Red Dead Online, Red Dead Redemption 2's new multiplayer sandbox, is a world full of desperadoes and there are bound to be conflicts. While some players would prefer to spend their time peacefully fishing or roaming the prairies, others have ill-intentions, and Player vs. Player combat is commonplace in these early stages of the game's beta. While Rockstar has implemented two systems, Parley and Feud, in an attempt to manage Red Dead Online's PvP, seemingly rampant griefing is still preventing some players from enjoying their time in New Hanover and beyond.
Currently, there is no option to abstain from Player Vs. Player combat in Red Dead Online, and in the game's Free Roam mode players can be killed by anyone at anytime (except in Camp with a white flag raised). If one player kills another four times, two options become available: a Parley or a Feud.
A Parley can be initiated by the four-time victim without consent from their assailant and, upon starting a Parley, a ten-minute countdown begins. While this timer is active, neither player will be able to damage the other. The idea, it seems, is that players can use these ten minutes to talk out their differences and come to some sort of virtual understanding.
Alternatively, both parties can choose to initiate a Feud. This begins a three-minute free-for-all where the two gunslingers attempt to kill each other as many times as possible. Red Dead Online keeps track with a kill counter that is displayed to both players, though there are seemingly no rewards or demerits for performance in the Feud (aside from the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat).
After the timer has ticked down to zero on either of these options, the process can begin again. This time around, only one kill is required to enter a Parley or Feud.
This attempt at a player-controlled PvP system is admirable. In theory, the Parley system could regulate griefing, and Feuds give players the option to go all-out when the mood strikes them. However, it appears that Rockstar has underestimated the resolve of posses of outlaws that are particularly bent on preventing others from enjoying their experience.
Many players are taking to Reddit with tales of griefers following them through the ten-minute Parley timer only to kill them again (and again), and some of the most highly upvoted posts currently on the Red Dead Redemption subreddit are those that offer suggestions on ways Rockstar could address the griefing situation. These ideas range from keeping high honor players hidden (by removing their map blips) to imposing bounties upon players whose activities suggest targeted griefing.
While it remains to be seen if something so dramatic is required, some players are certainly suggesting that Red Dead Online's PvP is not currently working as intended and that fine-tuning is needed.
Red Dead Online is accessible through Red Dead Redemption 2 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.