Rockstar Games recently revealed some screenshots and initial details for the upcoming GTA Online DLC called Gunrunning, along with a promise to look out for further info being posted. It hasn't taken long for them to share the next press release and we as a result we finally have a good idea of what some of the teased features entail.
Mobile Operations Centers
The first and possibly most important thing to point out is that our guess, and later the leak, about the nature of the Mobile Operations Center (MOC), turned out to be spot-on. The MOC will be a scaled-down HQ set up inside the trailer of a custom semi-truck. Rockstar described the design as modular allowing for a great deal of customization.
The MOC will fill the role of your lair away from your lair and so will also include luxurious accommodations next to the vehicle upgrade station and the weapon workbench as well as a command center. The phrasing of Rockstar's official post leaves it up in the air as to whether all four of these can operate simultaneously provided you have the cash for it, or if you'll need to pick two or three of them.
Storable in your Bunker, this drivable command center’s modular construction allows for tailored combinations of vehicle workshop, weapons workshop, luxury living quarters, and command center – with facilities for upgrading and customizing your arsenal and modifying Weaponized Vehicles (including turrets for your MOC that can be manned by your squad) – all at your fingertips, and pulled by a fully customizable commercial semi
Another feature likely to be be implemented is different tiers or sizes for Mobile Operations Centers. Cheaper models will only be able to accommodate one or two functions, whereas the higher end models would be able to operate three or even all four. It also isn't clear whether players will be able to own multiple MOCs or just the one.
This setup also raises some game design questions. Will the interior of the MOC be instanced, meaning technically the vehicle itself is a moving trigger to load the character into a separate area, or have Rockstar nailed the issue that perplexed the Star Citizen development team for so long? Without MOC instancing it would mean that there is a vehicle in the game world, inside of which there is a space where players can freely move around and interact with objects, all the while the vehicle is moving.
On paper this might not seem like rocket science, but in a multiplayer game, getting all the motion relations right can be a pain. We mention Star Citizen, since that game features multi-crew spaceships in a seamless open world where several multi-crew ships could be flying around relative to one another whilst their respective crews function inside the ships without relation to the game-world itself, but without instancing.
Should Rockstar go with instancing, we wonder how vehicle damage will be accounted for. Unless the MOC is literally indestructible, Rockstar will have to add death conditions to the instance meaning that if the vehicle is destroyed in the main game world, the players inhabiting the instance would die.
Since it is mentioned that the MOCs can be outfitted with turrets manned by players, another twist is thrown into the picture. If there is instancing, the turrets would have to be exempt in order to affect the main game world, and the addition of offensive capabilities eliminates the possibility of the vehicle being indestructible since such a scenario would throw the game's balance to whack.
A New GTA Online DLC Theme
Moving on from the MOC, Rockstar finally confirmed that Gunrunning is not affiliated with any of the previous DLCs. This isn't the next entry of the long running CEO line of updates, nor does it act as a second step from Bikers. Rather Gunrunning exists as its own theme within GTA Online.
Everything begins with a Bunker: the massive, underground hub of your new enterprise. Any CEO, VIP or MC President can jump start their promising career from here to get operations off the ground.
The Bunkers have also been confirmed to be the mission-specific properties for this DLC, as these are the locations from which you'll be conducting your illegal arms trading business. We got a new interior screenshot from one of these Bunkers, and they sure seem to be big on the inside. The image was shot from a larger room with an intersecting corridor leading to another room with some large screens in it, and what resembles those airport electric cars can also be seen, indicating that the property is too large to effectively traverse on foot.
Research = Upgrades
We also now know what that whole research thing, that was ever so briefly mentioned before, is about. Instead of being related to the goods you'll sell, it is through research that you'll unlock upgrades for your Bunker, MOC and weaponized vehicles. Research will also unlock new personal weapon attachments that will undoubtedly up your chances in PvP.
New Weaponized Vehicles
The weaponized vehicles will comprise a separate, new class much like the Special Vehicles do, and will be stored inside your Bunker. Players can expect a wide range of available rides, with a newly revealed dedicated anti-air ride joining the APC and the weaponized Tampa. Two more unnamed vehicles were also revealed. One is a barebones buggy with a fixed gun attached to the passenger seat, while the other is the love child of a bike and a fighter jet, taking the concept of the Rocket Voltic even further.
Weaponized Vehicles are a brand new class to stock and customize. Build a fleet to cover every eventuality: from the ultimate utility of the fully amphibious, canon-toting APC, to a mobile anti-aircraft trailer that’ll have pilots soiling their cockpits across the state
So What Is “Gunrunning”?
Not much has been said about the actual gunrunning mechanic itself, however based on how it is separate from the research feature, we guess it will function in a manner similar to CEO. Acquire goods, take to warehouse, then sell.
We're hoping for some kind of twist on that familiar mechanic, since we've essentially been doing the same thing with a different coat of paint ever since Further Adventures in Finance and Felony. Hopefully, the missions to acquire the weapons that we'll sell later will involve a greater measure of variety and will push the boundaries of GTA Online's gameplay model.
Gunrunning is clearly intended to please the military subculture fandom among the players of GTA Online, who just might be the second most numerous (after the bikers) among fans, possibly tied with the emergency service enthusiasts. Recently Rockstar has been going the extra mile with incorporating player suggestions and requests into their DLCs and Gunrunning is just further evidence of this.
Rockstar hasn't given us a release date yet, so all we have to go on is when the current round of bonuses ends. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more Gunrunning details.