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Concept Update 6: “The Art of Robberies”

Seasonal Changes:

  • Takes place during RDR2, Chapter 5.
  • The Gang is at its weakest point in a long time and is being held together by Sadie. Upon reaching Lakey, she tells the player about how she really needs help keeping everyone together.
  • Sadie’s stranger missions now include bringing supplies to the gang and clearing the surrounding area of Nightfolk and Alligators.
  • Saint Denis now has the “High Alert” status seen in other towns during previous seasons.
  • Dutch, Arthur, Bill, Micah, and Javier have left to lie low in Cuba and are thus missing from camp. John is also missing due to being imprisoned.
  • Trelawney has now moved to Saint Denis.
  • Micah’s Stranger Missions will temporarily be unavailable throughout this season.
  • The destroyed wall in the Saint Denis bank will be temporarily boarded up.
  • Angelo Bronte’s home will now be boarded up and abandoned.
  • Reverend Swanson will now be seen steadily becoming more sober, whilst the opposite will apply to Karen.
  • Pinkertons can be seen patrolling Shady Belle in search for signs of the gang.
  • Live events:
    • Season-wide cutscene: Upon first opening Red Dead Online this season, players will see a cutscene in which the Online character and the rest of the gang are burying Hosea and Lenny. This is when Sadie tells the player about her need for help.
    • Season-wide event: When players complete the ‘Sisika Records Assault’ heist (Detailed further down), Austin Smith can be seen trying to get information from John in the epilogue cutscene, but to no avail.
    • Weekly cutscene: On the final week of the season, players will be able to witness the return of each character to Lakay but will head out shortly before Bill arrives after being followed. Dutch and the gang will fill the player and the rest of the gang in on the events of Guarma and how they lost all of the gold.

Heists and Rewards:

  • Nine new ‘Heists’ have been added to Red Dead Online.
  • Heists are new sets of long-form missions, with an overarching story, high payouts and special rewards to be completed by 1 – 4 players, depending on the job.
  • Players can access heists by purchasing the “Planning Table” for their camp.
    • This will cost 10 Gold.
    • Visually, it will be a board on some crates. Each Heist will add dynamic props around the table whilst it is active, with them appearing as players complete setups.
  • The mission sets are structured like the original ‘Heists’ update in GTA Online, to allow more scripted events and a focus on co-operative play.
  • Taking inspiration from ‘The Diamond Casino Heist’ and ‘The Cayo Perico Heist’, setups seamlessly take place in the player lobby.
    • If the lobby is somehow unsuitable for the content, the players will be transitioned into another private lobby.
  • Heists are timeline-locked, with few changes being made with the development of the RDR2 story via Online’s “Seasons” system.
  • The nine Heists have an overarching story, each with their own "Epilogue cutscene" after completing the finale.
  • Each Heist will have a special set of rewards for first-time completion on the ‘Hard’ difficulty.
  • There are a set of challenges introduced with Heists:
    • First Time Bonus
      • RDO$500 and 5 Gold.
    • First Person Lock
      • RDO$250 and 5 Gold.
      • On further completions, will no longer reward gold.
    • All in Order
      • Rewards RDO$1000 and 10 Gold.
      • On further completions, will offer half rewards.
    • Loyalty
      • Rewards RDO$1000 and 10 Gold.
      • On further completions, will offer half rewards.
    • Professional Outlaw
      • Functionally similar to ‘Criminal Mastermind’ from GTA Online.
      • Rewards RDO$30,000 and 30 Gold.
      • Will permanently offer this reward.

Sisika Records Assault:

  • 2 – 4 Players
  • Horley contacts the player with a plan to fully exonerate them from the murder of Mr LeClerk.
  • Three setups:
    • Setup one has players locate a small steamboat and stash it near the Bayou.
    • Setup two has players source a set of the Australian Juggernaut Armour.
    • Setup three has players rob the prison warden’s home in Saint Denis for keys to the evidence room.
  • The finale: Players take the boat over to Sisika, with one designated “Juggernaut” player. They fight their way up the shores and through the prison until they get to the records room. The players must then use the warden’s keys to enter the room.
    When entering the evidence room, players can choose to either take their own evidence, or burn the entire room for an honour boost or penalty.
    Players must then get back on the boat and ride up to Van Horn, whilst fighting off chasing guards.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Pinkerton Special Agent Austin Smith inspects the records room, and is seen talking to surviving guards and prisoner witnesses.
  • Completion unlock: 20% off fast travel prices.
  • Prize: RDO$1000 and 10 Gold to split.

The Valentine Auction:

  • 1 – 4 Players
  • Cripps tells the player of a bunch of sheep coming into the auction yard at Valentine, and that he’s got a perfect plan to steal them.
  • Four setups:
    • Setup one has players practise herding sheep by working for Emerald Ranch.
    • Setup two has players sabotage the auction yard fences by loosening the nails under the cover of night.
    • Setup three has Player Team 1 kill a selection of auction guards, whilst Player Team 2 sneaks the group’s names onto the auction list.
    • Setup four has Player Team 1 blackmail ‘Derek Rook’ to be their face for buying the sheep, whilst Player Team 2 prevents competitors from bidding via intimidation or murder.
  • The finale: Players attend the auction in which they place bids on the sheep. Upon completion of the auction, the players must begin to herd away the sheep before Derek has paid for them. They ride them back to a safe location at Horseshoe Overlook and into a temporary pen. They are then attacked by a gang of O’Driscolls, who saw them herd the sheep away. Players must fight off three waves of O’Driscolls before completing the heist.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Agent Smith confronts Derek in the Valentine jail. Derek, afraid of the players, refuses to give up information. Agent Smith stabs Derek in the shoulder with a knife, causing Derek to ‘spill the beans’ on his affair with his wife, and about the players’ plan.
  • Completion unlock: Sheep wool poncho.
  • Prize: RDO$1500 and 15 Gold to split.

The Blackwater Bank Job:

  • 2 – 4 Players
  • Cripps mentions the Van Der Linde’s failed attempt at Saint Denis, and how the bank is now on high alert. He suggests returning to Blackwater in order to steal bags of money, which are supposedly being used as new Pinkerton funds.
  • Four setups:
    • Setup one has players steal an armoured coach and store it near Quaker’s Cove.
    • Setup two has players find some Revenue Agent outfits, with the help of Maggie Fike
    • Setup three has the players steal some shire horses from the Braithwaite stable, and kill Braithwaite family members trying to rebuild the manor.
    • Setup four has the players sneak into multiple police departments, leaving tips that other banks are about to be robbed in order to confuse law and direct Pinkertons elsewhere.
  • The finale: Players assassinate some Revenue Agents on their way to the bank and dispose of their bodies. Players take their own wagon whilst dressed as the agents and ride into Blackwater.
    Upon entering the bank, the law show up as they didn’t fall for the trick and knew players would be targeting Pinkerton funds. Outside, Austin Smith confronts the players, threatening to take them in – But mentions he also won’t hesitate to kill them. He orders the officers to storm the bank, before leaving the area. Players must simultaneously rob the safes and defend the bank, before shooting their way out and fleeing on the wagon to Thieves Landing.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Austin Smith is seen sitting in an office reading a newspaper article about the heist. He crumples up the paper and aggressively throws it at the wall.
  • Completion unlock: Revenue Agent disguise
  • Prize: RDO$2000 and 20 Gold to split.

The Caliga Hall Raid:

  • 2 – 4 Players
  • Samson comes to the camp, greeting Cripps. He says he’s got the perfect opportunity for the players, seen as the Grays have been greatly weakened after the Rhodes massacre.
  • Four setups:
    • Setup one has the players capture a guard for information. They can kill him for an honour penalty or let him go for more guards at the mansion in the finale.
    • Setup two has the players get in touch with a group of Braithwaites, in order to cause a distraction in the finale. The Braithwaites have the players kill five targets for a trade.
    • Setup three has the players disrupt Gray Family supply wagons in order to reduce guard strength.
    • Setup four has players visit the Grays under the guise as potential tobacco customers, in order to case the house. One person enters with Cripps to distract the residents as the rest look around.
  • The finale: Players sneak in at night and try to stealthily make their way around the mansion, stealing as many valuables as they can find. As they enter, the Braithwaites start causing a riot outside, bringing most of the guards away. If the players are caught, the heist will go loud.
    on the way out, the players must get on some prize horses in the Grays stables and ride them away to the remains of Braithwaite Manor.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Austin Smith catches up with Samson. Austin pressures him for information, but Samson is resistant. Samson pulls his gun on Austin but is quickly shot in the back by none other than Agent Andrew Milton.
    Old Man Jones witnesses this and runs back to camp to tell the players about what happened. He advises they give up and flee somewhere, mentioning that Chuparosa is nice this time of year. Cripps tells him to calm down and reminds the players to be extra careful from now on.
    Cut back to Austin and Milton in the Pinkertons office. Austin says Milton’s reputation proceeds him, and that he done great work chasing Dutch’s Boys out of the country. He says he done a good thing in killing Samson, as he was responsible for hundreds of robberies, but he wasn’t the main target.
  • Completion unlock: Samson’s revolver and outfit.
  • Prize: RDO$2500 and 20 Gold to split.

Brandywine Train Stop:

  • 2 – 4 Players
  • Sadie comes to the player camp and mentions how Leviticus Cornwall has been causing a hassle for the Van Der Linde gang for too long. She mentions a train nearby, and that by attacking it, the players could help alleviate attention from them. As payment, players get to keep all the loot.
  • Five setups:
    • Setup one has the players locate and steal some powerful explosives to derail the train.
    • Setup two has players steal a train schedule from the Saint Denis station, so they know when the train is due.
    • Setup three has players meet up with a fence to sell the bonds to, but they are attacked by Pinkertons sent by Austin Smith.
    • Setup four has players rescue the fence from Van Horn, as he didn’t manage to escape the attacking Pinkertons.
    • Setup five has players set up the explosives on the rail bridge at Brandywine Drop, and clear Murfree Brood from the area.
  • The finale: Players wait by the line with Cripps until the train passes. Some of Cornwall’s guards and Pinkertons are riding ahead of the train and attack the players who must now fend them off. After the attackers are killed, a cutscene triggers showing the train nearing. The players ride down towards it as Cripps detonates the explosives, sending the train and carriages flying off the rails and into the shallow water. The players climb into the carriage and search around for the bonds. When they climb out, they find out that Agent Milton and the Pinkertons have captured Cripps. A deadeye scene triggers, where the players have to save Cripps from being killed, but Milton manages to flee. Everyone must then call their horses and ride out to safety in Ambarino.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Agent Smith and Milton are at the scene of the heist, where the mess is being cleaned up. They burst into an argument, and Smith criticises Milton over rumours of Dutch’s gang surviving the orchestrated boat crash and fighting to make their way back to the United States. He calls Milton a pathetic agent and tells him he will no longer be working on this case. Milton clenches his fist, and returns to Agent Ross in Annesburg, saying that they must now kill the Van Der Lindes, by any means necessary.
  • Completion unlock: Cornwall Train Carriage random event, double valuables can be carried.
  • Prize: RDO$4000 and 20 Gold to split.

Fort Mercer Vault:

  • 4 Players
  • Cripps tells the players of the legend of a secret vault underneath Fort Mercer. He says he believes if the players really prepare, they can steal the masses of gold.
  • Five setups
    • Setup one has players locate a battering ram for the front gates.
    • Setup two has players locate a war wagon to charge into the fort with.
    • Setup three has players steal a wagon full of dynamite.
    • Setup four has the players recruit a crew consisting of Irish, Shaky and Landon Ricketts, with Cripps also saying he wants a piece of this pie.
    • Setup five has players steal horse armour in order to protect the horses pulling the wagons and battering ram.
  • The finale: The players and backup ride in a convoy to Fort Mercer. Upon arriving, it is heavily fortified at the front, so the players must kill all of the enemies defending the fort, they can use the war wagon to assist with this. Whilst the players are focusing on attacking, Irish, Shaky, Landon and Cripps charge the gates with the battering ram, knocking it down. The players can then charge into the fort on foot, continuing to shoot through everyone in there. They must make their way through the buildings on the left, and down a lot of stairs as they defend the four NPC characters who are carrying dynamite for the vault.
    Upon reaching the vault, the dynamite is set and the players can charge in, filling their loot bags with gold. The NPC characters fill the empty dynamite crates with gold, too.
    After collecting all the loot, everyone must shoot their way out and get back into the war wagon to ride near to the border for safety.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Agent Smith is seen being criticised for turning Milton away, and is told that if the players aren’t caught by the end of the month – He will lose more than his job. Smith walks outside and into an alleyway, where he takes his frustrations out by beating a passing drunk.
  • Completion unlock: Landon Ricketts Wandering Stranger – Offering high-paying outlaw Stranger Missions to the player.
  • Prize: RDO$6000 and 20 Gold to split

Attack on Tumbleweed Manor:

  • 2 – 4 Players
  • The Sheriff of Tumbleweed has put out an advert for hired guns, and the players approach to help. The Sheriff explains how Terrence O’Dowd (The disgruntled husband originally seen in ‘Love and Honour’) has gone mad after being abandoned by his wife again.
  • Three setups
    • Setup one has players vandalise various businesses owned by Terrence around the state.
    • Setup two has players contact Irish in order to break the lock of the basement and break into the mansion.
    • Setup three has the players prepare to attack the mansion, but they are kidnapped by Agent Smith and his men. The players have to swing to break out of their seats, stealthily take out a few guards, and retrieve their weapons to fight their way out.
  • The finale: Players storm the mansion from the basement, shooting their way through Terrence’s guards and confront Terrence, who is hiding in his bedroom. The players must hogtie him and carry him to the Tumbleweed Sheriff’s office.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Smith confronts the Tumbleweed Sheriff for working with criminals, threatening to take his job. This is to set up the Sheriff’s firm grip on the town seen in the epilogue of Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Completion unlock: Permanent 2x RDO$ payouts for Bounties started in Tumbleweed.
  • Prize: RDO$2000 and 10 Gold to split.

The Annesburg Mine Plunder:

  • 2 – 4 Players
  • Horley and Jessica once again come by the player camp, telling the player they have a plan to hurt Jeremiah Shaw and fully exact their revenge on Mr LeClerk’s gang of killers. They mention he has a high stake in the Annesburg mine.
  • Four setups
    • Setup one has players get information about the mine from a disgruntled worker, including what they’ll need for the heist.
    • Setup two has the players locate a heavy minecart in which they can store the recently found deposit of gold.
    • Setup three has the players find a strongman in the Saint Denis Fight Club to push the heavy cart up the ramps in the mine, they must rescue him from an ambush of other strongmen who he was meant to take a dive for. Players must beat these strongmen in hand-to-hand combat, so they aren’t banned from the Fight Club. Strongmen are brute-type enemies.
    • Setup four has the players grab miner disguises, so they can get into the mine easily.
  • The finale: Players stroll into the mine with the strongman and have to search the area for gold storage. They must avoid raising suspicion by mining veins of ore. Upon finding the gold storage, they must wheel the cart to it, when a cutscene triggers and they start loading the gold onto the minecart. As the last chunk of gold is added, they hear gunshots and screaming. It turns out, another gang of outlaws were planning on robbing the mine on the same day. Players must defend the strongman from the outlaws as he pushes the cart out. Players then load the gold onto a wagon and flee to safety.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Jeremiah Shaw is seen sitting in his office, writing some documents as Agent Smith comes in to tell him about the robbery. He slams his pen down and utters the name “LeClerk”.
  • Completion unlock: Pickaxe melee weapon and miner outfit, ‘Bar Fight’ random encounter.
  • Prize: RDO$3000 and 15 Gold to split.

The Ferry of Jeremiah Shaw:

  • 4 Players
  • Horley and Jessica return to the camp, congratulating the player on plundering the Annesburg mine. They say they have one more plan to end Jeremiah Shaw and make a lot of money in the process – Rob and destroy his party boat.
  • Five setups
    • Setup one has players locate a set of special Litchfield Repeaters, which can hold double the typical ammo.
    • Setup two has players steal tickets to the ferry party, they can kill or spare the original ticket owners for a drop or raise in honour.
    • Setup three has the players poison some of the guards’ meals, so they will be off sick when they intend on robbing the boat.
    • Setup four has the players rescue Jessica LeClerk, who has been kidnapped due to Jeremiah’s suspicion after her killing the other three partners and having the mine robbed. On their way out, the players find some high-power explosives.
    • Setup five has players sneak onto the boat ahead of time and hide explosives around the engine, and other key areas. The players then have to hide a detonation cord along parts of the boat out of sight, so they can safely destroy the boat.
  • The finale: Players sneak onto the boat the night before the attack, this time with their bags and guns with them. They hide in a cabin until the boat starts moving, when they break out and begin the robbery. Player Team 1 robs partygoers of their money and valuables, whilst Player Team 2 looks for safes and other storage containers in order to collect more valuable loot. At the end of the heist, they confront Jeremiah Shaw and hogtie him to the explosives. They set off the bombs from the detonator, causing it to begin sinking and flee for the life rafts, upon which they row to safety. (Two players per boat, one shooting, one rowing)
    The players beach their boats at Bard’s Crossing, completing the heist.
  • In the epilogue cutscene, Austin confronts the players as they get off their boats at Bard’s Crossing. He monologues about the crimes they’ve committed over the period of time he’s been hunting them down and how as much as he’d love to watch them rot in prison, he’s just sick of them. He says there’s snipers stationed on the nearby cliffs and bridge to kill the players from afar when he gives the word, before gesturing for them to do it. Nothing happens. He looks around, continuing to make wider gestures until Jessica LeClerk, Horley and Cripps arrive. Cripps throws down one of the snipers’ guns, showing that they killed them already. Upon realising what’s happened, Austin pulls out his gun in a last effort to kill everyone, but a deadeye scene triggers, and all of the characters riddle him with bullets until he falls to the ground, dead. Everybody heads to the Smithfield Saloon in Valentine in order to celebrate their recent victory.
    Back at the Pinkerton Offices, Andrew Milton is told about the demise of Austin Smith, and is informed that all of Austin’s resources will be merged with his in order to capture the Van Der Linde gang, who are reportedly on their way back from Guarma.
  • Completion unlock: Jessica LeClerk and Horley’s outfits, Jessica’s “luxury wagon” as seen in ‘Destroyed by Grief’
  • Prize: RDO$8000 and 20 Gold to split.

Miscellaneous Content and Additions:

  • A “Heists” tab has been added to the ‘Progress’ menu, in which players can track medals and completion for each Heist setup and finale.
  • Items in the player Lockbox / Mailbox can now be filtered by categories.
  • Players can now store up to five more horses at their stable.
  • Honour now has more of an impact on gameplay:
    • Shopkeepers will offer players discounts for high honour and make low honour players pay more money.
    • Revenue Agents are more likely to let high honour players pass inspections during Moonshine sales.
    • Low honour players are less likely to be attacked by NPCs during trader deliveries.
    • Madam Nazar will pay less to low honour players for collection sets.
    • Harriet Davenport will pay less to low honour players for animal samples.
    • Loyalty missions can no longer be completed if a player has maximum dishonour.
    • Pacify and tame skills will no longer work if a player has maximum dishonour.
    • Low honour players are more likely to be attacked by bounty hunters, even if their bounty is below RDO$10.
    • High honour players are more likely to be attacked by thieves, Murfree Brood and Skinner Brothers.
    • High honour players are more likely to encounter packs of wolves.
    • Low honour players are more likely to be randomly charged by a deer.
  • Outlaw Pass will be themed around Lagras, with dirty, torn dungarees and creepy face paint. There is also an outfit themed around the Guarma guards.
  • Added a variety of new voice lines to ‘Blind Man Cassidy’, including:
    • “Men seek to bring pain down upon you, only to abolish pain of their own.”
    • “Remain on the move, my friend. It is the only way they shall not catch you.”
    • “I see a boat… And screaming. So much pain. No, there’s two. You’re at the centre of one, your friends in the other. What did you do?”
    • “A castle on the rocks, waves of navy and aquamarine, and two types of sickness. One in the chest, one in the heart.”
    • “It is clear when the time comes – You provide. For that, you are to be admired.”


First thing I’d like to talk about this update is the fact that through most of Chapter 5, the Van Der Linde Gang’s top members are stuck away in Guarma. This gives us a perfect opportunity to take the Pinkertons from the story-mode and have them focus on our Online characters whilst they take on their own Heists.

For these heists, I wanted to take inspiration from GTA Online’s original two Heist DLCs, or the most recent ‘Contract’ update, focusing on a more linear and narrative experience. I think this works better as it establishes our characters as real players in the Western crime world.

Having the planning table cost 10 gold at the camp may originally be a little controversial, but it helps justify the large payouts of cash and gold throughout the nine heists within the update.

I also wanted to have a replayable, overarching story to help add to the narrative of Red Dead Online, and tying it to Sadie’s request at the start of the season really helps bring the singleplayer and Online worlds together in a new way. GTA Online’s later heists only allow players to experience the story once, which is sad considering the overall quality and work put into them, so having it be replayable is definitely a huge improvement.

Given the high-crime nature of this update, I wanted to add a bit more of a focus on honour to Online, helping it match the singleplayer a little more. Locking out certain content for different levels of honour, changing payouts and rewarding players based upon their levels really makes the honour system feel like it has actual worth in Red Dead Online.

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