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Tarkov is a horror game. It would benefit from adding more horror elements.


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Bane5

Tarkov has many elements of a horror-game: constant tension, uncertainty around every corner, and a fear of loss. Despite all of the frustrating moments that happen, people stick to the game because one of its biggest strengths is in creating memorable moments and stories--both good and bad. There are a lot of areas of improvement in my opinion that the game could easily pursue to enhance its ambience and unpredictability:

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1). Death Moans/animations/effects

Death in real life is not a pretty thing. Tales of people who have been through battlefields often speak of the screaming of people who are dying. While some of the new scav death voicelines that were added a while back are a nice addition, they fall short in my opinion  of capturing the truly horrible essence of being in a warzone. A very old game that did a good job of capturing  the essence of what I'm talking about is red orchestra 2 (aka, nicknamed "PTSD simulator online" during its time)

When you shot someone in that game, they didn't just say a quick voiceline in anger; they would roll around, kick and scream, wiggle around clutching wounds, or choke on their blood for 30 or even 45 seconds at a time. As they died, they'd plead for the divine to save them, for their mothers, and burst into uncontrolled tears. With the right effects, the game could turn a full  squad wipe into an  "oh my gosh, what have I done moment". Tarkov has a more "gung-ho" atmosphere in its PMC characters currently, rather than an everyone is afraid and struggling to survive atmosphere (perhaps this dialogue could be weighted with character levels and experience).

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2). Wartime Ambience and Jump scares

Tarkov is an active warzone. While battlefields are often quiet, at times it would be nice to have some variety. For example, there could be  a 1/200 chance that a raid might have a loud sonic boom from a low flying jet that would probably give you a scare as you're sneaking around quietly. On one side the map you might on rare occasion suddenly hear the thunder of distant artillery shelling off-map or see a scout helicopter flying overhead from one side of the map to the other. Maybe a loudspeaker from a low flying plane demanding you to turn yourselves in would be a nice rare touch. On night maps, there might be off-map flares that occasionally fly into the sky with blinding illumination. Military activity could be its own separate "weather gauge" for example.

Even when it comes to normal weather, a lot could be done. A door on a ruined house for example could suddenly start shuttering open and closing rapidly in high wind. If you're inside an urban area, your heart might skip a beat as you--for a brief moment--start wondering if someone else just entered the same building only to realize its just the wind. Rainstorms could have ruined powerlines suddenly sizzle once with a hum of electricity arcing into the ground. Just super rare events that might startle someone would be a nice touch.

There is also a lot of untapped potential for wildlife. Signatures in the distance for thermals or the rustling of bushes would be a great thing for night raids. While things like deer and  such would be hard to implement, more feasible might be, lets say, a squirrel that scampers up a tree as part of an animation and then disappears.  Or perhaps a flock of birds that suddenly takes off making lots of rustling sounds and then flying out to the distance and despawning. Even more crazy might be lets say a sudden swarm of locusts that appear making visibility difficult as a super rare event. Animals also don't necessarily need to have physical presence or even visible character models to have an impact; suddenly walking along and having a bunch of owls hooting or small mammals in trees making a racket for a short time can startle people too on its own.

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3). Rare Map Events

One of the biggest enemies of immersion, player engagement, and horror is monotony. After playing for a few hundred hours, games start to have a sense of predictability. In the very long term, the game would benefit from rare, but random map "mutations" that add interesting twists. The black division faction for example would be a great way to add a sudden spike in tension. Imagine lets say for example on customs there was an extremely small chance that a barge might roll down the river and unload a squad of them on the riverbank and they start patrolling the area. Or half-way through woods for example, across the lake off the map in the factory area, you suddenly start seeing a thick chemical mist forming, then gradually you realize that this giant ammonia gas chemical spill is gradually moving across the lake and you must escape in the next few minutes. Not everything has to be a negative event. Even something like a helicopter or drone flying overhead and then suddenly having an engine failure could be a sudden opportunity to serve as a rare loot pinata or dynamic point of interest.

There is a lot of interesting or rare things the devs could have fun with that make people stare in awe and create memorable raids. Just something long term to think about.

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Even for those who have played a long time, is there anything you guys think they could add that would make you be afraid again or deeply immersed in the game?

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bannannie

I don't know how I feel about this its only "horror" when you're playing solo but if you have a group nothing is quiet you're listening to 3-4 other guys on discord coordinating I almost wish it was more quiet I guess it depends on how you play the game.

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Bane5
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, bannannie said:

I don't know how I feel about this its only "horror" when you're playing solo but if you have a group nothing is quiet you're listening to 3-4 other guys on discord coordinating I almost wish it was more quiet I guess it depends on how you play the game.

Right now as a solo, the primary advantage you have over powerful  squads is confusion in comms and not having to spend precious seconds IDing targets.  More things to add to the confusion would be a bonus in my opinion as far as equalizing the risks of solos vs groups go.

Edited by Bane5
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bannannie
Just now, Bane5 said:

Right now as a solo, the primary advantage you have over powerful  squads is confusion in comms and not having to spend precious seconds IDing targets.  More things to add to the confusion would be a bonus in my opinion as far as equalizing the equalizing the risks of solos vs groups go.

Honestly I don't feel at a disadvantage as a solo I just need to watch where I'm going I play Factory/Reserve/Woods a lot and most of the time its really easy to avoid people if I don't want to be found which is great and sometimes (especially only woods) I tear teams apart at a distance because its easier to spot the 4 man train running in the distance than it is to spot my naked rat hiding in a bush with a silenced sks but I feel where you're coming from I really like the random events idea though that could be really fun like maybe affect an area of the map randomly once per raid with a sudden influx of raiders or scavs or a mixture to simulate a bit of lively urban combat rather than the too far inbetween 1v1s you usually get playing this game.

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Jsaccs

I think that the scav bosses should always be on patrol, its dull that they have static spawns.

Any kind of wildlife would be awesome. As of now, if you hear a bush rustle, you 100% know its a scav/PMC. But imagine if it was actually a fox/racoon/squirrel; now youd have that split moment of panic and delayed reactions and confusion. Same principle with seeing movement in the distance, especially on woods. Was it a player or a deer I saw at the corner of my eye go behind the brush?

 

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Evilwayz

I like a lot of your ideas besides the realistic death sounds. One main reason. 

There are a lot of military members that play this game and frankly PTSD is a real thing. That is the one thing that might go a bit far and actually trigger their PTSD. 

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Overkill_Reaper

In addition to the things the op already stated, I think more polished elements similar to the video above would also drastically increase immersion. 

Edited by Overkill_Reaper
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Bane5
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Overkill_Reaper said:

In addition to the things the op already stated, I think more polished elements similar to the video above would also drastically increase immersion. 

If they started representing bullet impact wounds visually--as grievous as some big calibers can be--then some rework of the health system is going to be necessary. It'd be a bit immersion breaking to see people running around with 100% health by poking themselves with a cheese-medkit after eating  a 7.62x54 round to the center of the chest. PMCs--by the time they extract--would look like wasteland mutants because of the sheer amount of damage they can absorb carefree with meds currently.

Edited by Bane5
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Overkill_Reaper
37 minutes ago, Bane5 said:

If they started representing bullet impact wounds visually--as grievous as some big calibers can be--then some rework of the health system is going to be necessary. It'd be a bit immersion breaking to see people running around with 100% health by poking themselves with a cheese-medkit after eating  a 7.62x54 round to the center of the chest. PMCs--by the time they extract--would look like wasteland mutants because of the sheer amount of damage they can absorb carefree with meds currently.

Good point. Things could get messy with the current Heath system. Ha

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paracelsus1981

Yeah the death moans and rattles are never properly depicted in any game. Not even in Tarkov, in fact it sounds more funny than shocking. Working in the medical field I know what that sounds and with gunshot wounds it´s like grown men crying like girls. I don´t mean that in a derogatory way, it´s just the way it is. When I was trained we still used pain indication levels in Dol. Dol 8 was the so called "Vernichtungsschmerz". Every other stimulus during this pain gets etched in to the victims memory. You can witness this with people wincing and jerking when they hear for example a tone they heard during the moment they got injured.

However death moans and rattles are not properly depicted or "voiced" in this game. Maybe because it´s too dark for the devs. Although they pride themselves to make a realistic shooter.

 

Edit: that´s a more realistic depiction:

 

Edited by paracelsus1981
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Bane5
Posted (edited)
On 3/21/2021 at 8:05 AM, paracelsus1981 said:

 When I was trained we still used pain indication levels in Dol. Dol 8 was the so called "Vernichtungsschmerz". Every other stimulus during this pain gets etched in to the victims memory. You can witness this with people wincing and jerking when they hear for example a tone they heard during the moment they got injured.

 

I wonder if the stress system should persist between raids. A lot of gruesome experiences in a short timespan (i.e. loot rushing and dying constantly) could have negative effects overtime. A lot of realistic shooters feature a very strong suppression effect like screen blurring for example which might be influenced by your persistent stress levels.

At the very minimum, I think it would be nice for being heavily wounded to impact how well you perform under fire (stress, suppression, etc). With a gaping stomach wound, your distracted mind certainly isn't going to be able to scan the horizon like a hawk to call out targets for teammates. In HLL for example, while bandaging, your field of vision is literally 5 meters in front. Everything else is extremely blurry while performing the bandage action animation.

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Bane5
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Zotach said:

i guess you haven't been ganked by a few cultists yet

The problem with the current implementation of cultists is that they become predictable with map knowledge. They have defined areas where they stay inside and will drop aggro on certain ranges/boundaries.

Night raids would be a lot more scary if random lone wolf cultists with only knives could be sprinting around anywhere. Simply being paranoid the entire raid that something is silently behind you would heighten the tension. Every moment, a player would get the itch to turn around and scan dark corners.  Just the possibility of their presence would have a greater impact on players than their actual physical manifestations.

Watching a bunch of tigers and alligators in a predefined zoo exhibit location isn't scary. Roaming around in a dark jungle swamp where anything could happen at anytime is very scary.

Edited by Bane5
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PimpMyWiki

One thing about the ambiance that always bugged me were the crickets. Sometimes the crickets are in full swing, but they are seemingly everywhere around you, not limited to certain locations. I believe if they had certain dynamic locations on the map that would help immersion, as when anyone approached such a location the crickets would become quiet as they do in real life, only to start their activity after a few moments of no movement by the player or AI that disturbed them.

This could ofc also be used as a way for players to ambush others or know when they are being snuck up on, by staying near such a zone of crickets and being quiet and alerted when the crickets stop.

Other things such as hooting owls could have the same effect, wider area but owls also stay quiet if they hear noise around them and could serve the same warning/ambush mechanic.

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Reymt

Tarkovs "horror"-like elements come from the direct gameplay and tension. I dont think forcing it is a good idea.

1. That said, this isnt a terrible idea, as long as its not overly loud, long and obnoxious. Theres already some more extended death screams now, which is nice. But considering how borked sound in Tarkov is at the best of times, Im not sure.

2. Just no. Jumpscares are not horror, they are lazy garbage if not specifically built up. And you can already get scared by noticing players or scavs where you didnt expect them, or by loud shots. That kind of natural tension and scares is much more effective than aknowledging "oh look this is the sonic boom event".

3. Idk about that one. Force everyone to fight through a bunch of raiders just to exit? I dont mind the concept itself, but that sounds a bit annoying. There should be strategies and ways to play around them, rather than just some bots in a choke point.

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Bane5
On 3/25/2021 at 3:28 PM, Reymt said:

Tarkovs "horror"-like elements come from the direct gameplay and tension. I dont think forcing it is a good idea.

Even if loud noises don't always scare people, background noises and sounds still give lots of tactical opportunities. A sonic jet boom for example might be the perfect opportunity to toss a grenade without being heard. Or very faint sounds of a truck convoy in the distance might be enough to crouch walk through a hallway to break a stalemate.

In that sense, being uncertain of what your opponents might do under the cover of such background noise has its own dynamic tension element to some degree.

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Reymt
vor 3 Stunden schrieb Bane5:

Even if loud noises don't always scare people, background noises and sounds still give lots of tactical opportunities. A sonic jet boom for example might be the perfect opportunity to toss a grenade without being heard. Or very faint sounds of a truck convoy in the distance might be enough to crouch walk through a hallway to break a stalemate.

In that sense, being uncertain of what your opponents might do under the cover of such background noise has its own dynamic tension element to some degree.

Idk, if those noises are basically random, isnt there the risk that they are more disruptive to your tactics and strategies, rather than helpful? Tarkov has issues with randomness at the best of times.

Something inherently random always has the potential to frustrate people, which is generally rather immersion-breaking.

 

And generally for sounds, take the alarms on Reserve and Interchange. They are at least integrated into the gameplay and not just random, which is nice. But they are also really damn annoying and certainly dont help immersion.

Labs messages are cool though. 

 

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