AFTER ACTION REPORT
Can PC Gamer grief a map full of GTAOnline players?
We did it! We finished all of GTA Online’s heists. Now we’re at a loose end, though. We have money, we have military helicopters, but we have nothing to do with them. That’s when Samuel suggests that, for one night only, we put our toys to use. Tonight, friends, we grief.
Phil: We gather near my new bunker, which has little practical purpose, but is at least near the airfield. Tom and Samuel both own helicopters, bought with their heisting riches, but I have made some bad investments, and must steal one from the map. Specifically, I want to steal a Cargobob. It’s a transport helicopter, and comes armed not with guns, but a winch. I can think of no better tool with which to troll players.
Tom: The airfield is popular with other players due to the free helicopters and nearby biker bar. In fact, there’s a couple lurking around here right now.
Samuel: I fly over in my buzzard, see some guy in a vehicle by the runway and think, why not fire some rockets at this person? I do, and I feel good. Predictably, as soon as they’re alive again, they bring me down with a rocket launcher. Then we’re both on the runway, hitting each other with sniper fire.
Phil: I had hoped to be in the air before the fighting began, but things seem to be escalating pretty quickly. To make things worse, the airfield hasn’t got a Cargobob. That means I’ve got to go to the airport at the bottom of the map. I jump in a plane, and am immediately blown up by Sam’s target. Right, it’s on.
Tom: Whenever someone kills you in GTA Online, you always respawn a few hundred meters away, with no weapon equipped, and facing the wrong way. This makes it extremely easy for the person who just killed you to immediately kill you again. So as Sam cuts his target down, I spot his respawn position and line up a sniper shot, taking his life a second time while he’s still trying to process the first. No mercy.
Phil: The target bolts, and manages to slip away from Sam and Tom’s fire. Unfortunately for him, he’s running straight towards my crosshair. Unfortunately for me, I’m gunned down by a minigun. I think our new friend has reinforcements, and they’re well armed.
Tom: I’ve never even seen a minigun in GTA Online before. I guess this is what we could’ve spent our ill-gotten gains on rather than progressively larger garages.
Phil: Luckily, the minigun isn’t very good. It’s incredibly deadly, but only if its wielder gets into range and is given enough time to spin it up. As long as I snipe him on approach, he doesn’t stand a chance. Unfortunately, I’m not a very good sniper. At this point I’m not griefing anybody. I’m just having a regular deathmatch.
Tom: There doesn’t seem to be any way to actually win one of these impromptu duels. Eventually, one of you just gets bored and runs away. I guess that’s kinda like griefing, right?
Samuel: We get bored, and fly away in a helicopter at a low altitude so we’re not shot down.
Phil: The problem, I think, is that we’re picking on people who can fight back. That’s not what bullies do. We need someone who has no response to our advanced weaponry and desire to annoy. We need a low-level player. I browse the server list and find a fresh-faced level 11 character. Perfect. Let’s destroy him.
Tom: As we’re picking our target, I remember that I have a bunch of cool abilities I haven’t been using. Specifically, I can ring Lamar and get him to send a mugger after another player, which I do. Then I call GTA’s not-Blackwater private military company and get it to send some mercenaries to kill him. I haven’t even met this guy, and I’ve already screwed him over twice.
Phil: I opt for the personal touch, using the map to track him down. When I arrive, he’s running down a street, away from the police. Presumably he drew their attention while trying to defend himself from Tom’s AI enforcers. I nab a car and charge at him. He goes splat into the
RIGHT: The Cargobob is Phil’s latest obsession, despite the fact it’s not actually useful.
RIGHT: One of many failed attempts to airlift a car, made harder by all the rocket launchers.