Scratch That Glitch

You are the reason I live to forget

At the time of writing this, I’m now four days sober.  It wasn’t through choice, but because enough people got talking and brought attention to the problem, resulting in an intervention.  Just as I was enjoying the high, the ground collapsed below me and when I woke up the following morning I was thrown into a state of cold turkey.  The first day was the toughest; I’d start to get twitchy and tease myself by staring at it… hoping it would call my name and pull me in once again.  The second day was a little less tough, but more frustrating for some reason.  Probably because I expected to have slipped by that point, yet I was still under lock and key and could do nothing about it.  Wednesday was actually quite a good day, and by the time I went to sleep I’d remembered what it was like not having to rely on the highs.  I’m getting a little itchy today though, it has to be said.

The problem is that Rockstar have, quite rightly, made many GTA Online items cost prohibitive for those of us who are lucky enough to only grab a few hours of gaming a week.  If you want to rise from the ground in a Hydra, you have to shell out $3m, and that’s not easy to come by when you’re completing missions at a mere $10k a time and can only manage to get through ten in an evening, if you’re lucky.  That’s essentially a month of gaming, just to be able to stump up the cash for the digital equivalent of the now-decommissioned Harrier… unless you fork out £40 for a $3.5m Shark Card, which I’ve now done twice already. Don’t judge me; I probably helped pay for your free DLC.

This anchoring continues when you consider that most of the high-powered weapons, such as the heavy sniper, unlock beyond level 90 and getting to that stage through the same limited gameplay (at an average of 3000RP per completed mission) would take weeks of dedicated grinding.  In some games, it’s fine to grind away and get to things through natural progression, but I’ve recently learned as a first-time GTA player that there’s more fun to be had from messing around causing havoc than the actual storyline or in-game missions.  And if you want to have fun on a grand scale, you need money and RP… and the quickest way to get there is to make use of any and all available exploits.

So, with my co-op partner and I both being a tad impatient and desperate to dive into some serious chaos, we turned to glitching to speed up the process.  We looked into wall breaches, where we’d be able to reach a five-star wanted level by taking down as many cops as possible without taking any damage ourselves, then turning in the mission to add another 3000RP or so to however many you’d normally pick up from those objectives.  It was fun for the few evenings that we were able to do it but, as we’ve since discovered is often the case, that hole was plugged by a hotfix only a few days after it was discovered.  It’s bizarre, though… because the whole point of testing the wall breaches was to build up RP, yet it got to the point where we were really just seeing how long it would take to get a five-star wanted level, how much ammo we’d actually end up expending, and how long it would take before we got bored of blowing up cop cars, forgetting entirely about the points in the process.

Then there’s the money.  Sure, you could just get your friend to duplicate their Truffade Adder and fill your entire garage with ten vehicles valued at $1m each, but the steps required to do so are utterly ridiculous that it’s incredible to think that anyone out there actually wastes their evenings on such complicated nonsense.  Get your friend to sit in your car and park it up against a wall, have them start a mission but not leave the lobby, then you get out and wander into your own garage and hang around your BMX on the wall while they set everything up, then you join their new game but immediately keep hitting a button until an on-screen prompt asks you if you want to join their game because it’ll mean that you’ll lose your precious BMX. Oh, hang on, you also need to have had a vehicle impounded by the LSPD before you even start this, and you need to make sure that the moon is in alignment with Capricorn and that you’re only wearing one sock.

Once you’ve joined your friend’s lobby you need to immediately quit out, and it’ll force your game to go crazy and throw you all over the place before eventually placing you back inside their car outside your building… and then you have to drive several miles away and call for your own car, hang a sign on it which reads “Just Married”, drive it over a cliff while listening to Tammy Wynette on Rebel Radio, and jump out before you hit the water, parachuting to safety – as long as your chute is red with green stripes.  Or something like that.  Either way, it’s a joke.  It’s so convoluted, and they warn you that if you miss a button press by as little as a split second that you could be thrown back to the start of the process or even lose your car.  Yet people do this all the time.  Constantly.  How utterly tiring.

Instead, we took advantage of those challenges where you spend ten minutes driving around outside the prison and pick up a 100% return on your $250k investment.  With Rockstar limiting the number of challenges per day to just four, it means you can easily pull in a cool $1m if you can beat the clock, and with the bank account shared between both characters that turns into $2m. The problem is that Rockstar – rightfully so – don’t want people to exploit these things as it means they’re not spending money on Shark Cards, so they immediately get to work and make sure these are short-lived solutions to your financial woes.  It may only have lasted two nights, but the $4m was enough to mean that there’s plenty of cash to buy the HVY Insurgent as soon as it’s unlocked the next time I get a chance to play the Heists DLC.

The thing that gets me the most, however, is how on-the-ball Rockstar are with their patches and hotfixes.  When you consider that some glitches exist for fewer than 24 hours before they’re fully sealed, and that some pretty serious bugs are being tackled at the same time, it speaks volumes about how much they care for their customers.  Compared to Bethesda who, historically, have released so many of their games in a near-unplayable state and never seem to put a great deal of effort  – outwardly, at least – into resolving the issues (or EA, who appear to put their games through a mincer prior to release), it’s really quite impressive how quickly Rockstar respond and how incredibly tight their patches tend to be.

As someone who has very little time to game, and who has thus far spent £80 on in-game currency in order to buy vehicles that were outwith my naturally attained resources, I’d sincerely love for there to be a much easier way to feed the bank account.  Sadly, I can’t afford to shell out for any more Shark Cards, and I’m pretty bored with grinding missions or looking for wall breaches to build up RP, so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will now have to take the organic path to greatness in Los Santos.  It’s fun playing around with glitches for a few days, albeit the ultra-simple ones rather than the aforementioned convoluted recipes for insanity, but when you realise that you’re spending all of your time fruitlessly searching for easier ways to level up and earn some cash, it becomes clear that you’d probably have done it already if you stopped fucking around.

So I’m now clean.  No more glitching, no more exploits, and it’s nose to the grindstone from now on.  If you need me, I’ll be standing atop the Maze building, sulking over my lack of cash.

Last five articles by Mark R


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