The intro for Grand Theft Auto Online was deemed a bottleneck where all traffic was directed to the same point, something that the Rockstar servers just couldn’t cope with.
Grand Theft Auto Online has been up and running for a couple of months now, and Rockstar is working hard to iron out all of the kinks. The launch went anything but smoothly, and although GTA 5 gamers were initially ecstatic about its arrival, it only took a day or two after Grand Theft Auto Online was launched before everyone started to complain. The connection problems gave many gamers such a headache that the game, which until October 1st had been hailed by many as the best game ever, fell spectacularly from grace.
Creative expression from a frustrated gamer
There’s something to be said about all of these criticisms. Rockstar knew in advance how many discs were needed and how many people would play the game. They simply needed to adapt their server capacity to deal with it. But it’s not as simple as all that. In principle, Rockstar has sufficient capacity for everyone to play online. Unfortunately, the mandatory introduction meant that all gamers were in the same place at once, and the result was a server overload.
Players who went online early reported that all the problems stopped once you were able to roam free in the game’s world, and we can confirm that once we (finally) got through the intro, the problem was pretty much solved. I say pretty much because there were also some other problems in this immense game: I lost my car after I had insured it, but the number of the insurance company disappeared from my phone, and then the car vanished! But that had nothing to do with connection problems.
The intro turned into a bottleneck because all the traffic was directed to the same point, something that many of the Rockstar servers just couldn’t handle. But what was so important about this introduction that Rockstar wanted everyone to see it? I’ll explain it briefly.
Lamar is really busy
Once you start the online adventure, Lamar picks you up from the airport. He drops you off in a parking lot where you get a car. Lamar wants to see how well you can race, so you immediately begin a street race against him.
Then you need to pick up a drug package. This package isn’t ready, and as a result, you’ll need to take out a couple of gangsters. One of them runs away with the package, but by shooting him or running him over, you’ll get the drugs. This package can then be handed off to Gerald. You’ll need to use some of the money from this mission to get clothes.
Now that you’re looking your best, it’s time to earn even more money. Naturally, you do this by robbing a store – it is GTA after all. You go into a shop with a weapon and threaten the employee so that he gets money for you from the cash register. Unfortunately this doesn’t go unnoticed, so you’ll have to lose the cops.
If you’ve managed to get this far, you’ve reached level 5. You’ll then get a call from Simeon, the car dealer from the single player GTA 5. From that moment on, you’re free to walk around and participate in various events such as deathmatch, races, and missions. You’ll also notice that when you reach this point, the connection problems are (almost) a thing of the past.
The question is, why does Rockstar makes us do this? It’s an interesting introduction to the game, but most players are already familiar with the single player GTA 5, and you don’t actually learn anything new. It seems as if maybe the introduction was a good concept that failed to translate to the realities of online gaming.
What do you think of the GTA V Online introduction? Could Rockstar have done without it?