Happy Holidays everyone. I hope your days are filled with egg nog and cheer! Our days are filled with technomancy at all hours of the day and night. Here are some quick updates.
Brand new Overkill systems for Joker have just arrived in our data center and we are now working on getting them deployed as soon as possible.
The engine update is proceeding along at a brisk pace, with no significant delays being introduced. Thus, it is still on track to be completed early next year.
Server / Game Performance
After some exhausting research we have identified one possible cause of the latency. The issue, as you know, has been a particularly vexing and elusive problem to nail down, and not something we could just throw time/resources at. Because of the nature and how it might help things, we've gone ahead and recklessly tossed it onto both OTW and Colby. If you play on Colby, consider hopping in, performing a /latencytest or two if you run into any trouble, and sending it our way. We're hopeful, but we've been hopeful in the past, so the only thing remaining where our heart used to be is a smoldering lump of coal unwilling to let itself be hurt again.
We've some events in store for the holiday period so make sure you stay up to date on the Forums, Facebook, and on Twitter.
We're aiming at releasing a client update on Monday providing it passes testing over the weekend. Maintenance should be under three hours and will start Monday at 10 AM GMT.
Mini-games (Snowball fight)
Players will now be invulnerable to vehicle collisions in Snowball Wars districts. Players will also have Car Surfer's functionality as standard now - without needing the modification equipped on their character (Note: You'll be able to surf on both Friendly and Enemy vehicles, even during a Snowball Fight).
Moved the snowball fight minigame 'APB' audio to whenever a player enters the fight and added the mission lost soundfx for when they leave a Snowball Fight (after the timer has expired).
Added a message telling the player to go to the snowball fight when they are not in the minigame zone.
Fixed team kill notification showing twice for team and for enemies in the Snowball Wars districts.
Fixed a mini-game issue that could lead to a client crash.
We're aiming at releasing a client update tomorrow (Thursday) providing it passes testing today. Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM GMT.
Regular Action Districts - Elves
The trouble making Elves return to the Financial district and they now have their own Daily Activities, which reward Joker Tickets.
If you are an Enforcer you'll be able to find "Elforcer" in Merchant Park, and if you are a Criminal you'll be able to find "Criminelf" in Border, just off Jagalchi Street.
HoHoHoPGL (Snowball firing grenade launcher). This weapon has four "Chipmas" (trademarked by Farfletched) tunes that it will randomly play for its wind-up.
A Snowball. A deadly Snowball. So deadly, we've capitalized the S.
Silent Night & Jingle Bells Themes.
A Snowman Head.
Custom Eyes and Mouths for your Snowman Head.
Coal Eyes and a Carrot Nose for your Snowman Head, plus the title "Snowman".
NOTE: There should be an introductory mail for the Elves, and then a mail for each standing level you gain with them.
The Red Nosed Criminal
The Red Nosed Enforcer
All these titles can be bought from the Elves for 10 Joker Tickets (faction-specific titles are only for their respective faction)
New Mode - Minigames - Snowball Wars
1.14.1 brings a new type rule set to APB called "minigames". Minigames is a new system that allows us to create new types of events. The initial version of this system supports a new and unique mode that was specially created for Christmas: Snowball Wars!
Snowball Wars takes place in separate districts which, instead of missions, run a Snowball Fight mini-game that will direct all players in the district to a unique location for a massive snowball fight! (Snowballs and OPGL snowball launchers are force equipped).
At the start of each snowball fight, the system chooses a district block (from a list of eligible blocks we define) and informs players that the snowball fight is there. Once a player sets foot inside the block, they are PvP unlocked for as long as they stay in that block (plus a few seconds after, to avoid exploits). While PvP unlocked, players can kill each other in order to decrement the lives for the other team (defined by the number of players in the district when the snowball fight started). If there are no players of a side in a block (represented by a flashing faction logo on the HUD), then their lives will slowly decline (the minimum number of lives for a snowball Fight is 10 per side - when there are more than 2 players per faction, every available player in the district will add 3 to this count).
Once a team has 0 lives left, they lose the fight and all players are rewarded small amounts of cash for taking part. A new role will also be incremented, which is scored in the following way: 1 point for taking part (killing / assisting / dying honourably at least once) and an extra point for winning.
After the fight has finished a new block will be selected and a new snowball fight starts!
Complete the new "Snowball Wars!" role to earn a Santa Hat and the new Reindeer Antlers for your character!
Please Note: The following will not count as valid Snowball Fight kills:
Out of area suicides
Suicides without an enemy assist
Kills with cars
Kills that are made by weapons other than the snowball launcher and snowball
Kills made by people not assigned to the Snowball Fight
Kills made by non-weapon explosions
Flak jacket will be disabled in Snowball Wars districts.
In time, we hope to further expand upon this minigames system so that we can bring all sorts of new, dynamic, and interesting gameplay mechanics to APB:R. Please let us know what you think on our forums and a very Merry Christmas from everyone at Reloaded.
Miscellaneous Changes and Fixes
Modifications (Mobile Radar Tower)
Now shows the opponents to the player's team, rather than just the individual player who owns the modification.
Added descriptions for the Punk Pack clothing items.
Altered the message telling the user about the use of the colour picker, depending on whether the selected vehicle component is interior or not.
In the Garage, ensure that wheels use the default colour text (as with interior components).
When you die inside a vehicle with blowtorch activated, you will now no longer respawn with a blowtorch in your hand.
Fixed an issue that previously caused the vehicle icon, that is present when using Mobile Radar Tower, to still be present on screen after the vehicle was destroyed.
Fixed the volume level of the STAC (previously, it was a tad loud...).
Fixed an issue that could previously cause HUD markers not to be shown above players heads when they were using certain modifications.
Asylum - UI - Dual VIP Missions
Fixing UI issue where opposing team would show reversed titles for 'VIP Lives' and 'VIP Takeouts'.
Today I’ve got something exciting to talk about. While the official announcement is coming later, I wanted to be the first to introduce you to a brand new entry in the APB universe designed exclusively for mobile: APB Retribution!
Developed by our friends at Blazing Griffin, APB Retribution is a single-player top-down tactical combat game launching later this month. It features highly-intuitive touch controls, lethal one-hit kills, and ultra-badass hand-painted visuals for all characters, levels, and scenery.
Soooo what’s this all about then?
Well, you’re supposed to be. Only someone messed up, and now you’re back and looking for blood. Your quest for revenge will see you claw your way up from the city’s seedy underbelly to scatter corpses all over never-before-seen San Paro locales such as the municipal dump, derelict apartments, subway tunnels, and airport. You’ll have a ton of ranged and melee weapons to quickly brutalize enemies, but you’ll want to stick to the shadows, avoid making too much noise, and plan your shots carefully lest you find yourself on the wrong end of a 5-person beatdown. Fans of the outstanding Hotline Miami will feel right at home.
Shouldn’t you be WORKING ON APB RELOADED?!/1/!
Totally. Retribution is entirely separate and in addition to APB Reloaded. Blazing Griffin are a talented developer located down the street from our offices, a setup that has given us the opportunity to collaborate closely while still affording both teams the opportunity to focus on their core responsibilities. Things like the forthcoming Christmas events, server performance and the engine upgrade have been—and will continue—to proceed according to schedule. More on those soon!
APB Retribution will be out for iOS this month, and on Android soon after. Check out the site for game info, screenshots, and video.
We're aiming at releasing a client update on Tuesday. Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM GMT.
We've fixed an issue that was causing Financial districts to crash, resulting in us having to disable the district. Financial will be back up and running as normal once this patch is live. Our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience this caused.
Fixed an issue that prevented the "True Ogre" from being tradable.
Fixed an issue that was preventing female characters from being able to wear the denim and leather trousers that come as part of the Punk Pack.
Removed the semi-transparent square texture that would appear in the middle of the screen when you died.
Fixed a minor text issue with the new Criminal Preset vehicle that Gumball gives away at his maximum level.
Mobile radar tower
The Mobile Radar Tower will now show enemy locations for your entire team and not just the owner of the modification.
Slight visual tweaks have been made to the preset vehicle Aletta gives away at her maximum level.
We're aiming at releasing a client update on Monday. Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM GMT.
Aletta Cadagan and Gumball!
Aletta and Gumball are the two new contacts in 1.14.0. They’re specialist contacts, that have twenty levels of progression and are available to high end players. We’ve stuffed those twenty levels with clothing inventory and outfit capacity increases, unlocks for some absolutely top of the line vehicles and more brand new modifications than you’ll know what to do with. We’ve also added an unlock for the Flare Gun and some new titles to help you show everyone that you’re on the bleeding edge of progression.
Aletta and Gumball work for the Praetorian and G-Kings factions respectively and operate out of the Financial district. Aletta’s goals are much darker than previous contacts, with other members of the Praetorians thinking that bringing her into the city might have been like opening Pandora’s box – is she going to do more harm than good in the city? Will the ends justify the means?
As for Gumball… well, he’s just in it for the explosions. Nothing burns quite like a car after ten seconds of sustained fire with an ALI-G, huh?
If you are an Enforcer you'll find Aletta Cadagan on the Beacon and if you are a Criminal you'll find Gumball in the New Cross Skate park.
The following new mods can be earned with Aletta and Gumball or they can be leased from Wilde in the Social district:
Blow Torch (Orange Character Mod): This blowtorch will repair any metal objects it hits, especially useful to keep your vehicle in good repair. Not recommended for use as emergency first aid.
Mobile Radar Tower (Blue Vehicle Mod): A Mobile Radar Tower in the trunk of your vehicle can detect nearby enemies and show them on your radar even when you are not inside the vehicle. Any enemies detected in this way can see your vehicle on their radar.
Remote Detonator (Orange Character Mod): A custom detonator paired with small explosives planted within your personal vehicle allows you to explode it from a distance.
Muffler (Red Vehicle Mod): A muffled exhaust hides your vehicle from enemy radar as long as you are not accelerating. Additional tweaks reduce engine braking, allowing you to coast for long distances.
High Burn Fuel (Purple Vehicle Mod): Specialised Fuel that only ignites under heavy compression removes the dangerous explosion that often occurs under fire during the San Paro daily commute.
Miscellaneous Changes and Fixes
New hud feature
When players are targeting a vehicle, they now see that vehicle's modifiers on the HUD.
When a modification is activate (for example a deployed Field Supplier) your team/group will now see a unique icon on the HUD and Radar, so that they know you have it active.
Vehicles will now continue to show up on the radar, if a player triggers Brick and then bails out the vehicle (so they can now use it as a diversionary tactic).
The following changes have been made to Kevlar 3 / 2 and Clotting Agent 3:
Kevlar 2 - Player run speed reduction from -15% to -10%.
Kevlar 3 - Player Sprint speed reduction from -30% to -20%.
Clotting Agent 3 - Player Regen Delay from -90% to -80%. (This also fixes the long standing typo where it says -100%). Also Reduces Regen Time increase from +133% to +100%.
Added an auto kick system for excessive suicides.
For the random rewards at the end of the mission, if the reward is a symbol then use the symbol's texture for the icon shown in the HUD.
Show the names of random rewards at the end of the mission.
We now allow players to exit Fight Club districts while on a mission.
Shortening the subjects of random reward biographies to fit within the above display.
NPC Pedestrians (Optimisations)
Fixed an issue where invalid location data was sometimes sent to clients when a pedestrian is killed.
Fixed a client crash that could occur when switching districts while grouped.
Prohibit the creation of clans when the elective spawning map is open.
Activatable vehicle mods will no longer be blank if you have a character mod equipped.
Raise events for each item delivered. Delivering multiple rewards simultaneously now rewards you the same as delivering them individually
Passenger's task items are now auto-delivered while you are in the vehicle.
Fixed an issue that would cause your client to crash if you tried to abandon an unopposed mission.
Missions / LTL
Stunning a team-mate out of a mission no longer gives you a demerit.
Fixed an issue where you could not hit a car in certain locations when a driver or passenger was in one of the front seats.
Radar jammer no longer jams your own radar when you are Notoriety 5.
Removing ability for players to run along a thin ledge of a building to access a camping spot on the Money Maker Warehouse in Waterfront.
Fixing floating Vehicle spawn symbols at St Medina's Hospital.
APB now applies Ninjette FM Tactical Belt customisation correctly (black with grey outline) and has the correct icon.
Fixed minor issues with CSG description text.
Environment Fixes (Asylum)
Replaced boxes in the DJ room that had no collision with correct prefab that does have collision.
Fixed Graffiti decal that was cut in half on one of the interior walls.
Replaced crates in the swimming pool, which players could previously float on top of, with a kickable set.
1.14.0 will be arriving early next week. In the meantime, we've got a quick patch to blaze the trail which includes some changes to shotguns. We’ve heard a lot of talk lately about shotgun usage, especially in gold districts; specifically, the over-application of shotguns. To be clear using shotguns is completely fine, but given that all weapons in APB have situational benefits and drawbacks, we've found that shotguns specifically, based on how they worked, were more powerful in certain situations than they should have been. In today's patch we’ve given a little bit of a rework to the way that every shotgun in the game works: Now, before everyone freaks out, this isn’t a nerf. Nor is it a buff. But it is a change.
WARNING: The following contains technical-sounding game-developey mumbo-jumbo. Proceed at your own risk.
Previously, to calculate shotgun hits, we used a center-point at the middle of the spread of the shotgun. We then put the other pellets around the outside of the point equidistantly from each other. The whole thing was then randomly rotated to give the pellets their spread. This meant we needed a very tight spread in order to get reliable shots at close ranges. The downside to this was that even at extreme ranges (25 meters and up) shotguns were too effective.
The new change defines the number of pellets being fired by the shotgun and then creates a rough circle at the target of the shotgun. The circle is then divided up into a grid and each cell receives a single pellet that’s randomly placed inside that area. Overall this increases the consistency of hitting with shotguns, and as such we've altered damage and pellet numbers for all shotguns to better balance them with this new spread pattern. The total damage output of shotguns haven't changed, but the number of pellets fired has -- most were increased, while the NFAS shoots fewer now.
The important thing to take away from this is that at close range shotguns are still going to be very strong. At ranges of around 18 meters and up -- you know, the range where you should really be thinking "Maybe I shouldn't be using a shotgun" -- you’re not going to have the same ability to deal large amounts of damage inconsistently to enemies. Another thing to note about this change is that currently you're likely to do anywhere between 10% and 80% of a player's health. Now, provided you aim accurately, you're more likely to get 40-65% damage out of each blast.
One of the best things with the shotgun changes is that this new method of calculating spread allows us to tweak shotgun damage and play in ways that simply weren't possible in the past. This will allow us to make the CSG and the JG feel a little more different than they do at the moment and should help us breathe new life into the NFAS. Give ‘em a try, we think you’ll like them -- the new Joker Mystery Box 8 includes the new 'True Ogre' variant of the NFAS with the Double Drum mod.
Also, after seeing some mentions of the engine upgrade, yes it is still proceeding along well! While these postings are primarily concerned with version 14, one of the next postings will give some further progress info on things like the engine upgrade and ongoing performance improvements.
We're aiming at releasing a client update on Friday. Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM GMT.
We've made changes to the way shotgun spread works so that we can better balance how they work within their respective weapon class.
Here are some more details on what we've changed and why:
Previously, to calculate shotgun hits, we used a centre-point at the middle of the spread of the shotgun. We then put the other pellets around the outside of the point equidistantly from each other. The whole thing was then randomly rotated to give the pellets their spread. This meant we needed a very tight spread in order to get reliable shots at close ranges. The downside to this was that even at extreme ranges (25 meters and up) shotguns were too effective.
The new change defines the number of pellets being fired by the shotgun and then creates a rough circle at the target of the shotgun. The circle is then divided up into a grid and each cell receives a single pellet that’s randomly placed inside that area. Overall this increases the consistency of hitting with shotguns, and as such we've altered damage and pellet numbers for all shotguns to better balance them with this new spread pattern.
The important thing to take away from this is that at close range shotguns are still going to be very strong. At ranges of around 18 meters and up -- you know, the range where you should really be thinking "Maybe I shouldn't be using a shotgun" -- you’re not going to have the same ability to potentially deal large amounts of damage to enemies. Another thing to note about this change is that currently you're likely to do anywhere between 10% and 80% of a player's health with each blast. Now, provided you aim accurately, you're more likely to get 40-65% damage out of each blast.
You'll be able to read the full details of these change on our blog shortly.
You'll be able to read the full details of these change on our blog shortly.
During the downtime, we will be adding the title "True Hunter" for all that didn't exploit the bug during the Halloween Event. Additionally, rewards for the Gold Challenge Complete - Joker Tickets will be delivered to all that earned them.
Welcome to the APB Reloaded blog. Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable. Today's update comes from the team on a subject that's been on everybody's mind lately: 14.0
Halloween’s over and done with and we’ve finally managed to pull ourselves out of that candy-powered-coma long enough to unveil the upcoming patch, New Breed Part 4. It’s been a long time coming, but we think that the two new contacts and the changes to vehicles will be worth the wait and add a whole new dynamic to the game.
First of all, let’s all say hello to the new contacts in Financial!
Aletta & Gumball
Aletta and Gumball are the two new contacts coming in 1.14.0. They’re specialist contacts, and have twenty levels of progression and are available to high end players. We’ve stuffed those twenty levels with clothing inventory and outfit capacity increases, unlocks for some absolutely top of the line vehicles and more brand new modifications than you’ll know what to do with. We’ve also added an unlock for the Flare Gun and some new titles to help you show everyone that you’re on the bleeding edge of progression.
Aletta and Gumball work for the Praetorian and G-Kings factions respectively and operate out of the Financial district.
Aletta’s goals are much darker than previous contacts, with other members of the Praetorians thinking that bringing her into the city might have been like opening Pandora’s box – is she going to do more harm than good in the city? Will the ends justify the means?
As for Gumball… well, he’s just in it for the explosions. Nothing burns quite like a car after ten seconds of sustained fire with an ALI-G, huh?
Vehicles, vehicles, vehicles
Both are specifically themed around vehicles. Between the Mobile Radar Tower mod (that highlights enemies near your vehicle), the Blowtorch (that burns your enemies and repairs damage to your vehicle), and the Remote Detonator which turns your beloved vehicle into a bomb on wheels, we’ve really tried to make vehicles much more important. Throw in a Muffler mod that makes your vehicle not show up on radar when you’re coasting and High Burn-Point Fuel that keeps your car from damaging you when it blows up and you're looking at some significant new vehicle-driven (no pun intended) tactics.
With all this change, though, we wanted to make sure everyone is going to stay on a level playing field. You’ll be able to buy leased versions of these modifications in the Joker store to put in your own vehicles and, from 1.14.0 on, whenever you point your reticule at a player vehicle, you’ll be able to see what modifications are on it. That way, you’ll know who’s got the radar tower, who’s got the spawn point and who’s got the ammo resupply. Prioritise targets and play tactical.
This is just a small slice of what's coming. Keep checking back for even more information on what you'll be able to find when 1.14.0 hits next week!
The contest entries this year were so incredible I want to puke. In a good way. Like, it makes me nauseous to look at how good they all were. To everyone who participated, you've all outdone yourselves. There were over 500 submissions and all of them stellar beyond belief.
That meant 500 agonizing decisions.
Picking winners was not easy. There were very few disqualifications for not following the rules, and there were a fair number of entrants who took ‘pop culture’ as literal as possible, giving us some great music-personality themed submissions. As far as the judging went, we interpreted pop-culture as broadly as possible here; if your submission was recognizable to us from anything we’d have read, seen, watched, or played, it was considered valid. Submissions were evaluated fiercely on the following criteria:
How closely they matched their source material
Overall level of effort
Commitment to the character; this included anything like props, billboards, posing, or anything that really sold the character
So let’s get this started, shall we?
Because ALL of the submissions were of such insanely high quality, everyone who participated is getting 3 days of Premium and a Power Joker Mystery Box 7. Bam. That just happened.
Even though narrowing it down to the final winners was so difficult, we wanted to expand the prizes to include everyone we thought still did an exceptional job.Honorable Mentions will receive 1,000 G1C for their effort!
Note: All winners per category are listed in no particular order. Winners and Honorable Mentions are going out now and should be delivered to all participants within 48 hours. Participant Awards may take slightly longer. Thank you for your patience.
Again we want to thank everyone for participating. I think this was the best costume contest yet!
On another note, 1.14.0 will be arriving soon. Check back early next week for a sneak preview of some of the upcoming stuff!
We're aiming at releasing a client update tomorrow (Tuesday). Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM GMT.
The Halloween has now finished for another year. Thank you for participating in it and we hope you enjoyed yourself - even if you've had to be sectioned as a result of hunting Purple Pumpkins across Financial and Waterfront... Speaking of being sectioned, the Asylum district will now be a permanent feature in APB! The Baylan district will also be available again as an alternative Fight Club map. Beacon will also make a return at some point in the near future, once we have a backend system in place to support it. You'll now find fixer contacts in Asylum that you can shop with - Simon Tran for the Enforcers and Pagan Bloodrose for the Criminals.
Fixed an issue with the NFAS Glow in the Dark skin.
When we released the Halloween event, there was a bug introduced that some players exploited. For those players that did not exploit the bug you'll be receiving a special title "True Hunter".
Some people may realize they did not receive this special title and should perhaps compose themselves in more honorable ways in the future.
We're aiming at releasing a client update tomorrow (Thursday). Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM GMT.
Halloween Event Extension
Based upon Community feedback we are extending the Halloween event until November 13th. Happy Pumpkin Hunting!
Fixing an issue that could cause certain Purple Pumpkins to be invisible for some players.
Fixed the locational information for a purple pumpkin that was on the roof of City Hall. Previously, players who had this pumpkin would have seen a blank system message, rather than this Pumpkins location information.
Fixed a mission system issue that could cause a Fight Club district to crash.
The Colby Commander can now be traded on the marketplace.
Trick & Treat
Added an auto-pledge feature that means you'll automatically pledge to your factions Halloween contact when a mission starts for you in Asylum.
Added new names to some of the areas in Financial, so that it is easier to distinguish where they are when looking for purple pumpkins. This affects: Border, Eastside, Gretsy, and North & South Havalnyd.
Updated the description text on the Piercing modification to make its functionality clearer.
Adding descriptions for community created vehicles for the 'noob-mobile' contest.
Created to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the last War of San Paro, the Colby Commander combines the modern design and performance of the Colby RSA with the iconic aesthetics of the Wild West. This limited edition version has a uniquely embossed receiver that comes with a mod to allow bullets fired to penetrate targets.
Adjustments to the firing mechanism of the weapon allow the bullets to pierce most objects they hit (not including vehicles and walls). The act of piercing an object however heavily reduces the hard damage, as well as reducing the damage done to subsequent objects hit.
Pierces through 3 targets.
Damage reduced 30% per pierce.
Reduces Hard Damage by -50%
Halloween IDOL Contest -- October 25th to November 6th
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, it’s that time of year! Starting today and lasting until November 6th at Midnight PDT, ALL players are invited to participate in the 2013 Halloween Costume Contest. This year we want you to make a reference to something in pop culture; we want to get you. Who do you idolize? Who’s your favorite noteworthy person or character from something? Or who do you think is just plain ridiculous, insane, hilarious, or noteworthy? We want you to show us.
Special Linus rule: No Miley Cyrus. I know you were thinking it and…no. Just no.
Winners who make us laugh, yell “omg”, or get us all wispy and nostalgiac feeling will receive 4k G1c and will be awarded for:
There will be FOUR single winners
One DUO winner
One GROUP winner (no more than 4 people in group)
Each winner gets 4,000 G1C (in duo and group situations, each participant gets the 4k). Winners will be chosen from amongst all servers, and we will be verifying that you’re using your own customizations.
Entries should be posted here with the following information:
We're aiming to release a client update today (Friday). Maintenance should be no more than three hours (we'll try to be as quick as we can) and will start at 4:30 PM BST.
Release Notes – 1.13.0 (433) to 1.13.1 (434)
The Asylum missions will now give out more standing than before - they were not giving out as much as we had intended in the last patch. They will also give out slightly more cash too.
Please Note: You can only pledge to contacts when not on a mission, and they rotate pretty fast in Asylum. You can use your map to quickly access their pledge UI (Just double click their icon) (For more details, see:How to Pledge to Trick and Treat)
Fixed a vehicle exploit with the Purple Pumpkins.
Server Crash (Asylum)
Fixed a rare mission issue that could cause an Asylum server to crash.
How to Pledge to Trick and Treat For players having issues
We believe some people are having problems pledging to Trick or Treat. This is because you can only pledge to contacts while off a mission - and Asylum starts a new mission pretty quickly. If a mission is running, please wait until the mission has ended and pledge before the next one starts.
Their Daily activities are only available once you max (level 6) Trick or Treat, and you can only take one between missions.
As an aside, Trick is the Criminal Contact and Treat is the Enforcer contact (I know this confused some people).
The dev team is looking to see if they can increase the delay between missions in Asylum.
We're aiming at releasing a client update tomorrow (Thursday). Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM BST.
Events - Halloween '13
Halloween is back for a special spooky two week event! This year we've brought back a mission based version of Asylum with Trick and Treat and added Daily Challenges, Fright Club rewards and a special, character unique, Evil Pumpkin hunting activity to Financial and Waterfront! There are all sorts of treats to unlock during the Halloween event; including the new clothing assets: Devil Wings and the Witch/Wizard Hat!
Here is a breakdown of the Contacts, Roles, Challenges and Rewards
Standard Activities : Halloween themed activities for Joker Tickets.
Rare Activities : A rare activity that awards Joker Tickets and a special weapon skin: Purple glow in the dark with a bat motif.
Asylum "Fright Club" - Pumpkin Smashing Role
Level 1 – Unlock Title : “Pumpkin Chaser” Level 2 – Unlock Title : “Pumpkin Murderer” Level 3 – Unlock Title : “Pumpkin Assassin” Final Level – Unlock Title: “Pumpkin Terminator”
Asylum "Fright Club" - Fright Club Challenges
Gold - A 10 day lease of the STAC 10 "Tactical". Silver - Clown Mask in Week 1 & the new Witch/Wizard hat in Week 2 Bronze - 200 Joker Tickets.
Financial and Waterfront - Evil Purple Pumpkin Hunting
This is a special Pumpkin smashing activity that will be unique to every character on every account! When you log into an action district you'll be given a selection of Evil Purple Pumpkins to hunt down and destroy. When you get close to a Purple Pumpkin you'll hear it laughing, after it has been destroyed you'll receive a message saying how many you have left in the district and in what area the next one can be found. You can use your in-game map to find the location of the area name you've been given.
Level 1 (50% of assigned Pumpkins over both districts) : A special Orange glow-in-the-dark weapon skin with a pumpkin motif. Level 2 (100% of assigned Pumpkins over both districts) : A set of Devil wings for your character.
New Primary Weapon
STAC 10(Somatic Tactical Assault Carbine)
Functionally identical to the Joker SR15, the Somatic Tactical Assault Carbine was produced by Somatic to offer a military grade alternative to the civilian Joker carbine. The STAC provided military groups with the power of the Joker carbine with none of the ‘difficult’ associations of civilian weaponry.
NOTE : You can earn a free 10 day trial of the STAC 10 "Tactical" by earning gold in the Fright Club Challenges! Fright Club Challenges will rotate on the 24th, 28th and the 4th of October.
New Clothing and Weapon Pack - Coming soon to Armas
Male : Torn Long-sleeved Top Female : Torn Vest Male : Stitched Leather Trousers Female : Leather and Denim Trousers Male & Female : Goggles Backpack 1 - Male/Female: Sprinter Backpack Backpack 2 - Male/Female: Militia Backpack
STAC 10 "Scoped"
Other Changes and Fixes
Weapon Skins (LTL)
Added skin support for the Dartgun.
VIPs now appear on the Elective Spawn map.
Adding the Certain Death track "BURNIN UP" to the game
Falling off a ledge while you are moving faster than the sprint speed limit will no longer suddenly make you stop firing / throwing grenades.
Deleting a prop in Financial that was intersecting a bin behind Gaijin.
Fixed the Joker weapon skin for the Agrotech DMR.
Fixing Joker Distribution skin on the Flare Gun.
Hot on the heels of TechMech and Aphadon's crazy engine upgrade reveal, here's a new blog post by Scottomon with details on what's going down next week for Halloween! For that reason I've chosen a spOoOoky serif font with which to adorn this post; no need to thank me - Linus
To most of us, Halloween usually means fun, pranks and dressing up. However, Halloween in San Paro usually means guns, explosions and dressing even weirder than normal (so just another sunny day in San Paro really...)
Yep, it's time for the annual scare-fest that is Fright Club in APB Reloaded. We've gone all out this year to make sure that this is the biggest and best Halloween event we've put on yet! We'll be starting the event on Thursday 24th October and running right through to Wednesday 6th November, that's almost two weeks of frightening fun and petrifying prizes to be had!
First off, Trick and Treat are returning once again - you'll find them holed up in that old abandoned Asylum with the following goodies for you if you can progress up the ranks with them:
Also returning are those fiendish Orange Pumpkins. Some malevolent being (Qwentle) has hidden these throughout the Asylum - track them down and destroy them to cast away the evil spirits. Find enough and you could make quite the name for yourself...
Level 1 - Unlocks 'Pumpkin Chaser' title Level 2 - Unlocks 'Pumpkin Murderer' title Level 3 - Unlocks 'Pumpkin Assassin' title Level 4 - Unlocks 'Pumpkin Terminator' title
Now on to what's new this year. Daily Activities will be available for Trick and Treat in the Asylum District. If you can max them out you'll get access to these special Halloween-themed activities that reward your hard work with Joker Tickets. Be on the lookout though! There is a super-special rare activity that each player will only get one shot at - make it count to get your hands on a unique purple glow-in-the-dark weapon skin with bat motif!
If you thought orange pumpkins staring out of dark corners at you were disturbing enough, then we've got some bad news for you. Purple pumpkins have been spotted hidden throughout Financial and Waterfront, and, like their orange cousins, they need to be destroyed. There are reports of them numbering in the thousands, but with only some of them choosing to make themselves visible to each player across both districts, so you'll need to rely on your own wits to vanquish them. The good news? Once destroyed, those cackling purple monstrosities are gone for good. The bad news? There's quite a few of them... Check your in-game roles and clear your sight of these purple fiends to get your hands on some nice rewards:
Level 1 - A unique pumpkin-themed, orange glow in the dark weapon skin! Level 2 - A set of brand new (and only available here) customisable Devil Wings!
To top it all off, we also have special Fright Club Challenges for the duration of the event. Complete enough in-mission activities in the Asylum District to claim your prize!
Bronze Challenge Complete - Joker Tickets for use in the in-game Joker Distribution store! Silver Challenge Complete - Scary Clown Mask (available week 1 of event) and a brand-new Witch/Wizard's Hat (available week 2 of the event)! Gold Challenge Complete - A whole stack of Joker Tickets and a 10 day lease of a brand new weapon you can't get anywhere else!
Lots to get your hands on, so make sure you get into APB Reloaded during the event!
Now, if ghouls and ghosts aren't your thing, we've also got a sneak peak at some upcoming content for you. We're tentatively calling this the 'Punk Pack', and it contains a couple of long-requested items including new backpacks as well as the goggles that made Javez famous. The pack also introduces a new weapon from Somatic Advanced Tactical Systems, who seem like they're trying to match a Joker Gunworks favourite. Get your hands on a unique variant of this new weapon by completing the Gold Fright Club Challenge in Asylum!
That's all for just now. We're off to lock the doors, it's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark...
1.13.1 sees the introduction of medal tracking to APB. It you open your character info screen ([J1) and select the Achievements tab. you'll see that we've added a medal section that shows you all the medals you've earned. We started tracking these in 1.13.0, so anything you've eamed since then will be displayed already and anything you have yet to earn will be greyed out.
We've added Pan 2 oi the Artist Programme as well as Music by Certain Death and a remix of a track by "A Space Love Adventure' by Farfletched.
Artist Programme Part 2
1. The Q's: Can We Escape Tonight 2. Santiago Street Machine: Noisemaker 3. Ed Harbinger - Jinnosuke 4. Mosphet - Hope (Radio Edit) 5. Professor Kliq - The Vowel Song 6. The Ok Social Club - The Shape Of Things To Come 7. UKID - Crooks 8. Vices - Senior Kittizen 9. WobsTasy - Broken chords
1. Beat From The Street 2. Faker 3. Sex Drive 4. Super Smokin' Thunder Bowl
A Space Love Adventure
1. A Space Love Adventure - Nicole (Farﬂetched Remix)
New System Command - Network Test
We've implemented a new chat command that allows players to take a snap shot of their network performance to assist us with evaluating and improving the game. and server's. network performance.
Players simply need to enter /latencytest into the chat bar and the game will start taking a snapshot of relevant data (traceroute, ping time etc).
This process takes 10 minutes and the player can stop it at any time by re-entenng the same command again. The information will be output to the log folder. in APBGame/Logs/, as "Latency - (Date).csv".
Other Changes and Fixes
Joker Distribution - Player Content
Adding the winning vehicles from the "Noob Mobile" forum contest to Joker Distribution in Breakwater (Social district).
Weapon Skins - ACT 44
Added weapon skin support for the ACT~44 magnum and updated the Golden Marksmen skin to use the latest gold shador.
Weapon Skins - LCR
Adding Weapon Skin support for the STAR 556 LCR
Weapon Skins - LTL
Adding Weapon Skin support for the Stabba PIG and Stabba NL-9.
ACES Rifles and SMGs leased through Joker Distnbution are now skinnable.
Players can now use team chat while dead.
UI - Electlve Spawning
Players can no longer place personal waypoints on the elective spawning map.
Fixed an issue that could occur if you attempted to close the game in windowed mode using the cross button on the top right.
Fixed an issue were your client would crash on deleting the last character on your account.
Fixed a data issue that could cause a server to crash.
More fixes for issues related to data clean up, that could previously have led to client crashes when the user switched districts or closes the game.
Further fixes for issues related to streaming and garbage collection that could previously have led to client crashes.
Criminal kill streak activities now correctly reset on arrest.
Role and achievement data will now be correct for the player you are inspecting - previously it would show your data as theirs.
N-HVR 243»SDs now use the correct weapon inventory icon.
Fixes to the France Weapon Skin on several weapons'
Fixed an issue where if you cancelled the rename dialog. it would do the same as pressing OK.
Nano's without a silencer no longer say that they have one in the description text.
Fixing the HUD text of the Daily Activity 'Like a Gelding Knife'. to correctly tell players to kill a heat 5 Enforcer.
Fixing the HUD text of the Daily Activity 'Shock and Awe'. so that it is now correctly using 'Notoriety rather than 'Prestige".
Fixed a visual corruption issue with the tires of the dump trucks and cement mixers.
Fixed numerous bullet casing sounds that were previously not present. This affects: Silenced FBW, NFAS Shotgun. Snub Nose Revolver, Silenced PMG, Colby .45, Aces SMGs and Anubis Sniper Rifle
Posté par Tiggs
Jeudi 17 octobre 2013
Colliding with the GTA V train (and getting back up again)
Details of APB's upcoming massive engine upgrade.
First let me get this out of the way; we think GTA V is a very good game. We always look for great competing products when we figure out what we should be working on next, and clearly GTA sets the bar very high.
The GTA express train
The September 17 release of Grand Theft Auto V, and the follow on October 1 release of GTA Online had a massive impact on the whole game industry.
Using Steam Data as a general PC-activity level sampling tool (keeping in mind Steam only tracks activity for those game installs that originated from Steam itself and not from publishers' websites, which means it only shows a small portion of gamers in non-Valve games, but shows 100% of gamers in Valve created games) it appears Online-PC games in Steam's "western-market areas" took an average 30% percent hit in normal average peak CCU levels when players jumped onto the GTA V bonanza.
More specifically, because APB Reloaded is also very similarly themed to GTA V with the same player demographic (even though APB is far more skill and map knowledge based, and far less 'arcad-y' and 'aim-assist-y' than GTA), we were pretty much standing on the GTA train-tracks waiting for a possible collision (and GTA of course having a much 'shinier' and newer engine, much larger development resources, deeper content and years of iterative development under its belt made it a hard challenge to face).
When the dust finally settled last week, it actually turned out that APB Reloaded was not hit any harder than the average Online PC game (again based on before-and-after comparisons of average PC game Steam numbers for the top-100 PC Steam games). Not to say we didn't take a dent. But we are still here. Still plugging away. And still working on our ambitious long term plans.
Steam Peak CCU for players accessing PC Online games through Steam as a before-and-after comparison of GTA V's impact on the overall online game market.
Slowly but surely, starting last week, we also started seeing players returning to APB, which has helped us breathe a little bit easier this week. Our giant super-secret engine update that we have been working on since July depends on players continuing to support our game, so we are incredibly thankful that players are returning to APB once they have gotten their GTA fix.
For those who have followed APB Reloaded closely over the last several months, we recently made some significant team changes.
In September we introduced the APB community to a person we think is the best community manager on the planet (Tiggs, with 20+ years of online community management experience dating all the way back to Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies) and we also appointed Joe "Linus" Willmon to be the the new head of APB's production team. We also concentrated our internal efforts on the newly begun stealth engine upgrade mission, and numerous improvement and performance items.
Tiggs and her new team has also done an AMAZING job of keeping the community up to date, and leading the efforts around tracking down performance issues and continually updating the players of ongoing bug fixes and updates.
Our massive "Secret Engine Upgrade Mission"
APB clearly was born with tech in an era that pre-dates GTA V by one full ‘game and engine generation.’ As those who have followed us for the last few years know, APB Reloaded uses Unreal 3 version 2007 and 2008 as its primary game engine (basically the version of the engine used by the original Unreal Tournament 3 that came out in 2008). Therefore the upgrades mentioned on the Unreal 3 Wikipedia Page do not apply to APB's original engine.
Due to the vintage of the engine, we keep bumping up against performance limitations, and also severe limitations in our product development speed. Because we use many custom systems in the game, it takes a very long time for our team to make material changes to the game, resulting in a lot of features being shelved or delayed.
An upgraded engine would let us tackle important things like min-spec system performance, lighting system improvements, net code improvements and new graphic card optimizations and it would likely lead to a faster content creation pipeline by taking advantage of new systems available in the updated engine.
The team performed small upgrade tests throughout 2012 and then Johann "Aphadon" took a serious stab at the task in April 2013 to test if we may be able to fix just 'some' of the older rendering code that causes some of the frame stutter (for example with some particle effects that have been shown to have some serious performance problems). But taking that approach turned out to cause other big follow-on problems when fixed in isolation. So to combat the overall problem, the drastic decision was then made to let a part of the team go off and map out what it would take to upgrade "everything." And with that, we really do mean "everything"
July 17, 2013 marked the kick off of the massive engine upgrade to move the engine forward in time by 5 years, from the early 2008 version of the engine to the 2013 version of the engine, which is the version that contains all the improvements Epic created for Gears of War 3, plus 2 additional years of engine refinements after those changes and optimizations. Clearly Epic has worked very hard in recent years to allow really small targets (even targets as small as cellphones as evidenced with the release of Infinity Blade for iOS/Android using a modified Unreal Engine)
Gears of War 3 version of Unreal 3, circa 2011 (Image: IGN)
The 2013 version of the 'vanilla' Unreal engine contains about 25,000 source code files of various types. The original APB game and custom engine contains 61,609 files in total, out of which nearly 35,000 were source code files (the other tens of thousands of files are content and config files). The mission; merge these terrifyingly massive projects. To complete the merge it turns out that our team has to merge roughly 10,000 source files, representing well over 1,000,000 lines of code. And then get them to compile. And then fix all the dependencies between these files, and fix features and functions that end up breaking as a result of the merge.
By end of last week (October 11, 2013) the team had finished the basic merge pass of 9,393 files, which leaves them only a couple of hundred files to go. Once the team gets everything to compile, then the long and painstaking effort of solving for issues and dependencies get underway (not to mention the massive QA and testing effort).
An upgrade of such a customized game as APB presents some particular issues. The first one is that RTW originally created a ton of code that added custom versions of features that were not natively supported by the engine. Many of those features (day-night cycles, building systems etc.) were later independently created (and optimized) as engine features by Epic, but by then the RTW code path had already diverged from the original engine code. In 2007-2008 adding these items (like day-night cycle to textures, and city building tools) were huge engineering feats. Some of the custom code lead to the development of some really amazing functions that remain top of the line, like the character and vehicle customization systems. Of course it also lead to being dependent on certain ‘dead-end’ custom features, that are hard to break the dependencies for after the fact.
The new Lighting Systems supported by the upgraded Unreal 3 engine
The other big issue is that Epic traditionally performs a massive amount of optimization and performance work around each of their own releases for their own games. Most notable Gears of War 3 that came out in 2011, several years after the APB engine version we use today. The GOW-3-optimized engine is also sometimes referred to as "Unreal 3.5" given the very large amounts of code (network code, light systems) optimized in preparation for Epic's Gears release.
Of course the APB code base (to date) contains none of those upgrades (bar a few items we added such as some net code from a later engine and of course the singular integration with Scaleform). And in the last few years as Epic began to start supporting mobile and tablet devices (as evidenced by Infinity Blade) the engine started supporting incredibly optimized and compact build targets, something that was not really a focus in the original engine.
The upgrade timeline, and opening the door to next gen options
Aphadon (our lead developer on this task) will pen a more detailed technical post about the upgrade in the next month or so when we are getting closer to something that's actually testable. Also, as we get closer to launch we should be able to predict the performance (and optimization) characteristics of the upgraded engine.
The current roadmap puts a full 'upgraded APB engine' sometime at the end of Q1, 2014, but as with all roadmaps, that could potentially change. The team is clearly working insanely hard on this particular task, and we think it will finally allow us to also unleash a lot of potential that has remained locked away in the custom code the game has been saddled with. As an added bonus, by upgrading the engine, we also open some interesting possibilities, including a path to launch on other platforms in the future.
Linus will be penning a separate post about the ongoing server-performance testing that's led by Tiggs and her team, as well as the Halloween stuff coming very soon.
Also, I am personally very curious about Rockstar's decision to sell in-game currency directly in GTA Online, especially given the many reported GTA Online glitches that basically could make the whole currency purchase process moot. It's a very interesting idea, so I may pen a whole post just about their add-on transaction system. It's something we are looking at very closely.
And as always, thanks for continuing to support APB for the past several years, and with these massive coming changes, we hope to continue keeping APB strong for years to come.
We're going to be releasing a small client update tomorrow (Thursday). Maintenance should be under three hours and will start at 10 AM BST.
Patch 1.13.0 (421)
Adding weapon skin support for the DMR-AV.
Fixed an issue with the Snub nose kill activities that was previously preventing the user from being able to progress the activity.
Contagion ACES Event is no longer triggered by snubnose kills.
Fixed an issue with Chrome Skin on the DMR.
Please Note : We are aware of an issue where some countries will see the daily activity cycle timer as an incorrect value. This is because they are not in the same time zone as our servers, which use UTC. This is a purely visual issue – the cycle time will currently always be at midnight UTC, for Daily Activities. We are currently working on a fix for this issue and hope to have one in place as part of next week’s patch. Thank you for your patience in this matter.
We're going to be releasing a small client update tomorrow (Tuesday). Maintenance should be under two hours and will start at 10 AM BST.
Miscellaneous Changes and Bug Fixes
Fixed an issue where contact & daily activity progression would be lost if you had leased mods equipped when district switching.
Fixed an issue where the same activity could appear on two contacts at the same time.
Cleaned up some background client processes that were trying to open unnecessary files every frame.
Added a possible fix for a fairly high frequency rendering-related crash.
Added overtime for Scavenger missions.
Skin support added for the DMR 50Cal Sniper Rifle (Please note: the AV has yet to be done but will be along in an upcoming release).
Skin support added for the NFA9 Machine Pistol.
Fixed the issue where there were missing polygons on the underside of the scope attachment.
Joker Store Icons for weapons are all now white.
The Yard Stretch - Gazi Freights: Adjusting the location of a satellite dish used as a mission target.
Added the word "Deployed" to the top of the list of clothes in the Wardrobe.
Fixed an issue with the threat icons on the character select screen where it would revert the threat icons to the "T" training icon while you were attempting to delete a character.
As some of you know, I have been on different servers with a few computers logged in at a time to collect server wide lag reports or lag bursts. Lag bursts are when an entire area is experiencing lag for a few seconds to minutes and everything in the area stops or slows to a crawl, this is different information from what Linus is collecting in this thread
We would like to collect this information over the course of the next couple of weeks so we can gather as much data as possible to narrow this down and get it fixed. We know we are asking for a lot of information, and it is not falling on deaf ears. if you can please jot down the following information while playing and come back to fill the information in as soon as possible, it would greatly help us in narrowing down the issue. The more details the better
While you're in game, if you're in an area and feel the area lag (you see others complaining about it as well) please provide us with the following information:
District you experienced the lag burst:
Date of when you are reporting:
Time you experienced the lag (please include the time zone you're reporting for and if it is AM or PM)
How long did this lag burst last: (seconds, minutes please be as accurate as possible)
What were you doing prior to the lag burst:
Did you notice any weird issues prior to the lag burst:
Were others in your area complaining about the lag burst (if so character names of those that experienced it:
Where are you geographically located (What State / Country please don't put your address, there are creepers that may be watching):
Thank you in advance for helping us kick the lag monster's ass =)
As I hope you already know, game performance is my number one priority with a bullet. On the client side, today's patch added a fix for lag when you're switching weapons quickly. We've also added a number of optimizations and warnings in case a player's machine isn't quite up to snuff. Nvidia is working with us to release a driver update that should address problems with how APB runs on Optimus cards. I'm also working on rolling out Overkill more broadly.
One thing that I cannot get done without your help, however, is addressing any internet or network problems. We receive a number of reports all the time about latency and lag, but they tend to be spotty, don't contain enough information, or when we contact the local providers they have no record of these instances, making investigation difficult and borderline unreliable.
This is where you come in. We need to demonstrate consistent patterns. So getting a lag spike once in a while is not notable -- but if you get consistent, sustained lag for a while, that's something we need to sort out.
If you find that you consistently experience situations of crazy latency that persistent beyond just a sudden blip, you can help out by doing the following:
Open the Start menu
Click on 'Search Programs & Files' box
Type cmd and hit ENTER
In the command prompt, type "tracert" followed by the IP of the server you use and hit Enter. Below are the IPs of the servers:
Colby / Han 126.96.36.199
Patriot / Obeya 188.8.131.52
Copy the output: Right-click anywhere in the window and select 'Mark'. Select the text you want to copy and then right-click with your mouse (this will de-select the text, but it does copy it to clipboard; alternately, you can hit Ctrl + C to copy as well).
Paste the copied text into a .txt file by hitting Ctrl + V.
Attach the results in a ticket to CS. When doing so, please include answers to the following questions:
What is your ip address (You can get this from http://whatismyipaddress.com/)
How often do you usually experience this latency?
What time did you run the attached tracert and what date?
When do you think this first started happening to you?
When it occurs, how long does it last?
Do you have any nearby friends to which this also happens at the same time, or is it just you?
Feel free to send a ticket every time you do one of these; the more the better (but each must be its own separate ticket).
For ease, here are some examples
Sample of text file
Sample of ticket
We'll collate the data from all the tickets we receive and match times and locations to determine any common bottlenecks or dropoffs.
Today we're going to talk about Daily Activities and Leased Modifications as the headline features for the 1.13.0 release. We've been promising both of these things for a while now (even though you might not have realised it) and we're incredibly happy that we're finally getting to bring them to the game.
Daily Activities are activities that you do for contacts that you've completed progression with that give you rewards. Most of the rewards that you'll be given will be Joker Tickets but there are some very difficult activities that give rewards that are even more impressive! These activities can range from 'finish a mission' right through to 'run over a hundred and fifty pedestrians.' You can take up to 5 activities in a day and each one of these will give you a reward the moment you complete the activity.
Let's just go through this process:
The first thing you've got to do is finish your progression with a contact. Every contact has a Daily Activity - early contacts give easier activities, higher up contacts give higher difficulty activities. Just open their pledge menu, accept the daily activity, and it'll appear at the top of your HUD right next to your contact progression indicator. It'll update as you carry out your activity and also give you a quick indicator of how things are going and what your goal is, just like the current Fight Club activity system. Unlike the Fight Club activity system you can't skip your current activity but you can move onto a different contact if you're not happy with what you have at the moment.
But what will you be spending these tickets on, I hear you ask? Well...
Also arriving in 1.13.0 are Leased Modifications. These modifications don't have any Rank requirement. They cost 250 Joker Tickets and $750 and last for seven days. The current modifications that can be leased are all of the modifications available from the Specialist contacts (ie Car Surfer, Flak Jacket and Radar Jammer). This, along with a whole host of content additions planned for the Joker Store in upcoming patches means that you'll have plenty of things to spend your Joker Tickets on!
This is just a piece of what's in store for 1.13 – keep checking back for more updates!
I've been around these parts for a pretty long time handling things on a bunch of different titles we're previously published, so if you know me already, cool. If not, I'm pleased to meet you. Going forward, I'll be taking over a few responsibilities on APB; if the how and why of this interests you, skip to the bottom of this post. If all you care about is the game, read on.
Without going into details (because if I do they will change), we're definitely looking at, and might be close to, a solution to the current threat system, the end goal being that you'll be able to once again play with friends regardless of threat level differences. This, however, doesn't necessarily constitute the end to threat changes – we wanted to get this out relatively quickly, but the very reason threat was changed in the first place was to make sure the early game isn't so unfriendly to new players. That's likely a goal we'll still need to pursue after this patch, but obviously that goal should always come second to making sure the game isn't broken for everyone who's been playing forever. We'll be taking a more measured approach to this if we proceed with threat changes in future patches.
We've identified one cause of performance issues to be how APB plays on certain newer Nvidia drivers. Nvidia is working with us to include optimizations for APB that will roll out in their next driver patch, so definitely make sure to keep your drivers updated. We won't assume this will put an end to all performance issues, so we will continue to work to find and remove any further issues.
Regarding why you're suddenly seeing me here, as of last week I am the Producer for APB Reloaded. As such it is my sad duty to officially announce that, as some in the community have already pointed out, part of these changes mean that Jericho, Quinzel, Jotunblut, Revoemag, and Farfletched are no longer with the Reloaded team. Each spent the last 3 years working to make APB the best game possible, and in some cases had been with Gamersfirst even longer. Developing and operating a free-to-play game can be complicated, difficult, exciting, and thankless, and while I will miss them all considerably, I look forward to congratulating them on whatever new adventures they find themselves on next.
Development on APB, of course, continues ever onward, now with an enhanced focus. My goal is to ensure that in the months and years to come, APB lives up to its vast potential. I'm very excited to share more details with you about what this means, and will continue to reveal more updates as I can.
We're going to be deploying an update for APB Reloaded on Wednesday, the 28th of August 2013. Downtime is expected to be between one and two hours and will be from 10 AM BST/2 AM Pacific.
PLEASE NOTE : In order for us to properly update the compatibility settings mentioned below, we have to overwrite the machine options. We apologise for this inconvenience, but it was the only way we can make sure players are getting the full benefit of the compatibility bucket changes.
We've adjusted our minimum compatibility settings to help improve performance for lower tier system setups. We've based these changes on the various configuration setups our community have been working on since we launched APB Reloaded and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank them for filling in the gaps we'd left behind. If you're using custom configs or .ini changes, these will be overwritten by this update, so advanced users may want to 'backup' their files before patching. Please note that if custom configs or .ini changes do not work after this patch you will receive no official support.
Please note that users on lower end systems may notice lower visual fidelity - though we've intentionally focused on maintaining as much detail as possible for the player's own character. The upside to this is that your game should be far more stable and have better performance (FPS). The machines we are targeting in this initial patch are:
Machines with low-end (old) graphics cards. You will now have more graphical settings turned 'off' by default, and we have limited the quality of the in-game textures to give your graphics card an easier time. An example of a low-end card is an Nvidia Quadro FX 580.
Machines with a 32-bit OS (i.e. Windows XP 32bit, Windows Vista 32bit, Windows 7 32bit and Windows 8 32bit). We have applied further constraints to keep game memory usage under 2GB, we do this by limiting the in-game texture quality. The reason we want to keep it under 2GB is that 32bit OS' do not allow applications to use more than 2GB at any time, otherwise the application will crash.
Machines with a 64bit OS (i.e. Windows Vista 64bit, Windows 7 64bit, Windows 8 64bit, [Windows XP 64bit is not supported]) that ALSO have 2GB or less of total RAM. These machines have the same constraints applied as 32bit OS', the in-game texture quality will be limited to avoid using more than 2GB of RAM to avoid swapping RAM to disk, which will decrease game performance.
The machine options that will be reset are :
Misc Changes and Fixes
New Feature vehicles (interior colour options)
An interior colouring option is now available for customisable versions of the top level vehicles. You'll find the option labeled as "Interior Detail" (previously this was simply "Steering Wheel"). The supported vehicles are: Patriot Vegas G20, Charge Cisco, Patriot V20 Jericho, Bishada Rapier, Seiyo Espacio, Nomad Pioneer, Charge Mikro, and Packer Vaquero.
UI (District Entry)
Background image on the spawn selection screen has been changed to be a simple black to bring it inline with the elective spawn system.
Event (Epidemic / Pandemic)
The Contagion events are now over, which means the weapons used in the events (Colby 45 AP and ACES) no longer advance the event roles. However they will now advance any standard role they apply to.
Large reverb zones have been adjusted to produce a more accurate sound for their size.
Fixed an issue with the new Cropped Hooded Jacket were certain headwear items were not being correctly removed when worn with it.
Removed the Vaquero option to change Roof Light colour as this is not a supported option.
Here are the release notes for the new patch we've deployed today (21/08/13).
PLEASE NOTE : The patch process will start at 2pm BST and should take no more than 2 hours.
UPDATE 1 : We've encountered an issue while deploying this patch - we'll update this thread again with a revised ETA. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
UPDATE 2 : Sadly the issue we've encountered means we'll need to prepare a new build of the game. Therefore we're going to go back to the previous version (1.12.2) while we prepare the new patch for deployment later today. 1.12.2 should be live again shortly.
We're very sorry for the inconvenience, but we should have a new 1.12.3 prepared and shipped this afternoon (more details will follow on exactly when this will be when we know).
UPDATE 3 : We now have the 1.12.3 build ready and will be bringing APB down at 2pm BST to deploy it. This maintenance should take no more than 2 hours.
Release Notes – 1.12.2 (388) to 1.12.3 (393)
Event - Pandemic
The Colby 45 AP weapon Epidemic has mutated into a new Primary SMG, the "Agrotech ACES", to become full scale Pandemic!
Gaining 26 kills with the Colby .45 AP will gift the new primary weapon, the "Agrotech ACES".
A new role has been added for the ACES called "Mutation".
This role has two levels
Completing level 1 (10 kills) will unlock the title "Mutated"
Completing level 2 (50 kills) will gift the "Agrotech ACES Rifle".
Both these weapons have a 10 day lease.
The ACES do not spread through "death by lead poisoning".
[*] If you already have 26 kills from the previous event, then you will receive the Agrotech ACES in your mail when you login.
Vehicle Handling Changes
We have adjusted the handling and stats of the Vaquero significantly to make it more viable in both combat and general driving.
Health : 900 -> 950
Collision Damage : 75% to 45%
Grip Changes :
Front Longitudinal : 1.8 -> 2.1
Front Lateral : 2.74 -> 3.25
Rear Longitudinal : 1.8 -> 2.1
Limited-slip Differential : 50% -> 100%
Centre of Mass front offset : 20 -> 25
Misc Changes and Bug Fixes
Interior colouring options are now available for the top tier vehicles. Additionally, when you can customise a vehicle interior in the garage editor, the vehicle doors will now open up, to allow you to see inside. Supported vehicles are: Patriot Vegas G20, Charge Cisco, Patriot V20 Jericho, Bishada Rapier, Seiyo Espacio, Nomad Pioneer, Charge Mikro, and Packer Vaquero.
This feature will not be part of this release - we had to disable it for now to release 1.12.3 today. We'll fix the issue with it and have it ready for the next patch. NOTE: Changing interior components in the Garage Editor will still open the vehicle doors.
Normalising Assault Rifle damage ranges. This increases ATAC and STAR to the same drop off as the NTEC (50-70m).
Added the Colby .45 AP to the Joker Distribution Store.
Disabling the Infection Achievement. The Disease has mutated and is no longer infectious. You can receive the Colby .45AP through Joker Distribution (and Armas) to continue the Contagious role.
Adding 'Mutation!' Role. This has two levels. The first level is a 'Mutated' title and the second level is the ACES Rifle.
Bug Fix (weapon skins)
Fixed a texture issue on the Colby .45 AP that was previously causing visual artefacts to appear on metallic weapon skins.
Fixed an issue where you were previously able to open the old options UI in the Editors.
Stability improvements to help prevent a rare client crash that can be caused when an NPC is not correctly cleaned up.
We hope you enjoy this patch - please leave us any feedback on the forums.
Thanks to the great reaction that we've gotten from the Epidemic event, we've decided to give the infection a whole new vector that starts with today's patch!
Introducing the Agrotech Close Engagement System, AKA the ACES.
The ACES comes in two varieties - the ACES SMG and the ACES Rifle.
The ACES Rifle and the SMG are two entirely different animals. The SMG is a short range, fast firing weapon. Low damage and a huge magazine, but you'll want to consider firing in bursts to maintain accuracy. It also features a Red modification called Short Barrel that allows the system to output more bullets than its sister weapon, with the downside that accuracy tends to degrade due to the lack of a rifled barrel. If you want something with a faster fire rate than the OCA but find the Tommy Gun too difficult to control, then the ACES SMG is the perfect gun for you!
The Rifle version of the ACES is similar, but features an Extended Barrel Red modification that effectively transforms the weapon from an SMG into a pseudo rifle platform. The longer, rifled barrel allows for higher velocity rounds to be used, thus increasing the weapons damage at the cost of firing speed, due to recoil management systems inside the weapon. This is actually a blessing in disguise because it makes accuracy bloom more manageable than the Rifle's sister weapon. If you want something that fills in the gap between the ATAC and the OCA then the ACES Rifle is for you!
Players that have 26 total kills with the Colby .45 AP will get a 10-Day ACES SMG. 10 kills with the ACES SMG will get you the 'Mutated' title. 50 kills with the ACES SMG will net you the ACES Rifle for 10 days. If you didn't manage to get a Colby .45 AP during the Epidemic Event, it's now available for purchase from Armas and Joker Distribution.
For the last few months we've been thinking about different ways to bring new weapons into the game. We want to give everyone a try with the brand new gun before giving people a chance to get hold of it on a more permanent basis, and we think we've come up with something pretty special this time. Starting today, we'll be running something that we're calling the Epidemic Event where we'll be introducing a new weapon - the Colby .45 AP.
The Colby .45 AP is our latest secondary weapon. Built with very high killing potential and maneuverability, this weapon should remind our long-term players of the classic FBW. It suffers from a small magazine, but it has enough of a kick to make quick tap-firing of the weapon quite challenging. It works well at short-to-medium ranges and we think it sits pretty happily between the FBW and the ACT 44 in terms of power and usability. It's got a classic style and a fearsome sound, so if you're looking for a secondary weapon to help you press the advantage in a fight, then the .45 AP is for you!
Here, for the first time ever, is a view of the Colby .45 AP in-game :
Looks pretty great, huh? Well, here's how you get your hands on it...
The only way to unlock this weapon in-game is to get killed by it. The Reloaded Productions team will be killing random people in random districts on random worlds with this gun; anyone who is killed with the gun will get the gun, and thus be able to 'spread the epidemic' themselves.
When you get killed by the Colby .45 AP, you'll get mailed a version of the weapon for ten days and a 'Patient Zero' title if you manage to kill 25 enemies with the .45 AP. So get in there and see if you can get infected!
Keep an eye out for potential mutation in the event rules...
1.12.2 - Infection Epidemic event and the Colby .45 AP
We're going to be deploying an update for APB Reloaded on Wednesday the 14th of August 2013. Downtime is expected to be between two-and-three hours and will be from 10 AM BST/2 AM Pacific.
New Event - Epidemic
The Epidemic event is a viral weapon event that will run from the 14th-21st of August. The premise is simple: every player killed by the Colby .45 AP will be sent an in-game mail with a leased (10 days) version of the gun - they can then use it to "infect" more players!
We've also introduced a new Achievement and Role for this event
1 - Achievement - "Infected": Earned by being killed by the Colby .45 AP, which also sends you your own version of the weapon.
2 - Role - "Contagious": Killing 25 players with the Colby .45 AP will award the tile "Patient Zero".
You'll find more information on this event on our blog: here
Misc Changes and Bug Fixes
We've made the friends lists system more robust - this should resolve the issue where some players won't be shown as "online" in your friends list when they are.
We now ensure that ceremony messages are not displayed when on the district entry map. Instead we wait for the map to be closed, otherwise the messages are hidden.
Using the default button on the basic or advanced video options screen will now revert the advanced options to their correct basic state.
We've made a few tweaks to the following options
1 - Dynamic Decals - This is not hooked up to anything, so we are removing it for now.
2 - Render Eye-Lashes - Option was not hooked up property but it should be fixed now.
1.12.1 Advanced Graphics Options and Premium bonus to cash gained from Score
We're going to be deploying an update for APB Reloaded on Wednesday the 7th of August 2013. Downtime is expected to be between two-and-three hours and will be from 10 AM BST/2 AM Pacific. Please use this thread to discuss patch notes.
Advanced Video Options
The first set of advanced video options have been added to the game. This gives the user more control and flexibility over their graphical options, to help them optimise their client performance to best suit their own setup.
Adding premium bonus to cash gained from mission score bonuses.
Britney Bloodrose has now moved in with Byron Bloodrose in the Jindo Computing building.
Added support for users changing the compatibility mode to run APB as a different version of Windows (as long as that version is supported by APB).
Implemented some performance tweaks to the audio systems.
The descriptions for the ATAC 424 "Patroller" and Joker RFP-9 "Comanche" has been changed so that it no longer gets cut off in the Inventory or locker screens.
Fixed a login issue that could prevent the user logging in if they changed their E-mail address multiply times.
Fixed an obscure mission issue that could cause a server GPF.
Fixed a rare mission relating to team leaders that could cause a server GPF.
Fixed a rare inventory issue that could cause a server GPF.
Police sirens have been updated so they now use the environmental reverb zones.
Lowered the overall volume of the PMG-SD.
Outlaw Mask will now cost 0 $APB.
Fixing the poor wording of the message a user receives when attempting to join a lower threat district.
The gamma preview texture now uses the render-target gamma rather than faking it with a material. This also fixes the issue where the gamma preview texture is too dark.
We've updated the Blur Filter effect to use a more efficient method.
Added billboards for the Artist Programme.
Fixed an issue that could cause a client to GPF if the user attempted to manually change the capture folder in the Options UI.
Fixed a rare logging issue that could cause a client GPF.
Fixed a rare issue where the users custom music playlist could cause the game to crash.
The audio for flames, on destroyed vehicles, will now correctly plays until the flames burn out.
Fixed an issue in the spawn wave functionality that could cause a server to crash.
1.12.1 Asylum update and UI Next Patch Incoming 24-July-2013
We're going to be deploying an update for APB Reloaded on Wednesday the 24th of July 2013. Downtime is expected to be between two-to-three hours and will be from 10 AM BST/2 AM Pacific.
Increasing the height of the collision volume that is above the fence that blocks off the lighthouse
Adding the new theme tune remix to the in-game music player.
Updated an error message that can occur when you've been logged out due to a connection problem - it now includes information on a possible cause of the problem being that their character may be district locked, which takes up to 15 minutes to resolve.
Fixed a client crash that could occur when attempting to exit the game.
Potentially fixed a client crash that could occur If you logged in automatically via Steam, hit logout then tried to login again with a newly created account.
Fixed the issue that caused Armas to be darker than it should be in the in-game browser.
Increased the size of the click area around sliders in the options screen.
Options menu Defaults button should now prompt for confirmation.
Delete can now be bound as a key.
It's been nearly five months since Reloaded Day, so we thought we'd take some time to talk about what we've done since March and our plans for the next six months. If you have no clue what we're on about, here's a quick recap: we celebrated the second anniversary of the APB: Reloaded team on March 7th and dubbed it 'Reloaded Day'. It seemed like a good time to reflect on what had transpired since we began our journey with APB, to celebrate what we've achieved so far, and to explain our plans for the rest of the year and beyond.
The first half of 2013 has been good for us. We've been able to move forward on feature work more quickly than was possible in the past. We've continued to have great success with in-game events. Our community continues to produce some brilliant creations, some of which have made their way onto the Joker Associates store in the Social District. The Artist Program is starting to give us a lot of great music from both inside and outside the community.
Back in March we listed our major goals for 2013. So far this year, we've brought in:
The updated score system
The new front end
Elective spawning system
Another test of Asylum
The smart district spin-up
The team has been hard at work to reach the numerous goals we've set ourselves for this year. Overall, we're pleased with the additions we've brought into the game recently. We feel that they add more player choice, more options in how you fight, and more feedback as to how you're doing. We're pairing more players up with people of their skill level and we're making the game less spiky in terms of difficulty. That being said, not everything has been perfect, and there's always room for improvement. Here's a few things we're planning to improve upon following recent changes we've made to the game:
Score is going to get a bit of an overhaul. We're going to bring in assists on more objectives, give bonus score for taking down a VIP, and give the VIP score whenever a teammate performs a scoreable activity (to counteract VIP's usually getting the lowest score in a match). We also want you to generate a little bit of score while a mission objective is in a Defend state to give defenders a bit more score for their play.
Threat segregation will be changed; players will no longer be able to go down into districts below their current threat level. We found that too many people were going into districts below their recommended threat level and making life miserable for those players. Design on this is subject to change, but it's something we're looking into and intend to move forward.
Wins and Losses
We've had some victories this year, as well as a few unexpected setbacks. Three members of the Reloaded Productions team have moved on, and two things have had to be pushed back from the 2013 Roadmap. In terms of victories, we've found that the new front end allows us to iterate new versions of it very quickly, including making event specific front end scenes (such as the 4th of July update). We're getting some awesome new content for the game that's coming straight from the community - outfits, vehicles, and symbols are now being sold through Speedball (who was also community created!).
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, two of the four new contacts have been pushed to early 2014. However, we still have plans for two contacts (one Praetorian and one G-King, both in Financial) who will come with a new wave of interesting weapons and equipment. The mission revamp has also been pushed out of 2013. We started really digging into the level of work that would be needed for this to make it through production, design, and code, and it was too much for us to get done while working on bringing out the fully-featured version of the Chaos game mode that was previewed in Anarchy Week. We're working on the mission revamp and have some awesome designs for it (including missions where everyone on your team gets opposed to the entire opposite faction, given a number of lives, and told to hit several checkpoints deep inside enemy territory for a huge reward), but the scale of the task is a little outside our reach with everything else we have going on right now.
Don't fret about the delay of these things though; they are still happening, we just have to adjust our schedules according to feedback and circumstance.
We're hoping that the next six months are going to be huge for the game. Just some of the things that we're going to be doing over the coming months include:
New tutorial with checklisted activities that players can complete to make the learning curve of APB Reloaded a little less vertical, as well as introduce rewards for people that complete the tutorial entirely (don't worry, you can go back and do the tutorial on your old character to get the reward too).
Two new contacts - Aletta Cadagen and Gumball will be appearing in the Financial district. Aletta is the embodiment of the Praetorian endgame - she's the natural and logical conclusion to Operation Urban Firestorm and she's advocating total war on the Criminals of San Paro. She's cold, calculating, and one hundred percent certain that in San Paro, the only way peace can be achieved is through overwhelming firepower. Gumball is pretty much her exact opposite - he's not in it for anything more than his own desire to see just how much fun he can have. He's not like any contact that we've seen before - there's no endgame with him and there's no real 'plan.' He's just a guy with a healthy disregard for property law.
Daily Activities in mission districts will be coming to the game in a release that's getting the finishing touches now. Keep checking back here for more information; just be aware that Joker Tickets aren't the only prize you'll get in Mission Districts in the near future. Joker Tickets are a long standing feature request and they're also bringing with them another longstanding feature - the ability for low level players to get their hands on late game modifications. So, if in a couple of patches time, you see a group of three people standing on top of a Han Celante with STAR-556's, don't be alarmed; they've just got their hands on leasable car-surfer. Details to follow...
We just re-released Asylum for another test run and the feedback from the community was outstanding. The fully featured version of Chaos will have high score tables, objectives to fight over, and territory control points.
The re-designed HUD is something that we've had our UI artist working on for a month (at time of writing) and it's looking great. It blends very well with the UI in the Front End and the Options menu.
A development meeting about the new tutorial. Note the incredibly cheap doughnuts. Brain food.
The Armas Marketplace will be seeing a bit of an overhaul in the near future too. There's some content up there that's not as fresh as it should be, and we're going to put more of a focus on packs and bundles to help provide you with the most value possible.
We've got a team of dedicated artists that are creating new content for the game. We're working on two completely new weapons for the game that will bring some variation to secondaries and the SMG weapon class. And below you'll see Danny, one of our vehicle artists, working on the new Packer Vaquero kit.
One of our vehicle artists working on a new vehicle kit.
One of the things that we're aware of is how long some of these things take to create and get to players (small scale projects like individual weapons and much larger scale projects like rolling out Overkill servers globally). To help speed up this process, we're continuing to hire dedicated and talented people across all departments to work on code, network support, and art. If you're interested in working at Reloaded (or know someone that might be), please visit Talentscotland.com and find Reloaded Productions for more information.
Speaking of Overkill, we recently converted every Mission district (Financial and Waterfront) on Colby NA West to Overkill servers and we saw a significant improvement in performance. The Overkill servers that you're seeing at work on Colby are the third iteration of the hardware, which is now a great mix of performance and future-proofing. We're very happy with the hardware and hope to have it deployed to the rest of the servers as soon as humanly possible.
Right now our next major release is scheduled to be 1.13.0. Since we're totally not scared of apparently unlucky numbers, we're doing something a little weird with this release - we've pulled all the new features from this release and moved them into the 1.14 release series and we've filled 1.13.0 with bug fixes, client optimization work, and quality of life changes for players.
We've been listening to and collating a lot of the feedback, and we're now getting the chance to act on it. Expect the 1.13.0 patch note post on the forums to be one of the biggest notes lists that we've ever posted. We'll be talking in greater depth about the client optimization changes, the major bugs that we're fixing, and what else is coming in the 1.13 series as the weeks progress, so keep an eye here and on the APB Reloaded forum for further details.
We hope that you've enjoyed the changes that we've made to the game recently. It's great to see some of the reactions that we get from players as we continue to improve the game. Thanks for reading and thank you for playing.
As we have just re-introduced Asylum (be it temporarily) I thought now would be as good as time as any to throw out a copy of the new theme tune....remixed. If you don't know the history behind the track, it started as a looping piano piece for the asylum lobby, then evolved into the new front end music. The beats were created in conjunction with the track and placed into Gaijin (club in financial), and have resided there ever since. Recently it all became one, with some new bits.
I embrace the Wubs with this one, I give you "Wadsworth - APB:R Theme (P5 Wub Mix)"
It's free to download if you're into that kind of thing. Fully appreciate that this isn't everyone's bag.
I will also add it to the game library (weather permitting) with next weeks maintenance so you can annoy each other with it from your cars.
1.12.1 Asylum release PATCH NOTES FOR 18/July/2013
We're going to be deploying an update for APB Reloaded on Thursday the 18th of July 2013. Downtime is expected to be between two-to-three hours and will be from 10 AM BST/2 AM Pacific.
Congratulations on completing the Asylum Kill event!
As a result of your hard work, we're bringing back the Asylum map for a couple of weeks as well as giving everyone who contributed to the event a special Asylum themed weapon skin*!
Asylum will work as a Chaos mode for the duration of this test as we are using that as the basis for the new game mode that will Asylum will eventually support. We've also re-enabled the Anarchy roles for anyone who missed out on them last time around.
Please bear in mind that this map and game mode are still a work in progress. Be sure to leave us your feedback on our forums as we do read it all (even if we are not always able to reply to it).
* Further details on when we'll be sending this out soon.
Added a new silenced PMG The (PMG-SD "Hush") to the Joker Store (Cost: 700JT for the 1 slot & 1,000JT for the 2 slot).
Balance tweaks for the Obeya.
Per shot modifier (degradation): 0.45
Recovery Delay: 0.11
Recovery Per Second: 2.17
Per shot modifier (degradation): 0.44
Recovery Delay: 0.1
Recovery Per Second: 2.27
Players can now only enter districts that are equal to their threat or higher than it.
Players can now be kicked from an action districts for excessive team killing/team stunning.
Increased speed of Charge Cisco.
Re-enabled access to the Safety Goggles for those players that already had them.
Reduced the collision radius of the Financial contacts to fit the size of the character (the Waterfront contacts did not need changed).
Increasing Stage 1 time on mission 'Explosive Material'.
Text Fixed various weapon descriptions as they had out of date information.
Completely removing the 'You have completed the tutorial, you may now enter an action district' message.
Fixing an issue in the Yard Stretch Slums of Waterfront where a vehicle drop off checkpoint was almost invisible.
Added a blocking volume to prevent access to a roof in Financial that players are not meant to be able to access.
Added an invisible wall to stop players from getting onto the SPPA roof.
Wilson Leboyce's vehicle spawner can be used by both factions again.
Moved a vehicle spawner in the Gaza Freight building to prevent criminals from using their superpowers to put their arms through the walls and summon a vehicle out of thin air.
The Obeya CR762.4 now uses the correct inventory icon.
The ALIG 762 now uses the correct inventory icon.
Changing inventory icons for OCA Nano and N-HVR 243 "Reaper".
HUD Message for Assassination Medal now shows correct icon.
Added VIP as on by default to District Map Legend.
Misc Changes & Bug Fixes
Fixed a client GPF that could occur when switching district.
Fixed a rare client GPF that could occur while firing a weapon as you are killed.
Fixed a rare server GPF related to the Elective Spawn system.
Further stability improvements.
Audio VoIP Options - Fixed not being able to open Windows Control Panel.
Capture Options - Fixed not being able to change target directory through "Browse" option.
Resume / Pause Playbacks' secondary keybindings no longer start empty.
Prevented anti-virus programs like Avast from mistakenly detecting APB patches as viruses.
Improved OS checking and feedback to the user.
Implement a "Warning insufficient memory" dialog in addition to the not enough memory error dialog. (For some operating systems, a certain amount of ram is a warning, and for others an error).
First off, we'd like to say congratulations to everyone that participated in the Asylum event for helping make it such a success! You did it! It was really close, and for a while it didn't like it was going to happen. But you all went above and beyond and broke the target that we'd set.
We saw a higher number of users this week than we've seen at any point in the last month, so we've decided to give everyone that got a kill in this event an Asylum weapon skin. It'll be delivered to you within fourteen days of this blog post going live, so keep an eye on your character's mail box.
This test release of Asylum shows a few changes to the Environment from the Halloween 2012 release of the level. For example, you're able to go beyond the old boundaries to the south and get near the lighthouse area that was previously locked off (remember to be careful around the water - the Nantego is so toxic that you'll probably die the second you touch it). We've added linking overhead walkways in a warehouse space that's spread out over two buildings.
We're also bringing Anarchy back to Asylum for the duration of this event. We believe that Anarchy is the perfect fit for Asylum and, in its final version, we'll be using the Anarchy rules coupled with a variety of point-capture, objective hold, and open-world-activity missions to see who can capture and hold Abington Towers. Ever since we tested Anarchy in Financial and Waterfront and saw all the feedback we were getting, we've changed some of the final design specifications for Anarchy, which should help us turn it into a fully featured, fully fledged Chaos district – something that we know all you lovers of the urban war are going to just go nuts for.
We will be launching this second phase of testing on Asylum for two weeks from the 18th of July. Hope to see you all there.
We're very proud of your performance during the last week and we hope that you all enjoy Asylum!
1.12.0 - Audio Overhaul Incoming Patch- 05 July 2013 Update
We're going to be deploying an update for APB Reloaded on Friday the 5th of July 2013. This update is expected to be about 500 megabytes big and will add several new audio features to the game. Downtime is expected to be between two-to-three hours and will be from 10 AM BST/2 AM Pacific.
Please note that because we've given the audio system in the game a fairly major overhaul you'll need to re-import your custom tracks and need to rebuild your custom playlists.
Added a special glow-in-the-dark Weapon skin that you'll be able to unlock if you contribute to the Asylum unlock event. Please see our forums for more information.
We've updated the music library system to pave the way for the upcoming artists programme tracks. This has also allowed us to improve the process of importing tracks, managing playlists and matching music tracks to other players.
Please Note : Because we've heavily altered the system it sadly means that any previously imported music will have to be re-imported into the game and custom playlists recreated.
Fixed the respawn timer audio being out of sync now that we've increased the actual respawn time.
Fixed the last stage of "Mah-Jong Money" so that the point progression information is shown correctly.
Key Bindings : Fixed an issue that prevented a users key bindings and mouse sensitivity setting being saved. Scrolling : Fixed an issue that prevented the scroll bar working correctly in the video settings section of the Options UI. Text : Fixed an issue that caused "Keybindings" text to be incorrectly displayed if the user scrolled to the bottom of the Movement section (under "Controls").
Text : Replay video now says "Criminal" rather than "Crimintal"...
Text : Changed the warning message text that pops up if you decline the EULA, so that it better fits the selection options presented to the user.
Minor visual adjustments to the margins.
Fixed an issue that previously prevented the ping information being shown for any world apart from HAN.Fixed an issue that previously prevented the ping information being shown for any world apart from HAN.
Fixed an issue related to vehicles & the elective spawn system, that could cause a server crash.
Fixed an issue that caused the lv4 petrol can to become visually corrupted.
It’s July in San Paro, which means it’s time for you to break out the barbecue, put the beers on ice and admire the bursts of fireworks lighting up the skyline.
We always like to do things for holidays – maybe it’s having the Easter Bunny walk around the city. Maybe it’s bringing in two psychotic elves that make you dance to their tune to get Christmas-themed goodies. This year for Fourth of July we’ve done the only thing that seemed natural.
We’ve taken a hostage.
How much do you want it?
Let’s take a step back for a second and talk about the normal, non-hostage-taking part of the 4th of July celebrations in APB Reloaded. We’re having an event where all you’ve gotta do is log into the game and you’ll be sent the Uncle Sam Stovepipe Hat. Just like that, a free item of clothing for your character and all you've gotta do is show up. Couldn't be easier. If stars and stripes isn't a year long look for you then grab a customizable Stovepipe Hat in Armas for just 99 G1C.
It wouldn't be the 4th of July without honoring one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States, would it? Since this is San Paro, though, the word 'greatest' means different things than it does in the rest of the world. He's not a crook, sure, but he's Richard Effin Nixon.
This mask is available through the Joker Store in game for 1000 Joker Tickets and 3500 $APBCash or available for purchase in the Armas Marketplace for 199 G1C and will be available for a limited time as a holiday exclusive release.
Let's not do anything rash here...
I'm sure you're wondering what exactly we meant when we said we'd taken a hostage.
That hostage's name is Asylum.
Last week 11,532,741 characters were killed. If you want access to Asylum, you're going to help push that number to 13,839,289 for this week. Any less and Asylum stays where it is, locked off and just out of reach. Meet the target and we'll bring Asylum back for two weeks. There are even some Stretch Goals (like an Asylum themed weapon skin for taking part), if you're all feeling particularly violent and manage to exceed even our wildest dreams...
Team kills don't count. Kills in Fight Club, kills in Opposed Missions and Kills when you're 5 stars all count towards the global total. This is a worldwide event. It doesn't matter what server you're on, it only matters that you're killing. Kills between 00.01 AM (British Summer Time) on the 4th of July to the 00.01 AM (British Summer Time) on the 11th of July count, so keep an eye on the clock.
We'll be releasing an update to APB Reloaded tomorrow at 10 AM BST/2AM PST. This update will address several issues with elective spawning as well as adding content for the 4th of July event that will be detailed in an upcoming APB Reloaded blogpost
Downtime is expected to be between two and three hours.
We now ensure that spawn waves are not used if we are not using elective spawning. Also, we check to ensure that no elective spawning timer is being set to zero (which cancels the timer).
Total Spawn time is now 18 seconds (up from 15). Spawn selection still shows 7 seconds after death, meaning players get 3 seconds more to choose a location.
Spawns within 50m of an Objective are no longer valid spawn locations.
Objectives outwith 250m of Player Death no longer impact spawn point selection.
Fixed a rare case where players were unable to spawn due to overcrowding in a spawn location.
DMR-SD and DMR-AV ammo increased from 6/24 to 7/35.
Fixed an issue where the Flare Gun didn't show enemies in world space for the person firing it.
Temporary Fix to Grenade trails. We really like the idea of the Concussion Grenades having a different trail though to distinguish them, so they now have a light blue tint to them.
Fixed an issue where Scavenger mission items couldn't be picked up once they'd been dropped off.
Login : Moved the location of the caps lock warning text. Options : Fixed an issue that caused the Max Anisotropy setting to be blank. Messages : Changed the text of the buttons that appear if you decline the EULA.
Scenes : Added 500% more America.
Props : Updated Billboards to reflect an upcoming event. Keep an eye on the APB Blog for more details.
Gas Mask : Fixed clipping issues between hats (Deputy Badge hat, Baseball Cap & Military Cap) and Gas Masks. Skateboard Backpack : Fixed an issue that caused the Skateboard to intersect with the backpack when firing a weapon or walking with a rocket launcher. Schoolgirl Skirt : Fixed various clipping issues between the Schoolgirl skirt and the legs. Desert Scarf / Mask - Male : Fixed an issue that caused certain beards to clip through the Desert Scarf Mask. Chest Config - Male : Fixed an issue where the Chest Config would float in front of the Tactical Harness. Desert Scarf / Mask - Female : Fixed a clipping issue with the Jacket's and Blouse, when they are worn with the Desert Scarves. Enf Paladin Thigh Pads - Male : Fixed an intersection issue on large characters, between the Enforcer Paladin Thigh Pads and the Handgun Config. Crown - Female : Fixed an issue that caused the Crown to create a black line down the inside of a female characters right arm. Leg Warmers - Female : Improved the slight model distortion of the ankles that occurs when the high heels and the leg warmers are worn together.
Fixed a number of possible server crashes.
Added a Richard Nixon mask to the Joker Store. This item costs 1000JT and 3500 APB$ to unlock. This item will be available on the Joker Store and on Armas Marketplace until 11th of July.
We spoke with our Lead Producer, Scottomon, about how he contributed to the development of APB Reloaded. Once we got his attention for long enough, that is - he was busy working on getting 1.12.0 running smoothly and we were the sacrifice he was willing to make. We did eventually steal him away during a free moment to get some answers though...
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do at Reloaded Productions.
I'm Scott, the Lead Producer at Reloaded Productions. I manage the Production team and oversee all development at the studio, which includes art, programming, design, hosting, and QA. In the first instance, I work with the Executive and Development teams to set our high-level goals and deadlines. After those are in place, I manage the Producers and the Development team throughout the process of meeting those goals.
I mainly work on long-term strategy and planning, but the role is quite broad - the simplest description I can think of is that I make sure the team has all they need to do their job and that I work to remove any obstacles in their way, even if that obstacle is a really persistent community manager. (surely some mistake - Jotunblut)
How did you get started as a producer?
I studied software engineering (specifically game development) at university and got a taste for producing during a group project in my third year. After graduating, I joined my first games company as a tester on their in-house tools team and after a year saw that the company was advertising for Assistant Producers. I plucked up the courage to ask and before I knew it, I was the first Assistant Producer on the company's flagship title. Fast forward another year and I was both Associate Producer and Release Manager, responsible for coordinating the entire team to ship the game. I've been in Production ever since.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis? What are the sorts of decision that you make?
Day-to-day I look at our progress towards milestones across all our different projects and make adjustments to any plans (if necessary). This includes things like looking into reported issues and deciding how important those issues are against other issues and even other features. My main daily role is making sure that any issues blocking development or causing us pain get removed so that development can keep going.
What's the decision making process behind what features stay in a release and which ones get held back?
This is a tough one, and there's no hard and fast rule for deciding. Dropping features from a release is always a last resort and can happen for a variety of reasons. Our Executive Team may have news that changes our priorities, we may find issues in the game that make that feature difficult to implement, or we may even drop a feature because the developer working on that feature is unavailable for whatever reason. Before a feature gets dropped or pushed, we explore every possibility that would allow us to keep the feature, including sacrificing a less important feature, extending the deadline, or even pulling in a developer that was working on a future release.
The goal with every release is to ship the most important features within a reasonable time period and to the highest level of quality possible. Using that description is the best way to decide when it's time to hold back a feature for a later release, to extend the deadline, or even push the team harder.
What's the decision making process behind picking what item to release on Armas?
We decide this between what the community is telling us they want along with our own analytics. We saw that a lot of people wanted new, preset weapons so we started to make more preset weapons. We've seen people want new, more fashionable clothing items, so that's going to be a big part of the clothing artists' push over the next six months. We're pretty well sorted for armor at the moment. The goal is always to balance what we have on the store - we might highlight weapons that are underused by players at the moment so people will be more tempted to give those weapons a go, like we did with the NFA-9 and RSA.
What feature are you most proud of seeing in the last 12 months, and which one are you most looking forward to seeing in the next 12 months?
I’m more proud of our combined progress in the last twelve months rather than any single feature. We’ve added a lot of new features and have definitely improved the game immensely while also paving the way for even more new features. We've got lots more to look forward to over the next twelve months, but the one that excites me the most is our brand new [REDACTED] game mode. It’s a whole new way to play APB and definitely highlights APB’s strengths. We’ll release the details painfully slowly over the next few months.
How has development on Reloaded changed in the last twelve months?
In the last twelve months we’ve actually been able to focus a lot more on long-term work that should start making appearances over the next couple of months. We’re keeping quiet on these things just now, but players have already seen snippets, such as the Overkill servers and the early-version Chaos Ruleset. That's just a couple of the things we’ve been working on.
Can Jotunblut have a pay rise?
We've kind of blown the employment budget on Server Hamsters.
We will be releasing a major update on Tuesday the 25th of June which will bring the game to version 1.12.0
The servers will be brought down at approximately 10:00 BST / 02:00 PST. Estimated downtime will be between 3 and 4 hours.
1.12.0 introduces two main features into APB:
I. An Elective Spawning System for opposed missions.
II. The introduction of the Scaleform User Interface. 1.12.0 starts with the game's front end, but we'll be expanding it over time to be integrated into the whole game.
Elective Spawn System
We've been working on an Elective Spawning System which will allow players to choose where to spawn themselves. At its core, this uses the same set of rules that our current spawning system does, but instead of choosing the best one, it chooses the top five. We have also added an additional rule to remove spawn points close to chosen ones, so once it chooses the first spawn point, it won't pick the one beside it as well.
Now, when you die you will be returned to a spawn map with a selection of spawn zones. The system still picks a favourite (and it will eventually spawn you here if you don't pick yourself), but if you feel that one of the others is better for you, you can choose that instead. During the spawn time, you are free to change where you are about to spawn, and when the timer is up it will spawn you at your chosen point. In addition, you can see where any other dead teammates are about to spawn, allowing you to make tactical decisions about where you want to be.
There is one caveat here. If an enemy gets too close to one of your spawn zones, that spawn zone will be rendered invalid as long as they are close. Any players that have chosen that spawn zone will need to select another.
On top of this system, we have also added Spawn Waves. If you die shortly after a teammate, you will inherit his spawn timer and his selection of spawn points. This especially helps fights in public groups, where players often attack piecemeal. Now, if you all die within 8 seconds of each other you'll spawn at the same time, which helps increase group cohesion and provide more opportunities for teamwork.
Elective Spawn - A New Spawn Point Mod For Vehicles
We've also added a new modification for spawning within vehicles, simply called "Mobile Spawn Point". Any group with this mod equipped in their vehicles can choose to spawn directly into the vehicle instead of at one of the other spawn points, as long as the vehicle isn't too close to an enemy, on fire, and has available seats (and to avoid some exploiting, is within bounds of the map). This is a huge change. It potentially opens the game up to be much more heavily based around player vehicles, and hunting them down / protecting them. As such, we need to open this functionality to everyone, so this modification will be unlocked to all players very early in progression, be awarded as part of the initial set, and will also be available on the default starting vehicle.
Changed the back of the bank in Financial to make the roof easier to assault
Moved the task target drop off point from the front of city hall to behind one of the city hall pillars
Moved the bomb point in front of city hall to one of the side rooms
Added various props to make task points slightly easier to do inside City Hall
Removed a vehicle mission point near Violet & Mirri that was difficult to deal with
Added various small props to City Hall
Added various props to the Border High School roof, also added a new access point
Adding a ladder access to the roof above Wilson LeBoyce
Added various props to block 24 (Cross City Cabs Depot area) to improve gameplay flow, and added new scaffolding to get onto a roof that previously only had one way up
Fixed a vehicle spawn point in the multi-story car park (Block 29) that would occasionally spawn mission objectives in an out of bounds area
Fixing Floating Vehicle Spawn decals in LeBoyce's Car Park
Fixed Z-fighting on the roof of the road that runs under (and just up from) Mist
Fixed the level of detail issue that prevented the lower part of a building on Exchange Street being shown from upper floor of The Beacon
Removed an exploitable fence in Gresty
Fixed the lighting on the roof of the Gazebo
Fixed a lighting issue with the tower plaza building
Added a street market to the Park area in Border, across from The Plantagenet
Removed a satellite dish in Eastside, as it was extremely difficult to do as a task target
Removed ladder access to the highest roof on the hospital. Moved a ladder and added cover to a facing point too, making it easier to clear people off of the roof
Fixed Blocking volume in "The Needles - Seindorf", so it correctly stops players entering an illegal area
Environment Changes - Waterfront
Fixed a crime target in the Yard Stretch that could previously be completed from the other side of the wall
Fixed collision issues that previously allowed access inside the roof of Baylan Logistics Import/Export
Fixed display issues with the open world graffiti point near the Baylan Logistics Warehouse so that graffiti is now correctly displayed on it
Fixed a collision issue in the Atlas Apartments in Prentiss
Fixed a door that was not aligned properly in Netherport - The Rev
Fixed various issues with the roof top west of Eva Orlandez
Fixed various level of detail issues in the Docks of Waterfront and added more yachts
Fixed a level of detail issue that did not properly show the roof of the Traditional Sushi Restaurant from a distance
Improved access to Open World Graffiti Point in New Haven Road
Fixed an out of bounds exploit in the Ward Street Apartment's car park
Moved props in the Wharfside's Vacant Warehouses to prevent exploits during item hold missions
Lowered the fence around Rimbaud Cocktails so it can now be easily jumped over
Fixed a Z-fighting issue on the second floor of the Atlas Apartments
Fixed a camp spot in Sandford Keep
Added a blocking volume on the top of the San Paro Port Authority building, which will prevent players from getting places they shouldn't be allowed...
Environment Changes - Baylan
Grounded some floating props
Rebalanced threat levels based on data from users active in the last month. With the adjustments, the percentage players in each level is now:
We've also reduced the penalty on Steel Plating from 5/10/15% to 2/4/6%, which also indirectly increases vehicle health by making the mod more viable.
Miscellaneous Changes and Bug Fixes
Added additional checks to prevent you getting score for arrests and knock outs against people of maximum heat
Adding the N SSW 74 to the Joker Store in both 1 slot and 3 slot guises
Added the competition winning Air Mech Vehicle to the Joker Store
Adding line-break to the tooltips for inability to purchase items
Adjusting all references to 'Armour', 'Armoury' or 'Armoured' to use the American 'Armor' instead
Changing all mentions of 'Calibre' to the american 'Caliber'
Fixing a number of typos in Birth and Templeton's mails
Fixed an issue where the HVR-243 was occasionally referred to as the HVR-232
Fixing minor typo on one of the effects of Hunting Sight 3
Flagging correct hud message for Hack Assists
Fixed a few grammatical error's in Speedball's biography
Adjusting names of N SSW's to fall into the usual naming convention for Nekrova weapons
Added Airmech Bomber vehicle to Joker Distribution store.
Removed last sentence in Nano description as it was truncated
Allowing players to sell modifications to the shop
Design (Missions - Text)
Adjusting 'GUN-KINGS' mission to reference Prentiss Tigers rather than Bloodroses
Changing Investigate stage of 'Bookie on the Run' to spawn 3 items rather than 1 spawning elsewhere
Stopping players using a vehicle to reach a specific area in Financial Block 01 (The Needles - which is to the left of Mist)
Fixed an issue where players could get vehicles into the Cross City Cab's office
Fixed the issue that could cause "pocketed" grenades to explode on you
Players can no longer perform arson objectives from behind walls
Balancing 'End of Mission Medal' rewards. This adds score for the Champion medal, while increasing the rewards for the Judicator medals. Note, the reward for Champion isn't exceptionally high. This is due to it not being a gameplay style we want to heavily encourage (we want players to work as a team, not feel upset when their teammate gets to a point first)
Criminal players now lose heat for killing players in their own group, or teammates in the same mission
Changed the vehicle amp distances from 35, 45, 60, 75, 85 to 30, 35, 45, 55, 60. This will better balance the audio levels when the vehicles are in the distance
Fixed an issue that was causing the Joker Vending machine speech to play as soon as the player entered relevancy with one
Fixed the Kurai kit 1 & 2 spoiler damage distortion issue
When deciding whether to turn a reticule red when over a vehicle, take into account passengers if there is no driver
Fixing incorrect UI icon for Charge Cisco Boomer Raptor III Lights
Hooked up additional suicide icons and corrected the numbering error that was present on the icons before. These new icons will now trigger from 2-10 suicides and then 15, 20, 25 & 30
Fixed a visually corrupt preset symbol ("CogBot 9000")
Added an additional check when deploying an outfit. This checks that all the clothing items are in outfit layers. Any clothing item which isn't in an outfit layer is removed. This scenario can occur when a player deletes an item which has another item dependent on it
We've got a little surprise in store for you all with the 1.12.0 release of APB Reloaded. One that we've been keeping very quiet on. Patch 1.12.0 will bring with it the first implementation of our new Scaleform User Interface.
We've spent a long time working on this, getting all the systems and mechanics in place. One of the biggest challenges has been creating it in the background of the game without disrupting the existing User Interface. The first release of this major improvement contains entirely remade 3D versions of the Login, Character Select screens and more. While our newly revamped front end doesn't include updates for the HUD or Editors yet but we hope to have more news on that in the coming months.
It's also bringing a new theme song to APB Reloaded. Sharp-eared listeners might recognize parts of this new track from Asylum back in Halloween 2012. We hope you enjoy more of the unique work by our very own in-house audio guru, Farfletched.
There's another secret in this update but, that would be telling...
Maybe it was that last rocket that sailed over your shoulder and into an SUV. Maybe it was the stray bullet from the PMG that you were firing out of the side of the car window. Maybe it was just the day-glow shirt you were wearing yesterday. Regardless of what it was, it looks like Anarchy has finally descended upon San Paro. We expect to restore order by the end of the week, but in the meantime we'll try and explain what's going on...
We're going to be testing out Chaos Mode on the live game between May 30th and June 6th. This is a very early prototype for the mode that doesn't contain all the social features or game play elements from our finalized version, but we're finally ready to bring this to the game at large.
The first thing you'll notice once you join a Chaos District is that the contacts have gone - you can't run missions in Chaos Districts at the moment - and have been replaced by Shadow Strike Elites and Bloodrose Assassins. They serve as vendors while in Chaos Districts, just in case you realize that your LTL gun might not be up to the task in this brave new world. You'll also notice that you have a couple of counters at the top of your screen.
The number on your left is your Score for this life. The number on the right is your current survival time. The small numbers behind those ones are your high scores, which is a number that's tracked in perpetuity, so it won't reset even if you log out. Your job is to go out and hunt the opposite faction and get the highest score. You can see a list of how well everyone in the district is currently doing by pressing Tab and bringing up the Chaos Scoreboard.
Some of the prizes that will be available during the course of this event include two brand new titles for your character; one is awarded for killing 100 players during the event, and the other for staying alive for a total of ten minutes, which is way harder than it sounds! We've also added a new role just for this event! The Score Streak role rewards players for reaching certain score totals during a single life - if you score 500 points, you get 150 Joker Tickets. 1000 points will net you 350 Joker Tickets. And finally, a score of 1500 will get you a 10 day lease of the new Nekrova SSW Light Machine Gun!
This game mode will only be available to play for a week, so enjoy it while it lasts! Remember, this is just a test of this system as it is at the moment. We want to see how well it works and whether you guys like it or not, so don't hesitate to come on over to the APB Reloaded forums and tell us what you think.
Chaos has hit the streets of San Paro in this special Anarchy Event. When you enter APB:Reloaded you'll find we've added special Chaos districts to the district select screen. These are full PvP maps without conventional "missions". Instead, the goal is to get as high a Score as you can while attempting to survive for as long as possible. The scoreboard will track every player in the district, so you can see just how well you stack up against everyone else. How you play is up to you - will you go at it alone or will you form alliances with other players and work together to help yourself out? (With the goal being who has the highest Score on a single live, how long will these fractured alliances last..?)
At the top of your screen you find a special UI. The Left side tracks your current Score count and the right side tracks your survival time. The yellow numbers are your current scores and the grey numbers are your best score.
Here is a breakdown of feature
Players enter a "Chaos District" variant of our current action districts.
These districts are fully PvP unlocked from the get go.
There are no missions in these districts. Instead the players will have the following UI displayed at the top centre of their HUD.
This counter next to the skull tracks the players current score count and the counter next to the clock tracks how long they've been alive for.
On Death, both counters reset.
The numbers at the top are the users highest score so far - this will persist across sessions.
The players goal in this mode is to survive while getting as high a score as possible.
Players will gain negative Score for killing a player of the same faction (Score can drop below 0 too).
When you are killed you'll be able to choose which of the new spawn areas you'd like to re-spawn at.
Heat 5 criminals are shown as "friendly" to other criminals in Chaos districts.
New Event Based Roles
1 - Score Streak 1: Earned by gaining a Score of 500 in one life.
Reward: 150 Joker Tickets
2 - Score Streak 2: Earned by gaining a Score of 1000 in one life.
Reward: 350 Joker Tickets
3 - Score Streak 3: Earned by gaining a Score of 1500 in one life.
Reward: A one-off 10-Day lease of the new Nekrova Squad Support Weapon: the N-SSW.
NOTE : You will not be able to advance regular roles in Chaos Districts.
New Event Based Achievements
1 - Provocateur: Earned by killing 100 players in a Chaos districts.
Reward: "Provocateur" title.
2 - Survivor: Earned by staying alive for 10 minutes in a single life.
Reward: "Survivor" title.
PLEASE NOTE : We've created this special Anarchy Event to allow us to share and test a few systems and potential game features that we'd like to expand upon in future It is not as fully featured as the final version will be but we hope you enjoy it.
New Weapon: Nekrova Squad Support Weapon: the N-SSW (A trial version can be earned through the Anarchy Event by completing the Role "Score Streak 3").
SCOREBOARD (REGULAR & CHAOS)
Fixed column sorting on the scoreboard.
Players no longer have the status "On Mission", if they've switched districts while set to "Not Ready".
Fixed the colours on Nitro 2.
In our last post, we began talking about our new spawning system in a general overview kind of way. Today, we're going to expand a bit into the technical side of the exciting improvements we're making to the system. This is the first blog post to be written by a member of the programming team, in our continued effort to give you perspectives from all around the studio. Stuart is going to be giving you a taste of how he and the other programmers actually created the new spawning system. We're going over some basic stuff first for those of you who may not already know, so for all you smarty pants out there - bear with us for a few paragraphs until we get into the specifics.
APB – and every computer program ever created – is comprised of two essential ingredients:
Code which is the list of instructions telling the computer what to do and when to do it, what decisions to make and how often to do things. Data which is the set of information about the game world and every last detail within that world.
We write code, which works with this data to create the game, but the code and data are organised in a very specific way.
Everything in APB is an object. Programmers see everything in terms of objects. An object is a small, self-contained clump of code and data which interacts with other objects to make the game work.
The complexity of APB is formidable, but because everything is enclosed in its own object, I can focus intently on one small piece of APB at a time without worrying about anything else. APB has many thousands of objects, all working together to make the game work, so this is the only possible way to tackle this complexity.
Objects generally correspond to “things” in the game. Each character is an object, every vehicle and pedestrian, each stop light and fire hydrant - they are all objects. There are other objects in the game world which you won’t be able to see. Spawn zones are a good example, as they exist in the world at a particular location but are ultimately just areas of empty space. Yet more objects work entirely behind the scenes, such as those which calculate collisions or run missions.
Everything in APB is an Object
All the objects in APB are organised into a hierarchy depending on how they are to interact. The way in which objects relate to one another tells us what this hierarchy should be. There are two key ways in which a pair of objects can relate to one another:
“One object has another object.”
A spawn wave is a set of characters which will spawn at the same time. Everything in APB is an object, so naturally we created a new spawn wave object to represent this. Characters in a spawn wave will always be on the same team and indeed there is already a team object.
We say that a team object has a spawn wave object. This means that the spawn wave object is owned by the team object, and as such the team object will be responsible for creating new spawn wave objects and putting team members into spawn waves when they die.
The other way in which objects can relate is subtly - but fundamentally - different:
“One object is a type of another object.”
One feature of the new spawning system is the ability to spawn directly into a vehicle. Previously it was possible to spawn only using the spawn zones dotted around the district.
We use the general term of “spawn point” to describe spawn zones and vehicles; a spawn point is just a something you can spawn into, whatever that might be. We say that a spawn zone object is a type of spawn point, and also that a vehicle object is a type of spawn point object.
An important point to note here is that the new spawning system is designed to work with these generalized spawn points. It deliberately doesn’t worry about the specific details of what a spawn point is; it lets the spawn zones and vehicles themselves worry about the particulars. This means we could potentially extend the new spawning system to allow spawning using something else in the game, as long as it can be made into a type of spawn point. In fact, we wouldn’t actually need to change the spawning system itself, as it would carry on working with what it sees as “spawn points”.
The New System
After we decided to move ahead with a new spawning system, the first order of business was to figure out exactly what we were trying to achieve. Our designer wrote a 'Requirements' document, which gave a high-level overview of all the features needed for the new system. There are three main features:
Elective Spawning, where you choose where to spawn by clicking a spawn point on a map Spawn Waves, where you are able to coordinate spawning with team mates Vehicle Spawning, where you may spawn directly into a vehicle
Most of this information was given in the form of a timeline, which describes the series of events from the instant a character dies to their subsequent re-spawn, as seen below:
1 - The character dies and joins a spawn wave with other dead teammates. 2 - The death camera views the character’s rag doll. 3 - The elective spawning map is shown with a countdown. It is a map of the district which shows the set of spawn zones and vehicles chosen for the spawn wave. The best spawn point is already selected for the player. 4 - The player may click different spawn points. They will see which spawn points other members of the spawn wave are clicking, so they may conspire to spawn at the same location. 5 - A spawn point will be disabled if an enemy approaches. This can invalidate the player’s selection and they will need to choose a different spawn point. 6 - When the countdown reaches zero, the character will spawn at their chosen location. If their selection was invalidated and they did not choose another spawn point then a red countdown begins. 7 - If the player clicks a spawn point during the red countdown then they will spawn immediately. 8 - If the player still hasn’t choose a spawn point when the red countdown goes to zero, the character will spawn at a point chosen for them.
The document went into more detail about each stage, and included a mock-up of what the elective spawning map should look like:
An example of the spawn selection UI. As you can see, you are given
The Legend for the Elective Spawning Menu.
NOTE: The enemy location visibility works in the same way as the radar - if they are driving or firing a weapon, they are always shown.
There were a series of meetings where the finer points of the requirements were discussed, and after these meetings a 'Design' document was written. This outlined the key strategies and decisions that needed to be made by a programmer when creating the new spawning system. The actual process of that creation is called the implementation.
Server vs Game Client
There are two sides to every coin, and APB is no exception. There is the game client itself (which you will be very familiar with), but there is also the server, which hosts the game world and allows you to play with and against other people.
A key question we had to ask ourselves was: which parts of the new spawning system will be added to the server, and which parts will be added to the game client? In other words, who is in charge of what?
The server acts as the ultimate authority of all things. It has complete knowledge of every aspect of the game world. As such, it would:
Remove characters from the world when they die and add them again when they spawn.
Create spawn waves and put characters into waves depending on when they died.
Choose the best set of spawn zones from those scattered across the world.
Add any vehicles which have the appropriate modifier.
Validate the spawn point selections a player makes.
The game client doesn’t have any authority to make decisions which would affect other players. It only has a limited knowledge of the game world, knowing only about that which is directly relevant to the player. As such, it does much less than the server, which:
Shows the elective spawning map.
Handles the mouse input as the player selects spawn points.
This division of responsibility also showed us the sort of information which would need to be communicated back and forth between the server and game client. The server will need to send the set of spawn points it has chosen to each game client involved in the spawn wave, to allow the elective spawning map to display them. The client will need to send the player’s selection to the server, when they click on a spawn point.
Exceptions to Every Rule
The new spawning system must be able to handle edge cases. An edge case is a situation which is exceptional or out of the ordinary. We needed to take some time to imagine all these possible scenarios and think of the best way to deal with them. Here are some of the edge cases we came up with first:
What happens if a vehicle is destroyed after you’ve selected it on the elective spawning map? Wrecked vehicles can’t be used for spawning.
What happens if a mission ends when you are in the middle of elective spawning?
What happens if you are kicked from a team while in the middle of elective spawning?
These won’t happen very often, but they still must be proactively accounted for and handled appropriately.
Edge cases can be time consuming and sometimes difficult to deal with, especially in testing. But we actually cheated a little to make testing of these edge cases easier - we altered the configuration of the new system so that it spent a full 60 seconds on the elective spawning map! This is nothing like the actual amount of time you will see the map for, but this gave us sufficient time to run through all the combinations we were interested in.
So, perhaps that’s given you a little bit of an insight into the life of a programmer at Reloaded.
We all know that San Paro can be a pretty volatile place to live, but when you're dying and coming back within thirty seconds, death really is more of a speed bump than anything worth writing home about. We figured it'd be pretty great if you could pick where you re-spawn, so over the last couple of months we've been working on a feature called Elective Spawning, which lets you pick your spawn location. We spoke to APB Reloaded's Lead Designer, Qwentle for more information about this latest revolution in resurrection...
The spawn system in APB: Reloaded has long been a bone of contention for players. It doesn't garner a mention when it runs okay, but when it screws up it can lose you missions and cause massive frustration.
When you die, the current system grabs all the spawn zones in the district, then starts a process of elimination to find the best one for you. First, it removes everything too far away from your death location or teammate locations (we don't want players suiciding to teleport large distances). We then remove any objectives too close to enemies. Once we have this initial list of valid points, we run a formula to determine which of these is the 'best' for you. This weighs positively towards living teammates and objectives, and negatively against enemy players, your death location, and the death locations of teammates. The objective of this system is thus to get you as close to your teammates and objectives as possible, and at the same time far away from enemies and direct death locations.
This can fail in one of three ways. First of all, the system has to use direct distances when determining this, as it would be much too heavy on the server to determine likely foot patterns between the objectives / teammates and the hundreds of potential spawn zones (see below for every spawn zone in the game):
This can lead to situations where it picks a location that's best as the bird flies, but leaves you stranded behind a block or otherwise out of the way; for instance, the piers in Waterfront can be quite bad for this. Here's an image of Waterfront spawn points:
Secondly, there is a potential that the constraints fail to find any valid spawn zones (this mostly happens during large matches in edges of the map). In this case, the system will revert to the original spawn system, which will simply pick the nearest spawn zone out-with 70m of your death location. This fall-back system doesn't take enemy location into account, so may result in you spawning on an enemy. Finally, you can be in a situation where the current spawn zone is the best as far as the system is concerned, due to lots of live teammates nearby and objectives, but you keep dying and it sends you back to the same spot each time. Not ideal...
We've been working on an Elective Spawning System which will allow players to choose where to spawn themselves. At its core, this uses the same set of rules that our current spawning system does, but instead of choosing the best one, it chooses the top five. We have also added an additional rule to remove spawn points close to chosen ones, so once it chooses the first spawn point, it won't pick the one beside it as well.
Now, when you die, you will be returned to a spawn map with a selection of spawn zones. The system still picks a favorite (and it will eventually spawn you here if you don't pick yourself), but if you feel that one of the others is better for you, you can use that instead. During the spawn time, you are free to change where you are about to spawn, and when the timer is up it will spawn you at your chosen point. In addition, you can see where any other dead teammates are about to spawn, allowing you to make tactical decisions about where you want to be.
There is one caveat here. If an enemy gets too close to one of your spawn zones, that spawn zone will be rendered invalid as long as they are close. Any players that have chosen that spawn zone will need to select another.
On top of this system, we have also added Spawn Waves. If you die shortly after a teammate, you will inherit his spawn timer and his choice of spawn points. This will especially help fights in public groups, where players often attack piecemeal. Now, if you all die close to each other, you'll spawn together, which will help increase group cohesion and provide more opportunities for teamwork.
Finally, we've added a fairly major feature to this new system, which is a modification for spawning within vehicles. Any group with these mods in their vehicle can choose to spawn directly into it instead of at one of the other spawn points, as long as the vehicle isn't too close to an enemy, on fire, and has available seats (and to avoid some exploiting, is within bounds). This is a huge change. It potentially opens the game up to be much more heavily based around player vehicles, and hunting them down / protecting them. As such, we need to open this functionality to everyone, so this modification will be unlocked to all players by default, and will also be available on the default starting vehicle.
Next time we're going to ask StuartReloaded to explain a little more about the technical side of Elective Spawning. He programmed it and - well, you'll have to wait until next week because things are going to get in depth and they're going to get weird... Trust us, it's gonna be great.
We will be releasing an update on Wednesday the 8th of May which will bring in the following changes.
The servers will be brought down at approximately 10:00 BST / 02:00 PST. Standard downtime length is expected.
Following community feedback, we've adjusted the lose multiplier to be lower, and the score bonus conversion multiplier to be higher.
Adding an extra 50% to all mission rewards (Cash and Standing). This makes up for the removal of the Heat multiplier for straight up mission rewards.
The scoreboard will now include the mission bonuses as part of the total amounts.
1 Vs 1 missions have been disabled. To this end, Team Alliance is now automatically "on" if you are playing solo - it can now only be disabled if you are playing in a group.
Increasing always witnessable amount from $1500 to $2500.
Heat 5 players no longer gain score for killing players outside of their mission.
Fixing a missing collision volume in Waterfront. Players are now prevented from using the beams to access the roof of "Baylan Logistics".
Players are now losing prestige/heat again after delivering dirty money.
The Joker Hipster Radio Backpack preset (which was part of that clothing set) is now available through Speedball.
Arrest icon is now shown in the combat ticker.
Updating system messages for witnessable cash amount.
Fixing a typo that would previously occur when attempting to whisper a character with too long or short a name.
We shall be taking down the APB Live service at 18:15 BST in order to to apply a fix for the PunkBuster issues a number of you have been experiencing. The game should not be down for more than 2 hours.
Pushing a fix for an update PunkBuster made recently. This should resolve the "PunkBuster kicked player ... This PB Server Requires ( A1373 C2.327) - Error loading pbcl" issue some players have been experiencing.
Fixing a compatibility issue that could occur on previously owned Bishada kits that would remove some panels of glass and put a laptop inside the vehicle. NOTE: This may increase your loading time when entering a Garage editor for the first time (and only the first time) after patching.
Fix an issue that could occur when creating Vivox voice accounts.
Fixed a few issues to improve server stability.
Barring unforeseen disastrous events such as a zombie outbreak, volcanic eruption or the start of WWIII, we will be deploying patch 1.11.1 tomorrow (Wednesday 24th April) at the usual server downtime : 10:00 AM BST.
Here are the notes for tomorrow's release
Release Notes – 1.11.0 (317) to 1.11.1 (319)
New Vehicle Kits and Clothing Assets
This build introduces the new Bishada vehicle kits and thematically matching clothing kits as well as two desert scarf variants.
Enforcer - Rapid Reaction Clothing Bundle
I. Tactical Harness : This Tactical Harness features titanium hoops and links, hard wearing nylon fabrics and leather straps. As well as being able to be equipped with multiple weapon configs, it lifts, protects and separates. II. Induction Helmet : Hardened plastic and carbon fiber come together in this amazing piece of headgear. The visor is self-cleaning and the air filtration system keeps what you’re breathing pure. III. Jumpsuit : Originally designed for use at fifty thousand feet, this suit’s been brought back down to earth with a bump when it was found to be perfectly adept in the on-going ground conflict of San Paro.
Criminal - S1 Racing Clothing Bundle
I. Combat Harness : The ultimate in street racer safety gear, repurposed for urban combat. Gone are the extra safety features, replaced by more gear loops and super strong harness straps and a hoop to keep you in your seat during even the most violent of crashes. II. Racing Helmet : Functionally perfect, this helmet makes no exceptions for the fashion conscious of you out there. Huge air filters on the front and a one-way-glass visor gives you a visage that no one can stare down. III. Racing Suit : Pulled from the hottest drivers in the Nantego 700 circuit, this Racing Suit is the last word in clothing for the fashion conscious high performance driver. It’s padded yet breathable to keep you comfortable as you enter your tenth lap of Havalynd.
Both Factions - Desert Scarf
I.Desert Scarf : A large desert scarf, tied around the neck and upper chest. II.Desert Scarf Mask : A large desert scarf, tied around the lower face and upper chest.
Enforcer- Bishada Kissaki Sport
II. A top of the range Rapier with a custom Kissaki bodykit, it has a chassis capable of being fitted with up to 4 custom Modifications.
Criminal- Bishada Mako Racing
II. A top of the range Rapier with a custom Mako bodykit, it has a chassis capable of being fitted with up to 4 custom Modifications.
All these assets will be available on ARMAS soon. NOTE: If you are an Enforcer, you'll also be able to buy kits 1 & 2 for the Bishada now.
Updating Pistol Silencer and Oca Nano
I. Pistol Silencer : -20% Bullets per Magazine to -6.66% Bullets per Magazine. II. Nano : 14% health per shot -> 14.2% health per shot.
Fixing issues in Fight Club where non-premium users were getting premium rewards. Also adjusting rewards and scores for different Fight Club missions (Longer missions are now worth significantly more).
Adding a Joker Affiliate title for Joker Store winners.
We now colour all player names in the chat messages yellow.
Adjusting colour of 'Yell' to light-red instead of yellow, as this colour is now for player names.
Increasing the "always witnessable" amount from $1500 to $2500.
Fixing issue where Secondary or Grenade kills would cause the combat ticker to show an extra line (a skull with no info).
Re-adding vehicle spawner by 'The Crystal' in Financial.
Set the visual damage for a vehicle to maximum when it explodes (previously it would only be damaged at the point it was being hit before it exploded).
Kills column of the Enemy side is now aligned correctly.
Adding the correct ammo Icon for the flare gun.
Fixed a typo in the Integrated Rifle Silencer description.
Firework variant (JMB5) of the flare gun is now tradable.
Fixed several rare issues that could cause a server to crash.
Adjusting Obeya CR762 'Cyborg' price to match the rest of the three slot CR762s.
Today we're going to officially reveal all the new stuff that's coming out in the next release. It's content - BIG content - so get excited!
Shake that asset
Customization is one of the core features of APB Reloaded, and it's also one of the main reasons that our game is so unique. There's no other game that allows you to customize virtually every aspect of the game in as much detail as APB:R, and every time we speak to someone about what they like about the game, customization is one of the first things mentioned. We have a dedicated art team that are always hustling to bring more clothing, weapons and vehicles to the game, and today we’re going to look at some of the fruits of their labor.
The average clothing asset takes one of our artists about three weeks to create. Every item needs to be prototyped, modeled in high poly, normal mapped, modeled in a low poly version next, and then have color masks created for it - all of this before going into testing. There are other steps, but we won't go into the details of that just now.
We asked Tim, one of our Senior Artists, about his time working on the clothing in APB Reloaded. "Each item presents us with a different series of challenges. One of the strangest difficulties is being able to find a way to make an item of clothing that looks unique and very cool, but also generic enough that you can customize and do plenty of different things with it," said Tim. His favorite clothing item he's created for APB:R is the jumpsuits for the new Bishada packs, and his favorite item ever created by our team is the Desert Scarf (which was created by another Senior Artist).
Speaking of which, here's another image for your viewing pleasure:
Something that’s become fairly critical to our team is trying to get a stronger sense of parity between the genders and factions in APB:R. At the moment, male characters have far more clothing items than female characters, so some of the old assets that weren’t released are awaiting creation of female counterparts. We’re finally getting through some of the backlog of old items though, which means that the Desert Scarf is, at long last, on the list for the next release!
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads
A while back, we showed everyone a piece of concept art that showed the new, cross-faction Bishada Rapier. Since then, our vehicle team has been hard at work turning that concept into a reality, and we’re really excited with the final product. So, ladies and gentlemen, the Reloaded Team is proud to present to you the first official images of the new Bishada Kissaki and Bishada Mako!
When we design a new vehicle pack like this, we tend to think about it in terms of how the two sides play off each other.We like to think of the Enforcers being better funded than their Criminal counterparts – Criminals tend to have to work their equipment out of gear that’s believably available on the open market. Enforcers should be capable of getting their hands on more military spec and specialized equipment. While this isn’t a rule that we treat as gospel, it’s something that we run with when possible, and we feel that the hybrid we managed to achieve with the Criminal Bishada is great. A lot of the styling for the vehicle was provided by our Senior Vehicle Artist as something akin to his dream car.
The latest addition to APB Reloaded’s arsenal – The Nekrova N-SSW, which we mentioned in a recent post, will also be released in an upcoming update. We’ll be bringing two versions of this gun to the game: one version that’s obtainable through the Armas Marketplace and another version that’s obtainable through Joker Tickets.
We’re shaking things up a bit in our next post, with a Q&A session where we lovingly interrogate our Audio Engineer about the Artist Program (and his guilty music pleasures - Prefab Sprout anyone? Google it if you don't already know...), so stay tuned!
Bishada cross faction kit images - Screenshots of the new Bishada kits
It's been a few months since we've had some official information about the new Bishada kits and we'd just like to take a moment to show them off. Our vehicle artists have done some fantastic work with them and we're sure you'll all be really impressed. Some of you may have already seen these images but for those of you who haven't, here they are from us.
Please note that these pictures are not final and some of the features on it will change between this image and the final version but the changes shouldn't be massive.
The Bishada Mako
The Bishada Mako is the new Criminal Kit. Based on high performance track cars, this vehicle shows a strong racing pedigree with a huge spoiler and roof-scoop air intake. If the spoiler seems a little extreme for your tastes it comes with something slightly more restrained for all you shrinking violets out there.
The Bishada Kissaki
For the first time, Enforcers will be able to own and drive the Bishada with the new Bishada Kissaki. A huge exhaust, super deepdish rims and styling that's a cross between the truly epic breed of modern Italian hyper car and a fighter jet make this a real attention getter.
Watch the APB Blog for more information in the future on these new vehicle kits and more...
It's crunch time once again at Reloaded Games. It’s been a pretty hectic week with "Settle the Score" getting ready to make its way out the door, not to mention the recent announcement of APB Vendetta. You should check out the Vendetta Kickstarter (if you haven't already), to find out more about the exciting game in the making, inspired by the APB Reloaded universe.
But first stick around!
We're going to talk about the process of how our Community team reports issues and ideas from our forums, twitter, Facebook and blog back to our Development team. We're also officially introducing you to the new Contact, Speedball, who will be joining us in the version 11 update.
Manning the Floodgates
One of the things that we're really working on this year is the quality and frequency of communication that goes on between Reloaded Games and our community. We're constantly striving for new and better ways to communicate with you guys, and it’s always good to see feedback on our efforts, be it positive, negative or (in some cases) outright weird.
Trouble is, there’s a lot of information coming in, so the community team needs to filter through a lot of the noise and try and get the strongest signal to pass along to the development team. What are the real concerns or ideas that the majority cares about the most, and how do we tackle those ideas?
We have a page on our Reloaded internal wiki that details the top ten issues in the community with links on how we intend to actually fix those issues. We're aiming to start crossing off more and more of these throughout the year. Some of the issues that we've got plans for are (in no particular order): server performance, new content, mission balancing, and in-mission spawning.
Cool Community Stats
We keep track of a lot of stats in APB Reloaded – just about everything that players can do in the game is tracked and collated into spreadsheets that we access and use to analyze player behavior. Recently we compared a list of the most lethal weapons over a week long period on Joker NA East before the weapon balance patch, and then again after the weapon balance patch when we saw a similar number of players on.
Over a 24 hour period on NA East we saw 203,055 kills; that’s 141 player deaths per minute. The most lethal weapon in the game was (prior to the weapon balance patch) the NTEC-5 with the STAR 556 coming in a close second. Shotguns accounted for slightly more kills after the balance patch than they did before, and the STAR and the NTEC had swapped places. Keep in mind that these stats don't reflect the lethality of particular weapons, rather they reflect their popularity. These stats also didn't include kills caused by vehicle explosions that were triggered from weapon damage.
Also, the total number of Easter Eggs delivered this year was a staggering 10,543,233 - that's over 8 eggs per second for the entire duration of the Easter Event! The person that delivered the most eggs was Colby’s DonCostello. Well done DonCostello, you had some tough competition!
The New Dealer
Who's this new Contact hanging out in Social? His name is Speedball and he works for the new faction, Joker Associates.
Speedball is a character that we're very proud of because everything about him has come from the community! The appearance of the character was taken from the winner of the Almost Famous contest that was run on the APB Reloaded forums for Reloaded Day 2013. His look and biography was created by Darrell Kayne from Obeya, his voice was provided by Bumbleton from Joker, and the outfits that he sells at the moment were created by players from all over the game.
Speedball will be selling player made content for various upcoming Joker Associates contests, as well as stuff that we find in the community that we think the rest of the world deserves to see and use. If you think you make stuff that other players would love to have, then keep an eye on the APB Reloaded forums for more Joker Associates contests in the near future for your chance to win. Together we can all help Speedball build a decent stockpile!
Winners of Joker Associates contests will get listed as the creator of the item in-game, and they'll be sent the new, super-exclusive Joker Associates weapon skin (props to Vivianne from the APB Reloaded forums for the inspiration on this skin!), as modeled by Gumball below. So far only twelve people in the entire game have this weapon skin, so it really is as exclusive as it gets!
That’s everything from the Community team for now. We hope this has given you some insight on what we do and how we work, as well as helping to bring you up to date on the latest in 1.11. Our next blog post will be up soon and should have details about a much requested item that’s finally going to see a release. Some sort of… dessert scarf? How the heck would you wear a dessert sca -
Here are the release notes for patch 1.11 - Settle The Score.
We're hoping to have this rolled out during next Wednesday's maintenance. Keep an eye on the APB Reloaded blog for more information and maybe even a sneak preview of other upcoming goodies.
Release Notes – 1.10.3 (306) to 1.11.0 (310)
New Feature Score
1.11.0 will bring "Score" into APB: Reloaded. This system will reward players points for positive actions that help the mission and their team, players will also gain assist points for contributing to the mission and team - for example, points for helping take down an enemy player or being near an objective as it is completed. Players will incur negative score penalties for actions that are detrimental to the mission and their team - for example, team killing or any other action that earns a "demerit" medal. Whenever the player earns (or loses) score, they will be notified at the bottom of the screen. They can check their running total on the scoreboard and once the mission ends they will be presented with a score break down of their performance. We also have diminishing score amounts for actions that can be repeated (for example, capture points). Additionally, the score you earn for kill assists will be based on the amount of damage you do.
Why Move to a score based system?
Score has a number of benefits to APB: Reloaded as a project. It provides a more transparent participation statistic for players. This gives players clearer goals to aim for, as well as providing them bonuses for helping out their team. At the same time, Score will be used to determine who 'wins' a mission, so players will not be able to throw a mission to lose near the end and go down in threat. This will also allow us to keep AFK players out of the pool. Finally, Score allows us to provide some small incentive for being, and playing against, higher threat players, as well as giving low threat players more satisfaction for taking out someone higher.
New Weapon Flare Gun
1.11.0 brings the flare gun to APB. This is a secondary weapon that will tag all enemy players within clear line of sight of the explosion (up to 85 meters from the explosion) on your, and your teams, HUD, for 6 seconds. It comes in two variants: 1. A standard flare gun that fires a flare in an arc (bought through the Joker Store) 2. A Firework variant that fires in a straight line (the top prize in the new Joker Mystery Box).
New Fixer Speedball
Darrel 'Speedball' Kayne is the new Joker Associates representative who has been created by the community for the community. He will sell content created by players who win contests and events. All players who have content featured on Speedball's store will receive an exclusive Joker weapon skin as well as being fully credited as the creator (they'll also be one step closer to that Effigy front cover...).
Speedball was designed by EU community member "DarrellKayne", who won the "Almost Famous" character design contest.
He was voiced by US community member "Bumbleton".
He currently sells outfits from community members:
I. Little Caroline II. Rapid99 III. LUST IV. Vivianne V. JeremyStyle VI. Onishema
If you'd like to get yourself on the Joker Associates store please be sure to follow the forums for contest and event details that could get you there.
District Threat Restrictions
District entry will now be threat restricted. Players will no longer be able to enter a district more than one threat level below their current threat level (For example: A Gold player can now only go down as low as a Silver threat district). There are however no restrictions on how high above your threat level you can go and there are no longer any penalties for entering a district outwith your recommended level. District spin up code has also been changed so that there is always a district available for every threat level. Also, the district join logic has been improved to maximise the chances of players being placed in a district with greater opposition and high population.
The dock area has been updated with new blocking volumes to prevent players shooting through the floor and some new yachts have been added to the area too for some additional cover.
Devil Dog has taken control of a popular camping spot in Havalynd...
Decreasing the burst interval on the OSCAR as a slight buff (The time between bursts).
N-HVR 243 Scout
Disabling weapon switch during re-fire. You now have to bolt the sniper before you can swap to secondary (the same as the HVR 762).
Damage down from 200 to 180. This makes the gun require 6 shots to kill, up from 5.
Accuracy loss per shot reduced from 0.275 to 0.23
Recovery Delay down from 0.145 to 0.12
Recovery Per Second up from 2.5 to 2.8
Modifier cap down from 1.8 to 1.6
Updated the textures to allow customisation of the solid window panels on the Criminal Carrying Vehicle.
Doubled the time on the initial stage of "Undercover Runner" and "Raid Ruckus".
UI - Threat
While in training, we now display your underlying threat level on the Character Info UI (J) - but only to yourself, other players will only see that you are in training.
Various client and server background optimisations.
Added a special Joker Distribution weapon skin. This will be given out to players who get their content on Speedball's store through community contests and events.
Two new CR5 presets have been added for players who prefer using the CR5 but want the functionality of the N-TEC. Please keep an eye on Armas to see when they'll be made available for purchase.
A new variant of the Snub Nose has been added that has a faster rate of fire (for the ultimate humiliation showboater in all of us). Please keep an eye on Armas to see when it will be made available for purchase.
Adjusting price of "Blood Drip" stocking ® to match the left.
Added Aviator (Head) to progression at the same point as the standard Aviators. Players that already have the aviators unlocked will automatically unlock the Aviators (Head) asset.
Adding the "Netbook 4G" to 'White Hat' role (previously only the Netbook 3G was available to Enforcers for completing White Hat 2 and 3).
Fixed an issue that could cause a server assert.
'Black Hat' title should now unlock with the Black hat role.
Fixed an issue that was preventing whispers being ignored.
It is no longer possible to send mail to a character you are ignoring (and vice versa).
Reduced the length of NFA-9 'Quickdraw' description and fixing a typo.
Moved the dots on the OBIR and OSCAR skins to better balance the visual harmony of the skins.
Fixed an issue with the mission "Political Favor" so that the Enforcers no longer "Steal" a vehicle.
Fixed issue where enforcers couldn't pick up the task item at the end of CRYING OVER SPILT MAGNESIUM.
Renamed V20 Nightrider Rear Bumper to actually be called a rear bumper.
Fixed an issue with the intensity of icons that was making them harder to see than intended.
Earlier last month we announced we were working on "Settling the Score" - the Version 11 update (a.k.a update 1.11). We've been a bit coy about the fine details on this update, mostly because there were a few things still being finalised for release. We know everyone's been waiting in anticipation for more info so today we're going to show you some of the things that are absolutely pinned down and ready to go!
To start - there's a whole new Scoring System and two new weapons – the LMG and a shiny new secondary weapon. There’s plenty more going into this update, but here's the scoop of what's been finalized so far to get your appetite started.
This is the Nekrova Squad Support Weapon, a brand new LMG. It’s Nekrova’s first entry into the field of Light Machine Guns and it’s a hybrid of the ALIG 762, SHAW 556, and the N-TEC. Less damage than the ALIG and a slower rate of fire than the SHAW, but a much faster setup time. Other LMG’s suppress from a stationary position and are really effective, but this weapon’s more about mobility – it’s an LMG you can sprint with to get into position quickly before setting up and pouring the pain on your enemies.
The Flare Gun has been a concept that we've been throwing around for a while now. It’s a secondary weapon that we think every team is going to want one of, and it's going to be a total game changer during missions! It carries four shots at the moment, but these bullets aren't like anything else in the game – they bounce and explode causing very light damage (don't worry, it’s less damage than a perc.)
The real beauty of this weapon is that the flare tags every enemy in line of sight of the explosion on your radar and HUD. It’s an AOE tagger and can change the flow of any match by highlighting your enemies for the rest of your team. It’s the ideal support weapon and a must have for San Paro's elite groups.
New Scoring System
Ever since the start of APB Reloaded’s development, we've wanted to make player performance more of a factor in how you get matched up. One of our earliest tasks in the bug database (the 19th task that was brought into the database, in fact) was to simplify the scoring system and expose what it did to the player.
Version 11, introduces a whole new version of the score mechanic – everything you do while on Mission will count towards your score and your score will count towards your Threat. As you can guess, this feature inspired the name for the update - "Settling the Score."
Here’s the current system (this is a really, really simplified version):
You ready up, you get into a match and you win the match. Your threat goes up a little bit. If you lose your threat level goes down.
This is an ‘okay’ system. It works fine, but it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of edge cases. What if you lose because someone called for back-up with a minute left on the clock? What if you stomp on the other team but lose at the last second? What if the other guy on your team does really badly? And why should that guy get to be gold if they're getting carried there?
While some of those edge cases are covered (players called into a mission late only receive a fraction of the penalty) we can do better. These are the sorts of edge cases that we really want to address with the new system.
From Version 11 onward, when you kill an enemy player you get 100 score. Objective completion scores vary depending on the task. When you're e near an objective getting completed you get 75 score for providing cover to your team mates. You get more score for kill streaks, blitzkriegs, arrests, stuns, freeing teammates, and vehicular kills. You get a major chunk of score for winning a match and a lot of score even if you lose.
If, at the end of a match, you're in the top 50% of the high score table, your threat level goes up. If you're in the bottom 50% your threat goes down. Even if you lose, if you fought harder than anyone else in the match, your threat will still go up. If you win but got carried there by the rest of your team your threat’s going down until you start to be more of a team player. You get a breakdown of everything that gave you score during the mission and you get to see how the rest of your team did.
Score has the potential to make de-threating much harder, and with new server restrictions (which we'll talk about in another blog post soon after this one) making sure that the right people get into the right districts (and there are the right districts for them to go into – no more ‘no gold at peak time’) we're confident you'll start to see fairer matches, no matter your threat level. We'd love to see Score take on a bigger role in celebrity too – who wants to hold the Worldwide High Score for The Tiger Mole or Your Uranium is Showing?
So there you have it folks - the first round of feature and content details on "Settling the Score" Version 11 update! Don't forget to stay tuned for an upcoming post where our Community Team will share some cool APB Reloaded statistics we’ve gathered, and chat about the process of how community feedback gets filtered through to Development.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of the new Joker contact. Enjoy!
The Fastline kit gives the legendary Doltron Fresno a cool new look, with a huge air intake, new spoiler and new grille. It’s the king of the road and one of the most visually striking vehicles on the streets of San Paro – if you want your Fresno to be the epitome of classic cool then this is the car for you.
We will be releasing a client update on Wednesday the 20th of March.
The servers will be brought down at approximately 10:00 GMT / 02:00 PST. Estimated downtime should hopefully be two to three hours.
Release Notes 1.10.3 - Easter
Easter Event - Egg Hunt! (20th March - 3rd April)
Somewhere in San Paro a criminal mastermind is roaming the streets dressed in a rabbit suit and carrying illegal contraband in Faction branded Easter eggs. All we know about this eggsentric sociopath is that he answers to the name "Mr Bunnyface".
Your job is to find Mr Bunnyface, search him for any eggs he's carrying, then return what you find to your nearest faction contact. Be careful though - he's a high priority target, so you'll instantly hit heat level 5 when you finish searching him.
City Hall will award you with the following rewards in accordance with the number of eggs you return:
You can track your progress through the "Egg Hunt" role.
Here is the full specification:
Mr Bunnyface will spawn at random around the district
Both Criminal and Enforcer contacts can interact* with him by facing him and pressing F.
You'll automatically go heat 5 on completion of the search.
The eggs are to be dropped off at a faction contact, similar to open-world task items.
Dropping the eggs off at a contact will drop the players heat to level 4.
Killing the Mr Bunnyface will not cause him to drop eggs - he will only drop them after being searched**.
If a player carrying eggs is killed, they will drop the eggs they are carrying and then players can fight over them. Note: The eggs will fall into a single pile - hammer F to grab them before someone else does
For the duration of this event the Heat 5 Kill/Arrest rewards have been reduced.
*Punch the cheeky bastard out cold. **With your fist
Good luck & Happy Easter!
We are reinstating the ban on mailing top Joker box weapons between characters as a result of the scamming currently taking place.
ARMAS : A chicken suit will be available for purchase on ARMAS over the duration of this event.
New Weapon Skin
ARMAS : There will also be a special Easter themed skin sold on ARMAS for the duration of this event.
It’s Easter, which means it’s time for an egg-straordinary and egg-citing San Paro event! This year we’re pulling out all the stops to try and give you the most egg-cellent Easter we can, in a two week egg-stravaganza from March 20th to April 3rd. We’re giving every player the chance to win a customizable Animal Suit and Rabbit Head hat in our in-game Egg Hunt Event, and we're adding eggs-essively brilliant Easter content to ARMAS in the way of an Easter Egg Weapon Skin and an eggs-travagant Chicken Costume!
The Chicken Head mask (bundled with the Animal Suit) will only be available from ARMAS, so you can finally be the Baddest Motherclucker in the city!
All you need to do is log into the game and go into either Financial or Waterfront. Then find one of the Bunnies walking around the city, mug them by pressing your interact key (usually F), and take their eggs to your nearest Faction Contact. You’ll hit five stars as soon as you finish ‘interacting’ with Mr. Bunnyface, so you’ve gotta run if you’re going to get to your contact before someone takes you down and steals your eggs! It’s sure to be egg-splosive! Killing Mr. Bunnyface doesn’t make him drop his eggs though, so you’ve got to make sure to go up to him and press F. And remember! Enforcers can mug him too so everyone gets to play!
Level 1 of the new role gets you the Easter Bunny Suit. Level 2 gets you the Easter Bunny Head and level 3 gets you the ‘Easter Bunny’ Title!
Now, if you’ll egg-scuse us, we're off to compile an egg-saustive list of egg puns for future reference.
We're releasing a hot-fix for two issues introduced in Wednesday's patch. Expected downtime is under one hour and will be within the next two hours (i.e before 8.30 PM GMT/12.30 PM PST)
Release Notes – 1.10.2 (293) to 1.10.2 (295)
Client Hang : Fixed an issue that many players were experiencing when attempting to spawn into a district while running in full screen mode. FEMALE MODELS: Fixed an issue that could cause female characters to increase in size at lower LODs.
At the beginning of 2013, we promised we’d take a lot more time to communicate what’s happening with APB Reloaded and our plans for the future. Starting March 2013, we’re going to make “Reloaded Day” the start of our Reloaded calendar year. In this blog post we’re going to share an overview of our plans for the year.
2012 was a massive year for Reloaded. We had a newly-launched game and all the associated teething issues that needed to be ironed out that we attacked with zeal - things like compatibility with thousands of different PC set-ups, launching localized versions in Russia and Brazil, and creating and managing in-game events for Valentine’s, Halloween, and Christmas to name a few.
For us, 2012 was the year of Consolidation – making sure everything worked, that the game was fun and that we were listening to your comments, suggestions and bug reports from the community. 2013 is the year of Delivery. With the game and our development systems improved and more advanced, we can look to delivering more new features and content; things that we all want to see, and that you've been asking for.
Everyone knows that game development is a very fluid process – new software and hardware is released all the time, new ideas are born, new, unforeseen challenges appear. Regardless of the challenges that all passionate game development teams face, our goal for 2013 is to do everything possible to deliver on planned updates, so long as they are highly polished and ready for our players.
New & Improved Features for 2013
Our ‘To Do’ list for this year is pretty ambitious. Some projects are only in the design stage, but others are being coded as you read this. We’ll also be constantly working on performance, anti-hack measures, and bug fixes throughout the year.
So on to the good stuff! (Please note the list below is not in order of release or priority.)
Our major goals for 2013 are:
Score system update New tutorial Brand new front-end design Mission re-vamp in mission districts Elective spawning New contacts Asylum map with new game mode Threat segregation Joker Ticket activities in mission districts Smart district spin-up Re-designed HUD
“Settling the Score” (Version 11)
We’ll be releasing a few major updates throughout the year, the first of these being called “Settling the Score” (Version 11), set for an April release. This update will feature an improved District instancing mechanic, a new scoring system that balances arrests, kills and mission objectives, and a new way for players to choose their own spawn point after death. We’ll write a blog post with full details just before release.
ARMAS Marketplace Content
We have a small but talented team of artists constantly working on new content for the game.
As we've already revealed in a concept teaser we’re working on an Enforcer Performance Kit for the Bishada, and of course we’re working on the Bishada Criminal Performance Pack too. There will also be some new clothing elements for both packs, and these will be revealed a short while before release. This is all a few months away, so consider this a very early sneak peek.
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about our in-game special events because they allow us to create some fun seasonal gameplay and rewards. We’ll be doing major events for the usual big holidays - Valentine’s, Easter, Halloween and Christmas – and there will be plenty of other stuff in between. Our next major holiday is Easter, and while we don’t want to reveal it all yet, let’s just say that you can expect to find a brand new character walking around the streets of San Paro.
We’ll continue to work on improving online game performance, update current anti-hack measures, pursue new possible anti-hack measures and destroy bug that may pop up throughout the year.
A Bright Future
Improving APB Reloaded is a continuing conversation with our community. We appreciate your feedback and we read every Forum, Facebook, and Twitter suggestion. We’ll continue to work on improving online game performance, update current anti-hack measures, pursue new possible anti-hack measures and destroy bug that may pop upthroughout the year.
So 2013 is the year of major updates, more content, and more communication. We appreciate your support, we hope you like what you've heard so far, and we look forward to seeing you in the game.
We will be releasing a client update on Wednesday the 6th of March.
The servers will be brought down at approximately 10:00 GMT / 02:00 PST. Estimated downtime should hopefully be two to three hours.
Release Notes – 1.10.2 (291) to 1.10.3 (293)
March the 7th is Reloaded Productions birthday and we are giving out a free Party Hat and Party Blower to anyone who logs in between the 7th-10th March so you can all celebrate with us! There will also be competitions and exclusive titles too - so keep an eye on the forums and the blog.
Changed the following preset weapon modifications.
"N-Tec Kasatka" V2, V3 and V4
V2 : Rifling changed to Mobility Sling V3 : Rifling changed to Mobility Sling, Reflex Sight 1 changed to Hunting Sight 1 V4 : Rifling changed to Mobility Sling, Reflex Sight 2 changed to Hunting Sight 2
SHAW 556 III "Lion" and SHAW 556 IV "Bear"
Lion : Reflex Sight 1 changed to Hunting Sight 1 Bear : Reflex Sight 2 changed to Hunting Sight 2
ALIG 762 "Commando 76Two R3 & R4"
R3 : Reflex Sight 1 changed to Hunting Sight 1 R4 : Reflex Sight 2 changed to Hunting Sight 2
Obeya CR762 "Artic Blaze"
MK-II : Magazine Pull 1 changed to Hunting Sight 1 MK-III : Magazine Pull 2 changed to Hunting Sight 2 MK-IV : Magazine Pull 3 changed to Hunting Sight 3
EX-III : 3-Point Sling 3 and Cooling Jacket 2 reversed, now Cooling Jacket 3 & 3-Point Sling 2.
N-HVR 762 "Akula"
V3 : Magazine Pull 1 changed to Hunting Sight 1 V4 : Magazine Pull 2 changed to Hunting Sight 2
Before we take you on a journey through the history of our game development studio – Reloaded Productions, we would like to apologize for publishing this blog post a day late. We have been in crunch mode trying to get everything ready for Reloaded Day, especially all of the celebration gifts we mentioned in our previous blog. So without further ado, please join us for a stroll down memory lane …
Back at the end of 2011, we finished up APB Reloaded’s open beta period and went live with the game. It was a pretty eventful time for us, and we’d like to share some stuff about what we’ve done in the last year and what that start-up was like for us.
While the initial development of APB happened in a huge multi-floor building in Dundee, the continued development of APB Reloaded has been taking place in a single floor building located in the bustling city center of Edinburgh. It started as a fairly spacious location, but in the last six months, as we’ve brought on more staff from around the world, we’ve found that it’s actually starting to get a little cramped! The pictures below show what the room looked like before we’d really moved in, and what the same space looks like right now.
You can see our audio, production, design and community departments. Qwentle, Scottomon, Jotunblut, Revoemag and Farfletched all share this area and it’s typically the loudest part of the office. To the right of the picture is where our artists are kept, which probably explains the sheer number of action figures that there are loitering in the area (‘they’re for anatomical research reasons only, honestly’). We keep the programmers in the background of the picture. Aphadon, StuartReloaded, Hezeki and Androvald are just a few of the programmers that we have on site. Over on the right behind the glass wall is the QA area where Funkadefunk, A3 Paper and Digitalbeeps keep an eye on features to make sure everything’s ticking as it should.
The last two years of APB Reloaded’s development could be described as a kind of ‘organized chaos.’
We’ve really gotten to grips with a lot of the unusual methods that were employed during APB’s original development. The last eighteen months have been all about us learning the framework of the game so the next year can be all about more fixes, more content and faster development. We’ve added a lot of content (six new Contacts, Fight Club, server performance fixes, environment changes, new Weapons, new Mods, new Vehicle Kits, more clothes), all while coming to terms with a huge game and codebase. Now that we’ve had time to get to know the systems that exist in the game , we have some very cool plans for the 2013 that we will tell you all about in our next blog post.
We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with APB Reloaded. We have to make a lot of difficult decisions every week – which feature gets pushed to the next release, which assets to include in the next update, sugar or no sugar – but we feel strongly that we’ve done the best that we can and we’re in a fantastic position for the road ahead.
We’re really excited about the next twelve months and beyond and hope that you all are too. It’s great to see so many people that are so passionate about the game and it’s always heartening for a developer to have a dedicated and lively fan base. Thanks for reading and remember: tap fire the n-tec for greatest damage!
We asked our developers what their favorite moments of the last twelve months were:
“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” – Senior Systems Developer, U.N.C.L.E. “Killing pumpkins! The squeaky laugh you got every time you killed one was great. The whole Asylum preview was really fun for me.” – QA Tester A3Paper. “I think the highlight of my year was getting sent muffins in the mail from the SPCT. Muffins and brownies.” ‘So what you’re saying is that free food is the highpoint of your year?’ “Kind of, yeah.” – Androvald and Alistair, Game Programmer and Hosting Programmer respectively. “Does the time someone kicked a hole in the wall count? Okay then, how about when we went live on Steam?” – Revoemag. “Staffing up with people from back in the day.” – Tim, Clothing and Character Artist. “The CS ticket explaining in great detail what a camel-toe is, and then asking for one for their character.” – M, Head of Intelligence and Office Manager. “Getting our clothing pipeline actually fixed so we can start turning out more clothing faster.” – SoleSurvivor, Lead Artist. “Getting visual studio 2012 up and running. Performance boosts all round.” – Aphadon, Game Programmer. “When the folks at Effigy News sent me a real life Joker box for Christmas. That was pretty much the best.” – Jotunblut, Community Manager. “I have to say my favorite moment was basically everything that went on in the ‘Monte and Kogey’s Stupid Competition’ thread. There is no prouder moment for a developer than watching folk sacrifice themselves in formation just for the fun of it and because you are an egomaniac with too much time on your hands in the evening, a keyboard, and a varying list of whims with which to formulate your demands. It was fun, and the community availed themselves magnificently.” – MonteCristo. “Late night totally sober community interaction.” –Qwentle, Lead Designer. “My favorite moments of the last twelve months are not suitable for public consumption.” – Michael Boniface, Studio Manager.
Hello from sunny Scotland to all our Reloaded fans! It’s time to kick-off the month of March with style AND substance as we share our plans for the year ahead and reward our loyal players.
March 7th is the birthday of the APB: Reloaded team and so we’ll be celebrating this as “Reloaded Day” with a whole week of free stuff and the best contests we've ever launched. We’ll also be blogging about the history of APB: Reloaded and what we’ll be doing in the future.
We’ll be giving away over 400,000 G1 Credits in total prizes with Kill and Customization Contests. The ‘Almost Famous’ customization contest gives you the chance to see your design in the game and featured on billboards across San Paro as the new Joker Industries spokes-model!
Other giveaways include an in-game party hat & streamer and FREE 3-DAY PREMIUM for everyone – you get Bonus XP, Bonus APB$, and 20% off purchases from the ARMAS Marketplace!
We wanted to come up with something to reward our long-term players so we've created totally unique Titles for Closed Beta Test and Open Beta Test players. We truly appreciate all the help in getting Reloaded started.
4th March – “History of Reloaded” blog post.
7th March – “Future of APB: Reloaded” blog post.
Reloaded Day ‘Kill-a-thon’
Duration: 00:01 hrs UTC Monday 4th March 2013 to 23:59 hrs UTC Sunday 10th March 2013.
This is a simple “Most kills wins” event. The top three players with the most unique kills in each world will win a prize (Mission and/or Fight Club Districts).
Top 3 players per World win:
1st Place – 40,000 G1 Credits 2nd Place – 20,000 G1 Credits 3rd Place – 10,000 G1 Credits
Winners will be announced week commencing 11th March.
‘Almost Famous’ NPC Contest
Duration: 00:01 hrs UTC Monday 4th March 2013 to 23:59 hrs UTC Sunday 10th March 2013.
Design a new Joker Industries “Spokes-model” contact! Your character will be added to the game and will also appear on Joker Industries billboard ads throughout the game.
Design a character on your account and submit their image, character name and up to 750 word back story to the forum post. One entry per account, please see forum post for full rules.
The Top three creations as judged by the Reloaded Productions team will win:
1st Place – 40,000 G1 Credits + Character appears in game! 2nd Place – 20,000 G1 Credits. 3rd Place – 10,000 G1 Credits.
Winners will be announced week commencing 18th March.
Free ‘Reloaded Day’ Party Hat and Streamer
Log-in to the game and automatically receive these two customizable in-game items for free. Duration: 00:01 hrs UTC Thursday 7th March 2013 to 23:59 hrs UTC Sunday 10th March 2013.
Free 3 days Premium Account
Log-in to the APB: Reloaded ARMAS store during the offer period and enter the following code to receive a free 3-day duration Premium account:
Duration: 00:01 hrs UTC Thursday 7th March 2013 to 23:59 hrs UTC Sunday 10th March 2013. (3 days Premium begins when you enter the code during this period. Even if you enter the code on Sunday, you will receive the next three days as Premium).
Get the following benefits in-game:
20% discount in the Armas Marketplace.
Up to a 90% bonus to all Contact Standing (XP) gains.
125% bonus to all APB$ (in-game currency) gains.
50% reduced cool down on activated abilities.
Advanced access to customization suites (up to 100/50/50).
Extended duration for free Armas trials.
Free in-game titles for players who have been with us since the Closed Beta and Open Beta days.
Duration: A promo code will be automatically delivered to qualifying players on Thursday 7th March, and is available to redeem until the end of this month. The code can be claimed by logging into Armas and going to the 'Redeem Code' page.
“CBT Veteran” Character Title Unlock (Account Lifetime)
Closed Beta Players (First logged in before 23rd May 2011)
“OBT Veteran” Character Title Unlock (Account Lifetime)
Open Beta Players (First logged in 23rd May 2011 - 6th December 2011)
We will be releasing a client update on Wednesday the 27th of February.
The servers will be brought down at approximately 10:00 GMT / 02:00 PST. Estimated downtime should hopefully be two to three hours.
This patch contains some of the server upgrades detailed in the recent blog post. It does not, however, include the server hardware upgrades but is rather focused on the server software.
Release Notes – 1.10.1 (289) to 1.10.2 (291)
We've made a number of changes to the game to improve client and server performance. The results of what we've managed so far are best illustrated by the following graphs:
Exploit (Trading) (Temp Fix)
We've prevented the trading of ARMAS weapons outside of the marketplace to prevent players scamming each other. This means you will be unable to mail ARMAS weapons (such as Joker Box Grand Prize weapons) to characters on your own account. If you want to trade your ARMAS weapons to other characters on your own account now's the time to do it. We will be keeping this fix until we find a more permanent solution to the issue of scamming.
Various Server Crashes
Fixed several issues that could cause district server crashes.
Fixed an issue that was causing your weapon audio to loop when you died (this was more frequent with automatic weapons).
Mods : Adjusting shade of blue on Valzipram Tablets to match other blue mods.
Adding a volume to prevent players pushing their character through a roof in Ward Street.
Text Box : Fixed an issue with the scaling of the warning message box on the server selection screen.
Wheels : Renamed several Criminal Wheel variants on the V20 to correctly match their colours.
Sirens : Further fixes for an issue that could cause sirens to be reset to "None" on older vehicles.
First; barring any unforeseen issues we are launching 1.10.2 globally in a few hours (of course with the caveat that anything could be rolled back). We expect 1.10.2 to result in a 15% server-side performance improvement across the board on the existing hardware. So while that does NOT completely address the current performance spikes, it should generally improve the experience and allow the game to run more stable at its current 25 FPS server-side tick rate. Also 1.10.2 is the first of a series of optimization focused updates.
SPCT and trashing the new hardware.
Second; a big thanks to the SPCT (San Paro City Testers) who jumped in and tried trashing the new software and new server hardware on Saturday as well as some invited guests (and for those who don't know, you can join the SPCT program to participate in the public tests of new builds by applying through our forums. Keep in mind that part of your entrance exam is figuring out HOW to apply...)
It was a pretty fun event since we basically put up the new hardware, upped the CCU to 100 per server core, then unlocked the FPS-lock on the new software, and asked everyone to show up in the same spot and "shoot and holler" and basically perform as many close encounter actions as they could (which in turn trashed client FPS for most players, since rendering 100 other players within 90m actively shooting at you and setting off explosions turns out to have its own client FPS issues, though that's separate from the server effects).
In short we tried creating the worst possible scenario for the game (server wise) and we think we pulled that off pretty well.
The good news is that on the new hardware running 1.10.2, we saw a stable server side FPS around 40 FPS (basically frame ticks stayed around 25ms), with the biggest spikes at 28ms (which is a server side FPS of 35FPS).
This means we should be able to comfortable return to 100 CCU and set the server tick to 35FPS using the new hardware combined with the upcoming software version of 1.10.2.
You can see the video of the carnage here:
Here is the resulting performance graph from the test above:
In fact, as an added bonus, during the 1.10.2 maintenance we are going to put SOME of the new hardware into production for SOME (not all) of the Financial Districts on US-West.
Due to some quirks in the configuration system, we will not be able to change the 25FPS limit until ALL the districts have new hardware, but at minimum US-West should start seeing more and more stable performance in Financial as a result. After all the US-West Financial have been upgraded, then we will move on to Waterfront.
Next step is to evaluate 1.10.2 after the software patch, find other obvious performance issues, and then review what other optimizations we will focus on next. After that we will monitor and measure the effects of the OverKill hardware being put in US-West in production, and hope it doesn't physically explode or blow up, or catch on fire in our datacenter given it's 'pushed' pretty hard.
Presuming all goes well, we will expand the roll-out of the new hardware and progressively replace Financial and Waterfront in each of the worlds, while at the same time continuing software optimization.
One of the challenges on the client side remains the giant particle-effect slow-downs. Unreal has a known issue where unlit particles cause large FPS hits. Epic addressed some that in the 2009 build of the engine with the introduction of the Light Mass system, but unfortunately APB Reloaded pre-dates that particular engine build, and does not have access to that lighting system.
We have various ideas of how to upgrade or replace parts of the engine over the next few months, and some are more radical than others (maybe just creating a whole new APB game using the new Unreal engine instead?.... :) ), but the basic direction is to continue with optimizations in any way shape or form we can think of, and to continue keeping you informed via the blog and forums as we roll out these changes.
We will be releasing a client update on Wednesday the 20th of February.
The servers will be brought down at approximately 10:00 GMT / 02:00 PST. Estimated downtime should hopefully be two to three hours.
Please note that this patch is mainly devoted to removing the Valentine's content from APB Reloaded. It is not the server performance patch detailed in a recent blog post. We hope to roll out the server performance patch next week.
Release Notes – 1.10.1 (286) to 1.10.1 (289)
Removal of all the Valentine's related content.
Clothing : Fixed an issue that was causing the skateboard to vanish from the backpack at lower LODs (Level Of Detail) for female characters. Vehicle Kits : Fixed an issue that was causing the Cisco "Rebellion" vehicle kit to deform oddly when damaged. Sirens : Fixed an issue that could cause sirens to be reset to "None" on older vehicles. Characters : Fixed an issue affecting a very small minority of players and their character's outfits. NOTE : Affected players will spawn into a district in their underwear and will have to re-apply their clothing in a Wardrobe editor. AudioFixed an issue affecting the looping of certain sirens.
Fixed audio issues with the following: Tommy Gun, DMR, bullet Impacts and a Reverb zone.
One of the hardest things for a small team like ours to fit in to the product cycle on a regular basis is optimization.
Optimization is a little bit like making sure we are eating our vegetables every week. Every time we add or change a feature in the game, in theory we should also refactor everything around the code that just changed. Since that's usually not practical, large scale optimization really tends to happen in chunks when the team is finally given some time to focus on the task.
Now that we are about to release newly optimized code, I wanted to take some time to lift the hood on the work being done, and to share some insight into issues we have to contend with - from the software engine to server hardware.
We are really proud that APB Reloaded has remained a consistent top-5 (out of 100+) in Steam's Free2Play category since its December 2011 launch (as an aside; the game actually gets the vast majority of its traffic directly through Gamersfirst rather than through Steam, but Steam provides a convenient benchmark to compare against other games), so we are planning for this game to provide many more years of entertainment for all its fans. But this tension between short term and long term goals (survive today, but plan for a 5+ year lifespan) means that every day we struggle with what we should focus on next; features, maps (Asylum anyone?), game content, security or optimization? All of these are pressing needs for one reason or another.
Given that turning off the game and entering an optimization-only cycle is not possible, we instead attempt the next best thing; we optimize while running full speed. It's a little bit like changing the oil in your car while travelling at 65 MPH down the highway. What could possibly go wrong?
APB - a server resource hog?
Few Unreal engine based games have attempted to throw 100 fully customized players (how many FPS games ever give you 50 v 50 in a single map?) in a twitch FPS/TPS setting on a single area, where each player can have a fully customized character, car and skinned weapon, which means at least 200 fully custom player items (cars and characters), up to 850 autonomous NPC pedestrians and 350 autonomous NPC cars driving around in a district, in addition to everything that's movable and destructible (traffic lights, dumpsters, billboards etc.).
This means roughly 18,000 dynamic actors for the server to track while running in a single shard, and in fact on a single server core(and read more on the 'single-core' issue down in the hardware section).
Granted newer games using other engines like Planetside 2/Forelight have used a very different 'continent', 'distance' and 'mission' optimization system to allow much larger factions on a continent (though not necessarily in the same firefight), and even Fallen Earth uses a system of dynamic shards to allow 10,000 players in an area. But neither is an Unreal game.
Technically speaking customization has some impact on the server side performance (mostly due to large amounts of asset streaming), but customization has a larger negative impact on the game client, and tends to drive client-side frame rate lower than the expected frame rate from someone's gaming rig if customizations had not been such a central part of the game.
While there are clearly other FPS/TPS' that perform amazing graphical feats on older hardware (CoD-MW series, Crysis series, Gears of War series, Far Cry etc.), they rarely allow this many complex humans and AI actors in a single battle area, or when they do, the participants are streamlined and unified and do not permit nearly APB's level of insane customization (or city-wide destruction). Or they behave more like RPG or RTS games and generally have much lower requirements for hit registration, server tick rate and movement prediction. The amazing feat in APB is that this game still actually works on a lot of pre-2009-era hardware given the extreme computational complexity of the game.
Server FPS vs Client FPS
As a general rule, we want the server to perform a full pass of computations for all the 100 players and 18,000+ district actors 30 times per second (giving each CPU core at most 33ms to complete all computations in that one frame). If we achieve 30 FPS on the
server, then connected game clients can easily run at 2X-3X the server tick rate (60FPS - 90FPS) without any noticeable loss in accuracy. At 1:2 or 1:3 server-to-client ratio movement prediction and frame-interpolation provide a very smooth game experience.
Unfortunately during the last few updates we have had to temporarily lower the server tick rate to 25 FPS and reduce the max CCU per core, so it's high time to perform another full optimization pass.
Software Optimizations and Server Side Computation times.
Below is a graph of what version 1.10.1 server-side computations look like under ideal test circumstances AND using our new test hardware (more details on this new hardware at the bottom of this post).
In the current 1.10.1 build the server completes 1 full frame (moving those thousands of actors around) on 1 core in 1 full district using the new hardware type in 19.2ms. In 'theory' this means the server on the new hardware is capable of running at 52FPS tick rate (!).
This is to be compared with the 'current gen' hardware, where we have only been able to run a 'safe' server tick rate of 25FPS in the current 1.10.1 build.
The lower part of the graph shows version 1.10.2 with the new software optimizations.
From the synthetic test it appears the team has been able to squeeze a 16% performance improvement in software alone (which amounts to about a 10 FPS improvement on the server). This improvement drops the per-frame processing time to 16.1ms, which means a theoretical 62FPS server tick rate (again on the new hardware).
This 'should' mean that software optimization alone (the 16% improvement) will let us go from 25FPS back to the original 30FPS serverside tickrate on the current hardware as part of the 1.10.2 update (to be determined after the game is live).
You can read these graphs from the bottom up, starting with receiving network packets from all connected actors, updating game elements and physics, updating cameras and streaming, and ending with sending data back to all clients. What's rather surprising is that almost 50% of the entire server processing time consist entirely of receiving/parsing and serializing/sending network traffic. The actual game updates (players, objects, physics etc.) take only 50% of available CPU time.
From the above graphics you can see that the team has been able to really squeeze and optimize the "Receive Network Traffic" and the "Update Game Objects" steps. We expect to continue optimizing all the steps in the system, but presuming QA signs off on the upcoming patch, we will measure the real-world impact of these improvements in the coming week.
The Single-Core Engine Conundrum
First a disclaimer. The Unreal Engine has served us (and thousands of other games and companies) incredibly well. It's a great engine and a fantastic rendering system. Now the engine has certain design choices that create certain hard-to-overcome limits (as all engines do).
The biggest one for large scale games is Unreal's monolithic and (almost) single-threaded server-client-response system. The philosophy behind Epic making that design choice back in the era of Unreal Tournament / Gears of War makes perfect sense, given the engine's focus on small-scale lobby based FPS/TPS games or even single player or co-op games. Some Unreal based RPG's (for example Blade and Soul) have clearly adopted the engine as a renderer, and then created an entirely proprietary server system to handle RPG style updates and connection loads (which usually requires 2000-3000 players per shard but only a server tick-rate of 10FPS or less in RPG mode).
APB Reloaded uses a hybrid of standard Unreal server code (originally we used Unreal version 2008, so the engine is getting a little aged at this point) and its own proprietary TCP message stack coordinating the communications between worlds and districts, as well as a very proprietary customization system. But the general actor-to-actor interaction relies on a system that's very close to the original Unreal system. Mostly handled in a single game update loop.
This means all the processing in a single district happens on a single core and in a single thread.
One way to think of this is that the engine fundamentally works like a turn-based game where each actor has 33ms to move per turn. Within the scope of a single server core/thread, the process gives each actor one chance to make a move (or combination of moves). When all actors have signaled their move, everyone is told of everyone else's updated moves, and the game now proceeds to the next move (though from the chart above you can see that we actually only spend about 7.5ms moving stuff around, the rest of the time is spent sharing that information).
Human reaction time (or as it's called Mental Chronometry) is around 160ms, so processing everything at 33ms on the server, plus the packet roundtrip time (ideally less than 40-80ms) for a total of about sub 120ms of processing delay, should give us sufficient headroom to provide a good player experience.
However, even just a slight improvement in server side processing will actually enhance the fluidity of the game. We humans are very good at processing sequential frames of information and can easily spot the visual difference between film at 24fps and video at 30fps (or as the case may be "the Hobbit" at 48fps for those of you who now hate Peter Jackson). This means we will notice visual processing hiccups long before we react to new on-screen events.
Why does all this single-threaded-ness matter to us? Well, it turns out that most of the performance gains in recent years in server processors from Intel and AMD have NOT come from performing more computations on a single core, but rather to have many parallel cores performing parallel tasks.
Sadly for APB Reloaded, that type of parallel task division does not improve individual district performance... But... there is hope...
New OTW Hardware Test World going live: OverKill
In the near future we are about to release a new OTW (Open Test World) called OverKill. OverKill is actually an apt name and is the result of a lot of hardware experimentation by our IT team (and the above computation tests were run in this hardware as well).
The current generation APB servers consist of Intel Xeon X5570 "Nehalem" based processors (operating in 3.2Ghz Turbo Mode) with 4 cores x 2 processors each. We use Dell M610 blades like these (just recently pulled from our datacenter).
The benefits of blade servers are that we can increase the density of the hosting operation, since we can fit 16 servers in 10 "rack units." The drawbacks - the types of processors supported by blade servers and the inability to overclock those processors - have caused us some serious problems in optimizing the hardware for the game.
For quite some time we have been looking for a new processor solution specifically to handle Financial and Waterfront (and eventually Asylum) districts. Something that can live in our three datacenters, but at the same time give us a cost effective solution to run at much higher single-core clock speeds, while also taking advantage of the newer "Sandy Bridge" and "Ivy Bridge" Intel processor architectures.
After much playing around with various combinations of server chips, it turns out that server boards and server chips really don't like or even permit overclocking and they are almost never engineered to optimize single-threaded performance (other than the incidental improvements that come from larger L2 and L3 cache systems), and we also need at least 6 cores to be able to perform these calculations in a cost effective manner (which let's us run 3 fully loaded districts on a single server) which left us with a conundrum.
After experimentation we have settled on having a public test using a custom solution that uses a high end desktop board (ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme) combined with an unlocked Intel i7-3930K 6-core processor that in a datacenter settings (with lots of cold air) easily runs stable at 4.25Ghz (technically we can push it to 5Ghz, but we are starting small).
Will it work once we throw real APB district computations into these systems? The synthetic test indicates it will indeed work. Will I/O performance hold up (given the strangle-hold that network I/O has on server CPU)? That's much harder to test, so we will find out as soon as we start running the OTW tests.
In a synthetic benchmark the i7-3930K OC (compared to the stock X5570) shows raw gains of nearly 70% in single-threaded performance (!). We do lose two cores per server, but the extra expense (more servers) seem worth the vast performance gain.
If we can capture some of these performance gains in the real world, and translate it into improved Action District performance, then our longterm goal is not only to ensure a stable 30 fps server tick-rate, but gradually be able to raise the CCU in each district as well.
From the graphs on software optimization, you can see that the new hardware with the new software 'COULD' run a theoretical server-side tickrate of 62 FPS, which is 206% more than we actually require for the 30 FPS tick target rate.
Our plan is to use the extra performance (again once we have run the real world tests) to ensure we can increase CCU in a single district. Since CCU taxes the server in a non-linear fashion, we expect to only increase CCU 25%-50% before dragging the server back down to 30 FPS tick. Of course this is still speculation, and is still to be determined during live testing.
Higher district CCU would mean better matchmaking (but THAT is a whole other blog entry, though needless to say 80 people in a district means 20 teams with potentially 10 ongoing matchups whereas 120 people in a district means 30 teams with 15 ongoing matchups, resulting in 50% improvement in match availability. Of course it's not quite that simple - but you get the gist). More players = better matchmaking.
OUR hardware, software and network vs. YOUR hardware, software and network.
In this post we have only talked about server side processing and optimization, and have not touched the OTHER things that also affect performance First and foremost - you need a good gaming rig to play APB. We always recommend having 8GB of RAM and using 64-bit Windows 7. Anything less is asking for trouble. In particular using 64-bit Windows is critical. Also client-side FPS in most Unreal games tends to drop dramatically during very large semi-transparent VFX events (i.e. very big explosions where the player does NOT die - something APB of course has a lot of) so only higher end graphics cards tend to perform ok during those big VFX events (and to optimize that part of the engine code is a whole other ball of wax, far beyond the scope of this current post).
Of course network connectivity, and your latency to our core datacenters are critical as well (Los Angeles, Washington DC and Frankfurt) or to the datacenters managed by our Russian (Moscow) and our Brazilian (São Paulo) publishing partners.
I hope this article has shed some light on the optimization work currently being done. If you are one of our OTW testers, then expect to see the "OverKill" world come online in the next two weeks. And for everyone else we expect to release 1.10.2 very soon, which should have some immediate performance improvements.
Firstly, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the SPCT program who have helped immensely with the development of this patch - you guys rock.
Our weapon system now supports "Range" as a variable allowing us to balance weapons over distance. As a results we've reviewed every weapon and rebalanced them to take this new factor into account. All weapons will now act differently over range, losing damage faster after their effective range is hit. The one exception here is the DMR series, which gains damage at high range.
On top of the range changes, the following balance tweaks have also occurred:
RSA - Horizontal Recoil Reduced, Vertical Increased while in MMS mode. PMG - Recoil tightened but recovery reduced. DMR - Horizontal Recoil Reduced, Vertical Increased while in MMS mode. CR762 - Recoil increased. OSCAR - Recoil increased (double).
Alig - Increased Damage vs Vehicles Nano - Reduced Damage (1 more shot to kill) Joker Carbine - Reduced Damage (1 more shot to kill) CR762 - Reduced Fire Rate OBIR - Reduced Fire Rate Oscar - Reduced Damage (same shots to kill, but effectively lower range). Reduced Reload Time, Increased Fire Rate, Increased Move Speed while in MMS.
NFA-9 - Improved Minimum Accuracy. RSA - Improved Accuracy regeneration. CR762 - Increased Accuracy loss per shot. Increased delay before accuracy recovery. Increased accuracy recovery. Increased Minimum Accuracy. Oscar - Increased Minimum Accuracy. Reduced Marksmanship benefit. Reduced Accuracy penalty for firing while running. PMG - Increased Accuracy Recovery. The PMG now recovers more accuracy than before and faster.
We now have independent hit boxes for crouching and moving while crouched. This should have a huge impact on the use of cover (in that, it is now usable). You will find further details of this change on the APB Dev Blog.
Added a new model for the ALIG.
Added Ignore and Whisper functions to the scoreboard. Now you can simply select a player and choose to either ignore them or whisper to them.
Updated Wwise to the latest version & cleaned up the audio packages. This should help performance somewhat and will do neat new things like fade between audio zones (before it would simply cut out).
New Siren Audio added to the game (The Boomer DL-5).
Allow the spotter icon to appear above the head of the player who has been spotted.
Allow the spotter modification to work on vehicles. All the players in a vehicle will be spotted.
Added a more fitting crosshair for the mod that is displayed for as long as the mod is active.
Integrated Sniper Rifle Silencer
Removed bolt time reduction, added range reduction.
Added new flash patterns for all vehicles that support police lights.
Added new flash patterns for the ambient ambulances and garbage trucks.
Han Veo has a new bullbar and 2 aerials (unlocked through the tier 1 vehicle contacts - you should automatically have them unlocked if you have already completed these contacts).
Standardizing APB$ costs for ARMAS vehicles, some were set to 1000000 others to 500000, they are now all set to 1500 APB$.
The following weapons now support skins: ALIG LMG & RSA Magnum Revolver.
New country weapon skins & a new unique pattern have been added to the game - please keep an eye on ARMAS for details.
O-PGL Hazard skin updated to be a more well-defined skin.
Upping 'Say' Radius (the distance players can be heard with the 'Say' command) to 15m. Upping 'Yell' Radius to 99m.
Added a "Time Sliced Customization" checkbox in the general video settings to fix the glowing green character issue that SLI users see.
Notes on this feature
Essentially this option forces the game to build a character customisation in a single frame - rather than taking 2 or 3. As a result, un-checking it could work around the glowing or invisible characters by speeding up how quickly other player's customisations are loaded for you - but it will also carry a performance penalty as a result. The affects of this penalty will depend on how good your system specifications are (high spec PCs should not notice a performance hit).
We do not recommend using this feature if you are running a low spec machine.
This feature will be updated very soon with an improved system - the one present here is simply the first version of it.
Ammo vending machines near vehicle spawn machines no longer function as a vehicle spawners.
Fixed an issue with the Italian flag on the LMG - flipped the flag so it is the correct way around.
Fixed an issue that could cause grenades to become "stuck inside" players if they quickly cycled between primary and secondary weapons.
Otome Neko skin adjusted for the Snub Nose Revolver.
Fixed an issue with the USA weapon skin.
The New Gresty Cowgirl Hat & Impact Forearm Pads (part of Birth's final level unlock package) can now be equipped.
Fixed an issue that allowed you to get through the roof in the corridor at the back of the Golden Mall, using an ambulance.
Fixed the an issue that was preventing the title 'Dangerous Individual' from unlocking.
For the vehicle Mobile Supply Unit, ensure the field supplier modifier effect turns off if the mod is removed from a vehicle.
Fixed some issues that could cause client crashes while using AlienFX hardware.
Fixed an issue that caused the female character's eyes to roll into the top of the head when they switched their camera shoulder/crouched.
Made the Spotter modifier take higher precedence than the Tagger modifier. You now can't use tagger on someone who is already spotted.
Fixed an issue that was causing the warning message "the customisation is too complex" for the Kurai NO4 "All Star" to appear.
Siren audio will now only last for a few seconds after it is previewed.
Fixed an issue that caused the siren audio to stop previewing if you changed vehicle parts.
Fixed an issue that was preventing the "Defender" Citadel's siren audio from working correctly.
Fix the Garage to handle the "None" siren properly. It now ensures that the audio is reset when "None" is selected.
Fixed an issue with passenger cameras for Vegas G20 4x4.
Joker Store Colima Kit now includes the non-plastic bumpers.
Fixed an issue that could cause a tutorial message to pop up at the end of Fight Club missions.
If a meta-group is on an unopposed mission and they are diverted to a witness mission they will no longer receive an offer to form a proper group as soon as the witness mission starts.
Romance is in the air here at the Reloaded love-nest as Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching. Our Valentine’s update includes new role levels, contests and the all-new Fallen Angel costume pack!
'Valentine's Week Massacre' 2013
To keep things interesting for new players and long-term fans alike, we’re taking last year’s Roles and adding in more levels and rewards. Please note any kills made during last year’s event will be carried over to this year, so you don’t have to start from zero again (if you already hit over 750 kills last year you’ll instantly get the top level reward).
The levels for the ranks of the 'Valentine's Week Massacre' role are:
The 'Snubby Love' role, tracks kills with the Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' secondary weapon, which is gifted to you when you login to the game.
The levels for the ranks of the 'Snubby Love' role are:
Rank 1 - Requirements: 25 kills. Reward: Ophelia - Blonde Decal Unlock. Rank 2 - Requirements: 75 Kills. Reward: Prentiss (Enforcers) / Bloodroses (Criminals) symbol. Rank 3 - Requirements: 150 Kills. Reward: Ophelia - Red Head Decal Unlock. Rank 4 - Requirements: 250 Kills. Reward: Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' unlock, so it can be purchased from Contacts at any time (including outside the event). Level 5 (NEW) - Requirements: 375 Kills. Reward: 'Cherub Chaser' Title.
New “Angel Wings” Backpack Item
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the skateboard and radio backpacks we recently released, and you’ve been asking us to make more available on ARMAS. Our art team came up with plenty of cool ideas and the first one released is Angel Wings for Valentines!
To get the detail required, one of our artists, Tim, used a piece of software called ZBrush to digitally sculpt the feathers. Digital Sculpting is exactly what it sounds like and can be compared to carving clay or marble, but it’s all done virtually using a PC & graphics tablet instead of a workbench & chisel.
The sculpted model was then exported to a design program called 3D Studio Max where it was tweaked and tested with our APB characters. The final stage meant adding the wings to our test version of APB and checking that they work with other customization items, running around with the item deployed, getting in and out of vehicles, and more.
The final customizable item will be available as part of the “Fallen Angel” pack on ARMAS. As a special bonus we’re adding in a customizable Halo and a “Fallen Angel” title.
addition to all this new content, we’re going to be running a couple of Valentine’s-themed contests from February 1st to 14th (US Pacific time).
“Rev My Engine”
Keeping the Valentine’s Day theme in mind, players must trick out their ride by designing their own love machines!
14 Entries will be chosen by a unanimous decision.
Each winner will receive a Vehicle Selector with a 90 day car lease (Account Lifetime!) Starts Feb. 1st and ends Feb. 14th
“Be My Valentine”
Love is in the air and it’s time to capture it! Players can design two matching or complementing outfits, one outfit per person.
Players may submit their outfits and characters for only ONE of the following categories:
1) Most Fugly
2) Most Sexy
3) Celebrity Look-A-Like
4) Fictional Icons
5) Star Crossed Lovers
Each character must take one in-game editor screenshot and submitted in one entry.
Each entry must also have at least one in-game group photo with their matching / complementing outfit worn.
Two characters max per couple.
One couple per category will be chosen by a unanimous vote. (10 player winners total)
Each winning couple (2 different users per couple) will win 300 G1C + A Valentine Weapon selector 90 days! Starts Feb. 1st and ends Feb. 14th.
It's January and now that everyone is back in the office from the Holidays (or recovering from the epidemic flu season going around) - we are picking up full steam ahead on all sorts of projects.
Server and game optimization, 1.10.1 patch update, Hit Squad Clan Event 2, Joker Jackpot, San Paro Royalty Event, and upcoming plans for Valentines Day! We are starting off the New Year right by working on a bunch of new stuff for all of you. And part of our New Year's Resolution includes informing our community more frequently about all of the stuff we are working on as we are working on them.
So what's this 1.10.1 patch we speak of? Our Dev Team has been focusing on various Weapon Balance modifications, crouching modifications, a couple new Weapon Skins, and some minor bug fixes. We are looking at releasing this patch in a few weeks time.
For a more in depth discussion about the Weapon Balancing and other modifications we've asked Qwentle to comment:
I promised an update prior to the Christmas release but getting those elves into their costumes and ready to go outside took a little longer than anticipated, so I’ll just talk about what we’re working on now.
As promised, we’ll be making a number of balance changes to APB: Reloaded in our next patch, mainly concerning Damage over Range and Crouch heights.
Currently we have an ‘Effective Range’ distance, which determines at what distance weapons do their maximum damage. From this point, the damage they do falls linearly down to 35% at the weapons maximum range, which for almost every weapon is 100m. This means we have a damage graph like so.
For 1.11.0, we’ll be adding a further stat, ‘MinimumDamageRange’, while also adding the ability to adjust the minimum damage on a per-weapon value. This allows us a lot more flexibility when determining damage over range, especially for weapons we want to be fairly accurate, but quite low range (i.e. the Joker Carbine and the Nano). It will also allow us to add a more effective niche for sniper rifles, making them the only weapons effective over 85m (I’m also currently playing around with having a 150% effective range on the DMR, making it a 2 shot at extreme ranges and a 3 shot at closer, but I’ve not committed to this yet).
This gives us damage graphs more like the following:
This means weapons fall better into their range niches, with snipers dominating extreme range conflicts, and longer range weapons beating out hybrid weapons such as the Carbine at mid-ranges.
We’ll also be making a number of individual balance tweaks on the weapons, but as these are still being play tested, we’ll wait until they are finalised before revealing the changes.
The other thing we're looking to address with this patch is the crouch heights of players. Currently the hit-box for players when crouched is significantly taller than their player, even for large characters. As such you can often shoot at players that are very deep behind cover by aiming above their heads and checking the reticule colour. This is because when players move while in a crouch state their models rise significantly (as they’re standing on the balls of their feet).
To solve this we’ll be adding a third hit-box which will take effect when the player is crouched but not moving, that will be significantly smaller than the current crouched hit-box. This allows the player to fully hide behind most pieces of low cover around San Paro, and they’ll be safe from incoming fire that would previously hit them, but only as long as they don’t move.
As mentioned earlier, we also have a few different Community events going on this month. Seeing as we'd like to continue fostering more Clan-based activity, we decided to launch "Round 2" of our Hit Squad Clan Event.
From our first Hit Squad Clan Event, we received a lot of good feedback from the community. It seems a lot of players were given an opportunity to group up and meet with new people. There were a lot of new Clans which formed and some older Clans recruiting new players too.
Round 2 offers some of the same rewards from the first event. That includes free Joker Boxes for participants who simply complete the required number of Missions, and for the top Clans per server a "Clan Shout Out" (in-game broadcasts for their World).
This time though instead of using Backpacks as our random drawing prize, we thought it would be interesting to change it up with Joker Tickets. It's kind of an indirect introduction of Joker Tickets becoming a reward for Action District Missions. Currently, they are only obtainable through Fight Club Missions, but as we mentioned before, we have plans to have them for Action District Missions too.
San Paro Royalty Event rewards players for finding players in game who have won the elusive Crown from Joker Distribution. If you saw these "Kings" and "Queens" on the streets of San Paro and took a screen of them you would be rewarded. And if you get the San Paro Royalty to emote you could earn more rewards.
A simple sighting event that everyone could participate in was what we had in mind, which also gave some recognition to those who worked hard to earn Crowns.
While those events are coming to a close soon, we are already brewing up some events and contests for next month. Stay tuned for our next post where we'll be sharing more details on how we'll be celebrating Valentines Day in San Paro this year!