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Vendredi 19 avril 2019  
 
Riot rundown

After months of manipulation and clever business deals, the Redhill Institute of Technology (R.I.O.T.) has infiltrated San Paro's financial district and set in motion their plan to rid the city of its violence problem by eliminating their source - Criminals and Enforcers.

Lured to the scene by the promise of money for aiding Redhill or the desire to stop them, you need to watch out for their emitters planted throughout the area. They will eventually release their lethal chemical concoction. Luckily, there is a way out. An escape van awaits and will evacuate out the last team standing. But this isn't a free ride. Either take everyone out, or bribe the driver with the most cash to get out of the city. This is of course all before time runs out.

Mode Walk Through

To get started, pick your favorite weapon loadout and enter the RIOT district. You'll have a brief amount of time to decide whether to team up or take your chances with strangers. Take this time to run around the map and familiarize yourself with the changes that Redhill has made.

Once the mode has started, everyone will have their weapons removed and you'll be left with a single pistol. You can improve your odds of making it to the end by scavenging randomized weapon drops and building a cash stash.

Somewhere on the map is the final block where an armored truck and the driver waits someone to bribe him. If you can collect enough cash, you can find the truck and deposit it to win.

You can also use cash to:

    Unlock your weapon loadout
    Spawn your vehicle
    Purchase an extra life if you have no remaining lives

Initially, all of the financial district will be open and available to search.

Emitters will start triggering around the map on their own and blocks of the district will be filled with highly concentrated lethal chemicals that will slowly close off the map. The order that the blocks close is random. Empty blocks are safe. Yellow blocks have an emitter that has been activated. Red blocks have been triggered and are dangerous to enter.

If you want to make some quick cash, Redhill will pay handsomely to any players who speed up the process. Find any of the R.I.O.T PDAs to acquire a time limited access code. Use this to activate any emitters before the code expires. Make sure to not linger.

To safely enter the chemical clouds in dangerous blocks you will need a hazmat suit. You can find these life savers in containers scattered across the district. However, they won't last forever, and it'll take some time before you can equip another one. Plan your escape carefully.

Those who make it to the last zone will then race to deposit cash into the escape van. The highest bidder or last remaining team will get a safe ride out of the Financial district.

Timeline

    April 24th

      We'll be opening OTW to general players to conduct a stress test for the mode. The test will run from 1200 to 1500 PDT.

    April 26th

      We'll be running an open play test for the mode. OTW North American - Available from 1900 to 2300 Pacific time. OTW Europe - Available 2000 to 2400 Central Europe time.

    First half of May

      Initial RIOT release goes LIVE.

Download the OTW version of APB here: http://apb.patch.ot.gamersfirst.com/APB_OTW_Installer.exe

Ongoing tests will be scheduled as needed. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates and any additional tests. We sincerely hope that the community will join us and help provide quality feedback, so that we can make this a fun new addition to APB.

Forward looking

Our core intent is to be open and transparent with the community but just note that some specifics may change as we follow the development path.

Seasons

The goal is to release RIOT as a "Pre-season" as soon as we can on the live servers. The Pre-season won't have the following, but it will have rewards to chase for a limited time. The hope is that once the engine upgrade is ready we will formally kick off RIOT with Season 1. This would include a full set of content.

With RIOT we want to introduce Season-based rewards and potentially items that can be used in the main game modes. Don't worry. We still have plans to expand mission-based content, but RIOT gives us an opportunity to make specific things available sooner, as opposed to burying them somewhere deep in the contact progression.

We also wanted a Season system that encourages players to play within the time-frame, gaining unique benefits throughout the season, while also allowing new players who missed previous seasons to still gain the same rewards.

RIOT Subscriptions & RIOT Tokens

At the heart of this repeatable system is a new currency, which we are calling RIOT Tokens. Players will have the option of purchase a RIOT Season Pass at any point during a Season to gain the tokens they missed.

To launch Season Passes, we plan to make the following updates:

    We are going to be removing the 50% reduced cooldown from Premium and giving it to all players
    We will be eliminating the 3 month and 6 month options for Premium
    We will be reducing the cost of 1 month of Premium
    We will be adding RIOT Season Pass that can be purchased on its own
    We will be adding a Pass which gives players 2 months Premium + RIOT Pass

Final pricing will be announced closer to launch of Seasons.

Season Specific Rewards

Each regular season will have 10 contact levels and several achievements that players can progress through. All players can earn the APB$ and reward items for each level.

RIOT Pass players will also get a RIOT Token for reaching specific levels. Within each Season, players can win up to 15 RIOT Tokens. These will be used to buy very limited things in the RIOT Token Shop. Items in the shop will be kept season to season, with multiple season's worth of content in the shop being available at any one time, though they might eventually rotate out.

Players who enter RIOT at any point in the future will start at the season one.

Contact Prestige

In order to allow us to have a single contact stretch multiple seasons in an interesting way, we are introducing Contact Prestige to the game. "Prestiging" a contact costs APB$ and/or Joker Tickets. Doing so will increment their Season, resetting their standing and showing the next series of rewards.

It's an exciting time to be an APB player and we look forward to sharing more with you in the coming days and weeks.

 
 


Jeudi 18 avril 2019  
 
April update from Matt

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow I will be releasing a walkthrough of RIOT, but in the meantime I thought I would give a general update on other topics.

Why release RIOT before the engine upgrade?

This question has come up a lot.

The simple answer is that we uncoupled these two efforts because I couldn't predict when the engine upgrade will be ready to officially launch. To put that statement into context, there is a big difference between opening access to the new engine for public testing and officially launching it. We're close on one date for opening access, but the date for launching it is still an unknown.

As a project, RIOT was mostly about content, art, and design systems that have been in the works since mid-last year. This effort had known requirements and a timeline that we could measure and work towards. While I am very aware of the current state of the game, I also believe we cannot only upgrade the engine and expect players to get excited about APB again. We need new content, and from its inception, RIOT was designed to ride alongside the rest of APB with the fewest dependencies possible.

The engine upgrade is a different beast entirely. For a long time we didn't have any idea of how much was left to do. As we were working through upgrading libraries, the game sometimes wouldn't even compile. Until recently, it was hard to gauge progress. At this point we're down to only a couple remaining tasks that can't be sped up by adding more team members.

Next week, we're going to start open testing on RIOT.

Please know that while RIOT will launch first, the team's highest priority is getting the engine upgrade into public testing, and then everything will come together so we can begin the work on phasing and matchmaking.

BattlEye Bans

Next, I want to acknowledge a recently discovered challenge with the Banning System.

I have already talked about the escalation system that we use with BattlEye for temporarily banning suspected cheaters so that my team can review the ban and make it permanent. When we took over last year, it was important to me that we make sure to avoid the problems caused by Fairfight and Punkbuster in the past. Unfortunately, it looks like there was a bug that prevented the saving of permanent bans in some cases. This meant that when the temporary ban expired and our internal system showed the player was permanently banned, they could still log back in. This didn't happen in a majority of cases, but it did happen. We apologize. The issue has been fixed now.

Nekrova Server

I also want to give a small update on Nekrova. This was announced on the forums in March and then covered in the March blog post.

At this point Innova / 4Game cannot retrieve the payment records from their backup database. The team and I are working on a new plan to compensate these players. I'll update the community on the forums when that is ready. I still hope to get the migration complete as soon as possible.

Engine Upgrade - General

Lastly, here's the latest update on the engine upgrade.

We have completed the multithreaded renderer! Some of you may have seen my tweet from last week.

At this point there are two main areas that need additional work:

    1. There are a number of small rendering issues with textures and lighting that we hope to fix fairly quickly. This is the main reason I have delayed showing off any screenshots for the time being. I want them to be as accurate as possible to what we'll be shipping.
    2. There is some inconsistency in the benchmarks and initial frame rate tests. For instance, some hardware is running better than the current game and others are running worse. We already have another build queued up for testers this weekend with another round of changes. Improving the frame rate is critical, and that's an area that we will be focusing on until we can match or exceed the framerates in live.

For content, all of the new code that Little Orbit created since last year has been migrated over. We're currently fixing compiler issues, and after that we'll start migrating content packages that have been updated which includes everything for RIOT.

For User Interfaces, the SPCT has reported a fair amount of issues that need fixing. We're moving pretty quickly through these and the last crash bug is being fixed today. Overall this effort needs to undo some of the console work and bring the UI functionality back to where it is for PC.

For art, we need to finish optimizing lights around the level, fixing collisions, and addressing texture issues. The team has already gone through and adjusted time of day color ranges and values.

Engine Upgrade - Console

The Xbox One and PS4 versions are in good shape.

At this point both builds are working correctly and can play matches in our development environment. We still have to fix the texture issue on PS4 and the multithreaded rendering work needs to be ported to Xbox. But we're going to go ahead and pass both of the current builds off to QA for extensive testing. The hope is to get a release candidate so we can patch both systems just to get through the process, and then we'll patch again as soon as the major fixes are ready.

I want to finish this blog by saying that the team is passionate about APB and the upgrade. Lots of late nights and weekends have already been put in. I recognize that the community has already waited years. I'm excited to get it into your hands as fast as possible.

See you guys tomorrow with a full breakdown of RIOT.

Thanks,

Matt

 
 


Lundi 15 avril 2019  
 
Potshot

April Showers Brings Weird Flowers

Roll up with your crew on 4/20 as San Paro celebrates the day of the devil's lettuce.

Take a few pot shots at some bud-dies and when you see the enemy, light 'em up.

ARMAS will have ten 420 themed symbols (sold as a pack) to celebrate. Here is a sneak peek at what you'll find when they go live 4/17:

Devil's Lettuce, a Bong, Joints, Bud Leaves, THC, a 420 Clock and MORE!
Devil's Lettuce, a Bong, Joints, Bud Leaves, THC, a 420 Clock and MORE!

420 MiniGame - Find the Dealer

For 1 day only, April 20th, 2019, we will also be hosting "Find the Dealer" minigames where we will be giving away the following decals to the winners of the minigame:

Find you friendly neighborhood dealers decked out in green within Social.

Smoking Skull Decal and Mr. Tokes Decal
Smoking Skull Decal and Mr. Tokes Decal

How to Win the Decals

    One of our GM's (#1) will hide somewhere on the map in Financial or Waterfront while a second GM(#2) stands in the general area of GM #1.
    When the event starts, GM #1 will be hiding on the map (their map marker will be hidden) and GM #2's marker will be on the map, letting players know the general area they are located.
    Whoever finds and touches GM #1 first, wins!

Smoke 'em if you got em!

 
 


Lundi 15 avril 2019  
 
RIOT public testing!

Hello everyone!

We're going to be performing some public testing for Riot starting next week. As you see in the picture below there are different types of tests.

Stress Test

The stress test will only be performed on the NA server

Open Test

The open test will be performed on both the EU server and the NA server. 

More details in the picture below!

5GDiqdJ.png

We might have to perform the third test if we require more details or information of any sort. If we do, we'll make sure to announce further details about this potential test after finishing performing the first test. We will keep you updated!

You can convert PDT timezone to your timezone using https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com

If you need to download the OTW client you can do so here: http://apb.patch.ot.gamersfirst.com/APB_OTW_Installerprogram

Thank you!

 
 


Vendredi 12 avril 2019  
 
HOP ON IT Spring Egg Hunt

APB RIOT Reveal

The Egg Hunt is back.

Collect as many eggs as you can within a set time by mugging bunnies, chickens and other players in special Easter versions of Financial and Waterfront. Earn several new titles and unlock fun animal themed clothing!

Find bunnies and chickens walking around the city, and mug them to steal their eggs. Bunnies carry 1 egg each, and chickens carry up to 5 eggs.

If you're feeling extra spiteful on this festive day, then mug other players and steal all their eggs. If it's just too dicey, you can take out players for half of their egg supply (rounded to the nearest whole number).

You may deliver any eggs you are carrying to contacts, which will prevent them from being stolen. Keep the following in mind:

    The Easter Egg Hunt is a free-for-all event, with no teams or factions.
    Each game lasts 20 minutes.
    After mugging a chicken, bunny, or player you will receive a speed boost and become invulnerable for a short time. This egg shield will allow you to make a quick escape and it's indicated by a ring of floating eggs appearing around your character.
    While invulnerable you will not be allowed to use any weapons, and the effect will be cancelled if you enter a vehicle or activate certain character mods.
    Other players cannot interfere while you are mugging someone.
    While you're carrying the top 20% number of eggs in the district you will not be able to return to the lobby, so be sure to drop your eggs off at a contact first before heading out.
    If you have the highest number of eggs, then you will become an Egg Lord! You will be visible to other players on the map making you easier to hunt down until you drop off your eggs.

Achievements

Achievement
Requirement
Reward

Den Protector

Play the Easter Egg Hunt Event 10 times

Title: Battle Hopper

Den Ruler

Kill 30 players in the Easter Egg Hunt Event

Title: Big Rooster

Egg Thief

Mug 15 players in the Easter Egg Hunt Event

Title: Hot Chick

Mayor's Egg Hunter

Deliver 1000 Eggs to contacts

Title: Eggstravagant

Role: Egg Wrangler

Rank
Eggs Collected
Reward

1

100

100 Joker Tickets

2

100

100 Joker Tickets and a choice of:

    Title

      Easter Bunny
      The Real Easter Bunny
      Egg Smuggler

3

100

100 Joker Tickets

4

100

100 Joker Tickets and a choice of:

    Title

      Egg Head
      Skull Cracker
      Oologist

5

100

100 Joker Tickets

6

100

100 Joker Tickets and a choice of:

Title

    Thug's Life
    Pure Gangster
    Egg-O-Matic

7

100

100 Joker Tickets

8

100

Clothing: Egg Mask
100 Joker Tickets

9

100

100 Joker Tickets

10

100

100 Joker Tickets and a choice of:

Title

    The Big Hit
    The Thumper
    The Wolf

11

100

100 Joker Tickets

12

100

100 Joker Tickets and a choice of:

Title

    Chicken Coop
    Hopping Mad
    In the Hen House

13

100

100 Joker Tickets

14

100

Clothing: Rabbit Mask
100 Joker Tickets

15

100

Clothing: Animal Suit
Title: Egg Wrangler

Got any questions? Want to chat with other players? Then discuss this article in our Forums! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 
 


Vendredi 22 mars 2019  
 
End of First Quarter Review

APB RIOT Reveal

It's nearly the end of March, and I'm overdue giving the community an update on our progress. Honestly, between travel to our London office and the Game Developer Conference, this month got away from me. I'll do better in the future to try and keep these updates on a more standardized schedule.

There is a lot to talk about this month, so bear with me for the length of this blog. I'm going to rundown status on our various workstreams, and then I'm going to spend some time talking about "Why we do what we do".

Alternate Reality Game: www.redhillinstitute.com

To start, I want to take a moment to thank all of the dedicated players who have spent hours scouring the Internet in our Alternate Reality Game for the Red Hill Institute of Technology. The team has had a fantastic time exploring some of the new APB lore and watching all the discussions on our forums and Discord. We're close to the wrapping that up, and I'm looking forward to seeing who claims the reward first. I'll be talking a bit more about the lore of RIOT, but if you want to catch up on what has happened so far, you can see the discussion here: https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/8072-the-redhill-institute-thread/

Nekrova Merge

I announced this on the forums a couple weeks ago, and there was quite a bit of discussion surrounding our strategy and timing. As a quick recap, two years ago Innova ended their support for APB Reloaded in Russia. Based on their different economic pricing, possible GM issues, and some unique items they introduced into the game, it was decided to migrate those players to their own server named Nekrova. During that migration, players retained all their inventory, but none of the actual purchase records were ever handed over. Since that time, concurrency on Nekrova has dwindled to nearly empty, and due to some upcoming features later this summer, we need to finally merge that population into Citadel. There are tens of thousands of components that roll up into thousands of in-game and ARMAS items. Unfortunately it is impossible for us to manually map over all the inventory 1:1. We just don't have the man power. Instead I have posted our strategy here: https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/8220-nekrova-migration-update/

APB Engine Upgrade

I know this is the update everyone is waiting for. and we are nearing completion of the engine upgrade. The SPCT has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly for the last couple months. According to last year's Roadmap, I wanted to get the new engine into the hands of players on OTW in February, but we hit a fairly significant snag in the Multithreaded Rendering code. Ultimately we scrapped what was there and completely re-wrote it. We now have most of that working, but there is some work to consolidate code between PS4 and XB1/PC. The only other major task is to migrate all the content from 1.19 and RIOT mode, which has already started. As soon as that is done, I will post some screenshots, benchmarks, and timing for public tests.

APB Console Update

This is the second most asked question on the forums and Twitter. Both the XboxOne and PS4 are now working. Both platforms required extensive system updates along with a complete re-write of our voice chat system. The XboxOne still needs Multithreaded rendering to improve frame rates and the PS4 still needs texture memory fixes. Now that the PC version is synced to the same code base, it means that consoles are also getting the content from 1.19 and RIOT. There are so many fixes already, that I will likely submit what we have to our console publisher and then it will go to Microsoft and Sony just so we can get more stable builds into the hands of console players. Then we can keep submitting console updates on a more regular basis as the other items finish.

In an effort to give a more definititve status on the PC and console upgrade, we currently have 61 open bugs out of 116 total, most of the big bugs have been fixed except for items like centering text on a specific control, adjusting how scrollbars work in an area, or fixing how a window gets closed.

APB RIOT mode

If you missed our APB RIOT Reveal from last week, you can see it here: https://www.gamersfirst.com/apb/news/2019/3/14/apb-riot-reveal

That news article got a little press on the Internet, and some fans took to the forums and Twitter to discuss their opinions. With that in mind, I want to share a little bit about "Why we do what we do".

Why aren't we just focusing on the engine upgrade? Why do RIOT first? Why did we introduce the Red Hill Institute?

The simple answer is that we need to do all of these things, all at once. My job is to line them up as best as I can. In my opinion just launching the engine upgrade isn't enough. Launching a new game mode isn't enough. We have been working hard sine May last year to do something big for the community, and this first big step needs to contain something for everyone.

Internally I felt that if we launched the engine upgrade but then took 4-6 months to build out a major new piece of content that would be a mistake. It's going to take a little more time to tackle matchmaking, new core gameplay contacts / progression, and a big F2P initiative that I want to roll out.

So the design for RIOT was very intentional. We needed a shorter term way to support the new engine with new content that rolls out in 2 month season increments. We introduced the Red Hill Institute as a new lens to view San Paro and see how the classic factions that control the city react. Each new season brings an opportunity to progress the storyline with its own thematic flavor and rewards players can earn. RIOT itself is a journey - not a destination. While the gameplay is mostly finished and being polished, every 2 months we have an opportunity to tweak the rules or mechanics to refine the experience.

Lastly, many players have asked about whether RIOT is a Battle Royale mode or not.

Clearly if we look around the industry there is already a lot of variance in what Battle Royale is from game to game. We do have a collapsing map, but it closes off block by block based on player interaction. We do have guns that you can pick up, but we also allow you to come into the mode with your favorite loadout and earn the points to unlock those items for use during the match. In the end, some players will feel this is BR, and some wont.

The key point is that we didn't just copy what other games are doing.

RIOT was built with a larger strategy in mind to help us pull together a lot of different pieces while we continue rolling out updates to the main game itself.

I have an entire deep dive blog on RIOT coming as soon as the ARG ends. It will include full details on the mode, the seasonal reward structure, and even some upcoming regular gameplay meta changes.

As always, we appreciate your ongoing support and are eager to share more.

Thanks,

Matt

 
 


Jeudi 14 mars 2019  
 
APB RIOT Reveal

APB RIOT Reveal

The war between Enforcers and Criminals has now been raging for years , and unrest among the citizens has reached the breaking point. A new force has come to San Paro to gain control. RedHill Institute of Tech. Drastic measures are needed to tamp down the epic battle that is brewing. Whole blocks are being shut down. In this tug-of-war over control of the city, only one can come out on top. Will it be you?

Little Orbit and GamersFirst will bring a new generation of gameplay to APB Reloaded. APB RIOT.

Coming soon

Be vigilant. Keep your eyes open.

Something is happeningin San Paro


Standard
(2048 x 1536)

Wide
(2560 x 1440)

Tablet
(2048 x 2048)

Mobile
(1080 x 1920)


Click here to download the key art and share with your friends.

 
 


Mercredi 13 février 2019  
 
[PC & Console] Patch notes 1.19.7 (1079)

Hello everyone!

[PC] A new patch is going up onto the Live servers for PC. This patch will be happening on Wednesday 2/13/2019. Patch will start at 9 AM UTC and will last for 6 hours. This patch will activate the Valentine's Day events. Log in during the event to receive a Valentine's day skinned 14 day STAR 556 'Love-Gun' and Colby SNR 850 'Cherub'. Use these 'Love Gun's to spread your love to other members of San Paro. These events will run for 2 weeks ending on 2/27/2019 at 9 AM UTC.

This patch will also introduce a minimum rank requirement of 30 to enter the Fight Club districts. More information regarding this change is posted here.

[Console] Valentine's Day events will start on console at 6 PM UTC. These events will also run for 2 weeks ending on 2/27/2019 at 9 AM UTC.

Patch Notes

    Enabling Valentine's Day events and the Valentine's Day contact skins
    Fixed a few bugs related to messaging in the Valentine's Day items
    Adding in a min rank requirement of 30 to Fight Club districts.
    Fixed a bug that allowed you to bypass a district rank restriction if you joined as a group.
 
 


Samedi 9 février 2019  
 
February 2019 Newsletter

February 2019

Criminals are Red, Enforcers are Blue, San Paro is out of control and desperately needs you.

With Valentine's day on the horizon, we wanted to show our affection to the players who continue to support and contribute to the world of APB. This update brings us a sweet treat in a revamped ARMAS, the return of our Valentine's day event and Matt's update on where the game is going. There is much to love so continue below for all the latest and greatest in APB.

UP & Coming

Feeling amorous? We are.

Starting in early February, ARMAS will be transformed into the AMOROUS Marketplace. Come for the exclusive V-Day weapons and stay for a refreshed ARMAS store that has seen significant reductions in pricing on a ton of cool stuff.

We have heard your feedback and took it to heart. We are thrilled to introduce a new simplified pricing model that makes it even easier to understand and gets you the gear you have been lusting over at significantly reduced prices.

Here are just a few of the highlights from the updated store

    Standardized pricing across the board.
    Everything within ARMAS has been reviewed and or updated – over 2,500 items.
    Due to lack of use, we are saying good bye to the 3 Day options for weapons.
    The majority of weapons have seen a price decrease.
    Of the items reduced, the price has been lowered on average by 30%.
    The amount of bonus Joker Mystery Boxes awarded to console players are now in sync with PC.
    Bundles have been updated to reflect the standardized pricing with some seeing an increase.
    The cost of Premium has been reduced on console by up to 20%.
    Dropdown menus now make navigation a breeze.

Shop Armas

looking_for_love.jpg

Looking for love?

Can you smell it? Love is in the air and our Cupid is invading San Paro. Starting soon, track down our surly cherub for a chance at swag that will make your heart swoon. Keep an eye on the APB Twitter feed for details.

APB Twitter

Highlights

Community creativity

Back again this month, we wanted to highlight one of our fans in the community. We have amazing players out there and we wanted to highlight a cool find. We thought this was particularly impressive. Keep it up. We love seeing the passion and creativity. It’s inspiring.



News

apb_matt_message.png

Marching forward

We are checking in with Matt this month on the transition to Unreal 3.5 and the progress on syncing up the PC and console versions of APB. As always, this is a great opportunity to get a sneak peek behind the curtains and see what it takes to get you the great game we all love.

At the beginning of the month, Matt gave a quick update on progress.

Read the Unreal 3.5 update

Also Matt's February blog is up, and this month he talks about how listening to the community is driving changes in APB.

Read the February blog

Armas steals & deals

Check in daily to see what's new and featured in the ARMAS Marketplace. Be sure to take a look at the following gear that will make your heart race.

Love-Gun
Heartbreaker
Casanova

Shop Armas

 
 


Vendredi 8 février 2019  
 
Listening to the Community

Hi everyone,

With Valentine's Day on the horizon and love in the air, I felt this was an appropriate topic. Since we took over, players have reached out with feedback on our forums, Reddit, Twitter, or Facebook. In many cases, they shared important issues. Sometimes they highlight a reason for why they drifted away from APB or have stopped playing altogether.

My team takes these comments to heart, but I recognize that's an easy thing to say. For me, this is not lip service.

I believe that we are wasting our time attempting to release something new, if we don't fundamentally listen to the community and address the core trends that have been brought to our attention. The first step in finding a solution is acknowledging an issue. The second step is sharing the solution and committing to it.

Beyond the active work being done to curb some of the big-ticket items like cheating, DDoS issues, etc. there are three major areas that have been consistently brought up by players. Below we will outline them and highlight the upcoming solutions in the order that we will be addressing them.

1) Inconsistent and or confusing item pricing

    Issue

      I've seen this argument come up nearly everywhere that APB has been talked about. I made a commitment to look at the pricing in my first Twitch interview. Back in May, due to the old G1C exchange rate, it was possible to pay more than $40 for an Account Bound gun. We improved the amount of G1C per dollar, and we tried to lower prices a couple months ago. However, we made the mistake of trying to follow the pricing rules that were already in place. Right now an Account Bound ARMAS weapon still ranges from $20 - $32, and when we surveyed other online games, we still found we were priced a bit high.

    Solution

      With the next patch we will be launching the second update to ARMAS Marketplace. This is an aggressive pass through the entire store - not just weapons. We standardized around a few simple pricing tiers within categories like vehicles, skins, clothing, etc. Additionally, weapon pricing has been lowered on average by 30%. This will make for a much more consistent and ideally enjoyable browsing experience.

2) Desire for new content or In-game rewards

    Issue

      It's been a very long time since any permanent new content was added to the game including new rewards that can be unlocked through progression. Even Little Orbit has only been able to release the Showstopper on ARMAS and some holiday events with minor items and new symbols.

    Solution

      In March, we are going to be launching a new game mode. We are excited to share more with you about this in the coming weeks. This will unlock a completely new persistent mode that has contacts and rewards that we will be rotating out on a regular basis. After that, we will be introducing new contacts with more in-game progression items when we launch the big engine upgrade.

3) Optimizations needed for modern hardware

    Issue

      Players often tell me about the slowness of APB when they run it on their new rigs with high end multi-core processors and state-of-the-art GPUs. The current version of the game is 32-bit running on Unreal 3.0. As counter intuitive as it sounds, in order to get good framerates currently, you need a single very strong processor or a GPU with a single strong processor. This is because, Unreal 3.0 only supports single threaded rendering. For XboxOne players, the game is choppy and runs at a less than ideal framerate. For PS4 players, the streaming sometimes results in pixelated low resolution textures.

    Solution

      We now have new internal builds running on PC, XboxOne, and PS4 under Unreal 3.5. I have talked a little bit about the upgrade, but I haven't shared many of the optimizations players will see. First, it's 64-bit and makes use of multi-core processors and more RAM. Even our early play tests showed a massive improvement in resource utilization. Second, we are adding support for multi-threaded rendering. Interestingly, the PS4 version of the game has this already. But that code isn't being used on PC or XboxOne yet. This is likely the single biggest improvement that players will see. Also, we have re-worked texture streaming to make it far more efficient and improve performance. This is an exciting development that should go a long way in improving the overall gameplay.

I initially felt that there wouldn't be noticeable visual improvements. And I am happy to report that initial testing with the SPCT have proven me to be wrong. Those players were quite pleased with the upgrade and new effects that bring APB more in line with current games.

All of this is coming in the weeks and months to come, and I look forward to seeing old and new players alike come check out the new APB Reloaded. It’s an exciting time for APB and we thank everyone for coming along for the ride. Keep the constructive feedback coming!

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Little Orbit and the APB Reloaded team.

Thanks,

Matt

 
 


Vendredi 1 février 2019  
 
Progress with UE3.5 / Integration

Hi everyone,

It's been about a month since my last post on this topic, and many players have reached out to me to ask about progress, so I'm going to take some time to do an update.

I also want to talk about the SPCT and testing to help shed some light on their role and activities.

At this point, we have all three platforms Xboxone, PlayStation 4, and PC on the same code base, and all three platforms are compiling.

We are working through some issues with Xboxone and PlayStation 4 that will need work before we can actually run them.

But the PC is up and in test.

We are behind where I wanted to be.

We'll do our best to catch up, but we had some technical challenges in January getting the new build up and running for testing. We had just gotten the game to run internally at the end of the year, but I seriously underestimated how much effort it would take to build an environment that SPCT could hit externally. I'm sure there was a lot of frustration on their side, week after week, when we would tell them "be ready this weekend", and then the servers weren't up.

Once we finally got things sorted out, the entire SPCT had to spend hours downloading the build. Then we had more problems getting into the Action Districts due to a networking issue. We figured out a work around that let most team members in, but then the disconnects started. Right now the server is very unstable and crashes based on a number of broken things that players can trigger. Due to a number of issues, players get disconnected every 5-10 minutes. Again, I feel for the team attempting to test or explore issues when they are getting constantly kicked and have to log back in.

Week #1

We have now had almost a full week of testing, and in a way the SPCT and Little Orbit are exploring this version of the game together in real time.

My raw initial impression of this build is... it's a mixed bag. I have publicly stated that that I didn't think UE3.5 was going to be that big of a change. And in some cases, I was wrong. There are some significant changes to loading times, visual look and feel, and CPU/GPU usage. However there are also LOTS and LOTS of oddball bugs, crashes, and generally unexpected areas where the game behaves strangely.

I'm going to try and give regular updates on our progress, so everyone can track where we are, but for now here is my best general update:

    Most of the code is based on the console version. That's great for engine optimizations, but generally bad for many aspects of gameplay right now. The menus, districts, weapon balance, and other areas are all based on what you can see right now on XB1 and PS4. My team will be pulling across all the PC specific pieces and updates as fast as possible, but there's a fairly big gap at the moment.
    There are lots of frustrating bugs (like not responding to ALT-TAB) that make the game not much fun to play. We need to slam a bunch of quality of life changes in as soon as possible, or I worry that SPCT folks are going to get very frustrated.
    Visually the game looks very different. Materials were updated. Textures improved. Reflections improved. Lighting changed. There are aspects of the game that I'm still hoping to adjust, and I'm sure each player will determine how much they like or dislike the new look, but I was surprised how much I liked it.
    Framerates seem to be more stable, but generally slower than Live. This is due to a number of unoptimized things. I'm confident that we'll actually get the game running better than Live once we apply some fixes.
    We are going to need to do some work on the districts themselves. Missing kiosks need to be replaced. Some elements need to be removed, and collisions will need to be thoroughly gone over.

Update UE3.5 Screenshots

I know some players have asked for a new round of sexy screenshots from the new engine. 

However given where we are, I don't think hyping this effort is the right route to take. We have time for that later.

Instead, I'm going to make an exception to the NDA and allow each SPCT member to post a single bug or feature they found interesting from their experience so far - good, bad or ugly.

Thanks,

Matt

 
 


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