- Rockstar has announced plans for the release of two new Grand Theft Auto Online DLCs.
- The larger of these, expected to be out in summer, will involve "gunrunning" and trafficking weapons through a new game mechanic that includes NPC militias.
- The gunrunning theme has sparked theories that the update may introduce a military-focused storyline, signal developments for the CEO and Bikers DLC series, or allow players to work as mercenaries.
Rockstar recently announced some of their plans for future of GTA Online DLC. While Cunning Stunts: Special Vehicle Circuit will be released soon, the bigger of the two planned DLCs will be arriving later on, sometime in the summer. With Gunrunning as the theme of the update, we're quite interested in what the DLC might entail - and we're interested in your predictions as well.
The official announcement was pretty sparse when it comes to details, but what we do know is that players will be trafficking weapons in a new game mechanic that will also involve NPC militias, and we'll be getting a whole lot of new military-themed items, which is sure to please a lot of players. For reference, the announcement itself is below:
Stock up and bunker down as you take on the craziest militias across the state of San Andreas in another massive update for GTA Online. Featuring brand new weaponized vehicles and exciting new missions, get ready to fight for supremacy in the illegal arms trade and wage war with the latest in high-powered military hardware.
This passage does not make a single mention of CEOs, however based on the theme of the DLC we're assuming this is the next logical step in the long line of CEO themed updates that Rockstar has been pushing recently. After doing small-time white-collar crime in Executives and Other Criminals, then upgrading to dominating the black market in Further Adventures in Finance and Felony before moving up to cars in Import/Export, weapons smuggling seems like the next logical step.
That said, there are other theories out there. Some people suspect gunrunning will be tied to Bikers instead of the CEO series due to it correlating with the drug dealing businesses and the whole MC theme. This is a possibility, and it could be that the CEO shtick was wrapped up with Import/Export, and Bikers will be the new persistent theme with The Open Road taking over from Securoserve.
Other players think this might be a standalone DLC which will kick off a new military-focused theme. While the CEO updates had their companies with Associates, Bikers had Clubs with members, many assume Gunrunning will introduce a new group system along the lines of a mercenary group or a PMC. On the one hand, this would neatly section off the new content from the old, however it would further bloat the already overburdened UI and framework of GTA Online.
Another theory that has more than a little merit to it is that Merryweather will have a more prominent role in this update, what with being a PMC and all that. Chances are that players might end up working as mercenaries for Merryweather, assisting in their illegal operations while not having any official ties to the company.
This would make sense from a story perspective too. Sure, many missions have players up against Merryweather, but considering all the mayhem GTA Online players cause on a regular basis, they all have exactly the kind of resumé a shady PMC would be interested in. They're a company and money talks. As long as you get the job done, past grievances are forgotten.
This last theory would fit in well with the whole militia thing going on too. Based on the short description, it seems like the Militias will be NPC groups hostile to players. Chances are Merryweather wants these Militias gone since they're interfering with operations and act as rivals too. The player would be tasked with eliminating the Militias, thus opening up areas to the gunrunning market.
We, for one, hope this doesn't end up being a reskin of the CEO mechanics, meaning one mission to pick up goods and taking them to a warehouse, letting them sit there for a while, then taking the same goods off to be sold. Hopefully Rockstar has some new twist for this formula, because while it works well for crates and vehicles, adding a third rehash would get stale quickly.
As for the new weaponized vehicles promised, the community is divided over whether this will mean straight up military vehicles, or regular rides decked out with weapons, such as the Karin Technical. The former would definitely please the rather large block of fans who have been asking for a military themed update, while the latter might indicate a sort of auto-shop like Benny's. But instead of getting flashy visual mods, you get guns welded to your ride.
One proposition we particularly liked was adding vehicles with automatic anti-air capabilities to finally solve that bloody Hydra griefer problem that has plagued the game ever since the damned plane was added to it. Riding around in an armored truck with some SAMs on it would make every session that much more fun.
Whatever kind of content we end up getting with the gunrunning, we sure as hell hope it will be funrunning, or we'll end up at the bar ginrunning.