A Fistful of Dollars
The much-anticipated Read Dead Online beta went live last week and fans were left disappointed at the in-game economy that saw prices of some items tripled or quadrupled from their single-player counterparts.
Couple that with meagre mission rewards, dire enemy loot and tediously slow levelling, players were looking at grinding away at the game for hours to buy even the cheapest of weapons.
The online service launched with two forms of currency, as is the case with most online and mobile games at the moment. Dollars, the standard currency, also used in the offline single-player and Gold Bars, the game's premium currency, that will eventually be available to buy for real money through much-maligned micro-transactions.
Both currencies are currently earned for completing missions and used to pay for in-game items, however the rate at which they are earned has been slow and tiresome so far. A tactic undoubtedly aimed at enticing players to pay real money for the in-game currency.
Understandably fans have not taken kindly to the game's economy and have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns.
The whole money system is broken. a can of beans is worth more than a golden ring— Moe23 (@AverageMoe23) 30 November 2018
It’s awful and designed to make you feel the need to buy gold bars. Played over 10 hours and have just over 1 gold bar.— Dr. Mantis Toboggan (@EazyT__) 30 November 2018
The price for everything is tooo much, there ain't no way I'm spending 80 dollars on a vest c'mon don't make this game have gta prices please— Tomskii the Christmas Tree ❄️ (@Tomskrs) 30 November 2018
For a Few Dollars More
As a result of the complaints, Rockstar announced on Thursday that the game will be receiving an update to 'create a more rewarding and fun experience.'
Today we are starting to implement the first set of adjustments to the Red Dead Online Beta including changes specifically geared towards creating a more balanced, fun and rewarding overall experience, across all modes and missions.— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) 6 December 2018
Details: https://t.co/B7ynRzOcdJ pic.twitter.com/wwJoU790Lc
This includes slashing the price of weapons and other purchasable goods as well as increasing the rewards that players receive for completing missions and activities.
The biggest change this update has brought about is the price of weapons.
Let's take the game's Lancaster Repeater as an example. In the single-player, this popular rifle will set you back $135. However, at the launch of the beta this very gun would cost you $405, costing almost four times as much. Now, thanks to this latest update the Lancaster is priced at a more reasonable $243, but that's still over $100 more expensive than the same gun in the game's single player.
It's the same story across the board with most weapons now costing double their single-player price instead of being three or four times more expensive.
While this update has improved the game's economy in the players' favour, there is still a sense that Rockstar is focused on coercing the player base into spending real money on micro-transactions when they finally go live.
There will undoubtedly still be more updates to come that will further fine-tune the balance between fun and grind for players, so what we have no is far from a finished product.