If we were to assign GTA Online a state of matter, it would likely be liquid, since the constant influx of new content make the game fluid in terms of what it offers the players. New game mechanics are constantly being added alongside new vehicles, weapons, properties and more. While a lot of adding is happening, there is little by way of changing and improving existing content, however.
GTA Online's popularity is only increasing, which is an immense feat this long after initial release, but it's managed it nonetheless. That said, in spite of the game's massive popularity, the age is beginning to show here and there. It might make sense for Rockstar to look back and use DLC to alter and improve some of the base mechanics and systems in place, instead of just adding more to the top of it.
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There are a handful of features which would come in handy with GTA Online that were glossed over during development, leaving us with what we have today. By no means is the game inadequate in its current state, but let's be honest - some of these things can be done more elegantly. Here is a list of features we'd love to see in the game.
Lobby Browser and Session Options
Currently, finding lobbies in GTA Online is like playing Russian roulette, except only one chamber is empty instead of the other way around. Players should be able to not only host lobbies in a more controlled manner, but have access to a number of tools and options that were available in GTA 4's multiplayer mode.
This way friends attempting to play together would have an easier time finding the right lobby and could prevent randoms from joining with password protection. Players could have all kinds of whacky fun by disabling police, friendly fire, creating "sniper only" lobbies of FPS fame and toggling all kinds of different options that allow for a greater sense of gameplay customization.
Of course, the main concern Rockstar might have here is that making cash and RP in these environments would be significantly easier, thus making Shark Cards obsolete. An easy solution would be designating a number of criteria which constitute an "official" lobby preset. All lobbies that do not meet this criterium would have RP and cash gain either disabled entirely or just hit with a percentage debuff. Basically, if you disable police in your lobby, you only get half of the regular rewards.
The Option To Block NPC Calls
Hey, LJT here...
Sorry, I'm sure I triggered PTSD in at least half of you guys. Some of the NPC contacts in GTA Online that are linked to various game mechanics likely spend their days riveted in front of their phones since they clearly have nothing better to do than to constantly bother the player character with random crap that comes to mind.
Players unfortunate enough to have engaged in a Biker Business (we jest, when done right, those things can make you a lot of cash, check out our guides) probably want to find this LJT guy in-game and murder him with every weapon available due to his incessant need to pester you with his calls.
Thing is, there is no option to disable these calls, and when your in-game phone is constantly ringing because you dared to do something other than restocking your business the instant it ran dry gets old really, really quickly. Blocking all incoming calls should be an option present in the game, and really, it wouldn't be hard to implement, and would likely be a quick solution to those migraines some players are having.
Revamped Passive Mode
GTA Online's passive mode, in theory, exists to make the game convenient for players not interested in PvP and to provide a quick and easy way to solve a griefer issue when someone keeps killing you in a Hydra. In practice, it actually is beneficial for the griefers themselves as they can use it as a safety net, so to say. The current version allows for players to enter any kind of weaponized vehicle, enter passive, and upon exiting they can immediately utilize the full destructive capability of said vehicle, then pop back into passive before the victim might retaliate.
A retooled passive mode where it automatically deactivates upon entering a weaponized vehicle, or preventing you from doing so, and adding longer cooldowns upon turning it off (such as wait 2 minutes before your attacks actually do damage, and wait 10 before you can go passive again) would actually result in a system that does what it is meant to do, and would make the griefer issue somewhat less of a pain in the ass.
Background processes for lobby searching and heist matchmaking
We've all been there. We want to play a heist, so we have the game look for a team. Loading screen. It finds one. Loading screen. We sit in the lobby for god knows how long when finally the heist loads. Loading screen. Just as we initialize, someone quits. Loading screen. We sit in the lobby once again until the host has enough and quits. Loading screen. We're back in the normal lobby, and unless we've given up on the idea of doing a heist, we're going to have to go through this process again.
If only the game would run these processes in the background, like allowing us to continue playing in freeroam while it looks for a heist team, waits for the team to be filled and load in. Only then should it yank us to the heist instance. While we're here, how about allowing us to play heists with fewer than four players during those set-up missions where the mechanics do not demand the presence of four players? This way the group doesn't have to start over if someone leaves during the set-up phase, again sparing players another lengthy loading screen.
Pay upon leaving in Los Santos Customs
In other words, allow us to preview changes made to vehicles. Whenever we highlight an option in the menu, the vehicle's appearance should update to it in real-time, allowing us to see what it would look like with the new option - this is most important when selecting a new paintjob.
Instead, the current system only allows us to view the colors and visual upgrades *after* we pay for them, which is pretty nonsensical. A better system would allow us to "apply" the various modifications in preview by adding them to a "pending payment" list, the total sum of which we pay upon leaving LSC. This would save people a ton of cash that they've wasted on checking what a given color looks like on a vehicle only to see that they don't like it - but then that's likely why it isn't the system we have.
With Rockstar having made it clear that GTA Online will continue getting content support for the foreseeable future, we're hoping that some of the upcoming DLC will look back and fix a few inconvenient mechanics while also adding new stuff on top. We're sure the community has a few suggestions of their own to add to this list.