‘Red Dead’ gold turns massive Western videogame romp into dull online grindfest


  • TECH
  • Monday, 17 Dec 2018

LOS ANGELES: Red Dead Online, the online multiplayer game developed in parallel with Red Dead Redemption 2, is being criticised for its digital economy, which is paying out gold at such a slow rate that it would take over 4,000 hours for a player to earn enough to purchase all items in-game. 

In a post on Reddit, user jmar_ offers a full breakdown of data revealing the problems that underlie the Red Dead Online economy, basing the data on repeat playthroughs of each of the three available game modes and calculating the average length of each match in relation to the rewards they payout. 

Red Dead Online has an in-game currency of gold bars that can be earned by accumulating gold nuggets in its competitive PvP game modes, or “Showdowns”. Each showdown, which on average can last nine minutes, will earn the player .08% of a full gold nugget. So for a player to earn a single gold bar currency, they will have to dedicate nearly two hours to playing over 12 consecutive matches. 

“This is two hours of pure PVP grinding which is not entirely how the game is meant to be played,” jmar_ writes. “So as we get into the time costs understand that in order to earn them you need to spend your time in game modes not free roam. Free roam and other activities can pay gold but it takes much longer and is inconsistent.” 

Add the cost of every available horse, every weapon and every item in game. If a player were to purchase everything in the game it would require 2,134 gold bars. In other words, it would take 4,268 hours or 177 days to acquire the gold necessary to buy every item in Red Dead Online

“Meaning as this game progresses it may be actually physically impossible to play the game without spending real currency and getting all items legitimately,” jmar_ concludes. 

Red Dead Online is currently in its beta phase, having only recently opened its doors to the public in November. Since then, the RDO economy has undergone a readjustment which saw an increase in some payouts of over 400%. But more changes are still to come. 

“We are aiming to deliver a stable and fun experience while collecting as much crucial information and feedback as possible to help us continually improve Red Dead Online,” Rockstar says in a statement on the official Red Dead Online website. “As with any Beta period, we plan to take the time necessary throughout to make Red Dead Online a complete, fun and fully-functional experience, which may take several weeks or months as we continually work to fix bugs, improve systems and implement player feedback into current or future plans.” 

Red Dead Online is described as an evolution of the original Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer mode, combining narrative elements with both cooperative and competitive gameplay options. Red Dead Online features an open world that is home to all of the animals seen in the single-player game. The online game includes support for hunting, fishing, treasuring hunting, posses, and camping, as well as the competitive multiplayer modes. – Variety/Reuters

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