Yes, because 500 unique missions is a realistic aim for a launch title. No offence OP, but I'm pretty sure you set your expectations way too high.
Actually I don’t think 500 would’ve been impossible considering a) how many missions have been in GTA games over the years and b) how frequently GTA Online recycles mission ideas. (Note however the distinction between “What you expect” and “What you consider possible” and well if players believe unrealistic claims then IMO the majority of the blame still lies with the developer for making them.)
Gerald has about 9 variants of “Go here, retrieve drugs”.
Simeon has about 10 variants of “Go here, retrieve car”.
Lamar has about 6 variants of “Go here, retrieve tanker”.
(“Go here, retrieve trailer”, “Go here, retrieve boat”, “Go here, kill target, photo target”, “Go here with heli, retrieve container” all occur multiple times too).
So if they’re comfortable using the same mission idea 6-10 times then for 500 all they’d need to do is look through their back-catalogue and find what.. 60 base missions to copy. That sounds like a lot but it’s less than a standard GTA game and they have a big pool to pick from.
GTA3 had 73 missions
GTA:VC had 74 missions
GTA:SA had 114 missions
GTAIV had 87 missions
GTA:TLaD had 32 missions
GTA:TBoGT had 31 missions
GTAV had 122 missions
Though what exactly qualifies as a mission here is subject to debate and certainly a lot of plot missions or minigame missions wouldn’t work so consider this a rough estimate. (There’s also GTA, GTA London, GTA2, GTA:LCS, GTA:VCS & GTA:CW but I was just counting the 3D-era “main” titles)
Still each of the full games has 70+ base missions and with mission recycling GTAO would only need about 60. Buut if you say mission recycling isn’t the right way to go about things then GTAO has already failed. Discounting “cloned” missions (the same mission just in a different location) leaves GTAO only having about 50 different missions and some of them are clearly half-baked. (~91 missions to start with so there are LOTS of doubled up missions). Also if you claim you’ll have 500 missions but you only have 400 then that isn’t so bad... when you claim to have 500 but you only have 91 or even 50 then that really is. (I don’t think 100-200 missions would’ve be unrealistic, considering how copy-pasted some of the missions are).
Basically GTAO has considerably less mission content than a standard GTA game, whilst aiming for a much larger scope and a much longer lifetime.
You see, I'm pretty much your opposite. I get a kick out of trying to figure out how people are okay with such low expectations.
Realistic =/= low.
You have to remember, this is a whole new thing for RS. Hell, other than APB (which was a tremendous failure on a lot of fronts), this is a whole new thing for the genre. The fact that they had the balls to do it impresses me by itself tbh.
If you think about previous GTA games, each one has effectively kept the same basic forumla for the majority of missions - go there, steal that, kill that, go home - so it's no surprise to me that the majority of the online missions are exactly the same, because the formula is exactly the same in GTAV. If the whole 3 protag thing didn't happen in GTAV, it would effectively be bringing nothing new to the table at all.
On the subject of innovation - how many games in recent years have truly been innovative, and how have they gone in the market, and how many have been from big devs/publishers? I can think of games like Mirror's Edge, Alpha Protocol, the first Assassins Creed, Portal, maybe the STALKER games, that were true innovators for different reasons. If you look at those games, all but maybe one or two of them were massive flops.
RS aren't really the type of company, and GTA isn't really the type of franchise, that they can take chances like that, not for a game launch anyway. I can see them adding innovative stuff down the track, but that's wholly dependent on the data they'll be getting from the way we're playing, and how much of the commmunity sticks around after the first couple of DLC packs.
So yeah, my expectations weren't low - they were just realistic.
Uhhh what? GTA3 was an innovative game, it’s largely responsible for the Sandbox genre and hundreds of games have been influenced by it. (Note that popularizing an idea is just as important as being the origin of an idea). Sure Rockstar have rested on their laurels a lot since then, but still Saint’s Row, Just Cause, Prototype, Infamous, Assassin’s Creed & Sleeping Dogs probably wouldn’t be the same without GTA3.
Actually do you know what the word innovative even means? I’ll grant that the games you’re mentioning have something unique or unusual about them, but I wouldn’t say they illustrated new ideas or new values.
Mirror’s Edge – Unique art style and pairing up platforming + first person is unusual... largely because it’s a terrible terrible idea. You could possibly arguing that pushing for pacifism is unique too but it doesn’t follow it the whole way and other games have done it better.
Alpha Protocol – More like a re-tread of old ideas (branching paths) than something new and really the game feels like a failed experiment anyway.
Assassin’s Creed – Crusade-era Jerusalem was an interesting and different setting, but it falls apart completely with all that animus rubbish and Desmond “Personality-Vacuum” Miles. Also it seems like the only semi-new idea the game brought to the table was basically “auto-platforming”.
Portal – Interesting and unique mechanic, plus it is a game the skews a number of conventions. I have trouble pin-pointing anything particularly innovative about it, but there are some obvious Portal clones around so maybe it counts. Maybe we can count the idea of an omnipresent blabbermouth antagonist to compensate for a mute protagonist?
Haven’t played Stalker so I can’t comment on that one.
(The games industry does have serious problems with lack of innovation and stagnation but calling the games you mentioned flops is simply wrong. Portal was a huge success, Assassin’s Creed is now a massive series and Stalker ALSO seems to be going strong. Mirror’s Edge and Alpha Protocol flopped but I think that was due to problems with the games rather than them being too new or too different)
Now if I had to nominate semi-recent innovative games...
Minecraft (proving that graphics aren’t the be-all, end-all of games),
CoD4 (yes the series has been on endless repeat ever since then but still I think killstreaks and perks were interesting ideas and it’s done a lot to popularize online multiplayer),
Canabalt (proving one-button games can be fun and engaging, even if it can trace its origins to the helicopter game),
Dark Souls/Demon’s Souls (proving the value of brutal combat, along with interesting if not fully developed multiplayer),
MOBAs in general (whole genre exploded nearly overnight)
F2P, Episodic and Kickstart models (obviously not games and sure they have their own teething problems but they’re new ideas which can lead to different types of games)
Planetside 2 (the MMOFPS has been the Holy Grail of games for a long time and PS2 is the closest the industry has gotten. Yes it’s just doing the same thing on a different scale, but that in itself presents new challenges and opportunities.)
I’d also say the character switching mechanic of GTAV was pretty innovative too. Sure similar mechanics have been around for a long time (I remember something similar in BF2:MC or more recently you can think of Driver:SF) but GTAV shows some new and interesting ways to use the mechanic.
Incidentally I’d also say that the problem of weak innovation in the gaming industry isn’t because nobody can come up with ideas, it’s because one guy comes up with an idea and 50,000 people rush to copy it.
Is it really that hard to put the controller down? The amount of people on here saying they don't like "this" or "that" about the game is staggering.
Good, great, grand, you REALLY can't just stop playing without having to bitch about it on a forum? Really? You really just can't wait till announcements? You just HAVE to bitch?
Criticism =/= Bitching.
Seriously most of the OP’s complaints are pretty reasonable and surely it’s okay to talk about the faults of a work-in-progress game which actively solicits feedback from its players.
Liking the game is fine, but getting needlessly defensive about valid complaints is just dumb.
The game WOULD be better with customizable apartments.
The game WOULD be better with more missions and more varied missions.
The game WOULD be better with tweaked ‘request job’ options.
The game WOULD be better with some rethinking of the bad-sport and passive-mode systems (but IMO a lot of the bad sport complaints are blown out of proportion).
The only problem here is that “horrible” is kinda hyperbolic.
A few people have hit the nail on the head with comments about it getting better, with fixes and new content this will be an amazing game.
It could be an amazing game, in about 2-3 years. Assuming a) Rockstar keeps updating it the whole time, b) None of the new updates introduce new problems, c) Rockstar recognizes and addresses their mistakes, d) The game manages to retain a playerbase throughout the whole process.
Really the question I would ask the optimists is how they're able to reconcile polar opposite views for past claims ("Well OF COURSE Rockstar were never going to actually deliver on that claim, it just wasn't possible") and future promises ("Have some faith guys, Rockstar said it will be good so we should just take their word")