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Jason

Rockstar Outlines The Future Of Red Dead Online [GameInformer interview]

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Jason
Posted (edited)

https://www.gameinformer.com/2019/05/14/rockstar-outlines-the-future-of-red-dead-online

 

It's well worth reading the full interview but here's of the more interesting stuff, particularly the last quote:

 

“We want to build something with Red Dead Online that feels authentic and right in the world of Red Dead,” says Rockstar North co-head Rob Nelson. “You know, do things that maybe wouldn't make as much sense or wouldn't be available in the GTA world.”

 

“With Red Dead Online, we want to look at what we enjoyed about the open-world experience – the ability to feel like you were really existing in that world and you could role play in that world – and then extrapolate that out into what it could mean when you have a character that is truly your own,” Nelson says. “We don’t want to just pigeonhole you into being a criminal, but allow you a number of roles that you can take forward from the ground up.”

 

"The further players delve into these roles, the more recognizable and defined they should become to other players. At first glance, you should have a better idea of who you are dealing with. Say you’re fishing along the bank of the river and a man wearing a black hat approaches. You know that only dishonorable bounty hunters can earn that specific hat style, so keeping an eye on him is a probably smart idea. Griefing is an unavoidable element of Red Dead Online right now, but Rockstar also hopes these defined roles encourage players to interact in other ways as well. A bounty hunter may have more pressing matters to deal with than harassing an innocent fisherman. Perhaps he just tips his hat in your direction and rides past to tackle the more immediate task at hand."

 

"These roles aren't meant to be a temporary progression path; Rockstar built each of these roles with expansion in mind. Whereas you started immediately as a CEO of your illegal business in GTA Online, the road to potential riches is a much longer journey in Red Dead Online."

 

"The hope is these unique roles encourage players to intermingle in interesting ways, even those normally more inclined to keep to themselves. This overarching philosophy is why Rockstar is so apprehensive to introduce elements like a passive mode that walls off players from each other or free-aim servers that split the player base. "It would be easier for us to do that then what we're trying to do here, which is allow people to still feel like they are existing in the world that has an element of Wild Westiness to it and not completely make it two experiences," Nelson says. "If we can't get the balancing right then we can always do that, but what we're trying to do is allow people to, however they want to play the game, interact with the world and still feel like they're all part of the same world together. Where we think it works best and when it's the most fun is if you are actually able to roleplay in this world to a certain degree.""

Edited by Jason

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TheLordMarvel

There is one user on here who will scream with joy at the chance of not being shoehorned into a criminal.

 

Im totally blanking on who it was. Nice feller too.. Uhh

 

 

But the RP aspect sounds real cool.

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wehweh01
22 minutes ago, TheLordMarvel said:

There is one user on here who will scream with joy at the chance of not being shoehorned into a criminal.

 

Im totally blanking on who it was. Nice feller too.. Uhh

 

 

But the RP aspect sounds real cool.

Playing as a Pinkerton would be dope.

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1898
Posted (edited)

"What would it be for you to start your business in your camp to becoming a Leviticus Cornwall and owning a railway or a mine?

 

hmm......

Edited by 1898

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éX-Driver

The roleplay angle actually makes good sense given how much effort they put into building all the world mechanics this time around. I’m astonished it’s taken them this long for it to click that just running aroung run’n’gunning is wasting a huge amount of potential.

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ALifeOfMisery
38 minutes ago, TheLordMarvel said:

There is one user on here who will scream with joy at the chance of not being shoehorned into a criminal.

 

Im totally blanking on who it was. Nice feller too.. Uhh

@Commander Sif I'm not totally mistaken.

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Commander S

The hope is these unique roles encourage players to intermingle in interesting ways, even those normally more inclined to keep to themselves. This overarching philosophy is why Rockstar is so apprehensive to introduce elements like a passive mode that walls off players from each other or free-aim servers that split the player base.

 

"It would be easier for us to do that then what we're trying to do here, which is allow people to still feel like they are existing in the world that has an element of Wild Westiness to it and not completely make it two experiences," Nelson says. "If we can't get the balancing right then we can always do that, but what we're trying to do is allow people to, however they want to play the game, interact with the world and still feel like they're all part of the same world together. Where we think it works best and when it's the most fun is if you are actually able to roleplay in this world to a certain degree."

 

 

My issue is that it's a nice sentiment, but sounds like Nelson and co. falling into the trap of working from the perspective of what they hope players will do with the game, and not trying to pre-empt how the average player will actually end up playing the game.

 

For instance, if you design a game that plays 'best' if approached from a realistic, roleplay-first angle, but nothing incentivises playing like that for most players (and likewise discourages things you don't want players doing), then don't be surprised if players still do what's more efficient, or whatever else is permissable, instead. Bit like if you want players to travel through the game world at a realistic, leisurely pace - don't put in a load of fast vehicles or a fast travel system, then! :p

 

I'm looking at the Freemode businesses in GTAO as proof of this kind of disparity: you read R*'s promo fluff about working as part of an organisation, or trying to compete with rival businesses as part of an ecosystem, and yet the reality winds up as 'lots of people finding risk-free solo grinding strategies', all while putting up with griefers wrecking stuff. That's because the 'ecosystem' bit isn't enforced in any way, or incentivised mechanically - but it is taking place in an environment where any random player might shove a missile up yer bum as soon as look at you (and with more and more toys added to do just that), so things like trust, co-operation and co-existence were already next to non-existent to begin with.

 

 

I almost suspect this is what happens when stuff gets play-tested by people playing in a closed environment with their studio colleagues - if you've got a bunch of mates all getting into the spirit of it, and not really bothered about efficient grinding or fending of hostile randos, I'm sure it all plays just lovely. But that's not exactly representative of how things will play out in the 'wild', is it? :sigh:

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ALifeOfMisery
Posted (edited)

@Commander Swhat you say in that last paragraph reminds me of the Finance & Felony (I think) live stream. Where the players who were meant to be showcasing the crate collection missions got absolutely destroyed by randoms in freeroam and R* ended up putting them in a private public lobby.

 

It was almost as though no one had envisaged the capacity other players would have to be d*cks, simply for the sake of being d*cks.

Edited by ALifeOfMisery

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Jason

Neither of you are wrong at all but it looks like Rockstar are aware of it this time around and are trying to solve the problem before they create the problem, sort of anyway. The bounty system, def/off system, hostility system all coming before any major progression update fits with what they've said a few times which is that they wanted to use the beta period to lay the foundations for future content.

 

That all being said they're now on record saying that they can easily do other lobby types (the lack of pve/private lobby being mentioned in the interview being no accident, I assume) and if they can't get the balancing right they can enable all of this to work in other lobby types. So they really have no where to hide and no excuses if they can't get it right but refuse to add different lobby types.

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Commander S
35 minutes ago, ALifeOfMisery said:

@Commander Sif I'm not totally mistaken.

 

Nah - he said "nice feller", so that's me crossed off the list... :evilgrin:

 

Besides, while I do like the 'not shoehorned into being a criminal' thing, everyone still starts out 'a wanted outlaw, framed for a very specific crime they didn't commit, all working for the same random yahoos, with another random yahoo cloned at every camp'. :p

 

That's what gets a raised eyebrow from me about the new role-specific stuff - I'd be more interested in them letting us be blank slates, and define ourselves through our appearance, trappings, choices, play style, etc., rather than just picking a predefined 'class'. Like with the 'one shared specific backstory' problem, they seem to think that "roleplay" is fine if just limited to 'you can pick one of a handful of R*-created roles', rather than 'your role is the sum of everything you choose to do'.

 

Not entirely surprising, coming on the back of people becoming increasingly aware of R*'s comparatively prescribed approach to game design in general, but ...eh, still frustrating. I'm still more into the Elite Dangerous thing of 'here's stuff wot does stuff - pick and choose whatever takes your fancy' approach to role definition. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

 

5 minutes ago, ALifeOfMisery said:

@Commander Swhat you say in that last paragraph reminds me of the Finance & Felony (I think) live stream. Where the players who were meant to be showcasing the crate collection missions got absolutely destroyed by randoms in freeroam and R* ended up putting them in a private public lobby.

 

It was almost as though no one had envisaged the capacity other players would have to be d*cks, simply for the sake of being d*cks.


You'd think that after all these years of GTAO, they'd have figured out that yes, players can and will be jagoffs for the sake of it, if you give them the slightest ability to do so!

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ALifeOfMisery

I agree, and I've said on many occasions that I like the direction in which R* are trying to go in RDO. Even if this experiment, for want of a better word, fails, I do appreciate that they are at least trying to create a more harmonious environment for everyone to play in, which is the opposite of the full throttle, almost griefing encouraged, gameplay we see in GTAO.

 

The fact that they've publicly stated that separate lobbies are there as a back up plan is also greatly encouraging.

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GenericGTAO
Posted (edited)

R* is showing just how big of balls they actually have....they have an idea and are willing to risk this game that has had so much time and energy put into it.  Good for them.  I hope it works out and their ideas arent just abuse tactics which is why I am against keeping everyone together.  Glad they finally stated their intent and acknowledge all their detractors as, we hear you, but we make the game and it will be good...better than GTAO in this regard.  They basically gave the whinners the finger but still threw them a lifeline...whether they grab, remains to be seen,  I think adding gambling is going to bring most of these players back anyhow.

Edited by GenericGTAO

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Waingro
2 hours ago, TheLordMarvel said:

There is one user on here who will scream with joy at the chance of not being shoehorned into a criminal.

 

Im totally blanking on who it was. Nice feller too.. Uhh

 

 

But the RP aspect sounds real cool.

That would be me. I'd much rather fence the goods for a solid markup and own a bar. 

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HamwithCheese

They want potentially millions of people, to role play? I'm out. Its obvious they want people to be able to kill each other, or at the very least harm each other. "Interacting" I guess. No private or friendly lobbies now, it'd be too boring I guess.

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The Blast

I know a nothing-burger when I eat one.

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Commander S

...okay, so I'm going through the article with a fine-tooth comb, and this is the sort of thing that makes me want to go get blind drunk and/or flip some tables:

 

“With Red Dead Online, we want to look at what we enjoyed about the open-world experience – the ability to feel like you were really existing in that world and you could role play in that world – and then extrapolate that out into what it could mean when you have a character that is truly your own,” Nelson says. “We don’t want to just pigeonhole you into being a criminal, but allow you a number of roles that you can take forward from the ground up.”

 

 

Right - I want to make a character who got off an ocean liner from 'the old country', decided to make their fortune out west, settled in Saint Denis, and thus their RDO story begins. Stuff I can tack on as fluff, 'headcanon', etc., on to a true blank slate of a character.

 

Except that's impossible, because they also want to have R* trademark story content in RDO, and they figured the best way to do it was ...by having a really specific backstory with all RDO characters facing a death sentence for the same crime, then all rescued by the same random people.

 

 

In other words, that's like saying RDR1's single-player story was designed to let players "roleplay", because RDO basically has a strict, single-player story, regardless of who/what you want to be. :turn:

 

 

I'm also amused by the idea of the upcoming specific job thingies being things you're supposed to commit to, rather than dip in and out of them - even though the new website mentions how you can replay story missions with high or low honour to get extra rewards for each different outcome. So, what - do they want us to treat our characters realistically, and define them with meaningful choices, or just flit around and try all the Content™, and ignore the inconsistencies - ?

 

It's all so messy and contradictory, and I'm getting the distinct impression they didn't take a step back and consider the big picture with any of it. :/

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gtafan1995

They should add text chat for people to roleplay, or warn other people about griefers. No one really uses mics on consoles, at least on European servers.

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jje1000
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Jason said:

 

“With Red Dead Online, we want to look at what we enjoyed about the open-world experience – the ability to feel like you were really existing in that world and you could role play in that world – and then extrapolate that out into what it could mean when you have a character that is truly your own,” Nelson says. “We don’t want to just pigeonhole you into being a criminal, but allow you a number of roles that you can take forward from the ground up.”

 

 

"The further players delve into these roles, the more recognizable and defined they should become to other players. At first glance, you should have a better idea of who you are dealing with. Say you’re fishing along the bank of the river and a man wearing a black hat approaches. You know that only dishonorable bounty hunters can earn that specific hat style, so keeping an eye on him is a probably smart idea. Griefing is an unavoidable element of Red Dead Online right now, but Rockstar also hopes these defined roles encourage players to interact in other ways as well. A bounty hunter may have more pressing matters to deal with than harassing an innocent fisherman. Perhaps he just tips his hat in your direction and rides past to tackle the more immediate task at hand."

 

"These roles aren't meant to be a temporary progression path; Rockstar built each of these roles with expansion in mind. Whereas you started immediately as a CEO of your illegal business in GTA Online, the road to potential riches is a much longer journey in Red Dead Online."

 

"The hope is these unique roles encourage players to intermingle in interesting ways, even those normally more inclined to keep to themselves. This overarching philosophy is why Rockstar is so apprehensive to introduce elements like a passive mode that walls off players from each other or free-aim servers that split the player base. "It would be easier for us to do that then what we're trying to do here, which is allow people to still feel like they are existing in the world that has an element of Wild Westiness to it and not completely make it two experiences," Nelson says. "If we can't get the balancing right then we can always do that, but what we're trying to do is allow people to, however they want to play the game, interact with the world and still feel like they're all part of the same world together. Where we think it works best and when it's the most fun is if you are actually able to roleplay in this world to a certain degree.""

Thank goodness something sort of similar to my occupations idea was made- I hope in the future they'll expand on that, implement alternate origin stories and also make the Online Story mode more of a sidequest rather than something everyone gets shoehorned into (how many prisoners has LeClerk freed so far??).

 

 

On 12/9/2018 at 1:11 AM, jje1000 said:

Online would be great if they introduced free-roam 'occupations' since everyone is by-default an outlaw/trapper/fisherperson/treasure hunter at the moment. It's sort of similar to the mail delivery event but with no weird competitive mode and creepy music, but instead where the player gets a temporary title and simple A-to-B task to do in free-roam:

 

Off the top of my head:

  • Police Deputy- Track down criminals/mafioso and players with bounties, transport prisoners to Sisika via prison cart
  • Bounty Hunter- Track down generated bounties and players with bounties
  • Mafioso- Kill certain players and do other criminal activities in Saint Denis
  • Gold Miner- Pan for gold dust at the various gold panning stations- gold 'dust' can be exchanged for gold nuggets currency at a bank and this gold 'dust' is lootable
  • Stagecoach Driver- Transport a passenger or valuables from one part of the map to the other- this stagecoach can be targeted by other players
  • Trader- Some goods should fluctuate in price, including raw materials- players should be able to own a wagon that can transport goods in bulk (but can be looted)
  • Hired Gun- Protect a stagecoach, NPC, wagon, train or campsite from bandits or other players, or kill a certain NPC in the world
  • Cattle Rancher- Move cattle from one part of the map to the other
  • Cattle Rustler- Steal cattle from a cattle drive
  • Horse Tamer- Break and sell horses

During these tasks, other people can interfere outside of certain zones (i.e. freeing prisoners from a prison cart can net the other player some cash)- which gives these occupations some level of danger and uncertainty. These would go a long way in improving the player-driven aspect of the world (and they should also bump up NPC traffic counts as well).

 

Totally agree on this- forcing everyone to take part in a 'Story mode' goes against the sandbox philosophy. And as I've said before, it pales in comparison to SP's story, and is a poor use of resources. Use that mocap time to make more side missions and interactable side characters instead!

 

1 hour ago, Commander S said:

Right - I want to make a character who got off an ocean liner from 'the old country', decided to make their fortune out west, settled in Saint Denis, and thus their RDO story begins. Stuff I can tack on as fluff, 'headcanon', etc., on to a true blank slate of a character. 

 

Except that's impossible, because they also want to have R* trademark story content in RDO, and they figured the best way to do it was ...by having a really specific backstory with all RDO characters facing a death sentence for the same crime, then all rescued by the same random people.

 

In other words, that's like saying RDR1's single-player story was designed to let players "roleplay", because RDO basically has a strict, single-player story, regardless of who/what you want to be. :turn:

 

Edited by jje1000

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Jason
48 minutes ago, Commander S said:

I'm also amused by the idea of the upcoming specific job thingies being things you're supposed to commit to, rather than dip in and out of them - even though the new website mentions how you can replay story missions with high or low honour to get extra rewards for each different outcome. So, what - do they want us to treat our characters realistically, and define them with meaningful choices, or just flit around and try all the Content™, and ignore the inconsistencies - ?

 

It's all so messy and contradictory, and I'm getting the distinct impression they didn't take a step back and consider the big picture with any of it. :/

I think what they want to do is give players some fun stuff to do and allow them to play as the types of people that existed back then, like bounty hunters, traders etc, while not limiting their freedom. If you pick apart any story in an online based game it falls to pieces because online games are built on replayability, I do agree that the "you're the one!" stuff (or one of four in RDO's case) has gotten tiresome in the story of online games but the alternative options aren't so easy.

 

I mean if you introduce meaningful player choice into the story that stick, like say I killed the couple you can save in one of the early missions in Twin Peaks, but then I do a mission after with somebody who saved them, should I not be able to do that because it's unrealistic or goes against my characters continuity? I think when it comes to having a good narrative and realistic consequences in an online environment fun and quality of life will always trump realism and continuity.

 

I'm not saying their plan is perfect, but it sounds like they know exactly what the big picture is here.

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Commander S
1 hour ago, Jason said:

I think what they want to do is give players some fun stuff to do and allow them to play as the types of people that existed back then, like bounty hunters, traders etc, while not limiting their freedom. If you pick apart any story in an online based game it falls to pieces because online games are built on replayability, I do agree that the "you're the one!" stuff (or one of four in RDO's case) has gotten tiresome in the story of online games but the alternative options aren't so easy.

 

I mean if you introduce meaningful player choice into the story that stick, like say I killed the couple you can save in one of the early missions in Twin Peaks, but then I do a mission after with somebody who saved them, should I not be able to do that because it's unrealistic or goes against my characters continuity? I think when it comes to having a good narrative and realistic consequences in an online environment fun and quality of life will always trump realism and continuity.

 

I'm not saying their plan is perfect, but it sounds like they know exactly what the big picture is here.

 

 

I'm fine with the ability to have 'paragon/renegade'-style choices at the end of certain missions (although R* did whiff the implementation, IMO - BioWare did a better version of the voting system with The Old Republic) - it's more I'm amused that they've put bonus rewards behind playing each path for the first time, which is an incentive to go back and do the alternative version (even if just for the rewards).

 

Problem there is that if you're someone who wants to commit to a certain attitude/morality throughout, you have to leave money on the table - and IIRC, it also counts towards 100% completion of certain awards or milestones, so if you're a completionist and a dedicated role-player, you're stuck in something of a Catch-22...

 

Again, it's all weirdly contradictory - you've got design decisions where story and role are dictated to the player by R*, regardless of your preferences, you've got stuff supposedly there to facilitate player choice and role-playing, and then 'none of that matters - just have fun treating it like a Western-themed playground' game-y stuff, where it's about the material payoff instead of narrative and character.

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Fun 2
Posted (edited)

Have you guys tried RDO after the update ?

It's really amazing and feels like the original RDR multiplayer.

At first, when I saw this article, I was like "this isn't going to work, the same thing they said about GTA Online, where they don't want to split up the player base. Just give us the ability to create a private session", but then I tried it after the update and it does feel great.

I haven't experienced any griefing situation except for the one who shot me during a free roam mission which I'm totally fine with.

I just asked myself while wandering the world, if R* did private sessions and such, we won't have that big list of players in every public session which is what the Wild West is all about.

For now, I'm ok with R* approach but if things mess up in the future, I think it's better to return to simple features such as the ability to have a private session rather than this complicated type of multiplayer. It's just great to see that R* is ok with returning to the old fashioned multiplayer if their vision doesn't work out.

Edited by Fun 2

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Jason
20 minutes ago, Commander S said:

I'm fine with the ability to have 'paragon/renegade'-style choices at the end of certain missions (although R* did whiff the implementation, IMO - BioWare did a better version of the voting system with The Old Republic) - it's more I'm amused that they've put bonus rewards behind playing each path for the first time, which is an incentive to go back and do the alternative version (even if just for the rewards).

 

Problem there is that if you're someone who wants to commit to a certain attitude/morality throughout, you have to leave money on the table - and IIRC, it also counts towards 100% completion of certain awards or milestones, so if you're a completionist and a dedicated role-player, you're stuck in something of a Catch-22...

 

Again, it's all weirdly contradictory - you've got design decisions where story and role are dictated to the player by R*, regardless of your preferences, you've got stuff supposedly there to facilitate player choice and role-playing, and then 'none of that matters - just have fun treating it like a Western-themed playground' game-y stuff, where it's about the material payoff instead of narrative and character.

Fair enough, I don't think you're wrong at all but trying to see it from Rockstar's PoV it makes sense why it is what it is, at least to me. Online makes strong narratives and choices very difficult to do because of the need for replayability and allowing players to play together. It would be great though if your honour rating had consequences, right now it's just a meter that you move from left or right to get rewards.

 

21 minutes ago, Fun 2 said:

Have you guys tried RDO after the update ?

It's really amazing and feels like the original RDR multiplayer.

At first, when I saw this article, I was like "this isn't going to work, the same thing they said about GTA Online, where they don't want to split up the player base. Just give us the ability to create a private session", but then I tried it after the update and it does feel great.

I haven't experienced any griefing situation except for the one who shot me during a free roam mission which I'm totally fine with.

I just asked myself while wandering the world, if R* did private sessions and such, we won't have that big list of players in every public session which is what the Wild West is all about.

For now, I'm ok with R* approach but if things mess up in the future, I think it's better to return to simple features such as the ability to have a private session rather than this complicated type of multiplayer. It's just great to see that R* is ok with returning to the old fashioned multiplayer if their vision doesn't work out.

Yea now that they have all the systems in play and reading what they talked about in the interview you can absolutely see what they're going for. We'll see if it works long term, it's going to need constant tweaking when they release more stuff and potentially raise the players power level, also I think it'll be less effective on PC because free aim isn't awful there. Buuuut there's some method in the madness with what they're doing. It could work, and it would be pretty interesting if they can make it work. They just have to be able to admit defeat if it doesn't work.

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IamCourtney
Posted (edited)

I'm just glad they've finally come out and stated some sort of vision. It might not be exactly the vision I see (no free aim...) buuuut I've learned to live with autoaim so far and they've at least begun to take steps to make it a bit less shallow, so I can deal. Ability card loadouts help as well. It'll be interesting to see what comes next and where it goes from here. I'm willing to see if they can make this work, intrigued to see how the playerbase runs with it, and relieved they actually don't plan to just give us GTAO 1898.

Edited by IamCourtney

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gtafan1995
5 hours ago, HamwithCheese said:

They want potentially millions of people, to role play? I'm out. Its obvious they want people to be able to kill each other, or at the very least harm each other. "Interacting" I guess. No private or friendly lobbies now, it'd be too boring I guess.

You can't even see people on the map anymore, it's like playing in a private lobby. I played for 4 hours today and didn't get shot even once with defensive mode on. The most assolish thing I've encountered was done by me when I tried to steals someone's hunt off the horse.

29 minutes ago, IamCourtney said:

I'm just glad they've finally come out and stated some sort of vision. It might not be exactly the vision I see (no free aim...) buuuut I've learned to live with autoaim so far and they've at least begun to take steps to make it a bit less shallow, so I can deal. Ability card loadouts help as well. It'll be interesting to see what comes next and where it goes from here. I'm willing to see if they can make this work, intrigued to see how the playerbase runs with it, and relieved they actually don't plan to just give us GTAO 1898.

My only problem with auto aim were instant headshots, which in turn made some of the weapons useless. They fixed it now, so its fine.

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gtafan1995

Also suggestion for Rockstar: please add ability to store your weapons somewhere and an option to take off your holsters, or at least off-hand holster. This way people will be able to roleplay as civilians.

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