It has been more than 4 months since the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online. Since then, it has seen a slew of updates which have added more content, such as the new "Capture" mode, the "Beach Bum Pack," which added new outfits, vehicles, and weapons, and the "Content Creator," which enables one to create Deathmatches and Races. I have spent dozens of hours in Los Santos with my friends, doing mission after mission or challenging each other to different races. Although Rockstar does a lot right with GTA Online, it also has its shortcomings. In this blog, I will list the stuff that Rockstar can improve, implement, or on the contrary, get rid of to improve the quality of Online. I did throw in something I'd like to see myself, as well as something that can probably only be improved when the second iteration of GTA Online is launched alongside the inevitable Grand Theft Auto VI. Let's get started.

What Needs to be Implemented: The Casino

Will that "Opening Soon" sign ever go away? I don't know, but it should. Since Rockstar halved the mission payouts in a prior update, it has been a bit harder to get into a cozy financial situation in Los Santos - without the use of microtransactions. Many of the fastest sports cars cost upwards of $500,000, which demands a lot of playing time. The opening of the casino could alleviate some of the money problems present in Online. If opened, the casino would pose as a high-risk, high-reward situation as the wrong moves could result in one ending up penniless or one ending up as a millionaire. If the casino opened, it could be seen as another way to earn money in Los Santos, even if the risks were there. And perhaps, the racetrack behind the casino should open up as well, for if horse races were to be implemented on said racetrack, one could bet on those too.

What I'd Like to See: Customizable Apartments

The apartments in Online provide a place to kick back and watch TV, change your clothes, take a shower, and, when they are implemented, plan your heists. However, if there's one thing I want from apartments, it is the ability to customize them. Every single apartment above $200,000 has the exact same interior, the only difference being the view and location. If Rockstar implemented stores where one could purchase new sofas, table, chairs, and the like, each apartment would stop looking the same. This brings to mind the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC. In it, Commander Shepard received an apartment from Anderson and there was a store Shepard could visit to change and furnish the interior of his apartment. A store such as this one in Online would help make each apartment feel a bit different.

What Needs to be Improved: Bad Sport

In theory, "Bad Sport" is a great idea. However, it could definitely use some improvement. I agree with the notion that one should receive the "Bad Sport" designation if they frequently leave games early. What I don't agree with is being classified as one if you blow someone's personal car up repeatedly, or if you are kicked from someone's lobby without just cause. Like any other multiplayer game, Online has its own lot of griefers. These griefers, which I have experienced, drive around the map, killing people left and right. They can kill other players repeatedly without facing any sort of consequence, but if I were to defend myself and throw a Sticky Bomb at their personal car, and in turn, blow it up, I could be deemed a "Bad Sport," even if I was trying to defend myself. Merely paying the insurance cost should be enough of a punishment for blowing up someone's personal car. I have also been kicked from lobbies, and enough of this can lead to being given the designation. I did not nothing wrong, however. I merely joined a Crew's lobby by random chance and they kicked me, which I understand. Despite not having done anything aside from that, I was given a "Bad Sport" warning. The "Bad Sport" designation should only be given to those unsportsmanlike rage-quitters who leave every match that goes south.

What Needs to Go: The $500 Penalty for Dying

Yes, the penalty used to be a staggering $2,000 before Rockstar released a patch that lowered it to $500. I say, however, that the penalty should be abolished outright. Like any other Grand Theft Auto game, dying is part of the experience in Online. When my friends and I are causing mayhem in Los Santos, there is no doubt that one (or all of us) will meet our demise. The $500 penalty essentially punishes one for having fun. GTA V does have a death penalty, but unlike my Online character, who has $300,000 to his name, Franklin, Trevor, and Michael are sitting pretty with a combined $2.7 billion. The death penalty is a minor nuisance that Rockstar should consider getting rid of, as it will open the door for more fun to be had in Los Santos.

What Needs to be Improved: Character Creation

Perhaps, Online's biggest misfire is not in the gameplay, but in the process which takes place before you get there. I think it's too late for this system to get anymore improvements, seeing as how many have already created their Online character (including myself) and have already spent dozens of hours playing. I would definitely be surprised if this system was not updated greatly in the next iteration of Online. Although it's great that Rockstar tried something different, making a character is a hassle, as you have to toy around with the appearance of your mom and dad to get an appearance you like. Something similar to the creation systems found in games such as The Sims or most modern RPG's, such as Mass Effect, would have sufficed here. Instead of fine-tuning facial features, you're forced to pick parents. In theory, it's cool for your dad to be John Marston or Niko Bellic, but your character never really pans out. Now that I'm writing this, I'm kind of surprised that Los Santos doesn't have any plastic surgeons. It'd make sense; I mean the game is set in a fictionalized version of Southern California. Rockstar might have missed a nice little chance to pump even more satire into Grand Theft Auto V.

What Needs to be Implemented: Heists

I decided to close out my blog with what is arguably the most requested feature in Online: Heists. Online launched a little bit more than four months ago, and yet, they have not been put in. The absence of heists has been one of the main reasons why customers have traded in the game at GameStop or the like. I can live without heists for now, but they do need to be implemented sooner rather than later. Heists would liven up Online. Not only would heists inject Los Santos with a dose of fun as players would be forced to carefully plan and execute said heists, they would also let players earn a lot more money without having to rely on microtransactions. Heists were the high points in Grand Theft Auto V and if the heists that Rockstar chooses to implement in Online are anywhere near as spectacular as those, Online will benefit greatly as a result.

And with that, my list concludes. Agree or disagree with any of the points I made? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.