You'd have thought people would have escaped from Tarkov by now, but they're still at it. Escape From Tarkov is a brutal, sandbox-ey shooter about scavenging for loot in a warzone where everyone has better guns than you - except for right now! A big update to the current early access build has brought a load of changes, but one of the most significant parts is the character wipe. Tarkov's central appeal lies in looting, and now (not for the first time) all your loot has gone. My friends say they're happy about this, and I still do not understand them.
I suppose I do, really. The goal in each round of Tarkov is to enter a big map and leave with more gear than you came in with, and that loop never clicked with me. I imagine I would find losing all my hard-earned loot galling, but the internet's "Fiyenyaa" tells me: "It's fine, it makes for a level playing playing field to start off with and building up from nothing again is part of the fun for me. The only bad part is having to re-do some of the incredibly bad quests."
The internet's Fiyenyaa might be pleased to know that those quests have been twiddled with. Developer's Battlestate Games say they've "simplified Jaeger's quests", as well as changing various other old quests and adding new rewards. Quests in Tarkov are pretty barebones - they have you going to a specific place, or searching for a specific gun, or just killing NPCs or players. They give you XP, and levelling up makes you better at an intimidating array of specific things.
There's loads else that's new. You can now lean while prone, the NPC AI and positional audio have both been souped up, and lots of tweaks have been made to the "found in raid" status on items. That's significant, not only because it changes which gear satisfies quest conditions, but also because you can now only sell gear that you've found on a raid. My pal Alex tells me that "this makes it harder for market traders to flip items and control supply" on the player-driven flea market. They've also added captcha security, which the devs say you'll need to wade through "if there are suspicious actions at the flea market and in the trade". Even Fiy acknowledges this sounds annoying.
My friends who watch Tarkov-heads on Twitch tell me these wipes come around twice a year, and Battlestate do 'em to both give veteran players something new to do, and so they can test new systems out with players who aren't already loaded.
There's plenty I haven't mentioned, so do check out the patch notes.
Tarkov is still in beta, and buying in now will set you back £35. You'll need to grab it from Battlestate's website.