We might be a GTA fansite at heart, but personally over the last few months I’ve been a bigger fan of Red Dead Online. I find it to be a very relaxing atmosphere and not as overwhelming to approach as a recently returning player; I’ve got a streak going, I’ve maxed out two of the roles, I rarely get griefed and since I’m not super-rich I enjoy the challenge of saving up those pennies for my catalogue shopping list. Technically-speaking, it also performs and loads a lot better than GTA Online given its up to date engine, and the environment is simply beautiful to look at.
A lot of RDO folks probably sound a lot more jaded and pessimistic than I do, and to be fair to them they’ve been at the grind a lot longer and have their reasons for their criticisms. RDO is a niche offering and it has a community ripe for 100% commitment, but from everything I’ve kept up-to-date on via GTAForums and Social Media, this multiplayer counterpart to Rockstar’s singleplayer masterpiece has not been without it’s imperfections and seemingly lack of direction, and this has unfortunately left quite a few regulars with a bad taste in their mouths.
However, I do think simply calling this game “dead” is a disservice to the vast potential it has, so we’re not going to walk too far down that negative path that a lot of folks seem to like to wander. It may not be the money-making machine like it’s crazy little brother GTA Online, and for that reason alone I feel it needs a different kind of attention and approach to ensure its longevity, which has lead me to ponder about what could happen next.
First things first, you have to acknowledge that we’re still in the middle of a major global pandemic. Employees and their families are Rockstar’s number one priority, and they’ve worked from home for the last few months because of that. With the threat of a second wave looming as well, our expectations really must be kept to a low simmer in respect for their health and safety.
With that said, July and December are usually the modus operandi for major updates, and even though they may not happen exactly as planned on this occasion because, well, 2020 has been a giant clusterf**k, we can at least wish and hope for things that could happen in the future, going by the proposals made at the start of the year.
Here in this article you’ll find 10 major wishlist items that the RDO community as a whole is simply crying out for; all in no particular order!
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t experienced much griefing during my recent stint in RDO, but having the ability to create custom lobbies could help players avoid it completely, or at least give them the type of game they want to have. With a custom lobby menu, we could have the choice of solo lobbies, posse lobbies and even dedicated PvP lobbies for those that want to hang around the populated areas and have a untimed showdown against the bravest guns. Blips could be on across the map for PvP lobbies, whereas they could remain hidden in main lobbies so people can roleplay or help each other at free will.
The Rockstar Editor
A major component of GTA V and GTA Online is the Rockstar Editor. A popular feature from the start, it has allowed the creative community to show off their skills and create clips and movies of their gameplay, as well as set up awesome poses and scenes for snapmatics. There’s been such a tremendous amount of awesome stuff put out there that I can only imagine what wonderful things the community could create using Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online. The Rockstar Editor has been highly requested from what I’ve read, so I hope Rockstar can bring it forward.
Singeplayer RDR2 already has a Photo Mode feature; it freezes our protagonist in place and allows us to move the camera all around to get the perfect shot, with filters and such like to give it a creative flair. Unfortunately this hasn’t made it to RDO yet, leaving players only able to use their handheld camera to get their shots. While I imagine the “freeze in place” function is more tricky to implement in a live environment, I’m sure there’s things they could do to make it work, like cloud-out our character, or simply not have them freeze in the first place. Although this is in a similar vein of the Rockstar Editor, since you can take snaps with that in GTA, a dedicated Photo Mode in RDO would be a delightful function to take advantage of.
I love my camp, especially being able to move it wherever I need it, and change the theme, but I’ve often wandered into empty houses, shacks and other buildings and wished they were my own little house. I would bet money that I haven’t been the only one doing such a thing. Much like how the Moonshine Shack works now, it’d be awesome if Rockstar could make some of these houses purchasable with the ability to customise the interior once inside, so we have a nicely homely but static base in the world. With a super quick cutscene to enter like GTA Online apartments, there would be no problem with players owning the same locations. Prime locations could even sell with a hefty goldbar tag, nudge nudge T2 😉
Outlaw Pass No.3
As a recently returning player, I’ve never actively participated in the Outlaw Pass events, but I’ve seen it requested on multiple occasions now. After a little more digging, I can understand why. A new Outlaw Pass could give those players who are feeling a little neglected a reason to play again, and it could give new players a reason to get to work on playing for their rewards. A new Outlaw Pass could bring a plethora of new item or gameplay unlocks that players are craving, simply because they’ve already achieved everything else. I haven’t got there myself with my own character yet, but I already know I’d purchase it as well, simply because who doesn’t love new shiny things?
Personally I’ve only maxed the Trader and Collector roles, but I know from the community that many, many people already have Level 20 across the board. If we forget about simply extending the ranks of these roles for a second, what new roles could RDO bring to the table? I’ve seen whispers of a Photography role and a Lawman role, but I’ve also read several wishes for a Rancher or Ranch Hand role, where players take on some of those mundane yet addictive tasks like in the RDR2 epilogue. There’s also room for roles to do with fishing, boating, trapper trading, gambling and even heist-specific train-robbing roles. I’ve also seen a wish to be some kind of brothel owner!
To be honest, I spend a lot more time “roleplaying” in RDO than playing showdowns, but sometimes I’m just in the mood for a quick deathmatch without consequences. The only thing that gets my goat is that we can’t pick what we play. For example, I personally find Up In Smoke infuriating, I just don’t find it fun it keep carrying those explosives, but I do enjoy Hostile Territory, or a simple Team Shootout. It’d be awesome if we could join specific showdowns we want to play instead of entering playlists and waiting for them to toggle through, or at least have the option to create custom playlists of our own.
Much like the Content Creator of GTA Online, how about handing content creation back to players and allowing custom showdowns to be crafted? I’ve expressed my dismay about not being able to pick a specific showdown to play, but if that’s not in Rockstar’s vision, custom playlists could alleviate some of that pain. The map is nice and open but it doesn’t need as many props and other busy stuff like GTA Online, so I’d love to see what the community could create around some of the popular environments of the map.
A notably missing feature that is normally commonplace on PC is text chat, so why not introduce Telegrams via the online menu? It’d make communicating with players a lot easier and it could work kinda like how you can send texts in GTA Online. I often get random Posse invites and it’d be a lot more fun to accept them if I knew why they wanted my company, and quite lucrative if they’re looking for help on a Trader sale.
A little bit of a controversial one. While it might not seem like there’s anything amiss to most gaming outlets, those of us who are active daily in the community have been discussing the topic of “Rockstar communication” for a little while now. Known for their secrecy and only announcing things when they are good and ready, it’s not really a surprise to us that things are all quiet on the western front, however, there are quite a number of people increasingly disappointed that they haven’t been more open with fans, either to give some clarity of what’s happening going forward, or even to tell us things are delayed. We mustn’t forget we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and that can answer all of our questions of “why?”, however, silence can be seen as a little outdated when it comes to online games nowadays, and hopefully this is something Rockstar can take consideration of on the road to their other projects.
Bonus: A Camp Cat
I’m ending this list on a (personal) furry bonus note. I love my camp doggo, a friendly American Foxhound called Sheba who gives me many wags, but if anyone knows me, I demand a kitty… all the kitties.