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Red Dead Redemption 2 / Online Tropes

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  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The multiplayer ditches some of the more realistic features from single player for a more streamlined experience. While the cores still exist, you can whistle for your horse no matter the distance, your hair and beard don't grow and barbers work like they did in Rockstar's previous games by providing instant hairstyles, and your weight is set during the character creation screen and seems to be static in actual gameplay (appearance-wise, anyway: the health and stamina bonuses and penalties for being overweight and underweight remain in effect). The Frontier Pursuits update also simplified the corpse looting animation to the same one used when looting items from a flat surface so that looking for treasure maps after a gang hideout or ambush isn't quite as time-consuming.
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    • Players can defend themselves with the Parlay system, which allows one to effectively go passive against a particular aggressor and their Posse after getting killed by them four times. Version 1.09 also added the ability to switch to a "defensive mode" which, much like GTA Online's Passive Mode, renders them more resistant to all forms of Player Versus Player damage and stunlocking (e.g. lassos) in exchange for opting out of free roam random events.
    • When meeting a Stranger for the first time in free roam, the game silently moves the player and their Posse into their own session, presumably so they don't get harassed by griefers while learning the ropes.
    • Resting at your camp will refill your health core. As health is the only core that can debilitate anybody in combat when empty this was most likely put in there for when you can't afford food or for letting you patch yourself up after a fight if you're near your camp.
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    • May not be one in the game proper, but to veterans of GTA online the mission "where your morals lead you" is much better than the heist setup where you infiltrate Merryweather. The mission encourages stealth, recommending bows, throwing knives, and stealth takedowns to avoid drawing attention. Failing that, however, your only penalty is more enemies at the shootout at the end of the mission.
    • Another one that has to be compared to GTA online, but the trader missions are an improved version of gun running from GTA. Here you can select between two selling points for supplies you've built up over time and it will give you two different missions. If you select nearby it'll actually be a short drive where other players don't get alerted to you goal, but you get involved with a shootout at the trade destination and get less cash for picking this option. Long range instead will alert players to your attempt at trading as you have to haul your goods to a much further off point but get more money for it. In GTA Online it always alerted other players and made it impossible to complete on a busy server because there would be one or two players at the very least who want to ruin your deal.
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    • The bounty and press charges systems added are another way to help players curb random greifing. If you go around doing crime you get a bounty to have to pay off or else get bounty hunters who continue to chase you while near a city you have a bounty in, or further if it's a large bounty. Tying into that, if you're playing non-aggressively while not in a free roam mission and another player randomly kills you then you can press charges, which increases the bounty they get for the random murder and marks them clearly as a hostile player. Compared to the violent brawl that is GTA Online this gives players the ability to be live and let live without suffering at the hands of other players.
  • Arc Words: "Have a heart" in story missions where an honor-affecting moral decision is involved.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In reality The Spirit Bear, or Kermode bear, is a subspecies of American Black Bear indigenous to British Colombia. In game the Spirit Bears are all very clearly Grizzly Bears as there are no legendary Black Bears in the game as of when this was written. Though it is possible for Grizzly bears to have white fur, spirit bears are specifically a type of Black Bear.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: "Name Your Weapon" is about this. It's PVP with a preselected loadout. The biggest difference is those weapons that are harder to kill with during a PVP match will give you more points. That guy camping in the corner with a repeater who got 25 kills for 25 points? Well the idiot with a knife who only stabbed 4 people outranks him at 28 points. It's quite interesting, although the shotguns tend to be a bit better because they give 3 points but still work best close range.
    • The Elephant Gun. It’s a guaranteed one-hit kill, even at a distance, but is also extremely difficult to handle. It has a lot of blowback, making it hard to fire accurately, and is impossible to shoot from a crouching position, as it will literally knock you backwards. You’re better off using a shotgun.
    • The leather duster is this as well. It looks badass and you have to grind a lot to get it since it only unlocks at rank 96. It is, however, a very warm coat (obviously) and wearing it under hot weather (which consists about 90% of the map) is a good way to get your health core drained to nothing pretty fast. As such, it's more practical to buy the regular duster coat since it's relatively cheap despite only acquirable through gold bars, or the Marshall Coat, which is a long duster coat of similar cut but without the mantle and, though expensive, it unlocks very early on (and can be bought in Slightly Warm and Warm versions, ones with fur are warmer). Both look just as cool, without any setbacks.
  • Being Good Sucks: At least for the trader. Low honor traders only have to steal a single wagon or a supply bag that can be literal steps away from their camp to complete a resupply mission. High honor traders have to hunt specific animals which may not even spawn correctly to do the same.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • On console, the varmint rifle is the go to weapon for fighting humans, both PVP and PVE, and is dirt cheap compared to other guns with the same being said for its ammo. It has good stability, fairly decent range, and a very quick cocking. This is balanced out by not doing much damage per shot but getting headshots with it, which isn't as hard with auto aim and the fast firing means you have more chances if you miss, is instantly fatal to both players and NPCs. It's not a Game-Breaker, you can be just as lethal with any other gun and the other guns have their advantagesnote , but in any kind of shootout it's good to have available if you can land headshots.
    • Bread Rolls. They only cost $0.40, can be ordered from catalog or bought at any convenience store, and restore about 1/4th of your health core. Given that the core affects regeneration and taking too much damage will drain the core directly they make a wonderful backup ration to restore your health core mid-mission if you don't want to use any of the meats or other more expensive or less effective multi-core foods (since taking too much damage will make only drain your health core).
    • Hunting and cooking your own provisions. Every medium-sized skinned animal will net you four pieces of meat. A single piece of cooked meat will fill all three of your cores instantly. Similarly, you can cook tonics instead of buying them. There are many regions where the ingredients required to cook them are abundant. Doing all of this is time-consuming, but can save you a lot of money when starting out.
  • Bounty Hunter: One of the roles players can take on is a bounty hunter, allowing them to hunt down wanted criminals in exchange for cash.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Level requirements for items can be skipped by purchasing the item with gold. However, purchasing items above your level requires much more gold than purchasing them after they have been unlocked, so the player is discouraged from doing so.
  • Continuity Nod: The main PVP playlist is called "Showdown", which was the name of Red Dead Revolver's online mode.
  • Disc-One Nuke: You can pick up a free unique Dual-action revolver from any fence, and an entirely free "Arabian"note  can be picked up from any stable (although you only have one slot to store horses at first, but the first horse you get is almost better sold than actually used) The only drawback is that both are timed PS4 exclusives, although only for a month. In addition, if you have the Ultimate Edition, you can get the Volcanic Pistol, Varmint Rifle and Pump-action shotgun free from any gunsmith, and a free race horse from any stable.
  • Dummied Out: Prior to the end of the beta, this was the case with all of the betting-enabled minigames from the single player portion of the game. Version 1.09 eventually added poker tables online, although this particular activity was still dummied out in certain regions to avoid potentially running afoul of gambling laws.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Legendary Bounty Yukon Nik, who if brought in alive and allowed to speak, will simply express that he has no regrets for the life he lived, and wishes to share a drink with the sheriff before his execution.
  • Great White Feline: One of the Online-exclusive Legendary animals is a pure white panther that roams the swamps near Lagras, called the Ghost Panther. It is very dangerous, and if killed, a coat can be made from its pelt.
  • Griefer: Whether or not this game encourages griefing is a bit up in the air. Much like its Spiritual Predecessor GTA Online, players participating in Stranger Missions are marked on the map for everyone in the session to see for the duration of the mission, obviously attracting more dishonorable players like moths to a flame. However, the game allows players to Parlay if killed repeatedly by the same player more than three times, essentially putting them in GTAO's Passive Mode against that particular player.
  • Heroic Mime: The game takes the GTA Online approach when it comes to the characters. The Dialogue Tree is replaced by emotes, but the character does make noises while controlling their horse even if none of them are actual words. It's actually a plot point in the story, as it, along with their ambiguous history with violence and crime, is part of the reason the player character got locked up was being blamed for a murder they didn't commit. Since they don't speak much, it was easier to blame them for a murder somebody else committed. Unlike GTA online, however, the character is plenty expressive during cutscenes this time around, instead of just going along with whatever is happening, with cutscenes painting them as more of a mercenary with good manners for dealing with their employers.
  • Hillbilly Moonshiner: The Moonshiners update made this a career role for players, complete with your own purchasable saloon and run-ins with Revenuers.
  • Microtransactions: After a bit of absence during the beta they were put in. Gold is a special currency you can use to both purchase special items or customization, those are all cosmetic, or in place of money to buy most items, with the addition of letting you bypass level restrictions by doing so.
  • Nerf:
    • The best guns of the game have a notable price tag. For example, the Mauser costs $240$in single player, but costs a $600 here. ($1000 before Rockstar lowered all prices and increased selling prices) Although you could argue Microtransactions are behind it, it's also quite possible it's merely to balance things out.
    • Your Deadeye (Core included) is completely emptied when you join into a server. This leads to issues if the servers decide to screw you over and kick you out every 7 minutes.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • An intentional example. It was intentionally launched as one so it's not exactly surprising that the ride isn't exactly smooth yet. At its initial launch, the servers have been horrendous, but the problems are not nearly as bad as they were with Grand Theft Auto Online back when it launched in 2013.
    • Even now that the "Beta" has been taken from the name, it's still a rough ride, with server issues being a frustratingly common issue.
  • Rogues Gallery: Bounty Hunters can take on a slew of "Legendary Bounties", unique criminals with unique instanced missions revolving around their capture. As of late 2020, there are eleven such bounties, with varying personalities: from a drunk Russian trapper to a Dark Action Girl leading a gang of robbers, from an Army sharpshooter-turned-traitor to a Big Bad Wannabe pretty boy.
  • RPG Elements: Aside from the ones already introduced by the single player story mode, Online also has a rank system, much like its spiritual predecessor, as well as Ability Cards which grant one ability that is active during Dead Eye and up to three different passives at once.
  • The Suffragette: Dorothea Wicklow who is a Suffragette in Saint Denis. She protests peacefully, has a placard and says various lines about how women deserve the right to vote as much as men or that she'll only shut up once she can vote. See here and here.