Looks like you can take your clown makeup off - for now - as Red Dead Online has finally released a significant update, one that introduces legendary animals, a new naturalist role, and a fresh Outlaw Pass.
As detailed in the extensive patch notes, the biggest addition provided by the update is the new naturalist specialist role, which opens a path around "tracking, studying and hunting animals". The role introduces two new free roam events, two naturalist role-related stores, a wilderness camp that lets players create a temporary campfire, a Gypsy Cob horse breed and various new clothing items.
Like the other frontier pursuits, you'll need to splash a bit of Red Dead Online's premium currency, Gold Bars, in order to buy the item required to unlock it. In the case of the naturalist role this will set you back 25 Gold Bars (the same as the moonshiner role added in a previous update). If the hippie life appeals to you, visit the Welcome Center in Strawberry and talk to Harriet Davenport to get started.
Something that many players wanted to see added to the online mode was legendary animal hunting. Starting with today's update, players can now hunt seven different animal species - each with three different subspecies - either by purchasing maps from Davenport or by progressing through the naturalist role, which may net you some rarer subspecies. On the flipside of this, there are now some new missions to protect animals from poachers, which can be picked up by talking to Davenport (or may appear dynamically as you progress through the naturalist role).
More generally, the patch notes detail "five new dynamic events" for the world of Red Dead Online, new sets of weekly collections for Collector role players, several new daily challenges, and a bunch of new clothing items, tonics, animal trinkets, crafting recipes, hair styles, emotes and weapon variants. A couple of new weapons have been introduced, including the Elephant Rifle and Improved Bow, and you can also pick up an Advanced Camera with improved manoeuvrability and the ability to identify animals... and use filters. I'm calling it Snaphat.
In other news, Red Dead Online's Outlaw Pass is entering its third season, and will last from 28th July to 19th October. It'll set you back 40 Gold Bars - a fairly hefty amount of premium currency - but it's possible to earn all this back if you're dedicated enough to grind the pass. For all your XP-earning troubles, you'll be rewarded with a variety of new clothing items, weapon finishes and role XP boosts.
Alongside all the new additions, the patch brings dozens of fixes addressing everything from matchmaking to role content. There's even an improvement for Red Dead's Story Mode, as Online's weapon locker will now be available at the player camp from Chapter 2 onwards, meaning you can remove unused weapons. For the sake of everyone trying out the new naturalist role, let's hope Rockstar has also sorted out those lingering animal spawn problems.