Opinion: GTA Online Needs Heists, And Soon

Full disclaimer:  I am having a ridiculous amount of fun with GTA Online.  After enduring the bothersome problems that plagued it early on, there is no telling how many hours I have put into racing, bounty chasing and flat-out terrorizing Los Santos.  Like many, gaining money hasn’t come easily for me.  I thought I had found a solid strategy by spamming Ron’s Base Invaders mission, which landed a hefty $25000 payday, but the recent patch put a dent in that plan.  In the interest of equalizing the economy, Rockstar halved the payments for missions you’ve already done.  While there are alternative ways to gather (insane amounts of) money, I chose to play within the boundaries Rockstar created.  Now, I am currently doing the same things over and over just to grind out a quick buck.  I feel like something has to give.

Right now, money is a precious commodity in GTA Online.  I have a modest flat with a six-car garage, a couple of motorcycles and I still cruise the purple coupe I obtained during the tutorial.  By the way, show of hands:  Who else wishes they knew they would be stuck with whatever car you stole at the beginning?  You can bet I would have upgraded from the start.  Rockstar has already stated that they are giving players a cool half million bucks sometime this month, and in addition to my slowly growing funds, I’m hoping to save up for one of those sweet super cars.  I’m thinking an Entity.

And no, I'm not going with purple.  Mine shall be hot pink.

And no, I’m not going with purple. Mine shall be hot pink.

Of course, there are also a million other things I want.  I need a plane, I know that.  I’m assuming there will eventually be an air hanger available for me to store it in, so I can hold off there.  Besides, that jetliner isn’t cheap.  I am always needing bullets, my guns are never powerful enough and it seems like I’m always just a thousand dollars away from my next car mod.  That doesn’t even factor in my (very expensive) ultimate goal of buying that tank, because as much as I enjoy racing my custom Bati 801, I want to do tank stuff, damn it.  I want to do tank stuff now.

But how to afford it?  As I said, the latest patch really cut into my profit margin, so I’ve found myself doing things I’m not exactly proud of just to make a buck.  I refuse to pass a store and not rob it.  If there is a bounty on the map somewhere, I am going to chase it down, even if the end result is more often than not me getting gunned down in the process.  And I have performed missions.

Dear God, have I performed missions.

The same missions, over and over.  Missions for Lester, missions for Ron, missions for Martin.  If I have to deliver another package of blow to Gerald, I’m going to lose my mind.  Dude seriously needs to lay off the candy.  As much as I love racing and am iffy on deathmatches, my favorite experiences so far have come in the cooperative missions.  The survivals are okay, in the sense that it allows me and three of my friends to spam the Sandy Shores map for a decent score while still having a modicum of fun.

Gerald, we've brought you here today because we all are very worried about you.

Gerald, we’ve brought you here today because we all are very worried about you.

I understand Rockstar’s reasoning for halving the mission payouts; they want players to explore new content, and they want to balance the economy in anticipation for heists, which will presumably carry a hefty payday.  I am going crazy with anticipation for these heists, because the idea of robbing a bank with three (or more) of my friends sounds really awesome.  I hope they are somewhat randomized, give the players full freedom in how they want to plan and carry out the mission and are hard as hell.  The more involved these heists are, the better, I think.

But, I have to look at Rockstar’s intent here.  It’s fine that they want people to explore new content and make it harder to gain money, but they need to find adequate replacements for what they have cut.  If you want me to play some new missions, well then you, Rockstar, need to give me more missions to play.  I am tired of delivering evidence to Martin and cars to Simeon.  The influx of new missions has been extremely lacking, so here I am still redoing Base Invaders even at half-price.  That’s not exactly what I call a bargain.

That’s why I hope Rockstar knocks it out of the park with the heists.  I am loving my time in Los Santos, but, already, I feel like I’m starting to go through the motions.  Of course it is very early in GTA Online’s lifespan, and it’s possible that my doubts will be assuaged sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, I am still heartily enjoying myself, and, from the looks of my friends list, I’m not the only one.