like any early access, it has a lot of bugs and optimization problems.

With patches, optimization gets better, and BattleState Games itself works closely with the owners of the Unity engine, finalizing and modifying it to suit their needs. But it is still far from even being called “bearable”: the game does not produce a stable frame rate even on cumbersome machines.

Instead of a video card, it loads the processor and RAM. The latter has exceptionally high requirements: Escape from Tarkov is very sensitive to the volume and frequency of the strips. Especially on large and complex maps like Reserves.

Plus, there may be personal problems with your specific system. For example, I first had huge issues with friezes, especially on the Reserve and the Shore. My computer was just hung up, trying to process what was happening. I was able to fix the problem because I accidentally found a guide on DTF for 2020, which described the solution. Freezes have disappeared, except for the very minimal ones, which cause new bots to spawn on the map.

Escape from Tarkov looks quite impressive:

  • Well-developed first-person animations
  • Apparent textures
  • Cool work with lighting
  • High-quality models

There are soap,d relatively cheap elements, and angular wheels in some places – but overall, the game looks very good.

But still not enough to consume such power. As a result, even popular streamers play almost at the minimum settings: in addition to poor optimization, this helps to see enemies better because the drawing of the environment and shadows do not hide the models of the players. This is something BattleState Games is worth considering, too.

There are complaints about the sound design in Escape from Tarkov. By itself, it is made perfectly: by the sounds of the shots, you can determine the distance of the battle and the caliber of the weapon, and the approximate place of the fight. The surfaces you walk on sound different depending on their type (glass, wood, earth, concrete, iron) and movement speed. Everything is generally noisy: bags and doors that you open, your equipment, bushes, phrases, breathing – even straps on armor and backpacks. And this is an essential layer of the gameplay.

For some reason, they did a trick that in case of an explosion far from you, the sound of a fragment ricochet under your ear will still be played – as if the blast was nearby. But at the same time, the sound is broken in very many places. For example, grenades can fall without any noise at all.

In principle, the sound has no verticality: if the battle is fought on different floors, it is impossible to determine whether the enemy is above or below. And some things have a broken volume: the rains and bushes in this game are too loud, and the sound of searching for objects, which players usually cut to zero. Or the Navigator’s gang, which until the recent patch moved silently.

Some bugs in Escape from Tarkov are so old that they have already become internal memes – for example, “skiers.” These are cheater players who, without animation, fly around the map, hovering above the floor. Or the fact that the quest to kill players in specific clothes was completed if instead of it, they put on a mask on their face, which was used by the entire community. It was fixed only recently, in the latest patch, 0.12.11. It is clear that the developers have reasons not to fix some things this second – we do not know how games are made and what difficulties in development they face in BattleState Games. But this does not make it easier for a simple player.

Troubles are not limited to the technical part and bad servers / out-of-sync. There are also problems in game design. Some of them have already been announced in advance: the complete absence of both training and a banal explanation of what to do in the game at all. Lack of body inertia, which, considering the idea and general game design, should have been almost from the start. The assignments are delusional, poorly written in the plot, and often practically impossible (unless, of course, you are a streamer with a couple of thousand played hours)—the most inconvenient interfaces.

Escape from Tarkov is a survival game, but this very survival does not work. Specifically, the mechanics of hunger and thirst. If you run out of water and energy from food, exhaustion begins. You restore stamina more slowly, your character begins to moan loudly and lose health. He may die of hunger and thirst, which he earned in half a day of physical activity.

This is nonsense when it comes to realism and simulativeness. A trained soldier dies of exhaustion after running in full gear for only half a day. Yes, under such loads, you can get tired without food and water, and it may even become worse. But it is doubtful to die. Especially with screams and in terrible agony, as presented in Escape from Tarkov.

Then we take it as a convention: after all, this is a video game, there are many compromises. But even as a simple in-game mechanic, current hunger and thirst don’t work. You have entered a long raid, for the entire duration of which your satiety will not be enough. How do you solve this? Take a bottle of water and dry rations with you or find food at the location.

Problems with food can only be at the Factory, where there is not a lot of loot in general. We pressed on food, refreshed ourselves – and this will be enough for you until the end of the raid. The mechanics of food here are extra pressing of the “eat-drink” buttons, without which the game will not lose anything.

This can be fixed as follows: leave the mechanics as they are, but make them non-lethal. Let the hungry fighter get a penalty for stamina and strength, moan with fatigue or stomach pain.

To stimulate players to eat and drink, you can introduce a mechanic similar to air filters in a shelter: when there is special equipment in the air purifier, you get an increase in the pumping of power skills for several hours—a kind of boost for resources and money.

You can do the same with food: if your PMC is complete, it gains more experience. If you save on food, on the contrary, the knowledge gained is reduced. This will be both near-realistic (doing something on an empty stomach is more complex) and interesting from a gameplay point of view – food will become a resource for boosting pumping. In the current version, it makes sense only as exchange and crafting resources.

Concerning the hunger and thirst system. Do you want to drink? Overcome the thirst debuff, throw in painkillers, go to the exit. The energy at zero? Well, a little bit worse, but you have to try to run out of energy in general. Radiation and biological damage are not yet seen even on the horizon, although there is health in the interface. There is blood pressure, but also just a beautiful inscription “120/70”.
Everyone pounds secret toxic stimulants every raid, no addictive (promised). Debuffs are either scanty or, with skillful use, are overridden by other stimuli.

An advanced and unique customization system comes down to one single most unrealistic build of hk416.

That is, in the current state, realism, and simulativeness are not traced, but we believe, we wait, we hope.

Another topic is friendly fire. He must be here because of the focus on realism: people do not have any protective barrier from a close bullet. Therefore, in Escape from Tarkov, there is not even a damage reduction from a team member – an inattentive friend can shoot you by mistake. This is normal for a hardcore game. But at the same time, due to the rejection of any interfaces, there are no marks that this soldier in green clothes is your comrade, but that soldier in the same green clothes is an enemy.

We can say that the solution to the problem is the competent cooperation of the team. Work together, wear the same gear, and don’t play too fast and hectic. But even the most close-knit group of players is still faced with the fact that something can be confused – not all gamers are familiar with the intricacies of military cooperation in battle.

This feature has more disadvantages than advantages, and even with the existing conventions, any highlight or bright mark would not hurt – no need to hang nicknames over the heads of characters in the spirit of MMO.

Of course, Escape from Tarkov has some distinctive elements – armbands of different colors. Just talk to your friends and wear the same color. It’s a good idea, but in the dark and at a distance, these bandages are not visible, and looking at the color of the hand of another PMC is precious time, during which you can be killed.

In a night vision device, these dressings are all the more invisible.

This idea should be improved: for example, remove the bandages as an item, let the game itself issue them to all teams at the beginning of the match. And let the allied armbands work as flickers (that is, they glow for your teammates), but on the hands of other players, they will be as dim as they are now. This does not hurt realism, and the game design of the game does not break. Our entire team is red in this raid, so our enemies are everyone who is not red. Simple, understandable, convenient, it doesn’t go against game design.

There is a lot of controversy around the in-game flea market. On the one hand, it helps players who cannot play PvP earn Tarkov money by looting and “ratting”: they collect garbage that isis not interesting to “children” and sells them for money to more successful players. Some save time. Others earn what they cannot conquer by force.

On the other hand, the flea market significantly simplifies access to expensive equipment, which at some point makes it ubiquitous. Why risk your skin and go looking for costly guns and attachments to them when you can buy them from the players? Unfortunately, this issue is too controversial to be resolved unambiguously.

Although there were sensible ideas: the idea of ​​a “civilian market” is trendy in the community, where it would be impossible to sell cartridges, weapons, and armor. Only household items like chemistry, medicine, food, tools, electronics, and others. And all this rubbish would already be exchanged for equipment from merchants with minimal quantities of delivery – so that “imba cannons” were not everywhere and everywhere because the current game design with the massiveness and availability of advanced equipment runs counter to the idea of ​​short survival in a zone of military conflict with a supply crisis.

Fortunately, the developers are already taking action: in patch 0.12.11. the threshold for the flea market was raised to level 20, which slowed down the filling of the market with available weapons. Plus, they’ve rebalanced the availability and spawn rate of the most effective gear – let’s see how that affects the game.

No amount of skill and experience will save you from banal lousy luck. As mentioned earlier, in Escape from Tarkov, there are no easy modes, no compensation for unsuccessful players – except for insurance, which does not work everywhere and not always. Is that free healing and daily supplies of a small portion of equipment for the first few levels, which are very easy to pump.

So if you can’t play, it’s terrible to be you. Welcome to Naked Pistol Races and Free Wilds. And believe me, sometimes all ten, or even twenty raids in a row, can fail. You will have no success at all: no loot, no experience, no money, no completed tasks. You are simply wasting time and not always through your ineptitude.

This is how my attempts to complete the quest for five kills of players in the Factory looked like. Just continuous reports that specialists moved to the place of my death for my lost things.

If you wish, you can even find fault with different editions of the game. The bottom line is that you can buy several versions of Escape from Tarkov – from the basic edition with the usual fun and starting equipment to the most premium Edge of Darkness, which is almost three times more expensive.

Difference from the standard versions:

  • A unique identifier in the game.
  • Free access to future paid content (about which practically nothing is known over the years of development).
  • More good starting equipment for each wipe.
  • A free 3×3 slot pouch.
  • As well as an increased reputation with merchants at the start.

On the one hand, yes, this is a donated advantage. Merchants will open up to you faster, which means you will get access to the best goods more quickly than ordinary players. The sync is pumped over immediately – so before the opening of the flea market, you have fewer problems with what to do with the loot. While Standard Edition players have a tough time, there is very little space at first.

By purchasing Edge of Darkness, thanks to the 3×3 slot protective container, you immediately get the opportunity to take out more things in your “ass,” which greatly simplifies life in Tarkov: after all, there, for example, you can carry replaceable magazines with expensive cartridges so that in case of your death they did not fall to the enemy. Or an improved surgical kit with three slots instead of the usual two.

If ordinary players need to do a couple of dozen complex tasks for such savings, you get this bonus from the start because you have more money in real life. Plus, in patch 0.12.11. this has become a tangible advantage: the tasks for the “Kappa” have become much more complicated, and you can get it only by round-the-clock grinding for several months.

But if you look at it from the other side, this is a very conditional advantage. The pouch won’t make it easier for you to kill players or find the best loot. He will not straighten your crooked hands, will not give you any knowledge. And everyone can get it for free. It is impossible to buy or receive the maximum pouch “Kappa” for a pre-order – just honestly make money. So the fact that you’re a Premium Special Edition player doesn’t change the weather. Nobody is insured from Dikiy with TOZ-106.

Objectively, yes, a paid advantage. It is not that very significant. But this is as much an eternal debate as free and paid characters in MOBA games – each side has its pros and cons.

The network code had become much better before there were wild out-of-syncs for three to five seconds. However, it is far from ideal. The economy has become very tough. Due to the large influx of RMT (currency traders for real money – DTF note), various toughenings have been added to the game: you cannot take more than three video cards in a raid, or you cannot cash in more than 200,000 rubles.

We added this stupid system “found in the raid” when you cannot put a thing from a PMC you killed on a flea market. Or, if you didn’t get enough experience in the raid or died in it, then you won’t be able to sell the item at the flea market. Also, you can no longer buy things from merchants and resell them at the flea market. A substantial proportion of players engaged in such speculation because they could not make money in the raid itself.

As in the USSR, they added coupons when a merchant had a limit on the sale of a particular product. Well, it’s commonplace to spawn minor loot. There’s very little of it. Cheaters, bugs, unfriendly interface, everything slows down, stupid, long downloads to the raid, patches every six months. The game is incredibly stuffy, not hardcore

– Duduk

I don’t like the strange work of lighting. It is dark outside, but inside there is a constant illumination of all textures, even if there are no light sources. For example, at night, all buildings glow from the inside.

Very mediocre vegetation and behavior. Of course, you can get used to everything, but after the lush greenery in DayZ and Deadside, it hurts me to look at the grass, bushes, and trees in Escape from Tarkov. You enter the forest, and you want to cry. It seems so depressing. Good news: the developers have already shown screenshots of work on new types of trees made by scanning real trees from many points. So I believe that one day the vegetation will be renewed.

– Dayzru

Another hot topic when discussing the shortcomings of Escape from Tarkov is scandals. Several PR failures darkened the beginning of the life of Escape from Tarkov: the first stream of the game was a technical disaster, a buggy alpha test scared off many players. And then several scandals spilled over into the public field, to which BattleState Games reacted too late or incorrectly – for which it earned notoriety.

By the way, in many cases, the fault was not on her side. As it turned out, users repeatedly violated the user agreement and the rules of conduct on official sites but kept silent about it and demonized the developers. They were caught on the same Reddit. And that’s not to mention the part of the audience that purposefully destroys the studio’s reputation and spreads outright lies about the game.

Guys, let’s be friends

The developers also promised a lot, which became a separate topic for both criticism and jokes. Even now, the game has windows and icons for dozens of functions that are not in the game: body temperature, radioactive contamination, perks for using non-existent classes of weapons and functions (what are “shadow operations”? And “picking locks”?).

For many years now, when interacting with a door, there are many options like “clearing a room with a grenade” that cannot be pressed – because there is no such function. And this is not to mention that Tarkov himself in Escape from Tarkov is still the subject of teasers and promises. The most important city in the lore of the game is still missing, and opportunities to escape from it: players are more likely to run into its surroundings from time to time for the sake of another batch of swag.

Because of all this in the CIS, the attitude towards Escape from Tarkov is much more damaging than we would like – both because of the technical part and the numerous scandals with refunds and many unfulfilled promises. All this, no matter how true and fair it may be, is too similar to the countless sad examples of previous attempts to “make the best game in the world” in the territory of the CIS countries. We had too many “Russian Fallout,” dream shooters, “MMORPG is better than WoW,” and other beautiful promises.

Is that you Wild?

Believe it or not, the evil intentions of the developers are everyone’s business. In their defense, we can only say the following: there is too little monetization in the game for a beautiful deception for money (only a special edition, which gives very conditional “donation bonuses”), and for a grand scheme in the spirit of Star Citizen, the game has too large a community of ordinary players who are suddenly happy with everything.

For some reason, a game that is bad in everything and will never come out only continues to gain an audience, gets to cutting-edge gaming exhibitions, is in demand all over the world, and already makes significant publishers like EA worry. Maybe she still has something good?

To summarize all of the above, then Escape from Tarkov has as many disadvantages as advantages. Poor technical stuff, “perpetual development,” disgusting assignments, problems in game design, controversial decisions, a million still unfulfilled promises, and a series of PR failures that darkened the developers’ reputation. Some remarks are fair, some are subjective, and others are plain slander and empty hatred.

Still, it should be understood that Escape from Tarkov is a game that is still being developed. For the purchase now, you are given only access to the test, the prototype. No one, especially the developers themselves, is positioning the game as a finished product that you should buy now – preferably in the most exclusive edition.

It is written about its incompleteness everywhere, from the menu to the purchase page. Therefore, to “fall for the cheat” and buy the unfinished beta version, you need to do it blindly, ignoring all warnings. After all, no one complains about Steam Early Access games: when they come out, then we’ll criticize. So what’s the difference here?