Message from Matt
August was a little crazy, and our timeline is about to start moving pretty quickly, so this month I want to recap some of the biggest things coming your way.
APB brand and ip expanding in Asia
In August, Little Orbit reached terms to sell the APB IP to a company in Hong Kong named Unit Game. This is a 'Best of both worlds' deal where Unit Game will take over development for an all-new APB mobile game starting with the Asian market, and then expanding world-wide, while Little Orbit will keep the rights to the current APB Reloaded title on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 so they can continue to develop and expand that title.
This is ultimately good news for you guys. There will be no change in management or disruption to the Engine Upgrade. I realized that developing APB Reloaded, doing an APB mobile game, and working with the Australia team on an Unreal 4 version of APB was all just too much for us. This deal gives us full control of APB Reloaded in perpetuity, and will allow us to focus on delivering everything we have promised so far.
Bans for using unapproved launchers
I want to take a brief moment to remind all our players that only the Advanced Launcher has been approved by Little Orbit. This program only makes changes to the config that any normal player can make by hand editing the config themselves.
Use of the Advanced Launcher has been temporarily approved until we can integrate these features directly into APB Reloaded, and then we will not allow it any more.
Players should only download the Advanced Launcher directly from us here: https://media.gamersfirst.com/gamersmedia/apb/Advanced_APB_Launcher.zip
If you are using any other 3rd party programs that modify the APB game files then I recommend immediately uninstalling both the launcher and APB, and then reinstalling APB from scratch so that your game files are clean. Running an unapproved launcher puts your account at risk of being automatically banned by Easy Anti Cheat.
You can read the full thread on our forums here: https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/10905-recent-ban-wave-and-approved-launchers/
Changes to weapon balance
After a somewhat uneven start, I think we've found some good stats for the OCA and RFP.
The plan going forward is to leave these changes in place without pushing them to Live districts and to keep adding new variants until we're completely done with the Weapon Balance. Next week, we'll be adding a new round of weapons, and to spice things up we'll also be running an event in Test Districts to allow players to earn Joker Tickets for helping us test. Stay tuned for that announcement soon.
Cyrillic and special symbol names changes
In September, we will be disabling special characters (Cyrillic, Latin, etc) in character and clan names and flagging all names that contain special characters for a forced name change.
After the Nekrova merge, we found several issues with the /report and mail systems that didn't work with special symbols in names of characters. We explored a number of ways to fix this without changing names, but in the end we are somewhat limited to the characters enabled across all our players’ keyboards, and we need to standardize things for some upcoming changes.
Releasing old character and clan names
Since we took over in 2018, players have been asking how to claim old unused names, and that time has finally come.
This is your 1 month notice.
Effective October 2nd, we will be releasing any character or clan name that hasn't been logged into for a year or more. So if you want to keep your name (assuming it doesn't have any special symbols in it), then all you have to do is log that character in, and you'll be fine.
Please help us spread the word to older players. I don't want anyone to be surprised. Again, this effort is necessary to make some upcoming changes more smooth.
In October after releasing names, we will be finally consolidating Jericho and Citadel giving our players the ability to play any character in any region.
This isn’t like a traditional server merge. This is a significant architecture change allowing us to expand more Action Districts so that North American players can play with other regions and so that our Asia-Pacific, South America, and Russian players can have better latency.
We haven’t nailed down specific locations for new Action Districts, but we are evaluating options for new servers in Los Angeles, New York, Moscow, Singapore, or Rio. These Action District servers will be marked in the Advanced list by region, but will be available to all players to join.
This is a prerequisite for mission phasing and matchmaking changes that will be launching after the Engine Upgrade.
You can see the full thread here: https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/10872-cyrillic-nick-name-change-jerichocitadel-merge/
Engine upgrade status
This remains our #1 priority, but I'll try to keep the details fairly straightforward.
Last month we had reviewed and accepted either the 3.0 or the 3.5 version of more than 1500 packages.
This month here is where we are:
All packages, code, and content have been fixed and upgraded from Live to 3.5
All multithreaded optimizations for rendering and the game thread have been completed
The District Select and several other screens had to be re-worked from scratch
There are still lots of bugs, but SPCT should start testing and benchmarking the new PC build the week of 9/2
Console builds were kicked back due to crash bugs, but we have fixed those and resubmitted new builds to our console publisher
At this point I haven't seen enough testing to have a realistic OTW Beta date, but I'll update the community as soon as I know.
Razer customs launches customizable APB Reloaded phone cases
Our friends at Razer have launched a fun new project called Razer Customs, which makes print on demand merchandise from your favorite games.
APB Reloaded was selected as one of only a few launch titles, so we chose some of the coolest character concepts and made Enforcer and Criminal themed cases. This is just an initial set of merchandise. We are hoping to support player-made art and more phone models in the future.
Pick out a custom, high-quality phone case, and make it truly your own by adding your gamertag. Get inspired and start designing here: http://rzr.to/customs
Live stream Q&A with Kempington & Matt
Lastly, with all this news, a lot of questions have come up, and it's been impossible for me to answer them all.
So on September 11th at 10am PST, Kempington will be hosting another Question & Answer session with me on his Twitch channel. Feel free to pop by and hopefully I'll be able to walk through everything in more detail.