GTA Online is a pretty round and complete player experience. It gives you more or less enough control over the way you play to facilitate most needs that arise, but is simple enough for players to just jump in and play without any bother. The game either drops you into a session seemingly at random, or if you're keen on playing with people you know, you can get invites or join friends who are online.
However, this simplicity and ease of access does come at a price. There isn't a whole lot of game mechanic customization going on for invite-only lobbies. It is pretty understandable for public sessions to be default, stock versions, however when players want to tweak things a bit for their closed session with friends, they're left wanting.
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Several multiplayer games allow for the hosts of a given session to alter options to a varying degree of freedom. While some of these games limit these options to player limit, game-mode or banned weapons and abilities, other allow hosts to go nuts with altering gravity stats, damage ratios, drop rates, melee damage and so on.
Of course, some of these wouldn't be applicable for GTA Online, since it is a pretty unique game experience, however Rockstar could have provided players with some additional options.
The following list includes often requested features as well as some ideas we've come up with ourselves.
Turn off Police
Let's face it - there is a lot to love about GTA 5, however cops aren't among those. The LSPD is seemingly staffed by omniscient demigods with infallible aim and teleportation technology built into their vehicles. Wanted levels are easy to gain, tough to get rid of and the blues often muck up your run of the mill friendly downtown shootout. Allowing hosts to disable the wanted system and remove police from sessions would grant Rockstar some serious good karma points.
Turn off all NPCs
In the similar vein of the previous option, emptying all of Los Santos except for the players would allow for an interesting game of cat and mouse, or a deadly version of hide and seek - provided that the host may also alter mini-map visibility.
Make PEDs Frenzy
Another option to alter PEDs and NPCs, this would make all non-player characters hostile, maybe even armed. This would make pretty much any job significantly more difficult, as well as force players working together into better coordination and communication.
Limit Arsenals and Vehicles
We all hate hydras. The preferred tool of the jet griefers is rarely used by players for any other purpose, therefore allowing hosts to temporarily remove all hydras from their session wouldn't exactly detract from the overall experience. Either that, or players are hurting for "snipers only" deathmatches, or something else with similar restrictions would get their wish.
While this might be less likely, since being able to jump higher would go against certain existing features - however it would certainly make sessions more interesting. Having players super-jumping around the map would probably be more than a little entertaining.
Greater control over servers might come in time, should Rockstar ever migrate to an internal server. The current peer-to-peer architecture also stands in the way of many of these options from a technical standpoint. It doesn't make it impossible, just more difficult to implement.
Rockstar has announced that they're planning a series of further updates for GTA Online, including a follow up to Executives and Other Criminals, as well as a revamp to the Content Creator.
What kinds of sessions options would you like to see added to GTA Online down the line?