When it initially launched, people dubbed Red Dead Online as a “Hunting Simulator: 1899 Edition.” And, they weren’t wrong. Hunting is what my friends and I did…all the time. We hunted and fished then moved onto the next area to hunt and fish again and occasionally get eaten by an alligator.
So, it made sense that one of the three roles added to the Frontier Pursuits update was that of the Trader, alongside the Bounty Hunter and the Collector roles. The Trader probably added much-needed tender loving care to an early aspect of the game that was forgotten until this update dropped: the Camp.
Life in The Wilderness
Life in the wilderness is tough but it can be fun and lucrative. In the single-player mode, the Camp stood out as a safe place for players to relax and restock on supplies. Building it up and managing it was a nice distraction from the main story.
When the online mode came out the camp was there but it was considerably lacking. It had no purpose other than cooking and crafting, and so many players outright forgot it existed. It really feels like Rockstar Games tried to remedy that with the Trader role.
This role actually made me want to invest in my camp and buy a nice tent, a stew pot and make my camp feel more like home. The reason for this is that players have to run a business out of their camp (the Cripps and Co. Trading Company) making the camp NPC Cripps a whole lot more useful now.
The fifteen gold investment feels like small change compared to all the things I’ve bought for my camp now that I had reason to. Luckily, making back that money is easy with the Trader Role because business is booming in the wild west!
It feels good to invest into a camp that players can call home and although the ownership of properties is a heavily requested feature, I can’t help but feel that would take away from how fun the camp is now.
I’ve often found myself riding into camp that overlooks a valley and stop for a moment to take a picture. Seeing my friend’s tent pitch up in my camp, surrounding my stew pot and watching how everyone flocks to the stew pot to grab a meal that will add a buff to their characters makes the role a lot more fun. But that’s just one side of it…
Business in The Wild West
I’ll be honest; this role is the most grindy of the three. Players have to bring pelts, animal carcasses and material to their camp, so that the Cripps character can get to work processing them.
After a while, he’ll run out of supplies, which require players to either buy them or just do a resupply mission, and then when stock is full, players need to do a sale. If this sounds a lot like how businesses worked in Grand Theft Auto V that’ll be because it is though, it feels better.
This is still a cowboy game so the pace is slower. The need to restock isn’t as needy as businesses in GTA and the biggest grind is replenishing animal materials when they run out, which is made easier with the new hunting wagon and the help of a posse.
Doing long-distance sales with a posse behind you can prove to be very fun. Having one player ride ahead to scout out for other players that may or may not be a threat makes this feel like a proper cowboy game. Rockstar really captured what it must have been like to live off the land and make a few bucks off of it too in the Wild West.
There has been talk of players eventually owning a storefront as an expansion on the trader role and I’m sure Rockstar has some ideas on how to expand this role. But for now, players are just humble traders out in the frontier, living off the land and taking in the many sights that the world of Red Dead Online has to offer.