gta online

Official Site: Grand Theft Auto Online
Studio: Rockstar Games
Launch Date: October 1, 2013 (PS3, X360), November 14, 2013 (PS4, XBO), April 14, 2015 (PC)
Genre: Persistent open world action driver/shooter
Business Model: Box fee
Platform: PC, Consoles

Are NPCs conspiring to murder GTAO players?

The world of Grand Theft Auto Online has never been one of peace and safety, but as of late, it appears that the game is more dangerous than ever to its inhabitants. Players have been increasingly complaining about the erratic and damaging driving that computer-controlled cars are doing in the game, going so far as to suggest that there's a deliberate conspiracy to target users of the game.

A piece on Kotaku walks through the problem, pointing out how many players are recording footage of NPC cars suddenly swerving to collide and crash with player cars even when the player is driving normally. The discussion in the community points to the Bikers update as when the problem started really becoming noticeable, although opinions differ as to why computer cars are now operating as if they have angry three-year-olds at the wheel.

Some theories include bugs in the code, paranoia on the part of players, or even a nasty scheme on the part of Rockstar to drain money from the economy (via car damage) and thereby encouraging the community to buy in-game cash for real money.

Source: Kotaku

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Massively Overthinking: Unholy MMORPG hybrids

Massively OP reader and frequent tipster Gibbins wants us to play match-maker.

"I love the wonderful world that Bethesda created with the Fallout franchise, not too bleak but very post apocalypse with a very kitsch '50s feel from the time of duck and cover educational films, but I wish it were multiplayer. The huge volume of mods for Fallout is also is a massive bonus, giving the game great variety and replayability. On the other hand, I also love the satirical in your face style of GTA Online and its no-holds-barred multiplayer experience, but I wish there were more to the story and more support for mods. Both games offer so much, and I would love to see how each studio would add to the other's game. Which two development teams would you like to see married... and which game would be their love child?"

Let's complicate Gibbins' request and say that the love child game must be an MMO! I've posed his question to the team for this week's Massively Overthinking.

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Take Two's latest quarterly financial report shows GTA Online kicking ass

Take-Two's fiscal third quarter 2017 report is good news for folks watching both Grand Theft Auto Online and the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar. The company told investors this week that its quarterly net revenue grew 15%, while digital net revenue increased by 64%, thanks in large part to GTA5 and GTAO. GTAO in particular saw a "record number of players in December"; Rockstar is promising plenty of free updates in 2017.

Red Dead Redemption 2, revealed last October, is expected to launch this coming fall with a "brand-new online multiplayer experience."

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The MOP Up: Black Desert loyalty rewards (January 15, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week, Black Desert Online started rewarding loyal players with all manner of goodies. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Guild Wars 2Overwatch, Defiance, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Cold Iron's Craig Zinkievich on funding, the genre, and the MMO nature of the game

Earlier this month, we got a curious press release from a new gaming studio called Cold Iron. I might have skipped over it but for the fact that it was drenched in names I recognized from the old days of Cryptic Studios -- Craig Zinkievich, Shannon Posniewski, and Matt Highison. They're working on a "high-quality AAA online action game" that probably isn't a traditional MMORPG, but I wanted to probe for more details anyway, especially once we learned the studio is already fully funded.

We spoke with Cold Iron Founder/CEO Craig Zinkievich on just those topics; read on for our whole interview!

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Grand Theft Auto Online: Import/Export brings car theft back to the forefront of the game

After about four minutes in Grand Theft Auto, the eponymous crime becomes mundane. Stealing a car is not a complex operation; it's just how you get around from place to place. You see a car, you steal it, you drive it where you need to go and then send it careening off toward a gas station, because then the gas station will explode. Who cares? You can steal another when you need to leave.

Grand Theft Auto Online is bringing that crime back into the main part of play, though. The stealing of cars, that is, not the detonation of gas stations. The Import/Export addition is planned for this month, and it gives players access to a whole new world of jacking expensive cars, refurbishing them, and selling them for fun and profit. Mostly profit.

Aside from having to boost rare and unique vehicles with the help of a new cadre of carjacking vessels, players will have to stay one step ahead of rival organizations looking to get the same rare automobiles and the usual police investigations. There will also be new auto garage showrooms, deco options, and more elaborate heists to plan. So carjacking will be more relevant once again! But you'll still probably jack cars and send some of them into gas stations, because you're still playing GTA.

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The MOP Up: Hearthstone cruises down some Mean Streets (December 4, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week Hearthstone released its Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion, making all of us wish that World of Warcraft had a town like this. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from VaingloryIngressFinal Fantasy XI, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: A home away from home

If you were to move into an MMO for real, where would you live? I posed this question last week to the One Shots community, and those faithful screenshotting madmen and madwomen did not let me down with their responses.

DigitalQ says that Lord of the Rings Online leaves all other prospective homesteads in the dust: "I think this is a lovely spot to live out my RPG days. But I have to be honest: This is almost an identical screenshot of where I live now. A huge flock of geese are landing on the water as I'm typing this..and we actually call our home The Shire. It is a little slice of heaven on earth."

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The MOP Up: Gunjack 2 gets a launch date (November 13, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This past week, CCP announced a launch date for Gunjack 2: End of Shift. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Aion, Final Fantasy XI, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Grand Theft Auto Online removes ill-gotten currency, GTA5 rumored to be transforming into an MMO

You might be able to steal, swindle, and carjack to your heart's content in Grand Theft Auto Online, but you best not be crossing the line with Rockstar Games when it comes to your thievery. The studio has taken measures to drain illegitimate funds out of the game, including those found in unsuspecting players' accounts. The studio is also cracking down harder on infractions, such as players who use mods to artificially inflate their bank accounts.

On a happier note, GTA Online has revved up its Halloween offerings with a Lost vs. Damned game mode and a new motorcycle, the Sanctus.

And finally, in the rumor mill department is the scuttlebutt concerning several possible changes and additions coming to Grand Theft Auto V over the next few years, including the growth of online map expansions to create more of a persistent online world.

Source: Rockstar support, Ars Technica, VG247PC Gamer. Thanks John!

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Rockstar releases Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer

Earlier this week, Rockstar formally announced that it is working on Red Dead Redemption 2, due out fall of next year. "Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America's unforgiving heartland," says the official site. "The game's vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience."

One thing the website didn't say? Whether or not RDR2 is coming to PC. The presence of only Xbox One and P4 logos sent the internet into a "PC or riot" tizzy, though we'd be surprised if PC weren't an eventuality, given GTAO's success.

All of that is preamble for what Rockstar's done for the game's fans today, which is release a brand-new trailer as promised. We've tucked it below!

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Grand Theft Auto Online: Bikers lets you be the outlaw motorcyclist you always wanted to be

Here in the real world, your options with a motorcycle are more or less limited to "riding it." You can't really whip into a small town, hassle some shopkeepers, and get involved in a duel of wills with a man who appears to be more beard than human and whom everyone calls "Killer" unironically. No, to get that experience you'll have to grab the new Grand Theft Auto Online DLC, which contains basically all of the motorcycle-related entertainment you have ever wanted.

Aside from more motorcycle options and outfits, the DLC also adds in the option for your biker gang to have a clubhouse, an entirely illegitimate business, and new melee options from the back of your bike. If you've long wondered what's keeping you from swinging a battle axe while riding a motorcycle, the new answer is "absolutely nothing." There's also a new Adversary mode available and a new premium race, so players can get all of the motorcycle-related action possible now that the DLC is out.

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Self-driving cars are learning to drive with Grand Theft Auto

So it turns out that people were right when they said that self-driving cars were a terrible idea. We were all in favor of them; it seemed like a nice chance to relax, stare at the scenery, and possibly game while three sheets to the wind and without asking someone to pick us up. But researchers from Intel Labs and Darmstadt University in Germany are teaching the vehicles to drive using Grand Theft Auto, which means that self-driving cars will collide with other vehicles, drive on the sidewalk, and attempt to hide from police investigations by parking in a paint shop.

Jokes aside, the system being used is pretty awesome, using the environments of the games as a way to place the vehicles in real-life situations without any risk to human life. It's a complex process allowing the vehicles to "see" and analyze a large number of objects in quick succession, thus providing valuable data to be used in finished models. If you've got any interest in the technology, it's well worth a read. And if the next time you play Grand Theft Auto Online you notice that someone in your group seems to be moving rather robotically, maybe you should cut that player some slack.

Source: MIT Technology Review; thanks to Stemline for the tip!

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