Postcards from GTA V

I like to start an evening session by being picked up by Byrn in his Declasse "beater" Tornado. Byrn had originally stolen the ol' Tornado during a heist and we made something of an "escape" in it, wheels spinning on sparking rims. Since then it's been a joy to be picked up in the beat-up old lump. Here we are sitting in Los Santos Customs. You can see the impeccable job the LSC team have done on it.

EMW and Byrn practise their tire shredding outside my flat. EMW's Armoured Karuma "Tank" doesn't shred well. Lots of smoke but the tires stay intact. Unlike Byrn's Tornado, whose tires disappear in a thrice, leaving him a mile of skidding around to LSC; helped along by bastards who have no respect for a classic.

And here is Byrn demonstrating his disgust of street furniture while reversing to the garage. I have no idea why I am sitting so calmly in the passenger seat. Perhaps it's because the Tornado is indestructible - built from the same stuff some bushes are made from.

On a charge to steal the Titan - a rare team of 5 cuts STRAIGHT ACROSS THE ACTIVE RUNWAY. You can't see EMW in this one but he's out front and Byrn is on the right. Big R's white Armoured Karuma is leaving white paint all across Los Santos.

TO THE SKIES! Big Rob (left) and I escort EMW to safety. Except not. Fish shot him down. Should have gone by car.


NB: We were also joined by Baron later on but I was so excited with the team of 6 that I forgot to hit the snaps!

brainwipe's picture

That last shot with the three of us is pretty fun big rob in the sky you taking off both in fighters me just visible on the left right in the little jet

Evilmatt's picture

Got to love that heistmobile. Now less likely to be on its rims with new bulletproof tyres...

byrn's picture

Booo! Take all the fun out of being driven. Especially when you mount the pavement in reverse!

brainwipe's picture

A short impromptu session this evening doing missions with Big R netted over 100k and I achieved a couple of snaps. I'm now at 1.16M, only another 600K to the chopper!

After doing a fab hit-and-snap-and-run we're ordered back to Madrazzo's house so that he can tell us we're perfect, fail to invite us in for tea and stride off. I don't care if he is an imaginary crime boss, I expect a certain level of manners.

Ah, THE TITAN. How many times have I stolen you? "Textbook" landing followed, with Big R trying to hump the back with the Cessna.

brainwipe's picture

had a go last night had to replay the annoying prologue again as skydrive the microsoft dropbox erased all my save games in a sync disaster. I don't even use the damn thing but it had apparantly been syncing my documents and then when it ran out of space deleted things

Anyway ran some double money stunts just to try them out made 100k in 7 races but it was tedious work not even stunt races can make races enjoyable in fact they are probably worse due to all the tracks with huge drops you can fall into. Anyway bumbled about after that doing a bit of vip missions purchase a car and tricked it out so blew almost all my money.

Evilmatt's picture

Not to blow Big R's big news but he hit $1M last night so was setting up a new Lack-Of business when I signed off... :D

brainwipe's picture

'Lack Of Ltd' may have created a foothold in Los Santos.

Bigger Rob's picture

Nice! good to see the Lack Of family of companies gain another foothold. At this rate we'll have more branches than Starbucks there.

byrn's picture

This lunchtime one of the other engineers took us out to lunch and he demonstrated he drives like I would drive in GTA he was going 135 down the motorway in medium to heavy traffic weaving in and out and across of lanes going through gaps that just about fit his lexus it was less fun to experience that in real life :S

Evilmatt's picture

Hells bells! Did you go CEO on him?

brainwipe's picture

Decided to try something different from the karuma so looked into other armored cars. Supposedly the fastest is the Schafter v12 armored so did some saving up. Bit cheaper than the karuma at 300k tested it out tonight. the armoring is not as extensive as the karuma the windows last for a few shots then shatter but it's supposed to be more explosive proof than the karuma. It is fairly fast and has slightly better handling than the karuma less tendancy to slide all-over the place. It's not quite the tank the karuma is but still offers a little protection

Not sure if it'll be my go to vehicle for missions etcetera especially when soloing the karuma makes that either easier or just possible to run some of the harder missions solo. The Schafter can't take the same level of punishment but for less intense missions or for missions that allow you to keep on the move the Schafter might be an option.

Evilmatt's picture

Hmm, might have to give that a look...

byrn's picture

Cool. I am glad that there is more choice than one! Everyone will end up driving around in Karumas and that feels like a bit of a balance fail to me. I'm not saying that every car should be capable of being armoured to the teeth but I think there should be more choice than there is right now. Seems sad that they have gone to all that effort to make all of those cars and everyone only drives a Karuma!

brainwipe's picture

It's because for the most part the Karuma is almost completely bullet proof you can sit there surrounded by armed thugs blasting away and there is very little chance of getting hit. It can happen but it's very unlikely. All the other armored vehicles (bar maybe the rhino) take something like 10 shots and their glass fails. Also you lose your protection when you shoot out of anything other than a karuma as you shatter the glass from the inside.

Karuma is just too good at what it does the explosive protection of the other armored cars is nice but it's rare you are up against explosives in missions there are a few where a buzzard shows up but if you know that you can anticipate and take it out.

Evilmatt's picture

Played a few mishes with Baron last night, twas good fun. Spent a bit of cash on the V, too (more armour, lower suspension and lovely new tire design). I'm now about 140k off the Buzzard Attack Helicopter. A few things occurred to me after.

The Armoured Karuma is cheat mode
Most of the missions have no challenge whatsoever when you're in a Karuma. It can be helpful if you're just saving up for something but taking no damage whatsoever on most of the missions make them ridiculously easy on hard level.

It's a different game without the Karuma
You can't just storm in when you're in a normal car - or without a car. You have to be tactical, you have to work together and you must use cover. Some missions punish you if you don't work in a team. We've kind of had that before. Extradition(?) where we split into two groups is a good example of that, the one where we steal the helo from Merryweather last weekend was the same. When we stuck together and didn't have a Karuma, it was much more interesting - and hard!

You can't play it like another shooter
It's not like ARMA 3, Planetside 2 or any of the other shooters I've played. The AI is a bit wonky, you have to cover for people spawning out in the open and cover is everything. Literally everything. Shooting from behind cover is amazingly effective at short range. You can pop out of cover with the aim button, take aim, leave the mouse where it is, pop back into cover, what for them to fire and just as they finish pop out and headshot them with the last lined up shot. That kind of play doesn't feel like any other shooter but it does work. Perhaps a bit console-y.

EMW/Byrn were right about GTA Online flight school
I landed the helo on the truck but bollocks to flying in formation. I'll try adjusting the flight controls so that they are less sensitive.

A solution to car upgrade unlocks
I've hit the engine upgrade limit on the V but I want more. I've read up a little on tactics and generally people just say "race more". It's a generally hated tactic. Especially as winning a race is fucking hard. However, one person pointed out that one of the reasons that racing is so hard is that there are so many tracks so some people will know the track and always win. Someone else likes to make a race lobby with just a single friend or two and they "grind up" the race wins together. If you only choose a few tracks and do one lap per race, you build familiarity together and it becomes more fun because it's more about racing then. Others point out that if you're after achievements (like winning with a custom car) then that's a good way to do it to. You can build a custom list of races with only a couple of tracks in it and then play that list. Might be a good shout if there's just a couple of us on one evening.

brainwipe's picture

Karuma is a bit cheat mode it comes into it's own if you are soloing I think there are a lot of missions that are pretty much impossible without it and dying over and over again and failing repeatedly isn't fun. A minor armored car makes things a bit more tactical gives a little protection for the arrival and planning. If there is a group of you I think the Karuma does makes things a bit easy.

Snacks and armor are key for longevity this is a bit easier when you are a ceo as snacks come free but go into a convenience store buy up all the snacks rob the place then head to ammunation and pick up as many armors as possible on the heists or the harder missions it will increase you longevity immensely. To access them pull up your interaction menu (hold back button on controller M on keyboard) go to inventory and then either snacks or armour. I often have that just pulled up while in a car or in cover so I can spam some snacks when the health gets dangerous.

Flight school fairly lucrative if you have the patience as it is fucking hard to get the golds or even to finish on some of them

Unlocks are fucking annoying since races are fucking annoying especially stunt races I spent a lot of last night trying to get the boost on the start of the race as it unlocked a car paint I fancied and it was incredibly tedious even with the laps set to one if I failed to do the boost or turbo start there is no way to quit and try again so I had to do something like 20 tedious races to get the 5 turbo starts I needed to unlock it.

Some of the others are 50 turbo starts to unlock which seems ridiculous and at least I could solo those so I got some pittance of money some of the others require you to slip stream or get the best lap or some other requirement. Some of the unlocks also have a secondary unlock by level and I think thats probably how I will get most of them I'd rather level to 100 running missions than run 50 more races still there are a few bits you can only get by doing the races.

Stunt races Basically completely random. Normal races were already incredibly tedious but the new stunt races remove even the tenuous amount of skill for racing by introducing the hazards of revolving gates or moving platforms massive drops next to jumps. So even if you are the most skilled and know the track in the best car you can still end up in last place.

Pegasus vehicles despawn after about 10 minutes this one was a bit of a surprise to me we had it happen a lot in the extradition mission you are flying along in your nice buzzard attack chopper and then it starts losing power. This is pegasus reclaiming it. Makes the use of those things require some thought.

Some clothes offer benefits some of the clothing confer some benefits on the wearer. The bullet proof helmet will provide protection from head shots depending on what shot you it will either deflect it completely then start to take damage after repeated shots or turn a one shot kill into badly wounded. I've heard some of the tactical vest offer some extra protection too but I'm unable to confirm that. Also increasing your strength stat reduces damage taken.

Evilmatt's picture

From tonight's debauchery, which ended with me managing to buy a Buzzard Attack Helicopter! I'm thrilled. With the remaining money I'm probably going to get some new guns and buy another V.

Fish has invented a new way for us aquaphobics to enjoy a boat ride.

The CEO of Lack Of Inc takes me for a reversing drive in my own car. How romantic.

While Fish, playing the role of Dad, drives us to the mission, we act like all children do. Swearing and drawing guns.

So that I can become "One Of The Boys", the CEO of Lack Of Inc kindly takes me to his favourite Feminist Coffee Shop where we toast the end of a heist with rat's piss and a slice of lime.

brainwipe's picture

Big R's character (on the right) looks like he's never seen a woman before.

brainwipe's picture

Invested in a new car last night very quick but then I had to upgrade and style it to my preferences. Surprising how much upgrades and paint end up costing I had to spend another 150k on it and I didn't touch any of the cosmetics just the performance bits and bobs. Broke again now but I have a nice fast car.

Evilmatt's picture

Had a superb night last night; was challenging, chucklesome and a bit annoying in places (that damned headhunter madness). I am pleased that I bought the Sabre Turbo, even if it doesn't handle as nicely as the V. It does look badass. Sadly, not got a snap of that but have a couple of other jollies.

We'll begin with our characters relaxing after a particularly hectic heist setup (well, just stealing drugs, really). Left to Right: Me, Byrn, EMW and Big R. I like this shot as it looks like my character has just said something quite objectionable about people who match their tie and hat. Big R is staring at me with his cold, dead, derpy eyes and Byrn has half-turned as if to acknowledge the statement without rising to it. Also, why are we smoking? Where can I switch that off?

Here's my character with her beloved V. You can also see Big R's Karuma tank in the background. We do give him some shit for driving it as it makes missions easier but it was useful on a number of occasions!

Byrn and I wait in a drug-laden warehouse dressed in NARC-camo. This was during some poor luck from Byrn, whose face appeared to be a bullet magnet. Looking back, I think I was expecting more on an onslaught than we received. I was quite surprised when someone died and we respawned at the end of the "attack". I've seen more ferocious attacks when we've just been buggering about shooting each other.

And now the money shot! L-R Byrn, me, EMW, Big R. It took an amazing amount of effort to create this shot. A crashed helicopter, the death of an innocent bystander, a star or two and a dink in my otherwise flawless paintwork (the doors on EMW's aren't scissor but I agree with him that they should be). I like the expression on EMW's face on this one - he looks like he's about to call out the big lady at the back for looking at him funny. Byrn looks like he's about to moonwalk.

brainwipe's picture

I looked into corporate jets as a possible Lack of Inc acquisition they are quite expensive starting at around 2 mil going up to 10mil

not sure that's worth it there are more interesting things I could do with that amount of money like the insurgent or the turreted limo or save for a hydra jump jet

I could get a corporate Cessna for less crazy money

Evilmatt's picture

Just saw the insurgent is 50% off till 26th

I've been saving for one so this is perfect timing I can pick it up tonight for 675k

Evilmatt's picture

Our next outing may become a little (more) insane!

Bigger Rob's picture

We had great fun in the insurgent Friday night!

brainwipe's picture