Grand Theft Auto Online: The stress of logging in
It's been five days and Rockstar is slowly getting the hang of the amount of players inside their servers. First day of GTA Online was completely shut for me. It literally took me the whole night to get through the introduction cutscene once you've created your character. Every time I was done with the character creation, an error shows up preventing me from saving any progress. I tried and tried, but eventually gave up and headed back to Trevor and the rest of the game in single player.
Was I irritated? Yes, but I understand why- According to VG247 Grand Theft Auto V was able to sell around 15M units in just three days. That's completely insane numbers for any entertainment medium. So with that many sold, just 20% of those buyers who plan to play GTA Online should be enough to bottle neck the servers resulting in making the mode unplayable. Rockstar is dealing with player numbers that would make any MMORPG company happy. They were expecting problems on day one of online, but I guess they didn't expect to accommodate with a player base of a couple of millions.
You can't blame a company for not being prepared for success, but it definitely turned off any excitement I had for the Online mode. It was only on the third day when I was able to experience the game smoothly. Just like the single player mode, there are tons of activities to do once your character sets foot on Los Santos. All the activities were translated to online, and included new characters making it a completely different beast. This takes place months after the events of the main storyline in the single player campaign. Rockstar's plan of releasing online 2 weeks after the game gets release was perfect for current work schedule, making me take my time and finish off the game with just three days left until Online gets unlocked. I actually appreciate the divide, and I wonder why we can't see this kind of approach to games like Call of Duty or Battlefield? Wouldn't that help their single player content if released seperately?
But back to GTA Online, is it fun? Definitely. You have 16 players in one map goofing around. During my time online, one important rule I learned after a couple of hours is that ATMs are your friends. It's actually freaky to walk around with more than $5,000 in your pocket since if another player kills you, they can actually get all the money. So it became a basic routine to GPS for the closest ATM and deposit ASAP, because money is pretty rare, and stuff online are expensive. I actually had second thoughts if I wanted a flashlight mod for my pistol.
Currently, the flow from job after job isn't smooth at the moment. I still see the loading screen way too much and you can still get game server crashes, but is now a rare occurrence. Playing with others in a GTA world is a blast though, even without a mic. All the random encounters and things you witness can shock you. I actually had one player try to kill me by dropping a helicopter on my car when I was idle for a few seconds. I dodged it, and for some reason, once he got out of his parachute, he was right in front of me, so I ran him over. No experience sadly, but its epic moments created by us - the players.
It's a Saturday right now and I'm juggling my free weekend time with Battlefield 4's Open Beta and GTA Online(When it works). First weekend for October is here and my question for you all is - What are you playing for the weekend? Anybody?