[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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Vendredi 1 février 2019
Progress with UE3.5 / Integration
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.
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.