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Sunday, December 5, 2010

End of Week 3 Update : Patch 143 (Closed Beta) Status
In other news : Download Size Matters, PC Gamer's unclear headline, Anti-Spam Explanations and “Stay the Frick Away from Private Servers…”

Patch 143 (Closed Beta) Status
Alright – so now we are getting closer to defining the final shape of the first Closed Beta build. When RTW closed up shop, there was already a build known as “build 142” in the works which further refined some of the balance-issues and dealt with a whole range of fixes. For closed beta we are now working toward defining an official “build 143” which will be the foundation of the game going forward. This closed beta candidate will clearly do some key initial things (like integrating G1 credits, create a framework for the premium accounts etc.), but very likely will not yet cover all the items we want to have before we truly go live. Therefore we are very likely to launch a closed beta version WITHOUT the original character data, and then wipe the databases at the end of Closed Beta after we have been able to determine the impact of the various game changes, and then look to restore some of the original character data for the Open Beta start.

Now this is all still hypothetical, since the balance changes and code changes we are performing may cause issues with the original character data and we are not yet sure the original data will actually fit with the final version of the game. However, much of it probably will, and if so we will clearly try to restore a lot of it as part of the Open Beta launch. The details of how this will be done are still TBD, but I will keep this blog updated on the progress, and will share a lot more details as we get closer to Closed Beta.

Download size matters
One other critical issue we are working to solve long-term is the issue of initial download size. Because the game uses Unreal 3, the way content and data is packaged is very monolithic. It’s a great engine, but it was never really built to be friendly to streaming partial content or to easily allow lower content levels that can later be dynamically updated since it presumes someone out there will just pop in a DVD and be done. Therefore the current game (ie the game at patch level 141) is just above 7GB in size. That’s clearly a problem. When we look at our other games’ download completion statistics, we see great completion rates at below 1GB (around 91%), so-so rates at 4GB (about 70%) and pretty lousy rates at 8GB (50%). It’s also very driven by market (for example the US and former West Germany markets don’t suffer the same download drop for 8GB clients, but for other parts of the world this is a huge issue, especially in countries that still have metered ISP tariffs).

The solutions we are working toward include researching procedural texture generation (which reduces initial download size pretty well, but makes install times much longer), removing a large chunk of the pre-downloaded music, creating a package of lower quality assets for a “starter” edition of the game without forking the game, and researching going the route of WoW which has an initial 50MB streaming client. Unfortunately some of these solutions will take a long time to perfect, and it’s very likely we will be going in to Closed Beta with a client that is only marginally smaller than the current version. However for Open Beta we aim to have a reasonable first installer size sorted out, with further improvements then coming down the line over the next 12 months. Chances are we will use combinations of all the techniques above, plus other things we have not yet considered.


Now to some quick comments, and some housekeeping items:

PC Gamer accidentally reports on my last post using a misleading headline?

It’s surprising how much “framing” or just putting a new headline on things can accidentally skew an issue (just read the comments on this blog and compare them with the wildly conspiratorial comments on the PC Gamer blog and you’ll see what I mean). Social psychologists tell us that once you have read a headline, you are going to read everything after it with a strong bias that aligns with the headline.

So what happened? Well – PC Gamer created this headline that made it sound (probably accidentally) as if we will charge for customizations. At least judging from the PC Gamer user comments, that’s what they took away from the PC Gamer headline. To be fair, when you parse the grammar (“[Reloaded] will charge for customisation options”) it could be argued that PC Gamer actually meant to say that charges only applies to “some” customizations (ie some options), but to any casual reader of the magazine that headline screams that you will now have to pay each time you customize anything. So let me clarify – NO that’s actually not what I said last week (nor is it really what PC Gamer probably meant, though their readers seem to have taken it that way).

As I am sure you have read in my last entry (Update Week 2) it clearly states that everyone will be able to customize FOR FREE (!). Now isn’t that a REALLY nice upgrade from what used to be the case – much different from how things were back when you had to pony up 50 bucks or 40 quid just to buy the APB box, and thus there were NO free customizations at all! - BUT (and of course there has to be a “but”) those devoted players in the Free2Play model that want to share COMPLEX customizations will now indeed have to have a premium account. Why? It would simply kill us if we tried giving everyone the ability to spam everyone else with complex stuff. Also – our presumption is actually that players will upgrade to Premium accounts, NOT primarily because of the customization expansions, but rather because of all the other goodies that Premium Account holders will get.  

Now I should be the first to point out that I am really grateful that PC Gamer is ready to pick up the cause of APB and give it some coverage during its metamorphosis from Box to Free2Play (and we all should be happy for coverage since it will help bring more players in to what we believe will be a fantastic game). But it would be nice if they didn’t accidentally scare people in the process of doing so. Next week I expect PC Gamer to run a story that starts with “PC Gamer prints unclear headline, of course APB’s customization will be free for 80% of players, and will no longer cost anyone 50 bucks to get started.” I am just not counting on that particular headline appearing anytime soon.

Auto-blog-spam detection

Some people that have left comments have been complaining that their comments keep disappearing. That’s actually not intentional at all, but entirely a function of Blogger’s automatic anti-spam filter. Quite frankly it beats me exactly what triggers the blog-spam detection system since it has no settings or parameters, but presumably anything you write that has a lot of external links, or uses a lot of run-on sentences (bad grammar actually seems to trigger the spam filter), or creating several copies of the same comment as a response to several different blog entries, all of these activities make it more likely your entry ends up in the auto-spam-trap. This blog is actually technically “un-moderated” and your comments should pop up right away, but I do try to check the spam folder every day if it has caught something odd. And – for the love of God – please don’t create blog posts entirely in ALL-CAPS. If that happens again I WILL delete them. I am ok with capping things for emphasis. I do it all the time. But ALL-CAPPING is the same as SCREAMING. Don’t do it. I need mental earplugs when I read those entries.

Don’t go private on our asses, so we have to go tough on yours!

Having said the bit about spam – there appears to be some people who are trying to create a private APB server out there – and those "promos" and comments will in fact be removed as spam as soon as they are seen.

I will probably try to reach out to the folks engaged in this private server endeavor in the next few weeks as a goodwill measure to see if we can have a little chat about what they are doing. Technically given the layers of protection that are baked in to the code for the action district communications, any attempt in this direction falls squarely under DMCA and also violates our IP rights in a lot of different ways, and I would not recommend doing it.

But, being a good sport, I will at least start a dialogue with some of these enthusiastic coders. After all – we are always on the lookout for great developers, so potentially some of these enthusiasts would like to work on the real thing instead of doing something shady they probably should not be doing? Coincidentally here is a PR Release from Joe Rush from two months ago (our Director of Game Operations) titled “GamersFirst deploys task force against illegal private servers” highlighting our success in literally raiding datacenters. Pretty brutal stuff. Joe gets mean when he is mad, so I wouldn’t want to cross that guy. Then again, he is just protecting all the people in our company who are putting their livelihoods on the line to bring you these great games, so we are all clearly strongly supporting the effort to discourage private server creation.

Also on an interesting side-note, I am normally no fan of DMCA, but it turns out to be one of several effective weapons against private servers in various jurisdictions.


Next Week
Right now I am en-route back to Dundee (via our offices in Bangalore of all places) to meet with even more folks in Scotland this week. We have not yet completely determined the next step, but we are now seriously considering setting up a permanent UK studio with full-time staff in 2011 to work with our teams in Southern California, Bangalore, Istanbul and Sao Paulo. We might still consider Hamburg for a European presence since that’s where a lot of our PR and marketing work is being done, but Scotland (or possibly some other UK locations) now certainly look like interesting alternatives for sure on the studio side.

Stay tuned and I will update as we progress through all this fun stuff.

71 comments:

  1. I actually applaud G1st's stance on private servers. Giving the people who could cause serious harm or serious help depending on their actions a chance is something I really like. My friend Rogean over at EQEmulator actually got the chance to meet Smedley, CEO of Sony Online Entertainment personally at fan faire because of his involvement at EQEmulator. If SOE actually gave these people a job based on what they were doing, I think the private server communities would vanish for the better. More creativity in this world versus lawsuits that only inspire fear and hatred are what this world needs.

    Personally, as a moderator and community developer at EQEmulator I know many people would give up their spots there for something legal and more importantly, doing something they love. That's all that private server owners normally do it for, something they love and enjoy, coming to help the people who made the game (or in this case, bought the rights and are making it better). I myself would love to help Reloaded Productions with APB, but I do not know the technical specifications required. I am planning on going to school for computer science but I am self-taught by the EQEmulator community and my own research.

    GamersFirst just got huge props from me for having the ability to recognize the private server community, and reaching their hand out. The only reason I do EQEmulator right now is so that I can further my knowledge and enjoy a game I love. If I could do that for APB, that would be another game I love. And since it wouldn't be illegal, I would be motivated like no tomorrow.

    Kudos guys, kudos from me, and I hope this gets a lot of ideas sparking in the realm of private servers. I only wish that more companies reached their hands out like this.

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  2. Great to hear things are moving along so swiftly! I was sad that 142 never hit on APB's first run, it sounded so promising.

    I'd love to hear more about Closed Beta application processes when you have one. I was part of the original APB closed beta group and helped point out all the problems everyone else was doing XD

    Keep up the awesome work!!

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  3. Will Last.fm still be integrated? I liked having my own music play on the radio...

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  4. being apart of APB closed beta and PTW. Aswell as KTTC and pre launch.
    im sitting by this blog.
    hoping soon enough, i can play APB once more, and rule the streets of course (;
    see you all soon <3

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  5. Thx for info, TechMech!
    Already translated into russian in my blog :)
    ___
    Русский вариант текста в моем блоге :)

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  6. Good to here that apb is back on track and we might see an close beta up before chrismas .. We all know that private servers was ore only chanse to play apb again before y guys on k2/g1 came along .. so give me next weeks blog update now

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  7. Your updates are awesome and detailed. Im dieing for info on APB, I really miss the game. I have spend 200 + hours in the beta and have seen how it progressed. I really hope in beta you listen to our voices and change as much as you are capable of. I hope second times a charm. I also hope with a big success, we could see new weapons, cars and territories, just like RTW said.

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  8. Also wanted to mention that I did send a message to careers@gamersfirst.com in regards to you guys reaching out to us, but it did not go through, I got a reply from the mail saying it was unavailable.

    If you could contact me at espause0703 at gmail dot com, I would appreciate it. I already have something typed up it's a matter of sending it.

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  9. Another great update, although I confess I skimmed it first to see if there was a beta start date... (awww...shucks!) :)
    Just want to ask a question about "shrinking" the amount of info you have to send for the game download. I will first tell you I am not a computer "techie", I know enough to get by, and quite a bit about Photoshop and similar programs. (I'm a photographer by trade) By shrinking the data and changing textures and such, will we see a big difference in quality from the game? My computer is a couple years old (with some memory upgrades and a newer video card) and ran the original game just fine. I would just hate to see the game lose a lot of it's charm by sacrificing texture quality and character model quality for a faster download. I would hope your answer would calm my fears of loading the game up when it opens and having a textureless, "WoW" type quality, rather than the beautiful game world we remember.
    And as a slightly OT side note, I've signed up on your site and attempted to post on both the temporary and new APB forums...but it won't let me post anything. :( I've sent a couple e-mails over the past week to the site admin, but haven't gotten an answer back. So now all I can do is read them, instead of participating in the discusssions.
    Am I doing something wrong?
    Anyways, keep up the good work, and hopefully next week we'll see if there's a date set for beta in your blog! :)
    Cheers!

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  10. Hi Wood92 :)

    If I read the section correctly, Bjorn's only saying they're going to alter the compression of the data - which would mean the compressed data is smaller, but it takes a lot longer to install.

    So, I don't think they will be altering the quality at all. Don't worry :)

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  11. I have a major question.

    First off, is the database being transfered or do all previous players have to start fresh?

    Second, do previous owners of APB get any kind of bonus (such as free premium membership for say 6 months?) since we already own the game.

    And what about people who had paid for subscriptions? (such as myself)

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  12. I think G1 has given out more info than RTW ever did and its their 3rd week owning the IP. Keep up with the updates, and get this game rolling, i would love to beta test this. I cannot wait for apb to come back, you guys sound like you really loved this game like alot of other people do and you are doing a fantastic job of brining it back to us.

    THANK YOU

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  13. Hey my Gamers name is Kingx2000. I loved APB when it was still around and now that i know it's coming back I'm going crazy. APB died of over hacking of all players. I mean ALL players basically had some sort of aim bot and it made people so made they quit. YOU NEED AN ANTI HACK.

    I'm an owner of a CS:s source server and have made some maps. I've also done beta testing for L4d, MAG, R.U.S.E. , and Medal of Honor.

    I hope you accept me in your private beta you have no idea how much i want my ride back and my title on the streets of san parow

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  14. i apologize for my caps lock incident and was only trying to get my voice heard since i have so much luv,passion, and dedication to being involved in the betterment of my all time favorite game.it wont happen again. like i have said in previous posts that i spent 1500+ hours playing apb, (some days playing 30 hours!!) and am very familiar with the game. I participated in closed beta when rtw released, and would love to be apart of G1st's beta. all in all u people are gods, and i thank you for bringing back happiness once again in my heart and soul. danejohnson88 at aol dot com

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  15. I'm willing to help any way I can with the closed beta. I played APB from the time of release until the closing and loved that game. I don't mind the download size either.
    G1st id: vap0rtx

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  16. Great update. Im still curious on how there going to do some of the payment aspects of this game. Thats what has me the most anxious over. Cause if its way to much and over blown I wont bother. Specialy if you have to pay 15 bucks for a single mine.

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  17. So how would we come about partaking in this open beta? And would we be able to access out old accounts in the beta? (I got a good feeling I can't get in the closed...tear)

    Also what about alof who still have APB installed on out systms or bought threw Steam, ext? Do we use this to play the game? or do we have to download something new?

    Also an 8gb download would suck, but I can do it if it means I get to play APB.

    And I know I have asked this before but I will keep asking to just make sure it was heard. What are the chances of me getting my old account back? Again I had alot of creations that I spend tons of time on (I am talking 10s of hours) and would love to see tem back, losing those would make me los alot of interest of coming back, again I will pay for my account back.

    Would love to hear these issues addressed so I don't feel so in the dark, I mean email, or in the post.

    Again I want to also apologize gain for the double posts on the last blog post, that spam filter thing caught me.

    Again would love to hear answers for these questions and would love even more to help you with APB, again one of the greatest games I have played of all times (been gaming 15+ years)

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  18. I'm willing to help any way I can with the closed beta. I played APB from the time of release until the closing and loved that game. I don't mind the download size either.
    G1st id: vap0rxt

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  19. I can't wait to play APB. Glad you guys are trying to open the closed beta as soon as possible instead of waiting to use the old DB.

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  20. also you guys gotta give private servers some credit, they kept the community alive :p. all the sudden the forums had shutdown and we had nowhere to go.

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  21. Good stuff G1! The News on the character data sounds awsome. I really look forward to it. And if i get chosen for closed beta, i wouldent mind starting from scratch. As long as i know you are at least trying to restore the old characters at open beta launch. I allso think its a good thing, that you will come to the private servers with goodwill. After all they are allso dedicated fans, and could prove to contribute to G1's development of the game. I know of a few private servers myself, and i am sure i dont know of all of them. Regarding the download issue, will G1 make an update package. For those of us who got the retail version of the game on disc? It would make it alot easier for some of us. And good to hear about the auto-block-spam detection, that might explain why one of my posts was deleted(I hope). And dont put to much into Pc Gamers Headlines folks. Like any news paper. It's a dramatic headline on the front page that sells. Even though they might contridict them selves in the actual article. Looking forward to next weeks update. Keep the good stuff comming G1 ^^.

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  22. Will Last.fm still be integrated? I liked having my own music play on the radio... [2]

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  23. *sigh*

    READ THE DAMN POST PEOPLE!

    Okays, that's got that rage out of my mind. He said he will try to get the old database back in use, but it depends if the data is compatible or not. I expect it to be not, but I'm a pessimist.

    Old characters won't be available in the beta.

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  24. Well, I hope you guys can manage to get the old character data back in. But if not, I'm sure people will be happy enough just to get back in to the game again. I know I will.

    As for PC Gamer's misleading headline... Well, any press is good press, but I really do hope they own up and attempt some sort of damage control. That really was a hurtful article, regardless of how negative or positive people perceive the title.

    I can't wait for Closed Beta and Open Beta. Seriously guys, I've just about gone bat-crap crazy from the current beta I'm partaking in because of constantly seeing the same, non-deviating content paths. I need something new (or old)!

    Anyways, can't wait to read the EoW4 Update.

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  25. I definitely like how G1 will talk to the developers of the private servers, if we think about it they probably only developed private servers because the game was being closed and they mustn't of thought the game would of been brought back to life (Tabula Rasa For example closed and stayed close then people made private servers for it)

    Definitely talking to them will make them stop since its more concrete that the game is coming back.

    On the topic of download size, I definitely know it matters on bandwidth and how long it takes for people to download it but I personally don't care about download size, I prefer the high graphics + high download size over low quality stuff.

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  26. Shit, Bjorn Book-Larsson... You're my hero. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. You're salary should be really high, you're really good at english and a very good writer. AND I CANT WAIT FOR APB Reloaded!

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  27. Thanks for those news !

    As everyone, I hope to be a member of your closed beta ^^
    APB really miss us, just a lil point : do you have a release's deadline date ?

    I guess we'd like to know when we can hope find APB back

    Some friends and me are lookin forward the next others games released, and just hope that's APB reloaded will be out before, we just can't wait ^^

    Thx at all for this blog who make us patient about the new release :p

    KEEP GOIN ON !!

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  28. yay continue your hard work , i cant wait to play this awsome game again ! i hope you ll make the game better than it was before .

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  29. u better make it good man!, and can i be in the beta or w.e is going doooowwn

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  30. Can I participate in closed beta ?

    Played in US server Laroche 400+ hours. created 2 characters, one nickname Krrris 289R and the second Krris 230R.

    can't wait to play

    good job team!!! :)

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  31. Where are these Closed Beta applicants being conducted? As a Previous APB EU beta player i've been keeping a eye on APB reloaded for some time now and i haven't seen a single post or link about applying for APB reloaded Closed beta..

    If invitations were sent to GamersFirst members as selected long term or a well achieved player, this is hardly fair as i and most others did not know about GamersFirst untill APB updates came out announcing its revival with the new company.

    But don't get me wrong, i'm more then excited and can't wait to play the new "new" APB.

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  32. Keeping my eye out for this!

    Been playing APB since the Closed beta and was quite known on my server for my customizations.

    Im curious to see how these basic and premium account statuses will work out with customization, since that was the main aspect of the game that appealed to me.

    Regards,

    Sylver(Obeya server) of The Crimson Eye

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  33. why not send your lawyers to mess with the AA devs? there is nice precedent

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  34. Great update and I cant wait for the Beta - hope you guys let me play the beta test.

    BTW Bjorn, dont be disappointed when you get back to dundee and see the RTW sign. I have a photography studio across the road from RTW and i can tell you its not good news for the outside of the building. Its been snowing for about a week here and the snow piled up on the letters. The sign in the marketgait dosnt actually say realtime worlds anymore... BTW if you need someone to take the orb down from the sign, i know a guy who really wants it lol (ME!!)

    I see you mentioned the characters from the beta. Any news on if we will get the original characters back when the release comes out? also seeing as you are going to be making the game simpler for the average gamer to download, can you give us some idea of what the new spec required to play the game will be? I would like to be able to play it on my laptop which is pretty good for a laptop but its no top spec gamer pc.

    Also about the other site throwing things right out of proportion, this is nothing new... just look at what happened to RTW when people asked them questions - people were saying the game was going to be all kinds of crazy things like a GTA4 MMO, its will be free to play and stuff like that, the people who write these things dont actually seem to play any games.. all they do is write a load of crap about great games after laying them for like 1 hour and people actually follow their so called news. its crazy..

    looking forward to more news and keep up the great posts!!

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  35. I don't understand why F2P companies are so draconian about private servers. Blizzard aeems to have few issues with WoW private servers, even ones that run Lich King on the newest patch before they started patching for Cata. Nexon on the other hand flip the fuck out when they find a PS for Maplestory or Mabinogi, basically saying "shut it down or we'll fine your sorry ass into oblivion," and this isn't even getting into the fair use argument. Looks like GamersFirst is taking after 'xon.

    Bottom line is that private servers are never a serious danger to a company that's run well. In my experience, big PS's rarely have over 500 players on at any given time. For instance, my WoW PS (name withheld) had maybe 300 tops at peak hours. WoW has 13 million players. Do you think that 300 players are gonna make that big of a difference to 13 million subscriptions worth of income?

    Ease up. Unless there's a MAJOR threat that a private server will overcome the official ones, let 'em live. They tend to be buggy and laggy anyway.

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  36. very nice post :) made me smile and dance in my chair at the possibility of character restoral :D lol

    cant wait for it to go into beta and start moving to release, this is a great game and cannot wait to get back in there and help beta test it ;) lol

    thx for the weekly updates, they are really great to have it shows u care to keep us informed and like to hear from us :) +1 up for u guys!

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  37. I damn really like to know what you mean about our previous characters

    I'd really like to find back my 7 million $ stuff I got on my two chars :p

    Btw another question :

    What about matchmaking
    I strart as Criminal cause we can fight against others crim and enforcer, and then I go to enforcers cause it was easily to find some opponents

    RTW talk about match making crim vs crim back and maybe enforcers vs enforcers
    It can be cool to get many missions

    4 against 4 was cool two
    But a good fight @8vs8 was really better

    why not something like 12vs12 on the same mission ? :D

    Yay, I guess many of my friends will tell that's was lame to get some noobs in our team, but, it was really awesome to kill 3 guys when you was alone too ^^

    Hope more more more news about alll the future of APB

    Best regards

    Crim : MuRpHyNiGHtLong
    Enf : aNaLxBiTcH (became MuRpHyxBiTcH when RTW told me to change my nick xD)

    On the EU Obeya server of course ;)

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  38. You all talk like losing your old accounts is fine, but not for me. Losing my old accounts mean tons of design lost,equal probably over 100 hours of effort lost. I really don't want to have to redesign everything, plus I had a few designs in the work when it closed. (And I was really close to getting my 3 slot jericho, which was going to get an overhaul paint job of the original one).


    Plus I will say this to everyone against the old acccounts, you might not care, but I care so much I am willing to pay for it.

    And Thank the private server? Yeah right, the community was loyal people like me who never gave up on the idea that the game would be bought and ressurected

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  39. good news. i loved APB since the realese date and wanted to get into the betas. I made this account just for APB because it is one of my favorite games in my opinion. i have been in multiple betas like, assassins creed, MAG, SOCOM, modnation racers, little big planet, Halo reach, and more. My ID was, watchymr on the LaRocha server in the US, and was in a good ranking clan called US Marshals if anyone has seen me. :)

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  40. what will happen with people who already have APB ?
    I gived 40 bucks for that game and also spend around 350 bucks on my pc to play it.

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  41. I have been an avid supporter of apb and one who bought a 6 month subscription. I ALSO run SanParoATLAS.info.

    I hope you work with the fansites to resurrect them and offer dumps of information as well.

    I look forward to working with you. Your fansites are some of the greatest resources a site can have. I hope you support them properly.

    I look forward to hearing from you and if you want to drop me a personal line, canyontrader@gmail.com (it's posted in so many places so this is a public email)

    I founded and previously ran GlobaltechATLAS.info, a fansite for Fallen Earth, that I recently turned over to another cartographer.

    What can you do for the fansites to help them... and help you?

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  42. I had over 350+ hours on this game, does it upset me that my old account will be wiped? OF COURSE! But the fact that APB is being "reloaded" and resurrected diminished those feelings; I'll be satisfied with just the fact it's coming back. Fortunately, I have taken a few videos ingame that could help me mimic the designs I had to put on the new game. As for the closed Beta, how will candidates be chosen? Original APB owners, loterry, etc? Also again, I will reach out and offer my help (if wanted) on the marketing aspects of the game. I do not doubt your capabilities to revamp the marketing methods and structure of the game and company but I am graduation college student with a marketing degree. Applying my education to one of my favorite past-times would result in numerous personal satisfaction. I support everything you've done, are doing, and MOST ESPECIALLY for this blog and keeping up us update and reassured that this game will become the success it should've been the first time!

    ~Eric
    ericmac017@yahoo.com

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  43. My god, I have heard nothing but good news from you guys about APB Reloaded. I'm so glad that you guys are also taking the stance you are with private servers. Although it is a good idea on their part to make it free, I don't see how they could make any groundbreaking content. Or make it free. I hope you guys live up to all these promises.

    I'd also like to participate in closed beta, if there are any applications open let me know.

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  44. Please read this topic about game improvements and sugestions... I know its a long text but its really interesting and i hope to get the support of the players and the attention of the devs...

    http://actiondistrict.com/community/index.php?/topic/1449-sugestions-for-improvements-of-the-game/

    Best regards...

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  45. @GF
    Keep in mind that there are three maps and while they did reuse a lot of the assets it is not necessary to pull all three in to the beta, as you will be testing game issues not map issues. The maps have no holes or glitches and the exploitable areas were patched to builds before the data you have.

    Depending on what map you will be testing that data will be 25 to 50% smaller.

    You should have all of the raw texture files, keep in mind that while you will want to replace the RW logos with your GF ones that can be done by simply naming your assets with the original mapped one name. Now along this line there are a couple of ways to reduce the beta build and also stream the textures out live. The texture files are in powers of 2 so you can reduce the texture size from say 512 to 256 and reducing the resolution from say 200dpi to 100dpi will easily drop the texture base in half.

    The can be done by writing a macro in PS and having the new files saved in a separate textures directory. Simply rename your directories (switch names)and the engine will automatically load the smaller texture files, but your texture people know this. Later on you can seed the highrez textures as the player is connected, the results is that you have a playable albeit uglier game initially. Since you are using the same name as coded you don't have to be concerned about remapping.

    Now the models cannot be compressed anymore than they are so there is not much you can do to reduce that size.

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  46. Just hope we do not forget the American, q that I mean the game should be available in Spanish too.
    APB live !!!!!!

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  48. So far I still have mixed feelings on the customization idea. For the game to be successful the company must profit somehow - that is obvious. However, I wish you would consider another method other than chopping up this feature of the game and parsing out free bits and paid bits. The most outstanding feature in APB was it's expansive customization system - at least in my opinion. So now I will rant:


    "It would simply kill us if we tried giving everyone the ability to spam everyone else with complex stuff"

    From my experience, the market was not inundated with complex designs but rather the opposite. Referring to symbols, there were a few rather creative ones that were copied and sold over and over. In this case it was a handful of artists responsible for them. The rest of the symbols on the marketplace were saturated with little more than bumper stickers. The flexibility that APB's customization system allowed for negated any need for the specialization that the so-called "premium account" would bring. As far as artistry is concerned, there is no need to add an additional class distinction by means of the account type for this distinction already exists - those willing to be creative and those not. Granted, I do not know what the premium account fully entails but please reconsider handicapped the customization. Considering that the capabilities of APB's most thought out feature was so unappreciated, making the few that use it pay a premium for it seems backwards. In fact you have already made an assertion supporting this point:



    "Also – our presumption is actually that players will upgrade to Premium accounts, NOT primarily because of the customization expansions, but rather because of all the other goodies that Premium Account holders will get."

    If the goodies that a Premium Account holder gets are truly that wonderful what need is there to restrict the rest of the community by limiting their experience in the game especially if the audience that fully uses this feature it is already small. The statement above would have expanded customization placed as a small fringe benefit for the Premium Account user - a benefit that only a few will truly use. It seems needlessly restrictive considering the points above. Instead of botching the natural features of APB and giving them exclusivity to an elite few why not just make better incentives? If APB's could not stand on it's own merits the first time than it surely won't a second time approached this way.



    "As I am sure you have read in my last entry (Update Week 2) it clearly states that everyone will be able to customize FOR FREE (!). Now isn’t that a REALLY nice upgrade from what used to be the case – much different from how things were back when you had to pony up 50 bucks or 40 quid just to buy the APB box, and thus there were NO free customizations at all!"

    To the new player this would be a valid point but from reading the comments on the blog there are not too many new faces interested in APB. Comment after comment comes from former APB players who already paid their 50$ or 40 quid. After already paying that and returning to a "new and improved" APB with features missing that they already paid for would be quite the disappointment.



    I have considered possible alternatives but I'm hesitant to post them as a comment on a blog; do you read these? Hopefully you do otherwise I just wasted a lot of time.

    My last complaint... Where is the forum? Do you not want to hear from your potential players?

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  49. I'd like to applaud your constant status updates and insights. It does seem like the other side of the spectrum from RTW and that's a great thing.
    I've noticed you've not touched on how the game will be protected from cheaters.
    I played APB a lot, probably more than 300 hours. I can honestly say from this experience, simply having a GM in every instance might have been enough to deter would be cheaters and quell panic and paranoia among the non-cheaters.
    Please don't doubt for a second that as soon as beta drops their will be cheats/hacks available, and they will kill the game if not managed properly.
    I'd love to see this game prosper and see the speed of updates and enthusiasm shown here on this blog translated to the game you put out.

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  50. I guess I should make a posting in the comment section to satisfy "Shealtiel" and others (I normally don't do it, but maybe I will jump in to reassure the reader that "we are still here").

    First - yes of course I (as well as the rest of the team) read your comments. If not, it would be rather pointless to have a blog in the first place.

    Second - I really appreciate the overwhelming support from the APB community. We are really excited to put our blood sweat and tears into this product, and clearly aim to make it a widely adopted game.

    Third - Shealtiel - I think you might be a pretty depressing fella to have a beer with? Or put a different way, while you have some good points, keep in mind there is a million ways this game launch can go wrong, but we will put all of our seven years of free2play game launch experience to good use to rebuild this game, and make it into the great game it could have been. And yes - of course most posters today have either already played the game in the past or at least heard of it. Once we relaunch this game, we then expect a huge influx of new people once we start marketing and promoting the game again. But I am probably stating the obvious?

    So to everyone who stop by this blog; keep up all your comments, we read and take them all in.

    Cheers,

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  51. I can't wait till I can play APB again..I was in the closed beta, KTTC and live game and was very disheartened when they closed down .. I've been watching your progress and am very pleased... also good to see people like " GlobalTech Atlas" still around.. I remember your Fansite it was nicely done... anyone who ever frequented the original games forums should know me .. and I'll see you all when the game re-opens

    ----Budweiser

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  52. Hey bud, good to read you again.

    I haven't gone anywhere, but am currently weighing my priorities and personal goals. I'm getting into publishing books (especially kids books for the new nookcolor).

    I am very interested in resurrecting the site (still live at sanparoatlas.info) and updating it.

    I will definitely be a player (probably a paid one) but I cannot commit just yet to the time investment the site takes to run.

    I hope to hear from the devs themselves reaching out to fansites to work together. We already have a built-in infrastructure and are running, just mostly inactive.

    my email is canyontrader@gmail.com (considered a public email).

    Taking the massive time to add content (those clothing guides take about 4-8 hours each) is not something i'm looking forward to.

    I also have an option on world of tanks (i own tankopedia.com). I'm interested in that as well.

    As my sites have been advertising supported and are revenue based, volume is important.

    My original site, GlobaltechATLAS.info failed to achieve enough traffic (even tho it was the #1 fansite for Fallen Earth). I recently turned that over to another fansite to administer.

    Perhaps the f2p realm will be a better match.

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  53. @ Bjorn

    I've never doubted that you were still there, but it's great to see that you are. And is willing to jump into the comment part of the blog, just to underline that you are infact putting us first. And listening to what we have to say, keep it up! ^^

    Regards
    Zem

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  54. @GlobalTech Atlas

    sanparoatlas.info looks really cool man!(roflmao, APB - Backflips) I myself is in the making of my very first website, a clan site for apb reloaded. And am interested in working together, specially on guides and that sort of stuff. And how to go about promoting other companies like gamers first on my site, as i am new to this. We could use all te info g1 wants to give us on this. I have sendt you a mail, and hope that you will write me back.

    Regards
    Zem

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  55. Private servers i was never a fan but i did like how some games dealt with them such as leasing a server for x amount of money monthly, but i rather just see them gone but personally i never played a commercial games private counter part so obviously there are people passionate enough to keep such a thing alive. Wow big suprise at pc gamer it being accidental is pretty dubious. I think how you guys are/will be balancing the preimum ( soon to be me) vs f2p users quite fairly instead of some premium services where there are lvl caps, majority of the game missing, permium vs f2p balancing issue i.e premium damage x3 vs f2p damage x1.
    I think the reloaded apb is going to be a great sucessor to what was a great just poorly managed game and can't wait to play it. Looking forward to actual progression like are so called promised chaos server which was blantly forgotten. Also idea of in game "Hiests" (apb version of dungeons/instances) would be an addition i would love to see implmented. I.E bank hiests, crims try to rob bank before enforcers arrive or enforcers infiltrate (like in swat movies) bank and procure hostages and arrest/kill crims. God, craving for that CBT. talk to u next post! lol

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  56. If it's the site being advertised with a name involving "apbprivate," that isn't a real private server. I've been around when the site was linked and people tested the client they offered on virtual machines, and found an enormous payload of viruses.

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  57. Oh man, really happy to see you guys are listening. Im dyeing to read up, check out screens on APB. I remember the APB official forums was my main thing to visit back when the forum was up. I loved people discussing, arguing and posting screens of their creation. I really need that, I just dont know what to do when I open my Chrome browser. I really hope the beta can start before the years end, Id have alot of time I can devote to this. Either way, Im itching for updates. One more thing, I thought your end of the week updates were suppose to be Fridays? Yet you have been updating on Sundays.

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  58. "Third - Shealtiel - I think you might be a pretty depressing fella to have a beer with? Or put a different way, while you have some good points, keep in mind there is a million ways this game launch can go wrong, but we will put all of our seven years of free2play game launch experience to good use to rebuild this game, and make it into the great game it could have been. And yes - of course most posters today have either already played the game in the past or at least heard of it. Once we relaunch this game, we then expect a huge influx of new people once we start marketing and promoting the game again. But I am probably stating the obvious?"

    You'll excuse me for seeming indignant but I'm reasonably certain I can translate all this into "We're not changing anything, deal with it."

    Maybe I just have a poor opinion of F2P companies, I dunno.

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  59. Private servers only succeed were developers fail and are used by a minor barely noteworthy community.

    DMCA and stuff is all nice (not so) but home writen software that does the same as other software (thus a emulation) is legal, all comes down if you copy a source or "invent" your own.

    anyway, if you guys succeed whit a relaunch by not pushing away its original fan base then you got nothing to worry about in the first place.

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  60. I played APB from start till the end. I miss apb very much. Just wondering can we get something from APB:R for compensation.

    Can't believe that I bought game for 2 month. Then its shut down :(

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  61. So, you're basically saying "We're so insecure in our free game that we think people might join a free game developed by amateurs instead. So much so that we'd spend time and money attempting to prosecute these amateurs instead of making sure our game is good."

    Yes, this makes me excited for your product.

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  62. Hey just want to ask another question. Please for the love of god tell me you are NOT doing the preset price system on creations, I already had a great argument about it on the last post (that was the reason I played APB alot, I suck at making money in most MMOs but not APB my creations were the bomb!).

    http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/apb/show_msgs.php?topic_id=m-1-56997059&pid=926499

    But please tell me you won't do this, I mean I am still trying to make sense of how you are going to be running the game, and I have seen companies take over a game and ruin it (not saying you will).

    Also I will not drop this cause this is waht will really bring me back is, I want my account back. I mean take my money and guns fine, but leave me my creations (cars, symbols, songs, themes, cloths, ext). I will be bummed to lose that money but I can make it back (almost $2 million). Also I will be paying for a premiere account and I will pay on top of that for my account back.

    I actually have a friend who said if he doesn't get his account back, he won't be coming back to the game

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  63. managed to stumble across this article today and i'm glad to see APB progressing towards reserection as well as it is. my question is this:
    can selection for CB participants be based on original APB preorders who participated in the KTTC event? it' broke my heart to see APB go. despite it's flaws i found great enjoyment in this game. wasn't much on the streets, but i got TONS of use out of the music editor. so even though i might get humiliated in the streets of san paro, i could do so to great music. lol
    **GunnyRed**

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  64. I'm willing to join closed beta, played on closed and opened beta of APB. G1'st id - brachialis1

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  66. I played with apb closed beta test until the last day of its existence, and gladly take part in the closed beta test APB RELOADED.
    I also am a representative of the Russian base of knowledge in APB (apb-db.ru) that
    increases the need for participation as the Russian newbie guides want to write in a timely manner

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  67. Will there be an update tonight?
    Or will you be my santa clause and post closed beta applications.
    Either way it's gonna be nice to see something on about APB.

    Maybe I can bide my time with something like APB....wait, there's not really anything quite like APB.
    I feel like I'm being artistically stifled because I'm not writing some crazy death theme and trying to get just the right pattern at the right angle for the decal on my T-25 truck.
    NO, I cannot do any of this right now..BUT, G1 can do something about this, please, give us APB.
    Can't Wait.

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  68. Waiting for update! common hurry!!!!! gotta study for exam that I have tomorrow, 11:16 pm here.

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  69. I just got a beta key a few days ago. Gamer's First made me fill out some survey thing and I had to give them a ton of information. I really hope I get accepted. I beta tested for the original APB and I thought it was good but others thought differently. I was so disappointed when APB shut down. I had already payed my $50 and I already but some extra hours. *sigh*. I wish I hadn't wasted all that money. I really hope I get accepted into this APB Reloaded beta. I can't wait! If I don't get accepted then I'll just be pissed at Gamer's First and encourage private servers >:(

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  70. Great stuff as usual love seeing the transparency and honesty. Btw if your looking for uk mods people concept artists <- look me up, yes.. yes selfless plug ;p

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  71. Great work love the honesty and transparency. btw if you guys o open up a UK branck hook me up ;p mods or concept art. ^^

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