Sunday, 8 November 2015

Getting the most out of GTA V online mode. XBOX 360.

I've been playing GTA online now for a good few weeks and I thought I'd share some tips that I wish someone had told me earlier. Whilst it's a great game, online has a steep learning curve, and it's easy to find yourself the victim of a someone that gains pleasure from killing, and re-killing a noob.  Follow these tips and you will keep most of the money you earn, make more quicker, and die less often.
The 'live' player environment is what these survival tips are designed for, but the quickest way to make money, is via the missions and heist invites that come through on your phone. But these are similar to the missions in the game.

1) Stay out of trouble. If Los Santos is full of angry fast moving pink & red dots, just stay away. Getting killed costs you money, and killing other players doesn't earn any money (admittedly sometimes it's fun, but costly, for some however, this IS the game).

2) Down twice on the D Pad brings up the big map which can sometimes be very useful.

3) Be wary of £9k Bounties
Press down once on the D-Pad and look at their RP. 2 players in the same crew, in close proximity on the map, with $9k bounties are just looking for noobs to slay.
Worse still, if they have 250 or higher RP they could be griefers. 800+RP means they're almost definitely cheats.
It's possible to exploit game bugs to become invisible and just slaughter anyone in close proximity. There is a famous one by the bridge near East Los Santos Customs.
However if someone has a low RP and a tempting bounty on their head see point 4!

4) Use the Map, and your Sat nav to find the quickest way to your target.

5) Get a bike. In real life, I'm a car fan. But in GTA there is no substitute for a quick bike. The Dinka Akuma is the best budget option.

Bike Pro's
Nipping in between narrow gaps
Low insurance excess
Great over mountains (see point 6).

Bike Con's
Falling off hurts.
No protection from gunfire.

6) The quickest point between 2 points is a straight line. Although using the sat nav is vital, sometimes it's quicker to go cross country, use your judgement or a chopper, plane / parachute combo.

7) It's safest on top of buildings.
Sometimes you find yourself waiting for something worthwhile to do. Being on top of a building keeps you relatively safe.

8) Always bank your money quickly via your phone. Menu>>Internet>>Banking.
Money in the bank is safe, money in your pocket ends up on the floor when you're killed.

9) Make yourself scarce when you get a high bounty on your head. Survive for 24 GTA hours and the money is yours! Hide on an island with a property for the best chances of survival (or, if you're a coward, in your garage).

10) Discard weapons you don't use.
Seriously, there's no point having them if you don't use them.

11) Smuggler plane jobs and Distracting the Police for Lester's contacts are worth chasing. Prioritise them.

12) Simeon wants a specific vehicle.
Don't rule out using Blaine County Los Santos Customs for respraying a car ready for Simeon. Few players will chase you that far, and some will be sat in waiting at the city LSC locations. It doesn't add that much time onto the task, and keeps you safer. Use your sat nav, plan your journeys and keep out of trouble. If there is a lot of interest in a car, weigh up whether a high death toll is worth the reward.

13) The quickest route from Blaine county to Los Santos isn't the motorway. Familiarise yourself with the road from the west side of Blaine County.

14) Sell a car a day;
Look for the ones that look like
Range Rovers
BMW 7 series
Last generation Saab 9-5 from the back. These are worth the most.
If you find one and you can't sell it yet, shove it in your garage til tomorrow.

15) Message other players.
If you have something to say to someone, say it, be nice.

16) Gang Attacks. 
Kill all but the last gang member and ensure that you get all the cash from the green ammo boxes before you finish him off.

Use the Quick select menu (press and hold select). 
a) Request personal vehicle - whilst you can call your mechanic to have him bring you a specific vehicle, this is quicker to bring your current one (you have to be close to a road).
It's easy to do this whilst driving, so do it just before you sell or discard a vehicle and yours will be waiting for you outside when you leave the garage.
b) Inventory - Snack gives you quick health. Stock up on choccies before you next hold up a store or do a heist mission.
c) Inventory Cash - give other players money, to buy friends or share rewards they should have received. (Gang attacks for example).

This is just off the top of my head. What have I missed out? Comment below.

Children on Twitter, what's the best way for a parent to look after their child?

Being a parent nowadays is tough. We have to make judgement calls about things we know very little about. Whilst most parents may be familiar with some social networking apps, we may have little experience of others. Arguably the most open of these is Twitter. Every public post can be read by, at the time of writing, up to 974 million twitter users. Thats a lot of opinions on your tweet, some of the more vocal (trolls) may respond with very negative tweets, and it's natural as a parent, that we would want to protect our children from these idiots. Until they reach adulthood at least.

So what should a parent do when they're asked,
"Can I have a twitter account, all my friends are on it?"
Well I think I've found the right answer. And it's this.
"Of course you can sweetheart, in fact have two".

Now before you scream I'm crazy bonkers, hear me out. My children have been on twitter for 2 years, they're now 11 and 13. Yes, although they couldn't hack Talktalk, they could bypass the age verification check by Twitter. And they've been perfectly safe and have enjoyed it, thus far.

In fact, I don't mind telling you their twitter usernames, I'm not going to, but if I did, you wouldn't be able to follow them anyway, as they're under strict instructions not to approve follower requests from people they don't know. We've shown them, how twitter works, they've gotten to interact with their school friends, they've shared photos, albeit privately, and they've enjoyed a tiny % of the twitter experience.
Today I am going to let them both open new, public profiles, but here's the catch. As they're children, and I'm a naturally protective parent. They're not going to be allowed to tweet stuff that reveals their identity. Their profiles won't contain their names, or photos of themselves, they will have their private accounts for that. But they will experience, the 'open world' of twitter and will no doubt stumble across goons that live to upset. They may suffer small levels of humiliation, and perhaps enjoy the 'game' as Charlie Brooker described it, of popularity. Who knows, in a few years time, if they hit the ground running and manage the situation well enough, I may change my mind and let their public profiles become their main ones. In the meantime as a parent, I know that they're learning to 'feel' the difference between a public and private social experience. And can rest easy that it'll never become 'out of control' crazy bonkers.

I will discuss with my kids, over time, about how the feeling of how one profile is different to the other and why it's important to ensure that social networking is used responsibly. I will also point out that although these profiles are public and 'anonymous' the authorities could still find out who they are, if they post malicious, threatening, racist or offensive comments. They're good kids anyway, and I am sure that they wouldn't, but a gentle reminder never hurt anyone.

Seems like the logical way forward for a caring thoughtful parent to manage the difficult situation. Have one account that they can use for their friends and have another anonymous one, to experience the crazy world of social interaction. So that the 'person' behind the profile, is protected and safe at all times.

How to motivate an Autistic person.