.. which he has to run over, or kill with a gun to protect the mission objective (as I do by obtaining the sniper rifle).
There's no question of "bypassing part of the mission" because the cutscenes in the beginning don't say anything about killing those survivalists, or running them over. It only cautions the player that they will not take kindly to any strangers. Your goal is to enter the farm and steal the harvester. That's all.
Regarding taking advantage of any technical anamoly - that's the nature of video game in allowing the player to take advantage of any opportunity to make the "mission" more interesting than following a set path. This is not real life we're talking about where everything in the mission has to MAKE SENSE. You can't purchase the harvester since CJ is in the need of money himself. Though I understand the logic behind adding such "optional" choices but the game in question is GTA, not a full fledged RPG where certain optional choices can be scripted for "criminals"
like a simple act of purchasing the harvester. GTA is a different game that has to include some act of crime (stealing - for instance), unless the mission objective is entirely about interacting with certain characters.
Bit, how one prefers to accomplish these "crimes" (or objectives) should be left to the players themselves. There are times when the deaths of innocent people are unavoidable, but for a significant number of missions, the player can use a strategy that ties with the protagonist's character.
That minimist kill approach is a strong proof of that.
What you are saying applies mainly to the HD Era missions which are so tightly scripted with predetermined paths that you cannot bypass, nor use any strategy to avoid any unnecessary killings.
I see people confessing around the forums about how they avoid killing people outside the story because it doesn't fit Niko's character, or they just can't imagine murdering or running people over as Niko, etc.
So, why is it so difficult to roleplay CJ in the ACTUAL mission with a minimalist approach, if its possible to avoid any killings?
The methods described in that thread amount to extreme tedium, and abusing the game script or physics. Explode a car onto a person, and it doesn't count as a kill. It's an "alternate" way of exploring the game code, outside of the story.
That's not really part of this topic. We can debate about the pros/cons of the minimalist killing approaches separately.
Those tedious ones aren't necessarily required to follow. It's a "minimalist" strategy guide, not a ZERO killings guide. Some missions are very easy to avoid the killings entirely (for instance, body harvest), while some are not so simple, straightforward, which are just "extra" choices for the players, if they enjoy playing with different methods.
As far as CJ's personality goes - CJ still has no problem with killing members of other gangs, and willfully slaughter any that get in his way of reclaiming Grove Street Families turf or try to sabotage his businesses, though in return, the gangsters are trying to kill CJ also.
I tend to kill anyone with guns the moment they try to shoot at CJ, and I don't find anything wrong in shooting others in self defense.
By your logic, those survivalists shouldn't start shooting CJ for simply stealing a harvester. They can lodge a complaint with the police (because you know they exist in the game, right
), instead of passing racist remarks at CJ, trying to gang up and take him down like he's a terrorist attempting to blow up the whole farm.
Your logic of "optional" choices can't be biased, and forced upon only on CJ. It should take into account the survivavilts, too.