Red Dead Online beta released this week and fans have finally been able to play Rockstar's next big online game after mega success GTA Online . The first impressions have been mostly positive, but an aspect of the game under control is the economy of the game. Are prices too high? Is it for grindy? Will it be fair for those who prefer not to use real world money on gaming microcontracts? It's too early to tell, but so far, the economy of Red Dead Online looks unbalanced.
Fans have been concerned about microtransactions since before Red Dead Online was launched. Some joked about "Wolf Cards," a reference to the Splitting Shark Cards that can be purchased in GTA Online for real money. Some GTA players feel that Shark Cards are the cause GTAO has seen game prices on a new content line. These fears are not entirely unprofitable: Evidence shows that prices in the last five years have actually increased on cars and other items in GTA Online .
Red Dead Online The economy differs from GTA Online economy in a few important ways. One of the first and most obvious differences is the prices and benefits that the players receive. Many items in the stores cost some in-game dollars or even less than one dollar, in line with the economy of the old West, where a few dollars could go a long way. Many assignments and activities pay only three or five dollars. I GTA Online are payments and costs in thousands and millions.
The other major difference is that Red Dead Online includes two currencies. Cash is the easiest to earn and reward when completing quests, playing competitive modes and selling animal skins or fish. The other currency is gold, which works more like a premium currency found in games like Rainbow Six Siege . Gold bars are used for different things in RDO . Players can use gold bars to buy special cosmetic items, unlock certain items faster, or even to reset the moral painter, which may be useful for players who will always be a good cowpoke or a nasty cowpoke.
Gold will be available for sale in the future when Rockstar turns into the store but we do not know what the price of gold packages will be or how they will be sold. In today's beta, players can earn the gold nicks by completing quests, finding taxes or playing PvP modes online. When a player has earned 100 nuggets, they get a bar of gold.
Getting gold bars is currently a grinding. Reddit uses UnavailableIDs calculated that it will take most players about eight hours to earn a yellow line. Some elements of the game and weapon changes can only be purchased using these gold bars, and some of them are very expensive. For example, if you want to replace every piece of metal completely on the launcher, it will cost 30 gold bars, which can currently take 200+ hours to earn. Another gold-only purchase is horse insurance. While your first horse is insecure without gold, future horses cost five gold bars to insure. Getting horse insurance makes it possible to cure for free and automatically when it dies; otherwise uninsured horses have a small cost and two minutes of waiting before they are healed from death.
If used wisely, a premium currency allows developers to pride themselves, more detailed or unnecessary cosmetic items with these currencies while not interfering with the economy in the game too much. GTA Online missing premium currency is one of the reasons why things started to become more expensive. All players earned them the only currency in the game, making it easy for players to paint, buy or utilize their way to high-end articles. In theory, a prize currency can be a way to have special things that players have to pay for while still having items that players can earn in the game for free. I Red Dead Online do not work gold-like items like horse insurance as unnecessary cosmetics. They seem important to the game, and locking them behind difficult gold bars feels like a bad way to implement a premium currency.
Rockstar has stated on their website that gold bars will be used to unlock cosmetic items, such as decorations for your camp. But in the present RDO beta there are items that can be purchased with gold, like a fishing lure or some make brochures. These items will not break the competitive balance in a match or mission, but they are more than just cosmetics. None of the elements you unlock early are powerful weapons or unfair armor, but having the functionality at all to unlock things early by using gold in the game is worrying. If it is not properly balanced, it can lead to a situation where players willing to discard money for gold could gain advantage over players who are not willing to engage in microtransactions.
Fans are keen to share memes and posts on how Rockstar is using gold bars in Red Dead Online . The fear is that this will imbalance the game and force free players to paint in days just to get the gold needed to buy any of these items.
Aside from their sin of gold bars in RDO players are also upset by the lack of high paying missions, especially when they believe that many items in the game is too expensive. A particularly expensive item is the Mauser gun, which costs $ 1000 in game dollars. After playing for about 15 hours, I only have $ 380. Mission and deathmatches tend to pay more than five or 10 dollars, with many paying far less. Hunting and fishing do not pay much before you get up higher and unlock better lures and rifles. Even then, the payments for perfect fur and big fish are only around 2 to 10 dollars. Players feel that the Red Dead Online economy is corrupt, with fans at Reddit and GTA Forums sharing their frustration. Some of what they share is fun, like the fact that in Red Dead Online a can of beans cost more than one gold ring. "We make money as it is 1899 and everything is priced as its 2018," wrote a Reddit user. "Jesus Christ, if I wanted to deal with a scary profitability, I would go out of my doorstep door."
The money that is hard to come with is even more a problem given how many worldly activities require money. In RDO you must wash your weapons with gun oil, buy ammo, feed your horses and pay a fee for a camp. These tasks require the purchase of things and if you can not afford them, you have a disadvantage with a sign whose health is getting lower, a horse that can not run as fast and weapons that do less harm. This has made some players feel that they need to paint too little money to survive.
Of course this is a beta; things will certainly change. When you are done with the few stories that are available right now, you only have strange quests to do, some deathmatch and racing variants, and some fishing and hunting. It is very possible that in the future, Rockstar will add heist, bounty hunting, poker and more. These activities and events can be better off. They can even pay out gold, fix the slip for gold problems. It is also very possible that Rockstar will balance the economy, maybe lower prices or make it a little easier to earn gold. Kotaku has contacted Rockstar and asked about future gold prices and Red Dead Online economy but has not returned in time for publication.
At the moment, many Red Dead Online players feel that the game is a slur with not much to really paint. It's a similar feeling many, including myself, had GTA Online first launched. Veterans in that game will be familiar with grinding missions as a violent channel over and over for several hours, so that they could only buy an apartment. GTA Online finally added more ways to make money, but too many fans became too expensive. Hopefully Red Dead Online can avoid that scenario.
Zack Zwitserland is an author living in Kansas City, Missouri. He has written for Gamecritics, Killscreen and Entertainment Fuse.