GTA Online recently received its biggest DLC update some time ago in the face of Further Adventures in Finance and Felony. After a rather long period of small scale updates with only a car and the odd Adversary Mode here and there, the community was hungry for a proper DLC to be finally released for the game.
Rockstar finally delivered on that and then some. Finance and Felony outstripped even Executives and Other Criminals in terms of gameplay content. By adding a whole new level of gameplay in the form of CEO work and blackmarket deals, the end-game has been greatly expanded. High level players now have something to do with their time – and money.
We say that because kicking off a criminal organisation in GTA Online is a big investment, especially if you aim high. Headquarters start at one million and then you haven’t even bought yourself warehouses and crates. Crates are a constant expenditure, but you stand to make a big profit off each should you deliver it successfully.
And therein lies the odd controversy of Finance and Felony. Unlike the typical playingfield when a DLC of mixed reception is released, this isn’t a case of players versus developer. Finance and Felony has sparked something of an inter-community mouth-off, seeing as griefers can suddenly cause several millions in damages, not just a minor nuisance.
This has led to a clear divide among the players. Some have resorted to tampering with their internet connections in order to enter a public lobby of their own. They claim this is the only way to avoid those griefers who take perverse pleasure in shitting in other people’s soup.
Those very griefers, in turn, accuse that players getting their own public lobby and subsequently kicking anyone out are “cowards” who “aren’t playing the game right” because Rockstar is actively encouraging players to attack crates in transit.
Now, there are just a few issues with this point of view – firstly, there never is a single “right” way to play. Each game can be enjoyed in multiple different ways. Secondly, and subsequently to the first, there is no excuse for being a dick.
There is a money reward in game for players who destroy crates, however that reward is negligible – around GTA $ 2,000. You’d get the same payout from robbing a bank, for example. However, the destruction of said crates costs the CEO in question literal millions of game currency, making the whole thing pointless.
When we’re talking about a loss of millions, players won’t be motivated to buy Shark Cards – they’ll be motivated to quit the game in rage. As such, it is clearly not in Rockstar’s best interests to genuinely spur players to such asshattery.
The general consensus among players is that the DLC “panders” to the griefers, by giving them targets that make other players more pissed off – which is their end goal. However, based on what some players are seeing, the DLC has been also having a different effect on the GTA Online community – probably the effect Rockstar actually envisioned.
Tweaking your internet to get a public lobby all to yourself notwithstanding, while the most common reaction to griefers before was entering passive mode or switching sessions, things have changed. Vigilante justice is no longer a rarity in GTA Online.
More often than ever, players – such as Reddit user TessioMT – are reporting that CEOs gather highly skilled associates who mercilessly hunt down any griefer that messes with them.
I’ve seen how vicious a crack team of an entire Organization strikes down people who mess with their business. Saw a busta getting spawned killed for 30 mins straight being unable to quit and was too much of a tryhard to go Passive.
When you have a whole team of high level guards protecting your convoys with the right equipment, those otherwise harrowing Hydras become nothing more than a momentary nuisance. However, sometimes you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in a session with more than one griefer.
In such a case, players have seen multiple, otherwise rival, Organisations form a pact to maintain martial law. They turn into the unofficial police force of the session, ensuring that they make the life of any GTA Online griefer miserable.
Even worse if you incur the wrath of multiple CEOs who have formed a pact like a Mafia Commission.
That is the crux of this all – Finance and Felony doesn’t pander to griefers, in fact, it is trying to simulate the organic development of resistance within the playerbase. Until now, the worst a griefer could do is spawn kill you until you go into passive or leave.
You cannot go into passive mode when you’re a CEO, leaving mid-mission will result in losing your investment and giving you cargo worth millions makes you motivated to protect it. For the first time in the history of GTA Online, players have reason to engage griefers. It is actually worth it from a monetary standpoint.
This promotion of vigilante justice solves quite a few issues for Rockstar. With the issue of hackers having been solved on PC, Hydra griefers are now public enemy number one on the three enhanced edition platforms. They would probably make a lot of people happy by removing the damnable thing altogether.
However, they would also make a lot of people angry. Nerfing the Hydra would also result in a bit of a shitstorm. They’ve attempted to tweak passive options with Ghosting and such, but in the end, it didn’t prove effective.
Players who think Rockstar is “pandering to griefers” need to look at the bigger picture – first the ghosting feature, clearly designed to counteract griefers, is released and the next thing Rockstar does is turn GTA Online into grief-paradise? Yeah, no.
Giving players purpose, giving them something to fight for is what Finance and Felony truly stands for. You have before you the opportunity to create a criminal empire earning you millions constantly – that’s something worth protecting.
Of course, there are players who dislike PvP – this makes sense, since historically GTA hasn’t really been about competitive play. This is probably why the various ways of entering a public lobby of your own hasn’t been “patched” (thrown in about two lines of code and any of the methods would boot players from the game altogether) by Rockstar, as they want to keep the core fanbase.
If anything, Finance and Felony is the first step in eliminating the griefers, making their activity no longer viable. There is no pandering going on here, only motivation to teach those bastards a lesson to remember. Someone goes after your crates? They bloody deserve to be obliterated over and over again.
If this behavior perpetuates, soon it will be “imprinted” on most players, even if they aren’t CEOs, or aren’t currently conducting a buy or sell mission. If the default reaction from players will be to gang up on griefers and tear them a new one, slowly griefing will no longer be viable.
Honestly, this is actually a pretty interesting social experiment. Now that the decent players are given incentive to engage their asshole counterparts, it will be interesting to observe which group comes out on top.
Have you ever witnessed the wrath of a GTA Online organisation pulverize a griefer?
What do you think? Sound off below!