GTA Online is the multiplayer part of Grand Theft Auto V from Rockstar Games. Actually the 7th or 8th title in the series, depending how you like to count, this is a title from a small developer that made it big.
The single player is not without the controversy associated with previous titles, and actually makes some stuff even more explicit. I love the story of the dystopian present it presents; very close to home, of course.
My focus today is on the multiplayer, however. One of the systems I was interested in seeing implemented was the ‘karma’ system: players who would kill or destroy things wold be put in servers with other players that acted this way, while people who played nice would be put together as well. I hoped this would also be true for players just entering the game, where they would not be subject to random acts of violence while learning the game. I was, however, cautious to avoid any players I saw in the game. This made it difficult to find someone to do missions with, which the game rewards with faster progression through the ranks, which lead to better weapons and vehicles.
Unfortunately, I was right to be cautious. After going through the tutorial and getting my first car, I had a mission to go to a clothing store. Another player went on a rampage nearby, killing five other players. Since I was in the store I was safe, but he wrecked my car before leaving with a high speed chase. “Well, I’m glad I could stay in here and safe,” I thought. “And I will just get a different car now.”
After leaving the store, I got a vehicle from a very helpful NPC with a little bit of coaxing. I hear he will be out of the hospital any day now. As I was browsing my menu to find the next mission to do, another player drove past me, slowed down, poured automatic fire into my car and sped off. This introduced me to the fast respawn system. “Well, I was right to avoid other players,” I thought. “Let me try out their Passive mode, where no one can shoot me and I can’t shoot any players.” Apparently, this meant that all players looked like ghosts, and, even though I couldn’t interact with them outside of events and missions, I still could not pull out my gun to defend myself from police while in a vehicle. Whoops.
Also, the anti-cheat system is not working yet. I saw a player killed 5 other players within seconds of one another, and this was the same one who killed me in my car. It seemed fairly certain, on reflection, that at the speed he was going he should not have been able to do what he did as a human at the controls. The fact that all other players left the server afterwards further leads credence to this theory.
The basic issue is that there will always be trolls in online gaming and those who go around killing for no reason. I had just hoped that Rockstar’s proposed systems to protect players who did not want to participate in a constant psychopathic PVP actually worked without making players not able to participate in the game in the same way as other players. The current system punishes those who are in the middle; if you want to kill everyone you meet, you won’t mind being on a server with other psychopaths. If you want to just drive around with ghostly figures of other players, you can as well. But if you want the option of defending yourself or attacking other players, but you don’t want to be in a slug fest the entire time you play- you are in trouble. This is an issue of any online game that has PVP elements, especially if it is PVP everywhere in the gameworld.
Rockstar has made a great Online game. The character customization, events, races and Heists are a wonderful way for players to compete and cooperate in a fun way.
Now to find someone to do them with who won’t shoot me on sight or run away assuming I’ll do the same to them.
Update Schedule: (Finished(ish) Product)
Having All The Things To Do: 5
Hi! I am Eugene Shenderov, and I am a game designer. You can find my website at www.thisandthatgames.com. Send me a message if you have any questions!
Have a great day!