GTA Online does a lot of things right, as evidenced by the player base that’s trending upwards more than three years after launch. Unfortunately, server stability is not one of these things, and getting disconnected at the wrong moment can cost you dearly – but it doesn’t have to.
You’ve probably been there. You blew a ton of cash on getting those crates supplied, or to deck out that showroom car you’re about to export… and then boom, you disconnect. The game looks for a different session and loads you in.
But what’s this? You’re not in your warehouse anymore, or that sell mission you were in the middle of went up in smoke. But the money invested? Oh, that’s gone too. Cue angry rant on some internet forum about Rockstar being greedy or something.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of typing up a storm on Reddit, how about you write a ticket to Rockstar support? This isn’t a ban appeal which will get auto-responded into oblivion, and there’s even a specific subheading for this kind of issue.
All you need to do is submit a ticket under “in-game refund” and explain the situation. GTA Online’s anti-cheat system keeps a detailed log of all transactions to catch hackers, so the staff can simply look back and confirm you paying for these things without registering income from the reward.
Based on the most common user reports, Rockstar also throws in some inconvenience cash, with the most frequent amount being 100k. Granted, that’s basically pocket change in today’s economy, but hey, free cash.
GTA Online’s many issues with server stability can be traced back to its peer-to-peer server structure. This method has players download game data from one another, rather than a central server.
This saves Rockstar having to buy and maintain a costly central server, however it negatively impacts the game experience. Since players are beholden to the upload speed of their fellows, the overall stability and speed of the whole lobby is equal to that of the player with the worst internet.
It’s like that saying about the average intelligence of a roomful of people being equal to that of the dumbest guy in it, but in kbps up/down. Of course, there are a lot of people out there with shitty internet.
Peer-to-peer servers in games are fickle beasts. Enough optimization has gone into it so that the disconnection of a single player usually doesn’t nuke the whole session, which is why you can observe people leaving the session without getting the boot yourself.
However, the spider web of interconnections with this method is fragile, and prone to collapse. When the wrong person leaves or their internet connection falters, it all comes tumbling down like a house of cards. This is when everyone is kicked out of a lobby simultaneously.
P2P server architecture also contributes to a number of other issues that caused much trouble for the players. This P2P nonsense is what gave hackers the perfect vulnerability to exploit and get their mod menus into GTA Online. This is also what they exploited in order to boot players and crash games.
However, these issues have mostly been resolved in recent times, and nothing much more dangerous than losing an import vehicle threatens when you disconnect. Just remember this refund policy in case it happens to you in the future and recuperate those losses.
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