In a year of low content, Rockstar wants Red Dead Online to feel like a ‘second life’

    
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When you hop into Red Dead Online, do you feel like a cowboy? That, apparently, is the hope, at least according to new Gamesradar interview with some of Rockstar’s devs, who discussed their directions for updates and how the game’s community has been cultivated.

The interview may raise eyebrows with gamers who remember that 2020 ushered in a severe content drought for Yeehaw Skyrim, which dragged on so long players were literally protesting it by dressing up as clowns. That drought ended only when Rockstar rolled out the new Frontier Pursuit, Naturalist role, and new Outlaw pass in July, though players are still pretty peeved about the slow pace and small size of updates. To wit, here’s one of the salty memes at the top of the Reddit as of this morning:

The state of RDO, jesus. from RedDeadOnline

That unrest isn’t mentioned in this interview; Rockstar argues that it’s trying to let players live a second life through addition of the Frontier Pursuits update roles, which offer players activities through bounty hunting, studying the natural world as a Naturalist, or playing the commercial game as a Trader or Moonshiner. The studio explains that it’s trying to keep RDO more realistic than GTA Online, in spite of its off-color moments, such as Halloween’s events or the Naturalist role’s Vitalism Studies, which let players turn into animals. Ultimately, the team considers what life would be like in frontier America during the 1800s when creating content.

As for the future? Fans of RDO can expect more of the same, with the devs saying they are focused on “building on top of and into” the game’s world. The devs are also keen on adding more characters and more kinds of stories in the future, with an eye to letting every type of player experience these stories as they see fit, whether alone or in a full posse.

source: GamesRadar
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Darren

Made an account just to let you know that you referred to RDR2 as “yahoo Skyrim” when you should have said “Yeehaw Skyrim” that is all.

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2Ton Gamer

This game is the most beautiful game ever made and even the online mode is not bad until you realize there just isn’t enough to do to even call it an online mode really. 1-3 player share mode is more like it, which can be fun, but it’s pointless after you easily max out the trades and get all of the gear and cosmetics. I wish this had been a true online game with quests and posses and PvE content, but alas, this is just a gussied up single player natural wonder that Teddy Roosevelt would have loved to look at while he was too sick to go out and see it for himself.

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Vanquesse V

RDRO is a such better game than GTAO and that makes it suck extra that it doesn’t get the content it deserves.

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Sarah Cushaway

The storymode of RDR2 was an -amazing- game.
The online mode is a pointless gankfest grind.

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Jon Wax

Best sp game ever

Broke a chair.

10/10

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Vanquesse V

calling rdr2 online a gankfest is misguided at best. Barring hackers I completed the last real battlepass without getting getting killed by another player

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Schmidt.Capela

Some players dislike even the possibility of PvP. I, for example, set a specific command that would throw me into an empty lobby to a hotkey back when I was playing GTAO (a method similar to how Elite Dangerous players dropped out of shared sessions — a trick, again, used to vanish in front of PvPers as soon as they opened fire — by taking a screenshot with the path set to a slow floppy drive). Heck, I only even got GTAV because I found out about that way to prevent PvP (without disabling most of the GTAO content like the official solo mode does).

Now that RDR2 has been cracked, and I found a similar method to get solo sessions at will, I’m thinking about purchasing the game — but only with a 60% discount of better, since it did take Epic’s bribe to release on their store a month before on Steam.

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cursedseishi

No surprise the unrest isn’t brought up. Most don’t feel like tossing anything more than a limp soft-ball towards major names like Rockstar in fear they’ll end up blacklisted by the studio. And of course there’s unrest, but Rockstar is seemingly proud of it all. After all, as they’ve stated in the past, their developing towards what is the biggest earner–online content. What isn’t so explicitly stated as it is implicitly known, is that ‘said online content’ means developing meaningfully only content that is or matches GTA Online’s sheer volume of profit, to the exclusion and detriment of literally everything else.

After all, it doesn’t matter that GTA 5 sold gangbusters and crushed sales. Didn’t matter that RDR 2 was a massive release that was irrationally praised and lavished with adoration it didn’t earn or deserve (in my opinion at least). The former had all of its single-player DLC dropped from development (even when it was near completion as some report) and the latter’s single player was pretty much planned to be dead on release, because neither would drive recurrent spending.

And when Red Dead Online sputtered out? It’s clear they pulled out resources likely originally keyed to its development and shifted it back towards GTA Online and left the game with a nominal skeletal crew to keep the props supported and do some minor work here or there.

They’re actively (and intentionally) working against themselves in developing any meaningful content for their games. GTA Online had a greater focus on that recurrent model from the start and leans harder into it, so it makes more. Red Dead Online had nothing, both in terms of monetization and in available content online, so nobody was as actively engaged with it as they were in GTAO–which meant RDO sputtered out of steam, so they pulled back development which further harmed the game and reinforced the issue…

And now its reasoning is the argument of ‘Realism’ for RDR 2/RDO, rather than ‘We’re just currently focused on improving the online experience’ given for GTA5/GTO.

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Sarah Cushaway

RDR2 is my favorite game of all time, and I speak as someone who has likely been gaming longer than you’ve been alive. It has a huge fanbase for a reason.

The online version is hot garbage.

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cursedseishi

And on the online being hot garbage, I can firmly agree on.

I can admit freely that Rockstar’s attitude (among other things) have burnt me out on their games, with GTA 5 being the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. That was the last game of theirs I bought, and I’ve seen no reason to change that.

And it’s hard to be excited for GTA 6 or RDR 3 or whatever game they announce next… When I can’t help but see whatever game it is, it’s just going to be a shallow vehicle meant to introduce us to another Online service, with the single player scrapped the moment it delivers that.

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Jon Wax

Without conflict these games all lack purpose

With conflict nobody wants to play

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Ravven

We’ve been playing because there’s no conflict, by choice – using it as a chill game with gorgeous scenery, hunting and doing missions and bounties.

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mike foster

yeah we LOVED the small lobbies

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Sarah Cushaway

Bullshit. You can have conflict without it being a FFA PVP gankfest.

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laelgon

RDO has that unfortunate feel of “what could’ve been.” There’s something I found very calming and enjoyable just hunting animals to produce trade goods, then doing deliveries of those goods. Where it falls flat is that none of it matters. The best comparison I can make is if Elite Dangerous had no background simulation. It’s all the dressing of a sandbox MMO with none of the systems that let players feel like they’re living in the world and making an impact. Sure I can make my camp a little nicer, get a new gun that performs slightly different than my current gun, or unlock a new hat, but none of it matters.

I’d love to see a true sandbox MMO built off the foundation of what’s there. Make a massive open world, let players build homesteads and towns, have a real economy that players affect, etc… But that’s not going to happen. RDO exists because they had their singleplayer map handy for a shallow multiplayer experience with a cash shop.

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Sarah Cushaway

Exactly.

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Ravven

I’ve always wanted that. I see no point in ganking people just trying to do their dailies or whatever. This is such a stunning environment – let us have our player towns and homesteads. I’d love to be able to ranch, raise and train horses, drive my cattle to market and sell them. Rather than bringing game to Cripps and having the lazy bastard sneer at me, I’d like to sell furs in a marketplace for people who were making saddles and winter coats.

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Jon Wax

Tried to reply but it got messed up

See above

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mike foster

I really love RDO and got super into it a couple of months back but there’s legit no new content; the roles don’t take long to max and the missions/etc are pretty repetitive. For us the theme/environment were really compelling and we enjoyed playing cowfolks, but there’s no meaningful progress so we kind of ran out of reasons to keep logging on past the first few weeks of hunting animals and bounties.

The Halloween pass was a good example of why players are frustrated; it offered some barebones rewards (many of which were re-skins of other content) and I personally maxed mine out in a few hours. There are some really, really negative players who want to read the absolute worst into every decision, but I’ll say it does seem like a game Rockstar does not prioritize at all, especially when you can look across space and time to see how GTA is updated.

It’s a BEAUTIFUL game and it does what it does SO WELL; it feels like a tremendous and ongoing wasted opportunity.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

It’s a shame they’ve moved to focusing on online content instead of what they excel at, single player experiences. I guess the money is too good.