GTA V Online: Bans for Everyone!

So, Grand Theft Auto 5 finally released its PC version.  I know people who had the console version and still bought the PC version too.  The main reason that many wanted a PC version?  Mods.  That’s the main reason most people want PC versions (Did you see the Thomas the Tank Engine dragon mod for Skyrim?  Classic…)

The many, many mods…

GTA3Mods for GTA 5 started emerging almost immediately after the game arrived.  Some so epic that they were immediately newsworthy, like the mod that allowed you to play as any animal you wanted.  The driving force behind that was that you could play a whale.  Michael sitting on a bench by the water, talking to whale on the bench beside him?  Hilarious.

There was an Inner Force Mod, which for us Start Wars geeks had to be a huge plus.  Who doesn’t want to see Trevor, looking like a dirty hobo and using the force to throw around a bunch of vehicles in the middle of nowhere.

I personally liked the mod that made your gun shoot cars instead of bullets.  That seems hilarious, how do you react to that if you happened to just be walking past said gun fight?

The bans…GTA4

The problems began when the bans began.  And  it was in a flood, everything was fine, gamers were happy, and then suddenly forums began being flooded with reports of gamers being banned.  Some were banned simply for using mods in single player mode, which rubbed just about everyone the wrong way.  The community began to think that Rockstar was against mods, which is a huge no-no in PC gaming and can alienate almost all of your consumers.

The misunderstanding…

GTA2Here’s the thing though.  Rockstar was trying to ban unfair modders, the ones that make it hell for everyone else who plays.  The people who use the mods offline weren’t the targets.  Neither were the ones who used the harmless mods, the ones that changed the behavior of the game without giving the player an unfair advantage over others.  It was the ones that used the indestructible mod, so they couldn’t be killed, or the unlimited money mods while everyone else was out there trying to earn money the way you’re supposed to in the game.

The problem is that in order to do that, they simply looked for users that had the mod add-on in their game.  That didn’t tell them what mods that person uses, or if the person uses the mods offline or online.  It simply says hey, this person has installed the ability to use a mod in the game.

The response…

May 7th, a Rockstar developer finally spoke on the bans, expressing the mistake and the flaw in their how-to on the bans:

“Recent updates to GTA V PC had an unintended effect of making unplayable certain single player modifications. This was not intentional, no one has been banned for using single player modifications, and you should not worry about being banned or being relegated to the cheater pool just for using single player PC mods. Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing. It also bears mentioning that because game mods are by definition unauthorized, they may be broken by technical updates, cause instability, or affect your game in other unforeseen ways.”

So there you have it.  It was an unintentional consequence, meant to keep those who make online mode suck for the rest of us from having their way.

Here’s hoping that the harmless, fun mods keep coming and that this little snafoo doesn’t discourage the creativity and brilliance that the modding community has always been a haven for.  And finally, for your viewing pleasure…

Trevor in Joker make-up.  Mod on!


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