I have always enjoyed gaming – occasionally collecting the rings with Sonic; bouncing crazily around, with no point to the game, with “Thing on a Spring” (Amstrad game); and even building beautiful houses with The Sims; however my passion for the gaming world really started when my hubby came along.
I’ve had an Amstrad, where you had to hook up the cassette player to the system to load a game on a tape; an Atari (which I still have somewhere); a Sega Megadrive, 16-bit; PSOne; and a PS2. I dabbled, but never really took it seriously.
It was 2008, and my (now) husband introduced me to the xbox 360. Mainly I just played the poker game – “Texas Hold ’em”, and I often lost my temper with the “pussycat” who always made me raise, then fold, only for me to lose out to an “orange”. Of course, I’m talking about AI characters here, and no matter how often you lost your rag with them, you’d still end up in the same situation – shouting at the TV.
I was heavily pregnant with Donut when I thought I would give Grand Theft Auto V a try. I must have been about 7 months gone, and I felt like I had been sentenced to bed rest by my midwife and high risk consultant. I had just finished work, on maternity leave, and I was already bored with poker, Minecraft and Fallout: New Vegas (yeah, really), when hubby dearest suggested I give GTAV a try.
I loaded the game, had several attempts of the first mission, where Trevor, Michael and a couple of others robbed a bank (spoiler alert!), and already I was getting frustrated with it. I wasn’t interested in the actual story – I just wanted to play the open world. Hubby said that I had to complete the first mission to be able to unlock the open world, so I sighed, and went back to it. It took a lot of patience and tries, but eventually I cracked it.
Once I finally got in the open world, I cheated immediately by buying a few of those ‘Shark Cards’, where it fills your account up with cash. I then bought my high end apartment, a couple of cars, and enhanced the performance of them before taking part in random races and missions with the hubby.
Almost 18 months down the line, and I’m still playing it now – although I am only a level 63 (still good, but when you see other players in their level 400’s+, then you realise you’re still a bottom feeder), I’m just starting to get the hang of the game.
A few months ago, Rockstar introduced a new expansion pack – “Motorcycle Club”, and I bit. My best asset in the game had been my bike – a Dinka Double T, and I was a rather dab hand at riding it. I had millions of (deliberate) near-misses, and after I supped it up to the maximum enhancements, it was a pretty smooth and speedy ride. Very few outrun me, and I was always guaranteed to lose a 5-star wanted level from the police. Granted, it took me a long time to be able to do it, but I got there.
Anyway, I digress…
I jumped straight in to the stunt races that were now available, as I realised they (along with solo missions) were the easiest way to raise a bit of cash. Once I got enough funding, I went to the foreclosure site (on the internet, in the game) and purchased a clubhouse. It wasn’t great, and I couldn’t afford any upgrades, but I didn’t care. I had my clubhouse, and I was now president of my own motorcycle club.
Only I wasn’t.
Even though I had bought the club, I had to go in to the select menu to make myself the president (you have to do this in every session you enter, otherwise you are just a civilian).
I think I’ve had my own MC club for about 2 months now, and it was only this weekend (just gone) that I managed to save up enough of the cash (again!) to buy a sideline business. I had a fair amount of cash, and a few different businesses to choose from. I had the choice of buying a document forgery office, a weed farm, counterfeit cash, a meth lab, or a cocaine lab. I had just enough money to buy the smallest cocaine lab, as, through research, this was shown to be the best choice for generating income.
Of course, as with any business – real or virtual – you have to have supplies to be able to create any produce, so that had to be my number one priority.
When entering the black market, you have a two options. You can either buy your supplies, or steal them – where you have to go and get them yourself.
I’ve noticed that if you choose the latter, the more you do, the harder it gets.
If you’re a player already, you know that you can see who else is in the world with you, by pressing down on the digipad. Alongside the other players names, you will often see either a picture of a motorbike, or a triangle. Sometimes, there will be no icon next to the name… If there is no icon, this means that this player is not a part of a MC, or corporation. The triangle represents ‘Securoserve’, and they are a CEO of a business, or working for one. The motorbike represents their status as either being a MC president, or a biker – in that gang.
The more players that are in the game – especially if there are more MC players, the more risky your supply run can be.
There is a simple reasoning behind this. When you collect the supplies, a “blip” is put out across the world to say exactly what you have done. This is a warning to other players, telling them what you have done, and they have the opportunity to literally chase you to steal the supplies for their own uses.
It’s the same as when the final product is made, and you’re ready to sell – it’s all about timing your stealings and sellings appropriately. You don’t know who else is around, and who you need to pass to be able to complete your business needs.
My timings surround just that. If there are lots of players in the world, I buy my supplies. If there are just a handful, I steal.
Let’s backtrack slightly – after the stealing / buying, yet before you do the drug run.
When you have your supplies at your warehouse, always try to upgrade your business as quickly as possible. Obviously, you need a fair amount of cash to do this too, but with the adversary modes that are currently offering 2x cash and 2x RP, it’s well worth doing an hour or two of those first of all (personally, I find the Deadline adversary modes hilarious!). When upgrading, security should be your main priority, followed by the staff, followed by your actual lab. It may make more sense to you to do it the other way around, but when your fiddling the law, securing your business from any raids or thefts should be the way to go.
On entering your warehouse, you get two new bars showing at the bottom right of your screen. The top bar is your product; the bottom is your supplies. I tend to use the black market computer in the warehouse to give me my options, as I find this a lot easier to understand.
When I go in to the “Sell Stock” option, I get two options. Both are to sell my produce, but one is ‘safer’ than the other.
There are two amounts offered.
The lower is based in Blaine County, and is a much less hazardous route to take.
The higher amount is based in Los Santos itself, and can be incredibly dangerous. You run the risk of losing all your stock by being robbed, or by being killed… Which you can respawn and try to get your stock back, but it all depends on how far away from your death-spot you are, and who it was who killed you. Some other players who have business interests of their own could hunt you, take your stock, and you’re at a loss. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you just get a wanted level, and perhaps shot by the police, and then when you respawn, you can go and claim your items again. I’ve been killed once by the police, and they did not confiscate my stock, but I cannot comment that it will never happen…
If I’m being honest, I’ve got a bit of a greed on me, and I have never taken the lesser amount.
So far I have made approximately 10 supply runs, and just 3 deliveries. From the deliveries, I have brought in a little over $630k. I could have got a lot more, but I’m inpatient.
Do’s and Don’t’s for Dummies
- Do make every effort to steal your supplies.
- Do buy your supplies when the servers are full.
- Don’t steal from the lone biker… Chances are that they have no one else in their club (same as me), and it’s difficult enough for them to do the supply run, with the general bad guys on their tails, than having you hunt them down too. Chances are if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone too.
- Don’t sell your produce at the lower level. Take a chance, and it’ll be worth your time.
- Do upgrade, but do it in order. Security first, then staff, then the lab.
- Do practice your flying skills. There are a lot of selling opportunities that require you to fly a plane, or helicopter, so make sure you’re a bit of a dab hand to prevent crashing and losing your stock.
- Don’t worry about the police being on your tail. If you’ve outrun them before, you can outrun them now.
- Do bare in mind that once you’re an MC president, you CANNOT go in to passive mode.
- Don’t worry if no one accepts your invite for being a part of your MC. No one ever accepts my invites (except for hubby, when he’s playing), and I’m doing pretty well for myself.
- Do keep your eye on your map. If you’re hunting for supplies / stock, look out for the red blips. Also, if you’re the one being hunted, you can usually tell by the amount of players blips coming closer to your position.
- Do make sure that you’re fully stocked up on your ammo… Only got one homing missile left? You need more… You never know who’s coming after you in a fighter jet.
So, did I miss anything? Probably, but I’m still learning myself.