As you know I am not a massive fan of online gaming because I really hate interacting with humans at the best of times. The fact that part of Dead Space 3 locks out some of the content if you are not playing with a second person infuriated me. Thankfully Grand Theft Auto Online can be played alone if you wish and is a separate game that incorporates the sandbox world of San Andreas, some of the characters and of course the game play of Grand Theft Auto 5. I have played this Online mode on both the PS3 and PS4 consoles so will talk about both here, starting with the version for the PS3.
I ended up doing several Updates after my first article, so below you'll find:
Grand Theft Auto Online - PS3 Version Experience
Grand Theft Auto Online - PS4 Version Experience
Yet Another GTA Online Update
GTA Online...Angry Rant!!!
GTA Online...My Final Update...??
GTA Online...After Hours Update
GTA Online...Really?...Another GTA Online Update...???
The GTA Online Community
GTA Online...The End of the Road
I am currently a Level 37 and have been playing the game for a good few days, first off I have to say that getting started is relatively easy. As the story campaign loads up all you need to do is hit the square button (if you are playing the PS3 version) and the game will change to the online servers.
So, one button push and Boom you're playing GTA Online.
The character creation screen is a little unusual, you don’t design your character as such, instead you choose their grandparents on both their mother's and father's sides, which gives birth to your online avatar. I discovered after creating my character that I have made a rather generic looking chap, however because the character customisation is not exactly extensive with so very few options, you are going to run into dozens of your almost identical twins running around the world.
Naturally once the game is underway you go through a bit of a tutorial in which you can select a car, do a race against other players, and after a couple of other hand-holding missions you are pretty much released into San Andreas to do what you will.
Initially you are simply dropped into the city with your own personal vehicle, this car is always nearby when you start missions so you can use it as you want either in a mission or in the world. You have the ability to put a tracking device and even insure your vehicle so if it is destroyed you can get it back again.
Making money and levelling up is pretty straight forward, the first few missions are relatively easy and you can do missions on your own or naturally you can play with other people in the game. In each version of the city there will be up to 16 players but if you have friends playing the game you have the option to find and join their game. You can also send invites to one another and book mark pages so you can do missions that you like over and over again if you wish.
You don’t just have to do missions either, there are various races using cars, bikes or planes, team death matches, a survival mode where you and up to three others survive against waves of enemies, players can design their own games for other players to take part in. You are rarely stuck for something to do and as you play through different activities you’ll not only level up you will also gain money.
Joining games like RPGs Vs Insurgents with up to 16 players is pretty good fun. The game involves two teams, one armed with rocket launchers standing on top of crates suspended in mid-air whilst the other team are in armoured cars and have to drive up ramps attempting to knock the team off the crates.
In order to launch heists or have more than one personal vehicle you need to buy yourself a high-end apartment, I played the game for around nine hours before I had enough money to buy an apartment. You have to buy apartments because if you just buy a house you cannot launch heist missions so it is a little pointless buying anything other than a high end apartment. All high end-apartments came with a ten car garage, any vehicles you remove from the garage are then your personal vehicle until you either exchange them with another in your garage or reload the game beginning in your apartment.
So once you have the high-end apartment you can start your own heists, and here is where you are going to run into issues…
My biggest problem with playing online are other players…when you are in the hub world there are others that will drive around in their cars attacking other people. There is an option to engage “Passive Mode”, when you are playing in this mode other players cannot attack you, and you can’t attack them, except if you are in a car. Personally I find it incredibly irritating to be driving around minding my own business only to have some Bell-end chase after me and lob a sticky bomb on my car and blow me up for no other reason than he is a dick.
After I had completed the first heist (which only needs one other person to do it with you), the game unlocks an armoured car which is really fast and damn near bullet proof, which is great for doing additional missions. It costs $525,000 so I devoted a day of almost solid gaming in order to save up enough to get the money, this was a bit of a grind, but I was able to do it in a single day. I purchased my shiny new car, drove it out of the garage, and was immediately set upon by another player, who, guess what, blew it up. Now I did not lose it because it was insured, so this other player had to pay $7000 to me in order to replace the vehicle he’d destroyed after I called the Insurance Company to get myself another one. My car was delivered and I went to pick it up, the moment I was behind the wheel, the same player appeared out of nowhere and blew it up again, so I once again claimed on the insurance, costing this person another $7000, and the car was once again returned to me. As I walked over to it, the same player appeared and parked up waiting for me to get behind the wheel, presumably in order to blow it up and kill me again, I was in Passive Mode at the time so was invincible unless I got behind the wheel. I stood there for a good four or five minutes waiting for this twat-head to piss off, but he didn’t, he just waited until eventually I got bored and found a new online session to join. So it cost him $14,000 in order to blow up my car, and kill me…I don’t get what the point was. He was a much higher level than me so I imagine he did not get much (or I later found out any) xp for killing me and it cost him money to do it, so what was the point??? As a result of knob-heads like that I really don’t spend much time in the hub city and will generally do missions, ideally on my own with my armoured car, so I can claim the money and xp to put towards other apartments or personally I like upgrading my growing fleet of cars.
On the subject of cars, you can obviously steal vehicles and put them into your garage if you want, unfortunately, you can only upgrade certain vehicles so the higher end cars can only be upgraded if you have purchased them. Obviously this was only done so that players would have to buy the best cars in the game, my question is this: why not create some cars that are only available in the Online modes rather than having to buy a Banshee because you cannot simply steal one and upgrade it??
You will get invitations to join other players in their heists or start your own, unfortunately you need 4 people to play the heist missions, some of these are necessary to do with 4 because each of you will have a specific role, this might be alone or part of a the whole team. Yet there are other occasions when you could easily do the set up mission on your own, but can't because the game won't let you unless you have 3 other people with you. I imagine if you have loads of friends it’ll be easy to do the missions, unfortunately I have lost track of the amount of time I have been sitting in a lobby waiting for players to join a heist. The thing is that when you have enough people that is only half the battle, once the mission is underway (depending on the settings) if any one player dies then the whole mission starts over. I was doing a heist when I was a level 6, there were much higher ranking players in the game, however, there was one guy who kept running off ahead and getting himself killed. There was an in-mission reload so we did not have to start the whole thing over again but as this guy got killed over and over eventually the whole mission was cancelled. Whether by the host player or by the shit guy leaving I have absolutely no idea, but I found this to be a trend, and it has started to get really, really irritating.
On another occasion when the spoils of a heist were being decided prior to starting the final stage (the heists have several preparation missions before the main job) everyone has to agree so the heist can begin. I was part of a crew and the host player tried to give me and the other 2 joining players a 5% cut of the total payout instead of the 20% we’d started with, all of us had said we were Ready to begin so changing the payout was obviously supposed to go unnoticed. It didn’t and all of returned to being Unready until the money was spread out more evenly…again a bit of a dick move on the host player’s part…still once that was sorted out we started the mission getting to the final stage before a player left and all of us were booted back to the lobby screen.
It is possible that these drops outs could be down to poor internet connections, I have been kicked out of the online mode more times than I care to count and my internet connection is pretty good. But if a player is still active back in the hub world then they have obviously just decided they didn’t like the mission or the heist and simply quit…which just ruins the fun for everyone else.
I currently have 2 reliable people that are online fairly regularly, and so the 3 of us do play a number of games and missions together…which are generally pretty good fun. Sadly you need 4 people for a heist, so the 3 of us sit and wait, and wait, and wait for a fourth person to join the game. Finally when someone does it is extremely unlikely that they will stick around for the mission, to be half way or further along in your objective and suddenly have the Failed screen drop in front of you saying that one of the players has left so the heist has been cancelled is infuriating. Clearly if you are going to play the heists then you need to have at least 3 other reliable online friends to play them with you.
Other players are the best and worst thing about playing this game (that maybe true of all online games but this is the first one I have really played for any length of time) because when everything works it is great fun. I was doing a stage of a heist mission with another player, we had to get onto a cargo ship and steal a car…sounds simple enough right?? 2 others were breaking into a police station to steal plans for a prison, as we escaped from the ship the other guy (who wasn’t someone we knew – it was just a random player) jumped out of the car leaving me to fight off waves of pursuing gang members, who wanted the car back, on my own. I managed to complete the stage of the mission losing both the police and gang members without any assistance only for this other player to suddenly reappear as the mission completed taking his cut of the money earned.
To sit in a lobby for AGES waiting for someone to join basically means that beggars cannot be choosers, you have to start with any random person, and sometimes you do get a decent player unfortunately I have found that other players tend to just leave before the mission is completed. I have no idea why someone would start a mission only to piss off leaving the other players to be booted back to the lobby screen to await someone else joining so we could try the mission again.
The game has a “Good Sport” perk, basically you get money if you stay in games right up to the end like: Last Team Standing even if you do get killed and have to be a spectator until the end of the round. If you leave the game before the end you will be given a “Bad Sport” rating which other players can see so the idea is that you can vet players if they have a habit of leaving games before the end. Unfortunately as I have mentioned above, sometimes you’d rather start a mission with an unreliable player than sit there staring at a loading screen waiting for someone more reliable to join the heist.
Plus I am also not exactly sure what is going to keep me playing in the long run, I have a high end apartment and now I have an armoured car, yes it is bullet-proof (pretty much), but it can still be blown up. I like upgrading cars so that is what my money is going on, you have to complete various races to unlock other upgrades and as you level up you also get better weapons and car upgrades…for the moment then that is why I am continuing to play, if I can form my own crew to do heists with, then a lot of the issues that I have discussed may fall away…but once the heists are all done - how long am I going to be playing for the sake of upgrading cars and levelling up???
Now that is the question…
When it works GTA Online is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon, sadly I have found that the occasions when I have had the most fun is when I have been doing missions on my own, although playing alongside my 2 friends in various missions is also a good laugh. I am looking to make my own crew so if I do and can do the heists then maybe it’ll make the game more fun. Through no fault of its own, GTA Online can be very frustrating and sitting there waiting for the required number of players to join a mission doesn’t get any less irritating.
When it works it is great, when it doesn’t or other players are being twats it is an exercise in frustration, as a result my Thumb has to be Horizontal because as much enjoyment I have had playing it, I have had spent an equal amount being frustrated by the actions of other players or their possible internet connection issues.
7/10 – GTA Online can be great, but how much enjoyment you have with the other players will depend on those players, when my 2 friends are online we have fun, but when they are not online I would rather do missions alone than interact with strangers. If you own Grand Theft Auto 5 then give it a bash because honestly you might as well, it is free with the main game.
I thought my review of GTA Online seemed complete but honestly as I have delved more deeply into the game and spent more time playing it there are other things that I did not talk about in my initial review that I think are worth complaining about so that is what I am going to do.
As of time of writing, I have literally just reached Level 100…hooray…yay for me, how amazing am I, bow before me, etcetera, etcetera.
The obvious question of what has kept me playing has been answered by my simple desire to want to catch up to my friends who started their time on GTA way before I did. When I began they were at Level 70 odd and over the last few weeks I have closed that gap to the point where there are only about 10 levels now between us. I have also become “friends” with numerous other players that I have encountered in the world so it has gotten a little easier to do certain missions and grind through some of the things that the game forces you to do if you want to unlock various new weapons, colours and vehicle upgrades.
During my playtime I have pretty much abandoned the last team standing missions because they are effectively the same thing over and over again with one team always being considerably better than the other. As the losing team gets beaten over and over again, team members bugger off reducing the losing team’s chances of clawing back a victory. So whilst I will occasionally have a game of Rockets Vs Insurgents it has basically become an exercise in irritation as I slam rocket after rocket into another player without destroying them and yet a single missile can hit me and my insurgent explodes knocking me out of the round. Why my rockets so piss weak when another player can hit me once and send my flaming corpse hurling across the tarmac is a mystery to me.
Thankfully if you are playing the game and want something to do, you just have to hit the start button, scroll across to online, select jobs and you are given the option of repeating any missions that Online has to offer. I don’t mind this because even mission that you have played over and over are not 100% the same and if you play them on hard then you are in no way guaranteed success so they don’t become a pointless grind. The xp and money you earn from these missions is generally pretty good and it is how I have managed to catch up to my 2 online friends who I actually know in real life too.
After I was told that you could do this I found the niggling frustrations about waiting for missions to appear or having to do ones I wasn’t keen on over and over dissipated. So there were points going in GTA Online’s favour, unfortunately as I have gone deeper into the online experience there is so much about the game that strikes me as being really, really lazy.
In my first review I said that you need a high end apartment to do the heists, these range from around the $300,000 to $500,000 the problem is that there are only 3 variations on the apartments themselves. So you might have bought an apartment in one building, get an invite to visit one of your friends or go to their apartment to do a heist setup and find that their apartment is absolutely identical to your own. Basically once you own a high end-apartment, it doesn’t really matter if you go for a more basic one or the most expensive the game has to offer because there is absolutely no variation between them. In Saints Row 2 you bought various cribs around the map and were able to customise them, the options were a little limited but you could choose between a few different options to set up these cribs as you saw fit. I have got absolutely no idea what Online does not have a similar feature, I am not asking for The Sims levels of customisation but why do we have mechanics that can customise almost every aspect of a vehicle but our apartments all have to look the same. If such a thing is not possible then why not have different apartment buildings have different designs of apartments?? Would it have been so difficult to have one apartment building being ultra-modern, one that has a more traditional styling, another that was themed on the 1980s, yes I am just making these up but hopefully you see my point. If you own one of these apartments then the only reason to get another is to get another 10-car garage but even this becomes a little pointless and I will explain why in a minute.
The cars in Online can, for the most part, be upgraded with new colours, tyres, and armour making it harder for them to be destroyed. Plus thank you game makers because you can even buy bulletproof tyres so when you are in a car chase or fleeing for your life you don’t end up with a tyre bursting and your level of control becoming something resembling a man trying to push a cow across an ice skating rink. The majority of the car upgrades are only unlocked after you win 44 odd races, yes you need to win 44 races, now myself and one of my online friends decided that the best way to do this was to pick the smallest circuit we could find, do one lap, and allow each other to win the required number of races before switching around. For around 4 HOURS we just went round and round. The races took about 30 seconds but the finishing statistics, and the reload times resulted in the total task lasting around 2 minutes. So hour after hour dragged past as we grinded through the races just so we could unlock different colours, brakes, engines, and boosts for our cars. Now when this was done we both headed to the nearest Mod Shop to check out what we have unlocked, but then we realised something. The majority of these upgrades are useless. Take the brakes for example, now you have a stat bar which shows how upgraded your car is. It also shows how much certain things will be improved with new upgrades. The thing is that adding racing brakes to your car adds a gnats bollocks worth of improvement, so what is the point of having them on there?? The turbo is pretty good because it will boost your car’s acceleration, but bizarrely the engine upgrades do the same thing. Why do I have engine upgrades that don’t improve the top speed but add another millimetre to the speed of the acceleration?? I have checked, my armoured car with the full engine upgrade and turbo is not noticeably quicker than one of my online friends who’s car has no upgrades. Again I have no idea why this was designed like this, how cool would it have been if you could take cars that were not that fast and beef up the engine to the point where it decimates all competitors?? Admittedly the engines do sound different when they are upgraded which is a nice touch but everything you do to the car is ultimately cosmetic, putting on race tyres don’t give you more grip, off-road tyres don’t help you when off-road so by modifying cars all you are really doing is personalising them without affecting how they drive or their speed.
I have filled my apartment’s garage with various cars, but I almost never use anything other than my armoured car, yes you can improve the armour of your regular cars but people can still shoot through the windows so if you want to get through the mission in one piece if you are doing it on hard and playing alone then don’t bother going in anything else.
The enemies are also pretty annoying, I only noticed it the other day that you get no xp for killing police so that is a good thing I guess because you aren’t being encouraged to murder police officers, but all the enemies have pin-point perfect aiming when firing at you. The armoured car is damn near bullet proof but as you can shoot out there are gaps in the windows for people to shoot in. I have been fleeing from bad guys or racing to my objective only to have my health picked away by an enemy in a pursuing car that is barely even registering on my in game map. They are but a spec on the horizon and yet they still manage to get a bullet through the tiny gap in my otherwise armoured car to hit me. This applies to all enemies, the amount of times I have been gunned down by enemies that shouldn’t really be able to even see me has resulted in me ploughing through most of them with my armoured car. I have literally been standing mostly concealed by cover with a sniper rifle in hand, the cross hairs lined up on an enemy with my advanced scope that I can barely see, only to fire and have all of their mates turn and fire at me shredding my bullet proof vest in seconds and leaving me to either cower and pick them off one by one or leap back into the armoured car to stand a chance of surviving.
The fact that I am still delving into this sandbox world and have found a way of doing missions that allows me to play mostly alone unless I choose to let someone else tag along means that I am enjoying Online more than I was when I initially started. It does annoy me that so much of this game does seem to be so lazy. Perhaps the innovation went into the upgraded version for the PS4 but I have not branched out into playing games for that console so I wouldn’t know.
Other players are still mostly dicks but I spend so little time in the hub world that it doesn’t really bother me anymore because I'll either hunt them down and kill them, or stick priximity mines on their cars in what is the most petty but enjoyable form of revenge. I will by and large leave others alone only attacking them if they first attack me, so can spend sessions just minding my own business. More often than not I leave other people to do their own thing in the hopes that they will do the same for me.
I have started a crew as well so if you wish you can join, look for the logo above and I shan’t be far away, my crew is creatively called The Alien Critic.
There are a lot of nitpicky things about Online that I have found over the last few weeks but considering I doubt I’ll stop playing it anytime soon it must be doing something right.
Right, so, yes…let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. First, I am going to be talking about GTA Online yet again, however, there is a reason. As you know I have acquired a Playstation 4 recently and got a new version of Grand Theft Auto 5 for it. When I logged into GTA Online I was able to import my character over from the PS3 version and continue playing in the enhanced world of San Andreas.
Now when you are getting started like I said you can simply import your character from the PS3 version, and you are also given the option to redesign them so the limited options that were there before have been expanded on here. Now admittedly I did not do much to my online avatar as I had spent a lot of hours with him as he was so didn’t really fancy redesigning him, plus I was pretty keen to get into the new game world.
In my review of GTA Online for the PS3 I talked about some of the things which seemed to be lazy, one of those being that the apartments couldn’t be customized, well in this version of Online you can do that. Once you purchase some apartments you can decorate it as you want, it is not exactly The Sims level of detail but it is a nice touch that you can personalise your apartments. In addition you can also buy yachts that can be anchored around the map, these carry a $10,000,000 price tag so you either have to have hacked the game or be on it all the time to afford to buy one of those. Plus, like the apartments, the yacht can be personalised to your own specifications so can include a helipad and stuff like that.
I have to admit that the HD world of San Andreas looked beautiful, it is so spectacular and is an absolute joy to be in. The same level of detail in the single player game is replicated here and you can easily spend hours driving around in subterranean tunnels that stretch for miles under the city if you so desire
In the hub world there can now be up to 30 players rather than the 16 that you had in the PS3, the hub world also has mini-games designed to not just grant xp but also financial rewards. I would partake in some of these, and they include activities like picking up a briefcase and holding onto it for the longest time in 10 minutes. My tactic doing this was to immediately head down into the subway tunnels or the sewers, basically anywhere that I couldn’t be targeted from the air, which seemed to result in me winning the game. Other activities include longest time spent in the air in a vehicle, longest jump distance, highest jump with the lowest opening of your parachute, and things in that vein. It works really well because now there is more to do in the hub world people tend to do the activities so the twatheads driving around just shooting people are a bit more few and far between here.
There are new missions too, and one of them is the low-rider missions that Lamar gives you, unfortunately, as of writing this I have not actually managed to complete those yet because they are like the heists and have to be done with three other players. My online friends have not yet upgraded to PS4 consoles so I basically can only play online missions with strangers, and have yet to find three other players that don’t piss off when trying to do Lamar’s missions.
The problem of other players is naturally still here, but of course that cannot be helped, passive mode has been tweaked from PS3 so if you’re in this mode, your car is too, so unlike before when you could still be attacked if in a car, here you are immune to other players. If you don’t want to fight, go into passive mode, and you cannot be touched which I am most grateful to Rockstar for.
There are numerous activities to be involved in and one of them is in a security role, either as a VIP or a bodyguard, again you can do various challenges working with another group of players or you can openly attack VIPs for bonuses. Basically you can paint a bull’s-eye on your face if you want and challenge other people to come and test themselves against you and your security forces.
GTA Online has gone all out with the missions and activities in the world and is a massive upgrade on the PS3 version, the servers seem to be a lot more stable so it is far easier to get online that it was before.
The thing is, despite the above, I have pretty much lost interest in playing, I have reached Level 120 and unlocked the Minigun but as no one I know has a PS4 there is no one to play online with. I was aiming to get the Minigun but now I have, and have got a high-end apartment, plus I have several upgraded cars with a couple of low-riders too…what reason is there to keep playing??
I have talking about Grand Theft Auto Online again because it is still worth talking about sadly it is best enjoyed with friends and as no one I know has also upgraded their console to the PS4 I have not played it for a while, perhaps if my online friends upgrade their consoles I’ll return to it…Rockstar are still adding new elements and new challenges so even though I have lost interest it is still well worth your time.
You may be asking yourself what I could possibly say about GTA Online that I haven’t said already, but as Rockstar is constantly adding more stuff to the PS4 version of the game there is additional stuff to talk about.
So here we go again with yet another GTA Online Update…
So I’d pretty much abandoned the game after the last time I’d played it, which was a good few months, possibly even a year, ago. When I stopped playing I had used the big feature at the time to spend money making a couple of pimped up low-rider cars, that had sapped most of my money and yet again I seemed to have run out of things to do. Yes I could grind for days/weeks/months to earn enough money to buy a luxury yacht which I couldn’t be bothered to do so the game fell out of my attention as I started to play others
Still inevitably I came back to it and decided to play for a bit and see if anything new had been added, and probably unsurprisingly new stuff had indeed been added. Now you have the opportunity to become either a CEO of your own company or a Motorcycle gang leader.
The missions for both of these are done in the Hub world during public sessions so this isn't like the Jobs list misions in which you can opt to do them alone if you want.
So the Motorcycle Gang, essentially you have the chance to build up a gang, you can recruit other players to become part of your MC. You buy a foreclosed building to act as your base of operations, the building is pretty dilapidated when you purchase it but you can upgrade the interior with stuff that is just for the aesthetic however there are things like gun cabinets or a bike customisation garage that you can add. These are just window dressing because you don’t need to put money into upgrading the clubhouse. You can do various missions for your gang, but the main purpose of becoming an MC leader is that you can then buy various businesses around the map, now these can be upgraded and what you have to bear in mind is that it takes money to buy a business but then it needs a fairly heavy investment to bring that business up to standard. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. So I bought a Document Forgery Office, I upgraded the security and personnel, but left the buying new equipment till last because it carried the biggest price tag. As a result I’d spend at least an hour stealing various business supplies, get bored and shut the game off, come back to it later that day only to find that the supplies were either gone or almost gone so I’d have to spend all my time resupplying again. The supplies you steal (or buy if you want) become visible to everyone on the map so other players can come after you if they want and either steal or destroy your supplies. Finally I managed to upgrade the equipment so now I am not being constantly bothered by LJT who would ring me up telling me that I needed to resupply. The thing is now I get the opposite, LJT is constantly ringing me telling me that I need to sell something because the business is full. But selling goods from a business is not as simple as clicking on a button and away go your supplies, but I’ll get into the selling side in a minute.
To play as a CEO it is basically the same as being the leader of an MC. You buy a bank and from there you can upgrade to include living quarters, a safe, a weapons locker and even a 60 car garage, yes a 60 car garage. But these are once again basically just window dressing, although I cannot honestly say for sure as I have not upgraded my bank yet. Now just like being an MC leader the point of being a CEO is that you can buy various warehouses or car garages across the map, you buy supplies and vehicles, put them in your different storage areas and can sell them. Now similarly to getting supplies for an MC business, your supplies will show up on the hub map so other players are able to see them, and can destroy them if they choose.
The problem with both CEO or MC leader is that you need money to buy a business, money to upgrade a business, and money to buy supplies (for CEO businesses). So you are going to be paying out a lot to set something up, and because I’d blown most of my money on low-riders I was starting from scratch. As a result I have a single business for my MC Gang and a small warehouse for my CEO business, I don’t own a garage so cannot do any vehicle missions just yet, I’ll have to grind through a lot of missions before I can afford to buy one of those.
Once you have decided to sell your supplies from either your CEO Business or your MC Business you have to deliver them. Now these deliveries can take several forms, if you are in a biker gang then multiple bikes will be loaded with supplies and you deliver them around the map. They might be loaded on a truck or boat, or delivered by planes or helicopters. You have half an hour to deliver everything, if you are the only member of your gang it can be tricky delivering everything in the allocated time limit. Fortunately if you are doing MC deliveries you can do partial deliveries and still get money, but the CEO deliveries only reap rewards if you make a complete delivery.
So if it wasn’t tough enough having a time limit in which to get around a large map delivering your hard-earned supplies, you are visible on the map which means anyone else in the hub world can see you…and now we’re getting to it.
There are so many other players roaming the hub world in GTA Online that are complete and utter bell-ends. I generally adopt a live-and-let-live philosophy, I leave others alone if they leave me alone, and it seems others have this mentality too. Unfortunatly it really only takes 1 twat to ruin your experience and it is always, always, always the knob-heads in a jet. As an MC leader I deliberately chose a business that was at the top end of the map, pretty much as far away from the main city as possible, my thinking being that other players wouldn’t be able to catch me if I’m hightailing it back to my business, but jets can catch you, and they will. The amount of times I have been trying to deliver supplies and some small-dicked-twat has appeared out of nowhere blown me up, destroy my supplies and then flown off again has become too many to count. I have gotten to the point where I will actually go to the military base, steal a jet and go after such players just to prove that they are only tough when they are in jets because I invariably shoot them down.
I generally try and find a server with hardly anyone or if I can no one else in it, because it is the only way that I am able to deliver supplies unmolested.
Recently some of my online friends who hadn’t got PS4s yet have now upgraded their consoles, mainly because Rockstar have announced that as of March 6 2017 players will no longer be able to transfer a character from the PS3 version to the PS4 so if you don’t want to lose your character then you’d better upgrade. They are already CEOs but we have basically decided to become associates or MC members so we can help one another with gathering supplies, deliveries and so on.
I am still playing the game but it does seem that the purpose of the game is to get money, why? To buy a business, why? To earn money, why? To buy bigger and better business, why? To earn more money, why? To buy bigger and better vehicles, why? To do other missions in order to earn more money, why?…do you see where I am going with this?? I am still interested enough to keep playing, mainly because I haven’t got a vehicle warehouse so that is my next target, it is possible that once you have a huge warehouse, multiple businesses, and have upgraded everything there will be no point in playing any more but it is going to take a lot of hours before I get to that stage. Plus as my online friends have got PS4s now that should keep me coming back to play online with them once again.
As the more astute of you may have realised I am still playing GTA Online and it has recently pissed me the hell off!!!
Why, you ask??
Well…I am going to tell you…
The last time I talked about GTA Online I said that Rockstar had created 2 new game play features which were the CEO and MC, either option meant that you had to have put in some money to buy offices, businesses or garages and then you had to do various missions to gather stock and then do a delivery mission. Which all occour in the normal hub world, none of this content can be played in Invite only servers, and must be done in Public sessions.
Personally I abandoned the CEO missions pretty quickly because you have to buy stock, go collect it and deliver it to your warehouse. Other players can attack you whilst you are doing this and destroy your purchase so you could spend $8,000 buying a couple of crates of something or other, get attacked and lose not only your items but the money you had to pay out to buy them in the first place. Plus after spending 2 hours going after one or two crates of stock at a time in a map I was in alone I was doing the delivery when one of the planes I was flying hit a wind turbine and crashed. As a result the entire delivery was failed and I lost all of my stock without getting any of the money I had invested back (approx $64,000 to buy stock and would have gotten $250,000 for a successful sale). Surely though if I hit a wind turbine that was my fault, you say, I must have been flying too low, well here’s the thing. I was flying low because if I flew too high I’d show up on radar and have the police after me, plus one of my clients was waiting for his airdrop in the middle of the wind farm. If I flew too high I couldn’t deliver the package because the police were on me, and when I flew too low I had to manoeuvre around spinning blades in a plane that had the manoeuvrability of a PS4 controller that has just been thrown across a room. I did have one more bash at the CEO missions but my efforts were once again thwarted, this time by some knob head player who decided to follow after my delivery vehicle throwing sticky bombs on it until he blew it up…once again, delivery failed and no money back.
The MC businesses therefore were more promising because even if a delivery vehicle was destroyed by another player or accidentally by me I did get some money back for a partial delivery. Plus when resupplying you don't have to buy the supplies you can simply steal them from various NPCs.
So over the last few weeks I have invested a lot of time and effort into buying and upgrading all the MC businesses. I now own all five types: A document forgery office, a weed farm, a cocaine lockup, a methamphetamine lab, and a counterfeit cash factory. At time of writing all but the counterfeit cash factory have been fully upgraded with better equipment, personnel and security. The amount of money each business produces when it is fully stocked varies but it is between $100,000 to $400,000 for a successful delivery. In total generating around $1,300,000 dollars for all five. So naturally considering I've had these businesses up and running for a while, you’d think I’d be rolling in cash…right???
The game has a VERY bad habit of forgetting what supplies what business had and more importantly what stock levels a business was carrying. For example, today when I was playing, my cocaine lockup had around $200,000 worth of stock but as its capacity had not yet been reached I resupplied it to get the stock to capacity and delivered the stock for my counterfeit cash lockup and weed farm. I left the game for various unimportant reasons for an hour or so but when I came back the cocaine lockup said that it only had stock valued at $28,000…where the hell did the rest of it go?????
To make things worse the game doesn’t seem to keep a track of supplies verses stock produced, the amount of times I have resupplied all my businesses to maximum capacity before finishing a session only to return sometimes an hour or so later to find EVERY business has used all the supplies and yet only have produced a mosquito’s bollock’s worth of stock whilst the game was off. If the supplies were only used as the game was played then fair enough, but why do the supply levels decline during those times and the stock levels fail to rise??
It varies but generally resupplying each business two or three times from empty to full will produce a full stock that will get you a decent amount if you can sell it, however, this is where the game throws another little curve ball your way which is: the type of delivery vehicle you must use…okay…so perhaps the main reason to have an MC is to have more than one member in it, and on occasion I have allowed others to join TAC’s Crew. However, more often than not I am alone, this doesn’t seem to be uncommon as many other players in the hub world have MC’s and the majority of them seem to be alone too. So when I have finally got my business up to full capacity and have a nice pile of cocaine or weed or whatever to sell why does the game insist on giving you some of the stupidest delivery methods possible??
Generally the delivery is split into separate vehicles, more often than not three vehicles with 5 packages per vehicle, although sometimes there are four motorbikes with one supply of stock per bike.
There are 8 types of delivery vehicle:
I’m sure from reading the list above you’d be saying to yourself “Well, obviously just use the truck, yes it puts all your eggs in one basket so if it is destroyed you lose everything but it seems the best method” and you would be right in thinking that. BUT you don’t get a choice on the method in which the delivery is going to happen. When choosing where to sell your stock you have a choice of Los Santos (the city) or Blaine County (the northern end of the map), if you opt for the city you get less money than if you opt for a delivery further away. But the game seems to just chose your delivery method randomly. I have done cocaine deliveries in a truck, using planes, and with the acceptations of numbers 2 and 8 all of the methods above. Unfortunately, because there is no way to predict ahead of time which method you are going to have to do there is no way to plan for it, I opted to take the cheaper option with a meth lab delivery and ended up in a truck that needed to be driven less than half a mile to its destination. Had I known that would be the method I’d have chosen the higher value one instead so I lost $100,000 by choosing the cheaper option because I didn’t know what the game was going to make me do.
Honestly the above is irritating but that is all it is…irritating…would I like it if the game gave you a choice of delivery methods?? Yes, of course I would. But it doesn’t so you chose your delivery amount, and take your chances with which method you get. More often than not even a partial delivery will merit you some rewards so generally you are not retuning empty handed. Personally I tend to wait in a server until everyone else has left before I try my deliveries as that way I can do them without random twats attacking, and killing me.
I have mentioned it in passing but it was only recently that I actually thought about it…the time limit…why the crapping hell do these delivery missions have a time limit anyway??
The above methods wouldn’t really be that much of a problem if there wasn’t a goddamn time limit. There is no context for the 30 minute count-down timer that ticks down mercilessly as you attempt the delivery. If they said the buyers were waiting for their product or the police would get to their locations within half an hour or something at least there would be context for it in the game play. But guess what, there is nothing like that, so you are forced to stare at a timer as it steadily takes with it any hopes you have of completing a delivery and getting the rewards you’ve worked so hard to reap.
Still, even taking everything above into account, what has been making my blood boil recently are the business attacks…
Right so imagine you’re playing the game, preparing to do a biker mission or about to resupply when LJT phones and tells you to drop everything because one of your businesses is under attack. At which point you must drop everything and race to which ever business it is to deal with whoever is attacking it. Now the crucial point to remember in this is if you die during these non-optional missions then your business shuts down and you lose all stock and supplies it had at the time.
The attacks are in the form of:
These sound like they might liven the game up a bit and the first couple of times they do, however, after the first time it happens LJT generally rings you and compliments you for fighting the attackers off, then he suggests upgrading security. The thing is that I have upgraded security and it doesn’t make a fucking difference to the frequency at which I seem to be attacked. Hell, the businesses that aren’t upgraded with better security seem to be the ones that get attacked the least often. It is infuriating to be playing the game, doing your own thing, or hell even be about to stop playing when your phone rings and you have to go on a dash across the map to protect your hard work. Plus, remember when I said if you die you lose your stock?? Yeah, that happens if you don’t jump every time one of these defend the business missions pops up. One must have activated just as I closed down my game at one time because the next time I loaded things up my cocaine lockup had shut down and needed to be restarted when it was fine as I finished the previous session. Hours of hard work, and resupplying down the toilet because the business was targeted, in fact what prompted me to write this very article was an incident today when my meth lab was attacked. I fought off the police, retrieved my personnel but no matter where I went I could not get away from the police, eventually I went off road to evade them and the helicopters but the vehicle got jammed on a building and I could not move it. I tried to ram it with other cars and even a truck to no avail and in the end I blew it up whilst trying to use a grenade to dislodge it…workers dead, and a FULL STOCK lost.
I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t have security but what are you supposed to do when you do have security, when you have invested anything from $300,000 to $500,000 to protect your business and yet at any time you get that call which tells you to defend a business. Sometimes they happen one after another, in fact all five were attacked one after another the other day - I spent an hour and a half fighting off the attackers when all I wanted was to do a few missions. If you get the call you are stuck driving around the map defending business and, guess what, if another player kills you, then you fail, business shut down and stock lost. I suppose the only good thing is that if a business is shut down once it is restarted you still have all the upgrades you had before so you are not starting from scratch but it is a massive pain in the arse to have to start a business up all over again.
LJT’s constant phone calls also don’t get less annoying as he rings to tell you that businesses are getting low on supplies, that they are out of supplies or that stock levels are filled to capacity so you need to sell something.
Other players continue to be a nuisance when resupplying, and will often chase you down in an attempt to destroy the supplies you are carrying but I can’t exactly blame GTA Online for the knob-heads who play it. But I can blame them for offering financial rewards and xp for anyone that does it because when others in the game are resupplying a message will flash up telling you to destroy their supplies for the bonuses mentioned before. I tend to leave other players to it as sometimes I get on to a server in which everyone is just doing their own thing but naturally you get the pricks who want to destroy your supplies just because they are pricks. Your deliveries show up on the map so everyone can see you and if you get a player heading towards you it is unlikely that their intentions are benign. Plus if you have multiple delivery vehicles they also show up on the map and anyone can rock up and destroy them (hence why I tend to wait until I have a server to myself before attempting a delivery – which is why LJT’s constant phone calls telling me to sell something grate on my nerves so much). The thing is that the other day I was playing a session when I found myself next to another player’s delivery vehicle, initially I was going to leave it alone but I was curious how much money and xp you got for destroying someone else’s vehicle. I blew it up…and do you know how much I received?? $2000. That’s it. I don’t get out of bed for $2000, I hardly noticed any increase in xp so for the amount of difference that it made I was foolish to waste a grenade on it. It just goes to show that there is no point attacking other players and I can only assume the ones who do are…well, pricks.
Right, rant over…I have only one business’ security left to upgrade and after that I don’t really need money except to upgrade cars and buy military hardware so I can avenge myself upon the twats who have been attacking me as I try to resupply. Perhaps when I am not working towards a goal the irritations above will get less irritating, but I doubt it, because after all if I am not working towards something what is going to keep me coming back??
GTA Online recently celebrated being active for four years, and it has to be said that it has come a long way since it was first released. Rockstar have created a massive multi-player online world in which players can, and do spend hours doing various missions, races, heists, and so on. Updates are constantly happening (with the next-gen versions at least) with players being able to run business empires as a CEO, or Motorcycle gangs, and recently the Gun Running and Hanger Updates have added yet more content. All in all GTA Online is a phenomenal achievement; unfortunately, despite all of the above I have completely lost interest in it…
Let me clarify, when I first started playing GTA Online there wasn’t a huge amount to spend your money on, yes there were the heists in which you could get money but once you had it you could basically just buy apartments, cars and clothes. A low-rider update occurred and I spent most of the money I had modifying 2 of my cars to high-end low-riders. Thing is once I’d done that there was nothing else to really shoot for so I stopped playing as my goal of getting a couple of low-rider cars had been achieved and there was nothing else to do but pointlessly drive them around.
As you have no doubt read my previous updates about GTA Online you’ll know that I did return to it once the CEO missions and Biker Gang updates were added because there was a purpose for your money. You could invest in banks or businesses, upgrade them, and they could turn over a nice tidy profit, which you could spend on more luxurious apartments, houses or vehicles. There have been some lavish items added in updates, like the yachts, which honestly serve no purpose other than being cosmetic and showing how much money a player has. Additional updates brought more expensive toys for you to spend your money on.
Personally, after buying a bank and clubhouse I came to realise the CEO missions were shit so abandoned them pretty quickly (see my Yet Another GTA Online Update for why) but the Biker Gang update kept me interested for a fair old while. I worked to build up my businesses in order to get them to turn over a profit and afford some of the cars that had been added. The thing is that in recent months the game has added Gun Running and Hanger updates and these are what has caused my interest to fade.
Basically if you want to set up a business, you obviously need money to buy the business in the first place, then money for upgrades, and finally you’ll start turning a profit. The businesses and banks that you could buy ranged in price but basically the more expensive they were the better their location in the city. I bought a cocaine lock-up in the heart of the city that cost more than one out in the sticks because it would be easier and faster to keep it re-stocked. The same applies with the bunkers and hangers, the better the location, the more expensive they are. If memory serves the cocaine lock-up was around the $1,800,000 mark so it wasn’t cheap (it was in fact the most expensive business you could buy of MC’s at the time) but since I’ve upgraded it, it has more than paid for itself.
The problem is that even the cheapest bunker is around $1,500,000 to buy with the hangers also starting in at around that price. A biker club hangout started at about $250,000ish so if you wanted to start a gang and crack on with buying businesses it could be done without too much difficulty. The cheapest bank was $1,000,000 but again with the heist missions, and such it wasn’t too bad earning enough money to buy a bank or MC clubhouse.
But now everything in the game is just so expensive, a bunker will set you back one and a half million dollars at least, if you want to buy a mobile command centre, there goes another $1.5 million. So not only are you having to pay out massive amounts to set these businesses up from what I have heard they don’t generate much more money than if you were just focussing on the CEO or MC businesses. I cannot say for definite how much money a successful arms sale earns you because I haven’t purchased a bunker or hanger as I cannot be bothered to put in the time and effort required to save up to buy one.
Plus it is worth noting that new vehicles have been constantly added. Cars can now be up to and over $3,500,000 with attack helicopters, fighter jets, luxury planes and various other equipment each costing even more than that.
I wrote in a previous update that the five businesses I own can collectively generate around $1,300,000ish, however, in order to do that they need to be kept fully stocked, and I need to have a decent delivery method (and not get attacked by other players) so half my profits don’t disappear into the ether.
In terms of real-time it takes roughly between maybe 5-6 hours for a business to go from no stock to a full stock. As I have mentioned before if you switch the game off and return to it sometime later your supply level will always have disappeared whilst your stock level has barely moved. So basically you need to keep playing whilst your businesses are producing stock, when they get low you need to grind through the re-supply missions. During these re-supply missions, I’ll remind you that twats can attack and destroy your supplies, ditto with the delivery missions if you try to do them when others are on the same server as you.
So, if you would just like to do the math with me…let’s assume that things don’t necessarily go perfectly during my deliveries but I am able to get the majority of the businesses’ stock delivered. So let’s say in 6 hours of game play I could earn $1,000,000. If I therefore wanted to save up enough to buy a bunker and hanger, which would cost around $3,000,000 I’d have to play for Eighteen hours to generate that kind of money. If I wanted to then buy a Mobile Command Centre that’s going to be around another Nine hours playtime (and this is assuming that the majority of my businesses can deliver a full stock).
Can you see where I’m going with this??
If I wanted to save up $10,000,000 which would be enough to buy the car that can shoot rockets ($3,000,000), a bunker ($1,500,000 minimum), a hanger ($1,500,000 minimum), mobile command centre ($1,500,000) and have some change left over to potentially upgrade the bunker and hanger (I have no idea how much such upgrades would cost or the benefits of them) then I’d have to play the game for around 60 hours, SIXTY HOURS!!!!
Basically if I spent all day, every day, doing nothing but playing GTA Online it would take the equivalent of seven and a half working days (if a working day is eight hours) to save up that kind of money. Seven and a half working days. That is assuming I was sitting down at 9am and playing solidly till 5pm then that is how long it would take to buy some (but definitely not all) of the latest buildings available…which is not something I am prepared to do.
How about the heists?? You may ask. If you do all of them in order you get the profits of the heists themselves but an additional All-in-Order bonus of $1,000,000, the things is I have been stuck on the final heist for months. I activate the mission I’m trying to do and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait before finally three other people join my party so we can attempt it but every single time some twat leaves, the mission fails, and back I go to the menu screen to wait some more. My online friends are not interested in doing the heists so I am just stuck, with no one to help me, it will be pot luck whether I get a decent crew that can help me finally complete the heist. So the heists are basically no good for me as I do not have an online party that can do them with me. Even if I did, do you think they are going to want to grind through them over and over, and over again so that I can keep getting the All-in-Order bonus??
All of this means that I really have no choice but to go back to my sure fire method of earning money, my MC businesses.
Hold on, I hear you say; you don’t have to just grind through the missions or put in hours and hours of playtime. You can spend real money to buy money in the game…and now we have reached the point I want to talk about…
Yes, you can indeed spend real money to buy in game currency, which in my opinion is exactly what Rockstar want you to do. The Shark Cards will give you different amounts of currency for more real money; they start of at £1.99 for $100,000 and go up to £63.99 for $8,500,000. These prices are taken from Amazon.co.uk and are for the PS4 version of the game. So for £64 you can buy one of these cards, which will give you enough money to buy a couple of high priced cars or buildings or whatever. The game itself costs around £25 (again the PS4 version on Amazon.co.uk at the moment) so you are paying the cost of the whole game plus an additional £40 to buy the highest value shark card. The thing is why would you possibly buy a lower value one?? As I said a car that can shoot rockets is three million dollars so if you spend £31.99 on a card to give you $3,500,000 you will have just enough to buy that car and not much else, or you’ll spend the other $500,000 on upgrades for the car, paint jobs and so on. £32 will give you a single car that you can use in game, or you can grind for around 21 hours of real time…which would you prefer??
I did a little calculation based upon the fact that if you total up the cost of everything on GTA Online to purchase it all would cost $200,000,000 ingame dollars. Two Hundred Million!!! Now if you actually break it down, in order to get that kind of money you'd need 23.5 Shark Cards (the 8.5 million value ones). So let's call it 24. Now 24 Shark Cards at £64 a time will cost you £1,536.00 of real money. One Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty-Six pounds...
Just think about that for a second...
This game wants you to either spend hours, days, weeks, months, years playing it in order to get the money to buy what you want, or it expects you to spend over one and a half thousand pounds to buy everything the game has to offer.
I'm hoping that sound I'm hearing is of your jaw hitting the floor.
Plus like I said I have no idea if the bunker or hanger missions would eventually generate decent money like the MC businesses or be a colossal waste of time and money like the CEO missions. You can’t sell biker gang clubhouses or banks once you have purchased them (you can only downgrade to cheaper ones) so if you spend your hard earned money on one of these side activities then decide it is not for you, well tough shit, you bought it, you’re stuck with it.
Abbie is a fan of the videos of the Achievement Hunters (personally I think their voices are really, really irritating so I’m not a fan myself but that is really beside the point). From what she has told me all of them are minted because they basically created the Let’s Play genre on YouTube and they tend to publish a new GTA Online video every week. However, in their videos they already have the best cars, and upgrades…how you ask…simply because they each just drop $100 or more on the shark cards necessary to buy them all, that way they can happily play around for a few hours with the best stuff in the game. They are all rich so why they hell do they care if they spend more money on in game currency or not?? It is after all just a drop in the ocean to them. I have said to Abbie more than once that I wish they would do a video of one of their number just playing the game and seeing just how long it takes them to actually earn the money necessary to buy these vehicles without using actual money.
When I have raised this point with other gamers they have tended to point out that Rockstar do keep adding stuff to the world of San Andreas. They don’t force you to buy their shark cards nor do they ask for anything else in return for any of this new content. Developing these additional missions obviously costs them money so why shouldn’t they get a bit back in return for everything they are adding?? Besides if you have the time, and patience to simply play the game you will eventually earn enough money to buy whatever you want without paying out any more.
I can understand that side of the argument but personally I simply refuse to spend my money on in-game currency, which has locked me into a catch-22 situation.
The additional content is so expensive that I could only afford it with a massive time commitment to the game, which I am not prepared to do, alternatively I could buy shark cards to get the extra stuff but I am not prepared to do that either…and so the impasse is reached…
The new stuff that has been added may be great fun, it may be hugely profitable, you might buy a bunker, do a Gun Running mission and earn yourself a cool $2,000,000 for your trouble each time, so do that a few times and buying additional stuff will be no problem. But I doubt it is that simple. Playing a game for the sake of playing without something to aim for in mind is boring, you need a goal to achieve, and for me these latest updates have moved the finish line so far ahead that I cannot be bothered to finish the race.
The core of the game now is that unless you are willing to spend real money you aren’t going to get anywhere. When you are in the game world if someone races past you in the latest high-powered rocket car or whatever you are going to know that it is highly unlikely they worked their ass off to save up and buy it, no instead they simply dropped real money on a shark card or two to buy the stuff that they wanted. Basically GTA Online is pay-to-win, those people who spend real money have a clear advantage over those who are unwilling (or unable) to do the same, which is a shame, and makes me wonder how long it will be before the kind of micro-transitions being used here become the norm in gaming rather than something you can get if you want to.
I have abandoned GTA Online before and returned to it after some time has passed, but this time I can’t really see myself doing that. The very heart of the game has changed, and unless Rockstar reduces the costs of these additional vehicles and buildings I don’t see myself ever going back to it.
Well my loyal reader, who would have thought that we would be back here and I would be talking about GTA Online yet again. No one is more surprised by this than I, I assure you. After my last post about GTA Online I was convinced that I would never return to the game again as everything was way too expensive, the players all dicks, and generally the core of the game had changed so unless you were planning on paying actual money to get in game currency you would never get anywhere. However, as someone once said "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in".
GTA Online sat abandoned for me for months, and I had no desire to return to it again. Although, there was a small and nagging piece of unfinished business that I still had with the game. I had been attempting to get the "All in Order" Bonus in which $1,000,000 was awarded to you if you managed to complete all of the Heists in order. I had set myself this challenge and whilst the others went generally okay, I got stuck on the Bank Heist one for literally months and months and months. No one would play it with me and Randos would often join me only to piss off mid-way through the second mission, causing it to fail. Now after I went through The Evil Within 2, found all the collectables and decided to abandon Nightmare difficulty as I didn't think I find the game fun if I was getting killed left, right and centre. I decided that I was going to sit down and finally just finish the final heist. I didn't care how long it took, I just wanted it finished, that way if I wanted to play GTA Online I would be able to join other people's heists if I fancied. It took several days and several attempts but finally I managed to get some decent players, a level 600-and-something joined then stuck with me throughout all the set-ups and the heist itself. I think having a level 600-odd along gave me enough clout for others to stick with me to the end as well. I wondered if perhaps as the Doomsday Heist had now been added I'd have to do that too but thankfully not, the bank heist was completed and I was awarded my million dollars.
Now as you know from my previous posts these days a million dollars will get you diddly-squat in Online, however, when I loaded up the game after my absence I was inexplicably awarded a million dollars so I had a couple of million to spend. There had recently been another update, After Hours in which you could purchase various nightclubs around the city. As even the most expensive of these was way less than a bunker, or facility, or hanger, I opted to spend my hard earned money on a club. Soon afterwards The Palace was set-up in Downtown Vinewood. Trying to actually accomplish anything in Online had now become the last thing on my mind as I figured I could just drop in, play for a bit, help with other players' heists or just piss about whenever I had a spare hour to two. There was no way I'd ever be able to afford the really cool stuff so resigned myself to just play to kill time and nothing else.
However, this is where the whole "pulling me back in" thing comes in. You see it turns out that when you buy a club, it links together all of the MC businesses that you currently own, and the club has a (naturally) upgrade-able storage area. If you employ people they will acquire stock at no charge to you, and you don't have to resupply either. Basically the After Hours update gives you a means to make money without the grinding missions of going off to steal supplies from NPCs over and over again. Possibly the best thing about this is that you are given a default van when you buy the club which you can improve with armour, that make it, not indestructible as seven rockets will still destroy it during a delivery mission or one if you are just messing about in the hub which is a bit odd but whatever. It is damn near bullet-proof and you can even attach weapons to it. Personally my van is fully armoured, and has a mini-gun attached to the roof. It is using this van that you seem to do all of your deliveries from the night club...
So it appears that Rockstar have taken some notice and are now giving players a means to actually deliver their hard earned supplies using the tried and tested method of a simple van, or truck. No more pissing about with Mail Vans, or garbage trucks, or sea planes. From what I have read the starting van is limited in the capacity it can carry, but you can purchase other larger ones so you can move more stock in one go. These can also be upgraded with weapons, armour, and so on to make them tougher for other players to destroy. During the first delivery I did I was being chased by a couple of players in an attack helicopter, I turned both of them to mincemeat using my mini-gun and finished the rest of my delivery unmolested. I have only done one delivery thus far and all I had to do was drive to one location, make a drop, drive to another, make a second drop and then drive to a final location and defend my contact for a few minutes (easy when you can shelter behind a bullet-proof truck)...boom, job done, stock sold
The other businesses you own can also be stocked but that has no bearing on your nightclub storage space, so you can resupply your other businesses if you want, and sell that stock plus what you make from the nightclub. You just need those businesses to be active, they don't need stock, as long as you have them then they count. Currently my club has got about $400,000 amount of sale items, and it is only half full, using three levels of storage. I can purchase two more so hopefully as I sell my stock, I can buy more storage, which gives me more money, which I can use to buy more storage until I have maxed out capacity. Then I can sit back and piss about in the hub world or doing heists, missions or whatever whilst my nightclub's workers slowly produce products that I can then sell using an armoured van or truck.
The key world in that previous sentence is slowly as your workers don't exactly get a rush-on so it is going to take several hours to acquire stock. Things is because you don't actively have to do anything to get it, if a delivery goes tits up you haven't spent hours charging around the map doing tedious resupply missions, only to have everything you have worked for go up in smoke. I have also decided to stop being greedy and only sell my MC stuff in the city, this way even if I get a crappy delivery method I should still be able to do it within the time limit as trying to sell in Blaine County was impossible with some delivery methods.
Helpfully unlike the businesses you don't have to get stock, however your club has a popularity rating, and this is where the grindy missions come in. Admittedly I have no idea if popularity affects your stock or only your daily income (which is only maxed at $10,000 anyway which is basically loose change in the world of Online). There is a laptop in your office and logging on to this will allow you to manage employees, assign workers to different acquisitions, upgrade the club, change the DJ and so on. It is here that you can Promote [the] Club. Thus far I have found seven different missions.
1. Smash up the vehicles of developers who are riding on the success of your club (don't kill the developers just smash up their cars)
2. Destroy rival club owners supply trucks
3. Recover stolen booze from a gang
4. Use a helicopter to fly over the city dropping leaflets in designated areas.
5. Steal booze.
6. Fly a blimp over certain areas of the map playing music.
7. Pick up celebrities and bring them back to the club
Thankfully of these missions smashing up vehicles and destroying rival club supply trucks don't seem to prompt a response from other in-game players. So unlike all of the MC missions where other players can interfere, with those two they really cannot do much to bother you. Still as this is GTA Online the other methods mentioned above are susceptible to other player interference with the most common way other people grief you by destroying your vehicles in this case a booze truck or celebrity pick-up vehicle, and shooting down your helicopter or blimp. I have to admit though that thus far I have only been shot down in my blimp once (by someone I actually know in the real world and am friends with in the game), and have had a booze truck destroyed. I may be partially to blame for that as I didn't try to circumnavigate another player who was standing on a corner beside my route back to the club and so it was probably inevitable that I'd attract trouble. Very few players it seems can resist targeting another person on a mission if they decide to just drive past without immediately opening fire.
I feel I should point out that I think I am only potentially going to reap the rewards of nightclub ownership because I already have put the work into buying the other businesses. If I didn't have those then the club only makes an actual pittance on its own, so if you haven't got all five MC businesses already set-up then the Nightclub will be a fairly worthless investment. The wall safe can only hold $70,000 and it cost around $2,000,000 to set up the club so everytime you take that 70-grand you are only getting back 3.5% of your investment. It seems that the Bunker Gunrunning can also be linked to your Nightclub so if you have a bunker as well that can add to the supplies your employees acquire.
I had a fleeting thought of perhaps buying another club so I could earn double the money but like the MC businesses, banks and so on, once you own one type of business it doesn't appear you could buy another. Which is a shame. I estimate that The Palace might be able to hold a couple of million dollars worth of stock when storage is fully upgraded so if I owned all the nightclubs scattered across Los Santos then I would be raking it in.
That is pretty much the After Hours update, but this article is not yet finished because at this point there are two other things I want to talk about.
In the main game Maude will contact Trevor regarding bail jumpers that she wants brought in, and you have the option of bringing them in alive or dead. Maude pops up in Online and gives you the same task. As I was only pissing about at the time I started working my way through these bounties. Basically you are emailed a photo of a target, told the area they were last in (a big yellow area) and you have to find them. The game puts a useful red dot on them when you draw close with an arrow above their head if you missed the dot. You beat them up to take them alive, once they are subdued they surrender and you drive them back to Maude's house in the sticks. You get $10,000 for bringing them in alive and $5,000 if you kill them. Like the daily income from the club, the missions are basically just rewarding you with loose change. I was curious to see if I'd get more money for each person, but no it was $10,000 per target (I did accidentally kill one) five times until the side quest was done. However, after the final one Maude contacted me to advise that the last guy I'd brought in knew of a treasure, and that location was now on my map. I naturally headed over to check it out (it turned out to be in the middle of a gang attack zone) but once I opened the treasure box I discovered a Stone Hatchet. The game told me that if I used it to kill 25 people I'd get a reward. I ran around whacking various NPCs with it until I was awarded with $250,000 dollars, which was nice, I got a quarter of a million for beating NPCs to death. The Hatchet can also unlock a Rage Mode (like Trevor's in the main game) in which you are much harder to kill and your attacks all do more damage. The more people you kill the longer this mode lasts which might make future encounters with other players a bit easier as all I need to do is hit an NPC and I'm invincible for a bit.
There is also the option of a Treasure Hunt, again you get sent an email with a photograph, and a large area appears on your map. Go to that location and find the clue (using a walk-through because the area is very large and you are looking for a piece of paper attached to a wall, or post or something like that which is VERY hard to find). Once you have read the clue you are directed to three other locations to look for additional clues, helpfully the game doesn't tell you what clues you are looking for, or exactly where they are. Again using a walk-through I learned that you are looking for a dead body (hidden in a cave), a bloody shovel (hidden in a burnt out house by the sea), and finally an empty gun box (under a tree). Once you know what you are looking for none of these things are remotely hard to find. Your reward for finding the treasure is a double-action revolver. This time the challenge was to use it to do 50 head-shots, which I did by parking up in an armoured car, and shooting the police as they came after me. I was again rewarded with another $250,000 dollars with the added perk that if I decide to play Red Dead Redemption 2 both of these weapons will be unlocked in that game too.
Both of the challenges above had a completion date which was 29th October 2018, if you want to get the rewards then you need to crack on with them sooner rather than later. As an extra added bonus after completing each challenge the game rewards you with an additional $500,000 for each. A million dollars is therefore up for grabs just for completing two relatively simple challenges. A rare bonus that Online throws at you because two little side quests that I think most players would probably ignore reaping bonuses that I was able to put towards more storage space for my club. If things go well then I might actually be able to afford to buy some of the good stuff and unlock bunkers, facilities plus other vehicles without spending real money to do it.
So there you go another GTA Online Update and my experiences with it. From what I have seen things so far seem promising but I have been burnt by this game before so at the moment I am just playing it for fun whilst my stock levels silently rise. Once I end up in a server by myself I will do deliveries to get more money from the club. I might even keep my MC businesses supplied (even though doing so is a grind) because they can and do earn decent money.
Before I leave this update behind though, there is one final thing that I want to discuss, in recent sessions I have actually encountered...nice players...
Yes, I know.
Players who are quite happy doing their own thing and leaving me alone. I was in a server with another player a few days ago and he sent me an in-game text which basically said: You don't kill me, I won't kill you. I replied with OK, and the entire time we were in that map together neither of us fired or did anything aggressive towards the other. That player did their deliveries, resupplies or whatever and I did mine. It was great to know that I could do what I wanted without some random knob-head attacking and destroying my stuff. I also got a bonus for delivering stuff in a populated server, it was brilliant. My missions were completed without incident, deliveries arrived at their destinations without another player chasing after me frantically trying to throw sticking bombs on to the back of my vehicle and blow me up. It was so much fun and such a chilled out session.
However, that player hasn't been the nicest one I have discovered in recent days, literally last night I arrived in a server with a single other player in it. I got a text from them just saying: Hi. I took a leaf out of the book of the guy who'd messaged me and said to this player that If he didn't kill me, I wouldn't kill him. He replied with: Nice. OK. I then proceeded to do a delivery mission which involved boats. This player appeared above me in a helicopter and messaged me to say that if I wanted any help he was happy to assist. His avatar was male so I'm assuming it was a guy but it might have a female player. Anyway, sadly as I had started the mission he couldn't join. Now once my first boat was empty, I was preparing to go back to the location of the other two when another message popped up telling me if I wanted a ride back to my boats, he'd give me a lift...[...I promise...literally hand on hearts that every word of this is true...]...he landed his helicopter and I jumped on board. It is only now in retrospect I realise he could have flown me anywhere on the map but no he took me back to my boats, I jumped aboard the next one and resumed my deliveries. However, as I was watching him in my rear camera because he was following me in his helicopter I accidentally ran aground trapping my boat on the land. I was resigned to lose this boat as running aground was due to my own stupidity and not looking where I was going, when this player carefully manoeuvred his helicopter into position in order to nudge my boat back into the sea so I could carry on with my delivery and not lose a third of my shipment...
I want you to take special note of that point so I am going to repeat it...this player carefully manoeuvred his helicopter into position in order to nudge my boat back into the sea so I could carry on with my delivery and not lose a third of my shipment...yes a GTA Online player used his helicopter to help me complete my delivery and got no reward in return (except the friend request I sent him) nor did he ask for one.
I don't think words can accurately describe how legendary this player actually was or how tragic it is that there aren't more like him out there. If there were or even the other guy who just said to leave him be and he'd do the same for me mentioned above, then GTA Online would be one of the best, if not THE best, online game ever. Sadly for every legend there are about a million pricks who want to cause you grief just for the sake of it. I am still mostly playing the game for fun again and hopefully with patience I can get into a server by myself and get my deliveries done, who knows with a fully upgraded stock area in my nightclub and my MC businesses still going I might actually be able to get enough money together to afford some of the high value toys and I wouldn't have paid an additional penny for any of them.
It seems then that GTA Online has managed to worm its way back into my life so we will see how it goes. I have done this many times before and have sung the games praises only to rage quit, or simply loose interest in it, only to return at a later time. I am never going to attempt the All-In-Order bonus again as as just being online will allow my club's workers to acquire stock I should just be able to have some fun without interference from other players becoming too annoying
Yes my loyal reader, once again I find myself at a loss for something new to talk about because I have devoted considerable time to a game that by now I must have poured hundreds of hours into. I am still playing Jurassic World but since the After Hours update of a few weeks ago I have found myself being drawn back to GTA Online with increasing frequency.
I have read over some of my previous Updates and in one I made a point of saying that the core of GTA Online had changed with everything becoming far too expensive to actually purchase without spending real money. However, since the After Hours update I now have a club that can gain money passively, its capacity being 1.6 million dollars worth of stock. As a result things that seemed far out of my reach have actually come closer to being attainable, and then that particularly odd human week of "Black Friday" sales rolled around.
Since my last article about GTA I have basically been focussing on expanding my properties and vehicles. I was able to save up enough to buy my own facility from which I could launch the Doomsday Heist. The Heist itself followed a similar pattern to the previous heists with two massive differences: the First being that there are Heist-prep missions which must be done in public servers before the Set-Up mission itself. Players have the option of stealing supplies from NPCs, rival players who are doing the same set-up missions, or just buying what they want. Naturally if someone chooses to do these heist-preps in populated servers they run the usual risks of dick-head other players attacking them. Alternatively if a player finds themselves in a lobby alone then they can quite happily collect this equipment with no interference from anyone else. The second difference is that you no longer need 4 players to do the heist set-up missions or the heist itself. Admittedly it is harder if you don't have four players but you also don't need to split your money four ways, meaning more profit for you when dividing the take at the end of the finale. Thus far I have managed to get through the first Two Acts of the Doomsday Heist with generally only one other player helping me out, strangely though even though you can do the mission with two of you, but there are three, the heist will still fail if someone leaves. In all honesty though I think that it would be possible to do some, if not all, of the Set-up missions and possibly the Heist finales alone if you wanted to try them not that the game lets you. The finale money is pretty decent as well (and more than you'd make in any of the previous heists) so it is worth playing through them, plus there is a second All-in-Order bonus and a Criminal Mastermind bonus for completing all three. As I am still on the final Act I don't know how much you get for these two bonuses but hopefully it'll be a decent amount.
Possibly the only real drawback with the Doomsday Heist is that when you are doing the preparation missions you source enough vehicles so that potentially all four joining players can have their own. However, if you then launch the mission with fewer than the total, you only use two of the four vehicles you stole; the others are just gone into the ether. To my knowledge you don't gain an additional bonus at the end because those vehicles were sold in the background, they are simply gone. It is pretty irritating to steal some really cool vehicles and then be unable to use all of the ones you stole because of some arbitrary reason. Naturally you can buy these vehicles from Warstock Cash & Carry but they are massively expensive with the Deluxo (which is basically the DeLorian from Back to the Future) costing in and around the region of $3,000,000. If you got an extra bonus because these vehicles were sold or something then fair enough, but ultimately you deliver four Deluxos to your facility, only use two and the other two vanish never to be seen again.
So launching the Doomsday Heist can be done from your facility, but it is really the only thing your facility can do. Yes, you can customize it with various colour schemes, living quarters and so on, but with the exception of the Security Room which allows you to send Mercenaries after other players (for a small charge obviously) and the Orbital Cannon there doesn't seem to be much point to a facility once the Doomsday Heist is done.
Now you may have just done a double take at the mention of the Orbital Cannon, and yes you can install (for $900,000) a doomsday weapon of your very own that can target any player on the map for an instant-kill. The only problem with owning the cannon is that it will cost you $500,000 to manually fire it, or a whopping $750,000 to auto-target someone. Now why would you risk missing your target?? So naturally you'd use the auto-aim option so each, and every time that you fire the most powerful weapon in the game, it will cost you three quarter of a million dollars. The player you hit with it is not killed permanently or is unable to respawn for 10 minutes or something; no they can instantly respawn as though they'd been killed by any normal weapon with no penalty to them. This makes the Orbital Cannon a very cool piece of tech to own, but realistically it is something that you may only fire once or maybe not at all because it would be far easier to hunt a rival player and gun them down than it is to smite them from orbit.
Therefore the Doomsday Heist and possibly the Orbital Cannon are the main reasons to own a facility. However, there is also another reason to own a facility which can be summarised in one word: [the] Avenger.
The Avenger is an aircraft that is used in the second Act of the Doomsday Heist and is very powerful having strong armour, decent speed, and a 360 degree view around it from its onboard weapons. It can be outfitted with a Weaponised Vehicle Bay allowing you to modify weaponised vehicles, it can also have a Weapons Station, for use in upgrading weapons to their Mark II Variants, plus you can respray it with your own colours and install bombs to drop on unsuspecting players below. The Avenger also costs around $4,000,000 (that is assuming you are getting it for the trade price having completed its corresponding set-up mission). Now, when I saw that price tag I was immediately resign to the fact that I would never own one, however, remember I mentioned the human thing of Black Friday sale above?? (Rhetorical question). Well during a weeklong sale on GTA Online the Avenger dropped by 50% meaning that this titan of the air was within my grasp, and grasp for it I did. Thus far I have resprayed it with my colours: Primary colour: Metallic Wine Red with Secondary colour: Chrome (all my vehicles have the same paint job plus my logo where possible), I upgraded it to have full weapon capability and have been enjoying flying around the map in a vehicle that is very difficult to destroy. I say difficult but not impossible to destroy as whilst I was doing a Preparation Set-Up for the Third Act of the Doomsday Heist I was attacked by two players in Deluxos who fired non-stop at my Avenger, sadly being an aircraft the rotor blades were crippled and it ended up on its roof. However, this was not enough to destroy it and after many more missiles from these two random tossers, it was finally destroyed, and was then immediately respawned back at my facility with no cost to me. Like every other vehicle in the game it can be requested from the interaction menu and will be delivered somewhere nearby, so as a result I quite often use it to complete missions around the map. The Avenger uses a VTOL system (Vertical Take-Off and Landing), so it gains altitude like a helicopter and with a right tap of the D-Pad the rotors twist from vertical to horizontal sets off like a plane. It has the capability to be left in auto-pilot and all you have to do it switch the rotors back to the vertical position, access the Interaction Menu and under Avenger Services select "Engage Autopilot". You are then free to enter the hold of the aircraft to man the cannons, or jump out leaving it hovering wherever you left it. Personally I will use the cannons to kill enemies on the ground (something it can do very easily and effectively) during supply missions or business battles before landing and stealing whatever I was there to steal. All of this is great...unless you are going after a moving target. The Avenger's pilot doesn't have the ability to fire any of the onboard weapons from the cockpit so it is extremely limited when going after other aircraft or anything that is not stationary.
The second item that caught my eye during the Black Friday Sale was the Terrorbyte. Paige Harris (Lester’s former assistant) would constantly phone telling me to get the vehicle so I could launch Clint Jobs. Now unlike the Avenger the interior upgrades of the Terrorbyte were also discounted so I focussed on upgrading its interior as well. Two of these options were a missile launcher built into the roof and a Drone station (everything else was just cosmetic). Now whilst the Avenger really only exists so you can have a powerful aircraft at your disposal, the Terrorbyte is so much more than a simple vehicle. For a start you can activate a Resupply mission from anywhere on the map for any business you own from the MC ones, to the CEO and even the ones linked to the Hanger. As a result you don't need to flog over to one of your business to start a resupply, just click a button and away you go. The Terrorbyte also has formidable armour being able to shrug off missiles like they're noting more than insect bites. According to the GTA Online Wiki it is capable of taking thirty-four rockets without being destroyed with the thirty-fifth blowing it up. Thirty-four missiles, I haven't tested this durability personally but my Terrorbyte has come under attack once or twice and hasn't been destroyed thus far so it is very tough. Not surprisingly with so many twats flying around on their rocket bikes firing missiles at everyone (oh yes I forgot to mention Online has rocket bikes now - so it isn't the dicks in the jets any more it is the bell-ends on the rocket bikes you have to watch out for) the Terrorbyte has quickly become my vehicle of choice when driving around the hub map. Its windscreen is bullet resistant so you are protected behind the wheel and when it is stationary hitting right on the D-Pad takes you into the Nerve Centre. From here you can launch your resupply missions, access your missile launcher, and drones as well as your Client Jobs.
The Client Jobs involve one of six different mini-missions, two of which need the drone upgrade in order to unlock them and two of which need to be completed by at least two players. I have to admit that the rewards for doing these are only $30,000-$35,000 each which isn't much, but there is really no limit to how many times you do them. Activating a Client mission locks it out for half an hour before you can repeat it, and all others for five minutes, but you can happily spend hours doing these relatively straight forward missions if you want. This can be very useful if you are waiting to get into a server by yourself in order to sell some of your goods from businesses or the nightclub.
I think my favourite thing about the Terrorbyte (aside from its durability) are the drones. In one Client mission you have to fly a drone into the Lifeinvader offices, hack two laptops, and then kill the target once it has been revealed on the map. The Client missions will always show up on other players' radars once you get to a certain point, other players can potentially kill you to take any stolen item you have, or protect targets from you until the in-mission timer expires. What I love about the drones in particular is that if you are in the Nerve Centre there are no windows and no one can shoot you whilst you're in there, however, you can launch drones that can be detonated causing a powerful enough explosion to kill your target (who can take two Heavy Sniper Rifle shots to the head before they die) instantly as well as any interfering knobheads that have been trying to stop you. I have been chuckling to myself numerous times as some random prick has been shooting at the side of my Terrorbyte only for me to send an aerial drone to blow them apart. I have no idea how big the drones are in game because other players don't seem to spot them and shoot them down. The major drawback of the drones is that it takes several seconds to charge them up to detonation. I guess this was done so you wouldn't detonate them by mistake but until I realised that you needed to charge them I kept wondering why my drones weren't detonating.
I was buying new buildings to increase my Nightclub's ability to have more stock to sell and having purchased a facility in order to do the Doomsday Heist (and before getting the Avenger and Terrorbyte) I decided to go for a Bunker next. Now unlike normal businesses in which you steal supplies to create stock to sell, with the bunkers you have the option of either making weapons to sell or undertaking Research projects from a pool of fifty-one possibilities. Now before you ask, no you don't choose which ones you research, they are done in a random order. The purpose of these unlocks is to give you explosive rounds for your Mark II Sniper Rifle, or armour piercing bullets, weapon customisations for weaponised vehicles, and different livery designs to put on your vehicles. Yes different paint jobs, which is about as important to me as sparing the human race will be when my people invade. Still, the possibility of being able to upgrade my weapons to armour piercing or unlocking new weapons was too tantalising for me to pass up. I therefore purchased a bunker and whilst I initially opted to split my personnel into some doing Research and other getting Stock, I have since decided that as the Research is finite, I will focus on that first and once all fifty-one items have been unlocked switch to everyone working on getting stock.
In all honesty the Bunker was next on my list of properties to buy because owning one would generate one of the highest value products for the Nightclub. I now own every type of business and my nightclub is capable for generating $1,600,000 worth of stock, Tony takes a cut of 10% but that is capped at $1,000,000 (therefore the maximum he can take is $100,000) so a full capacity club has $1,500,000 worth of stock to sell. It is thanks to the club that I have been able to buy the Avenger and the Terrorbyte as every moment that you are playing GTA Online your club is silently acquiring goods for you to sell. It is still far safer to sell those supplies in empty lobbies rather than public ones but in recent weeks I have taken to quite often just leaving the game running whilst I go off and do other things. You may be asking how that is possible as the game will kick you from the session for being idle for 15 minutes, and all you have to do is rest something against the right stick on the controller which causes the camera to swivel around your protagonist. This means that as far as the game is concerned someone is still inputting information and therefore playing as the camera is moving allowing you to simply let the money to accumulate. Doing the first two Acts of the Doomsday Heist also helped to give me much needed cash boosts but simply leaving the game running was the method that I employed in order to save up enough money to buy the bunker, the Avenger, and the Terrorbyte.
The only real draw-back of the technique above is that your nightclub will lose popularity so it'll take at least two-three hours to boost that back up once you resume (if you're bothered about the $70,000 your club earns regularly), plus the bunker and any other business will run out of supplies. I haven't been bothering with the MC businesses of late as keeping them supplied is a pain but if I started working on them again and they were attacked then all of the stock would be lost as the mission would time out. So if you are thinking of using this trick then just be aware that there could be other issues with leaving the game running unchecked.
Now, as I'm sure you can imagine, there is always something else to purchase...buy a business, you need to upgrade it with better equipment, staff and security. The bunker was no exception. No sooner than I owned one was Agent 14 texting me constantly telling me to buy a Mobile Operations Centre so I could undertaken his equivalent of Paige's Client Missions. The problem with his missions is that they have to be done with a minimum of two people so I cannot just play through them whilst waiting for everyone to bugger off out of a server.
It was after buying the Bunker that I had a moment of true clarity...
Allow me to set the scene for you...so I bought the Bunker and naturally they all look the same inside but like the biker businesses, facilities, hangers and so on you pay for their location, the better the location, the more expensive it is. The one I bought cost me $2,300,000(ish) and then a couple of days later went down to half price in the Black Friday offers. So I lost over a million dollars because I bought the Bunker on a Thursday rather than the following Saturday. Needless to say I was a bit miffed but was able to get a Terrorbyte and Avenger through the Sales so was able to reap some rewards from the GTA Online discounts. I wasn't going to bother with the Mobile Operations Centre because I wasn't planning to do any of the missions that linked with it so did not see the point, and then the week after the Black Friday Sales, there was a 40% sale on certain Heavy Vehicles, with the MOC and its upgrades being one of them.
This was when I had my epiphany...
In GTA Online there is always some sale or another, or some double $ and RP offers going on...ALWAYS...as a result you will never need to pay full price for anything because sooner or later it will have some discount or other and that is when you want to buy it.
I took advantage of the 40% off and now have a MOC so can do Agent 14's jobs if I want, it is upgraded to my specifications as well and I did not bother with a Vehicle Workshop because I don't currently own an weaponised vehicles to upgrade (and I'll install that upgrade on the Avenger in due course when it is on sale), nor did I buy a Weapons Workshop because I already have one in the Terrorabyte. My MOC has its own forward firing cannon, living quarters and storage for a personal vehicle but as I have unlocked the option through Research to put additional cannons on the rear of the trailer I will do that because in GTA Online you can never have too many weapons
So there you go, yet another Update of my experiences with GTA Online, I don't think that by leaving the game running whilst I'm doing other things to allow the Nightclub to acquire stock has broken the game, what it has done is made me realise that being patient is key, and that is what I am going to do. Fortunately being patient is one of my virtues, you can't be hanging on the phone for over three decades without learning to be patient.
I have seen this week that the Savage helicopter is on for $1,200,000 instead of its usual $1,950,000 so I am planning on purchasing that as the Avenger cannot be taken into missions but the Savage can. After that I will continue to play and finish the Doomsday Heist but will bide my time on buying anything at its current price because sooner or later there will be a sale and I'll buy it then.
My goal has thus become to just grow my Online bank account, and be patient, because sooner or later I will be able to buy the stuff I want at a discounted rate. I will then chuckle to myself at the expense of every idiot out there who bought their stuff for full price or bought it with shark cards they purchased with real money.
Let me pose a question...is the GTA Online community toxic??
I honestly hadn't really thought about it before. I play GTA Online and sometimes wear headphones. I always have the voice chat switched off so cannot hear people in the hub talking incessantly on their mikes and whilst I have noted on numerous occasions that there are a lot of other player that are dicks, the vast majority of people seem to just leave others to do their own thing whilst they do their own.
However, I watched a random YouTube video the other day and the guy (whoever it was) was talking about why he doesn't play GTA Online which got me thinking.
Personally I have started playing in Invite Only servers because there I can do Paige's Client Jobs (from the Terrorbyte) and as I have a Bank, register as a CEO to do the VIP work as well. I can usually make £50,000 in a few minutes by doing a Client mission then a VIP job, and repeating that over and over. Working through these missions is a reliable way of making money. In an hour or so I can generally earn $250,000-$300,000 before I begin getting bored and start playing some Rockstar created missions (again mostly by myself if possible). As I'm alone no one else can interfere with me, plus my nightclub can still acquire stock whilst I'm playing. Resupply missions for the bunker, or hanger or sale missions for the club or other businesses are locked but that doesn't bother me too much as I can always hang around in Public Lobbies until they are empty to do sales. Often I begin a session in a public server, resupply my Bunker as I still have more research items to unlock, then when it is full, switch to an Invite Only to make money quickly. By playing in Invite Only sessions I have managed to accumulate $10,000,000 in my online bank account. I blitzed Paige's Client jobs when they were worth double money and managed to amass the majority of my modest fortune. $10,000,000 is my minimum amount that I like to have and add to it as and when I feel like playing the game. When things I want are on sale I am buying them, then work through the Client Jobs and VIP Work missions again in order to get my balance back up to the minimum $10,000,000 once more. (I am also doing the Doomsday Heist missions again but the set-ups are a pain to do so I'm not really counting them as a consistent and reliable money making opportunity). Anyway, my patience has allowed me to buy the TM-02 Khanjali tank, the Stromberg (a car that can go underwater), a hanger, various supercars and the Oppressor MK II hover bike with more on my To Purchase list.
But, why do I need to play in Invite Only sessions???
The answer is obvious...other players...
Now on occasion I will admit that I do attack random players but there is always a reason behind it. Someone else was doing a client mission and I ended up flying near them in an attack chopper, my missiles locked on, I figured I might as well so fired, killed him and was going to claim the gold he'd been stealing for myself. Then I got a text from him asking if I could leave him alone to accomplish his mission, I said "sure". But unfortunately the gold had glitched into a building and couldn't be retrieved. I honestly felt bad for the guy...I had become the kind of player I hate...I was about to advise him to play in Invite Only servers when doing Client Jobs but he left the server before I could.
Since buying the Terrorbyte it hadn't been destroyed because it has one of the strongest, if not the strongest armour of any vehicle in the game. In public lobbies I tend to drive around in it because I am safer from twats on their rocket bikes, in jets or flying cars. However the other day I was going for some Business Battle Goods which can be collected by any players with a Nightclub, returned to that nightclub for cash and a boost to their current stock levels. If I'm directly competing with other players for these goods I will naturally fire on sight and kill them before they can kill me. Except on this occasion there were two players buzzing the area in the Hunter attack helicopter, which can fire both homing missiles and a missile battery of seven rockets in one go. These players weren't going for the Battle Goods; they were simply attacking any player that tried to get near them. Now when you die in GTA Online, you will respawn somewhere relatively close, so these two dickheads were basically killing players over and over again as they respawned. I attempted to shoot them down with the Terrorbyte but the onslaught of missiles was too much and they destroyed it, although bizarrely I wasn't killed when it exploded, instead appearing nearby, and then I was killed. I fired numerous rockets and mini-gun rounds into their helicopter whilst I was being killed over and over again before it was finally brought down. Thing is when it was, the player who owned it, simply called in another one, and they resumed the slaughter. I was only able to escape by going into passive mode. I headed to the military base to steal a jet but not surprisingly my rockets weren’t able to land a hit on their helicopter but naturally theirs hit my quickly manoeuvring jet and blew me up in one hit.
I returned to passive mode and switched to an Invite Only lobby to do some missions without bell-ends killing me constantly.
I have never really understood what the point of attacking other players actually is, I don’t think you get much or any xp for killing rival players, and if they are driving their own personal vehicle and the attacker destroys it, the attacker is the one that has to pay a premium of up to $10,000 to replace it.
It hadn't been until that video in which the YouTuber had talked about Kill-Death ratio that I really gave it much thought. GTA Online has a KD ratio...why?? I get in games like Call of Duty where you are having various Death Matches that KD ratio is important (I don't play those games so I don't know if the following statement is true or not) and the more kills you make, the more xp you get which in turn improve your rank allowing you to level up. But why do players in GTA Online have a KD ratio?? A guy I play Online with and know in the real world has commented before that my KD ratio is pretty crap, and he isn't bothered about the missions and so on because Kill-Death ratio is all that matters to him.
Why is the Kill-Death ratio not limited to Death Matches??
Simply because in those Death Matches players that enter are on an equal footing, whereas in the hub world they are not.
GTA Online is essentially pay to win with people who are prepared to spend real money on Shark Cards having a clear advantage over those who won’t or can’t do the same. I have only started to reap the benefits of cooler vehicles and technology because I have been patient, because I have been smart, and because I play in Invite Only lobbies wherever possible.
I am currently Level 242 and quite often I will be amongst the higher level players in the server, but my Level counts for naught if another player is in a vehicle like the Hunter and I am not. A Level 1 player will easily kill me if they are in a more powerful vehicle than I am. Hell, I have killed much higher level players than me if I'm sitting in the gunner's chair in my Avenger because a single shot will kill them before they can fire enough rockets to cripple or destroy my aircraft. I’ve noticed that more often than not other players do not engage with the bell-ends racing round the map attacking other players at random, and if you challenge them to a one-on-one death match most decline.
I think it is a shame that the cost to replace a destroyed vehicle has been capped at $10,000 regardless of how much the vehicle was to purchase. If someone had to pay a 10% percentage of the cost of the Khanjali (which is around $2,500,000ish) if they destroyed it then it would set them back $250,000 every time they blew it up. There would therefore be an incentive to not randomly attack other people outside of missions and destroy their stuff.
Or better yet why not do away with the Kill-Death ratio all together, if there was no scoring system there wouldn’t be any point in doing it.
Thing is, it still wouldn’t stop people from doing it, because they are griefing other people without fear of consequences. The YouTuber said that when the knob-heads are attacking other people it doesn’t matter if those people are higher levels than them, equal level or people who have literally just started the game. I can certainly see why it would turn new players off from playing the game if they are unable to do something without some dickhead attacking them constantly.
However, as I have mentioned above there are ways to work around these people and still enjoy the game, however, I think Rockstar could do more to prevent players from attacking others. The game does feature a Kick option if other players are being annoying but I have been kicked from Lobbies that I have entered because the players in there already don’t want additional people in there when I’d done nothing wrong, which is pretty annoying.
I have the Terrorbyte, the Oppressor MK II and using these two vehicles I have discovered a way of making around quarter of a million in an hour which is by far the most profitable way of making money. But I have had to spend over a million on the Terrorbyte and millions on the Oppressor MK II so whilst this method is working for me, it might not work for everyone.
Sadly all it takes is one bell-end to ruin an otherwise good session, I have been attacked and killed by lower level players than me more times than I can count.
Plus there are times when the game itself seems to be against me. I was doing a Client mission in a public server recently, because everyone just seemed to be doing their own thing, when two players, both considerably lower level than me suddenly got a massive hard-on for me and began attacking my Terrorbyte in their hover bikes until it was finally destroyed. They then started sniping me from a rooftop when I popped up and shot at them. I managed to finish my mission but after that one of these two just would not leave me alone. I’d kill him as many times as he killed me, but then when we were going for some Business Battle Goods I blew up his rocket bike (the Oppressor MK II) and he destroyed mine (despite mine having counter-measures which should have prevented his rockets from hitting it). We shot each other as we went for the goods, I did an insurance claim on my MK II, and picked up one of the two crates. I called my mechanic to get a vehicle brought to me, but he was apparently busy so was unable to deliver anything. Meanwhile, the other guy had his MK II delivered to him, so was able to race to his own club, get back across the map to attack and kill me once again...then he stole the goods I was carrying and took them for himself.
Tell me GTA Online why the fuck was he able to get his bike delivered but my mechanic was busy so I was an easy target for him as I was racing back to my club???
I have mentioned before that I like Angry Joe and he has said more than once that online players generally just suck. Online multiplayer games (not just GTA Online) are full of knob heads that like shouting racist things into their mikes, grief or troll others just for the sake of it, and by and large it is very hard to enjoy an online game unless you are playing with a group of your friends.
GTA Online is no different to any of these other online multiplayer games.
Therefore the question of whether the GTA Online Community toxic...can be summarised with the answer: Yes and No.
I’ve mentioned in various Updates that I have encountered other players that have been nice, have helped me in heists and some of the ones I am friends with on my console will help me with missions whilst I help them too. It isn’t fair to say that the whole community is toxic, as there are plenty of people who just want to play the game without interference and leave others alone to do their own thing too.
Sadly there are the griefers and the bell-ends who relish flying around attacking others because they know that the majority of players are just trying to do their own thing. Those people are definitely capable of ruining an otherwise enjoyable session and I could certainly understand why new players would instantly be turned away from GTA Online.
My advice is this...play in Invite Only servers because not only can you do VIP Work and Client Missions, if you decide to do Rockstar created job then you will also be able to do them on your own if you so desire. If you get griefers gunning for you in Public servers just find a new sessions because it is so much simpler than trying to engage with the knob heads who are just trying to annoy random strangers.
Let’s be honest, I have talked about GTA Online to death. I read over my previous Updates and I have continued to talk about new things as new Updates and content have been added. Although I think that it is time to draw the line under GTA Online and so I am going to share my final thoughts. I am not planning on stopping playing the game I just don’t think there is anything more that I can say without just repeating myself.
My last article about GTA Online talked about the Community and asked the question of whether it was toxic or not. My conclusion was a resounding, Yes and No. For every decent player there are a dozen or more bell-ends who seek to ruin other people’s fun just because they enjoy griefing others. But using the Invite Only sessions suggested by a YouTube video I saw, I was finally able to find a reliable, safe, easy (if a little grindy) way of making decent money in a relatively short space of time. So that is what I resigned myself to do, I only entered Public Lobbies when resupplying my Bunker and left them as soon as that was done.
However recently I discovered an article on Reddit which described a way of getting into a Public Lobby alone by changing the network settings on your console. By doing this I have been able to spend many an hour in empty Public Lobbies and have done numerous Airfreight Cargo missions (the ones linked to the Hanger) as well as kept my Bunker’s supplies full in order to keep those Research projects unlocking.
If you are a PS4 console owner and like me got so sick of the twats that roam a dime a dozen on Online, then you may have started playing in Invite Only lobbies. If you have tried this for yourself then you’ll know that Invite Only Lobbies limit the activities that you can participate in. Client Jobs and VIP Work can be done, no problem. However, resupply missions for the Bunker, or MC Businesses, Airfreight missions or CEO vehicle or cargo runs, are all locked out. Thus if you want to do any of these then you have to play in Public Lobbies where the bell-ends run rampant.
If you want a work around to the problem of twats in Public Lobbies then this is the way to do it. Before going on whilst I could take credit and hell I should have used my mighty alien brain to come up with this solution myself, I will admit that I didn’t come up with it. That honour goes to a GTA Forum user “BassettR-34” so whoever you are sir, or madam, you have my thanks:
Right so to do this follow the below instructions (and as far as I know this only works for the PS4 but as I don’t have an Xbox One I don’t know if it would work on that too).
· On you PS4 main screen, scroll across to “Settings”
· Go down to “Network”
· Then open up “Set up Internet connection”
· Choose whatever Network you are on and select “Custom” rather than Easy for the set-up
· For every option select either “Automatic” or “Do Not Specify” until you get to the MTU settings.
· The MTU will generally be on 1500, so change it to 800 and then continue with the final set-up steps again selecting “Automatic” or “Do Not Specify”
· Test the Internet connection and it should connect.
· After this simply load up GTA 5 and go Online...all being well you will be in a Public Lobby but one that you are in alone.
I have done this a half dozen times and it has worked for me every time. On one occasion a couple of other players entered the Lobby but both left pretty quickly, I have been able to play in a solo Public Lobby unmolested and can do any mission that I choose because as far as the game is concerned I’m in a Public Lobby. I sold a million dollars worth of stock from my Nightclub without worrying about some random tosser appearing and blowing up my delivery vehicle.
One thing about the above setting is that it will enable you to play GTA Online but it can cause issues with other games, so to change it back to normal simply go back to “Set up Internet Connection” and select “Easy” instead of custom and follow the steps which will restore your network back to its previous settings.
Once I had changed the settings a couple of times I realised how easily and quickly it could be done. It can be switched in a minute and once you stopped playing switched back even faster than that. As a result there is now no reason that you cannot be in a Lobby on your own if you want, and none of the missions are locked out, so you can do anything you want without interference.
So what did I do with this new found freedom in Public Lobbies??
For a start I wanted to do 42 Airfreight Cargo missions, simply because after you complete a certain amount you will get aircraft at discounted prices. Now I don’t like stuff having two prices, Retail and Cost, as the Cost is always less. I worked through 3 of the Mobile Operations missions because I wanted the vehicles that were reduced in price when those missions were completed. Cost prices are also reduced during special offers so it is possible to save up to a million dollars on a vehicle if you can get it for its cost price minus any discount.
Admittedly I only wanted the Akula helicopter but I figured if I did all 42 of the necessary Airfreight missions if I did want to buy stuff in the future I’d get it at the discounted prices. I therefore worked my way through 42 pretty tedious missions until I received a call telling me that the final vehicle’s cost price has been unlocked.
Of course by that time I had a hanger full of various crap that I’d acquired during the missions, and obviously I opted to sell it. Similarly to the MC and Gun Running missions, once you have stock to sell you are then given your delivery method. I was given 6, yes SIX, mini helicopters that were loaded with 2 product each that needed to be delivered to various locations around the map which included under freeway overpasses and on building ledges...the time limit was 15 minutes. Needless to say I did not get everything delivered in time. But I didn’t really care, the only reason I had the Hanger was so I could buy the Akula when it was on sale. I hadn’t upgraded the Hanger to include a vehicle workshop because Pegasus vehicles converted to Personal Aircraft cannot be upgraded with better armour, countermeasures, or bombs. I have absolutely no idea why, I mean the Lazer P-996 aircraft is the most expensive vehicle in the game costing a whopping $6,000,000 and yet if you buy one the only thing you can do is respray it. You can’t make it faster, give it counter measures, improve the handling so why the hell would you buy one when stealing one from the military base is a walk in the park, especially if you own a Hanger on the base itself??
I have been waiting until things I wanted were on sale and buying them then. I saved $10,000,000 and buy something I want when it is on sale then getting my money back up to the ten million dollars again. Since the beginning of the year (2019) I have logged into the Rockstar Games Social Club website on a weekly basis to see what is on offer. I have purchased various vehicles and by keeping my funds at a minimum of ten million I know that I will be able to afford to buy what I want when I want.
This week the Doomsday Heist vehicles were reduced by 30% which included the Deluxo and the Akula. The Deluxo is basically the DeLorian from Back to the Future and can fly, plus be equipped with rockets and machine guns. The Akula is an attack helicopter that has a stealth mode which hides it from the radars of other players allowing you to move around the map unseen.
Even with the discounts the two vehicles set me back around $4,500,000 and after I had bought them both I was trying to decide if I should buy the Vehicle Workshop for the Hanger and the Avenger so I could modify my newly purchased vehicles. Unfortunately the Vehicle Workshops haven’t been on sale since the beginning of the year and each one would cost me around a million dollars each. Abbie pointed out that I had the money and was saving it for just this reason so I threw caution to the wind and ended up spending $9,000,000 on Vehicle workshops, and upgrading all of my vehicles to their full weaponised potentials. I also resprayed all of my aircraft to my colours and added my logo where possible which looks really cool.
I was left with just over $1,500,000 in my Online back account, but I know that within a few weeks, using the methods I have discussed at length I will get it back up to $10,000,000 once more. The only vehicle left that I want is the Vigilante (which is basically the Batmobile from the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman). Its current price tag is $4,000,000ish so as long as I get my bank account back up to over that amount as and when it is on sale I can purchase it.
Not really sure where to stick this next point as it is really just food for thought so I’ll bung it in here: According to my stats on the Rockstar Social Club website I have been playing GTA Online on and off since 2015, during that time I have played it for the equivalent of 38 days straight. I have also acquired $91,000,000 and spent $89,000,000. In my GTA Online...My Final Update...?? article I talked about how many shark cards you’d need to by all the things the game has to offer (that was before the After Hours and Arena War Updates so yet more expensive content has been added since I wrote that Update). I have spent five weeks in four years earning that money, alternatively I could have bought Shark Cards which Abbie and I just worked out would have cost £670.10. If you don’t believe me do the math yourself, 89,000,000 / 8,500,000 x £64 = our grand total.
But for me, using all of the methods discussed in these articles and updates, I have found a way of playing without other players interfering with me and without spending an additional penny of real money. I am able to join other players if I want or can play alone if I so desire. What is currently keeping me coming back is the fact that I can earn money quickly and easily, which steadily grows my bank account enabling me to buy the stuff I want, plus grants me the ability to just blow it all on stuff if I choose. There are still things that I want to do but as far as updates go maybe Rockstar will keep adding new content, if they do I will check out the ones that interest me and disregard the ones that don’t.
When all is said and done I like playing GTA Online when I can play it on my own and when I can choose to let others play with me. I don’t like it when knob heads dog my every step when I am trying to get things done and earn money. My overall rating hasn’t changed from my first article as I would still call the experience average and for new players the experience might be nothing but bad. Personally because I have put in the time and effort necessary to get every MC business, a CEO Bank, a Bunker, a Nightclub, the Terrorbyte and everything else I have at my disposal I can reap the rewards that would not be available to people starting from scratch.