End of July Update
First, let me express my appreciation for the patience you guys have shown with Little Orbit as we ramp up on APB. We are new at this point, and we're learning. Despite some pretty big networking infrastructure challenges this month, we are making progress.
Second, last month I posted our Roadmap. If you didn't get a chance to review, you can see it here
Lastly before I get started, I'm more interested in clear communication than I am about hype. Today we're not talking about the new mode or Unreal 4. I think it's far more important to update the players on our progress in the Roadmap including a brief update on XboxOne and PlayStation 4 development.
Build 1.19.6 is now available to all players on our Open Test World. Once you log in and create your account, you'll have a bunch of in-game emails waiting with all the weapons in the game to play with. In order to access that system, you need to download an alternate installer for the game. You can download the OTW version of APB here:
General update for Project #1 - Infrastructure
For May and June, we focused on 1.19.5 updates that cleaned up leftover issues from G1. For July, I am pleased to announce that we are opening access to our first major update to PC (1.19.6).
This build includes some quality of life changes along with some basic new content including:
Improvements to networking
This is an ongoing effort to help clean up some of the last changes G1 made back in September of 2017. We've made several changes that need to be tested in a larger environment, and we're going to experiment with opening districts back up to 100 players.
Fixes to Friends system
We found several bad problems with this system that allowed players to grief other players. You will now need to accept friend invites before a friend is added to your account. No other players can see your exact location till you accept the invite - including on the player search feature.
Alongside this fix we are opening the ignore list for all players to the max size instead of continuing the practice of charging for expanded slots.
NOTE: This will require us to wipe friends list once we push it into production.
Overall weapon balance pass
I've posted about these changes on our forums, so I wont go into detail in this blog, but you can review my original post here
These changes are in Baylan A and Baylan B when you log in. Please excuse the weird messaging in Baylan B, we'll fix that in the next couple days. The weapon balance is different between these two districts. We are A B testing them, so try both.
As I said on the forums, the overall goal was to focus on positive weapon changes and help build distinction between categories so we can make sure each of them feel different. This is a little exploratory for us, and it's just a first pass. I expect there will be a couple rounds of iterations before we find the sweet spot. We hope you'll get on OTW, test the changes, make notes on how everything feels, and then let us know.
New weapon: Showstopper
Lastly we've introduced an entirely new gun. This is our first piece of new content. It's important that it was small and manageable for us to learn how to get it in properly. We'll be providing more details on this gun shortly.
Stats are not final. We'll be adjusting these over the next couple days.
Moving forward we are now focused on testing and deploying 1.19.6 for all players on PC.
We're also making significant progress with 1.19.7 and the new trade system. I'm very excited about this feature, not only because I feel it will help promote the amazing customization system and how it applies to items in the game. But also because scam tickets account for nearly 1/3rd of our customer support issues.
Here is a quick work in progress screenshot.
General update for Project #2 - Unification
This project focuses on unifying all platforms on Unreal 3.5.
This is where I'm going to talk about PS4 and XB1.
We are currently updating the console versions to the latest first party libraries. We're done with the Playstation 4 work, and the team is working on XboxOne. It's been a while since either platform had an update, so unfortunately we need to resubmit everything from scratch to bring them up to standard.
I want to take this time to acknowledge all of the console players who have reached out with their frustrations. I feel pretty comfortable with our PC development schedule now, so my focus is to get the console platforms under control.
These builds require a few extra steps than PC - which is why we haven't yet done an update. I do want to set some expectations. As soon as we're done with upgrading the XboxOne version, we'll do some internal QA. Once that passes, then we'll work with Deep Silver to submit both builds. It is my goal to get into submission by the end of August. Then it takes a couple weeks to get reviewed and pushed live. I seriously doubt we'll get an approval the first time through.
Regardless I'll update the console players next month on our progress.
For the PC Unreal 3.5 build, we're mostly fixing fairly specialized bugs in the art and in the graphic engine pipeline.
We are in the process of bringing on 2-3 more devs to focus on some of the remaining unification tasks. These sorts of issues are hard to give time estimates for.
I'm not interested in holding this back from players. As soon as we're confident that an Unreal 3.5 build is actually playable, whether its good, bad or ugly, we will do the same thing we're doing today. We will update OTW, make that build available, and let you guys get in and play with it.
You can discuss this on our forums here: https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/3068-end-of-july-2018-update-1196-on-otw/