So, GZ has a focus issue, but it is solvable

[This is a slightly modified version of an argument I posted on another thread, so for anything I mention about a “weapon wheel upgrade”, refer to it [here]]

TL;DR: we can appeal to solo and to co-op players by making a few simple changes.

So, here’s the thing: I think there’s a bit of confusion when it comes to the sense of identity and gameplay direction in GZ.

This game has sort of an identity problem, probably born out of how it developed from its early roots and based on what the community demanded over the years.

So when a change is suggested and people ask “is this really something GZ needs?” the answer is “depends on what players it wants to cover”.

About that identity crisis, the gist of it is that it’s a deeply atmospheric game densely packed with environmental storytelling and possibilities for immersive exploration (something that deeply appeals to solo gamers and to streamers who like a more “protagonistic role” to their gameplay footage), but at the same time has encounter designs, skill caps/specializations and a base management (attack, maintenance, defense) endgame that fit far more into a multiplayer co-op PvE thing, as well as content creators who focus on multistreams, or “party mode” streams.

…And while both approaches are completely valid and technically can coexist, some of the inherent design directions are slightly different.

Let me give some examples:

  • For solo players, the current skill cap is ludicrously low. You have to overspecialize to a degree where you’ll have major flaws that will be very hard or impossible to cover with tactics and/or equipment.
    …However, for co-op players, having 2~4 people means that if each one specializes on one part of the skill tree, all bases can be covered and it becomes a fairly versatile class-based shooter.

  • For solo players, the current carry capacity limits, as well as the storage limits on safe houses, are also ludicrously low. Even with all the upgrades, 96 is a very low number for when you’re always scrounging for ammo, guns and healthpacks that you either need now, or will need in the future; and when you go back to base to stockpile on ammo, even will all of the storage upgrades, it’s still easy to reach the cap of your storage chest just by filling it with spare guns, attachments and a smidge of ammo alone.
    …This also applies to co-op players who like to store spares for trading later.
    …But… this is also an inherent challenge imposed into groups of 4 where you need to manage “who’s gonna carry what”, who’s gonna be moving incumbered and who’s gonna run lean, who’ll be the ammo carrier, who’ll focus on throwing lures and traps, etc etc. And for solo players who like “hardcore survival” games, a tight inventory can be actually desirable.

…And it’s hard to just “choose one side” because this means alienating part of a player base, which can be a death knell of a multiplayer game – specially one with such a mixed identity.

My suggestion would be finding a way to try to fill both cases:

  • Make any of the weapon wheel changes I suggested in this post, since they benefit everyone and don’t really cause issues for players who “don’t need more than what already exists”
  • Make it so players in SOLO MODE can choose to have far greater limits in cargo capacity and storage, since the current one vastly impedes their normal gameplay loop (and a lot of players resort to… “alternate means” to circumvent those limits), but at the same time having a “hardcore mode” with the old limits would appease the specific niche of survival-mode players.
  • Allowing players to have different skill specs between SOLO and CO-OP modes (with a Solo tree having a far higher skill cap, or no cap at all, and a Co-op tree having the current cap), so players can be the “Jane-of-all-trades” they need to be in SOLO, only limited by their dedication to keep on leveling, but also be the specialized class they want to be in CO-OP matches.

I think these suggestions could help solving most of these issues.
In a “TL;DR” way, "GZ has an identity crysis, conflicting between ‘solo explorers’ and ‘co-op adventurers’, and we can satisfy both, with the suggested changes listed above.