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The popularity of Grand Theft Auto V and it’s online component is still running strong, but it has suffered many blows that have fans not playing quite as much if at all anymore. There are many players like myself who have managed to beat the campaign, surpass level 120 online and get all of the achievements/trophies, but that is not the reason why many choose to stop playing. The issues are that bugs have caused problems for players in both story and online modes and hackers have made the game nearly unplayable. Worst of all is that Rockstar’s website has both community boards and their Social Club that let players voice their concerns but little is being done to fix these problems. The announcement of updates during the spring season look like they will address some of these issues, but it may be too little, too late in the eyes of some players. Let’s take a look at what Rockstar has planned and  see if this ship can be salvaged.

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First, I would like to focus on positive improvements hat Rockstar is making to the game as they continue to refine the game creator mode. As someone who has made a few online missions for the game, I can say that there is something very satisfying and fun about seeing others playing something that you made and enjoying it. Having said that, it is great that the Grand Theft Auto Online creator mode adds the ability for players to create and add Capture missions to the game. This update will hit next week (probably 04/08/14) and will be the first of several updates players should expect to see before summer.

Another great addition to the game is the planned “High Life” update, something I am personally looking forward to as it allows players to finally own a second property (with garage), bringing total car ownership potential to twenty. Many players like myself have amassed a small fortune with nothing to spend it on other than ammo. Having another garage and another safe haven from our fellow maniacs will definitely be appreciated. What good is more garage space without more hot cars to fill it? The update will introduce players to the new motorcycle, the Dinka Thrust and the new super car the Pegassi Zentomo, along with two other Super class cars. I just hope that these new cars will finally dethrone the Truffade Adder (Bugatti Veyron) and the Overflod Entity XF (Koenigsegg CCX) as the kings of the road. The cars added in the recent Business update could not touch them in raw speed. No GTA update would be complete without some new artillery, so players can look forward to the new Bullpup Rifle, along with new jobs, new clothes and the new Mental State player statistic. This will let your opponents know just how much of a deranged badass you are and whether they should be challenging you. There is no set date on the High Life update, but it looks like it will be worth the wait.

The one thing players have continuously asked for is the forever teased Online Heist mode and it looks like (maybe) the time has finally come. Remember that everything is slated for “spring,” so that should mean that players can plan big money missions by mid June at the latest. This would be the thing that truly rejuvenates GTA Online and will bring players back to the game, once some of the less favorable aspects are finally dealt with.

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Rockstar says that they are listening to the community and making refinements to the game that reflect such, but that is either not entirely true or they simply cannot (yet) fix the biggest issues. If that is the case they should say so because the following “fixes” do not really make the grade. The first thing they have mentioned is a “non-contact” option for races. Friend or foe, everyone who plays has experienced being spun out by someone that hits you from behind during a race. Honestly (in my opinion) this is the most useless update I have ever seen, especially since this move was a form of gameplay introduced by Rockstar themselves back in Grand Theft Auto Vice City. Anyone that doesn’t like the rough racing doesn’t really have to race, but whatever, I will not dwell on that one. Players will also gain the ability to call Lester and have him tell the cops to ignore you for a period of time. To me, this is another “false fix.” I fully agree that cops come after you at the worst times in the game, but losing them is part of what makes you a good player. I take pride in my stars gained/evaded ratio, but again, to each their own. Increased RP for giving feedback on jobs and increased payout for completing jobs with fewer people is a good thing, but once again, it does not target the real issue.

The biggest fix that Rockstar says will be apart of their collective spring update is their effort to shutdown RP exploits and to take away ill-gotten RP from cheaters. Basically, if you are level 999, expect that number to drop. They say that this fix will only affect those who have achieved RP and increased their level by cheating. Honestly, that is great and I am all for it, but that really does not “fix” GTA Online. The biggest issue is cheating, but not cheating to gain RP. Cheaters are driving hardworking, honest criminals (chuckle) away from the game by ding the impossible. Lately, cheaters have found a way to snipe across the map (max snipe distance is a few blocks if you are good). They have used tricks like lag switching to make themselves invincible; I have unloaded full clips into people only to have them kill me with one shot and no body armor is that strong. Entering your garage is no loner keeping you safe as hackers are killing players in their garages. People are having their cars permanently stolen from them which should not be possible. They are not even able to make an insurance claim in the game when it happens. None of this even touches how people are making aliens spawn, random water blasts without a fire truck, spawning in tanks and jets, along with other system hacks that Rockstar has yet to deal with. These are the big issues that the company needs to address to make this spring update truly shine.