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Grand Theft Auto Online: The Never-Ending Video Game

Grand Theft Auto Online: The Never-Ending Video Game

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2022Tagged: Gaming

The ability update console games the retail disk has gone gold has been a gamechanger for the creators of these games, effectively allowing developers to continue working on their next AAA title right up until the day of release. There is another side to this, of course, and not all players are happy with the current status quo; almost every major title released today requires a so-called “day one patch” to be downloaded and installed before gamers can begin to enjoy their latest purchase.

Grand Theft Auto Online: The Never-Ending Video Game

Like most things in life then, there are both positives and negatives to this situation as far as new games are concerned. When it comes to older games such as Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), however, the scales shift almost entirely towards the positive end of the spectrum. The developers of GTA V, Rockstar Gaming, have been taking advantage of their ability to patch their biggest-ever triple-A title consistently ever since its launch. They have tweaked the mechanics, added new missions, expanded the map, and added additional customization options.

Today, we will be examining some of the biggest changes Rockstar has made to the online component of GTA V since release. One of those changes, the Diamond Casino & Resort Update, added a fully-fledged casino to the landscape, so just for fun we will be comparing the experience you can find inside the casino.

Update #1 – Street Racing

Much of our time playing the Grand Theft Auto franchise is spent driving around the open worlds looking for new areas to explore, so it’s easy to sympathize with those who complained about the lack of attention to detail paid to this segment of the games. Earlier titles such as Vice City had terrible handling whenever you were in control of a vehicle, and whilst Rockstar did listen and make changes whilst creating Grand Theft Auto V, the experience was still far from perfect.

It took a while, but roughly 18 months after the initial release of the game an update was rolled out that significantly improved the handling of vehicles; the overwhelming majority of players agreed that the changes were a huge improvement, but the biggest change turned out to be in the online segment of the game. Consider this: you have a massive open world, countless high-powered sports cars, and thousands of players online at any time – what is the natural next step? A race, of course!

The changes made to the game opened a whole new frontier for players to challenge one another, whilst new, faster cars gave experienced players something new to aim for. There new single player missions focused on racing too, giving players a chance to hone their skills before taking on the masses on the web.

Update #2 – The Diamond Casino & Resort

What’s a guy to do after a hard day’s work racing against other degenerates on the streets of a gangster-filled city? If he’s made it that far without being arrested, then congratulations – park your Lambo in the basement of the Diamond Casino & Resort and grab yourself a few stacks of chips – it’s time to hit the tables!

The Diamond Casino Update was one of the most heavily publicized changes to Grand Theft Auto V since it was released, and with good reason – the addition of a fully functioning multi-player casino was unprecedented in console gaming at the time, and it could even be argued that this is still the most detailed, realistic, and most importantly fun implementation of a casino on console today.

Real money online casinos such as Unibet have made a return to the United States in the last few years after the Supreme Court revoked an earlier ruling that had prevented individual states from legalizing the pastime within their borders. This begs the question: How does the Diamond Casino compare with a real money online casino?

In terms of game selection, both casinos present a similar offering. There are table games such as blackjack, roulette, and plenty of slot machines for when you just fancy some mindless gaming. For example, Unibet's online casino in Pennsylvania has the edge in terms of the number of variants and the sheer size of their slot library, but GTA has its charms too;

Update #3 – Grinding, Customizing & Fairness

Open world games live or die on how well they are balanced – if players feel that your game is unfair, they will vote with their feet. Making a game fair means ensuring that all missions can be realistically challenged without spending additional cash or an unreasonable amount of grinding time, as well as employing measures to catch those who cheat so that reasonable punishment can be enforced.

The first versions of GTA Online required players to grind to a ridiculous degree if they wanted to have a chance at succeeding in heists such as the contact missions. Thankfully, Rockstar listened to player feedback and added additional missions with boosted rewards, reducing the time required by a factor of almost ten.

With regards to cheating, players were initially given three strikes before receiving a permanent ban, but player feedback later convinced Rockstar to reduce this to just a single warning before a permanent ban. Whatever the merits of each individual punishment schedule may be, there is no doubt that the change had an immediate effect – nobody wants their console to be perma-banned from a great game, and the two-strike policy convinced many players that it just wasn’t worth the risk.

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