Could Rockstar have discovered some way to save game data without the Cloud?
The latest 'GTA Online' update news contain a familiar refrain, fixes for lost items, cash, and online progress and a promise that the first part of the Stimulus package is coming soon. Of more interest though is Rockstar's first patch note:
"Built in measures to prevent users from losing their progress when there is a cloud outage"
Right now, there's no telling exactly what "built in measure" is in use to safeguard player progress in the event that the cloud save system has a problem, as it has had regularly since launch, but one possibility seems obvious. Major Nelson recently mentioned that the 360 has more than a 1,000 games available to play, and it's a safe bet that 99.9% of those game use a built in measure like the hard drive or memory card, or USB drive if you will, to save player data without worrying about Rockstar's infant cloud system.
The idea that at this point, 'GTA Online' does a "is the Rockstar Cloud working" check , and then creates a temporary save file if the check fails sounds a lot more sensible for a game whose primary purpose is to make the player grind for cash than regularly allowing player progress to partially or fully disappear.
The two other patch notes also contain a hint of that offline save magic:
"Built in a number of measures to protect players’ cash balances even if there are network problems"
"Fixed an issue where on rare occasions during network problems the player could lose their Online vehicle or mods after exiting GTA Online"
Author: Brian Hoss