Red Dead Online

There are good things coming to Red Dead Online. First off, Red Dead Redemption 2‘s online component will be launching as a standalone title, with a limited-time low price of five friggin’ bucks. On top of that, the Bounty Hunter role is getting an expansion, and the next Outlaw Pass is dropping soon.

But now the bad news.

Rockstar is nerfing the way daily challenge bonuses stack in Red Dead Online. Under the current system, there’s a gold multiplier that you can earn for completing at least one daily challenge per day. Gold, remember, is the game’s premium currency, though small gold payouts are awarded for completing daily challenges.

After seven days, there’s a 1.5x multiplier. After 14, there’s a 2x multiplier. After 21, there’s a 2.5x multiplier. At 28 days, you earn a treasure map. Beyond those 28 days, your multiplier will remain at 2.5x as long as you complete one challenge per day.

(We did the math to see how rewards compare against each other, and the new payouts are pretty skimpy.)

That’s changing. Starting December 1, your streak will reset after 28 days, meaning you’ll still get your treasure map, but you’ll be back to earning gold at the normal rate for another week (which is 0.2 gold bars per challenge).

Was this really necessary? Well, actually it kind of was. As much as it pains me to admit it, a permanent 2.5x multiplier on gold payouts is kind of ridiculous, and I’ve long been expecting Rockstar to nerf it; I just didn’t expect it to sting so badly when it finally happened. Yes, I’m a little peeved about this, despite the fact that I have 450 gold bars banked, and probably won’t be needing more any time soon.

Red Dead Online

There are some rewards for bitter old folks like myself, but there’s nothing here that should interest players who have logged the kind of Red Dead Online time I have. It’s RDO$200, plus some ammo, which is not worth getting excited over.

This is clearly intended to be a way to get real-world cash off of the influx of new players the game is bound to get when Red Dead Online gets a standalone version.

For reference, 25 gold bars costs $9.99 (with a one-time 50% discount the first time you buy this amount of gold). 350 gold bars costs 100 bucks. That means my current gold supply is worth about $140 in real-world money. I’ve also purchased every role in the game, upgraded most of the guns I use to their gold variants, and I purchase each Outlaw Pass as it comes out. I also spend gold frivolously when the mood strikes. Who knows how much friggin’ gold I’ve earned and spent already?

Red Dead Online

The thing is, I didn’t pay a single penny for any of this stuff. I’ve been living a life of luxury within the world of free stuff I’ve earned simply by playing the game. Unfortunately, this world of free stuff is apparently one that Rockstar needs to do something about to keep their RDO profit margins high.

I don’t have to like it, but really, at this point, I probably won’t even notice it. New players, though, are going to find the early game to be a bit of a struggle. Earning money is really tough early on, and the best way to keep that money coming in is to invest in the game’s roles, each of which costs gold bars to buy into. I have a feeling a lot of early players are going to be jumping on that 50% gold bar discount to buy into their roles as soon as possible rather than grind their way up to the required 15 or 15 gold (or wait for a discount).

I’ve created a complete guide for earning gold in Red Dead Online, but even this will need to be updated on December 1. Still, there are reasonable ways to farm gold without actually spending real-world cash on the game.

So there you have it, folks. Rockstar has finally done it. They’ve finally decided to nerf daily challenge gold payouts in Red Dead Online. I’m not happy about it, but I’ll learn to deal. I just don’t think I’ll make it a point to log in every day anymore.

Update: Now that this update is out, Rockstar has made another nerf to daily challenge rewards: Those got cut in half. A daily challenge (without a multiplier) used to pay 0.2 gold; now it pays 0.1 gold.

To top it all off, XP is broken too.

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3 years ago

They also seem to have nerfed the base challenge payout to .1 gold… I have a 2x bonus rn and I’m getting .2 gold/challenge. They really want those microtransactions now…

3 years ago

tbh the only reason I ever play now is to do a daily etc to keep the multiplier, zero incentive now. But at least I’ll get some disk space back 🙂

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