7:00am PT by Patrick Shanley
'Red Dead Online' Rolls Out Major Gameplay Changes, New Missions in Latest Update
There are a lot of changes coming to Red Dead Online.
The online component of Red Dead Redemption 2, last year's best-selling game, will officially end its beta on Tuesday to launch the full version of Red Dead Online. The update will bring a host of new gameplay options (including poker) and missions for players looking for to mosey deeper into the Old West.
Perhaps the biggest change of this update is the introduction of new playing styles that gamers can choose from. The offensive play style will be set as the default. It allows players to engage in hostile contact with other players and accept the consequences. The defensive play style, meanwhile, is designed to signal to other gamers to leave well enough alone, allowing one to fish, gamble or hunt in peace.
Players in the defensive mode will be indicated by a shield icon, take reduced damage from enemy players, cannot be lassoed and cannot be targeted with auto-aim. Those who attack another player while they are in defensive mode, as well as players who act aggressively while in defensive mode, will incur stiff penalties.
New missions include "A Land of Opportunities," a new series of challenges that further the revenge saga of Jessica LeClerk as she investigates the murder of her husband. Honorable and dishonorable players will have varying paths, with the paragons battling the Del Lobos gang in an effort to help Marshall Tom Davies save Valentine while outlaw players will attempt a daring heist at the Saint Denis Bank.
In new free-roam missions, players will encounter familiar faces from the Red Dead Redemption 2 storyline while new Posse Challenges include on-demand fishing competitions to see who can bring in the biggest catch, gunplay contests over who can shoot the most birds and herb-picking showdowns as to which player has the greenest thumb and can gather the most plants. There will also be a new "Overrun Showdown" mode, similar to a game of capture-the-flag, in which players must sneak into their enemies' territory to steal goods while protecting their own.
Poker, which fans have been clamoring for since Red Dead Online first launched last November, will be available in both private, invite-only games and on public tables found in Blackwater, Saint Denis, Tumbleweed, Smithfield and Flatneck Station. Each table will seat up to six players as they compete in Texas Hold Em competitions.
It's not all gameplay updates, as new weapons, cosmetics and emotes are also coming to Red Dead Online. The new LeMat Revolver sports a nine-round chamber and a secondary barrel for a single buckshot round, allowing gunslingers to switch between rapid-fire bullets and a devastating shotgun shell on the fly. Meanwhile, clothing items such as the much-requested Poncho and patterned bandanas will now be available, as well as new emotes such as "throat slit" and "flip off."
Players who log onto Red Dead Online during the first week of the new update will receive an in-game gift of 15 Gold Bars and a 25 percent increase in XP during missions. Owners of Ultimate Editions of the game will earn a gift of $100 RDO money, the game's in-game currency, as well as the throat-slit emote.
As promised in March, the latest update will introduce changes to the game's hostility system which will make it easier to identify violent players on the game's map. Players who defend themselves from attacks by other gamers will not see an increase to their character's hostility gauge, while players with the highest level of hostility will be forced to respawn in areas far away from other players.
New gameplay modes and missions will continue to roll out in the future, and starting this summer players will be able to take on three new roles in the game: bounty hunter, collector and trader.