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What Red Dead Online needs to succeed: A proposal for player diversity.


BILL BENEDICT
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Red dead redemption 2 is one of the best games I have ever played, and Red Dead Online needs work to match that level of quality. Many cite a lack of content as to why the game is not everything it could be, and while that may be an issue, they seem to forget what made the single player so engrossing. The game thrust you deep into the shoes of Arthur Morgan as he navigated a frontier deep in lore, danger and, most interestingly, populated with a wealth of disparate characters. The Van Der Linde gang itself is a great example of this; as the group is composed of a wealth of criminals with each having their own strengths and weaknesses that contribute to them being a proficient crew. Here is a list of ideas to bring in a strong sense of place and build player connection to their character, and the other player created gunslingers and outlaws that populate the world.


Players can pick a class for their character that will help to add a level of diversity in team setups and out in the open world. In order to help with that diversity, each class has a host of unique ability cards for players to build characters around. In addition, each class has specific stat and core buffs tailored to suit the playstyle of the player. Examples of the perks and fortifications come in the form of larger kit size for certain items, more stamina, and access to crafting stronger tonics. Completing missions and activities that are related to that class will net the player extra money and XP. So for example, a Hunter (sniper) will earn more for hunting legendary animals, and a Pickpocket (stealth) will earn more for selling jewelry and other valuables. Each class's abilities and cards are made to be a great tool to turn the tide of a game or scuffle in the frontier.
In the name of player diversity, the ability card set up is restructured to add in a new category called Bursts. Much like Max Payne 3, these are special abilities which can be activated by players in need of a tactical change in the heat of battle with NPCs and rival players alike. Players are given a forever updating list of abilities to choose from to occupy their ability slot. Upon pressing in both analog sticks, player can activate their selected ability. For balancing reasons, Dead Eye is included in the list of bursts and, like every one of the abilities, the cards are restructured into being selectable extra effects to add onto the base ability. For example, let's look at the reimagined Eagle Eye burst, a Hunter (the sniper class) activates the new eagle eye in order to automatically track all nearby players, revealing them on the minimap for the entire posse or team. Now at this point, the lesser abilities (which are purchasable like ability cars) of the player are now activated. This Hunter has selected the "expert aim" lesser ability, giving the player who activated it a slight boost to damage against tracked enemies in combat. Players would also be able to choose from higher accuracy against tracked targets or some other stat boost upon the activation of this ability. This process is mirrored in the dead eye ability, as now dead eye gives a flat (upgradable) damage bonus upon activation, and extra effects like organ outlines or marking targets are unlocked as lesser abilities. The base effect of a burst can be upgraded through the crafting of talisman, (more information on that later in the "Shaman" section) and special lesser effects can be found randomly in relics. (See "Shaman" section) Eventually, the Eagle Eye Burst can reveal all players in the world on the game map in the pause menu for the player who activated it, and the damage and accuracy boost can be extended to all possed players. (In order to help balance this in competitive matchups, players are now divided into small sub posses in large team games) Not all burst are for combat and are made for more tactical situations like the Provator Burst which gives the player extra XP and health for killing targets, at the expense of their blip being revealed on the radar for an extended period of time, granting all Players extra XP for killing them. This can be extremely useful in team games and free roam missions for creating a distraction for greedy players. But the ability has multiple uses as activating it will attract all NPCs to giving the player who activated it all of their attention. This works in combat drawing all enemies to primarily focus on attacking the player but also works out of combat as a distraction in towns and hideouts, stopping and attracting the attention of all NPCs giving your team the chance to strike stealthy or snipe from far away. Players can use other team buffing Burst at the same time as this to dominate as a tight unit. Further changes include the fact that the Dead Eye core is now the burst core, and is primarily filled and maintained with water. Tobacco products now simply fortify or fill it.

An NPC faction system is added to the game. Players can join any one of the factions operating in the game world, and completing story missions, free roam events and stranger missions with allied players will earn the players rewards. For example, there will be small XP bonuses and a small fortification to the health core upon respawn while riding in a posse with only faction allies. In order to make this easier, players can set their matchmaking settings for story missions to automatically place them in lobbies with other allied players. Furthermore, players will have to manage thier relationship with other factions in the game. Completing missions that task you with attacking of any of the factions will give the player negative or positive relationship points. Earning enough of these will either upgrade or downgrade your relationship rank between admiration and disdain. Each state in the game has two factions calling it home, and every one of these factions are classified as either Honorable or dishonorable. Players who are allied with a faction earn a bonus to their honor or dishonor points gained depending on the honor rating of the faction itself. Each faction will give players a discount to specific shops in their home state, extra money and gold nuggets for completing allied stranger missions, and bonus XP for killing players allied with Rival Factions. All of these rewards will upgrade or downgrade depending on your rank (of 3 respect levels) in the faction. Players can still earn these rewards from factions they are not apart of, but only at the first respect level as a reward for helping them carry out their goals. Factions are also allied with some stranger and story mission givers, and completing a mission for a faction ally will give the player a small bonus to cash and XP. As players upgrade their standing in a faction, they will begin to unlock rewards within the faction base itself like core recharging and fortification, as well as new lucrative opportunities unique to that faction itself. For example, players can bring the corpses of NPCs to the Murphree Brood for money and those who have upgraded their rank can strip bodies for "resources" that be consumed for food.  Capping off the faction gameplay is a new game mode that functions similar to the Gang Wars mode from Max Payne 3.

Payouts and rewards for Story and Stranger missions are now tied into the honor system which is also completely reworked. There are now 7 Levels to the honor system; three levels for high honor, three levels for dishonor, and one simply in the middle. While wearing a mask negates all honor points gained, Players who stay neutral miss out on many bonuses across the world so its smart to take a stance and stick with it. In order to upgrade your Honor rank to the next level, it takes about 2x the amount of Honor points currently required to go from completely neutral to full honor or dishonor. In order to make progressing down or up the morality meter, Players are given many different appropriate rewards such as store discounts and more lucrative bounty hunting for honorable players and increased payouts for stolen wagons and valuables for dishonorable players. Every stranger and story mission available in the game is now classified as an honorable or dishonorable depending on the mission giver, giving increased payouts in Gold and Money for players who walk the same moral line as them. All of these rewards multiply and grow as the player upgrades their honor rank in either direction. As an added touch honor and dishonor ranking are named and fall in line with the player class. (For example, a dishonorable hunter is a Poacher) Choices made in story missions now give small amounts of honor points for simply choosing a decision, and the first time a player chooses a path with an entire team will give a larger amount of honor points to help affect how they are seen in the world. Missions in future updates offer many different secondary objectives and loose instruction to help players express themselves while on a mission. Joining with a posse will give all players including the bonuses of all players currently riding in it, and the honor ranking of the Posse itself gives an additional small multiplier to payouts. This will help players feel immersed in the world of Red Dead Online, and make it easier to build relationships with brothers in arms, and have deadly encounters with bitter enemies. 
Players of Red Dead Online currently unlock treasure maps every few levels, or find them out in the world in hideouts or looted from dead enemies. Players are now given the choice of three other mission types to complete when they rank up instead of treasure hunts. Players are given access to a special task like a stagecoach or train robbery from some faction mission givers that rewards the player with a large amount of faction respect and dishonor points upon completion. Players can also visit trappers to collect legendary animal contracts (the variety of which unlocks in bulk every 15 levels) which reward players with valuable crafting materials for Talisman. (See "Shaman" below) In addition, players can collect high-value bounties for sheriffs and honorable factions throughout the world in exchange for a huge reward and faction respect. These are made to offer players team variations for the special rank mission types that reward multiple players in exchange for increased risk. 
Bonus multipliers are balanced so that the player can at most earn an extra 60% extra at once. 35% from player honor, 20% from Faction bonus, 10% from posse rewards, and 10% from class rewards.

SHAMAN AND TRAPPERS
Players can visit vendors who will craft special items that will provide slight stat fortifications and perks in exchange for the proper ingredients and the right amount of funds. Trappers have a list of clothing that can be crafted from different perfect animals parts that provide small perks and bonuses. Players can also Travel to the bayous of Lemoyne and meet with a Shaman who can craft Jewelry like rings, Belt buckles, and necklaces that can "enchanted" with selectable stat boosts and unlockable perks. Players gain access to perks from Relics which are found on high-level enemies in missions, gang hideouts, treasure chests and can be looted from NPCs. These items will give the player a random ability that can be added onto a piece of jewelry like an enchantment from other RPGs like Fallout or Elder Scrolls. Relics are found at different tiers (Weak, Medium, Strong, and Legendary) and are either positively or negatively charged. Positively charged relics include perks that become stronger the higher your honor and the reverse is true for negative honor. The player can sell these rare and valuable relics for cash or take them to a shaman who will request other items found in the game world to perform a ritual and bind the perk to your item. Players may be tasked with collecting body parts from animals or collect items like fingernails or teeth from NPC gangs in order to craft these trinkets. Examples of these special items would be a positively charged cross that is hanging from a player character's neck, that has a medium tiered Perk of giving an additional 15% more cash found on enemies and chests. The base Relic promised to give the player an additional 10% more cash, but since the player has rank 2 positive honor, they gain an additional 5%. Ranking up the highest positive honor rank will give the player an extra 10%, giving the player an additional 20% cash in total from looting; and that's only from a mid-range relic. The necklace also has a lesser ability to give the player 15% more extra XP for killing NPCs, so this player is in effect maximizing reward potential from PVE game modes.  


RANDOM IDEAS
Players can use the binoculars to study other players, animals, and NPCs which gives them a damage bonus against them for a set amount of time. Players can also track other players in order to have their general location remain on the radar for a long period of time. 
Traquilizer arrows for pacifist missions.
A new class of valuables to be found in reward chests and wagons; rubies and bearer bonds.
Players can buy pots and pans and prepare meals with canned food and meats from birds and game. These meals yield gold cores for a day and buff one stat.
Players can sell wagons to all faction hideouts, and there are randomly spawned high-value wagons that are driven by faction NPCs. These are carrying high-value goods like Moonshine to be delivered to settlements much like armored cars in GTA Online. Stealing one will cause conflict with that faction unless the player is adequately disguised. 
Players can buy pots and pans and prepare meals with canned food and meats from birds and game. These meals yield gold cores for a day and buff one stat.

 

ORIGINAL POST ON GTA FOURMS: https://gtaforums.com/topic/923477-what-red-dead-online-needs-to-succeed-a-proposal-for-player-diversity/

Edited by BILL BENEDICT
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While a lot of this is interesting and could really add to the game, Rockstar be Rockstar. They are going to do what is best for business and what can make them the most profit while creating a game people can love to hate or hate to love. 

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