Earlier this week Rockstar Games deployed a small non-content patch in Red Dead Online, the purpose of which was to fix some issues with the recently released Naturalist DLC, and to pre-load assets and tunables for today's weekly event release.
Instead, the patch broke the game so spectacularly that it may have academic value to game design students for decades to come. Now the developers are completely rolling it back.
It's rare for patches to cause such colossal errors, that instead of releasing a patch for the patch to fix the things the patch broke, it's just completely and utterly undone. Today Red Dead Redemption 2 installations will do complete rollbacks to the previous client version. This means that the errors the patch set out to solve will return, but at least the game will be playable.
What do you think about this ? In a Facebook group, many people report that they have seen this guy. There is even a theory that it is a hacker who caused all this mess. This is a larger community than the Facebook group, haven't you received any reports or something about? pic.twitter.com/JzYMXD0KfP
— Edgar Hernández (@EdgarHe13687060) August 11, 2020
So what exactly does Red Dead Online look like when it's so dysfunctional that Rockstar nukes a patch? Based on player reports documented on Twitter, Reddit, our forums, and other social sites, it would be easier to list what didn't go wrong. For one, most sessions load without any NPCs at all - no friendlies, no hostiles, no animals. Just an empty game map barren of all life.
The only non-player character you could rely on is your in-game mount, however the horses were also glitched. Sometimes they were invisible, sometimes they were on fire. Mounts would routinely flicker in and out of the game world, would load already dead midair and fall to the ground. Players would encounter the horses of other players glitched into the scenery, locked into the galloping animation.
Another common and particularly egregious bug is that weapons stopped working. When enemy NPCs did spawn, in many cases aiming at them resulted in the reticule going grey, which means you cannot shoot the given target. The weirdest bug however is the random spawning of the same bald man NPC model in all sorts of absurd situations.
My day in Red Dead. No animals spawn, ghost players, ghost wagons. pic.twitter.com/5CMnnU5x3L
— Damarus Moton (@Coach_Moton) August 11, 2020
Sometimes he is the only NPC in the entire session. Sometimes he floats, sometimes he's transparent, sometimes he follows you around. There are already fan theories circulating about this mysterious bald man's involvement with the failure of the patch. Who is he? What does he want?
Aside of these game breaking but also somewhat entertaining glitches, the game also simply crashes a lot, which doesn't quite make for fun clips you can at least share online.
Hopefully Rockstar will get things sorted soon. We'll see how this affects the rollout of the weekly event bonuses!