Criminals/civilians need more jobs. I get bored quickly when I try to make money. And right now we don't have many options. I get roleplaying is the focus but it's nice to make decent cash with a decent job, whether civilian or criminal. For a meth dealer trying to buy a business (and/or decent car) will take several weeks. Grinding can be fun and I understand that the time you spend doing something makes the risk of your money being taken by police much more rewarding if you're not caught, but shit should pay a bit better for budding criminals/civilians.
The other day when a buddy and I robbed a store we role played and the officer that came into the store did as well, but soon as we came outside (with my gun to hostage officer's head) we were both obliterated within seconds. I didn't even see who tased me—I dropped and that was that.
I think a good way to combat that is to give us access to shotguns/an SMG, making the penalty for having/using one very high, and maybe access to an illegal SMG with a slightly higher penalty. You can balance the shotguns and an SMG with fines/time. It's ridiculous to me the police have a one-shot weapon (taser) and access to guns above pistols but criminals do not. I mean already if you get popped doing something heavy you have to face jail time/fines, and if you're trying to do something heavy like take a cop hostage you're guaranteed to get tased. There is no way to combat a taser other than blasting first. In such a scenario the hostage cop could radio that suspects are heavily armed, which could then make responding officers a bit more prepared. But the threat of an SMG/Shotgun would make responding officers think before getting into range to use a taser—especially when they just drive in and don't roleplay, they just wait for an opportunity to tase you. I've been tasered twice right off the bat, and each time I've no time to react. They click—I'm down. I'm out here every weekend trying to stir up trouble, and it's not particularly fun when an officer can just click and down you.