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Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Weapon Skins Coming with 1.8.0 Update


(Post by Qwentle, Lead Designer of APB)

With 1.7.0 out of the way, we thought it's about time to talk about what we've been working on with the next big update. While there will be a number of items and updates in 1.8.0, the big talking point that I'm going to discuss is the introduction of Weapon Skins.

Over the past couple of months we have added a number of uniquely textured weapons as part of various promotions, both in Armas (The Sitting Duck and Hazardous Tommy Gun) and in-game as Fight Club Challenge Rewards. While we are big fans of these unique looking weapons, we felt that it was a bit unfair to have to purchase new weapons each time you want to have a unique skin, and a bit clunky to have to pull mods out of one gun and into another each time you want to change your look. To solve this, we're adding the ability to choose your weapon skin as a drop down option for a lot of the weapons in the game.

How Do Weapon Skins Work?

By default when you unlock a weapon skin, all skinnable weapons in the game will gain access to that skin. In some cases however this will be unique to the weapon, available to all weapons of that type (Shotguns for example) or archetype (Pointman weapons etc). When you are near an ammo zone, you can choose from a list of all weapon skins, mousing over them to preview the item. If you select an unlocked skin (shown highlighted in white) your weapon will immediately switch to the selected object and if you mouse over a non-unlocked skin (greyed out) you will be told how to attain it.

Why aren't all weapons skinnable?

To get this feature to you guys as soon as possible, we'll be initially rolling out a limited selection of weapons (generally one from each weapon group). Adding the ability to switch the skins quickly and with a minimum of network traffic / memory has required us to completely switch how the textures on the weapons work, and it takes time to convert from the old version to the new. As such, the first release will include the following weapons, with more to follow as they are converted:

OCA-626 (and variants), NTEC (and Variants), CR5, STAR, JG, CSG, NFAS, Obeya CR-762, OBIR, SHAW, HVR (all variants), Colby SNR, Obeya FBW.

While we understand that there are a number of other weapons in-game that are much loved by you guys, we wanted to ensure that we had an even spread to start, and felt this was the best selection we could make for an initial release.

In addition, any unique weapons (for instance the Fireball from the Challenges, or the Sitting Duck from the Joker Random-Box) will be unable to have their skins changed.

Why can't I completely customize my weapon?

The massive amount of customization in APB is a feature that makes us stand out from the crowd, but it comes at the cost. The amount of customization over the large number of players in any one district means that sending and building of customizations is one of the most resource intensive parts of the game. Full customization of weapons would increase the number of items being built per character from 2 (Vehicle + Character) to 3, an increase of 50% of customization data being sent. The increased bandwidth here would put too large a strain on the clients and servers, so is unfortunately infeasible, despite how cool it could have been. By selecting from a large selection of pre-made options, we keep a lot of the benefits of visual weapon customization while only sending a tiny amount of information across and removing any customization building.

How Do I get Weapon Skins?

Firstly we will be adding an extra level to each of the Weapon roles. Completing these will unlock a unique skin for those weapons. On top of this, some weapon skins will be available through Armas. Each faction also has a special skin that is unlocked through completing a new achievement that is triggered from completing the boss contact with that faction. This will likely mean that for players that have completed the organizations / killed a lot of players with certain weapons, a number of skins will unlock when you log into the game following the patch.

Can I see weapon skins in actions?



33 comments:

  1. OCA Whisper included for Skins? <3

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  2. looks cool but I think you should direct your attention towards the reason players dont stay on your game.

    The fact everything that's purchased runs out, no one can play the game constantly and when you take a break you come back to it with no money and no weapons which only results in you just turning the game off as progress is made then lost even faster.

    We all know you can purchase stuff in the ARMAS marketplace but no offence only kids who ask there parents to buy them weapons on a free to play game do so. No normal adult spends money on virtual items that are lost after a certain amount of time.

    Implement a system that lets you keep a weapon permanently but for a high price, there aren't many F2P games out there who don't offer this.
    I'm sure I am not the only person asking for this.

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    1. Most of the items sold on Armas are permanent. We have Lifetime Weapons available not to mention Vehicles, Vehicle Kits, and Gear are also permanent. Mind explaining further what you meant by "Implement a system that lets you keep a weapon permanently"?

      Qwentle's post also makes a point to say that Weapon Skins can be obtained from Role Progression and Armas. We make a conscious effort to balance what you can buy and what you can earn in game.

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    2. Well, there is lifetime, but it's like 30 euro for a lifetime of a weapon, I mean, seriously? and I believe he means having permanent weapons for a lot of ingame money.

      More importantly imo would be to optimize the game... I mean, this game is on UTengine right? Why Blacklight has state of the art graphics and run more than fine on high while APB has to run with a tweaked config file for less than minimal graphics? This is what makes a lot of players run away. I know like more than 10 people who don't play APB just for the ridiculous requirements and amounts of lags. I know the custom does a lot, but I'm sure a lot of optimization can still be done.

      NB: Not raging or trolling in anyway. Sincere observations of a fan. :)

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    3. Quinzel, I see where you are coming from but in all seriousness unless you have allot of money to throw away you don't necessarily go buy virtual weapons especially on a free to play game.

      I play Free to play games because they are free. simple as that, I love the customisation and wide open areas and am thankful for it but the developers would probably make more revenue from advertising.

      In my personal opinion I think by having the weapons run out after an extended period of time only FORCES the players to end up committing into purchasing weapons making the game no longer Free to play.

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    4. The system should take into account how many days you actually play. As it stands now because of my work schedule it's almost impossible to play any game 3-4 days each week, so if I rent a weapon for 30 days I end up getting the shaft for half of my investment.
      Each day I login should be counted against me, not the days I don't.

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    5. Oh my god yes. djmtott
      If they implemented this system, I would play this game for hours.

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    6. Maby somthing where you can have guns that are not modded with no slots permanent and make guns with mods termorary, but for a longer period of time.

      P.s: please for the love of god sort out the match making, its a big thing to do but golds on training servers, really? come on (I've have seen about 10 golds on a training server when i made a new account).

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  3. WERNT U GUYS GUNA PERMININTLEY pout the tommy gun in the game i realy whant it unless u did it alredey and i didnt notice

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    1. they are in, its the Colby M-1922 Mk2 from the new contact its only 2 slot though

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. This is a pretty nice looking feature.

    A shame the game can't quite handle personal customisation of weapon skins. It's understandable though as I think the servers and clients are feeling the strain right now because of customisation.

    Speaking of which how is progress going on the server/client performance issues? I'm pretty sure a lot of the fluctuating server performance is down to them struggling with the customisation dialogue and is definitely a huge source of "micro stuttering" in clients. Do you have any plans to offer options for players to limit how customisation loads up or at least have work in progress on improvements to how the system functions?

    Aside from the bugs and performance issues, 1.7.0 was a great addition and I'm sure 1.8.0 will be at least as good. Don't worry too much about some of the negativity recently (as long as you do view it constructively!) because those with negative feelings are more likely to air their views than those who have something positive to say.

    Good luck, looking forward to the update being finished!

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  6. MossBros - please refer to the forum. PLENTY of people drop large amounts of cash on weapons and cars from ARMAS. I am a married twenty-something who has 3ish perma guns and two perma cars. The 10 day expire drives people to go premium for the extra cash. If you're buying 5 guns at a time, you're doing it wrong. The F2P setup pushes you to only have 2 or so active guns at a time. It is manageable, but requires half a thought.

    There is ongoing work to sort out the lag, and the sooner the better as its a pain. Its still good to see this stuff come out.

    I'm glad to see the highlighting of locked skins still demos the skin. A good touch that will help people decide what to go for. Can't wait for an O-PGL skin tho ;)

    Keep it up chaps, and don't forget about the server FPS and ping issues ;)

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  7. Why solid stock dont have slots DDD=?, But good adding.

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  8. I notice that the description for the maxed out gunslinger skin says "Gunslinger 16" - is this a typo? There are only five gunslinger ranks and adding one more for the sake of getting the skin would be Gunslinger 6, not Gunslinger 16.

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  9. FIX YOUR MEMORY LEAK jesus... you never ever ever ever ever ever talk about it even though its right infront of everyone... FIX IT PLZ

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  10. Plz fix servers first. I pay for premium every month and buy additional items. It feels like you guys gave up on it and are just avoiding the lag issues. Today alone I have had 3 full channel lag encounters. This is when everything stalls ping hits high amounts and 5 seconds later EVERYONE in the channel is complaining about the huge lag spike. If I encountered this once per day it would be fine, but seriously guys 3+ times a day during a 4 hour session, give me a break.

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  11. Looks good, hope there will be Scottish and Danish skins coming :P

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  12. nice you del my msg.
    and i still say fix the lag spike.

    we are paying top dollers for premium and stuff.

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  13. Will we still get our permanent weapons account wide, as suggested before 1.7?

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  14. Everyone whining about not getting permanent weapons for in-game money...just shut up. The game is free, they need to make money somewhere, and they aren't off of in game currency. You want something for nothing.

    To put it in perspective that's like hiring a gardener, and telling him to dig a big hole. At the end of the day, do you think he wants a pile of the dirt he just was wallowing in all day?

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  15. I dont think i will be puting anymore money into this game,..After spending 6000+ G1 and 1000+hrs on an account that was signed to a sever that wasnt meant for me due to a lack of info by gamersfirst at the server select screen,..Now iv had to move to the han hk server because of a better connection and when i emailed G1 about moveing my chars or just the inventory to my new account i was regretfully told too bad by blackbeard. This i belive is not the way to treat a loyal customer who puts money into there back pocket or that puts up with all the problems of the game and there lie's,.. Gamersfirst dont put gamers first they just put money first,...moveing servers on people and some have lost there account when they did this and all Gamersfirst could say was "sorry bout that" More and more people leave this game because of its problems,..And next is if server pop doesnt increase in the han us server they are going to remove it and all the people on that server will be screwd over with another "sorry bout that" again,..pick ya game up G1 or can you say realtimeworlds,...

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    1. Actually - we are looking for ways to let you perform a character-server-migration and move to a different server. Sadly the system was not originally designed to support this, so it turns out to be a ton of manual work to perform it. So the proper answer from the customer service is not that I won't EVER be done - just that they cannot do it yet (and we'll clarify that with them). But it IS on the list of 'account services' we are looking to add.

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  16. What happen to the oermanent weapons being account based? I was in the 1.7 notes but not in the roll out. I dont care about skins, how about fixing the cheat/hacker problem.

    My account got hacked, I have prem but was told they could not doing anything. So why pay for G1 stuff, play for free or go play a game that has real support.

    I will not pay to play APB anymore I would support them but they dont support me.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Simm. Sorry to hear someone logged in to your account. Since the perm guns cannot be sold off your account, not sure how you mean you lost it?

      We did notice a small batch of accounts mostly with weak passwords that appear to have had unauthorized access (or even better - people who changed their passwords at the 3-month limit, and then promptly changed them back to the old passwords - something our system doesn't stop you from doing yet). In the cases we were able to identify such access, we have contacted the players that were affected.

      I am hoping you were notified if you were in the identified batch. If not - please contact support again.

      Delete
  17. @Bjorn / Techmech:
    Accountwide Perm. Weapons! When? 1.8? 1.9? 2.0? This Year?

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  18. I have an idea for customization, namely that one should be able to create their own Tag markers with symbols, you know the weapon mod. That would be really fun and interesting.

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  19. The patch sounds good! One of my main issues though is the very limited room for clothing. I've always wondered, why you guys allow for 100 different weapons, and only 50 diffrent clothing slots in your locker? I mean i find this absolutely ridiculous, since you would need nearly every variant of every gun type in the game to fill that space. Mean while 50 slots is FAR from the room i need for the things i make, and im sure alot of people would agree with me. concidering one set can take up to 15+ clothing items. It seems completely backwards to me. This may not be a top of the line issue, but i would assume it to be a simple fix, but im no programmer.

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  20. When they optimize game performance because lag is somewtimes uacceptable? -_-

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  21. Hi, i can't login since 2 days! It gives me error code 8! Can somebody help me please? Thanks.

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