Some Red Dead Online Players Aren't Thrilled About Its New Conservationist NPC

Some Red Dead Online Players Aren't Thrilled About Its New Conservationist NPC

Kill an animal, even in self defense? Get sprayed.

If you want to be a completionist in Red Dead Online, there's no way around it: you'll need to hunt and kill some animals. You don't need to play the game like it's Big Buck Hunter just to get by, but hunting is a way to earn money and get particular items, so most players will do it to some degree. Now, as part of the new Naturalist update, there's a character who's vehemently opposed to seeing harm come to animals—and she lets players know it, too.

Harriet Davenport is one of the stars of the new update and a character that any player going down the Naturalist role path has to interact with. Harriet gives players an Animal Field Guide, can provide new items, and tasks players with researching rare animals or defending them from poachers. Collecting samples from animals will still require shooting them (quite a lot of times for bigger creatures) with tranquilizer ammo, but if players kill an animal, Harriet will know and chastise them for it.

This can also result in Harriet spraying the player with her tranquilizer concoction and refusing to work with them for a period of time. The Naturalist update also gives Harriet a foil, Gus MacMillan, who will reward the player handsomely for hunting animals. For folks trying to race through the Naturalist missions, Harriet's strict rules about non-lethality toward animals have many siding with Gus.

The front page of Red Dead Online subreddit is currently rife with memes about Harriet. Some folks don't like being told not to hunt, others are upset with how the Field Guide Harriet gives players actually asks players to kill animals. Right now, the top-voted meme is about how Harriet always knows what players have been up to, regardless of whether they killed a small bird or roll up to her tent in a freshly-tailored coat from MacMillan.

My personal favorites are the posts from players who aren't siding with either Harriet or Gus, but instead with the Trader role's NPC, JB Cripps. The Naturalist update also delivered a fix for Red Dead Online's low animal spawn rate, so now Traders who need a steady supply of animal carcasses and pelts for business can stick with Cripps and make good money.

Still, Red Dead Online players waited this long for a new update, so having to wait a bit more for Harriet to chill out with the spray bottle doesn't seem like too big of an ask. If you need help getting started with the Naturalist role yourself, our guides section has you covered.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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