Since Rockstar is rolling out their next big DLC, Bikers, on the 4th of October, showing that they do indeed heed public requests, the hope that certain long-standing issues which could be fixed with minimal tweaking has been revitalized in the community. GTA 5 has been getting universal praise from critics and players alike ever since initial launch three years ago, as has Online.
That said, no game is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. While the police and wanted system could use a complete overhaul across the board, one of GTA Online’s longest standing problems are not only the fault of the game mechanics, but the players themselves.
Griefing is extremely widespread in GTA Online. Griefing is the act when some player purposefully screws with others in the lobby even though doing so does not yield significant rewards. Spawn-killing, repeated unprovoked attacks and the destruction of CEO crates all fall under griefing, as do many other acts.
Now, humans are almost universally assholes, so you can’t exactly fix that. However, there are some mechanics in GTA Online which make griefing very, very easy. In some cases, it’s precisely the mechanics designed to protect players from griefers are the ones catering to these offenders.
The passive system allows players to enter a mode where they cannot be harmed by other players, nor can they do harm to other players. In passive mode, you can still partake in PvE activities and kill PEDs, for example, however you cannot cause damage to other players, and vice versa. The idea was that whenever some brat who you wish would have dripped down their mother’s thigh all those years ago is repeatedly killing you in their Hydra, you can turn on passive mode and be on your merry.
Thing is, if you do so, they’ll just find someone else to harass. Plus, the crate missions introduces in Further Adventures in Finance and Felony cannot be done in passive mode. However, passive mode also plays into the hands of the griefers.
Sometimes players just get fed up with these asshats in their Hydras and go after them. Usually if someone is a griefer, you can bet that they’ll also completely and utterly lack skill, these bouts of vengeance go in favor of the begrieved players. However, what is to stop the prick in the Hydra to just turn on passive mode themselves? Nothing. They do it all the time. Then, when things have settled, they turn it off and continue doing their thing.
Some players have suggested a few tweaks to the system which would make GTA Online’s passive system less useful for the griefers, but more beneficial for the legitimate players. Some suggested turning on a timer, wherein passive mode cannot be turned on for a while after every player kill you rack up. If you kill someone, you won’t be able to go passive for, say, five minutes.
A different suggestion was the same concept, but the other way around. If you leave passive mode and become active again, it would turn off your “invincibility” first without allowing you to deal damage for a while. This way others can kill you but you can’t kill them. Of the two options, this is the less appealing one, as while it is a good griefer deterrent, it makes the proper use of passive mode much more dangerous.
Possibly the ideal method would be taking the first idea further – make all acts of aggression disable passive mode temporarily. You don’t even need to kill the other player, simply deal damage, and the timer would start ticking. This way, if griefers in GTA Online draw the ire of their victims, they would be prevented from escaping into passive mode without having to succeed in killing their intended targets, who would this way have a chance to fight back.
Either way, chances are such a change will not arrive in Bikers. GTA Online DLC has seldom altered already existing content, and even if the recent public call for tweaks has compelled Rockstar, Bikers is already “complete” in terms of content and features, so any change to the passive system will come in a future patch or update.
How would you tweak GTA Online’s passive mode to combat griefers?
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