Our Road to Rank 50 (opens in new tab) in Red Dead Online continues with ghostly encounters, horse deliveries and dishonorable actions.
Previously on the Road to Rank 50 (opens in new tab): I totally sucked at multiplayer; met a crazy looking Butcher; collected all my free stuff and discovered my horse was deaf as well as ugly; but now my Journey to Rank 50 in Red Dead Online (opens in new tab) continues.
Again, thank you for all the comments on the last episodes. It’s really good to hear that it’s not just me who can’t win in multiplayer. Your tips are really helpful, so, please, keep them coming.
Now it’s Week 3 and after last week's disaster I’m determined to find something to do that doesn’t involve me getting shot in the face. At least not as much anyway. Obviously the first step down that road is to put on some fancy clothes, so I call my horse over and choose my brand new Blackrose Bounty Hunter outfit. And, just like that, I’m a real cowboy! So it’s off to Hosea to pick up another mission.
During the cutscene before said mission there’s a key line that’s easy to miss: “He’s a fine man in a nasty world”. At the time I thought it wasn’t anything to take particular notice of, but looking back at the footage I saw this prompt:
“Your Honorable decisions have unlocked the gunslinger strand."
I guess I should have worked out that the massage actually meant I was also locked out of other missions... OH WAIT NO I SHOULDN’T BECAUSE I’M NOT PSYCHIC. Anyway, on the way to the mission marker I come across a black bear and, knowing how rare these guys are in the single player, I hunt him down in the hope I can turn it into a fancy hat.
But at least the butcher has washed his face now. The mission take us to Manzanita post, which I remember from the first mission where I stole my ugly horse. There are some good stealth sections in this mission (which is something I never thought I’d say) and despite dying at the end me and my crew successfully chop of Montez’s head.
Except it turns out it isn’t Montez. It’s his brother. Bollocks.
After that little hiccup I travel back to my camp to find it’s exactly the same as it was before. Now this isn't surprising, but right now I’m just not sure what the point of your camp is. In the single player it’s a base of operations and a place to interact with the camp members who don’t join you on missions. But here’s there’s just...nothing. Okay, so you can upgrade Cripps’s outfit but why the hell would I want to do that? I barely see the guy so there’s no way I’m spend $100 on his clothes. You can also upgrade your camp with different styles but I’m here so rarely I don’t really see the point either. It’s not like in GTA Online where you felt like you were creating a home and then you’d visit other people and be like dammmmmn I want that sweet TV. But what are you going to be jealous of here? Oooh you’ve got the blue barrels instead of the brown ones. Please.
What I’d like to see (and I’m sure this is coming) is ownership of businesses. I’d love to have my own saloon where I can set the drink prices and host poker games, make it a place where people online will say have you been to JJ’s? It’s by far the best bar in the west. Heck I’d even own a post office where I could employ other real players to deliver the letters if I could.
Ohhh wait there is something at the camp. For reaching specific ranks you’ll be given a treasure map and it’s here at your camp you can pick them up. I got one for reaching 10 so pick it up and head off on the extremely long journey to Bard’s Crossing. Turns out it was worth it though because I get my 100 gold nuggets award and buckle (which I don’t know how to equip).
The next mission is alllllll the way over the other side of the map but instead of paying to get there I’ve worked out that you can quit to the menu and select the Free Roam state that’s closest. It doesn’t get you to the town you want but it does get you closer, and it’s free. Although in this case I still had to travel for long enough in cinematic mode that even the game got bored and thought I was idling.
Having arrived at my destination I get to play the same mission I played last week involving hunting down Montez and his men. Then, on my way to the next marker, a whole posse of NPCs spawn in and start shooting at me. I have absolutely no idea why this happened but I got XP for shooting them, and it didn’t seem to give me a wanted level so I guess I was doing some good…? (I now know this was a bandit ambush, thanks to the tiny text at the side of the screen). At one point I even killed a real player... twice!
A few missions later including a story one where I got to wear a bin on my head and a stranger mission where you have to eliminate targets in a set amount of time and I’m at Rank 12.
It’s going to be hard to believe what I did next if you’ve followed the other episodes, but I got invited to a free roam event and without really thinking I accepted. This one is all about getting on a horse and delivering it to a set point. Did I deliver the horse? No, but I did manage to get mine stuck at the top of a hill and run into it and a cactus, so there’s that. But then I played it again and, I actually can’t believe I’m saying this, but I stole the horse, delivered it, AND WON!
Overcome by this moment, I made my way to a stranger in Tumbleweed Jail, but upon arriving I was met, not by a man, but by with one of the articulate ghosts ever. The entire character model didn’t load in here so all I saw were props flying around the room. I’ll be honest I was too distracted to pay attention to what the ghost, sorry sheriff, was saying but it turns out that was just an easy escort mission so it didn't matter too much.
Here comes the breakthrough though. I’m finding that if you don’t treat Red Dead Online as a multiplayer game and look at it more as a continuation of the world the single-player set up it’s much more fun. If you don’t play the competitive stuff you get a new character, new story, new strangers to meet, treasure hunts to do and so on. It’s basically more like a giant piece of DLC than a multiplayer mode. Alright so all the missions have pretty much the same basic task - go here, kill someone, come back - but these can quite easily be expanded into bank heists and other multithreaded activities just like RockStar did with the GTA Online missions.
Now comes the problem though. I’ve seemingly done all the story missions on the map but my mission progress is stuck at 75%. Being familiar with the way this worked in single player I thought it might only appear after an in-game day or something like that. So, in an effort to pass the time I ummm, well, I played some multiplayer didn’t I? This went about as well as you’d think it would at first but then I got my first experience of Red Dead’s Battle Royale mode - Make It Count.
Now, I’ve played quite a few Battle Royale modes - and a hell of a lot of Fortnite (opens in new tab) - so I had a fair understanding of what to do right from the off. And although I’d say a bit more work could be put into this one (why is the circle closing and where are the boundary markers, for example?) I do manage to kill a guy and then, when there were just two of us left, my opponent fell off a rock and I shot him in the face. So yeah, this is officially the best Battle Royale mode now.
But there’s still no mission marker, so I log off for a while.
Upon returning I granted with some big news. I’ve been given 15 gold bars by Rockstar! I think it’s probably because of this series but Rockstar insists it’s a thank you for playing the Beta. Yeah, whatever. It was also introduced to balance the economy a little but so far I haven’t had a problem with the money in the game. Of course that might be because I don’t buy anything.
But even after a few in-game and real life days I still don’t have a new mission marker so... I Google it and wow. There’s literally no-way to know what you’re supposed to do next. It turns out you have to lower your honor level until you dip into the ‘bad’ side to unlock the next mission thread and the only way to do that is to go on a killing spree. So after visiting the stables and picking up my free horse and saddle (thanks for all the comments on how to do this, by the way) I make my way to Saint Denis and start shooting up the place.
Top tip here - woman and horses lower your honor the most and hiding yourself in a saloon and waiting for the law to line up outside will get you a bunch of ‘dishonorable points’. Half an hour of relentless killing later and I’ve unlocked the next story mission which, in fact, is awesome. There’s a train to steal, an office to rob and a mini-gun to play with.
The one after that is ‘More Than One Way To Earn a Buck’ which, considering I’ve done it before isn’t nearly as exciting but completing it brings the Red Dead Online story to an end. For now at least. It’s a bit strange that I was thrown into the last Red Dead Online story mission at random all those hours ago thus showing me the ending before I was even half way through but that’s what happened. Regardless I'm now at Rank 15. And my horse is still deaf.
Next Time: I think it’s time to join a posse.