Start buying the supplies from dominos and the local convenience store, Rockstar just announced a world of updates for GTA Online. Earlier today, Rockstar decided they were going to either piss off a lot of fans or line their pockets even more. Announcing that GTA V Online was going to experience plenty of problems on release as they are “literally overwhelmed in the case of some of our servers!” Also announcing that they will be including micro transactions through the Xbox Live & PSN store for GTA Online.
Rockstar announced that they are planning a “a constant stream of new content, tweaks and updates in the weeks and months ahead.” This hopefully means that GTA Online is going to be a persistent thing in the coming months and hopefully, years. The addition of online play to Grand Theft Auto in this style will be something that rocks the foundations of multiplayer gaming. Not only can you invite up to 16 friends into the same “lobby” as you, you as a player directly affect the outcome of the world that you are in while you are playing. You can control the stock markets, engage in combat with others, do missions, heists, buy cars. Everything you should be able to do in a free roaming online world, you pretty much can. Rockstar is asking for plenty of feedback in the next few months as apparently they didn’t anticipate this much activity to be hitting their servers despite predicting $1 billion in sales and to sell 25 million units total in the coming year. It seems that Rockstar has their ear to the crowd and are deeply involved with the community on this one.
Following up on my previous article from the other day, it looks like Reddit user 1880’s predictions and findings were true, there will truly be a micro transaction system for the Xbox live and PSN network available for GTA Online. Now this won’t necessarily be a terrible thing, but it might affect the gameplay in unorthodox ways that it shouldn’t. If say, you were to queue into an open lobby with 15 other strangers that you don’t know instead of playing with your friends, and someone has spent their allowance for the week, who’s to say where the advantage lies? There could be some serious underlying issues with these options to buy in game money with real life money, these problems are very relevant to what has recently happened to Diablo 3 and the Real Money Auction House. Of course, it’s just a video game and you can choose to play with your friends and potentially make a rule that none of them can spend money and half to earn it all instead, but seriously where is the fun in just buying things in game that you could spend time working for? It just doesn’t make sense and feels very alien to see a cash shop available in a Rockstar game, the real question is of the integrity of the cash shop and if the $1 billion they made in sales in three days wasn’t enough, or they just want to offer a better experience.
Rockstar had this to say on the micro transactions:
Reputation and Cash Flow: Reputation is earned from all your online exploits in everything you do in GTA Online – and will help you rank up, providing access to new features, weapons and criminal contacts. Spend cash you’ve gained on cars, clothes, guns, properties and much more. You can either quickly accumulate cash through profitable activities like knocking over armored cars, winning street races, doing stick-ups or a host of other cash-making endeavors – or if you’re the completely instant gratification type, you can choose to buy denominations of GTA$. You will have the option to purchase GTA$ through the in-game Store. The game and its economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash. There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game. You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker. The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other. Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode.
A smart decision on their part to make everything available and not offer any exclusives via the cash shop, but no matter what they say, micro transactions may help a game, but it still promotes an overall attitude that they are “okay”. (Let’s not give EA any more ideas please?)
Open-World Crime and Chaos: Go on your own or round up your friends to explore the open world together – catch a movie, go mountain biking, hit the shooting range and much more. Want to test the law? Knock over a convenience store, take down a gang or rob an armored truck for easy cash and Reputation.
GTA Online is supposed to sport a wide variety of activities to do with your friends, whether it be doing jobs as a criminal and smuggling goods, racing, deathmatches, casino and horse track gambling and an eventual plan to release a content creator pack that allows players to create their own deathmatches & races. This could redefine the way that online play is looked at and created, with the multitude of options available and no end in sight for anything that you can come up with on your own creativity. GTA Online is scheduled to hit on October 1st, and even though Rockstar is anticipating plenty of problems and growing pains as it is released, this could be one of the coolest things to ever come to a GTA series to date.
The addition of jobs and different ways to customize your character allows you to almost live a virtual life within the confines of the recreated Los Santos. There are going to be almost no limits to what you can do as a player and there should be a vast majority of ways to grow as a character and with that, grow the world around you. The game will be hosted on servers of 16 people at a time, allowing you to create a massive lobby and run rampant around Los Santos as you all see fit, no matter what you do. There are so many possibilities for this new and exciting way to play Grand Theft Auto, it will certainly go down in Rockstar history. All updates and features have been announced as free and will continue to be free, at least Rockstar hasn’t learned anything from EA.