Rockstar has been struggling to tackle the issue of people griefing—otherwise known as being absolute bastards—in Red Dead Online for some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the next major update for the game will also be aimed at trying to make the world of Red Dead Online a safer place.
In a blog post, Rockstar announced a new Hostility System that “builds upon the anti-griefing measures added in February“. Put into practice, this new hostility system means that players who are attacked by other players will be able to fight back without incurring Bounties or Hostility increases. At the moment, defending yourself against an attacker would mark you as an enemy even though you were just minding your own business, but the new system will mean that only the player who attacked first will be marked as an enemy, and players who kill that player will not accumulate Hostility increases.
Rockstar has said that Hostility increases will not apply within structured events such as Free Roam Events, Missions, Showdowns, or Races, but attacking players who aren’t engaged in the activity will make your Hostility level go up.
The second big change that Rockstar are introducing is the option of choosing between an Offensive or Defensive Playing Style. Rockstar acknowledges that “some players just want to immerse themselves in the world, riding, hunting and fishing in peace”, but some pain in the arse players take great joy in ruining other peoples fun. With the introduction of the Offensive and Defensive playing styles, players should be able to choose exactly how they want to play – choosing the Defensive Playing Style will prevent you from being lassoed, and other players won’t be able to lock on to you either, with the trade-off being that you can’t lock on to other players either. Players will still be able to target you in free aim (and vice versa), so you won’t be completely untouchable, but you won’t be able to deliver or receive critical hits, which means you won’t die instantly if you take a headshot, which gives you a chance to defend yourself. Essentially, it should let you play the game with considerably more peace. Rockstar says that there are “several other adjustments that come with the Defensive Playing Style”, but they haven’t given any further details at this point.
On the complete flip side, the Offensive Playing Style will work very much like the way that Free Roam currently works, which essentially means you’ll have to have your wits about you at all times.
Rockstar also briefly teased some more additions that are slated for the next update, including more A Land of Opportunities Missions, new Free Roam Mission givers and mission types (which should introduce some familiar faces from the single player campaign), and the introduction of dynamic events which will see players fighting off ambushes, initiating rescues, and defending “folks in need”.