Hi all, new to the forum and would like to give my thoughts on my GTA online experience so far.
I was one of the unlucky few who suffered character deletion (four times!) and this was very frustrating, but I appreciate how much of an ambitious project GTA online is, and the first weeks were always going to be rocky.
I am now level 19 with my fifth character, and following R*'s advice and with the new patch the character deletion problem seems to be over.
I am one of the players who is mostly in passive mode in freemode because I have absolutely no interest in killing or being killed randomly, except when necessary (deathmatches in particular are great fun) - and to be honest I don't understand why some people find it fun to ruin other peoples online experiences. Part of the fun of freemode is meeting new players to work together and/or compete with.
I think the bad sport system is a good way to discourage people from trolling in freemode and to play it as it was intended, although it does need tweaking.
Secondly, I see a lot of people who like to "farm" or try to level and earn money as quickly and efficiently as possible - I understand the sense of achievement from this, but I feel anyone who does this is really wasting this amazing experience by turning it into a chore, rather than something that is fun. I am level 19 already and have nearly enough for a top quality apartment after just a couple of days - just by doing random jobs, trying new things and having fun with friends - I really don't think GTA online requires you to do the same mission over and over, because the money and levelling seem to come naturally.
Thirdly, I see mixed opinions about the benefits of micro-transactions on here. It is important to remember that in order for R* to have the resources to improve GTA online, it needs to make money. DLC is one way, but micro-transactions is another. Working for your money in game is one thing - but real money is the only way to make the game really go forward and so anyone who uses micro-transactions is doing more for the online community than someone who doesn't - it's something I might consider once GTA online releases new ways to spend money.
Finally I would like to urge you all to be patient with R* - because the best is yet to come. This was not intended to be a typical online game with a shelf life of just a few months, it is an ambitious long-term project which will have increasing amounts of content for as long as the community keeps it alive. We have a fantastic online world here, be patient & contribute and we will all reap the rewards in the end.
Thanks for reading to anyone who did.