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Mister Pink

GTA VI: Pay an entry fee for online? Scrap microtransactions!

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Mister Pink

Problem

The best analogy I can think of for GTA Online and RDO freemium model is that it's like a poker game in bar that has an open invitation - anyone can sit at the table - compulsive gamblers people with more money than sense and, people that don't really know how to play poker, people there just to annoy others at the table. Not only is this poker game open-invitation but there is no buy-in. You just show up and put your cards it. Not only is this poker game some unregulated free-for-all mess, there is a guy at the table selling aces (shark cards/gold).That to any self-respecting person would be a nightmare game of poker. If not the least immersive game of poker. So you speak to the organizer of the poker game:

 

"Why did you let all these people in? This is a free-for-all mess." 

- "Well, we didn't want to split the fanbase. Oh and see Johnny Shark, selling the aces under the table? Well, he's the real organizer of this poker game and he owns the bar."

 

So you can see how this chaotic free-for-all poker game benefits Johnny Shark.  

 

Solution

You see having a game based on empire building etc but you sell the money to get you on your way completely undermines the whole integrity of the game. It KILLS any chance at immersive play. So having Online as a paid subscription or you buy an Online Pass. There are 4-6 major DLC's but  we pay for them. Fans that buy buy 1DLC but not the 3rd DLC might be split from people that own the 3rd DLC. So what? If you really cared for the 3rd DLC you'll just buy it. Or friends would encourage friends to buy it. Or, you only sell Online Season Passes that includes all DLC. It costs $100 but you get DLC support for 2+ years. Every item in the game is earned by playing and completing missions. If you see a guy with 10 super cars, a yacht,   mansion and 5 apartments, he's a hardcore GTA player that earned cash in game by playing. All of a sudden expensive weapons and expensive cars are now a badge of honour and merit because it reflects how good of or how dedicated a player you are. Only fans that really enjoy GTA will buy the Online Pass. Casual griefers might not be so inclined to shell out 100 only to go grief people. I'm sure it will still happen but right now the barrier for entery is nil.

 

Providing Rockstar can enforce and/or ban hackers, the game's economy should work fine. It should resemble real-world prices. 

 

Until these things are changed. Online modes will be a cancerous cesspool of microtransactions and devoid of any immersive gameplay. "Splitting the fanbase" is the most pathetic excuse I've ever heard. They want anyone and everyone in their marketplace for microtransactions and some of you naively fell for that line so bad. It's like the casino that offers free alcohol. Don't mistaken it for them being kind and nice. It's a marketing decision. It's a marketing decision that undermines gameplay abilities. 

 

Would you like GTA VI to have a pay-to-win freemium model or would you rather  pay-in and  know everyone has equal opportunity once in the door? Please, only respond if you read my post. 

Edited by Mister Pink
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TheSantader25

I personally think Online modes as big as GTA ONLINE should be released with separate budgets as separate games with their own price and free of MTX/Lootboxes. That way both Single Player and Multiplayer will have their own budget and attention and will both prosper. Because they are not the same product anymore.

 

But it's easy to talk about what "should" be done because it's kinda pointless. Companies don't care about what "should" be done. The most profitable way is the way to go. The current formula that devs use for multiplayer modes makes them way more money. So no change will be made. 

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RedDagger

No surprise that I agree with what you've said here, but unfortunately I know that what I'd like - in terms of what I believe would result in the best gameplay - is at odds with what produces the best financials.

 

I'm not really sure a paywall would produce significant results (if we're meaning a paywall separate from buying a base copy of GTA 6) since there's already the payment needed for the base game, but I'd definitely prefer something of that sort either way. There's many monetisation models available that don't require some form of P2W that don't necessitate splitting the playerbase, and while some models like monetising cosmetics have a larger effect on gameplay they're still vastly preferable to what we have now.

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DexMacLeod

I suppose it all depends on what Online looks like in GTA VI. I certainly wouldn't pay $100 if Online ends up being the same as it is now. Current GTA Online isn't even worth the price of an Xbox Gold subscription to me.

 

Simply getting rid of microtransactions fixes nothing for me. I tended to avoid most of the more competitive modes in online so I never really cared how random other people acquired the things they had. Getting sniped and blown up by griefers isn't somehow going to be more immersive just cause the griefer earned their weapons by playing the game.

 

For me, I don't really have a problem with the way GTA Online functions, for the most part. It's the other people playing the game that ruin the experience for me. I had a lot of fun with GTA Online in solo public sessions or the rare times me and a few buddies could get into peaceful/low population lobbies but that usually required glitches. 

 

If Rockstar could just make it easier for us to have control over who we play with and when it'd go a long way to making their online better. Still not sure if I'd be willing to pay extra for it, though. 

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GhettoJesus

It would certainly make for a less frustrating online experience. I like the idea. But unfortunately I feel like that despite the steep 100$ price this wouldn't appeal to R* (or T2) because having microtransactions for every little thing sounds more lucrative. At least from my point of view. Although I am not familiar with passes, how often do you buy them?

 

3 hours ago, Mister Pink said:

Providing Rockstar can enforce and/or ban hackers, the game's economy should work fine. It should resemble real-world prices. 

After seeing what people can do in RDR2 I wouldn't hold my breath. That's a really big issue that R* is yet to address.

Edited by GhettoJesus
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DownInThePMs

If anything this would cause outrage in the playerbase and no one would play it since this would be a clear indication of rockstar trying to monetise off everything. I see it as a bad business move.

Edited by DownInThePMs

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Aquamaniac

Obviously Rockstart wants Online to be what it is, would be easy to make Online to be cooperative instead of player vs. player, it could be impossible to hurt other players and destroying their vehicles could get you a 5 star wanted level. If you want avoid this, you can play with friends only.

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Heisenberg_

I enjoy GTA Online and I don't see why it's so problematic to many people. The cash card model is actually a non-issue because paying for them actually hinders your experience of the game since you aren't grinding and getting experience and familiarity with the game. It's mainly for players who don't have a lot of spare time to dedicate to Online.

 

GTA Online is designed like an MMO. Your character rises through the ranks and gains better equipment the more you play. Removing the grind removes what makes the game itself. If it gets boring, go play something else for a bit to cool off. Once you want your GTA fix come back. It's really as simple as that. Nobody unlocks everything in the game in one sitting. The game is designed for multiple years of playtime. 

 

And I don't think the Poker analogy works. Poker is a card game. GTA Online is a sandbox shooter. The only similarity I can draw is that both Poker and GTA Online are games in which you get better by actually playing it. 

 

When they finally get to making the online mode for VI, I want it to be very similar to V's online mode. They shouldn't sell them separately since that will split the fanbase and weaken the lifespan of the game. Singleplayer also acts as a tutorial for the online mode anyway. 

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Mister Pink

..

On 10/20/2020 at 4:33 PM, TheSantader25 said:

I personally think Online modes as big as GTA ONLINE should be released with separate budgets as separate games with their own price and free of MTX/Lootboxes. That way both Single Player and Multiplayer will have their own budget and attention and will both prosper. Because they are not the same product anymore.

 

But it's easy to talk about what "should" be done because it's kinda pointless. Companies don't care about what "should" be done. The most profitable way is the way to go. The current formula that devs use for multiplayer modes makes them way more money. So no change will be made. 

I agree and to your second point: precisely. Rockstar/T2 made a business decision when introducing Shark Cards. It was not a decision based on putting the player first. CDPR are making decisions based on putting the player first. This is why CDPR are the new fan favourites and Rockstar not-so-much anymore. 

 

On 10/20/2020 at 4:57 PM, RedDagger said:

I'm not really sure a paywall would produce significant results (if we're meaning a paywall separate from buying a base copy of GTA 6) since there's already the payment needed for the base game, but I'd definitely prefer something of that sort either way. There's many monetisation models available that don't require some form of P2W that don't necessitate splitting the playerbase, and while some models like monetising cosmetics have a larger effect on gameplay they're still vastly preferable to what we have now.

Good points...   

 

Yeah kind of like The Santander said. They should really treat them like two separate entities. They kind of did with their foot half-in half-out. They should just commit to making Online a completely separate thing. That way we might actually get singleplayer DLC. The last single player DLC we got was Undead Nightmare 10 years ago. Pathetic. 

 

On 10/20/2020 at 7:05 PM, DexMacLeod said:

If Rockstar could just make it easier for us to have control over who we play with and when it'd go a long way to making their online better. Still not sure if I'd be willing to pay extra for it, though. 

Why should Rockstar fix anything if they have it to you for free? You see now you expect it to be for free and you want X, Y, and Z. Well, tough-tits. I'm not saying "tough tits" from me but that's what Rockstar are thinking. I'm expressing the fact that Rockstar have no obligation to do anything more than the minimum. This is problem with freemium culture and things that are generally free. Nothing is free. They need to make money another way. Just like Facebook isn't free. Well, you pay for it by them selling your data.  

 

So you have a different issue about griefers annoying your game. And you think Rockstar should make it easier to make separate games without griefers? I agree. I don't want to be in a lobby where people have paid real cash for a game that rewards you in cash.  So at least can you empathise with me on some level that I can't be immersed in a game about robbing banks when you can buy cash with money? Can you see how absurd that sounds? And, I think if you paid money (I threw a figure of $100) maybe it's just the price of a regular game but it's separate to singleplayer. Then at least if you are unhappy with lack of features, fans can complain. Because if Rockstar don't fix it, then fans wont buy the next game, right? But if it's free, people are just going to play it anyway. Because it's free. And then nothing really gets fixed. But Rockstar have Shark Cards, so you bet that anything to do with compromising the sale of Shark Cards gets fixed first, at the expense of the economy and game play. 

 

23 hours ago, GhettoJesus said:

It would certainly make for a less frustrating online experience. I like the idea. But unfortunately I feel like that despite the steep 100$ price this wouldn't appeal to R* (or T2) because having microtransactions for every little thing sounds more lucrative. At least from my point of view. Although I am not familiar with passes, how often do you buy them?

 

Yes, that's the thing. How many people do you think would buy GTA VI: Online as a separate game after they bought GTA? I think a huge number. Possibly even so many people would buy it that it almost makes up for the microstractions made on GTA. Probably not but I would to see figures from shark cards. 

 

12 hours ago, DownInThePMs said:

If anything this would cause outrage in the playerbase and no one would play it since this would be a clear indication of rockstar trying to monetise off everything. I see it as a bad business move.

Why? Because people expect it to be free? GTA Online is massive though. Some people only buy the game for Online. So why not give them the opportunity to buy Online and not singleplayer? Come on, how many hours have we sunk in GTA? People get more hours and value from GTA than say Tomb Raider, a more linear singleplayer experience yet they cost the same price. That's ridiculous. If GTA VI cost $140 for game or separately GTA VI: Online for $70 and singleplayer for €70, I'm willing to bet people would think that's fair enough. Singleplayer might return to glory and have a dedicated game and those that want only Online can just pay for Online. GTA, RDR are somee of the best value games on the market. The fact we pay roughly the same price as crappy short games (not saying Tomb Raider is, I like that game) is mad! 

 

11 hours ago, Aquamaniac said:

Obviously Rockstart wants Online to be what it is, would be easy to make Online to be cooperative instead of player vs. player, it could be impossible to hurt other players and destroying their vehicles could get you a 5 star wanted level. If you want avoid this, you can play with friends only.

More cop-operative suff would be nice.. The bank heists were great. GTA Online is great overral just I can't be immersed in it due to existing in the same lobbies as people that paid real money in a game about bank heists and criminal activities where the reward is money. 

 

7 hours ago, Heisenberg_ said:

And I don't think the Poker analogy works. Poker is a card game. GTA Online is a sandbox shooter. The only similarity I can draw is that both Poker and GTA Online are games in which you get better by actually playing it. 

It works. My point is that I can't be immersed in a bank-heist, empire-building game about acquiring money "pursuit of the almighty dollar" if you can buy those dollars. Similarly, I wouldn't want to play a game of poker where you can buy aces and/or royal cards under the table. See what what I mean? Buying aces/royal cards at a poker game is analogous to buying shark-cards in a GTA Online. It's pay to win. And "win" I loosely define in a GTA when you have all the riches, apartments, business etc because you cannot gain those things if you don't have money. And there are two ways to get in-game money: play the game or buy shark-cards. Essentially a bank heist game that lets you buy money. Does anyone not see how crooked and vapid that is? 

 

 

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DexMacLeod
9 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

Why should Rockstar fix anything if they have it to you for free? You see now you expect it to be for free and you want X, Y, and Z. Well, tough-tits. I'm not saying "tough tits" from me but that's what Rockstar are thinking. I'm expressing the fact that Rockstar have no obligation to do anything more than the minimum. This is problem with freemium culture and things that are generally free. Nothing is free. They need to make money another way. Just like Facebook isn't free. Well, you pay for it by them selling your data.  

I didn't really ask for much at all. Just the ability to participate in all the game has to offer in solo and/or invite only sessions. That's hardly worth paying extra for and no more work on Rockstar's part than all the other updates they already give us for "free".

 

I don't see how charging up front motivates them to improve the game. If they've already gotten all the money that they're going to get out of you than why would they bother keeping you happy? If anything shark cards give them more motivation to keep the game fresh and keep people playing. It's why online still gets updates and single player doesn't.

 

37 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

So you have a different issue about griefers annoying your game. And you think Rockstar should make it easier to make separate games without griefers? I agree. I don't want to be in a lobby where people have paid real cash for a game that rewards you in cash.  So at least can you empathise with me on some level that I can't be immersed in a game about robbing banks when you can buy cash with money? Can you see how absurd that sounds?

Yeah, I get your point, but if they add a way to separate you from the people who've used shark cards than shark cards are pretty easy to ignore. I mean, they were always pretty easy to ignore for me regardless because I just don't care about what other people have or how they got it. I've never felt the need to get competitive about it.

 

53 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

It's pay to win. And "win" I loosely define in a GTA when you have all the riches, apartments, business etc because you cannot gain those things if you don't have money. And there are two ways to get in-game money: play the game or buy shark-cards. Essentially a bank heist game that lets you buy money. Does anyone not see how crooked and vapid that is? 

The thing is, though, that's just what GTA Online is to you. Some people enjoy the climb up the criminal ladder, some people just enjoy doing the missions that come with new businesses, some people just like to do the various death matches, some people just want to race, some people just want to roleplay, some people just want to run around causing chaos, and some people just enjoy having all the stuff.

 

I can't see Rockstar changing up an incredibly profitable and popular formula so that things are a little more immersive for one particular style of player. It'd be great if they made improvements but I don't think changing their business model would really have a drastically positive effect on things.

 

I guess we'll get a better idea of what there plan is when we learn more about next gen GTA V. It sounds like they're planning to release Online "free" with V again but also a stand alone version that will cost money. I doubt they'll get rid of microtransactions with that paid version of Online, though. I have a feeling that will be the GTA VI model as well.

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José_Sócrates

Excuse me, what? Isn't GTA VI enough? I am sorry, but GTA Online isn't free. You have to buy GTA V to play it. That's the entry fee. And all the sales generated by GTA V were more than enough to cover the maintenance for the online component as well as the price required to develop DLCs. There is no reason to believe GTA VI won't sell that much as well. If anything, microtransactions are acceptable, they just need improve their model. But ideally, neither microtransactions nor an entry fee would be required to maintain an online component for GTA VI for a decade at least. The subject of GTA Online's monetization has been thoroughly explored for the past 7 years and various articles and videos were made that proved Rockstar does not need the extra money to comfortably continue its development. At this point, the argument between entry fees and microtransactions becomes an argument of greed. And the past few years have proved that microtransactions are, by far, the superior method when it comes to monetizing your game and getting that sweet income. But they're still not the best. At this point, instead of discussing entry fees, we should be hoping they don't add lootboxes to the next game and its online component.

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RedDagger

The discussion around monetisation here isn't about how Rockstar can cover the costs of maintaining a multiplayer game, it's how they affect gameplay and the meta gameplay of how players think about the game; we know that their current method does wonders for their financials, but is it worth the effect it has on the game?

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Lonely-Martin

I'd have no issue if it was a standalone game with/or a subscription, but for that, my expectations would rise for much of the game. What I'd like most of all is to feel like I'm a valued customer more so for buying their game twice rather than made to feel like a freeloader for just playing rather than paying for my in game cash.

 

As you mentioned, mod menu abuse would have to be dealt with on PC, I'm amazed at the lack of progress in RDRO on this since GTA:O's issues with it. But also I'd expect a significant amount of bug fixing and balance too. More freedom of choice like lobby/playstyle preferences with all content accessible, like businesses, regardless of preference. A roadmap as well to be fair with promises met like X amount of DLC at certain intervals etc. All of which R* have proven doesn't need to happen to get huge financial success, unfortunately.

 

Regarding balance, I don't just mean in a PvP sense, though that is key. As businesses in the game show, it's near non-existent. I also mean in a job payout sense, no cooldowns, less restrictions or limits on things like vehicle storage etc. None of this 'take longer by hanging around doing nothing to get better payouts' and reward players for getting better and quicker, and nothing in game nagging me into buying content I may not want (like businesses in GTA:O). If I'm to pay a premium, I'd expect a premium service from that.

 

I'm not keen on passes as they're often timed and expire. I'd rather play things at my pace rather than meet deadlines like they are in RDRO for example. It feels like I'm being told to play at a certain pace or too much their way rather than my own. If they did add passes and they had no expiry date though and the next one can be bought but all previous passes can still be progressed as and when I fancy, that'd be ok IMHO. I don't mind cosmetic treats at christmas or something, but weekly for t-shirts can be a pain.

 

Trouble is, both GTA:O and RDRO have shown the shareholders and powers that be just how they don't need to offer these options or use any other way than they do now, I mean both games are so broken in many ways still and thrive for monetary returns, of which I take issue more with RDRO because GTA:O was more a surprise to anyone with how it grew but RDRO shows that plan to repeat the same issues deliberately and I've seen too much of in GTA:O, and worse, it's more restrictive and has the timed passes I dislike too. 

 

They intend for us to play their game their way rather than have that open sandbox world of freedom and choice so much more and if anything, I see RDRO as taking steps to go even further away from letting us play our game our way with their 'one size fits all lobbies'. So as much as I'd love it to be better in many ways and would pay a fair price to enjoy my game of it, there's just too much money to be made as things are and I cannot see things changing unfortunately.

 

Not only that, given how GTA:O and RDRO have gone, R* would have to prove their intent to offer such a service before I buy into it like this as those game show all too much that they'll do the bare minimum and it all feels so cheap. That may deter them as it coukd be a slow starter and hamper the quarterly financials at T2. But I'd be all for it. The way it's all done currently, we have no power as consumers, and that I'd love to see change. Voting with our wallets, like many suggest, has no effect really.

 

Good thread and thanks for letting me vent, lol. RDRO took another big backward step this week and I've a bit of a bee in my bonnet for it, lol. Cheers!

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Black_Jesus

I fear the next GTA is going to be plagued with micro transactions just for the CEO (Take2) can feel less pretentious and more entitled to point fingers like he designs the freaking games.

 

GTA Online came at the pinnacle of social media, online gaming streaming which helped it success. Sharing photos, etc which helped promote the online as personal.

 

The issue now is what's their expectations for GTA VI sales and will it outsell GTA V is their biggest fear so they will make sure GTA V Online will be some sort of continuation or a viable option for users. I expect GTA Online but at the expense of GTA VI. They will not let GTA Online die like the Benz wanted.

 

 

Edited by Black_Jesus

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Racecarlock

100 dollars just to play online? On top of the price you already pay for the game? Well, you're correct about it keeping out the griefers, but it'll keep everyone else out as well.

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