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GTA Online: with patch 1.16 and Heists inbound, stop banning money glitchers and fix the game

Wednesday, 30th July 2014 13:07 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Can it, Rockstar. It isn’t fair.

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Rockstar: accept responsibility and patch game-breaking bugs. Don’t punish glitchers and the people who watch them by creating a climate of fear within GTA Online.

In the past week, Rockstar has started cracking down on GTA Online money glitchers in earnest. Many prominent YouTubers, gamers who’ve built large fanbases over months of tipping players to new cash exploits, have been sent to the Cheater Pool. There’s been talk of perma-bans. The likes of Sir Weed, NoahJ456, LispyJimmy and more have been affected.

The message is fairly obvious: there’s about to be a change to GTA Online’s economy. Rockstar is preparing not only for the release of update 1.16, but also the new-gen versions of GTA 5 and the mysterious online Heists. The completion of one of the new Heists is rumoured to net $1.5 million in-game.

We have also have gamescom in two weeks. Given Rockstar made the announcement of the new-gen and PC GTA 5 versions during the Sony conference at E3, there’s a distinct possibility a second announcement could come in Germany. Sony has already said there’s going to be exclusive content for the PS4 version of GTA 5, and this will be the last major show before the new versions release. A Heists announcement? Don’t bet against it.

Regardless of incoming changes, though, banning glitchers after allowing them to promote GTA on YouTube for many months, helping people succeed in the game and building one of the strongest communities in the medium, is plain wrong.

As beautiful as it is, GTA Online is broken, and it breaks again with every update. Every bit of DLC brings new exploits for increasing both cash and RP, and while Rockstar is becoming more vigilant at hot-fixing them, it’s in the very nature of the game to bend the rules. Smacking down the most dedicated GTA Online players for stealing money is more than a little ironic.

Money glitching in GTA Online isn’t going away. Rockstar’s multiplayer world may be several strokes of genius, but it’s buggy and tough. It’s no secret that getting together large sums of money is incredibly difficult, and when you’re selling in-game currency it isn’t hard to see why. To get anywhere in GTA Online, you need to put in as many hours as any other MMO. You’re looking at hundreds of hours of grinding to accrue enough money to buy items like tanks and helicopters.

Thus, the allure of glitching for cash in GTA Online is strong. There are many loopholes to be exploited, and most don’t even involve bugs. Making in-game currency quickly by using exploits is easy, and even a cursory search on YouTube will show you the vibrancy of the GTA glitching community. You only get a few thousand dollars for the completion of each job, even if you win. Your Rhino tank is a long way down GTA Online’s road.

What’s most distasteful about Rockstar’s sudden vigilance against those who are really doing nothing more than working with the tools they’re given, is that these are the people who help maintain GTA Online’s popularity.

GTA 5 is serious business on YouTube, with the likes of VanossGaming commanding audiences approaching 10 million subscribers: much of this popularity is based on code glitches. While money glitchers like Sir Weed and NoahJ456 have much lower subs counts, these creators are the grass roots of the GTA video community. They’re promoting the game. If you want to clean them up, Rockstar, then accept responsibility and patch game-breaking bugs. Don’t punish glitchers and the people who watch them by creating a climate of fear within GTA Online.

So strong is the current appetite for banning and hot-fixing that rising GTA YouTubers such as DomisLive are now asking Rockstar to not patch harmless, clownish glitches such as launch bugs (which rocket players and vehicles into the air). These quirks are some of GTA Online’s most endearing qualities, and players love them. No one’s breaking anything here. They’re just having fun.

Just because GTA’s about to go next-gen, it doesn’t mean it has to “grow up”. GTA Online is one of the stupidest games ever made, and people play it for a reason. Rockstar: don’t ruin it by getting all motherfucking cop on everyone’s ass, yo.

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