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Red Dead Online - What Happened?


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Given that there are now several days in between posts on the forum nowadays, I think that it's safe to say that Red Dead Online is pretty much dead, at least with many older, veteran players.

So what happened?

The game had so much potential when I started playing in ~ March 2019 (wow, was it really that long ago?). I remember being breaking out of the wagon picking out my clothing from the very limited supply, and stealing my horse from Valentine. After popping open the treasure chest, I was off on my own for the first time. I had an interesting experience, where I was playing Online more than Story mode. I remember learning the map by farming stranger missions and the Land of Opportunities missions. Being broke and having nothing was honestly the best time that I had. Grinding for new weapons, more ammo, new horses, new saddles, clothing, pamphlets, etc. was the best time that I had in this game. It gave me something to do. It gave me a goal in the game. Nowadays, the only fun that I have in the game is if i'm playing with my buddies and we basically just screw around. The major problem with the game for me is the fact that there's nothing to grind for. There's no incentive for me to spend time doing caravan escorts, my favorite stranger missions, ever since the Trader role came out. It just was too inefficient of a moneymaking method. Before the role updates, money was handed out sparingly, by comparison, unless you could streamline your hunting and speedrun the stranger missions. At the time, I remember it being annoying that money took so long for me to amass. Hell, deleting your account and redoing all of the Land of Opportunities missions was the fastest way of getting money fast. Now the Roles put that to shame.

And there's one of the problems. 

The only way to get roles is with gold (or amazon prime, I guess). For newer players, especially how gold payouts got nerfed into the ground for dailies, it's very difficult to get said roles without paying. After you get trader or collector, moneymaking becomes trivially easy. But by that point, if you've gotten all the roles "legitimately" without playing, you already have everything that you want for the most part. So why bother? Why spend all this time grinding when there is no reason for you to grind? Sure, it's fun to screw around with friends, or maybe you just like the missions, but for me, the game got old surprisingly quickly after the Roles came out. We all maxed them fairly quickly, and then it got stale. I do remember the OG legendary bounties, and how exiting it was to come back every week to see who the new dirtbag was for us to drag in.

Looking at GTAO, it's an entirely different story. There's tons and tons of content that I still haven't unlocked, and i'm almost level 100. The sheer amount more of content that GTAO has over RDO is staggering. It's not just that, there's also stuff to grind for at higher levels. Done with the regular heists? Buy a Facility! Done with the doomsday heists? Buy an arcade! Done with the Diamond casino heists? Buy a Kosatka! It's not even that the quality of the missions themselves are higher in GTAO, it's simply that there are more of them and there are more reasons to do them!

This is the biggest consequence of of RDO's biggest problem: NO UPDATES! We only got ~ 2 sizable updates per year with RDO, and everything else was a ridiculous drip-feed, where we only got some crappy new clothing and some bonuses that only benefited new players. It's really sad too, because this game could have been so much more. It could have been bursting with content and things to do, but no, Rockstar neglected it. The best example of that is the animal spawns. They left that issue unfixed for almost a year, which left most of the game nearly unplayable. Given that so many things depended on the animal spawns which were absent, it made trader difficult to do. And they still aren't really at the level they were before. 

For me, the game is pretty much permanently shelved. I love the Story Mode, and I still take it out every once in a while and play it, but the Online I rarely play anymore unless I have my friends with me and we feel like screwing around in Red Dead. Maybe i'll play it again for a couple weeks every now and again when a new update comes out, but for the most part, the game is done for me.

TL;DR: The game could have been so much more, but neglect stagnated it, and that's a real shame.

What about you? Do you think the game died too?

Edited by EjectedCasings
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Well, activity (or lack of it) on this site is far from an indicator as to the health of the online community in RDO.  There are other fan forums and social media accounts, etc. 

RDR2.org has never been a largely active site even in RDO's heyday.  .....but it's always provided a better experience IMO as we don't have the trolls and mean spirited attitudes you might find elsewhere.    .....or at least they are not put up with here.  

I'll agree that RDO should have more attention paid to it.  The weekly discounts aren't enough to keep everyone interested.  They need more meaningful content like GTAO gets.

We do know that they still have plans for RDO but because R* is so tight lipped, we simply don't know what we can expect or when.  The only recent news was the remarks regarding how they want to release more solo / coop content for both GTAO and RDO.  

I logged in the other day after many months of not playing RDO and was placed in a full lobby.  I was just testing RDO on my new PS5.  

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I don’t think the game is dead but when they only drip feed content and put our game on he back burner, there is only so much to do if you are not a new player. 

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Ok,so first off, gta and red; gta is arcade, red is realism. gta has no limits on its creations, red is limited to historical facts, happending, atmosphere and events.

Are there alot more that could be added to red? ofc but sutch development takes time. Afterall, gta5 is 7+ y/o, red is 2. Red had covid in the middle of its existance while gta saw a natural drop in new content cuz they at the times had notingng new to add, and that was before covid forced workers to stay home.

For Red, they have to think hard about what can be added, plus it seems they have taken a stand that the game has to "naturaly evolve". That was atleast their idea to why we did not have houses to stay in from day1.

It allso took more then 6 months when red online finaly was relased to it became playable due to the devs under estimating how toxic and shitty the online servers became when they had a gameworld with no rules, so alot of dev time went down the drain there.

All in all Red is nothing but a test server for GTA ideas and it shows. Further on, if the rumors are true that Red 1 is beeing remade for ps5, then that wont help Red2 online, it is prolly more then 20 years timeline difference between thouse two games, so they cant share online worlds, all it will do is drain dev manpower from Red2 online.

 

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Unless something new comes up and people need to discuss it, this board will be fairly empty.  It’s not like people aren’t playing, I see full lobbies regularly, but there isn’t much to talk about if you’ve been playing for any length of time at all.

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Whilst I have to agree that the drip feed of content along the lines of the recently added solo missions in RDRO isn't exactly content that is going to bring players back or add much in the way of endgame content to long serving players, it does bode well that the game is still being added to & thought of by the Devs/R*.

However once those 20 minute encounters are completed it is back to running dailies for most of the playerbase, although like others have said I always see full lobbies & there are a lot of low level players which must mean the game is still attracting new players - this is double-edged as it means they won't be running out of content soon if they play through all the roles to completion, which by then will hopefully mean new content has been added, maybe the rumoured player housing, players asking for robberies & bank jobs etc - we can only guess what R* has up its sleeve!

But, like all games that have a story arc - once that arc is completed it is then only an open world/sandbox for the players to inhabit, some, like me, play every day, completing dailies, running 'shine & Bounties for the pure joy that the gameworld brings. Even now [having hit level 500 earlier today] I will stop my horse & just stare in awe at the sun rising on the horizon & watch the colours change across the sky, the world is still enough of a draw that I will come back day after day & just "exist" in the world .

All that aside, R* still needs to keep injecting new things into the game - ideally better than the last [laughable] Outlaw Pass - & more akin to the solo missions they added recently, train robberies, stage robberies, bank jobs, shootouts with Law Enforcement, if they are to keep the gameworld feeling alive & most importantly full of players, not just new players but players of all levels & skill, to keep us signing in day after day & inhabiting their world with our "outlaws". 

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:48 PM, Dbuck64 said:

Unless something new comes up and people need to discuss it, this board will be fairly empty.  It’s not like people aren’t playing, I see full lobbies regularly, but there isn’t much to talk about if you’ve been playing for any length of time at all.

Pretty much....

You can still see folks viewing some of these threads but there just isn't much else to talk about since nothing has really changed.  If there is another big update or news to share, I'm sure activity will increase. 

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