One of the many ways in which Escape From Tarkov supports a relatively balanced meta-game between veteran and novice players, and also keeps almost everyone on their toes, are the so-called vape events. Essentially, “erasing” is exactly what it looks like: a complete server reboot that deletes all player progress and forces everyone to start over.
While the repetitive VIPs do mean that most of the progress of Escape From Tarkov is relatively transient by and large, they offer an exciting period of time during which everything goes on as usual, and when players can burn all their rare loot without worrying about it. In fact, mining may be even less rare at the moment, as the last period before the EFT cleanup has just started with a huge number of airdrops.
Previous EFT server VIPs have traditionally included various special events dedicated to this event. Sometimes this meant the appearance of bosses where they usually do not exist, a laboratory available for research to all players, and the appearance of powerful NPC raiders. Airdrops, however, are a relatively new feature, and players can now collect a real wealth of loot if they wander the levels smartly. This means that, despite the fact that Tarkov is otherwise one of the most violent survival games on the market, the ongoing event before the vape can effectively negate the economy of rare items for some time.
In fact, players now have a much better chance of getting their hands on the best Escape From Tarkov armor and weapons, bypassing the long and stressful process of unlocking, stealing and/or buying the best kit for their PMC character. The start of the pre-purge event usually means that the purge itself will happen in about a week or so, meaning that the developer can provide players with significantly easier access to some of the rarest items in the game during this period.
Battlestate Games has not yet announced exactly when the vape will happen. This is usually kept secret in order to surprise players with a complete server reboot, and sometimes with a significant drop in new content. However, after the vape, Tarkov will return to its default state as one of the most difficult competitive multiplayer games for beginners, and its item economy will return to its relatively stable equilibrium.
With the advent of a separate Escape From Tarkov: Arena game, it will be interesting to follow the approach of Battlestate Games to its own separate development systems. It is not yet known whether the Arena will have its own cleaning events. Since this is actually a testbed for another Tarkov experience, BSG may instead opt for a permanent progression system, although it remains to be seen if this is ultimately the case.
Escape from Tarkov is available on PC.