Fans have long been asking Rockstar to put on the gloves and stop playing nice-guy with the hackers and modders in GTA Online. Rockstar, in turn, has since fixed the insurance fraud hack, cleaned up the game on PC, and now, set out to clear up the in-game economy by taking all illegitimate cash out of circulation.
And some people aren't too happy.
Rockstar is finally cracking down on modded cash in GTA Online big-time, tracking down every last cent of illegitimately acquired currency and deleting it from the space-time-continuum. Not only that, but they rewrote the terms of suspensions and bans to make thing more harsh on hackers - and it's harsh.
Don't get us wrong, we're all for this. While a good long time ago Rockstar had some issues with false detections, in recent months those were hammered out and these days the only players complaining about getting falsely banned "for no reason" are lying and do cheat, or are forgetful and left SP mods installed while going Online.
As always, in the case of genuine false bans (as rare as they are) contacting support is the way to go. However, first, the crackdown on illegitimate cash: players have reported seeing alerts when logging in to GTA Online stating that their in-game accounts have been "corrected" by a negative amount.
In some cases, these messages appeared specifying limited amounts like a few hundred thousand, and in others, a million or two. The way this works is that any account that had at one point received modded money would be corrected to reflect that. This means that if someone got GTA$ 200,000 a year ago and spent it all within days, this new correction would still remove a $200,000 sum from their current account.
That said, the amounts would be altered in certain cases. Obviously, if the reduction would reduce the money below $0, it does stop at zero, seeing as you cannot own a negative amount of cash. Another clause in the new terms is that Shark Card Money is unaffected even if we're talking about a modded account.
If an account's user modded $200,000 at some point in the past, spent some of it, then bought a Megalodon Shark Card netting them 8 million in in-game funds, and their account balance was at, say, $8,125,000, then only the $125,000 would be removed and the 8 mil Shark Card cash would remain, even though 200k was modded.
While the usual corrections range is in between the few hundred thousand and few million (since modders often added around 10-15 mil to their accounts), in some cases massive reductions were made. One user reported a loss of $117,944,768,843. That's right, $117,944,768,843. Another user on Reddit lost $94 billion.
Of course, many players hit by the "correction" or, as the community has taken to calling it, the "Great Demoneying of 2016", have claimed to be innocent and incorrectly hit. However, as with the bans stated above, we're pretty sure 95% of people claiming to be falsely accused are actually cheaters.
There is also the aforementioned revised policy on bans. The tweaks are both big and small, changing the way GTA Online cheaters are being punished. The new system is much less tolerant. Small infractions result in a temporary ban, however regardless of the infraction, any second punishment is an instant permanent ban.
This means that a minor infraction committed once will get you temporarily suspended, and a second minor infraction will get you locked out permanently, even though it was minor. That said, major infractions hit you with a permaban right of the bat.
However, the nature of temporary suspensions has also changed. From now on, a temporary ban will result in the complete wiping of your in-game progress, characters, and inventory. If you misbehave, you get booted back to rank 1 with starting cash and no items or vehicles. Do it again and you'll have to buy the game again to play Online.
Now, we mentioned earlier on that there is a clause in the new policy which seems very harsh and extreme. None of those which we've stated until now are said clause, however. The motion which is a tad harsh is the one that might be the most troubling for those who are actually wrongfully banned.
All GTA Online suspension and banning decisions are final and may not be appealed.
On the first reading, that looks like it means "falsely banned? Tough luck matey", however chances are that this means that any rightful/correct ban is non-negotiable.
While it might seem obvious that if you cheat and get banned, a support ticket saying you're sorry won't help, but sometimes things need to spelled out in these press releases for the sake of accountability.
As in the past, we're sure Rockstar Support will investigate and repeal any case of false bans when there is no evidence of the affected player having used cheats and hacks in GTA Online. Ultimately, however, this is a rock-solid net to catch the bastards who have been messing with Online all these years since launch.
Many players, even if they don't cheat, seem to think that Rockstar got a bit carried away and is too harsh with the punishments dealt out to cheaters, however the majority of the community - us included - wholeheartedly cheer Rockstar on for taking the fight to the hackers in earnest.
Were any of you been hit by corrections in GTA Online?