There was something that dawned on me recently, something that I didn't pay attention to having played the game so long and throughout so many wipes. Something that people have brought up, only to be shut down by people that mindlessly parrot the "Tarkov isn't supposed to be fun" line without any thought into what it really means.
I fully realized this when I recently wanted to show the ropes to a buddy who recently got the game. Since we'd be on the same level in game (I'm sitting this wipe out), it made it the more relateable as we had the same constraints only with the difference of my experience.
At some point he asked me "aren't we going to buy anything from the traders?". Because what we did was use my, not so original, approach. Completely skip the traders aside from some essentials and just alternate our Scav and PMC. Gear up on a Scav run, use that kit for PMC, where the aim was to maximise Exp per raid to get access to the Flea Market. Then once you have a foothold financially, you can start questing. But it's quite telling that you're better off completely ignoring an element of the game instead of participating in it.
Level 1 Traders are complete garbage for absolutely no reason at all.
It's like they're still stuck in the times of "Paca and Kiver", where the convenience of buying the mighty AKS-74u for cash is apparently a luxury. There's been a massive power creep in the game with one "OP" weapon added after another, but Level 1 traders have been persistently bad.
Unfortunately, a lot of people on this sub have a weird fetish about the "early experience" where you're "supposed" to run around with shitty gear and weapon modding is something that requires going through a rite of passage. Until then you're only allowed to use ironsights. All of that completely ignoring the fact that if you know where to look, you can assemble an almost mid tier gun during one raid, with some favorable RNG. And that there's a 4 digit number of attachments in the game, some of them completely scoffed at and almost without any use.
It wouldn't "hurt" the game one bit if they had a better and more convenient stock. A scav tier weapon like an ADAR available for cash doesn't hurt the gameplay loop, progression and the economy. It's the abundance and ease of access to high tier gear pouring out of labs and reserve, day 1 of a wipe.
I'm not going to run around and look for a rechargeable battery and two chainlets, just so that I may have the luxury of bartering for a 10-shot mag ADAR, when every fifth scav has one. Or barter for a MBSS when every third scav has a berkut or Scav BP. On the flipside, higher tier traders could be more reliant on barters, taking away the convenience of cash purchases of some top tier stuff.
I also strongly believe it would potentially lead to less demand for carry services and RMT. Because another thing that he said was that he saw that you can pay "experienced players" to help you out in Raids and he was quite noticably oblivious to the cheating nature of these arrangements.
All in all, I think the game would only benefit if Level 1 traders became more lenient with less reliance on bartering, with most items being available for cash. At the same time, Level 3 and 4 traders could be more stringent with more reliance on high tier barters.
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