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Monday, April 17, 2017

Console Latency Issues and Network Outages

At the start of the weekend we began seeing an issue on our PS4 environment. We initially thought it was due to the recent patch or seasonal event but as time went on the issue spread to our XB1 environment as well. We have now identified the issue to be related to a new type of DDOS attack against our servers which spams our network and is causing latency and connectivity issues within the game.

Today we also received approval for the Xbox One to be patched with the seasonal event however we’re holding off on patching while the DDOS issues are present.  

We apologize for the disruptions and are working with our mitigation provider to combat the attacks moving forward.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PlayStation 4 Update



With the soft launch finally done, we now have a new build being tested to resolve the key issues reported. The main issue so far has been the frame rate drop as new characters load in, which some players may have reported as lag. The cause is actually not “lag” (which would imply server or network issues), but the frame drops have to do with the custom character baking when new characters show up in the district, which is especially noticeable in the social district.

Frame Render

As you know APB Reloaded gives you the ability to customize your characters to an unbelievably high level (one of our favorite features), but the downside is that the system creates the custom character textures and shapes in real-time based on each player’s character data, and then pushes the content to everyone else who happens to be in the same district. The code breaks this complex process down into smaller components and spreads the work over multiple frames, but there appears to be an issue with performance on PS4 which causes some of the computations to take considerably longer than expected when combined with real world customized characters and the number of characters that load in and out of a district in a session (especially in Social). We are right now working hard on a new build that will dramatically reduce this effect, and have been working on fixes we can quickly get in to the first patch. Then we are planning a more extensive overhaul in subsequent patches to eliminate the issue.

Crash

Two thirds of the crashes from the first weekend were due to a single memory issue (again related to the complexity of real world custom characters), and we have identified the cause and are testing a fix in the live environment right now. Once it passes Sony QA we’ll push it out to live which should remove the main stability issue in that first patch.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Play Station 4 Soft Launch!


Spring has sprung in the US and with that we have exciting news! We’re happy to announce that the APB Reloaded PlayStation 4 soft launch starts during the next 24 hours. The US launch occurs at 8 AM PDT March 31, with most of the other regions launching at midnight their time.

The game will remain in a "Soft Launch" mode for the first 30 days (which mostly means it will have limited public announcements other than the formal launch announcement from the Publisher). During this 30 day period we encourage all current and former PC players to try the game and to give us feedback that we can incorporate into the upcoming updates (note: in order to access our private APB PS4 forums, you first have to log in to APB from a PS4 before you can use the forums).

As a "thank you" for helping test the game during the first month, we are giving out freebies to all players who log in AND we will be giving out "Founders" tags for those that put in more than 10 hours in game prior to the first patch (or during the first 30 days, whichever comes first). These will be delivered at patch time.

Innova Migration

We’re still working hard on the migration as it has taken longer than originally anticipated, especially as it has collided with the PS4 launch. We are going through all items in the databases and doing some balance passes. Once we get closer to the launch of the migration, we will make a post asking for testers from the original Russian side to help us with testing out the processes. 

Engine Upgrade

Once we are out of the soft launch for the PS4 the team moves on to completing the Engine Upgrade work for the PC side. There is no estimation at this time, but we’ll keep you posted.

Have a great week! 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine's Day Event

Hello Everyone!

We hope the PC players enjoyed the Anarchy event! The Xbox One players will get to try it out with this upcoming patch along with the Valentine's day event.

Innova Migration

With the news of Innova server closing down we’ve been working on the migration of all the accounts to our servers.  We’ve decided to give Innova their own server (yes we’ll need a name), instead of migrating them into our existing communities. Once everything is finalized, we’ll have more details on how to proceed with the migration.  Here is a FAQ we’ve put together for now and some items may change as we progress further into the process.   We’re taking name suggestions in this thread for the new server.

What will happen to player nicknames written in Cyrillic?
We will support Cyrillic names on the new world we are migrating the players to. It will be on a first-come/first-serve basis, so character names will be migrated as-is if there are no conflicts (nobody has created a character with that name already). If there is a conflict, we will randomly assign them a new name and provide a free name change.

What happens to banned Innova accounts?
It will be a clean slate - we will allow all accounts to migrate their characters over.

What happens if I have an account with Innova and GamersFirst using the same e-mail? Will they be merged?
Players will need to login to an existing GamersFirst account or create a new account prior to their characters being migrated. The e-mail for the GamersFirst and Innova accounts do not need to match.

Will you delete some of the content that players had, or will all items be present after the transfer?
We are still reviewing the content that Innova players had and comparing it to what we support in our version of the game. We may need to remove any content that was not intended to be released to players such as in-development/incomplete clothing, weapons, etc. Besides those items, we plan to bring over all other content including the items created for the Innova build of the game. In the case of weapons, we may alter their stats slightly to maintain proper game balance with our weapons.

What if I don’t have access to my e-mail address for Innova?
The primary verification method for claiming accounts will be based on a code that Innova will e-mail to their players when the migration process is ready. The code will also be accessible by logging into their website.


Valentine’s Day PC

Valentine's Event: Runs from the 8th of February until the 22nd of February at 10:00 AM (UTC).  Earn various rewards and prizes for completing special Valentine's roles with the unique Valentine's weapons.  Whether it is your first time or you are a returning player, here is your chance to earn theme, skins, weapons and many other prizes.

New Mission Rewards

Players have a chance of winning new Valentine’s Day Gift Boxes with every mission to give away to that special someone. 






The 'Valentine's Massacre’ Event

Tracks kills with the following primary weapons:

STAR 556 'Love-Gun' - Gifted on login (please check your in-game mail)

Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' - Gifted on login (please check your in-game mail)

Colby M-1922 'Chopper' - Level 4 reward of the 'Valentine's Week Massacre' role

Joker SR15 'Casanova' - Available through Armas

Obeya CR762 'Heartbreaker' -  Available through Armas

Colby CSG-20 'Speed-Dater' -  Available through Armas

N-HVR 243 'Cupid's Arrow' -  Available through Armas

STAR 556 'Love-Gun' R&D III -  Available through Armas

Colby M-1922 'Big Chopper' -  Available through Armas

The requirements and rewards for the ranks of the 'Valentine's Week Massacre' role are as follows:

Rank 1
Requirements: 50 kills
Reward: Death Theme 1

Rank 2
Requirements: 150 Kills
Reward: Love Heart Glasses

Rank 3
Requirements: 300 Kills
Reward: Death Theme 2

Rank 4
Requirements: 500 Kills
Reward: A leased M1922 (Tommy Gun) + Pink Preset Police Hat

Level 5 
Requirements: 750 Kills
Reward: 'Casanova' Title + Valentine's weapon skin

The 'Snubby Love' Event

Tracks kills with the following secondary weapons:

Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' - Gifted on login (please check your in-game mail)

The levels for the ranks of the 'Snubby Love' role are as follows:

Rank 1
Requirements: 25 kills
Reward: Ophelia - Blonde Decal Unlock

Rank 2
Requirements: 75 Kills
Reward: Prentiss (for Enforcers) / Bloodroses (for Criminals) symbol

Rank 3
Requirements: 150 Kills
Reward:Ophelia - Red Head Decal Unlock

Rank 4
Requirements: 250 Kills
Reward: Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' unlock, so it can be purchased from Contacts at any time (including outside the event)

Level 5 
Requirements: 375 Kills
Reward: 'Cherub Chaser' Title

The '7 Stages of Heartbreak' Event

The 7 Stages of Heartbreak is back! For every day you login, you'll earn the following rewards*:

Day 1 and 2 (Feb 8th and 9th):   Title: "Shocked" 
Day 3 and 4 (Feb 10th and 11th):   Title: "Denying" 
Day 5 and 6 (Feb 12th and 13th):   Title: "Angry" 
Day 7 and 8 (Feb 14th and 15th):   Title: "Bargaining" 
Day 9 and 10 (Feb 16th and 17th): Title: "Guilty" 
Day 11 and 12 (Feb 18th and 19th): Title: "Depressed" 
Day 13 and 14 (Feb 20th and 21st): Title: "Accepting" 
Log in at least 7 days of the event: Title: “Forever Alone” & the event reward: "Quiver Backpack" clothing item

*PLEASE NOTE: 
  • The login reward for 7 days and Title will not be received instantly, as they have to be processed through our external logging and then sent out to your account. 
  • Login reward dates change at 10 AM UTC / 5:00 AM EST / 4:00 AM CST  / 2:00 AM PST
Xbox One 

Valentine’s Day Xbox One

Valentine's Event: Runs from the 8th of February until the 22nd of February at 10:00 AM (UTC).  Earn various rewards and prizes for completing special Valentine's roles with the unique Valentine's weapons.  Whether it is your first time or you are a returning player, here is your chance to earn joker tickets, skins, weapons and other prizes. 

The 'Valentine's Massacre’ Event

Tracks kills with the following primary weapons:

STAR 556 'Love-Gun' - Gifted on login (please check your in-game mail)

Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' - Gifted on login (please check your in-game mail)

Colby M-1922 'Chopper' - Level 4 reward of the 'Valentine's Week Massacre' role

Joker SR15 'Casanova' - Available through Armas

Obeya CR762 'Heartbreaker' -  Available through Armas

Colby CSG-20 'Speed-Dater' -  Available through Armas

N-HVR 243 'Cupid's Arrow' -  Available through Armas

STAR 556 'Love-Gun' R&D III -  Available through Armas

Colby M-1922 'Big Chopper' -  Available through Armas

The requirements and rewards for the ranks of the 'Valentine's Week Massacre' role are as follows:

Rank 1
Requirements: 50 kills
Reward: 500 Joker Tickets

Rank 2
Requirements: 150 Kills
Reward: Love Heart Glasses

Rank 3
Requirements: 300 Kills
Reward: 200 Joker Tickets

Rank 4
Requirements: 500 Kills
Reward: A leased M1922 (Tommy Gun) + Pink Preset Police Hat

Level 5
Requirements: 750 Kills
Reward: 'Casanova' Title + Valentine's weapon skin

The 'Snubby Love' Event

Tracks kills with the following secondary weapons:

Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' - Gifted on login (please check your in-game mail)

The levels for the ranks of the 'Snubby Love' role are as follows:

Rank 1
Requirements: 25 kills
Reward: Ophelia - Blonde Decal Unlock

Rank 2
Requirements: 75 Kills
Reward: Prentiss (for Enforcers) / Bloodroses (for Criminals) symbol

Rank 3
Requirements: 150 Kills
Reward:Ophelia - Red Head Decal Unlock

Rank 4
Requirements: 250 Kills
Reward: Colby SNR 850 'Cherub' unlock, so it can be purchased from Contacts at any time (including outside the event)

Level 5
Requirements: 375 Kills
Reward: 'Cherub Chaser' Title

The '7 Stages of Heartbreak' Event

For every day you login, you'll earn the following rewards*:

Day 1 and 2 (Feb 8th and 9th):   Title: "Shocked"
Day 3 and 4 (Feb 10th and 11th):   Title: "Denying"
Day 5 and 6 (Feb 12th and 13th):   Title: "Angry"
Day 7 and 8 (Feb 14th and 15th):   Title: "Bargaining"
Day 9 and 10 (Feb 16th and 17th): Title: "Guilty"
Day 11 and 12 (Feb 18th and 19th): Title: "Depressed"
Day 13 and 14 (Feb 20th and 21st): Title: "Accepting"
Log in at least 7 days of the event: Title: “Forever Alone” & the event reward: "Quiver Backpack" clothing item 

*PLEASE NOTE: 
  • The login reward for 7 days and Title will not be received instantly, as they have to be processed through our external logging and then sent out to your account.
  • Login reward dates change at 10 AM UTC / 5:00 AM EST / 4:00 AM CST  / 2:00 AM PST

Anarchy Event Xbox One 

When the event starts, all players are split into two teams. Unlike before, different faction members can be on the same team (it's Anarchy after all) and we use matchmaking to ensure the teams are fairly even. Groups are never split up, so make sure you and your friends are together before entering if you want to ensure you play together.

When you spawn, you won't have a primary weapon. Instead, we spawn them around the map. The game mode is a simple death-match, so it's up to you whether you want to search for a weapon of your choice, or head straight into combat with your secondary and grenades and take one from the enemy.

If you survive long enough, you'll start passively gaining score. You'll also start to gain a score multiplier that ticks up over time. If your score reaches above 500, you'll gain access to your primary weapon, meaning you don't have to search for weapons any-more. Careful though, when this happens you'll also be shown periodically to your enemies, giving them a chance to hunt you down.

As the game progresses, and team lives go down, more weapons start spawning in different locations, providing more varied game-play. Legendary weapons will also start to appear, but be shown on the map. Best be quick, or be ready to kill whomever took it (friendly fire of course is disabled in this game).

We would love to have your feedback on the event. Let us know what you think on the forums! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

APB Reloaded: The 12 Deaths of CHRISTMAS 2016

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

The holidays are upon us and we’re getting ready for the Wednesday release of the 12 Deaths of Christmas (we have it ready for PlayStation 4 too in case it’s launched on time).  There are two different versions available of the event. The console version will have the introduction of the Raptor 45 “Vulture” and “Hawk” while the PC version will have the Case “The Bolo” NFCP 3 and Case “The Bolo”, more details on both events listed below.   We hope you enjoy these events!

The OTW server will be updated Wednesday with the Christmas build for those that want a sneak peek. Remember you’ll need premium to give it a try and please report any issues on the OTW bug forum.

We’ll be completing the removal of most of the remaining PunkBuster bans this week and an email will be sent out to those account holders when this is completed (only accounts that qualify will have the bans reversed, please see previous blog posts for more information).

From all of us at APB Reloaded, we’d like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

P.S. Don't forget PC players get to drive the decorated dump truck! 





APB Reloaded: The 12 Deaths of CHRISTMAS 2016

PC APB Reloaded 2016 The 12 Deaths of Christmas

Season’s greetings, and welcome to APB: Reloaded's Christmas 2016 event! Christmas dynamic events will be in Beacon this year. You can also still get standing with the Christmas Elves in the mission districts. Finally there’s the Secret Santa gift boxes that can be used to share weapons with your friends.

Free-for-all Event (no teams)

Player's Objective:
Kill other players to advance weapon tiers and earn prizes (see below).

Progression:
At the start of the game, players are given a weapon and they must advance through the weapon tiers until they reach the final tier - the first person to get a kill with the final tier weapon wins the game.

Tier Breakdown:

Posted Image

Further Information:
The HUD will show remaining score required, current weapon tier, current place and remaining time.
When a player reaches the final tier, all players will be notified of who this player is.

Rewards:
12 Deaths of Christmas

Posted Image

Secret Santa Boxes:
You will earn Secret Santa Boxes based on your performance during the 12 Deaths of Christmas Event - the better you do, the more boxes you will earn. You can then take these boxes into the regular Action Districts. Please see "Secret Santa Event" below for more details.

Deck The Halls
Triggered by gaining score in the 12 Deaths of Christmas event, which is gained by Killing or Assisting during the mini-game. As such, this is a grind-challenge which all players can get after enough time, though skilled players will complete it a lot faster. This replaces last year's event, rewarding our new clothing asset.

Requirement Reward

Posted Image

NOTE: Players do not earn Score towards "Deck The Halls" for vehicle kills

Snowball Fight
Pelt enemy players with snowballs to win prizes. Top prize gives you a Candy Cane Weapon Skin!

RFTzCBX.png

Snowball Wars
Take part in Snowball fights in the X-Mas Event district to complete this role. You get 1 point for participating in a snowball fight, and a bonus point if you win! Unlocks the Santa Hat, Reindeer Antlers and the Raptor 45 'Vulture'.

Posted Image

Snowball Skirmish

Posted Image

Secret Santa Event:
Players can now utilize the SECRET SANTA BOXES earned through the 12 DEATHS OF CHRISTMAS event (see above) in the main action districts.

Secret Santa Boxes are a type of deployable that players can place at any location they please - other players can then interact with them to get randomly generated weapons as prizes.

Secret Santa Boxes:
When deployed, a Secret Santa Box appears in the player's hands (their interaction with this box is limited to dropping, picking up and moving it around).

Once the box is placed on the ground, all other players in the district (no faction restriction) can interact with the Secret Santa Box to win a random weapon, which will also have a random selection of modifications and a random skin.

NOTE: The player who placed the box can't take a prize.

Achievements and Rewards:
Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a ...
Kill 50 players with weapons you've taken from SECRET SANTA BOXES to earn the Case "The Bolo: for purchase from a contact.

The Gift that keeps on Giving 
Other players have killed a total of 100 players, using weapons they've picked up from a Secret Santa Box you've deployed. This will unlock the Christmas Holly weapon skin.

Returning Christmas Content - The Elves
Regular Action Districts - Elves:

As with all years, there are Christmas elves in Financial District. These elves can be pledged to by the appropriate faction (Criminelf for Criminals and Elforcer for Enforcers) and by playing missions while pledged to them you can level them in the same way as a normal contact. They unlock the following based on the level:

Contact Levels

4FTVFAd.png

The Snowball Launcher and Snowball can be used to level the Snowball Fight role outside of the mini-game.

Once the Elves have been completed they will also have a Daily Activity available for players to complete that is a repeatable challenge each day.

x6OiS2z.png

In addition to their progression, the elves also sell a number of unique titles

TITLES:
i. Naughty
ii. Nice
iii. The Red Nosed Criminal
iv. The Red Nosed Enforcer

All these titles can be bought from the Elves for 10 Joker Tickets (faction-specific titles are only for their respective faction)

APB Reloaded: The 12 Deaths of CHRISTMAS 2016

Xbox One The 12 Deaths of Christmas

Season’s greetings, and welcome to APB: Reloaded's Christmas 2016 event! Christmas dynamic events will be in Beacon this year. You can also still get standing with the Christmas Elves in the mission districts. Finally there’s the Secret Santa gift boxes that can be used to share weapons with your friends.

The 12 Deaths of Christmas

Free-for-all Event (no teams)

Player's Objective:
Kill other players to advance weapon tiers and earn prizes (see below).

Progression:
At the start of the game, players are given a weapon and they must advance through the weapon tiers until they reach the final tier - the first person to get a kill with the final tier weapon wins the game.

Tier Breakdown:

fOh8tS7.png

Further Information:
The HUD will show remaining score required, current weapon tier, current place and remaining time.
When a player reaches the final tier, all players will be notified of who this player is.

Rewards:
0a9haWL.png

Secret Santa Boxes:
You will earn Secret Santa Boxes based on your performance during the 12 Deaths of Christmas Event - the better you do, the more boxes you will earn. You can then take these boxes into the regular Action Districts. Please see "Secret Santa Event" below for more details.

Deck The Halls
Triggered by gaining score in the 12 Deaths of Christmas event, which is gained by Killing or Assisting during the mini-game. As such, this is a grind-challenge which all players can get after enough time, though skilled players will complete it a lot faster. This replaces last year's event, rewarding our new clothing asset.

Requirement Reward

dAPVye0.png

NOTE: Players do not earn Score towards "Deck The Halls" for vehicle kills

Snowball Fight
Pelt enemy players with snowballs to win prizes. Top prize gives you a Candy Cane Weapon Skin!

RFTzCBX.png

Snowball Wars
Take part in Snowball fights in the X-Mas Event district to complete this role. You get 1 point for participating in a snowball fight, and a bonus point if you win! Unlocks the Santa Hat, Reindeer Antlers and the Raptor 45 'Vulture'.

Posted Image

Secret Santa Event:
Players can now utilize the SECRET SANTA BOXES earned through the 12 DEATHS OF CHRISTMAS event (see above) in the main action districts.

Secret Santa Boxes are a new type of deployable that players can place at any location they please - other players can then interact with them to get randomly generated weapons as prizes.

Secret Santa Boxes:
When deployed, a Secret Santa Box appears in the player's hands (their interaction with this box is limited to dropping, picking up and moving it around).

Once the box is placed on the ground, all other players in the district (no faction restriction) can interact with the Secret Santa Box to win a random weapon, which will also have a random selection of modifications and a random skin.

NOTE: The player who placed the box can't take a prize.

Achievements and Rewards:

Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a ...
Kill 50 players with weapons you've taken from SECRET SANTA BOXES to earn the Raptor 45 'Hawk' for purchase from a contact.

The Gift that keeps on Giving 
Other players have killed a total of 100 players, using weapons they've picked up from a Secret Santa Box you've deployed. This will unlock the Christmas Holly weapon skin.

Christmas Content - The Elves

Regular Action Districts - Elves:

Christmas elves in Financial District. These elves can be pledged to by the appropriate faction (Criminelf for Criminals and Elforcer for Enforcers) and by playing missions while pledged to them you can level them in the same way as a normal contact. They unlock the following based on the level:

Contact Levels

4FTVFAd.png

The Snowball Launcher and Snowball can be used to level the Snowball Fight role outside of the mini-game.

Once the Elves have been completed they will also have a Daily Activity available for players to complete that is a repeatable challenge each day.

x6OiS2z.png


In addition to their progression, the elves also sell a number of unique titles

TITLES:

i. Naughty
ii. Nice
iii. The Red Nosed Criminal
iv. The Red Nosed Enforcer

All these titles can be bought from the Elves for 10 Joker Tickets (faction-specific titles are only for their respective faction)


Monday, November 14, 2016

November 2016 Update!

Hello Everyone!

November is upon us and the next few weeks will fly by as we head on into the holiday season. The team continues to work on the PlayStation 4 release, and we’re crossing our fingers but not holding our breath for a Christmas launch (more information below). Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching, let us know on the forums what you’d like to see on sale for these two special sale dates.

PunkBuster Update:

We’ve now removed PunkBuster from the launcher and it is safe to remove it from your computer. We’ll also remove it from the installer in due time, but for now if you need to install APB Reloaded again you may uninstall PunkBuster afterwards.

In the last blog post I mentioned that we were releasing the PunkBuster bans from the last year. We did and we’ve had very few accounts return to the banned side after the release, so we’ve decided to go back another year and release more PunkBuster banned accounts. The goal is to have all accounts that were banned by PunkBuster reversed, by Christmas. In the next few weeks you’ll start to see more posts about the reversal. If you’ve been banned in the past by PunkBuster keep watch of your email and we’ll let you know when you have access again.

A few things to note on these reversals:

Note:
  • If your account was multiple banned which means by PunkBuster and FairFight, or for another Terms of Service violation and PunkBuster, your account will not be unbanned. 
  • Do not contact support to be unbanned. Once the unban process is completed, you’ll receive an email letting you know your account was unbanned. 
Cheat Investigation

Since removing PunkBuster and fine tuning FairFight, we continue to monitor the data we feed to FairFight daily. While reviewing this data, we’ve identified a potential false positive with one particular ruleset, so in good faith we’re going to reverse those bans (on Tuesday afternoon) and monitor the accounts closely.  We have worked with the GameBlocks team to identify the 71 accounts that were banned due to this particular ruleset and we’ll be reaching out to the account holders via email on Tuesday. Please do not contact support, they have no information on the accounts that will be reversed at this time.

Note: The particular ruleset was disabled on Friday, and re-enabled later in the day.

Xbox One

We’ll be removing the Halloween event on Wednesday, so if you’ve not completed the event please do so before the maintenance. We are also working on a patch that will have some bug fixes and the Christmas event. Keep watch on the console forums for more information regarding this update.

PlayStation 4

We’ve got our fingers crossed for a launch prior to Christmas but we’re at Sony’s mercy. While we’re hoping for the best, we still continue to work on PS4 and we’ll let you know once we have more information on the launch date.

Christmas Event 2016

I can't believe we're talking about Christmas already! In the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing the Christmas event to the OTW server. We ask that if you have time to test, please take a test drive of the event and report any issues.  We will have new titles for the event and some other goodies. More information will be posted in the next few weeks, for now enjoy some images for the event! 






Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The scary not so scary Halloween edition blog post

Hello Everyone!

This is my 4th blog post and you would think these would get easier as time goes by, but they don’t as it turns out! =)   We have a few things to talk about since our last blog post, and if you’re not one to visit the forums, you may have missed out on some information. I will provide a brief recap for the less forum inclined below.

Punk Buster melt down

I don’t go out of town often for business, but rest assured that when I do, something will break.  On October 1st, PunkBuster had a major melt down and started banning all players upon login.  Once the team realized what was happening, PunkBuster was disabled and all bans relating to the incident were reversed.  We currently have PunkBuster disabled and have not made a decision regarding if PunkBuster will stay or if it will go away permanently.  We have seen feedback from players that their in-game performance has been much better with PunkBuster turned off. We’ll keep that in mind when deciding its fate.

FairFight on steroids

While PunkBuster is recovering, we have been working with GameBlocks to automate more of what FairFight does and do some fine tuning. FairFight will also do player kicks now if it suspects someone is cheating. This kick is a warning to clean up their act. If the person doesn’t change their ways, then FairFight will act accordingly with a ban.   We will not say what triggers the kick, just like we won’t define anything FairFight does. Needless to say, it has been on a banning spree.  FairFight is almost completely automated, with little intervention from GMs. This has made a huge impact on cheaters, and players and GMs alike are noticing less cheaters ingame as well. Keep in mind not everyone is a cheater and just because you think they cheat, it doesn’t mean they do.  There are some really good players in our game, and while you may think they cheat, they’re not… unless you see their name being banned by FairFight of course!

2nd Chance for Punk Buster bans in last 30 days

On October 7th, we removed the bans from over 450 accounts that were banned by PunkBuster in the last 30 days (From September 1).  This is a chance for those players to prove that they deserve a 2nd chance at playing the game without cheating.  So far a little over ¾ of the unbanned accounts have logged in and only 10 accounts couldn’t play by the rules.  Since the 2nd chance is going so well, we’ll be going back one year and releasing those PunkBuster bans over the next few days.  Keep watch of our forums for more information on when this will occur.

A few things to note on these reversals:

Note: 
  • ·         If your account was multiple banned which means by PunkBuster and FairFight, or for another Terms of Service violation and PunkBuster, your account will not be unbanned. 
  • ·         Do not contact support to be unbanned. Once the unban process is completed, you’ll receive an email letting you know your account was unbanned.  
  • ·         PLEASE, DO NOT CONTACT SUPPORT TO BE UNBANNED.  If you contact support regarding this, we’ll not give you a 2nd chance, so be patient. 

Xbox One

We’ve submitted a build for certification, and once it is approved, we’ll get this out to our players. You’ll then be able to participate in the Halloween Event! More information will be posted about how the event will work for you once we’re ready to patch.  Also, we’ll be addressing some crash issues that players have been experiencing.

PlayStation 4

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the PS4 release has been pushed out. We were hoping we wouldn’t have to push the release beyond September, since we’re now going to be hitting Sony’s very busy months.  We’re hoping that we can get in line for a release in the next few weeks, and hopefully out to everyone by Christmas.  That’s our hopes, but reality is once we have a build in, we’ll wait on Sony to tell us if it passes, and when it’ll be slated for release.   Once we’ve submitted our final build for review, I’ll post and keep you updated.

HALLOWEEN 2016!!!


Happy Early Halloween!  We’re aiming at releasing a patch tomorrow which will enable Halloween for the PC community.  Maintenance will be at 3 PM UTC, unless we have any issues reported overnight that may postpone the event by a day or two. 

Halloween 2016 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

PRIZES AND REWARDS

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



The titles are:

  • SURVIVORS - STILL ALIVE
  • HEADLESS HORSEMAN - LEVEL HEADED
  • PUMPKIN SOLDIER - THE PUMPKIN MENACE

Participate 10 times in the Headless Horseman Event 2016 :

  • PARTICIPATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE
That about sums up everything, enjoy the event and have a Happy Halloween! 

Tiggs

Monday, September 26, 2016

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall Everyone!

19 years ago a game called Ultima Online released and I had no idea how much it would change my life.  Ultima Online is the first game I started working on in this industry, and back in those days, the worst we dealt with from players were dupes, scams and macroing while unattended.  Today companies still deal with  dupes and scams, however cheats have become more sophisticated.  It’s a constant cat vs mouse game, we update our cheat detection, cheat makers will up their game on cheats being detected and so on. We’re not hiding from the fact that there are cheats out there for our game or other games, and we are constantly working on ways to combat cheating. PunkBuster and Fairfight are a couple of the ways that we do this, and we have other means at our disposal.  Sometimes you may feel we’re not doing anything, but we assure you, that this is something we address very often within our game.  Additionally, we’re also working with Gameblocks to get Fairfight automated; this will take some time to implement but it’s a goal we’re working towards.

Hoplon migration has passed our internal testing and we’ll be moving it to external testing later this week. Those that have signed up to assist with account testing will be receiving an email for testing within the next week or two. 

We’ll be getting a new release to the OTW servers which will have the Halloween event for testing. This year we’ll have a new customizable backpack and we hope you like it (see image below).   The OTW server will also be changing and accessible by players with a premium. More information on this as we get closer to testing.

Xbox One will be seeing an update in the next few weeks which will also include the Halloween event. More information on this as we get closer to the release date.  We continue to work on the PS4, and it’s getting closer! After that Engine Upgrade! 


If you’re attending Twitch con let us know here and maybe Tiggs or CapnJosh can get a chance to meet you.  



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Recent Happenings and More

Howdy!

I’m not much of a blogging gal, but I’m trying my best. Here is what has happened since our last blog post. We’ve accomplished many small tasks while the team focuses on PS4, and I’ll play catch up for those that haven’t been hanging out on the forums.

Introducing the Mod Squad.  This thread was a long time coming, and is about getting to know those that help out on the forums.

Welcome back to our APB Brazilian players. 
We’ve lifted the IP block for Brazil and are working with Hoplon on migrating you back to our service.  There will be a database copy on August 22nd and Hoplon will be shutting down their APB services on August 28th.  We will have more information about the migration after we look over the database copy.  Of note, Brazil and a bunch of other countries can now access APB using Steam.

Event Tracker 
With the existing team busy working on PS4, the community is pulling together and helping with event suggestions, and some of these community-suggested events have already rolled out to you.  You’ll see who suggested the event in the event tracker UI, so jump into the discussion and provide your feedback for future events.   Some events may have a few bugs (we’re still getting the kinks out), so if an event doesn’t work don’t worry, we’ll get you a prize a few days later as long as you give it a try. 

Armas Weapon Free Trials 
We reset all weapon free trials on Armas and added the free trial option to all weapons (excluding those added in the last week to Armas).  We will make sure that the free trial option will be reset again on a consistent basis (every 3 months is what we’re aiming for).

New Armas items 
Based on feedback from players we’ve done some digging and have released some items on Armas that were not available previously.  Check out the Armas featured tab to see what’s available.

District Max Capacity 
On Friday we lowered the districts to a max of 80. We’re monitoring this to see how it impacts performance for the player-base.

Things we’re looking into (this does not mean it will happen; we’re in an exploratory stage)
  • District Queuing - We're looking into this. We may be able to salvage some of the older code from the RTW days and make it workable with our modern game client and server.
  • Seeing what other items are available to add in the mix. We have a really talented community with a lot of knowledge of past and present APB content. We're reading your comments on this and will continue to see what's feasible.
  • More daily events – check the event tracker every day! You never know what you might find if you read the description for the events.
  • We’re in touch with our friends at Innova and investigating what items and events we can use to give our players more content.
  • Armas Pricing - We're evaluating our options regarding pricing and making costs more uniform across weapon types. There are clear gaps in the logic for pricing where some items are over-priced and others are under-priced. When we have more information to share we will.
  •  Looking into the ability to have player content added to the Joker Store, how long this would take, and legalities.
  • Adding to Loyalty rewards to those that are existing. 
  • Investigating the option of having open test servers vs closed.  

Community Discussion:

Here’s a good one I’d love your thoughts on: What would be your priority for the rest of the year if you were calling the shots?  Tell us here
  • Complete the Engine Upgrade and no content releases
  • Put the Engine Upgrade to the side and release new content
  • Define what you feel would be new content
  • Other thoughts and suggestions?
I'll end this update with this funny moments in APB video.  Warning: Don't drink and watch this video, it may cause spewing!

Have a great week. 











Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Exciting things are afoot!

Big, dramatic, and dare I say exciting things are afoot! I’m sure you’ve heard rumors or other juicy tidbits on the state of APB, so we figured it would be wise to jump in to give a good, solid update. My name is Josh, aka “Capnjosh”. Tiggs and I will be taking on the production-related tasks for APB over the coming few weeks. Tiggs will be spearheading most operational aspects and I’ll be aiming to make sure she has all the resources she could ever want or need. I will also help support the Dev team while they close in on some big milestones, though honestly they’ve got pretty much all of it in fine shape ;) We’ve got some really cool events and plans, and I’ve seen a fresh sense of excitement for all the cool opportunities we can deliver on. The Dev and operations teams will be more closely integrated going forward, and I think you’ll rather enjoy the results. With that, I’ll turn it over to Tiggs to give a run-down of what she sees now and where she sees things going.

Hey, everyone! 

Let’s start off with the APB Team.

Last week we had some pretty big changes in the UK Dev team. In short we had to let a number of people go. We’re sad to see them go, we’re very grateful for all they have done, we wish them all the best of luck, and honestly they’ll be missed.

What does this mean for APB? This means that the APB Team will begin to move over to the US office. This will allow for better team communication, the ability to have meetings in one time zone, allow for more efficient control over updates for the game, and better lines of communication with you, our players. As a note, there will be a transition time while things like people and offices move. We will update on that as things develop. The Dev team now has a lot of programming talent, so I’m confident we will be able to create great things.

I know that there have been many promises made that have not been followed through. My main goal is to keep you in the loop on what’s going on, what we’re thinking about and what we’d like to do as much as possible. This is the game that you choose to login to play and we know there are many options out there for games, we’d like to see APB Reloaded continue on with you a part of it. If there is something we can’t do or complete, I’ll let you know, even if it means upsetting you.

The Future of APB is a bright one - we don’t have any plans of closing down and quite honestly there is a palpable excitement in the air. We do want to move forward with the PS4 release and Engine Upgrade. PS4 update is the main priority right now, since we need to get all platforms up to the same code base before we can complete a number of engine-level changes we all know are of such great interest. Yes, I know you’ve heard all this before; it actually is what needs to happen. We’re hoping to have this (PS4 release) completed in September. I’m not sure of a time line on the Engine Upgrade at this time, and I don’t want to say an estimated time until I can delve into things deeper to see where we are at.

The Find the Dev event will begin to wrap up soon, since it would be in poor taste to continue with Devs that are no longer with the company. Down the road we can start it again if you enjoyed it. I’m waiting on word back to see if we can get a title put into the game for those that qualify, along with an additional prize. If we can’t do the title, we’ll figure out something else.

Speaking of events, we have work being done on a dynamic event system. This will allow us to turn events off and on much easier; the goal is to be able to start and stop the larger in-game events without the need for a client patch.

To our Brazilian family, we’re working out the logistics to transition you over to our servers. Once we have a solid plan in place on how this will work out, we’ll post and let you know.

In closing, I want to say that in the past I wasn’t privy to information about patches, new item releases, or progress on consoles/ engine upgrade until a few days prior to release. I’m beyond thrilled to say that with the team changes all of this will now change, and it will allow me to communicate much more effectively with you.

I know that trust is earned and that you’ve been burned in the past and I’ll need to earn that trust. I hope over the next few months that not only do I prove to you, but the team as a whole will prove to you that we appreciate you playing APB and we will have earned your trust. Looking forward to the new beginning.

Tiggs






Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mid-July update

Hello Citizens,

We are just short of reaching the mid-point for the month of July and we still have more for you to enjoy.

Due to the popularity of this year’s Anarchy event, we have extended it for another week, and the event will now end on July 20th. So for all of you that have not yet had a chance to participate, here is your chance to enjoy a fresh take on our established Chaos events.
We are also happy to announce the return of our “Meet The Dev” blog post as well as the corresponding “Find The Dev” Event.  The “Meet the Dev” blog will be posted on July 27th, with the event following the week after. 
We'll also have a store wide sale coming up, keep watch on the forums for more information. 
So with the PC side of things taken care of, we want to make sure that our Xbox players don’t feel neglected. We know that since yesterday’s patch, many of you have been experiencing crashes as you navigate the busier districts, and that our players who put in their ten hours of playtime in APB’s first month on Xbox are yet to be sent their founder’s weapon skin reward. At the time of this blog being written, we are working hard on fixing both of these problems, as we want as many people as possible to be enjoying their time in APB on the Xbox 1.  

That's it for now citizens, be safe and return next week for a new blog update with information on upcoming events, looking forward into the month of August.

-Reloaded Team

Thursday, June 30, 2016

July 4th Login and Win Event!



Hello Citizens,

As was mentioned in this weeks blog post, we are happy too provide you with rewards over the Independence Long Weekend event. Login into APB Reloaded on each of the following day’s and earn yourself a free clothing item for you to use.

Login times and Rewards 

Day 1: July 1st 5:01 PDT PM – July 2nd 5:00 PM PDT to earn Day 1: Patriot Jacket
Day 2: July 2nd 5:01 PDT PM – July 3rd 5:00 PM PDT to earn Day 2: Eagle Mask
Day 3: July 3rd 5:01 PDT PM – July 4th 5:00 PM PDT to earn Day 3: Uncle Sam Hat

So enjoy this weeks Anarchy event and remember that each login during this holiday weekend comes with free goodies for you to enjoy.

Till next time Citizens,

Reloaded Team

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Anarchy Event and other news.

Hello Citizens,

As stated in last week’s blog, we will be introducing the new Anarchy Event. This event takes elements from our Chaos Events and adds a new twist to its overall game play. While the previous Anarchy event was fun, the lack of a concrete goal (above personal survival, an optional challenge) resulted in the game mode feeling somewhat aimless. In addition, the factional nature could often result in one team steamrolling the other through sheer numbers. To fix these, the Anarchy event now looks as follows:

When the event starts, all players are split into two teams.

Unlike before, different faction members can be on the same team (it's Anarchy after all) and we use matchmaking to ensure the teams are fairly event. Groups are never split up, so make sure you and your friends are together before entering if you want to ensure you play together.

When you spawn, you won't have a primary weapon. Instead, we spawn them around the map. The game mode is a simple Death-match, so it's up to you whether you want to search for a weapon of your choice, or head straight into combat with your secondary and grenades and take one from the enemy.

If you survive long enough, you'll start passively gaining score. You'll also start to gain a score multiplier that ticks up over time. If your score reaches above 500, you'll gain access to your primary weapon, meaning you don't have to search for weapons any-more. Careful though, when this happens you'll also be shown periodically to your enemies, giving them a chance to hunt you down.

As the game progresses, and team lives go down, more weapons start spawning in different locations, providing more varied game play. Legendary weapons will also start to appear, but be shown on the map. Best be quick, or be ready to kill whomever took it (friendly fire of course is disabled in this game)

In last week’s post we also mentioned that the Independence day event will be taking place on the upcoming July 4th weekend. Unfortunately, we will not be having the event this year. In lieu of this, we will be awarding all players with redemption codes during the holiday weekend which awards players with items that would have been earned during the event. Information and codes will be provided shortly before the long holiday weekend.

That’s all for now Citizens, be safe and enjoy the new Anarchy event.

Reloaded Team

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Fun In APB!

Hello Citizens,

The month of June is almost over but we still have something in store for you!

Starting Friday, June 24th at 4:00 PM UTC until ending on Monday, June 27th at  4 PM UTC we'll have a store wide sale with up to 50% off (excludes JMBs see store for discounts).  



Marked for Death Event : Friday, June 24th - Monday June 27th

Start your weekend off right with the introduction of our new "Marked for Death" event. Take to the streets of San Paro and mark your enemies for death!

Each day requires a larger and larger number of kills in order to earn 20 JMB’s.  Participate each day and earn yourself an extra 5 JMB 19’s.

Friday
Kill 20 to earn 20 JMB 19's

Saturday
Kill 40 to earn 20 JMB 19's

Sunday
Kill 60 to earn 20 JMB 19's

Monday
Kill 80 to earn 20 JMB 19's

Compete every day across the entire weekend event and earn yourself a bonus 5 JMB 19s. You marked them for death, now it's time to pull the trigger and get your just rewards.

Note: The 5 additional Joker Mystery Boxes will be delivered within 72 hours after the events end. 

Good luck and get those kills!  See the event tracker for more information.

From Wednesday the 29th till the 13th of July we will be bringing you a new Anarchy Event. This event is an updated version of our popular Chaos event that contains modified game-play in order to give the players a fresh twist on an established and popular event.

We will also be seeing the return of our Independence Week Event, which will run from June 29th till July 6th.

Rules and information for both the Anarchy and Independence Week Events will be provided in next week’s blog post.

We also wish to remind those players that have not yet downloaded and played APB Reloaded on the XBox One; that time is running out for early adopters. Login before July 4th and be rewarded with the XBox One Founders Pack. This exclusive pack contains the Fireworks Flare Launcher and the Mikro JC14 ‘New-Cross’ for Criminals or the ‘BobCat’ Vaquero PRC40 for Enforcers. Additionally play more than 10 Hours and receive an added bonus of an exclusive Title – XBOX ONE FOUNDER and the exclusive XBox One weapon Skin.

The Title and Weapon Skins will be given out during the game's first update and are exclusive to early adopters with the required play time. The title and skins cannot be bought or earned after the “Founders” period ends!

That’s it for now citizens, enjoy the upcoming events!

Reloaded Team

Thursday, June 16, 2016

APB Reloaded: Weapon Pipeline Overview

Hello Citizens,

As most of you know, APB Reloaded is now available for the Xbox One. There's still time to join in the fun and earn yourself a nice Founders pack, which contains all you need for your gaming pleasure.

We received great feedback from our Character Pipeline Overview post that was done a few weeks back. The team wanted to provide you all with a little insight on how we create the weapons you all use when playing APB. Without further ado, I pass the remainder of this post over to our talented art department.

Concept and Proxy

The initial design and concept for a new weapon is usually centered around a new mechanic or unique visual design we’d like to incorporate into the game. The design space we have to work with is somewhat limited however, as each new weapon must currently use the existing animations/sockets and materials/skins.

Once we have settled on a weapon we typically design unique variations to maximize resource usage and to offer more options. These unique variations often introduce new optics, stocks, foregrips/handles, etc.

A typical concept may look like this:



Once we’re happy with the concept we now need to create a simple 3D model, or proxy, that can represent our weapon in game for testing. This is an important step as the new weapon must conform to the existing animations and varied character mesh sizes. We also need to test any unique aspects of the design, such as unique fore-grip elements.

If things don’t fit or feel right once in the game, we can adjust the proxy mesh on the fly until we achieve a nice balance between the concept and in-game practicality.

The proxy mesh for the Medusa:




The Medusa has a unique handle that is angled at 45 degrees from the main foregrip. This means we needed to test that the animations would still work as expected with the hand in this new position.

Modelling

Using the concept art and the proxy model as a reference, the first stage of the final asset’s production is to create a high poly model of it. The high poly will be used to bake Normal and Ambient Occlusion textures for our in-game, low poly mesh.

Given the low triangle count and texture resolution of the final product, the high poly needs to incorporate large visual elements whilst still containing as much detail as possible.

The High poly model of the Medusa:



The details here are exaggerated and simplified to give them more resolution when baked down to a low resolution texture.

Creating the low poly and baking down the details from the high poly is where the real fun begins. With a poly count for weapons ranging from 500 – 1,500 triangles and final texture resolution of 256x256 – 512x256 pixels, it can be difficult to balance the details between the normal map and mesh. On top of this the same texture and triangle budget is shared with the variations designed in the concept.

The low poly mesh for the Medusa:




Textures and Masks

UV mapping APB’s weapon meshes can be tricky, as we have little texture space to spare given our budget. Any extra space we can get out of our UV map means more space for texture details.

A lot of mirroring and reusing elements occurs here to help save space. Such as the foregrip handle on the medusa which is mirrored twice breaking it into quarters. And the receiver which is mirrored but the large unique details of one side, like the feed guard, are built to sit over these mirrored features.

The normal map comes next, and is baked down from the high poly to low poly directly in 3DS Max. There is some trial and error here, making sure the details are being picked up well enough, making sure the UVs aren’t stretched and that any mirrored/reused elements are showing up ok.

The low poly mesh with the normal map generated from the high poly:



Due to the vast number of skins and material types available to weapons in APB, we use instances of a super shader for weapon materials. Using instances of a parent shader minimizes the impact on resources, but also means we don’t have the full freedom of a unique material. Because our weapon skins can range greatly in material type (Gold, Chrome, Wood, etc.) and be unique in color and texture, our weapons don’t have a dedicated diffuse map. Instead we use an ambient occlusion map (detail and shadow map) to help the details stand out, but this contains little color or detail typical of a diffuse map. As such, we rely on masks to break a model up so the shader can apply the correct information to the weapon. For example, we distinguish unique elements like the handle, the receiver, the stock, the sight, etc.

The masks for the Medusa:



The Medusa with the normal map and the ambient occlusion map:



Completing the look of the weapon after this point takes place in the editor.

Editor Setup

Setting up the weapon in the editor is straight forward but time consuming. After creating a package for the weapon, we need to create an instance of each material (weapon skin) available to date. Each of these materials will need to be edited to use the new weapon’s textures and masks. In some cases materials need to have parameters changed so the skin will fit and line up with the new weapon correctly.

Material editor:




The final result after plugging in our textures and masks into the JMB material:




Archetypes come next, and while very time consuming, these are very important and have to be correct as they tell the game which model and which skin to load when required. A copy is made of the weapon for each possible skin that weapon can use. Then a unique Archetype, or reference, is created for each one.

Weapon Archetypes:



Custom skins
Sometimes as JMB exclusives or unique items to be used across all weapons, we need to create unique skins. This process is quite complicated as any new skins we create need to be used in conjunction with the existing parent shader and the unique masks that were created for each weapon.

Skins usually consist of 1 or 2 elements. A unique pattern, a tiled texture that is applied uniformly to the weapons, and sometimes a unique feature element such as the faces on the casino skins or the Medusa skin.

Take one of the casino skins for example:



Once an instance of the parent shader is created with the new skin’s textures, we then create a copy of that material and place it in the package of each weapon that needs to be able to use it. Each copy then needs to have the corresponding textures and masks added for that particular weapon. Then by tweaking certain exposed parameters we can adjust and fine tune the placement of these new patterns/features for each weapon. This is a very time consuming task, but allows us to create new weapon skins without having to create custom textures for each weapon.

Getting it into game

At this point all the archetype information gets plugged into an .sdd table as part of the game’s main asset database. After some initial checks in game, the weapon is then handed off to a designer who will decide on the weapon’s final game play attributes.

I want to thank the Art team for taking the time to provide you all with inside on how we do things here at Reloaded.

That's it for now Citizens, be safe till next time.

MoK