Being a game primarily about crime and criminals, it should come as no surprise that the players of GTA Online may have a tendency to break the rules. Now, GTA Online is a multiplayer experience (hint: GTA Online), and, unlike in the game’s single player mode, if you bend the rules, you’ll be negatively affecting the gaming experience of a multitude of other players, as opposed to simply making the days of the NPCs in the game a tad more interesting.
Look at it with Rockstar’s eyes. GTA V has sold a lot of copies. As in more than 65 million copies. The majority of countries that exist in earth today have a population less than that. Now, if even a small fraction of those players are frequent players of GTA Online, that is still a lot of people to keep happy, and when it comes to cheating and hacking in online multi-player games, all it takes is one bag egg to annoy ~1000 legitimate players, so it is understandable that Rockstar is really strict with it’s not GTA V cheats (http://www.gta5cheats.com/cheats/xbox-one/) in GTA Online policy.
It seems that with each passing update, the noose tightens, however the sad thing about these measures, which also happens to be most people’s main gripe with DRM too, is that the crackdown on cheaters or pirates often hurts legit players more than it does the actual targets. For a while now, each subsequent GTA V update seemed to make honorable single-player modding more and more difficult. First, with the 1.27 update, bringing the first part of Ill-Gotten Gains to the game, mods broke utterly and completely. Mods in GTA V make use of a tool called ScriptHookV, which identifies the parts of the code that need to be linked with the modded content and then relinked with the game’s engine for the mod to work. Well, 1.27 scrapped that method, and it took quite some time for the author of ScriptHookV to update his tool with a workaround. Modding was once again possible, and Rockstar released a statement that they have absolutely no issue with single-player modding, but will do anything to keep GTA Online clean, and if that means single-player mods suffer, so be it.
Some time later, update 1.28, containing Ill-Gotten Gains Part II was released, boasting a new anti-modding method which broke the freaking game. While “you can’t mod if there isn’t anything to mod” probably wasn’t the concept driving Rockstar’s programmers, they still decided to fatten up GTA V’s code with lines upon lines of dead-code. The dead-code clocked in at around 5 MB, which the more tech-savvy among you will recognise as lots of bloody code. Now, the point of the dead code was to fill up the “space” between the scripts and the engine code to make it harder for prospective GTA 5 modders to find what to link with what and so forth. The issue here is, that this is the same method used by the game-files and vanilla GTA V code. Meaning, running an unmodded instance of GTA V will still make the scripts run the obstacle course, slowing the game down significantly.
This resulted in people with beastly PCs (thing SLi Titans and so forth) pulling single digit FPS in GTA V. Understandably, people were very, very pissed. To top it off, legitimate, and, not to mention, pretty damn popular single-player mods, such as LSPDFR, were delayed, since the developers needed to sift through the dead-code manually, finding out that does what. This move caused what is a dictionary definition of a PR nightmare for Rockstar, with most gaming news outlets calling out the company on the decision to break their blockbuster game, as opposed to, oh I don’t know, separating GTA V’s single-player mode and GTA Online into two separate executables and killing mods in GTA Online entirely, all of which would take minute effort.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Rockstar has a pretty damn good track record when it comes to serving their community, and them trying to root out cheaters from GTA Online (http://www.gta5cheats.com/gta-online-hints-tips/) is commendable (as opposed to some devs not caring about their respective online communities), but basically making your game unplayable may not be the way to go.
However, if you ask me, it isn’t Rockstar at whom you should aim your anger. This, more so than any other, is a prime example of cheaters ruining things for everyone. How absolutely, completely incompetent do you have to be to resort to cheats and hacks in online games, to the point where the dev would rather literally kill their own game, than to have you desecrate it? Seriously, playing video games isn’t exactly hard. Making them, on the other hand, is.
Stop screwing with devs, guys. They will always win.