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Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt 2015


Hello Citizens,

I would like to start off with a thank you, to the members of our community that have taken the time to answer my Q&A questions. The responses you provide will better help us to refine APB.

The next Q&A will be started shortly, when it does please feel free to ask a few more questions and I will answer them in the same time span as my last.

Now on to the meat of my blog post J

The Easter weekend is approaching and what better way to celebrate than with a brand new event. The goal for this event was to take last year’s theme and change it up in order to make it fresh.

We took last year’s Bunny Mugging gameplay and changed it up a considerable amount in order to present to you:

Mayor Jane Derren's San Paro First Ever Open Conflict Easter Egg Hunt 2015 aka The M.J.D.S.P.F.E.O.C.E.E.H 2015 (J)



Go out and capture as many eggs as possible. Mug a BUNNY, A CHICKEN or even other PLAYERS in order to claim as many eggs your grubby little hands can hold. Squirrel your eggs safely with a contact or carry all the eggs with you, till the very end. Play your way… choose to play alone, play with friends (no groups), back stab friends or just sneak around grabbing all you can. The event is yours to enjoy, so go MUG, SHOOT and BANK your way to new titles, rewards and the new Easter Egg Event Trophy.

The official rules will be posted in our forums.

So I look forward to continuing our Q&A, reading your answers and hope you enjoy this year’s Easter Event.

The fun starts on 4/1/2015!

So have a safe holiday weekend everyone, till later gang.

MoK

Friday, March 20, 2015

Prepare for Migration to New San Paro World Servers



In our last post, we talked about how we plan to make your APB experience run more smoothly by upgrading the district server hardware to the latest generation technology. Today we'll share our plans to address your calls for server merges, how that fits with the console release, and what you can expect during this process.

Migration Considerations


Two critical factors that affect your gameplay quality are latency (ping time) and population size. Lower ping times mean more responsive combat and driving mechanics (not to mention the separate projected currently underway to change the entire matchmaking system).

Generally higher population size on its own also helps improve matchmaking and creates more vibrant social interactions. Having more servers throughout the world reduces latency for some players by reducing their physical distance, but that comes at the expense of server population size. Our new design should strike a reasonable balance between the two.

First, our new World Server hardware allows us to effectively double the capacity of the original World Servers, which avoids the need now and in the future to have multiple "worlds" in any one location.

Second, APB:R currently has 5 distinct 'worlds' - Colby (US West), Joker (US East), Obeya (EU1), Patriot (EU2), and Han (Asia). After analyzing millions of player data including connection quality, feedback, and even social patterns, we concluded that running 5 worlds overly limits the kinds of social interaction that the APB community thrives on. By combining these into 3 larger servers, we effectively double the population size of each and open up a massive number of potential new connections between characters - by 2,253,728,674,140 in the EU to be exact.

One "World" per continent, per platform.


The plan for the PC game is to construct two new high-capacity, high-performance centrally located world servers for PC, one in the US and one in the EU. In the EU, Obeya and Patriot will be combined into a single world that will remain in Frankfurt, Germany but hosted on the new hardware. Likewise in the US, Colby and Joker will be combined into a new world that will now be based in Dallas, TX. Han (the Asian world) will live either in Singapore or Sydney, and there is still a fierce debate about the best location for that world. 

These new world servers will be both larger and faster than the current ones, with the US server to be hosted on the Softlayer platform outlined in the previous post, and the EU server to run on a combination of Softlayer and the same type of blade servers that outperform even the Overkill servers.

Since the Han server exclusively serves the entire Asia region, we do not plan to make significant changes to it in the near future.

What Should You Expect?


The migration schedule to the New Worlds is as follows:
  • EU - April 22nd
  • US - May 6th
Character Names: Two characters on the combining servers might have the same name. Whenever this occurs, we will choose which character has priority to keep the name. This will be based on: total play time, last login time and character age. Any character that is not given priority will instead be given a free name change option.

So be sure to login and play on your characters over the next 30 days, especially ones that you haven't played on in a while. While we cannot guarantee naming priority, doing so will improve your odds. We will be sending email notifications shortly to make sure most players have received at least a 30 day warning prior to the upcoming New World Migration.

Clan Names: Like characters, clans names might also conflict during the merge. Should this happen, we will give priority to the clan based on its size and the total playtime/recent activity/age of its members. Clans that are not given priority will have their names slightly modified, and the clan leader can submit a ticket to request a new name.

World Names: While we like the current names (Colby, Joker etc.) we are open to calling the new worlds by new names. Any name suggestions would be greatly appreciated on the forums (you can visit the forums here).

Console Worlds


Along with the new location for the PC Worlds in Dallas and Frankfurt, each of those two locations will also host 2 new World Servers dedicated to the Console version, for a total of 6 World servers; Dallas-PC, Dallas-X1, Dallas-PS4, and Frankfurt-PC, Frankfurt-X1, Frankfurt-PS4 (each of those of course need brand new names as well).

We look forward to bringing you more details as we get closer to the live migration start, but in the meantime, stay connected and simply play APB Reloaded to cement your claim to any existing character and clan names.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New APB Servers

Here at Reloaded, our team is made up of avid APB players across the globe—we play countless missions throughout each of the servers and get frustrated at the same gameplay hiccups that you’ve experienced. That’s why we’ve been working tirelessly to find shiny new solutions that bestow upon our awesome international community the smoothest gameplay experience possible. Today we would like to tune you in on our 2015 plans to offer the best server-side performance in the history of APB.

No EU Overkill?

Since we first announced Overkill back in early 2013 (http://apbreloaded.gamersfirst.com/2013/02/optimization-magic.html) - we purchased, built and deployed these ultra-optimized machines in the US in response to your demand for better server-side performance. The Overkill machines are deployed in Colby and Joker provide increased server tick-rates (30 fps compared to 25) and higher maximum district capacities (50v50 compared to 40v40).

The graphs below illustrate how Overkill performs at higher district capacities compared to the standard spec:


(a) Standard (original) server running 4 district instances at 80 capacity, with 40ms frame time/25 FPS. 



(b) Overkill server running 5 district instances at 100 capacity, around 33ms frame time/30 FPS. In both cases, frame time starts to increase exponentially as district population exceeds certain amounts (70 in standard servers and 90 in Overkill servers). Since we try to maintain a minimum frame time 25 FPS (40ms frame time) for ideal performance, there is always a careful balancing act between minimizing latency and maximizing district capacities.


Why haven’t we simply launched them in the EU?

It basically boiled down to the logistics of setting up these highly-customized machines in Frankfurt (where our EU servers are located). This isn't like building a PC at home – birthing an Overkill server overseas takes lots of work putting together the individual components, escorting it to the proper location, racking it in the data center and configuring it for use. Unfortunately once it's in place, it's a hard piece of equipment to maintain, especially relying exclusively on remote assistance.

Therefore we have been on a continual hunt for a more "enterprise-class" solution that was better suited for remote datacenters, especially when we need to deploy them in Germany, where we don't have our own team on the ground.

We never lost sight of upgrading the servers that our EU players call home. The good news; we are launching the final "Gen 2" servers for testing in the EU later this week!


APB in the Cloud

Over the last several months we have been working with several potential cloud-hosting or hybrid hosting providers – like AWS and SoftLayer – to experiment with alternative server solutions. "The Cloud" of course offers benefits like a selection of ultra-modern and high-performance servers already located near existing APB infrastructure. Unfortunately, "The Cloud" can also be unpredictable and unreliable when compared with "bare-metal" hosting.

AWS offers a "pure" cloud solution, whereas SoftLayer provides a "hybrid" hosting solution where they actually spin up new physical servers and give us more physical control over actual "hardware."

Still, finding the right servers able to handle the massive demands of running APB district servers has been no easy task. So far we have put several different configurations through real-world tests.

How did they stack up?


(c) Amazon AWS C3 2680v2 (10 cores, 2.8Ghz) running 6 district instances at 90 capacity. 



(d) SoftLayer 2690 (8 cores, 3.0 GHz) running 6 district instances and 100 capacity. 



(e) SoftLayer 1270 V3 (4 cores, 3.5 GHz/ 3.9Ghz TURBO, thanks to hybrid hosting) running 3 district instances at 100 capacity.

The clear winner here is the SoftLayer 1270v3 at 3.9Ghz (TURBO). That's a bit surprising, since technically it's the "smallest" of the three processors types (AWS C3 is a E5-2680v2 with 10 cores at 2.8Ghz, and the SoftLayer E5-2690v2 is an 8 core 3.0Ghz processor) and by far the cheapest.

However, Unreal eats processor clock for breakfast, and does not properly use multiple cores for its processing tasks. So the smaller processor actually wins out.

For the 1270v3 even with each district at full 100 capacity, frame rate remained close to 30 FPS, and dropped only very occasionally to 25 FPS. This is higher than the current servers’ frame rate of 25 FPS under the best conditions (down to 18 FPS at 80 capacity), and actually better than the US based Overkill servers which run closer to 22 FPS under the same 100-player load!

Sadly, our experiments with Amazon (where we had a lot of hopes in Australia) did not turn out to work very well. While it's a fine piece of hardware, at these extreme performance levels the limited hardware tuning options made the AWS solution less suitable for this very unique hosting requirement.

Over all - the hybrid hosting options have shown to be incredibly promising and if you’re still reading along at this point, you’re probably wondering when you’ll be able to take these for a spin yourself. The good news is that we are configuring both EU1 and EU2 to incorporate the new SoftLayer servers, and will add 12 new districts running at 100 CCU max capacity in the live environment later this week. Once they are live, they will run through the rest of February and depending on our test results and your feedback, we hope this solution will be the final version we deploy for all EU districts.

New Server Structure in Preparation for Console Launches

So to end on a bit of a bombshell, and reward you for patiently reading about low level technical items, in the next blog post we will share the new game structure that we will implement over the next few months in preparation for the PS4 and Xbox One launches.

The new upcoming World structure will feature three Central US Worlds (one each for PC, PS4 and XBox One) and three Central EU worlds (PC, PS4 and XBox One). Each new World instance will have greater capacity than the old ones to handle additional players, and we will no longer need to split players on a single platform (PC/PS4 etc.) onto multiple World servers. Han will remain as a PC world in Asia, and may transition to the new server technology if the EU tests go well.

Til next time,

Jobs





Monday, February 9, 2015

Much Love is in the Air

Hello Citizens

We got a lot of feedback on the forums regarding last month’s blog post from TechMech and myself. I will go over some future plans later in this blog, but first let me present what we have in store for you this month.

Now that February is here, you all know what that means? A time for love, heartbreak and of course action. We have been busy with the engine, matchmaking and other game upgrades so APB Reloaded will be offering you something old and something new for this month.  This year we see the return of the Valentines Massacre Event which will run from the 11th to the 25th of February. New and returning players will be given a chance to earn themes, skins, weapons and a whole lot of other prizes. 

With love comes heartbreak and brand new for this year is the 7 Stages of Heartbreak trophy. Players just need to log in on any of the 7 days of the event and play 3 matches during each visit. Earn new titles (7 in total) and reward yourself with a unique arrow quiver backpack that is not earnable or available anywhere else. 


This backpack will be the first of many participation trophies available throughout the year, so don’t miss on the first one that starts the ball rolling.

Now on to future plans.

We realized with last month’s post and from threads on the forums, that people want more communication from us on what is going on and what will be taking place.  So, as the game's Creative Director I am happy to say that I will be conducting a Q&A session where myself and appropriate team members will answer your questions. This will also give me a chance to ask you, the APB player about what you like in the game and what your thoughts are regarding specific aspects of the game.

This new thread will start next week in 2 weeks and will contain a bit of info about myself, what I do and how the questions and answers will be presented. I am looking forward to it and am excited on the information being exchanged.

So enjoy the Valentine Massacre Event, earn that unique Valentine Quiver Backpack and see you on the forums.

Stay tuned for next week’s post, where Jobs will talk about the improvements to our servers that you can expect in the coming months.

Till next time


Ricardo “MOK” Viana

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Matchmaking on a Global Scale

More communication!

(by TechMech)

As shared last week, going forward we expect to post a lot more about what the team is doing right now, and how that will affect the game over the next several months, even before they have fully completed the work. We are starting this series with MoK's initial write-up about the outline of the new Matchmaking system. Followed by blog posts that share more details about the new engine and console game releases, and finally, sharing much more information about the new hardware deployment that's going on at the moment. So a slight change in publishing order, with Matchmaking going out before Engine and Console post.

First up: MoK and Matchmaking


Matchmaking on a Global Scale

(by MoK)

At end of 2014 we ran lots of surveys and in depth APB statistics on matchmaking, since it's pretty clear that our matchmaking system requires some serious overhaul. As a result of that review, the team and I have designed a matchmaking solution that addresses the core problem without diminishing a fundamentally strong mechanic.

In short, while the matchmaking system works exceptionally well inside a single district, the core problem is that there simply isn't a sufficient number of equally skilled teams inside any one 100-person district at any one time. And our attempts to regulate that using individual skill thresholds (silver, gold etc.) per player has not worked, since what matters in the end is the strength of the combined team, not the individual player.

We know from the team stats that when a good and evenly balanced match does take place between two equally strong teams, the outcome of the match is pretty much a 50-50 coin flip, which is exactly what we are looking for, and the condition that hits you like a "shock and awe" attack due to the level of action you are surrounded by. However, if no good team match up is available in your current district, then the next reasonable match on that one server may in fact be very lopsided, and after some timeout period the system today will simply start that less than ideal match, just to make sure people aren't idling around.

To fix this, our new matchmaking system will use a hybrid cross-district team system calculating "team skill" levels for all active teams in the game. What matters going forward is the cumulative strength of your team, and teams will be automatically assigned to the best possible opposition, even if that opposition might be playing on a different district server. There are a bunch of technical issues involved in solving that, so more details will be shared when we are closer to launching the system.

The design goal is to offer a better experience for veteran players by connecting and assigning them to teams where the combined team rating is far more equal to the competition, eliminating the need to dethreat to find competition.  This fundamental goal also lets new players to progress right from the beginning at a pace they feel comfortable with and provides an added level of security against abusive and negative behavior in game.

While this will be a radical departure from the present system, at no time will our loyal and experienced players feel that anything they have rightfully earned be lost, or has been dumbed down.  Rather the new matchmaking system will encourage fair competition, yet will still be accessible enough to let new players mature into the serious competition of tomorrow, without getting noob-stomped along the way.

Till next time.

/Ricardo “Mok” Viana

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Preview of upcoming 2015 APB blog posts

Today’s post is not a traditional blog post, but a quick preview of items are going to cover on the blog over the next couple of weeks.

Blog Preview 1: Engine Upgrade 

The First Rule of the Engine Upgrade - is that we don’t talk about the Engine Upgrade.

However, I will be breaking this apparent First Rule in order to share one of the very BIG things that has been going on “under the surface” in APB since early 2014. This “something” has forced us pick a specific date for the engine upgrade release, and then to not talk about it.

Today I can say we WILL be able to share more information about this project "VERY SOON™". As in “days," not weeks. And then it will all make sense. And it will also make sense how the Engine Upgrade relates to what's coming.

Here is a preview image. You will recognize it as one of APB’s startup 3D scenes. The upgraded engine has a new light system that makes lights appear to be part of the scene itself, and not "painted on." In this case, the mobile light rig throwing a yellow-ish hue, from what appears to be portable Sodium Vapor lights, onto the crime scene. Which also features a lot more visual enhancements.



Stay tuned for more information, and timeline for the conclusion of this VERY LONG project, in the next blog entry.


Blog Preview 2: What Players Want! (hint: better matchmaking and a "better" community)

At the end of 2014 we ran several surveys of what our players liked/disliked about APB Reloaded. First the good news; players overwhelmingly like the APB game play by an 83%-17% margin. That’s great news!

But players’ top concern; getting a good match, where they can actually enjoy that game play. Matchmaking loses the “what do you like in APB” question by a 40%-60% margin, with 60% of players calling matchmaking “poor."

Solving matchmaking is complicated in APB, since unlike other games it uses players already in any given 100-player district to trigger new matches, and the selection in each district is naturally limited, especially when it comes to groups and teams.

Therefore in this upcoming blog post, our lead designer Ricardo ("Mok") will share how the team is heads down working on a revamp of all match handling in APB, resulting in a much more global match making system, to give you exponentially better matches.

On the Community side, while we cannot fix the personalities of a few crazy trolls that hang out in the APB community there are some new systems on the horizon that will let us moderate live chats and control the in-game experience much more effectively. These improvements are rolling out over the next few months and should improve the in game experience immensely, hopefully leading to fewer newbies being harassed in game, and happier newbie and "not-yet hardened" players.


Blog Preview 3: Status of New APB Servers 

We have been going through iterations and iterations of different hardware and different configurations, and we think we have finally worked out a solution that will work well and can be deployed starting in our Frankfurt location (yay!). This will also be the permanent solution going forward for all our servers globally, and over time will replace the current range of configurations we have today. This final blog post in the series will examine the new setup, and then show some of the performance metrics we have collected on all the different options over the past few months.

Stay Tuned and check back for the these blog entries VERY SOON™

/TechMech




Monday, December 8, 2014

12 Deaths of Christmas

Festive greetings folks and welcome to another quick blog by yours truly Ricardo Viana, Lead Designer here at APB Reloaded. 

I first want to start by saying last month’s Halloween Headless Horseman event went over well with players and we are happy that many people enjoyed the fruits of our labour.  During the event we uncovered and fixed exploits that will allow us to create a richer experience in the coming New Year.

For those that missed it, we have created a post event video showing some in game highlights from players participating in the event:







Now that December is upon us, we at Reloaded have a sack filled with goodies for you to enjoy this holiday season.  Returning this year are the Elves and Snowball Wars event for you all to enjoy but we are also introducing: 

The 12 Deaths of Christmas, a new event that contains a Deck the Halls activity that unlocks:
  • A new and unique weapon 
  • New rewards and achievements 
  • New deployable - a Secret Santa Box, which can be used in Action districts to earn even more rewards, weapons and skins.



So it makes no difference if you are Naughty or Nice, this year’s Christmas event will have something for everyone.

From the APB Reloaded family, we wish you a safe and joyous festive season.  


Ricardo ”Mok” Viana

Friday, November 14, 2014

Introducing Jobs!

Hi All!

Unbeknownst to most people outside our immediate team, we have been in a slow, deliberate long-term transition here at Reloaded. Starting back in June, we began the gradual migration of key APB production tasks and responsibilities from Linus to Jobs. 

By the end of July, Jobs had taken over all key tasks, and Linus started scaling back his day-to-day role. Linus completed his planned move, and is now pursuing other interesting opportunities. I am sure you will hear from him again in the future, but before we let him go completely, I just wanted to take this chance to say a few words about him; Linus has been an amazing co-worker and partner for over 6 years, originally starting as a GM on the old Korean-developed RPG “Knight Online,” eventually becoming Associate Producer, and finally Producer for several of our key titles including APB and Fallen Earth. His passion for these games and in particular his immaculate attention to detail around immersion and the role playing experience will be missed, and we wish him all the best. 

Now, as luck would have it, we were incredibly fortunate to have a great mind waiting in the wings for APB, who was ready to step up to the plate when the team needed a great new starter. Jonathan a.k.a “Jobs” is a bit unusual since he did not arrive in the producer’s chair via the traditional path of QA or project management. As most game industry veterans will tell you, a common path for people into a production role often starts with a passionate gamer applying for a black-box QA, Community or Game Master Position, then after a few years advancing into project management and eventually arriving in design or production roles. 

Jobs destroys that mold by having started with Reloaded as a hard core developer and engineer. Who also happened to be a passionate APB and shooter player himself. For the last several years Jobs appeared frequently in game using his “Cancer Stricken Steve Jobs” character (sure – he has a sense of the macabre), and joined various groups and clans along the way and got himself deeply immersed in the APB community. 

After all, who can forget his classic “Apple Release Day Line Up” from 2012?


The first major project that Jobs helped usher in for APB as acting producer was actually the full launch of FairFight, which has turned out to be a critical milestone for the game.

Now he is deep in the weeds of the next major experience upgrade, especially focusing on the next gargantuan task; match making (and all the ins and outs of revamped and expanded matchmaking will be something he shares in a later blog post). But with that; here is the word from Jobs, your new producer:

/TechMech


Hi all, Jobs here!

The APB community has always been our greatest asset, and I and the team are constantly working to improve this very large game, though sometimes this can be a complicated task due its colorful history. Even so, this is our shared mission, and one that I and the team are tackling with gusto and enthusiasm every day!

As this year comes to a close, I’d like to talk about some of the drastic changes we have been working on and implementing the last several months, and also some things we are going to be focusing on very shortly. But before I go any further, first I’d like to share a note from our former Producer, Linus:


  • You might be wondering why I've been kind of quiet for a little while. The reason? After 6 amazing years -- some easy, some hard, all of them the best years of my life -- I've decided to expand my horizons and challenge myself in different ways. From the moment I decided to work in this crazy industry I knew I'd only be satisfied if I could do a lot of different things on a lot of different games, which to me meant I'd have to change companies every couple of years. Reloaded, however, afforded me that opportunity without having to leave, and after working on so much, learning a ton, and meeting so many great people, I just sort of threw out my old plan and stayed here for a very long time, through some massive changes at the company. It has become comfortable, though, which is both a blessing and a curse, but that old itch for change and variety is rearing its head, so it's time to add some discomfort and newness to my career.

    I can't express how lucky you are to have Jobs at the helm now (who, let's face it, was always 1000x better at playing the game than me anyway, and someone who gave me great feedback on the in game experience), that if you didn't already know you were in good hands -- well, you're in good hands. I've seen the roadmap. Things keep getting better, and Jobs is the guy who will usher in these exciting changes.

    If you want to keep in touch, you can do that at twitter.com/joe_willmon, where sometimes I say things that are almost as funny as that one post I wrote on the forum about the PMs cheaters send me.

    So long my friends! It's been real fun.

    / Linus


For those who I haven’t had a chance to meet over the last few years, I’m known in-game as the character Jobs in the Colby (NA West) server. Since we launched APB:Reloaded in 2011 I’m proud to say I’ve lived the APB experience – had hundreds of glorious victories and crushing defeats; shared hilarious and absurd moments around the open world with teammates; created and exchanged (some not so) incredible pieces of music and art; and stayed up playing many hours past my bedtime (much to the dismay of my significant other).



So why the delayed introduction? In short, I've been determined to improve our service and gameplay experience for you since day 1 – but first, I felt it was important to first and foremost show you progress before promises.

Today we’re able to boast a massive reduction in cheating activity through our partnership with FairFight combined with all the new internal systems we rolled out simultaneously to the FF launch, so that hackers who would have ruined your matches are now quickly rooted out and removed from the game.

We have boosted the size of our development, art and support staff to bring you more content, more quickly. We've boosted our GM presence in both the game and forums to promote positive behavior throughout our community. We've increased the number of channels to gather direct feedback from our players. We have renewed our focus on giving back to our strongest supporters through giving out hundreds of thousands of gifts through programs like loyalty rewards.

Most importantly, we've been developing innovative and meaningful changes to core gameplay systems, the first of which you've seen in the "Headless Horseman" event, where we suddenly were able to turn entire servers into a pseudo-zombie/infection mode games.

That said, there is still a *lot* of things to be done. Just to name a few, performance is still unacceptably poor for some players and in some cases for all players; the matchmaking system is one of our biggest headaches, and it too often makes less-than-ideal matches from too small of a selection of available opposing teams on a single server (fundamentally only having a dozen or so opposing teams to pick from is not sufficient for a consistent experience), sometimes players wait too long before getting another match; and game-play isn't as intuitive and engaging as we’d like in every situation (though of course, once you get a hang of it, APB: Reloaded can be incredibly hard to put down, and has proven to be a very sticky long-term experience for many players).

But, my goal is simple; any part of the experience that can be improved, will be improved. Our team knows that you deserve the best possible game, and at the end of the day we are APB players too and want a great experience for ourselves and our friends.

Our focus over the next year is simple: growing and improving of APB:Reloaded. The only way we can make that happen is to improve the experience and the level of service that we offer, both in and out of the game.

And as our new lead designer Ricardo mentioned two posts ago, we’ll be placing special emphasis on creating a more engaging, intuitive and fun gameplay experiences for both new and veteran players alike.

As Producer, I couldn't be more excited about the growth and evolution of APB:Reloaded in 2015 and look forward to bringing you these new developments to you this coming year.

/Jobs

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HALLOWEEN '14: Part 3

As promised in the last blog post, we now offer you APB: Reloaded Halloween Event.  This Dynamic Event is unique, compared to the events that have been released in the past.  This event is our test bed in trying and introducing new elements, mechanics and direction to the existing system.  We are proud of what has been created and enjoyed playing it as much as making it. I thank you the players, for your patience and your understanding for the minor delay (we actually finished 2 days earlier than announced). I know you all want to jump in ASAP, so it is with great pleasure I present to you:

Halloween 2014 Horseman Event

The rules for the event are simple:

1.       Collect X amount of pumpkins to become the HORSEMAN and start the event (Timer Starts).
2.       The HORSEMAN must kill other players to convert them HORSEMAN’S army (SOLDIERS).
3.       SOLDIERS must kill other players to recruit them into the HORSEMAN’S army.
4.       SURVIVORS must avoid being killed, till time runs out (Timer Ends).

NOTE:  SURVIVORS blip on the HORSEMAN’S army's radar when the bell tolls, signifying that the HORSEMAN Event is coming to an end...keep fighting, running or hiding to survive.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: 

HORSEMAN

  • BUFFED UP HEALTH, FLARE GUN and a custom steed ENVEGAS 
  • EARN POINTS BY KILLING SURVIVORS


SOLDIERS

  • ABLE TO RE-SPAWN MULTIPLE TIMES WITHOUT PENALTY
  • EARN POINTS FOR KILLING SURVIVORS


SURVIVORS

  • EARN POINTS FOR SURVIVING 
  • EARN EXTRA POINTS FOR KILLING AND BECOMING THE HORSEMAN


STRATEGIES SEEN DURING TESTING:

  • SURVIVORS team up to attack the HORSEMAN (earning kills and assists)
  • SOLDIERS working together to coral SURVIVORS into a corner
  • HORSEMAN being used as bait to draw SURVIVORS into traps


PRIZES AND REWARDS

Achievements, titles and a new backpack can all be won and earned in this year’s HORSEMAN event.

So until next time San Paro citizens…

Ricardo “MoK” Viana

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HALLOWEEN '14: Part 2

Hello Gang,

Our Halloween 2014 event goes live tomorrow (29th, at 10am (UTC)) and we have brought back all the Halloween content from the last 3 years, the Artemis ISSR-A assault rifle and the new Vegas Firehawk kit. As mentioned in the last post, the new Halloween Dynamic Event has been built on the foundation of the system overhaul done for 1.18.

Unfortunately, the new event will be postponed by a few days - and I really do mean a few days (5 working days). Presently the new dynamic event is entertaining and fun but the team and I feel that, you, the audience, deserve an event that has a richer experience and is more polished than in its current state. The new Halloween event contains new gameplay, environmental effects, a brand new backpack to earn, new sounds and really cool in game modifications. Releasing it at this stage would be an injustice to what we are offering and so the decision was made to postpone that portion of the Halloween event for one week. All of the original Halloween content will still be available for you to play and enjoy as of tomorrow.

I believe something this new and unique deserves to be presented properly and not rushed.


I will provide an update shortly with the final release of this totally new dynamic event.



Ricardo “MoK” Viana

Friday, October 24, 2014

HALLOWEEN '14

Hi Gang,

Ricardo Viana here and I am happy to announce the APB:Reloaded Halloween 2014 event is on its way. The recent changes implemented in 1.18.0 has allowed us to create some new and unique gameplay for APB:R that we at Reloaded are very excited about. I believe you will not only be surprised, but very entertained with what we have achieved. With that being said - as seen on the previous post I am a man who enjoys surprises, so this year’s TREAT is that we will be offering a completely New Dynamic Halloween event, the TRICK is that I will not be describing it, you will have to show up and play it for yourself.

On top of this we will also be bringing back all the previous Halloween content for you to enjoy and even try for the first time. We will also be introducing an assortment of new content: a new weapon, the ISSR-A codename: Artemis, a New Vegas car kit called the Firehawk, and a new Halloween backpack that can be earned in game.

Further updates will be posted as we get closer to the end of the month, stay tuned for more guys and gals.


Ricardo “MoK” Viana


PLEASE BE AWARE: Fight Club challenges will be disabled from Monday (27th) till Wednesday (29th), as we’ll be introducing new challenges specifically for the Halloween patch.

Friday, October 17, 2014

UPDATE 1.18.0

Hi Gang,

I’m Ricardo Viana the Lead Designer on APB:Reloaded. This is the first of many updates I will be providing to you, so let me quickly tell you what has occurred since our last update.

Before I start, I wish to thank our players and volunteers for their commitment in providing regular feedback.

We will be releasing the 1.18.0 update that involves changes and improvements to our mechanics systems that are all under the hood, so to speak.  The three key areas of focus for this update were missions, dynamic events and visual effects that will definitely be felt during gameplay.   

1.18.0 Also includes changes to our TEAM LEADER system: 

TEAM LEADERSHIP CHANGES & ADDITIONS

  • We now offer the players the opportunity to request leadership, for the team.
  • Added new messaging for when voting begins, when Leadership selection is successful or unsuccessful.
  • The TEAM LEADER can now only kick other players who have earned a demerit.
  •  Included AFK to the present demerit system.
The team and I are striving to strengthen our core game mechanics on a daily basis. Our end goal is to provide to you the player, a more entertaining mission experience, streamlined matchmaking process, challenges for experienced players and a rewarding entry system for new.  I do not wish to give away too much on what is in store for you, but as Lead I am excited and looking forward to the future direction of APB:Reloaded.

Stay tuned for more guys and gals.

Ricardo “MoK” Viana

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

High Roller Video Promo

With the release of 1.17.1 and the High Roller pack tomorrow, we sincerely hope you enjoyed our series of posts over the last few days and look forward to seeing you in game!

As promised, here's a preview of the video series showcasing the High Roller pack:




Be sure and check the High Roller pack on Armas, when it releases this Wednesday and remember, you can grab a leased version of the Shredder from Wilde, at Joker Affiliates store in Breakwater Marina!

See you on the streets of San Paro!

-The Reloaded Team

Monday, September 8, 2014

1.17.1 Release Date and The Bishada Spectre
Kit

Introducing The Bishada Spectre

The Bishada "Spectre" kit marks the last of our little teasers for the new High Roller pack. Our primary goal when designing this new kit was to give the Bishada components that would drastically change the silhouette for the vehicle, whilst also being more refined, elegant and visually punchier than the Mako kit. At the same time, we also had to ensure that the kit still complemented the large catalogue of existing components, in order to maximize the options available for customization.

As you'll see below, the Spectre kit has a bolder, more aggressive use of lines and shapes, which we believe will really shift the look of the base vehicle. Additionally, we've added components like the Renzo Aero S-X2 wheels, complete with distinctive text around the tyres that really add a unique character to the Bishada, and also a new set of police lights, complete with license plate readers for the Enforcers.

Here is a large resolution (1920x1200) version of the High Roller pack for your shiny monitors:

If you'd like a clean version of this image, then we've got you covered too:


1.17.1 Release Date

Now that we've completed our little set of teaser blogs for 1.17.1 and the High Roller pack, all that is left to do is tell you when you can expect to get your hands on it.
....

*Drum Roll

1.17.1 will be released on LIVE this Wednesday (10th of September at 9am (UTC)) with the High Roller pack being made available on the same day!

Remember, you'll also be able to lease a version of the new Shredder shotgun, ahead of it's Armas release, from Wilde in Breakwater Marina - so check it out and let us know what you think.

*We'll start the maintenance at 9am UTC and should have it back up and running in 2-3 hours.

Did we mention this was the last teaser? We've got one more for you! Join us once more tomorrow, when we'll share a set of exclusive videos showcasing the High Roller pack!

-The Reloaded Team

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Shotgun Balance Changes and The Shredder
Revealed

Shotgun Changes

Shotguns where once the de-facto short-range weapon, but the last set of changes they received left them performing less reliably than we'd like them to. While the previous changes addressed the unreliable nature of the the pellet spread, we felt we could better still address the base accuracy or the accuracy changes that occur when a player moves and fires. To combat this, we've heavily changed the accuracy of all of the existing shotguns by improving where the centre of the spread will land. We've also removed any movement modifiers that would previously have affected the accuracy while running or sprinting.

This means that shotguns will now always hit near-centre, even when fired while running or sprinting . However, jumping and firing will still have a major effect on shotgun accuracy.

We've also taken this opportunity to change how the CSG and JG behave, as we felt they were a little too similar and we really wanted them to have their own distinctive flavour that better complements different play styles. To this end, we've upped the damage of the JG, while increasing its spread. This makes it a close-range monster. With the CSG, we've left it with a tighter spread which, when combined with the benefit of not losing any accuracy while moving, turns it into a excellent mid-range option that still performs well at closer ranges.

Throw the N-FAS and the Shredder into the mix and you now have a better suite of reliably competitive options when you want to play with a shotgun.

High Roller: Shredder Shotgun

The Shredder Automatic Shotgun is a powerful and precise weapon that can provide extreme amounts of fire against enemy targets. It's the exception to the new shotgun changes above, being fairly inaccurate when moving, but it's high rate of fire combined with the tightest spread of any shotgun makes it a powerhouse when used in marksmanship mode.

The High Roller pack will come with the "Shredder DF PR3" (The DF stands for "Drum Fed"). There are also two other versions of the Shredder: the Shredder SB JT1 (Short Barrel), which will be available to lease in-game from Wilde in Breakwater Marina; and the Shredder EB (Extended Barrel) PR3, which will be made available separately.


Join us tomorrow, when we'll be sharing the official release dates for 1.17.1 along with the final piece of the High Roller pack: the Bishada's Spectre kit!

- The Reloaded Team