Expanded and Enhanced is leaking - again. While fans are most interested in information regarding the unannounced and apparently embattled Grand Theft Auto 6, data mining is consistently leading to more details from the upcoming next-gen port for GTA 5. Following the recent leak of the color changing liveries, which were modded into the game already, we now have info about racing and car tweaks too.
The fact that data miners have been finding assets and code regarding Expanded and Enhanced content regarding Online is somewhat baffling - it is standard practice for Rockstar Games to pre-load unreleased content in earlier updates for testing purposes, which allows for data mining to result in leaks, but this is different. Why is upcoming content for a new port re-release appearing in the current version, and why can story content be mined from current Online files when Online is going standalone anyway?
Strange as the situation is, it still revealed some interesting info about the upcoming Expanded and Enhanced port, so we still win at the end of the day. This time around, data mining has revealed some curious new balance changes and a new unused vehicle class, that has been linked to some data mined racing assets found in late December.
It seems like the racing mechanics that have been present in GTA 5 since launch will be overhauled to some degree, and are at the very least getting a rebalance and a new mode, with its own creator - that's where the new data comes from. The as-of-yet unused racing markers come in regular and Time Trial flavors, and after some additional digging, led to some more interesting discoveries.
This is definitely testing for the new performance upgrades in E&E #GTAOnline
There's only 6 test cars, one per class, each having 2 upgrade types. While I'm no racer or a mechanic, and could be wrong on some things, I could observe some effects, notably on turbo and power
[1/3] https://t.co/gN5odHUSLi pic.twitter.com/HIQNVQ12Pp
— WildBrick142 ❄️ (@WildBrick142) December 16, 2021
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Apparently 6 currently available vehicles, many of which are older classics, are going to be overhauled and rebalanced in terms of performance. These, which already have their own classes, we found in a new unused vehicle class. Leakers speculate that this means the impending arrival of multi-class races, or new riffs on the Transform Races format.
The list of six classics getting a do-over are the Brioso R/A, Sentinel XS, Turismo Classic, Banshee, Deveste Eight and Hakuchou Drag. Some are newer, some are... not, but they've all been in the game for a while, and anyone who has had time to drive them all can tell that pitting them against each other in a race would be ridiculously unfair.
Of course, this raises a bunch of questions regarding what we can expect vehicle balance to look like in E&E. Will the balance changes designed to make all six of these (and possibly more, later on) vehicles competitive with one another carry over elsewhere? The homogenization of vehicle performance would remove a ton of variety and flavor from the rides in the game, however if specific vehicles would have their performance drastically change mode-to-mode it would be tough to adjust for players.
There's a new unused vehicle class within Creator mode. Contains 6 vehicles @WildBrick142 found to have new E&E performance upgrades.
Brioso R/A, Sentinel XS, Turismo Classic, Banshee, Deveste Eight, Hakuchou Drag
This suggests multi-class races or new Transform Races for E&E. https://t.co/HdFQSLpciw
— Tez2 (@TezFunz2) January 14, 2022
Six vehicles seem a bit bare for a whole new vehicle class, so we see two possibilities here - one is that more will be added later on, which is likely, and the second is that players will never actually see this new unused vehicle class, as it is a temporary grouping used by developers for testing purposes. Remember, data mined assets, code and content isn't necessarily supposed to ever be seen by the public at all.
Whether or not we're really looking at a new multi-class racing mode, and the extent of vehicle performance rebalancing are all things we'll only get specifics on whenever Rockstar Games starts sharing official news regarding E&E - or, at the latest, when it launches in March 2022.