You’ve spent the last two weeks playing the hell out of Rockstar’s out of the park hit, Grand Theft Auto 5. If you’ve spent your time wisely, you’ve memorized the map, learned a few secrets, and most importantly, figured out the best and easiest ways to earn money. If not, you’d better get started tonight, because tomorrow, October 1st, GTA Online (GTA-O) goes public. Scroll down to read 12 of the most important details you want to know before loading GTA Online on your Gaming System.
1. Not an MMO
Unlike MMO’s like WoW which throw hundreds of players together in a Realm, GTA-O will only accommodate up to 16 players per game session. I’m not saying only here as a discretization, 16 players together in a world as dynamic as Los Santos is far from inadequate. In fact, considering how much damage a single player can do to the world of GTA V, I’m looking forward to seeing just how well the servers and gaming systems handle the content.
2. Persistent Online World of its Own
GTA-O will take place in a persistent online world that, while utilizing the features, landscapes and mechanics of Grand Theft Auto V, will exist in a separate and contained reality of its own. Who knows, a few months down the line, the city of Los Santos could end up mirroring Fringe’s New York with two similar yet inherently different timelines.
3. Separate World = Separate Wallets
If you’ve spent the last two weeks gaining cash through the dynamic stock market within GTA 5, I’ve got some bad news for you. None of that cash will be available to you in GTA-O. I know, sucks right. Don’t worry, Rockstar says that “The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other. Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode”.
4. Co-op is a Choice, Not a Requirement
While players will have the option of working together in co-op missions, “ambient” activities or participating in the more traditional game modes, none of these options are forced upon you. If you so have the desire, you could potentially wait for others to successfully complete a robbery and rob them yourself. As far as we’ve been informed, there isn’t necessarily anything promoting or enforcing honor amongst thieves. Just remember, vengeance is a harsh mistress.
5. Race Anything
With Rockstar claiming that players can experience “everything from classic street competition and off-road tracks to boat racing on the open ocean, or take to the skies in aerial events”, we expect that there will be few to no vehicles that you won’t be able to race against random strangers in. I can only imagine what type of races they have planned for the fighter jets.
6. Crete Your Own Races
Not only will GTA-O include pre-programmed tracks to race your friends and other players unfortunate enough to be placed within your server, Rockstar wants you to feel in control of your online world and take a part in expanding it. To give you a sensation of control, GTA-O will deliver you the ability to create your own races and race types. Each with varying goals and difficulties that you can set yourself. I’m curious if we’ll be able to setup a near impossible race with an overly expensive buy-in to make up some fast cash.
7. Los Santos Will Change as Time Goes On
Rockstar will be introducing the first of its regularly planned content updates in the next few weeks. These updates include a Content Creator (facilitating race creation), a Beach Bum Pack (which will include four new vehicles, hundreds of new clothing items and two new weapons), Capture the Flag mode and co-op Heists (upon completion you may have the option of shorting your cohorts on their cuts). Unlike the currently common choice to charge for game DLC, the GTA-O updates are purported to be completely free.
8. Wreak Havoc as Yourself or Anyone
Unlike GTA 5 and previous iterations, GTA-O will give players the chance to create and customize their own GTA Online characters. By offering this fully customizable characters, you shouldn’t have issues telling yourself apart from other players and can make for some very humorous fan videos. Cars and weapons are planned to be customizable to your character as well, allowing you to choose your favorite of each.
9. The World Responds to YOU
Not only can you model your player character after yourself, if you choose play while using a microphone headset, your character’s lips will move in unison with your voice. In addition, NPC’s will react accordingly to the urgency in your voice. If in a robbery, screaming too much or too loud may cause your mark to become too scared to respond, while not being adamant enough may prevent them from fearing you and instead prompt them to pull a weapon on you. Crazy!
10. F*CKING MICRO PAYMENTS!
While not planned as a requirement, GTA-O will give players the option of either earning money in-game or spending real-life currency on denominations of GTA $ to enable them to buy items such as homes and vehicles at a quicker rate. While I’m not happy to hear that Rockstar is instituting a Pay-to-Win option, Rockstar says: “The game and its economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash. There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game. You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker” ..”
We’ve got to let everyone know that Rockstar expects that the launch of GTA-O may not go completely smoothly. This is a fairly new and absolutely expansive endeavor for rolling out an online game. Consider for a moment that over 15 million copies of GTA 5 have been sold so far, now consider that at least half of those sales will try playing GTA-O on release day. Without a doubt, servers are going to get congested and die. Rockstar warns, “There will be the typical growing pains for an online game, including but not limited to crashes, glitches, crazy bugs, gameplay modes and mechanics that need re-balancing and other surprises”. They want to reassure that they’ll, “be monitoring and actively doing all we can to smooth such things out as they happen, but we need your help to find them, as well as your feedback to help fine tune all of the game’s systems so everything is perfectly balanced.” So… Pay-to-Win AND Pay-to-Test. Looks like they’ve got me, I’m still in.
12. Free Stuff!
In celebration of GTA V’s release for PS3 and Xbox 360, Rockstar is currently giving away GTAV gear and collectibles to its fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Fans of the game can enter the competition to win some collectibles by checking out and liking Rockstar’s page on Facebook before October 4th. Prizes are to include a GTA 5 Sleeping/Body Bag, Black GA 5 Hooded Sweatshirt, a GTA 5 Hundred Dollar Bill Yoga Mat, a Stuffed Chop plush doll, GTA 5 Bullet Dog Whistle, an Official GTA 5 Zippo Lighter, a Los Santos Sheriff’s Trucker Hat, a GTA 5 Safe Lock Kitchen Timer, a Bugstar Van Keychain, and some Grand Theft Auto 5 Official Logo Tees.
Just in case you’ve missed the hype, check out the Official GTA Online Gameplay Video below.