No way was GTA IV better than V, as far as the online game goes. GTAV is by far the best online GTA game ever...but that's not saying much. The problem is that Rockstar has the micro-transactions with GTA$. That ruins the game because it makes Rockstar want to limit the content and the ways of making money. If this game had tons of fun ways to make money, NOBODY would buy the GTA$.
For that reason, Rockstar really makes the game boring and repetitive...because that forces people to buy GTA$. Rockstar is very greedy, so they purposefully make the game boring. The best thing for online gaming is a monthly subscription(as long as the dev team always puts out great content constantly). I know some people hate the idea of a monthly subscription, but that is the best way for them to make money while also supplying us with endless amounts of new content and new gameplay elements.
The GTA$ severely limits what the dev team will add to the game because anything they add that is fun, exciting, and makes players want to grind...well...it takes away income that Rockstar makes by offering GTA$ for purchase. Anyone that doesn't see this isn't paying attention and hasn't played many online games with a big world.
GTA$ kills this game and makes it boring..bottom line. The reason heists aren't out yet is because they will be decent pay that people love to grind because of the fun you will have doing it....what does that do?? It takes away income from GTA$
What this game needs more than anything is the co-op mission creator. But they won't do that because those will end up being up to 20K for a hard mission...that's too much money and too much fun...so it takes away their gta$ income.
Rockstar is greedy and doesn't know how to make an online game have longevity. THat's why the player base is dead after less than a year. I hate World of Warcraft, but there is a reason it's been 10 years or so and the game STILL makes sh*tloads of money. They have a monthly subscription, but they offset that by having constant and consistent gameplay content added.