Red Dead Online: Is there still hope for the Wild West?

Red Dead Online is a live service online game that immerses you in the world of Red Dead Redemption 2. The game takes you to the wild west and takes you back to a time when the law was still a guide. The Wild West fills many with a nostalgia for a time we didn't experience ourselves. But the very idea of infinite freedom, a life with risk and danger, fascinates many. It's no wonder, then, that I myself have been drawn into the world of Red Dead Online. But what about the game in 2022?

Red Dead Online: A World of Possibilities

When you start Red Dead Online for the first time, you will quickly find yourself flooded with almost endless possibilities. There are different professions you can pursue, random events occur on every ride through the world and the danger of an attack always lurks. Whether this danger comes from a bear or an enemy player can hardly be predicted. Once you have established yourself in the game and gained perspective, you can deal with the different roles from sunrise to sunset. While the illegal liquor ferments, it's the perfect opportunity for a quick bounty hunt. A deer can also be killed quickly for trade on the way to the prison.

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At some point, however, even the most exciting role becomes repetitive. You can already foresee each task and after reaching the maximum rank there is not much left to do. Because at some point you have enough money and when even the last horsehair is decorated with gold, it gets boring. That's how I felt a few days ago. After hitting rank 200 and realizing the game was no longer progressing. My old friends stopped playing long ago and the main fun on my own is unlocking new things. So I decided to create a new character and start the game all over again. I named my new cowgirl Cora Coleman and once again I rediscovered the wild west.
With a heavy heart I said goodbye to my old character.

A rather lonely experience

The wild west is characterized by almost endless expanses and undeveloped land, that much is clear to everyone. However, the already empty, big world of Red Dead Online is even more empty in 2022 than ever before. During the first few hours of play, I didn't come into contact with a single other player. I played the story missions alone and hardly any players crossed my path in the rest of the game either. If you then met another soul, it was players over level 100 who couldn't do anything with my new character. However, since I'm more of a loner anyway, none of this mattered to me and I just kept playing on my own.
This is a great aspect of Red Dead Online. Despite being an online game, playing it alone can be great fun. The game is designed so that while teamwork makes some roles and missions easier, they are not unplayable alone. So you can conquer the wild west even as a lonely cowboy. First, I worked out the collector role, because it probably makes the most sense for lonely players. Collecting alone is even a lot more efficient and after just two evenings my character reached level 30. So now I was already exploring other roles and possibilities. First on my list was the bounty hunter role.
Together with my faithful Criollo named Dante, I quickly conquered the West. What struck me the most was that moving up through the ranks is a lot quicker if you know what you're doing. So maybe it's a good idea to reset your character once you get the basics down. After all, Rockstar allows gold and money to be transferred to the new character.

Boredom returns

Climbing through the reels is fun, no doubt about that. Especially at the beginning it is a great feeling to fly through the ranks and unlock more and more. The step from the starter horse to the first real horse is nicer than every horse change afterwards. But even this initial euphoria wears off at some point. The difference between the horses and weapons is getting smaller and smaller. It takes longer to level up and yet the rewards are getting fewer and fewer. The game quickly feels repetitive again, despite a new character who has only been exploring the world of Red Dead Online for a few days.
At this point, it would be up to Rockstar and the team behind Red Dead Online to make the game worthwhile. An online game can only survive if players are constantly offered new content. However, Rockstar seems to have given up here. It's been a while since the last good update to Red Dead Online. Currently there are regularly changing bonuses for individual roles. But even they aren't very useful if the roles themselves don't change. Gamers crave innovation and Rockstar doesn't seem to want to offer it anymore.

The slow end of Red Dead Online

When exactly the end of Red Dead Online began can hardly be said. However, a clear sign of the state of the game was sent when Rockstar decided to drastically reduce daily quest rewards. Many players who previously only logged in to complete their daily tasks left the game. Because this was the tipping point where Rockstar should have encouraged them to stay with new, exciting content. However, this did not happen.
Likewise, the Outlaw Pass has brought new content into play from time to time. The Outlaw Pass could be purchased for a certain number of gold bars and consisted of many levels to climb. It was not prescribed how this had to be done. The reward was for playing alone, not for specific tasks. The pass brought many new objects with it and it was fun to reach as high a level as possible in the limited time. But the Outlaw Pass doesn't seem to exist anymore either. If you try to find out when the next pass starts in 2022, you won't find anything. It can therefore be assumed that the passport is now a thing of the past.
Together with Dante I threw myself into a new adventure, but unfortunately it didn't take too long for boredom to return.
More and more players stop playing because of this. There is nothing left to achieve, they have explored the wild west to the last corner. It's getting harder and harder to start the game every day. Red Dead Online is one of my favorite games.

Untapped potential and missed opportunities

The game was fun. Battles with enemy gangs were the order of the day, you could almost always find someone willing to role-play, and there was new content on a regular basis. What players are offered today is a game that could have been so much and yet is nothing. Where is the new Outlaw Pass? How about a new role that brings players back? New horses, new weapons, maybe a free story DLC like GTA Online got recently? The possibilities are endless. Players want to invest in the world of Red Dead Online and are willing to sacrifice time and money. However, they won't if the game doesn't offer anything new in return.
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It is extremely unfortunate that Rockstar abandoned the game. This is probably due to the fact that Red Dead Online did not manage to be as profitable as GTA Online and therefore fell into the background. However, this only made the problem worse and now I am almost inclined to give up hope. One can only hope that Red Dead Redemption 2 will eventually get a sequel, which will again be accompanied by an online game. Hopefully this will not be neglected despite its great potential.

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