Red Dead Online players voice concerns over game’s economy and balance

    
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As of today, Red Dead Redemption 2’s multiplayer component, Red Dead Online, is available to all players, and while the experience has been largely well received, a significant portion of the playerbase has taken to Reddit, Twitter, and the game’s forums to voice their concerns about the state of RDO’s economy.

Much of the costernation comes as a result of the implemenation of gold bars, the game’s premium currency, which can be used to unlock certain items (such as guns) prior to meeting the level requirements to use them as well as to purchase certain cosmetic items like clothing and hairstyles. Reddit user UnavailableIDs did some rough (but apparently more-or-less accurate) math and came to the conclusion that, on average, it will take around eight hours of playtime to earn a single gold bar. For reference, it costs 12 gold bars to change the color of your starting pistol to be all blackened steel.

Although the game’s microtransaction store is currently disabled, players will eventually be able to purchase gold bars for real-world money, leading many players to worry that players who have the cash to shell out for gold bars will end up with an unfair power advantage over those who rely on purely in-game means of earning income.

But it’s not just the premium currency that has players on edge; the standard in-game currency — good old American dollars — is also under fire. In short, the issue is that, although players earn money at a rate largely comparable to that of the single-player game — in which item prices reflect the real-world value of the American dollar during the time period in which the game is set — the prices for items in the multiplayer version have been increased significantly.

As one Reddit user so eloquently put it, “We make money like it’s 1899 and everything is pricsed like it’s 2018.” The issue is compounded by the fact that even playing the game minute-to-minute requires players to constantly shell out for things like ammo, horse feed, and setting up campsites, so many players are finding it difficult to simply break even, much less to be able to afford some of the game’s more expensive items (such as the obscenely priced $1000 Mauser pistol) without having to resign themselves to an eternity of grinding.

To Rockstar’s credit, we suppose, the studio has set up a dedicated site for players to submit feedback on the RDO experience and is encouraging players to share their thoughts. However, given the precedent set by Grand Theft Auto Online, which has earned Rockstar beaucoup bucks through the sales of Shark Card microtransactions, many players are understandbly doubtful that the studio is actually going to listen to players’ concerns. Rockstar recently posted a tweet filled with “a few quick tips to help [players] succeed and thrive,” but there’s been no acknowledgment yet of the community’s displeasure with the game’s economy. Whether anything is going to change during this so-called “beta” of RDO, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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rosieposie

But how are they going to survive and make new games without all these micro transactions? I mean, the base game hardly set any sales records! And you know how expensive is to make games these days. Cue all the usual excuses.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

“Rockstar recently posted a tweet filled with “a few quick tips to help [players] succeed and thrive,””

Hello players! We know it’s difficult to succeed at this time but we have a few tips on how to thrive even!

If you want to thrive you simply need to put a few more dollars into the game. Simply wait to buy our microtransaction gold once the store opens. We know you all have money, you bought the game!

Just skipping buying one luxury cup of coffee a day and spending it on our game instead can help you to afford to break even without too much of a grind.

Who really needs breakfast? Skip that expensive breakfast and spend it in our game instead. You will be so happy in game you won’t even notice your growling stomach.

Do you really need bottled water? Try drinking that tap water. It won’t kill you, will it? The goods you’ll be able to have in our game will wipe that tainted taste right out of your mouth.

Get an extra job. Grinding in our game can be as tedious as working. Imagine the satisfaction you’ll have working an extra part time job. You will be the envy of all those around you in the virtual wild west with the shiny trinkets you’ll be adorned with in our game. If you work hard enough, you may even have a few extra dollars to get that breakfast we advised skipping, though we recommend putting it all into our game for supremely increased satisfaction and thriving.

For more tips, please visit our tip page: justdumpyourmoneyinthehole.com

We look forward to your money!

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Cosmic Cleric

on average, it will take around eight hours of playtime to earn a single gold bar. For reference, it costs 12 gold bars to change the color of your starting pistol to be all blackened steel.

96 hours for a black gun? Am I reading that right?

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Rheem Octuris

Which, if you play for 3 hours a day, is about a month’s worth of grinding.

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Cosmic Cleric

That’s not the point though.

The quantity of hours to change a color on an item, that’s extremely excessive, considering how you can just apply colors on items in other games. That’s too much grinding, unhealthy grinding. Its screaming to make you go buy the color change item instead, a greedy money cash grab, justified because its a “cosmetic” change.

Jeebus Cristo do game companies have a health DISrespect for their customers these days. /shakeshead

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Rheem Octuris

I’m saying its an obscene amount of time for something that should take an hour or so, tops

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Cosmic Cleric

/agree

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A Dad Supreme

Players: “It cost too much money to change the color of things or do stuff in RDR2. How am I supposed to get money?”

https://www.gameinformer.com/2018/11/30/the-best-ways-to-make-money-in-red-dead-online

https://www.polygon.com/red-dead-online-guide/2018/11/27/18114977/rdr2-make-money-easy-fast

Red Dead Redemption 2: where to sell gold bars and how to get gold bars

http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2018/11/guide_red_dead_online_-_how_to_make_money

https://www.usgamer.net/articles/30-11-2018-red-dead-online-money-how-to-earn-money-fast-dollar-farming

Red Dead Redemption 2: How to make money fast

Players: “Yeah, but I don’t want to do all the treasure maps to get the gold bars or farm stuff or do missions. That’s too much trouble and time consuming for a single-player game. I just want the blackened steel now for my guns.”

Player: “But I don’t want it that easy. Just make it a little more easy.”

Reader
rosieposie

Yes, just think of the pride and accomplishment you will feel about your new gun following 96 hours of grinding.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

It’s a single-player game. That “pride and accomplishment” comes from getting cosmetic appearances. If I felt that strongly about it, I’d just exploit a bug to get more money since I can only report myself to Rockstar.

“Dear Rockstar, hey you know this single player part of the game you made? Well I cheated, and used the Gold Bar glitch to get blackened cosmetic guns.”

The grind doesn’t affect me because I’m not competing against anyone. The longer I play one, the more value I get out of them. Like Skyrim or Fallout, the grinds were there but I didn’t care. I have never thought of any single player game as “grinding”.

If blackened guns meant more DPS in the online portion, then I would be worried about time to change a look.

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Bryan Correll

Hmmm. The first linked article recommends fishing as a money maker. Is this a reskin of BDO?

Reader
A Dad Supreme

I don’t think so but I didn’t play BDO (cancelled my pre-order).

Basically there are lots of ways to make money, but it’s more along the lines of a Skyrim where the goal isn’t to accumulate ALL the items and best things in the game right away. You’re encouraged to play through but not on a rail-system.

So what ends up happening is that people who are used to “Do this, go there, turn in that” get lost and no “easy” way to make money easily shows itself.

I know for me, I like to wander around looking at the world and hunt… as if I was doing it in real life. So I use poison arrows on 3-star animals not to ruin the pelt, then skin/sell them. It gives more than enough money to get many things but again, I’m not trying to complete my camp in one day, which it sounds like some of the players are.

To my surprise, I’ve played this more as “Hunting Simulator” rather than “RPG” and actually had fun doing it, when I hate any fishing/hunting games.
Taking the pelts back usually ends in some trouble popping up because the game randoms when you get attacked most times, unless you are “wanted”.

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Sorenthaz

I don’t get why people are suddenly raising concerns now after letting GTAO slide by with its shenanigans.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

The overall sense I get from watching RDR is similar to that of many of the folks streaming it, in so much as it seems like the game has substantially more to it, but most of it seems to be switched off.

As for the economy if the stuff is available in game (which it is) and most of what gold bars does is gives early access to level related features and cosmetics I don’t really have an issue with it… I mean its no different to what they did with GTAV.

I suppose the idea of you know..just playing the game organically and unlocking this stuff without a shortcut doesn’t occur to those folks who think the game only starts at endgame and just look for the quick skip straight to that.

All a non issue as far as I’m concerned, I’d have way more concern as I say over why so much of the content seems to be implemented and yet disabled personally.

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Mr.McSleaz

After GTA V’s Shark Cards, everyone should have been expecting this and nobody should be surprised.

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Denice J. Cook

Isn’t GTAV’s Online component still really grindy after all these years? I doubt Rockstar is going to change anything to a meaningful degree in RDR2 Online either then.

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rafael12104

So, is the online addition still in beta? Not trying for the snide remark. I really don’t know.

Well, seems par for the course. The industry refuses to learn lessons from EA and Activision mistakes. Instead, they follow their lead.

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A Dad Supreme

Yep, still beta for online PvP.

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Kickstarter Donor
Kayweg

Ah, is this anotherone of those “But, but….you can get everything by just playing the game” schemes then, eh ?
Sure you can, if only you play 12 hours a day until the tender age of 194 or something.