Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead. In other words, the player-hated, troll-approved Oppressor Mk. II jetbike in Grand Theft Auto Online has finally been nerfed following nearly half a decade of terror. While many players are happy about the change, others have shared concerns that it has made the expensive vehicle less useful. But it’s hard to hear those complaints over all the online cheering.
Yesterday, Rockstar Games released a large update for GTA Online that improved a long list of issues and added new, highly requested features to the long-running online open-world action game. I personally really enjoyed the update, mainly because it’s now easier to make money and have fun in private lobbies.
But another big change was a serious downgrade of the infamous jetbike, the ultimate griefing machine. Its missiles now are less accurate and its countermeasures (things like chaff and flares) can’t be used as often. The end result is that many players who once spent hours flying around the city, killing random players over and over, are already struggling to troll as hard post-update.
The Oppressor Mk. II was added in 2018 as part of the drip-feed of content for the then-new “After Hours” update. Even before the vehicle was added it caused debate and controversy. Before the update was out, dataminers discovered the futuristic-looking bike in the game’s files and all hell broke loose online. People were worried that this jetbike — with its accurate missiles, considerable defence systems, and high top speed — would be too powerful and would ruin free mode, allowing griefers with little skill to quickly rack up kills and disrupt regular play.
Today, in 2022, it is clear that the fears many had around the bike were valid, and since 2018 the Oppressor Mk. II has become a running joke among the community. Even those who barely play the game or don’t play it at all are often aware of the fear and anger that surrounds this flying motorcycle. In 2019, Rockstar did make it harder to rapidly spawn a new jetbike if your old one got destroyed, but still, griefers and trolls continued to use the vehicle.
Now, after yesterday’s update and massive Oppressor nerf, players on the GTA Online subreddit are (mostly) cheering its demise as the trolling super weapon. In posts showcasing the less accurate missiles and deadliness of the bike, plenty of players are excited by the idea of fewer of these things being piloted by arseholes in every session they join. Even players who like the Oppressor and use it to grind missions or other non-trollish activities are happy with the missile nerf as they are still useful against NPCs, just not as easy to use against actual players.
Plus, now when these PVE players fly around, people might not immediately think they are shitty trolls. Some fans even suggested they won’t feel as dirty using the jetbike anymore to complete missions.
Of course, as you would always expect, there are players who believe the nerf is bad. Some cite the fact that this is an expensive vehicle and others point out that GTA Online is not meant to be a game about people working together, but an open world where violence is encouraged.
Another interesting counterpoint to this nerf is that some players have reported seeing more jets and other powerful vehicles online now, following the downgrade. However, it should be noted that these vehicles are easier to hit with explosive weapons, so the threat they pose feels more balanced. I saw a few players joking that tanks, a very old tool used by trolls in the early years of GTA Online, may return. Honestly, I’d love that, as outrunning and fighting a tank was a lot more fun than being taken out randomly by someone who has spent five years practicing how to be an arsehole in an OP jetbike.
In my time in GTA Online since the update, I’ve noticed far fewer jetbikes roaming the skies. I’ve not seen any tanks or other powerful replacements filling the power vacuum, but it was nice to drive around Los Santos and not feel like I had a target on my back.
Regardless of how you feel about the nerf, the downgrade to one of the game’s most reviled vehicles will likely lead to big changes in most online sessions. Griefing and trolling will never go away, but at least less skilled players looking to ruin other players’ days will now have to think outside the box a bit.