Sometimes the best intentions can backfire, and based on community feedback that has gone up on social sites since the 26th of February, the latest content update for Red Dead Online has kicked up a bit of a controversy.
It appears many players believe that some of the new features were implemented in less than ideal ways, while new systems intended to combat griefing simply exasperated the situation.
One particular, rather strongly worded, Reddit thread has gained over 26 thousand upvotes, indicating that a large chunk of the playerbase agrees with these issues.
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Large swathes of players expressed disappointment in Red Dead Online considering how universally praised the single player portion of the game is. The online mode has been struggling to get on its feet since release, but then again that's what Beta phases are for.
Keep in mind that Rockstar is open to receiving feedback about the game, and will incorporate player feedback into future updates. Being a Beta, Red Dead Online is still very malleable, meaning upcoming changes in the next few months could radically alter the player experience.
Currently, it seems like a radical alteration is what the game desperately needs. Following feedback about how prevalent griefing is in the game, Rockstar has put together a selection of systems intended to reduce the practice as much as possible. But if anything, the update catered to griefers.
The proximity-based blip system has backfired, with players trying to protect themselves against griefers having their blips turn red and becoming indicated at longer range.
The reworked parleying system is also counterintuitive as it now requires longer waiting times and ends up being a nuisance not only for the griefers, but for the griefed as well.
Additionally, alongside all of these anti-griefing measures, as part of the new daily challenge system, Rockstar has added challenges which practically task players to grief - such as to get 3 headshots on other players.
While honorable players would relegate the completion of such challenges to PvP modes, the reality is that most will just go off to shoot any player in the head in freeroam. A quick and easy solution would be to only tally the shots for the challenge when done in a PvP mode.
Beyond this, hunting challenges now provide even less of a reward than they did before.
Another issue with the Daily Challenge system is that it incorporates content not yet released. Some challenges task players with getting a number of kills with a weapon not yet available, and Xbox players see challenges with gear requirements that are still timed exclusive on the PS4. These impossible challenges can break the streaks players need to keep up in order to earn valuable bonuses.
All of these are valid concerns.
Considering how long Grand Theft Auto Online has combated griefers with all kinds of systems unsuccessfully, it was to be expected that things wouldn't be smooth on day-one, but Red Dead Online is a much slower, less dynamic experience where curtailing griefing should be an easier task. Many comments echo similar sentiments, saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 is fantastic, but currently Red Dead Online isn't worth playing.
Hopefully in the coming weeks and months, Rockstar will be able to work player feedback into updates and hammer out these issues.