Escape from Tarkov

Hardcore Challenges Are Marriage Counseling For EFT

Like many people in the community, I watch a fair amount of streamers play Tarkov, especially ones who play Tarkov as their main game. For them, playing EFT is their profession. They're basically married to Tarkov.

Most of them have ideas on how to "fix" the game, and a lot of these ideas are shared by the wider community (fixing server stability, dealing with cheaters, resolving desync, etc). But many of these full-time EFT streamers also have a lot of ideas on how to make the game more "hardcore" in the pursuit of making it "more fun", "higher risk/reward", and so on. These often include things like removing secure cases, removing insurance, eliminating player scav runs and other restrictions that are often featured in their Hardcore Challenges.

Regardless of if you agree with these restrictions or not, or if they indeed make the game more enjoyable, I think it's important to reflect on the relationship that full-time Tarkov streamers have with the game. If they're married to Tarkov, then these Hardcore Challenges are essentially their marriage counseling. It's how they put some spice back into their relationship after thousands of hours together with EFT. And as long as these challenges are viewed in that context as fun side content, that's totally fine. Play the game however you like!

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Where it becomes potentially detrimental is if and when these individuals start to advocate to BSG that these restrictions should be made baseline within the game. For sake of analogy, they talk about *their* marriage to Tarkov like it's universally true for *everyone's* experience with the game. (If you've ever had a coworker, friend or family member start to become very vocal about their actual marriage counseling, or start giving you advice from the stack of relationship books they're reading, you may have experienced this first hand.)

Again, I've got nothing against full-time EFT streamers or their pursuit to rekindle their love for the game once things start to feel a little stale. I follow a number of these streamers and love their content and communities. I just don't think that the person who plays Tarkov 60 hours a week should be the one trying to change the game for the person who only plays 6. (Though if BSG ever offered us a "hardcore" character option so we could play on servers that incorporated these restrictions, I'd be all for it.)


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