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Red Dead Online’s new specialist roles sound big, and not just because you can get a dog

Rockstar details the new bounty hunter, trader, and collector roles

Red Dead Online - a player dressed in a red velvet suit stands next to a gramophone. Rockstar Games via Polygon

Rockstar Games continues to update Red Dead Online over the summer; the developers previously announced the introduction of a professions system with three roles. Today, Rockstar shed more light on what those three specialist roles will look like, and the benefits look pretty big.

We already knew that players would be able to advance in all three roles without locking progress in another path, but it looks like the rewards for each specialist role are far more substantial than expected.

Along with cosmetic unlocks and role-specific gameplay loops in the world, each role will have their own special items and abilities. Rockstar has written a short description for each specialist role:

Become a Bounty Hunter for a life of constant action on both sides of the law. A licensed Bounty Hunter can track down targets and capture – or kill, depending on how honorable you are in your pursuits. Occasionally, a nearby player with a high enough bounty can also be a designated target. Progression will unlock special items like a reinforced lasso for extra-tough targets, as well as intricate gun-spinning tricks and advanced tracking skills like the ability to use Eagle-Eye while sprinting, galloping on horseback and many other special skills, items and upgrades.

The ability to use Eagle Eye during sprinting and galloping would be a significant combat upgrade for players; these buffs would be helpful against enemy players, but far more so against NPC encampments and hideouts in the wild. Also, the reinforced lasso sounds like a good way to stop players from squirming out of a hold, which is going to be necessary if Bounty Hunters are expected to bring in other players.

The life of a Trader is perfect for burgeoning capitalists as you establish and develop a business from your Camp. Thanks to your trusty companion Cripps’ knowledge of furs, skins and butchery, you’ll be able to take on new opportunities to collect materials and produce valuable goods to sell. Increasing your skill as a Trader unlocks the ability to upgrade your Camp with a Weapons Locker, Stew Pot and even allow any canine companion to warn of impending attacks on the camp. As your business expands, you can gain new skills, improve your satchel or add new assets to your business-like hunting wagons to bring in bigger hauls and much more.

You can have a dog! But there’s also other stuff here that I am, by the standard of my job,obligated to mention. Players able to collect valuable furs and materials en masse, and the satchel upgrades and hunting wagons will be essential to grow your business. Traders will also unlock a ton of useful camp upgrades, which makes sense, as that’ll be their primary base of operations; it remains to be seen whether Traders need to stay at camp, or if they can have Cripps handle transactions. But you can get a dog! And if Red Dead Redemption 2’s single-player is any indication, you’ll be able to pet the dog.

A Collector loves to explore the world for rare and valuable items. Look for a mystic travelling saleswoman in the wild to get started down the Collector’s path, searching for lost jewelry, rare arrowheads and other treasures to sell as individual pieces or highly valuable sets. As you progress, you will gain access to tools that help your search including Refined Binoculars, a Horse Lantern and even a Metal Detector, as well as gaining additional skills to help you seek and discover the world’s greatest rarities.

Collectors sound like they’re all about utility — they’ll be unlocking refined binoculars, a horse lantern, and a metal detector to help them hunt down rare items in the wild. What sounds especially interesting is the individual items and sets language — a similar system works for exporting cars in Grand Theft Auto Online, and it makes the multiplayer much more important. We’ll have to see how it’s implemented in Red Dead Online.

Players will be visible as their role, and will have ways to show how far they’ve progressed in their role. This sounds like it might be similar to The Division 2’s specialist weapons, although more comprehensive.

Rockstar will announce more updates in the weeks to come; these seem to be less about content and more about quality of life improvements, including “substantial, across the board changes to combat and movement to allow for a more responsive control system that still feels natural.” There will be more protection for Defensive style players, and more world loot.

Players will also get the ability to remake their character in Red Dead Online, which is a much anticipated addition for me, the player who accidentally messed up my avatar’s cheekbones.

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