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Red Dead Online Beta

Source: Rockstar Games / Red Dead Online Beta

Rockstar Games right now is basking in the success of Red Dead Redemption 2 and the steady but cautious rollout of Red Dead Online beta. Listening to feedback from gamers, the studio is rolling out a massive update that aims to tackle some of the online component’s most significant issues.

While it did not stumble out the gate like Grand Theft Auto Online, Red Dead Online had a much smoother introduction but has suffered from some in-game issues since its November launch. Players were quick to point out the lack of missions, problems with the in-game economy and players hell bent on just being destructive trolls in the game or as some describe it “grieving.” To combat those issues, Rockstar announced a massive update coming February 26 that will hopefully improve Red Dead Online.

First, we will focus on “grieving” and how that main issue alone took the fun out of Red Dead Online. Being a Black gamer, of course, my character in the game reflects that. The minute my created character stepped foot in the digital Wild West I was greeted with racial slurs and regularly killed and chased down by white players. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve experienced racism while gaming before but when you play Red Dead Online it just feels too real,. In speaking with The Verge’s Patricia Hernandez who wrote a piece about Black players enduring racist nonsense myself others detailed our experiences within the game.

“I remember a player actually saying ‘get that nigger’ with a Western twang to his voice,” Smalls says. “It was like they felt they have the perfect game to do so.”

I would dread playing the game alone opting to only hop on with friends in hopes to deter trolls from aggressively targeting me. Now the game does allow you to initiate a parlay with that person who is hellbent on killing you, but Rockstar will take things even further. The upcoming update will now reduce your visibility or blip over long distances only revealing your location on the map to players within 150 meters of you. Your position will only be shown if you’re firing your weapon. This new feature aims to stop people from continually targeting you from long distances.

Now if you are one of those players who like to cause trouble on the regular the new system will highlight your over-aggressive play by darkening your dot on the map. The only way to make your visibility fade is by good behavior but if you keep killing innocent players and horses a bounty will be placed on your head, and NPC bounty hunters will track you down this also another new feature coming with the update.  Another much-needed improvement is the ability to parlay with an entire posse because of course trolls run in gangs.

Last but not least there some bug fixes and minor improvements as well as the introduction of daily challenges such as foraging for herbs, selling items at a Fence, hunting, and skinning animals, clearing hideouts, winning feuds and so much more that will reward players with gold nuggets and XP. Rockstar says it will continue to expand and evolve the challenges over time.

This sounds like a step in the right direction, and I personally applaud Rockstar for listening and taking some sort of action to make Red Dead Online fun for EVERYONE.

Photo: Rockstar Games/Red Dead Redemption 2

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