I am writing this post to help garry prevent unneeded backlash somewhere down the road. Online communities are not what they used to be, see the diablo 3 fiasco(back charged credit cards, petitions etc. I believe this is an important warning that the dev team may be overlooking. *
It is my opinion that it should be a top priority to remove them. When you open up access to a game, even with disclaimers as to your direction, you are setting expectations as to the purchased product. This is a huge issue with early access in general, but that’s an entirely different discussion. Military weapons(with no offense meant to those who are for them) attract an entirely different type of player than those who play a game with makeshift weaponry. It’s extremely evident in the controversy nearly any post about this tends to garner. The durability change responses are also an indication of this. It is not a good decision to let such a massive gameplay influence exist for an extended period of time. The earlier we pull of the bandaid the less intense the backlash will become.
Look, I love the core idea of the game. Drop on an island, and live. But, the difference between living with pipe shotguns, and with m4s and kevlar is immense. The abundance of high tier resources warps everything in a survival game. Meaningful feedback, in regards to the core design, is polluted. Yes, you can tell people, “you know those 5 m4s you have in those crates? Well, we might possibly kind of make them hard to get or not at all or something…” However, that little written warning takes a backseat in nearly every players mind while they begin to develop an attachment to what feels like a core element of gameplay.
To summarize, either way is fine. The game would work with them. But clarity in both communication and actual gameplay needs to be established. You’ve got a working environment, stop working on skyboxes and get your core story and gameplay established with all of your paying, and soon to be paying customers so that they have proper expectations being set. The online community is far to easily riled up these days to let such a risk linger around your excellent piece of work.