Woke up after 1 p.m. again, on a couch behind my nightclub office this time. Unsure if it is Tuesday or Thursday; just logged in out of instinct. The smoky revenge of the high-shelf scotch I killed last night left the taste of burnt barrel in my mouth. I meant to drive back to the downtown penthouse apartment, but I’ve been getting bored staying there. Again. I don’t remember driving this far south, though. I need a shower. I’m not sure which suits I have here, but I can buy something new — maybe even a fresh set of wheels if I’m not feeling anything in the garages. Not sure why I’m getting out of bed. I don’t need to do anything, but I do want to be seen.
“I need a picture of Scrooge McDuck diving into his money bin for my master bedroom, but that’ll just make me want to own a money bin.”
At this point in my GTA Online career, my crew and I have mastered the game. I knew it would all be downhill after the Doomsday Heist was completed, but I thought new updates and added material items would keep me playing. One day, though, we realized we were no longer rich. We were post-rich. Whereas a lot of players will never finish all the heists, or own half of what the game has to offer, we have invested the time and learned the meta to maximize profits (not by cheating — we hate “Modders”). The “post” part is the gap between owned real estate, full garages, and disposable income. This is one of those games where the player with five million in his bank account is still poor.
Wealth of Invincibility
My GTA5 play has become that of excess. I buy all the clothing items, no matter the cost, just to have the option — sometimes in different colors to match my cars. I’ll be ready if the crew decides they want to do a heist as various pieces of fruit headwear; I possess the pineapple. I own multiple maxed-out garages and still can’t buy all the rides I want, simply because I lack the space. I’ve re-bought several cars multiple times because I forgot I already owned them… but sometimes I do it on purpose to access the stock model again. It’s only a few extra million a pop. Chump change!
I honestly hate most of the flying missions in the game, but there were several aircraft I just had to stunt in. The other day, as a joke, my crew and I all bought tugboats to cruise around on. It was cheap, ($1,250,000) and ugly. Spending time on that rusted pile of shit makes me appreciate my online wealth that much more.
In the early days, I used to think if a vehicle didn’t fly, boost, jump, and come with weapons, it wasn’t worth the money. Now having pieces for my showrooms seems far more important. I thought that way because I used to genuinely worry about other players and the small amounts of cash I’d lose after each death. That fear seems so silly now. When I was coming up in the ranks, I used to hate fighting others on the server. It was a waste of ammo, armor, and time I could spend making money. Now my portfolio is strong. I have the time and the cash-backed arsenal to be the vindictive one, should the fancy strike me.
Showboating Beats Actual Boating
I laugh now remembering the fear I felt when I dropped into a random server with 10 other players. It was a rush to get any nearby vehicle and drive someplace safe. Now? Now I don’t want to be seen in something basic. I stand out in the open to call my personal mechanic, Johnny, to bring me whatever the current hotness is. I used to go into passive mode on instinct, so I couldn’t be killed as soon as I got out of a mission, but that requires effort. There is so little to lose these days that I don’t bother, secure in my bulletproof vest made of money.
Even if I do lose an altercation, it means nothing to me. I eat Orbital Cannons for breakfast. A $2 million nightclub sale could go up into smoke and I wouldn’t get angry in the slightest. My consumables stay full and I don’t even check what the costs on my daily fees are anymore. I wake up so many days in my fully furnished casino penthouse to find out my Deluxo, a $5 million flying DeLorean death machine, has been destroyed. Thankfully, I have two. I shrug and call Mors Mutual while I head downstairs to drop a stack of chips on one hand of poker larger than most players can make in a day. Sometimes I just want to make it rain so I have some incentive — any incentive — to go out and make some cash.
For all my private flaunting, however, I still wish GTA Online had more ways to show off my wealth publicly. Sure, I’ve got a solid gold leer jet, an it’s great that I can smoke in-game while flying in the back with my friends, but I need an emote that lets me light cigars with a $100 bill. I need more elaborate vehicles — not this jetpack bullshit, but hover-boats, limousine hearses, jet-powered double-decker buses, and aircraft carriers. I need something to go along with my Stromberg (a 007-style submarine car).
The Salable Solitude
I own all the high-value properties (at least the ones you can invite other players into). The more customizable, the better, since all the structures look so similar on the inside. Buying a new property now means thinking about how to display them. Otherwise, it’s simply for checking off a list. Rockstar should add more customization options, because even with the new casino penthouse I have bought most of the decorations. Yet I can only flaunt so much.
The best updates to GTA Online add avenues to pursue profit or introduce a ton of customizable items to spend your cash. The experience for the rich is about adapting to the changes and finding the most entertaining ways to make more funds, then burn through them. Sadly, I have already exhausted many of the options brought about by the casino expansion, but certain available items are being switched out week-to-week to try and keep the interest of someone who can’t just buy everything as soon as it is available.
These days I spend my time dropping the max bets I can on horse races and putting together new outfits. If I don’t find something else to do soon I’m contemplating hiring a Robin Leach (rest in wealth) voice impersonator to help me with a video showing off my possessions: A Day in the Life. We’ll reboot Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but I’m even richer and GTA is my ridiculously expensive marble bathroom.