art by slohbur
Welcome to the 44th week of Rockstar Central! This week: Rockstar RDR2 trolling, cloud server finding woes and subsequent R* reaction, more GTA Online bonuses, a new vehicle and a new State of The Art! Don't miss the Snaps of the Week either!
Red Dead Redemption II has been delayed to- wait, no, not that, that's the wrong paper! You're fired!
Ahem, anyway. This week, speculation ran rampant and and several hype trains crashed, as Rockstar re-added the RDR2 trailer to the topmost position in Rockstar's Newswire Top Stories! To make matters worse, a couple of retweets relating to the Double Action Revolver and several acknowledgements in Newswire posts made the RDR2 section explode in joy, expecting something this week. Unfortunately, this was not the case, and it seems Rockstar themselves took the liberty to mess with us by making their twitter silent, until they retweeted some (pretty rad) GTA V fanart, and today, an acknowledgement about this weekend's GTA Online bonuses.
On other news, Fun 2 has found something interesting in the Rockstar servers while doing what he does. At the time of his findings, Rockstar had addresses within their cloud servers (the ones that store save data for GTA V, Social Club and GTA Online) that referred to some kind of Red Dead Redemption 2 app of sorts. Maybe a companion app, or an iFruit styled app, who knows. I, myself, eventually found out there was an address for RDR2 itself, likely to save actual game data! Obviously we cannot access any of this data, but we can know whether or not the address exists within the server.
Unsurprisingly however, Rockstar rapidly took note of this and made both addresses completely unavailable. Maybe it's time to fire the intern who pushed development stuff to production. Just kidding, don't kidnap me to your dungeon, Rockstar. <3
The Ubermacht Revolter is now available in GTA Online! You're also going to be fired because you don't have a description ready for the 900th new vehicle!
With its modern looks and quick performance for an executive car, it makes people look at you from the corner of their eyes in Vinewood, but is an amazing vehicle to escape from your pursuers and do the difficult CEO job of delivering your goods and taking care of business - there's a front-facing machine gun update available! It's now available at Legendary Motorsport.
Through the 29th, next Tuesday, you can enjoy several Double GTA$ and RP opportunities! Air Quota, the new Adversary Mode is offering double GTA$ and RP, along with all Stunt and Land Races! If you're in the need for speed, and in the need of money, get to racing!
Until the same date, criminals of Los Santos can take advantage of discounts, such as 30% off Mk II upgrades and 25% off:
- Mk II Magazines
- Mk II Scopes
- Mk II Muzzles
- Mk II Weapon Liveries
- The Turreted Limo
- The HVY APC in both Buy Now and Trade prices.
Time Trial: "Coast to Coast"
Premium Race: "Tube Rider", locked to the Ruiner 2000
State of the Art
GTA Online, DLC, Money and Content Satiation
(These are opinion pieces that don't benefit from lots of research and simply from personal opinion and perspective, some points may be factually wrong, fully or partially)
Back in 2013 when GTA Online was released, GTA Online was advertised as being Rockstar's biggest project along with GTA V. A fully online open world with activities to do and many cosmetic, feature and even a single player DLC to come. As we all know, the latter never happened, but we're going to discuss the former.
GTA Online was initially liked by a lot of people when it released, despite severe server issues. It offered unprecedented ways to interact with friends and play the game with them, by introducing multiplayer missions, freeroam activities, and many other things to do. A major DLC was announced from the get go - Heists - several heists you could pull off with your friends and win major cash. There was a lot of hype for this DLC, that ended up simply disappearing from the map as time passed. Many asked what was happening, but there never was a response from Rockstar. This DLC was only released in 2015, in the run up to the PC release of GTA V, and in a severely changing GTA Online management perspective...
The first few cosmetic DLC's did release, always for free. The Beach Bum Pack, the Business pack, the I'm Not a Hipster pack and the High Life Content pack added new vehicles, new clothes, in some cases even new missions and activities to the freeroam world, as well as enhancements to existing features and bug fixes. By this time, early 2014, fans were suspicious of why Rockstar had microtransactions in the game. Those who never believed Rockstar would indulge into microtransactions were sadly proven wrong, and those who expected it expected the worst to happen.
Without Heists released in 2014, Rockstar started releasing more and more DLC's, such as the Flight School update that added the Flight School to GTA Online, the Independence Day update that added the independence day content we still see to this day, and the Last Team Standing update that added a brand new kind of Team Deathmatch to GTA Online.
Take-Two started to report bigger and bigger gains from GTA Online, not only due to the increased amount of people buying GTA V and getting the Online experience included, but also because of those who bought cash cards to get a quick start in the world of GTA Online, especially for new players, as a phenomenon that is criticised until today started happening - major price inflation due to shark card sales and to people having increasingly more in-game money as time passes.
This severely started to alienate new players, whose starting content also started to be extremely expensive, almost forcing them to either grind missions and activities, or, the easiest choice and the best choice for the company - buy some cash cards.
In March 2015, the Heists DLC released, with the confession that Rockstar had to redo the whole thing due to development difficulties (partial lies, as some of the current heists were referred to in files left over in the original GTA V 2013 discs). People were satisfied because it was a brand new way to earn money, and it was Rockstar's biggest content update for GTA Online yet. There was one thing missing still, and that was the single player DLC, with no more mentions of it. Since Heists, GTA Online has received dozens of new updates, most significantly the Further Adventures in Finance and Felony Update that added offices for you to manage a drug and art smuggling business to earn some money, thus adding another interesting layer to GTA Online. However, by this point, prices for everything were very high, including those for the Warehouses you need as a CEO to store your stuff. Shark Card sales continued to rise, and so Take-Two and Rockstar continued to increase the prices of things until today. To this day, a lot of the new DLC's have simply been based on the features of the FAFF update, using the same framework but with different contexts and ways to do things, speculatively because of a technical wall, as GTA Online already does not run very well on any of its platforms, especially its console renditions in some periods. With every single one of these updates, Rockstar adds a few if not dozens of new vehicles that are unlocked in a dripfeed fashion, either one every week or one every two weeks, and this is why I'm starting to talk about content satiation. Those who had high hopes for GTA Online are seeing those hopes getting destroyed as content starts to repeat itself and to be increasingly more expensive as Take-Two continues to rake in billions (yes, BILLIONS) from GTA Online, and it's starting to be the case where only the newer fans of the game are 100% satisfied with the content they're seeing. Even so, more and more people are against the shark card business, and although profitable, it's really frustrating for the game's economy and for the fanbase who doesn't use microtransactions.
The Doomsday Heist added a new set of Heists divided in three acts so people could earn some extra money, but the money you spend to get the needed properties for this is also excessive. It was also the first DLC in a long time to not be pretty repetitive in terms of the way it works.
Rockstar and Take-Two, I fully believe you're hitting technical walls - you're full of money, you look like Scrooge McDuck already - why is it not time to stop or slow down yet? There is not much to lose as people are still playing GTA Online very actively and buying your shark cards. If not stop, why not slow down significantly or start doing bigger updates to the game via some sort of engine update? Clearly the main Rockstar teams are working on other projects, but it may be time to rethink how this is being handled.
art by slohbur
In Snaps of the Week, we show off 5 of the best screenshots, in no specific order, from this week's submissions all over the forums. This can include other games, other than GTA V, but admittedly there has been a shortage of pictures from other games. Enjoy and props to all the talented photographers and their characters!