The lights are on
As I detailed in my impressions piece, Grand Theft Auto has
an amazing amount of potential. With 16 concurrent users, hundreds of missions,
and the promise of user-created content, I could envision this becoming my
go-to multiplayer game for years to come.
But given that creating an online experience of this
magnitude is uncharted territory for Rockstar, it still has a lot of kinks to
work out. Outside of the need to overcome the technical difficulties still
being experienced by several players, I think these seven changes would go a
long way to improving GTA Online.
Optimize Load TimesThis one is tricky given the amount of servers Rockstar is
juggling in the face of unprecedented demand. Right now the load times are
abysmal, whether you are jumping into Grand Theft Auto Online for the first
time, migrating sessions, matchmaking, or moving through playlists. To aid the
user experience, these need to be cut down as much as possible and the user
interface should be streamlined so there are less loading bottlenecks.
Keep Friends TogetherOne of the biggest annoyances we've faced in GTA Online thus
far is keeping an Xbox Live party together while moving from playlist sessions
to the open world. Far too often, groups are split up when entering the open
world, which then requires patience from all parties involved to get the band
back together. First, you need to settle on which friend's session you are
going to reconvene in. Then, the players need to sit through another long load
to get into world. Rockstar needs to prioritize keeping these groups together
to lessen the downtime
This goes for competitive team modes as well. When I enter a
team deathmatch, I expect my friends to be on the same team. This is rarely the
case right now. If Rockstar integrated a system like the posses in Red Dead
Redemption, it would also go a long way toward keeping crews and friends
Place Players Near ObjectivesI've lost track of how many times I've accepted a mission,
waited for the session to populate and load, and then had to drive 15 minutes
before we reach the destination. Starting a group a little ways away from the
destination makes sense if you want to give players the option to load up at
Ammu-nation, but unleashing players on the other side of the world just wastes
everyone's time. Surely, a happy medium exists.
Raise The StakesSince so many jobs offer paltry financial rewards, a lot of
players are just grinding on the few boring ones like Violent Duct that reward
them with big payouts. After all, everything in GTA Online is about the
almighty dollar. How else are you going to afford that $400,000 high-rise
condominium? To help discourage grinding and keep players trying new things,
Rockstar should rebalance the payouts.
Prioritize New MissionsIn the opening 10 hours of GTA Online, you can't escape the
grip of déjà vu. Too frequently, Simeon and Gerald implore to you steal the
same car model, break up the same drug deal, and shoot up the same gang. The
GTA Online job system should recognize which missions a player has already
performed and introduce new ones more frequently instead of offering the same
three or four missions ad nauseam until players achieve much higher ranks.
Fix Passive ModePassive mode is a great option for players who want to avoid
engaging other players in favor of shopping for clothes, tattoos, guns, and car
detailing. But there's one problem - it doesn't work. Several players have
reported still being shot to death while driving in passive mode and meeting
their demise from getting run over while on foot. These circumstances betray
the fundamental concept of passive mode, so if Rockstar wants people to use it,
the developers better fix it.
Let Us Run In Our HomesMy condo in GTA Online is pretty big, and it can take a
while to move from the couch to the front door to buzz in a friend. In the
open-world covering, you can sprint to move quickly from point A to point B,
but for some reason Rockstar doesn't allow running in your home. This small
change can't take too much programming time, can it?
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Great list of improvements. I especially agree with keeping your friends/group together. It's always annoying having to reset up a invite only session after every job/match/race.
Passive mode is basically a waste of money since most d-bag players, upon finding out you've activated it, usually just wait till you're out in the open and run you down with their car or they wait till you've gotten in a vehicle yourself since passive mode only works when you're on foot. If you want to avoid being ganked, you're much better off just playing in a private or invite-only session.
I agree with being able to automatically start closer to mission objectives, usually it isn't too bad since most missions revolve around the city areas but when you do end up having to spend 10 minutes driving to your objective, it gets old fast. Fortunately, I've found that if you fail a mission and then immediately retry it, you usually start a lot closer to the mission objective.
How about letting me fight with people inside my apartment. Oh man, that would be the best royal rumble ever...
I keep losing money and my rank so the appeal of online has greatly gone down now. I don't understand the point of putting money in the bank because it's lost when you die regardless. The objective placement is inconvenient and there is absolutely no plot in the online mode. Kill gangsters and steal stuff, over and over again. Online is great if you want to do a base jumping mission or street race. Otherwise its running away from hordes of cops and avoiding headhunters.
Sounds good on paper but still poor execution of Rockstar's part
Right now passive mode should be called squash me with your car mode. And what the heck is up with me not being able to pull out my gun when I'm under attack by some D-bag in his car. Yeah I get it I'm in passive mode but why isn't there a easy way not involving menus to exit quickly so I don't get murdered.
(its kinda like gun laws)
My seven ways:
1-7: Restore all the characters that disappeared
They need to create a mode where there are no story line missions. Just activities and it doesn't cost you money if you die. You just spawn near a friend or something. That's when the fun can be maximized. Still awesome game!!
I'd love for some manner for your characters to not be completely ass ugly with horrible facial animations. The different "expressions" are atrocious. Plus.. it's just super boring. There's no way I'm going to invest ten hours to get to missions that are less boring? For little pay-out it seems. I had very high hopes for GTA online, but I'm surprised to say Red Dead's online offering is much better across the board.
I agree with Passive Mode. I was surprised i got killed by getting run over.