Escape from Tarkov

BSG’s Curiously Inconsistent Application of RPG Stats in EFT

The goal of this post is to just provide something EFT related to discuss. I'm not suggesting that this is some critically important topic that demands attention or solutions. I'm not rage-baiting or doing a hot take. This is just a plain ol', boring ol' discussion. Please keep in mind that I am not saying that any of this is good or bad. It's just food for thought.


Also, I'm going to format this so that each point has it's own section.


|–Background and context–|
Escape From Tarkov is officially advertised as an “Action RPG/Simulator” (source).
I'm not saying that the incomplete version of the game is a perfect execution of this. I'm just saying that's how it is advertised. In other words, that is what the devs are attempting to deliver. This is the basis for the discussion. If BSG was officially advertising the game as a "Looter Shooter" or "FPS" or "Tactical Shooter", or anything else, my entire position would change.


One way the RPG aspect of EFT manifests is the abundant use of visible stats.
There are visible RPG stats for:

  • hit points
  • armor points
  • hydration
  • energy
  • the related food and drink items
  • weapon recoil
  • weapon ergonomics
  • weapon durability
  • etc, etc.

There are a plethora of visible stats made available to the player.


Visible stats are detailed and specific in EFT.
The stats for HP are displayed as exact numbers not a vague "health bar". Energy and hydration depletion rates are displayed with decimal value accuracy and not by some icon or symbol.


|–Core idea–|
The ammo system is unlike the other systems that feature stats in that it does not provide as much detailed information as the other game systems do.
While the ammo system does provide some exact values such as the exact caliber values — 5.45 x 39, 7.62 x 39, etc — the ammo system provides less specific information than other systems.

  • The health system provides exact HP values but the ammo system doesn't provide exact damage value
  • The armor system provides exact armor class level and durability values but the ammo system doesn’t provide exact armor penetration values
  • Instead of exact value, the ammo system only provides vague text descriptions such as “sporting round” or “steel core round”

Does anyone else see that as an weird inconsistency? Why did BSG not include the specific information regarding damage, penetration rate, and fragmentation chance even though seemingly all other game systems include that sort of information?


Theory 1 — BSG made a mistake and simply failed to include those numbers on accident
This is an extremely low probability scenario since BSG is aware of existing data-mined ammo charts. They would absolutely have added that information in by now if this sort of mistake had been made.


Theory 2 — BSG intentionally excluded the ammo damage and penetration stats because something, something, BSG is working with cheaters to make more money. REEEE!!!
It's a joke, Nikita. A JOKE.



Theory 3 — BSG intentionally excluded damage and penetration values for ammo because they wanted to allow players to carry out their own testing, obtain special knowledge about ammo performance, and use that special knowledge to create an advantage over other players
You might be thinking "you just pulled this out of your ass". Well, I didn't. This idea came to me when I was re-listening to all the earliest podcasts featuring Nikita. In Talking Tarkov Episode 3 Dayzru expresses how much he enjoys the relative detail and depth of the ammo system in EFT compared to other games that feature small arms combat. You can click the following link to watch the clip yourself or you can read the transcribed comment or you can skip to the "TL;DR":


Watch the clip @:


Or read:

“We want to create the simulation environment with lots of parameters, lots of stuff to do and the more stuff, the better because you will be able to pick something, to know something, and to get an advantage with it. Right now it’s kind of ruined by lots of public– lots of information on the internet about “how to make the ultimate weapon with no recoil”, “what ammunition to use”, ammo charts and things. It was intended for the player to learn all these processes down the road of the game; to understand all of this with time. But right now you just– you can start playing EFT with the guides like “you need to collect items for upcoming quests. You need to collect this. You need to collect this. Better use this.” I know it’s a good thing to have walkthroughs and guides and it has enriched the game in terms of popularity and stuff but the idea is to play EFT without any help. Only you and that’s it…And we can fix this with implementation of some kind of randomization of tasks, or items, but, again, they will collect that whole lineup of items to “collect before the quest starts”. It’s okay. I’m not saying that it’s not cool or something. It’s okay. It’s a pretty common thing for every MMO project. Like a database of knowledge. That’s okay…”


TL:DR key phrases:
1) "…you will be able to pick something, to know something, and to get an advantage with it."
2) "It was intended for the player to learn all these processes down the road of the game; to understand all of this with time."
3) "…the idea is to play EFT without any help. Only you and that’s it."


I think this trial-and-error, discovery philosophy might be the reason Nikita doesn't include specific damage and armor penetration value even though he provides exact HP and Armor values. He intended for players to repeatedly experiment with ammo using the exact HP and Armor values in order to generate personal knowledge about ammo types. Different players would learn at different rates depending on how intensely they test and experiment and the knowledge gained would translate into an advantage for the player.


I'm NOT saying what I just quoted is a good or bad philosophy or that Nikita is right or wrong. I'm just trying to make sense of the apparent inconsistency in visible stats between the HP, Armor, and Ammo systems and this is one theory that seems to explain it.


|–More support for the core idea–|
I think this theory isn't too crazy because the principles of intentionally withholding information, trial-and-error knowledge acquisition, and dealing with unknowns is seen not only inside the game but also in official advertising and the way BSG handles some aspects of development. I'll just put all the examples in a bullet list:


  • Number of PMCs that spawned is withheld
  • Whether Scav Boss spawned is withheld
  • Whether quest items spawned is withheld (excluding Pocket Watch, etc)
  • Extract locations are withheld
  • BSG surprising players with unannounced patch contents (Cultists)
  • BSG surprising players with unannounced and vaguely explained events
  • Various quotes from the official website: 1) "Explore many of the unique and authentic locations of Tarkov city and it’s suburbs…"
    2) "Discover concealed locations…"
    3) "Find useful information and items which will help to understand what is going on in the city"
    4) "…unfold the mysteries and escape from Tarkov alive"


All of those points fall into the same vibe Nikita puts out with that quote — discovering stuff for yourself through trial and error, dealing with the unknown, and/or gaining advantages from "secret" or exclusive game knowledge.


So what do you guys think — why do we get exact values for HP and Armor but not for Ammo?

  • Does that theory at least make sense on some level?
  • Do you think Nikita it is an accident?
  • Is it trolling?
  • Some other reason?


For those of you who might think that my theory has some validity; that Nikita left out damage and penetration numbers so that players could gain an advantage by experimentation and trial-and-error:

  • What do you think of the "figure it out for yourself" philosophy?
  • Do you think Nikita is "bummed out" by the fact that 99% of players simply refer to 3rd party resources?
  • Do you think it would even be possible to trial-and-error yourself through the game (assuming nobody was using 3rd-party resources)?
  • Do you think that Nikita should keep the damage numbers concealed or do you think he should give up on that idea and make the numbers visible?


Have a good weekend all.


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