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  • A general one, not necessarily coming from but heavily inspired by Call of Duty (due to the popularity of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare), is the prevalence of "aim down sights" (ADS). Early FPS games did not have any sort of aiming mechanism, your gun just fired wherever you pointed it. Typically the gun was oriented directly within the character's line of sight but as time went on it became more sensible to hold the weapon off to an angle for logical and aesthetic reasons. As more modern FPS games began to rise, the realization set in that firing from this position would be inaccurate in a real firefight, so bullet spread was added to be more realistic and it was compensated for by adding the ability to bring the sights to your character's eye level, emulating a shouldered position. This also typically made foot speed movement slower as well so it changed the pace of these games to being more about locating enemies quickly then snapping to ADS mode and gunning them down instead of using mobility and agility to out-strafe a foe while returning fire in motion. The Fackler Scale of FPS Realism has more details.
  • Modern Warfare and any later Call of Duty:
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    • Any game with Create-a-Class: Pick any weapon. Any weapon. Go on. Now pick any attachment. Now pick any set of perks. Now pick any killstreak reward. Chances are, no matter which ones you just picked, someone hates your guts now, and you're a total n00b.
    • The nigh-universally detested M203 grenade launcher, dubbed the "noob tube", has, since its inception, been deemed annoying and unfair by both casual players and "Stop Having Fun" Guys everywhere. That doesn't stop it from being used all the time, however. Later games had to add multiple caveats to try and tone down their use (making them unlock later, not letting you combine it with other attachments, not able to resupply grenades with Scavenger, removing the ability to resupply at all from kills with grenades) before they finally gave up and removed the attachment entirely in Black Ops III.
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    • The same can be said for the tactical knife, with the perks Marathon (which lets you sprint forever) and Lightweight (which makes you move slightly faster) from Modern Warfare 2 on.
    • Miracle of Sound made the song "Second Chance" about his favorite bugbear. To elaborate, Second Chance (called Last Stand in earlier games) makes it so that instead of dying, your character gets incapacitated, reducing your mobility and limiting you to using your pistol. The fact that your character is lying down when this effect activates makes it hard for players to aim at you, so often players will "win" a fight only for the other player to have Second Chance and finish them off. Downed players can also be revived by teammates, but the perk is so hated that some players refuse to help them even though they get some experience points for a revival.
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    • The most reviled perk from the first Modern Warfare was undoubtedly Martyrdom, which caused a player to automatically drop a live grenade as they die, most likely taking the attacker with them. Much like the M203 above, it was extremely overused by less skilled players as a way to ensure a lot of cheap kills, to the point of Grenade Spam. Infinity Ward tried to balance it in Modern Warfare 2 and 3 by turning it into a "deathstreak" that only activates after the player dies many times without scoring a kill, preventing it from being used to "chain" kills (on top of making it a somewhat-later unlock than it was in 4), but dropped it entirely with Call of Duty: Ghosts; Treyarch dropped it faster, as when World at War's overall decreased grenade damage didn't gain the perk any more acceptance, it didn't appear at all in Call of Duty: Black Ops or its sequel.
    • Skill-based matchmaking in the multiplayer of Black Ops III. Unlike in earlier games this system was used in, BOIII changed the mechanics of how skill-based matchmaking works. After a lobby forms based on the connections of the players in the lobby, the skill-based matchmaking kicks in and attempts to balance the teams so a mix of skilled and unskilled players will be on each team. Unfortunately, the system ends up deciding to stick the best player on a team that has the majority of the newbie/poor players and makes them face the opposing team full of average to good players. While it is still possible for the best player in the lobby to do well, they will often have little to no support from their team due to their lack of skill. If you're a really good player, be prepared to carry your teams almost every single match and lose a lot if you're playing solo in team modes.
    • C4 since Call of Duty 4 has had the ability to be quickly triggered, without having to use the detonator, by double-tapping the action button when holding your regular weapon. In almost every game since, where C4 is treated as "lethal equipment" (i.e. you carry C4 instead of grenades and toss/detonate it with the grenade button, instead of having separate caches of both), this results in everyone using it as a better substitute for grenades or the similar Semtex, with its shorter throwing range seen as a negligible price to pay for detonation exactly where and when the user wants (often over short walls in contested areas), on top of slightly better explosive range than a grenade. Black Ops III, in turn, has made this both better and worse - there's now a HUD element telling you when an enemy is within the blast range, but now it doesn't actually arm until a short time after actually landing on a surface.
  • The buggy in Half-Life 2. Both vehicles were difficult to control, but the buggy had you picking your way over a winding, debris-choked coastal road with it. The mounted gun, while not terrible, was much less powerful and satisfying than the airboat's rapid-fire death cannon. The tau cannon also feels a lot less powerful than it was in the first game, especially when it takes a second or two of concentrated fire to take out just one antlion or Combine soldier. There is also the factor for players who came to the Half-Life franchise via 2, as they have no idea that they can charge the Tau Cannon by pressing and holding the Secondary Fire button for a stronger blast (which has its own problems).
  • Team Fortress 2 began to add alternate weapons to the mix well into its life cycle, which was a severely controversial for quite some time. Since then, virtually every attempt that Valve made to change the game resulted in an outcry that it had been ruined from one or more groups of players.
    • One group considered the game to be extremely well-balanced the way it was, and so any inclusion of new weapons was challenged as a threat.
    • Random critical hits have been this for a long time; when the devs first began adding community-made weapons to the game, "no random crits" was the first listed drawback (if not the only one, which it usually was) of damn near every single one of them. Even today people constantly complain about random critical hits on the forums, and unless you specifically play on official Valve servers you almost never see one that allows them.
    • When the Gold Rush update came out and included new weapons for the Medic, there was an outcry because A) getting all the weapons required getting all of the related achievements, B) many of those achievements were very counter-productive to your team's effort, and C) several of them required either a co-operative ally or enemy to perform. The result was that players were deliberately ignoring team goals to focus on individual ones, causing much gnashing of teeth. People quickly formed servers to set up the contrived scenarios required to get the achievements quickly, which were vulnerable to griefers and attracted hate for players not earning the guns "legitimately."
    • Valve, recognizing this, was generally better about releasing the weapons for new classes by lowering the achievement requirements and putting them in line with what the class was actually supposed to be doing. However, they would often time these releases to coincide with one of their "Free Weekends," which caused more moaning as new players would jump into games that were jammed with everyone playing the same class, conclude the game was boring, and quit.
    • Valve again changed the mechanic to a random drop system, to prevent everyone from jumping on the same class. This led people to complain that they were playing hours upon hours of games and unlocking nothing vs. people who jumped right in and were picking things up every 5 minutes.
    • Valve again changed the mechanic (are we sensing a theme?), that the rate of drops was increased, but players can "craft" weapons and cosmetic rewards (namely hats) to build the weapons you want. However, there's still a random element even if you have all the "materials" - the most specific you can get with it is a token to force the result into one of the three weapon slots - which makes players crazy as they still just want one and usually get the other.
    • The "Mannconomy"/Polycount update added gear sets that provided special bonus for wearing all the parts (the most hated being the sniper becoming immune to headshots) and allowing players to buy most of the equipment in the game, including the Bragging Rights Reward hats, opening a fresh can of worms.
      • As of the July 10, 2013 patch, set bonuses have been taken out, with the effects of the less-contentious ones being merged into the weapons that were part of the set. Sets are still implemented in the game, but most of them now simply leave small tombstones on the site of killed victims, being a cosmetic effect more than anything.
    • Also in the "Mannconomy" was the addition of crates and keys. With the random drop system, sometimes you will receive a crate instead of a weapon (or paint/name tag/hat). You need a key to get what's inside the crate, but these keys have to be bought with real money! And when you do open the crate you may get a hat, or a very rare unusual hat... but more likely to get a regular weapon that could have been dropped instead of the crate to begin with! And you also run the risk of getting a weapon you already have, essentially wasting the money you spent to buy a key. Exhaustively depicted in this VG Cats comic. This is all thankfully mitigated by making crates drop on a separate timer from your regular weapons, meaning you still get 11 free items a week regardless of how many crates you do and don't pay for.
      • Let's just say, anything regarding the Mann-items: even if it's aesthetic, some people have pointed out the Double Standard that this would not be tolerated in other games, because Team Fortress 2 is a free to play game.
    • The Manniversary update. You know those items you bought with real money at the Mann store? Good news, they no longer have the untradeable penalty! The bad news, you can't use them for crafting. Scammers took note of this and started trading these useless items for craftable items. Very frustrating because Valve did not notify anybody before hand and unlike item qualities, you're only aware of their uncraftable nature by hovering your mouse over them. So the next time you enter a trade, please (PLEASE) double check the items the other side is offering so you don't become a victim.
    • The Gun Mettle and Tough Break updates offered the chance to buy a pass that enabled the player to complete contracts (performing certain actions, like playing as a particular class or using a designated weapon) to get the newly-introduced decorated weapons. The problem is that the majority of the time, turning in a contract doesn't get you a weapon — it gets you a "case", which is an event-related crate. Meaning that despite already having paid for the pass to access the contracts, you have to shell out another couple bucks to buy a key to get your actual reward!
    • Autobalance. So you're on the attacking team. You finally destroyed that sentry nest and your team is closing in on the victory! Awesome! Except a Scout managed to sneak behind you when you didn't notice and killed you in two shots. No biggie, you'll just miss out on Humi- You have been switched to the other team for game balance. Now you're on the team you just helped destroy. Great.
      • Autobalance was finally removed in the Meet Your Match update. While this did fix this problem at first glance, it also created another problem - rampant team stacking and unbalanced teams. Valve attempted to fix this by giving players the option to "volunteer" to switch to the team with fewer players in exchange for more XP at the end of the match. However, this wasn't enough to fix the issue. In the Blue Moon update, autobalance was brought back in a modified way; the game would randomly choose select players on the larger team to volunteer if teams are imbalanced, and if nobody chooses to switch, the game will randomly autobalance one of them.
    • The Meet Your Match update completely revamped the quickplay mode into "casual" and "competitive" modes, with competitive being 6v6 and penalizing people who quit during the match. Unfortunately, this same penalty also was in casual mode as well, unfairly punishing normal players who ended up in laggy/unbalanced games or had to leave the match for other reasons. In addition, a bug in the server finder caused people to wait for 20+ minutes just to get into matches, and the menu didn't allow you to choose specific maps that you wanted to play on. Valve quickly removed the casual penalty, allowed players to choose the maps and gamemodes they wanted, and improved the matchmaking servers.
  • Per-round perma-death in the original Counter-Strike. CS requires a thorough familiarity with the guns, stages, and teammates in order to achieve anything like a lot of other shooters; in other shooters, this isn't so bad because you could learn while playing, and death didn't permanently kick you out of the game for that round, so you could just pick up where you left off and continue playing until you learned the map and character you were playing. In CS, this wasn't an option. Pick a map, then pick a gun. Now go survey the area, and when you get sniped in 5 seconds from 1000 yards away by someone in clan X, know that you are out of the game until the next round begins, however long that may be. When the next round starts, rinse, repeat. Over an hour long series of games, it would be quite possible (and not even unusual) for new people to only get maybe a minute of actual game play time in, due to regular players ruthlessly killing them. Made worse when "Stop Having Fun" Guys would berate new and inexperienced players to learn the game, and get some skills, which as above usually wasn't happening. If you weren't a) hosting a CS server/LAN game with friends, or b) taken into a clan that actually ran scrimmages and taught you how to play, the game was ridiculously difficult to learn, to the point where a majority of the people playing at all have been playing since the original Half-Life mod version, and many who try to jump in later either decide it's not worth it and quit immediately, or stick to unofficial modes where players can respawn or where killing isn't even the focus.
    • Source and Global Offensive help with the addition of offline practice with bots; additionally, in the chance that you still die before the round ends, Global Offensive allows you to assume control of one of the bots on your team and continue from there. Global Offensive also added matchmaking ranks for competitive mode, to attempt to keep all the players in a match on similar skill level.
  • SWAT 4 with the Unauthorized Use of Lethal Force penalty. This comes to bite in anything above normal difficulty, since you are forced to keep perps alive and that means you have 4 options: the beanbag shotgun, which has limited ammo, and armored criminals takes a few more rounds before crying uncle; CS/Pepper rifle/Spray, which while effective against unprotected mooks, does jack against a mook with gas mask, even though if they hit another player in multiplayer, they can only move at a crawl, even if they are wearing a gas mask (the advertised "half duration on peppers" doesn't really help that much); and flash and sting grenades, which are not very useful when in huge rooms. And most mooks didn't graduate from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, which means by the time you demand compliance, the enemy will either instantly shoot you first or fake it then shoot you.
  • The gun degradation in System Shock 2. In theory it helps enhance the survival horror feel of the game, since you have more than simply a lack of ammo to worry about, not to mention the rechargeable energy weapons would effectively have unlimited shots otherwise, and the effect could be alleviated with certain upgrades and a mixture of melee combat. In practice, it inspired so much aggravation that the game's creators gave you the option of toning it down in a patch. One dev did note that the weapon degradation rate was set much higher than the developers intended, that somehow got missed in playtesting the final version.
    • What made it so bad was how rapidly the degradation occurred. You could fire a single magazine of bullets from a perfectly-maintained gun and go down several levels, and since maintenance levels maxed out at only 10, and your gun jammed more often the lower it went in level, you could end up with a nearly useless weapon after firing a handful of mags. Often players would literally count bullets, going so far as reloading a save if they wasted even a single shot, since while ammo availability may not warrant such extreme tactics, the wear and tear on the guns did.
    • Gun degradation in a number of later similar FPS/RPG hybrids has always been a point of contention, because of both the absurd rate of decay (Far Cry 2's USAS-12 visibly corrodes with every single shell you put through it) and the fact that almost none of them give you any decent options to actually maintain your weapons - the best you can hope for is the ability to go to certain merchants and pay them an exorbitant amount of money to repair your weapon up to maybe half its maximum durability, if you're lucky.
  • Halo:
    • The ability to be an Elite in Halo 2 and Halo 3. In 2 it made you a bigger target due to the larger hitbox. People complained. In 3, Bungie fixed it and gave them the exact same hitbox as a Spartan. What happened? People complained! This was exacerbated by the fact that the Elite design was changed to a slouched posture, meaning their heads were in front of their bodies instead of on top. This made them effectively immune to headshots from behind, making the complaints a little more understandable. They resumed an upright posture in Halo: Reach, but got different gameplay properties compared to Spartans, which would have been even more unbalanced in straightforward multiplayer. Therefore, playing as an Elite in multiplayer was restricted to a single 'Spartans vs. Elites' playlist where teams swapped back and forth to keep it fair - a playlist which ended up with the lowest population and the least attention from Bungie's matchmaking updates.
    • Killing a civilian in Reach instantly kills the player. Implementing this is understandable, but as with any game that includes such a Hostage Spirit Link, civilians love to get in the way of your shots, and enemies holding them become very difficult to shoot. Bungie softened this by giving civilians lots of health, but they're still susceptible to headshots.
    • A more specialized example from Halo 4: the Iron Skull adds an interesting twist to the game where in cooperative campaign mode, any of the players dying causes the whole team to go back to the previous checkpoint. This brings an increased difficulty level requiring teammates to work together, which is great until the segment where everyone must escape in vehicles through a collapsing terrain. The game initiates the narrowing of tunnels as soon as the first person passes an invisible trigger, making it nearly impossible for the second player to make it through (let alone the third and fourth).
  • Advent Rising had a brand-new 'innovation' packed into the controls called 'flick targeting' - you thumb the right analogue in the direction of an enemy and would then automatically target that enemy, also automatically aligning the camera with that enemy. While it sounded fine on paper, it didn't work out very well in practice. The problem was that the right analogue, as is essentially industry standard, also operated the camera, and thus your movement facing. 'Flick-targeting' was also wildly oversensitive - with no way to lower the sensitivity or shut it off - meaning that touching the right analogue for any reason - such as, for example, attempting to turn - would, if any enemy was at any range, completely flip your camera in the direction of that enemy, snapping your facing and movement control often 180 degrees. Thankfully it's not nearly as bad in the PC version, as the keyboard and mouse setup makes it much easier to deal with.
  • The melee fatigue mechanic in Left 4 Dead 2. It was patched into VS and Survival mode in the first game in order to keep the balance in VS and prevent people from getting medals too easily in Survival. This was fine, but the sequel has it in every mode, including campaign. This was most likely done to encourage players to use melee weapons, but many still hate the mechanic when you have to get away from zombies and melee shoving is just faster, or worse, you don't have melee weapons with you. Adrenaline shots get rid of the fatigue for a bit, but many choose to save it for more important scenarios.
    • The respawn mechanic when playing as the infected in VS mode. The less players there are in the infected team, the more quickly you can get back to spawning. If there is a full team on the infected side, every death you suffer forces you to wait up to 30 seconds just to get back to playing plus the 10 seconds spent watching your zombie ragdoll upon death before that. Not only is this annoying for everyone since you are forced to watch the survivor team blaze through the map until your timer is finished, but if everyone on the zombie team gets killed at the same time, it gives the survivors just enough time to recover and press on. Of course, this is a double-edged sword, as having fewer players means that the computer-controlled Special Infected turn the "Special" into a Meaningful Name.
  • The "Defend the X" missions in Onslaught. Just about everything else is good, it's just that they put in way too many of them into the game.
  • Unified Ammo in Deus Ex: Invisible War — which made it so all weapons drew from the same ammo pool — attracted a huge amount of hate. It's appeared in other games before and since, but the hate for it in this case was partially because the wide variety of custom ammo types and ammo management was a major part of the first game, and partially because your total ammo limit seems to be designed to only sustain one gun at a time rather than three or four.
  • The lack of a Hyperspace Arsenal in Duke Nukem Forever was just one of the many complaints against the game, especially considering its predecessor's wide range of cool weapons. Goes double since you also can carry, at most, four magazines' worth of ammo for any weapon, thus necessitating ammo boxes in every area where you can find a weapon other than the shotgun and/or need to stick around killing things for more than five seconds, and on top of that there's an achievement for keeping Duke's custom pistol with you for the whole game, which is about as effective as any video game pistol and is only even notable because of its gold-plated slide. A patch for the PC version eventually gave you the option to double the amount of available weapon slots.
    • This is a problem that occurs with many modern first-person shooters. While Limited Loadout can be justified for realism purposes, in many cases, it seems like 90% of first person shooters are simply taking a leaf from Halo or Call of Duty's books. Some more recent games where the pistol is not a near-useless emergency weapon (e.g. James Bond games and his association with Walther Arms products) try to alleviate this by giving a dedicated pistol slot, while allowing for two heavier weapons.
  • Doom 3 implements a system wherein you cannot hold your weapon and a flashlight at the same time, forcing you to press a button to switch between them. Ostensibly, this was probably done to increase the tension and to make the player balance their play style between having their weapon ready to go in case enemies show up, and having their light out to better see pickups and their surroundings. In practice, aside from going above and beyond players' Willing Suspension of Disbelief (would guns from 150 years in the future really not come included with something as rudimentary as a mounted flashlight when almost anything in the modern day can take one?), it was received by many as wounding the game's fun factor: many areas are almost unplayably dark without the flashlight, and combined with the torrents of enemies you'll be facing, this balancing mechanic actually unbalanced the game quite terribly. The flashlight didn't even make a very good club in a pinch, either, being only a little more powerful than your fists as a tradeoff for being slower and (at least on PC) with less range. Fortunately, there was hope: the BFG Edition completely retooled the mechanic so that you can use a gun and light the way at the same time. Not to mention as well that every other Game Mod for the game, such as the famous "Duct Tape" one released within a week of the game first coming out, attaches lights to your guns, and the Sikkmod graphics overhaul adds a headlamp and Night-Vision Gogglesnote  to your gear set.
  • Flash bangs in PAYDAY 2 are massively annoying. Rather than having cops throw the flash bang at you, it randomly spawns out of thin air and makes you blind and deaf so that you can't see or hear where the enemies are. There are times where you can actually see the flash bang spawn and possibly look away quickly to lessen the effects, but nine times out of ten, you're gonna go blind. While the rate of flash bangs seem somewhat random, a dev went on to say that flash bangs spawn more if players are camping so that they can get flushed out. The problem with that is camping is sometimes required if you wish to survive because the cops can do a ton of damage to you if you're exposed for too long. There's a skill that lets you reduce the duration of a flash bang's effect on you, but it's a bit far up in the Enforcer skill tree, meaning you'll have to waste many precious skill points in abilities you don't want just to get to a skill that's actually helpful. To make matters worse, the developers believed flash bangs weren't crippling enough, so they made a patch where the duration lasts several seconds longer than it used to.
    • The "camping" justification was largely salt in the wound to many players, given that the game is PvE and so you have no player to be annoyed at for camping, save extremely rare situations when someone is deliberately holding the game up by refusing to head to the exit (easily fixed with a kick). More importantly, many Youtubers have proven you can get flashbanged even while moving. Oh, and many heists have static objectives like waiting for drills while defending them from police, which makes "no camping" seem particularly questionable at best, and actively missing the point of their own game at worst.
    • In a related point, in that it involves thrown explosives - the players' grenades can be shot out of the air. The cops can't do it deliberately, but if you try to toss one into a group of enemies as they're shooting at you it's very likely to happen. This is especially annoying considering that a grenade going off that close to you will knock out your armor no matter what you're wearing, and that it will not only kill any hostages who may be around you, but also damage any of your teammates about as badly as it does you since explosives ignore the normal Friendly Fireproof rules. Incidentally, however, flashbangs have become more-accepted now that the players can use them as of Hoxton's Housewarming Party (aka Crimefest 2016), especially in light of an even harder difficulty than Death Wish being added - a grenade would be shrugged off by the unrealistically-tough "Zeal Team" of Death Sentence difficulty, but a flashbang will mess them up just as much as it would regular cops on Normal difficulty, allowing more time to make your own shots count or getting to better cover without getting shredded in half a second. Part of it too may be the ability to give the cops a taste of their own annoying medicine. It also helps that player flashbangs don't have as wide a radius for effecting other players even if it gets shot out of the air right in front of you, and while their deafening effects are almost as bad as enemy flashbangs if you get caught in that radius, the visual effects are almost nonexistent.
    • A later update lessened the annoyance of enemy flashbangs by giving them a noticeable delay before detonating and having them beep with a bright red light for the entirety of that delay, so a player can actually see and make an attempt to avoid them instead of just assuming any attempt at firing back on the police will immediately wreck their eyesight. Unfortunately, the red flashing and unfamiliar beeping of a thrown flashbang will often draw attention to them, resulting in less-experienced players getting flashbanged even more because they're looking for the source of the beeping and wind up staring directly at exploding flashbangs instead of turning away from them. Concurrent is the ability to destroy the flashbangs before they detonate, the same as enemies are able to do to the player's grenades, which is a mixed blessing because it also means even experienced players will sometimes look for the flashbangs to try and intercept them, and end up blinding themselves because it spawned under a pile of corpses they can't shoot or melee it through. At least the Enforcer skill to reduce the effects of flashbangs was also moved down to one of the tree's opening skills.
    • On that subject, another annoying mechanic was the complete inability to shoot through AI teammates. As far as penetration goes, the game only lets you shoot through enemies with dedicated armor-piercing weapons or ammo types - sniper rifles, shotguns with slugs, or other weapons identified as able to pierce armor. One part of the problem with this is that it applied to corpses, discarded helmets, and NPCs in general as well, such as in the above instance where a flashbang is tossed under a pile of corpses and completely untouchable. What actually made this a problem is the dual facts that A) AI-controlled teammates were under the same rules as NPCs (bullets will simply phase through human players and hit what you were actually trying to shoot at), and B) because of this, AI-controlled teammates only know one place to possibly move to when trying to hunker down - directly in front of you so you can't shoot anyone. This was somewhat mitigated when the ability to tell AI teammates to hold in one place was added, but it was still a mixed bag due to the difficulty of herding them into specific spots that aren't directly in your line of fire. When a much later update finally changed it so bullets phase through AI teammates the same as human ones, the fact that the change went completely unmentioned in the patch log lead those who even noticed it to assume it was a bug.
  • In PlanetSide 2, Engineers can place anti-tank mines in front of enemy vehicle spawn points. The next time some schmuck tries to buy a vehicle, it will spawn the vehicle and teleport him in, then autodrive itself to its doom at the end of the driveway, running over the tank mines in the process. It's annoying but avoidable in most bases where one can simply walk around the vehicle terminal to check the driveway, but many bases on Esamir and Hossin have the vehicle spawn point effectively 100 meters away or further from the terminal, or outright require the player to jump off a cliff or other point-of-no-return areas to check for mines, redeploy/commit suicide, then buy the vehicle.
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