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SCUM – What is this game missing?

by Vlad The Impaler

SCUM is a survival game where a player needs to fight the nature, zombie-like “puppets”, guardian mechs in military bases and, finally, other players. It is definitely my favorite game, and I have sunk in a LOT of hours in it so far, too many then I would like to admit. But SCUM, being in early access, still needs a lot of things to become a complete experience it could be. The potential is amazing, and SCUM is already – im my humble opinion, that is – miles ahead of Day Z,a survival game that once upon the time promised a lot as well. But let us get into what the SCUM game needs to fulfill its vast potential.

Content: NPC’s, missions and perhaps even raids?

Currently, there are only puppet NPC’s as well as the terrifying mechs that guard military bases and bunkers. The game needs more cowbell! The developers have planned to introduce traders into the game; it would be awesome to get random quests from these traders, for example to gather a certain amount of items, go fetch a document from a bunker, kill puppets or anything else along the line. This would unlock loyalty levels with the traders, giving you access to a limited amount of high grade gear, weapons and items; leveling some traders might even lower your standing towards others, RPG style.

There will be safe zones in the game as well, where players can meet up to trade, box and get drunk together.

Other than these NPC’s I would welcome an addition of hostile military NPC’s, which is also being in the design phase, with bands of those roaming the island. They should be tough, their bosses even more so, so that taking a group of five of those would mean a serious challenge even for the best, most equipped of players. Additionally, some type of a Resident Evil Nemesis monsters is in the pipeline as well; we need them to come into the game as soon as possible!

Raids might be an option, similar to Escape From Tarkov, where players enter an instance – similar to current events – and try to fight their way out of a bunker maze or a military complex. If you die, you lose all your gear; if you survive, you keep whatever you loot and get out with. Now, this is a stretch, I admit, but one can dream, right? Sadly I see so many problems with this feature, primarily the number of people involved would require this to be cross-server, but perhaps an NPC only types of instances could be arranged?

Gear and weapons, repair and modifications

We need far more different types of gear, armor vests and more weapon types! With three pistols, the M9, DEagle and Block 21 the choice is fairly poor here. There are six rifles and six automatic weapons; only one single SMG, the MP5! Not even a single LMG in the game… We need more changes here. Additionally, weapon repair and modifications need to be implemented, hopefully beyond the current “right click on the repair kit to repair weapon” option. Give players a chance to modify their own weapons, exchange parts to their liking, create a unique build that suits their needs the best. Allow players to also specialize in this skill, let the sky be the limit!

  • a highly welcome item would be armor or vests that have holsters for guns and knives.
  • luckily, we are getting pistol holsters, which is long overdue. Same goes for the knife holsters, which could be attached to a vest, pants or the boots. Not sure when and if we are going to get those.
  • allow all the gear to have slots that can be used to upgrade the gear in question (added armor plates for a ceramic vest, for example, or a helmet that can support different vision devices)
  • providing attributes to the gear, which is being partially done so far (warmth and weight from being wet, for example). Have thicker armor and more solid gear provide more protection, certain (better) tools providing a boost to a skill

Puppets: more puppets, different types, rare puppets

In the past several months, the puppets were reduced in number, while some new types as military puppets were introduced. We need more puppets in military bases, even in bunkers. They are supposed to be a grave danger in numbers, and you always need to weigh in the usage of fire arms against the danger of attracting more puppets or even other hostile players.

I am not a huge fan of the military puppets; they need balancing. Hitting them with a shotgun point blank range three times in the face, and they still keep gunning at you. And if you need to kill them with melee attacks, oh my, cancel everything else you wanted to do for the next half an hour. (Slight exaggeration…but only slight)

  • have rare puppets spawn across the map with extra valuable items
  • make armored puppets be vulnerable to attacks in non armored sections of their body

Player Hitzones

When the player is hit in the arm or leg, the appropriate limb should be affected. Currently, it works for limping, which is great, but it needs to be expanded. A player wounded in the right arm should have problems holding and aiming a weapon. A wound to the stomach makes player bleed harder and dehydrate faster. Pain should be an issue, and if running with a bullet wound to the leg, player should be giving off cries of pain, depending on how strong the wound is. Medicine is a necessity here; a painkiller to – at least temporarily – suppress the pain. Bandage to stop the bleeding. Medpacks for healing? We could talk about that. Also, players with higher level skill could mend broken bones and more serious wounds.

Accordingly, armor should work the same way, so that unprotected areas suffer full damage whereas a ceramic bulletproof vest reduces the bullet impact significantly.

Now, some of these features have been partially implemented, others are planned, some are simply my musings. I love SCUM. I wish it could be extended as much as possible, I see this game having the potential to outplay any other survival game and I definitely want it to succeed.

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