This game caters too much to expert players. And there just aren’t that many expert players to fill the lobbies.
The emphasis on headshots is a turn off for most. You can’t have a BR game where it takes 6-8 body shots to kill someone (especially when it’s only a 1 shot headshot). This causes Medium/low skilled people to die too often because body shots don’t damage enough and then they get one-shotted by a higher skilled person after putting 6+ bullets into them. That is frustrating, feels cheap, and isn’t fun. Which means most stop playing. There are far more medium and lower skill players than there are highly skilled / expert players. Something has to be done to decrease the delta between headshots and body shots damage. Adding 10-15% damage to body shots would probably do the trick. Still keeps experts happy because skill gap is present but it will give everyone else a few more kills/wins, which means a more fun, less cheap experience. Headshots need to be rewarded without being necessary.
TTK is an unbalanced mess. Some say it’s too fast, some say it’s slow. The problem is they are both right. Some of this I’ve already discussed above with body shot damage needing a buff, but that needs to coincide with rebalancing of weapon accuracy/recoil/effective range/bullet drop/etc. ARs are wayyyy too effective at all ranges (mainly the MK18) and in general guns are too accurate while running/jumping. SMGs are worthless unless you get headshots,(mainly ump), shotguns firerate is way too high, ARs are lasers from all ranges, storm is great but ARs are better even on full auto so why use it, sako is good but still gets beat by ARs even at ranges it shouldn’t. Bottom line is the engagements need to be satisfying for both ends of the skill base spectrum while still maintaining the skill gap. Final thought here, I think TTK is more of a gun recoil/accuracy issue than a damage issue (buff body damage please!)
I get that you are a small team but your updates have been sterile when it comes to impacting gameplay. Only meaningful thing you’ve addressed since launch was slowing down the circles. Everything else has been footnote worthy. Your next update’s big item is VOIP. I mean, I get that it’s needed and was supposed to be in at launch but respectfully, most of your player base is on discord and/or disables in game chat. Meanwhile your ARs are breaking your game, TTK is a mess, can’t mark locations on the map, the landing animation needs to be reworked, no enemy awareness during landing sequence, can’t rez teamates without syringe, the lady’s voice is too f***ing loud, footsteps can’t be heard soon enough and good luck if they are above or below you. The color contrast makes spotting enemies troublesome, etc. I know this can’t be addressed over night but all of this has been posted in forums, mods have “passed it to the devs” then…crickets. Nothing in the updates, no posts saying “hey we hear you and here is our plan…”. It just makes me feel like you aren’t listening. And on a side note “This game just may not be for you” isn’t an excuse to stick to bad ideas or design choices that you love but your players don’t.
IoN has a great foundation and a ton of potential but if you want to get players back and want to keep players around you need to seriously consider these recommendations and listen to your player base.