Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

This is where all the random stuff goes
Post Reply
User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 17 Oct 2018, 11:58

Escape from Tarkov (EFT) is a self published title from Russian developers, Battlestate Games. Currently only available direct from their website, it will ultimately appear on Steam either just before or alongside the full 1.0 release. The idea of the game is a conflict kicking off in Russia's north-west near the border to Europe. The overall narrative at this stage is that two private military companies have (there will be three in the final release) have come in to restore order, along with the UN and Russia's own troops. Ever opportunistic, there are also scavengers who have descended on the area to make their living. The goal is to 'escape from Tarkov' but ultimately, where it is right now, it's a loot-shooter with some very high consequences for failure.

What does it cost?

There are currently four entry tiers...

Standard Edition: 34.99 Euros ($56.73AUD)
Left Behind Edition: 57.99 Euros ($94.02AUD)
Prepare for Escape Edition: 79.99 Euros ($129.69AUD)
Edge of Darkness Limited Edition: 109.99 Euros ($178.33AUD)

Each edition has starting gear which gets better at each tier (from pistols to M4s), an increased in-game stash size and an increased secured container (more on this later). Stash size is incredibly important to this game, and will eventually be able to be expanded via in-game quests, but right now it's a little Pay-to-Win in that EOD owners are able to field better gear more consistently.

Realism

The devs are aiming for a true-to-life experience and this marks EFT as a game like few others. There are little touches like variable stances (ala Arma 3), but it's things like having to manually pack bullets into magazines in a match, or that you can only reload a magazine that is reachable on your character (i.e. from your pockets or chest-rig, not from your backpack) that really make this something special. Alongside that you have a game where a single bullet can (and often does) kill, there are no highlights over friendly squad members (which can and does often lead to TKs if there is poor communication)... and the devs have plans to make it even more realistic by the time of full release.

The best view of this is in the 2018 development plan from BSG which talks about;

- Time-consuming magazine loading (already in-game)
- scav bosses (already in-game)
- off-raid healing and wound treatment
- jamming, misalignment and misfires, and ammo quality
- addition, overdosing and side effects from medicines
- upgradeable personal hideouts

Core Gameplay Loop

EFT is, at heart and right now, a loot-shooter very much akin to the Dark Zone mode from Ubisoft's The Division. You will join a map either solo or in a squad of up to 5, playing either as your actual avatar (your PMC) or you will take control of an AI scav. For every map there are a number of possible exfiltration points that you need to make your way to. Within that, it's up to you, you can go for loot to either use or sell, or you can go for kills to grind out experience points which will give help you unlock trader's levels. Each 'match' has a timer on it and PMCs will all spawn in at the very beginning of the match (and once you get to know the spawns you can quickly pick off a few early players if you're lucky). Your goal with both is to get as much good loot as you can and make it out alive.

There are however two acute differences between PMC and Scav gameplay...

PMC - this is your private military corporation character... you. Your avatar that levels up and whose level determines trader access. Everything you bring with you can be lost except for the contents of your secured container (which are, at max, 3x3 grids). You can insure your gear with the trader Prapor for a cost, but if someone loots your gear you won't get it back no matter what. Playing as the PC is high-risk but also high-reward... unless you do a Hatchling run (see Factory map description further down).

Scavs - you will start with a random loadout (which you can actually see on the character selection screen before you join the map) that you get to keep and transfer to your PMC if you manage to exfiltrate (and if your PMC has space in their stash to hold the gear). If you get lucky and kill some players, you can easily walk out with some very high-end, very expensive gear. Scavs spawn in randomly during each match, so you could join long after the players have left, or at the same time as them. The beauty of Tarkov is that you very rarely know. Scavs have a 20 minute timer on them to prevent players farming it too heavily.

The key benefits for each style are;

PMC - your PMC has a massive number of soft skills that are levelled up through play... things that confer, say, bonuses to accuracy, or decreased noise on movement, and these become more and more noticeable as you play (the skills can also atrophy). You also level up your mastery with each weapons used. Most importantly though is your player level... each trader has gear and quests locked behind XP and spending walls, so you might need to spend $1M roubles with that trader as well as hit player level 15 in order to unlock their second tier... and these continue to ramp up until you reach trader tier 4. This gear is essential to mastering the game as you'll get access to better and better weapons, mods and gear and this absolutely increases your survivability. I think it's genuinely brilliant how they've put this together.

Scav - this is essentially free gear for when your stocks are low (or if you get tired of losing gear on your PMC). When you make it out you can usually clear 100k+ if you started with a decent weapon (i.e. AK, SKS, Mosin) and picked up some gear along the way. Scavs do not contribute to any PMC soft-skills, XP or weapon mastery so despite appearing to be the easy way to play, they're actually holding you back from really unlocking your potential.


Maps

Image

This is the overall map for Tarkov with each node representing a larger map and game-space. There are five playable maps as of the time of writing.

Interchange - a reasonably square map with a gigantic shopping centre in the middle. From the docks, loading bays and back shelves to the multistorey mall itself, Interchange holds some incredible loot (in fact, one of the best loot spots in the game, the KIBA store, is here, filled to brimming with weapons and gadgets if you're lucky enough to have found the two keys required).

Customs- my personal favourite, this long, complicated map has a lot of critical chokepoints and firefights, with none more intense than the two dorm buildings whose multiple locked doors and loot locations make it a PMC locus, or the central construction area, a scav-ridden spot where a single bullet can call unwanted attention from across the m

Factory - the starting place for most players, this is the smallest and most intense map in the game thanks to the close proximity of players and scavs as well as the insane verticality. This is where you come to grind out XP fast as you're only 10 seconds from a firefight when you spawn in and only a minute away from restarting once you've been killed. This is where people do a lot of what's called 'Hatchling runs'... this is where you go in with no gear at all other than your starting and always-free knife or hatchet (hatchets are in the EOD edition) and a secure container... you grab as much gear as you can and stuff the best of it in your secured container so even if you do die (and you will) you get to keep those goods. There's a safe on level 3 which always has money, and there are plenty of exchangeable items you can use with traders. Better still, loot dead players or get lucky on the melee and you can walk out with a lot of loot... zero risk, potentially high reward.

Woods - a wide open map with some key structures drawing PMCs in for loot, but lots of opportunit

Shoreline - a player favourite thanks to its better spawn rates for bitcoins and other valuable items, shoreline is a long and winding map with some fantastic loot spawn and frequent opportunity to be sniper from... somewhere... if you go in geared here, be prepared to lose everything.


Presentation

Built in Unity and still needing further optimisation... Tarkov is incredibly beautiful. A lot of that is down to textures and lighting effects, but it's the world-building that makes it all so stunning. This isn't cut-and-paste stuff (although in some places it kinda is), there's a level of authentic ruin to the environment that really gives it a sense of place.

The audio is also absolutely superb. Positional, realistic and deathly frightening, a good pair of headphones is as much of an edge as a decently modded weapon.
Last edited by DarkMellie on 17 Oct 2018, 13:57, edited 7 times in total.
0 x
Image

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 17 Oct 2018, 11:58

Traders

Traders are, for me, the heart of the meta-game. Each trader has certain specialisations and requirements for increasing their tiers. Traders will either sell you gear in one of the three currencies (Euro, USD, Roubles) or ask for items in exchange. The exchanges can be really useful but some require you to stock up (say, 10 hunting knives which is 20 units of space) before you can exchange. The image is too big to post but check here for an overview.

Traders are vital for kitting out weapons, and the modding section will show how you can take an AK from terrible, game-ending recoil, to a tightly controlled melting machine with just a small outlay of roubles.


Quests

Another critical function of Traders is that they give you quests. These range in complexity with early missions asking you collect specific items in volume, or to get set numbers of kills against scavs or AI... and then move up to handing over modded weapons that meet certain design specifications, or multiple step missions asking you to pick something up from one map and leave it in a special location in another. Each quest gives you some rewards from the trader, but also a big boost to your XP and to your trader reputation. Some quests will give you negative reputation with other traders also but that's not really noticeable at this point. Quests can also help focus your activity and give you goals to aim for, the 12 PMC kills for Skier and the 'Gunsmith' quest line form the Mechanic have radically changed my playstyle for the better (moving from a loot-snail, to a far more agile and aggressive player).


Weapon Modding

This is where the game starts to change. Your first 10 hours or so can feel really unfair as you get shot by people you can't see, or beaten in CQC firefights even though you were first to pull the trigger. All starting weapons have either terrible recoil, accuracy or damage output and it's not until you start using different bullet types and modding your weapon that you can even the odds.

Every weapon can be modded from the core on up and each mod has its real world counterpart. Once you discover that the B-11 handguard lets you add grips to your AKs you're immediately more effective as the reduced recoiled will put more shots on your target than ever before.

Image

This is an AKS-74U that started out as a trash find on Customs... or you can buy from level 1 Prapor for $28,919 (roubles). All of the parts below can be found in-game, but if you wanted to buy it from scratch;

Pistol grip (Prapor level 2) $990
X400 tac flash (Skier level 1) $7,943
Belomo PK-06 reflex sight (Skier level 1) $38 (EUROS)
Tango Down Stubby BGV-MK46k tactical grip FDE (Peacekeeper level 2) $31 (USD)
TAPCO SAW-Style FDE pistol grip (Peacekeeper level 2) $23 (USD)
Taktika Tula AK and AKM adapter (Skier level 2) $648
B11 AKS-74U Handguard (Skier level 2) $4,428)
Zenit RP-1 charger handle for AK and AKM (Skier level 2) $2,052
AKS-74/AKS-74U PT Lock (Skier level 2) $2,484
Zenit PT-1 "Klassika" stock (Skier level 2) $10,800
3 x 30 round 6L23 5.45x39 magazine for AK-74 and compatibles (Prapor level 1) $1,870 each

Total cost;
$64,874 roubles
$38 Euro
$54 USD

...but again, you can and will find a lot of that gear in the wild as you play through (either as Scav or PMC). As you progress, and as you sell gear to make space, you will end up with easily a million plus roubles and healthy balances in the other two currencies (I have about $2k Euro and $18k USD with around $600k roubles).

As stated earlier, modding changes your game so it's incredibly important to level up your traders if you want to 'git gud' at the game... without level 2 Skier alone you can't easily get hold of the B11 which means you're stuck with high recoil on all AKs.

Here's an unmodded AK, straight out of a weapons crate on Customs;

Image

Here's that same AK with about $30,000 roubles-worth of mods on it (as per the above build);

Image

Ergo is now above 40, and recoil has been halved. With the sight on it, it's now a contender for most mid-geared players and scavs. Modding AKs, AS VAL's, FALs and all US weaponry returns, of course, better and better results. But all you need is a lucky few headshots or to take out the other players legs to win the fight. Every little bit counts (as does your soft-skills and weapon mastery).


Inventory Management

Also know as 'Escape from Tetris', EFT has a fairly insane inventory management system and I've spent probably an equal amount of time sorting out my loot as I have actually applying it in the field. All inventory storage is gridded, and the EOD edition offers the largest natural stash size. As traders are levelled up, they will offer cases that can be used to increase space by offering more storage within than they take up themselves.

The cool thing about your stash is that everything has phsyical space, and this includes your money! What it means is that you can stash bags within bags, or items within rigs within bags, and you'll spend a lot of time maximising this space to be able to offload your loot from your PMC or Scav. Space runs out very quickly and also gets very messy. Despite spending an hour the other day organising my stash, it's back to a ruinous mess thanks to the quickness with which you go through and gain gear.

Image

There are ways to save space... pictured above I have;

ICase (top left) - an 8x8 stash that can't accept exchangeable or wearable items. I use this to store my money, bitcoins, and high-end weaponry.

Wallet - two of them are showing in the ICase below the gold bitcoins with one open, this is a four slot stash for currency only. Each currency has a maximum stack amount so this lets you carry 8 stacks of currency (saving you 6 slots in your main stash).

Keybar (middle of screen) - alongside the stash size, this is probably the best reason to upgrade to the EOD edition (it's been confirmed as being taken into the game come 1.0). A single slot that lets me hold 16 keys. Keys are massively useful in-game, opening shortcuts, high-end loot rooms, being able to carry 16 at once in a secure container makes me much more fearless in my approach by increasing my capability to loot and move with massively reduced storage costs.

Junkcase (right-hand side) - worth $900k roubles from the level 2 Therapist, this is a massive 16x16 case for all exchangeable goods (i.e. stuff you can give to traders in exchange for gear). Some trade-ins require loot that can take up a lot of stash-space so being able to store 256 units of space in a 4x4 area means I can now stop bulk-selling useful stuff to make space for other gear. The Therapist is also the easiest trader to level up and the initial cost has turned out to be more than worth it.

There are lots of other cases that become available, these are all just early-game ones. Some streamers have their entire stash filled with cases, exponentially increasing their storage capability.
Last edited by DarkMellie on 17 Oct 2018, 13:42, edited 3 times in total.
0 x
Image

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 17 Oct 2018, 11:59

General Tips and Tricks


* Hold onto your weapons mods unless;
- they are for US weaponry (MPXs, MP5s, M4s, etc) - these are unlikely to be available to you outside of what you get from your package and they sell for a pretty penny (the US ND-silencer alone is around $45k roubles)
- they are for weapons you don't use (to know what mods go to what weapons, right-click and 'inspect' the mod then hover over the grey arrow, it will show you which weapons in your stash it can be attached to)
* Until you can get the Junkbox from the level 2 therapist, do a bit of reading on what exchangeable items are worth holding onto. There are later quests that might call for 20 packets of cigarettes or 6 Ushankas (four-slot scav headwear), but you'll be so far away from needing these that you'll be taking up vital space for other more usable loot
* Regularly check your traders for tasks, most are triggered by level gains, accept them straight away.
* shoot and move - every crack of your rifle attracts scav and PMC attention so don't get too hungry for a kill... shoot, move, shoot again
* in your stash, make sure all bullets are sitting in mags wherever possible... bullets and mags can be the biggest spacehogs
* if there are inventory items that just never get used... sell them! You will earn money towards the traders spending level and you aren’t using it so it’s dead space no matter how cool it looks. Level up your trader and you can buy that item when you eventually need it
* hot-slot your items! In your inventory screen, anything in your pockets or chest-rig can be dragged to the bottom of the screen and assigned to a key. Great for medkits and grenades (until they doubtlessly remove the ability to quickheal)
* shoot for the head or the legs. if they have just a hat or nothing else on, go for a face-shot. However, faceshields can soak up a fair amount of damage and even the cheapest helmets can tank a bullet or two, so in that circumstance go for the legs... this can slow them down as well as bleed them out very quickly
* don't rush to loot dead bodies... if you've taken someone out, someone else has heard you do it. Be patient OR just stop and grab anything worthwhile (like their weapon) and don't search their pockets or backpack (you'll get popped)... which reminds me...
* always search bodies while lying down
* move fast! Heavily armoured players can have slower turning speeds so running behind them or to the side can let you get some critical shots in while avoiding their specced-fire.
* know when to run and when to creep... you can use other noise to cover the (very loud) sound of your footsteps, but sometimes it doesn't matter, you want to outplay the other PMC and be where he isn't expecting you... use natural cover and run away and around, or even bait their movement with a few choice pulls of your trigger
* read up on Keys. There are set locations where there's a small chance of a critical key spawning. Something like the Factory key (which I looted off a dead scav) can massively change the game. The factory key not only unlocks a loot room and special player exfil on Factory, it also unlocks a mid-map chokepoint on Customs.
* stock up on white rolls of duct tape.. these can be exchanged for a CAR medkit which offers 220 points of healing and also auto-bandages wounds.
* always take a drink on every map (even Factory). If your stomach gets blacked out (i.e. takes enough damage that it can no longer be healed) your thirst will dramatically increase. Thirst isn't stable as a mechanic yet so even without stomach damage, it's very easy to die of thirst in a 45 minute match so always carry a drink.
* Food mechanics have not been introduced as yet so ignore all food found (and sell your starting foodstuffs straight up)


A special note on 'gear fear'
* it can be tempting to just hoard gear and money from being too afraid to lose both. But if your gear is unused, it's as good as lost. There's no point holding onto high end weaponry as it does nothing in your stash. Either sell it to bolster cash if needed, or better still use it! If you take out high-end weaponry, you should also invest in high-end helmets and body armour... and while you're at it, add on your best rig, take a bunch of mags and bullets, some medpacks and grenades.. the more damage you can put out, and the higher your survivability, the better respect you pay to your weapon. I've killed a few people with silenced AKs who had nothing else of worth on them, clearly just hoping to minimise their losses. The best advice I came across was to purposefully set out to lose your gear... accept that it's gone, and just go hard at recouping that cost until the inevitable point in which you die and enrich someone else. Since doing that, my XP and kills have shot up, my enjoyment has continued to increase and the intensity has.. well.. intensified. Lose your gear to love the game.

Please shout out with any tips of your own and I'll add them up!


Streamers

Two streamers that I enjoy the most are Kotton and Pestily. Pestily is an ozzie and he does some great informational vids... Kotton is just the best run'n'gunner with entertaining banter. His vids are where I've learned the most insofar as gunplay.

Kotton




Pestily

Last edited by DarkMellie on 17 Oct 2018, 15:04, edited 4 times in total.
0 x
Image

User avatar
Disco
Posts: 4093
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 17:32
Location: NSW

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by Disco » 17 Oct 2018, 12:11

My #1 wish for this game is that my extract points were the same as the guy I'm playing with
0 x
Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 17 Oct 2018, 12:54

Disco wrote:
17 Oct 2018, 12:11
My #1 wish for this game is that my extract points were the same as the guy I'm playing with
Yeah that can be challenging. Lots of times my mate and I have had to separate and one or both get taken out, but it also adds to the fun I think.
0 x
Image

User avatar
Disco
Posts: 4093
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 17:32
Location: NSW

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by Disco » 17 Oct 2018, 13:08

Yeaaah.. not for me lol
0 x
Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

User avatar
Nekosan
Posts: 1094
Joined: 09 Nov 2015, 19:39
Location: GoN Refugee Camp

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by Nekosan » 20 Oct 2018, 21:08

So I started a scav game off just now and ran into a trio of scav players, killed all 3 and im wondering at the fact they have a scoped mosin/kitted ak47. I head towards gas station and find a dead guy with one of those space laser fully kitted m4's. I pot his mate who has a fully geared SA58 and theyre so geared literally ALL OF THEIR GEAR has to be identified.

Turns out they died on initial contact with the scav boss (who i finish) and my inventory ends up like this(+ the golden TT from the boss and his silenced ak chambered in 5.56):


Image



I'm 50m from my extract when i get potted out of nowhere by a guy RIGHT NEXT TO ME IN THE OPEN (he teleported)...


So unbelievably mad...
0 x
steamcommunity.com/id/krautpants

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 20 Oct 2018, 23:34

Oh man... the bit above the image read like the absolute fucking dream run... sosorry to hear of your loss :(

Apart from one dude, still haven't experienced a hacker. My luck is rarer than bitcoin it seems!
0 x
Image

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 21 Oct 2018, 01:11

I haven't even seen that kind of backpack before, Neko, and I'd murder everyone for a single Salewa... have the Therapist's quests to obtain 5 and have so far got 4... and haven't seen one in almost two weeks of heavy play.


Meanwhile, I've taken a very PMC mindset to my game and go in with the only objective to kill other players... means lots more staying in the map (where previously I'd loot in a straight line to the exfil). Mostly it goes awfully, but sometimes you get lucky...

Everything I took in I'd looted off someone else already so it was a free run. Entered dorms from the exfil side and on the slowest pace moved through the building and took a level 42 player as he was mounting the stairs and checking the next flight up. And holy shit the dude had been busy...

Image

So I had to run off and drop my own TriZip and go back and grab his... the silenced AK-101 would have been his personal rifle and that plus a dogtag would have been plenty enough on its own... but two 74N's, two 6B47s, a TriZip, 5 frags (had more in his pockets) and two morphine? Fucking jackpot!

As I crept out I could hear the scav boss so I legged it for the exit. I'm genuinely impressed this guy scored two kills on Customs given its not a very populated map imo... although with the coming wipe we can expect player count to rise, and camping to come to the fore again.
0 x
Image

User avatar
Nekosan
Posts: 1094
Joined: 09 Nov 2015, 19:39
Location: GoN Refugee Camp

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by Nekosan » 21 Oct 2018, 15:20

I saw another pack last night ive never seen before either Mellie. I'm moving towards this pile of bodies and as i get there i realize i cant loot one of them, it's a guy on his guts looting. Typically it was a scav run and i only had a pistol so i couldnt get through his helmet/anything and in retrospect i should have looted a rifle right there and used that but i panicked.

The pack was as big as the ones in my other screenshot but had a purple (i think) stripe on it.


Oh and just to be a hater, i took 8 Salewa kits out of one raid last night :lol:
0 x
steamcommunity.com/id/krautpants

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 21 Oct 2018, 16:01

You bastard!

It wasn't a pilgrim maybe? I'm sure you've seen one of those. Big bastard thing with bluey/purpley bands across it.

Shoulda tried V with your knife/hatchet, might have got through and done more damage but yeah, unlucky!

Oh and fuck me dead, check out this mate of mine's scav run - https://media.discordapp.net/attachment ... height=663
0 x
Image

User avatar
DarkMellie
Posts: 1441
Joined: 05 Nov 2015, 22:36
Location: GoNer

Re: Mellie's guide to Escape from Tarkov

Post by DarkMellie » 21 Oct 2018, 22:54

Massive 1v1 just now on dorms... crept my way in and there was a dude using a laser and was flashing his position all over the shop. We must have hunted each other across that building for a good 5 or more minutes... I eventually flashed him and had him bang to rights... but I'd run out of ammo and had to run away. Died as I was desperately trying to repack my mag.

I need better chest rigs so I can carry more mags.

Also, slowly working my way through losing these bad boys (stocks are all folded to maximise space... all but one carry nearly 100k roubles in mods)...

Image
0 x
Image

Post Reply