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Friday, July 19, 2013

Reloaded Day Update



It's been nearly five months since Reloaded Day, so we thought we'd take some time to talk about what we've done since March and our plans for the next six months. If you have no clue what we're on about, here's a quick recap: we celebrated the second anniversary of the APB: Reloaded team on March 7th and dubbed it 'Reloaded Day'. It seemed like a good time to reflect on what had transpired since we began our journey with APB, to celebrate what we've achieved so far, and to explain our plans for the rest of the year and beyond. 

The first half of 2013 has been good for us. We've been able to move forward on feature work more quickly than was possible in the past. We've continued to have great success with in-game events. Our community continues to produce some brilliant creations, some of which have made their way onto the Joker Associates store in the Social District. The Artist Program is starting to give us a lot of great music from both inside and outside the community.


So Far

Back in March we listed our major goals for 2013. So far this year, we've brought in:

  • The updated score system
  • The new front end
  • Elective spawning system
  • Another test of Asylum
  • Threat segregation
  • The smart district spin-up 

The team has been hard at work to reach the numerous goals we've set ourselves for this year. Overall, we're pleased with the additions we've brought into the game recently. We feel that they add more player choice, more options in how you fight, and more feedback as to how you're doing. We're pairing more players up with people of their skill level and we're making the game less spiky in terms of difficulty. That being said, not everything has been perfect, and there's always room for improvement. Here's a few things we're planning to improve upon following recent changes we've made to the game:

  • Score is going to get a bit of an overhaul. We're going to bring in assists on more objectives, give bonus score for taking down a VIP, and give the VIP score whenever a teammate performs a scoreable activity (to counteract VIP's usually getting the lowest score in a match). We also want you to generate a little bit of score while a mission objective is in a Defend state to give defenders a bit more score for their play.
  • Threat segregation will be changed; players will no longer be able to go down into districts below their current threat level. We found that too many people were going into districts below their recommended threat level and making life miserable for those players. Design on this is subject to change, but it's something we're looking into and intend to move forward.


Wins and Losses

We've had some victories this year, as well as a few unexpected setbacks. Three members of the Reloaded Productions team have moved on, and two things have had to be pushed back from the 2013 Roadmap. In terms of victories, we've found that the new front end allows us to iterate new versions of it very quickly, including making event specific front end scenes (such as the 4th of July update). We're getting some awesome new content for the game that's coming straight from the community - outfits, vehicles, and symbols are now being sold through Speedball (who was also community created!).

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, two of the four new contacts have been pushed to early 2014. However, we still have plans for two contacts (one Praetorian and one G-King, both in Financial) who will come with a new wave of interesting weapons and equipment. The mission revamp has also been pushed out of 2013. We started really digging into the level of work that would be needed for this to make it through production, design, and code, and it was too much for us to get done while working on bringing out the fully-featured version of the Chaos game mode that was previewed in Anarchy Week. We're working on the mission revamp and have some awesome designs for it (including missions where everyone on your team gets opposed to the entire opposite faction, given a number of lives, and told to hit several checkpoints deep inside enemy territory for a huge reward), but the scale of the task is a little outside our reach with everything else we have going on right now.

Don't fret about the delay of these things though; they are still happening, we just have to adjust our schedules according to feedback and circumstance.


The Future

We're hoping that the next six months are going to be huge for the game. Just some of the things that we're going to be doing over the coming months include:

  • New tutorial with checklisted activities that players can complete to make the learning curve of APB Reloaded a little less vertical, as well as introduce rewards for people that complete the tutorial entirely (don't worry, you can go back and do the tutorial on your old character to get the reward too). 
  • Two new contacts - Aletta Cadagen and Gumball will be appearing in the Financial district. Aletta is the embodiment of the Praetorian endgame - she's the natural and logical conclusion to Operation Urban Firestorm and she's advocating total war on the Criminals of San Paro. She's cold, calculating, and one hundred percent certain that in San Paro, the only way peace can be achieved is through overwhelming firepower. Gumball is pretty much her exact opposite - he's not in it for anything more than his own desire to see just how much fun he can have. He's not like any contact that we've seen before - there's no endgame with him and there's no real 'plan.' He's just a guy with a healthy disregard for property law.
  • Daily Activities in mission districts will be coming to the game in a release that's getting the finishing touches now. Keep checking back here for more information; just be aware that Joker Tickets aren't the only prize you'll get in Mission Districts in the near future. Joker Tickets are a long standing feature request and they're also bringing with them another longstanding feature - the ability for low level players to get their hands on late game modifications. So, if in a couple of patches time, you see a group of three people standing on top of a Han Celante with STAR-556's, don't be alarmed; they've just got their hands on leasable car-surfer. Details to follow...
  • We just re-released Asylum for another test run and the feedback from the community was outstanding. The fully featured version of Chaos will have high score tables, objectives to fight over, and territory control points.
  • The re-designed HUD is something that we've had our UI artist working on for a month (at time of writing) and it's looking great. It blends very well with the UI in the Front End and the Options menu.
A development meeting about the new tutorial. Note the incredibly cheap doughnuts. Brain food.

The Armas Marketplace will be seeing a bit of an overhaul in the near future too. There's some content up there that's not as fresh as it should be, and we're going to put more of a focus on packs and bundles to help provide you with the most value possible.

We've got a team of dedicated artists that are creating new content for the game. We're working on two completely new weapons for the game that will bring some variation to secondaries and the SMG weapon class. And below you'll see Danny, one of our vehicle artists, working on the new Packer Vaquero kit. 

One of our vehicle artists working on a new vehicle kit.

One of the things that we're aware of is how long some of these things take to create and get to players (small scale projects like individual weapons and much larger scale projects like rolling out Overkill servers globally). To help speed up this process, we're continuing to hire dedicated and talented people across all departments to work on code, network support, and art. If you're interested in working at Reloaded (or know someone that might be), please visit Talentscotland.com and find Reloaded Productions for more information.

Speaking of Overkill, we recently converted every Mission district (Financial and Waterfront) on Colby NA West to Overkill servers and we saw a significant improvement in performance. The Overkill servers that you're seeing at work on Colby are the third iteration of the hardware, which is now a great mix of performance and future-proofing. We're very happy with the hardware and hope to have it deployed to the rest of the servers as soon as humanly possible.


What's Next?

Right now our next major release is scheduled to be 1.13.0. Since we're totally not scared of apparently unlucky numbers, we're doing something a little weird with this release - we've pulled all the new features from this release and moved them into the 1.14 release series and we've filled 1.13.0 with bug fixes, client optimization work, and quality of life changes for players.

We've been listening to and collating a lot of the feedback, and we're now getting the chance to act on it. Expect the 1.13.0 patch note post on the forums to be one of the biggest notes lists that we've ever posted. We'll be talking in greater depth about the client optimization changes, the major bugs that we're fixing, and what else is coming in the 1.13 series as the weeks progress, so keep an eye here and on the APB Reloaded forum for further details.


We hope that you've enjoyed the changes that we've made to the game recently. It's great to see some of the reactions that we get from players as we continue to improve the game. Thanks for reading and thank you for playing.

35 comments:

  1. feel no some highligt on next patch, if you don't lose people in this game, make some new content, new district, new character move action, new car, new highligt etc.. not just keep make some contacts on old district and unlimt max level....

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  2. These delays are getting tiresome. While there are setbacks, a blog post can only go so far. Please just tell your Community Managers to stop being so quiet and actually discuss things on the forums. There are several threads about Client FPS that need to be discussed by Developers and plenty of suggestions that don't even get mentioned.

    You can say all this as many times as you want...but giving us a chance to get Lifetime premium and just wait years and years for something that has a week's worth of gameplay is sad.

    In addition, read the forums. Reason we are a terrible community is because devs and community managers don't even bother speaking about anything.

    You guys don't even acknowledge our reactions. It's like the lot of us don't even exist...and because of that we cease to exist.

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  3. I wonder if 1.13 will be attending some bugs I still know of that are over a year old as well as some other bothering ones that are really annoying to look at.

    Still, have to say, G1/RP is following a perfect business timeline. As my professors pointed out, if you don't get moving within the first two years you are in trouble, well it looks like that's working well here.

    Also it would be nice to see more then just Joker Tickets come out in district, but the return of the old unlockables like increased inventory space. Once again I find myself shoving items off onto alts to hold onto for me because I don't have the inventory space (this is probably more common in long term players).

    Also, Vaquero, enforcers I think you are getting Micros, I just hope that Vaquero kit is the Enforcers, it looks sick!

    Question though. based on all these recent hirings and what not, and how G1 has been around for awhile, this makes me feel that the company is profiting well. So with all this new content, will players finally get to see items not go straight to Armas, specifically clothing. Yes we've had a mask or two from events, which I am not saying sucks, but I think players want new clothing to customize. That's the one area that really seems to be suffering compare to others items obtained without using real money.

    Looking forward to the next 6 months (also, wish you guys had programming jobs in the states, then I'd be bolting over to the site to apply)

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  5. damm i wish i could work on the game with you guys...

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  6. Threat segregation change is horrible, the population does not support a healty fin and wf district. main reason to go into a silver district is that they populated

    Asylum is great and all but feels like its been a year and has to little changes, chaos mode needs to enable role leveling. also need to offer some kind of objective or else it wont work well

    you guys changed the ui, and increased the cpu usage cause both uis run now instead of just one. could of at least fixed the mouse sensibility input. its been a long time since this was requested

    login screen might be cool but gets old, need an option to disable it. also will benefit load times

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  7. what this game really needs is better long term progresssion path, better support for role leveling and more rewards for getting better at the game

    in rtw we had statues and whatnot for kicking ass. in RP we get locked out of missions

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    1. Ahh the good old days. I know people do want the Leagues back, but remember how those went sometimes? People exploit/cheating to get a statue or reward.

      I wonder if that might be holding G1/RP back? Maybe, maybe not, who knows.

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  8. You must really live in fairylandbubblegumland if losing 3 people on your team is weighted up against new splashscreens and a few outfits. Jeez... what a win in comparision to that loss, huh? xD

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  9. Are overkill servers still based on consumer hardware?

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  10. Can be nice if u fix or make the game x32 bits players and u will me more activity in game ;) Cu

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    1. If you're using a x32 bit OS and try to game, you're doing it wrong, I'm sorry.

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  11. Please don't make car-surfer and other end game mods lease-able. You don't seem to understand that your hardcore endgame players are the ones spending money, like me and the group I roll with. Stop trying to make the game easier for noobs and low rank people. I didn't make it past rank 195 so some noob can get a 10 day car surfer lease and be on equal terms with me. You're making the Armas/Premium divide even bigger by shitting on the people who work hard to unlock things in this game.
    P.S. - Try not to volume block the shit out of Asylum, use out of bounds blocks instead. Maps feel way better if you're able to freely move around in them instead of blocking little areas off because you don't want people there.

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  12. Of all the cars to create a new kit for,the Vaquero? Yuck!

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  13. Why do not you allow always buy Skateboard Backpack

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  14. I agree with above people the max level players have not much to do same everytime make us bored bring the 235 max level to 295 with contacts to do also think about new stun guns and maybe some new mods also if is ever posible make the armas car with alternative colors in game like you guys have the guns if you dont like for same my armas jericho with black white and yellow maybe have it red and black in a drop down menu? You also can put one more choice of alternatives skins for weapons in step of one we can have 2 and so and so..thank you for all the work guys

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  15. sorry for bad english.
    Ithink this is one of the most interesting games of the moment, ready to explode into a worldwide success, but your only goal is to earn money. the goal of a game is to impress a player, make him happy and proud to have chosen apb. the money will come after the success, you're pulling the rope too strong and you are losing players .. if you keep it up you will fail as warock and apb.

    Tips: make 1 free basic kit for each car
    updated the search system in the game's marketplace.
    a new simple system for the report of the cheater.

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  16. Please find a solution for users of cheating. Do not try vacancies.

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  17. Finally.. your getting a bit more to the cars. or is it just for a up coming switch between the Vaquero and the crims Mikro..??

    Have you guys considered, making some kit´s for the Balkan and the Macchina Cosenza..??

    And how about, you guys make the cars a lot more customizable..??

    Make us able to choose from, soft, middel or hard car suspension.

    Be able to remove windows, doors or hoods..?
    and a engine and exhaust menu. where you can change the looks of your exhaust, and looks of your engine when the hood is off. And where you can tune your engine..

    And how about some window tint for the cars and able to put decals on them aswell..?

    All a idea, to bring that mmo street racer car look, ( like in NFS underground 1. look, just APB Style.)

    Dont know if any of this is said before.

    But as a so huge game where every thing chould be customizable, this is what i think it´s what are really needed..

    what you think guys..??

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  18. A few of my wants haven't been addressed in over a year. I think there's still a mildly vocal part of the community that is looking for audio for Cisco's, which would be nice as they are a pretty fun vehicle to drive.
    I'd like to see a way to unlock the 4th and 5th equipment slots, those have been wasted space for a long time now.
    It appears hacking is still pretty rampant in the higher tier servers, that's been an ongoing issue. Adding a hacker reporting feature is not the way to go, we've all been accused of hacking a few times by the less experienced players and giving them free reign on hack reporting wouldn't help the situation. Pester the punkbuster guys to get a little more active on this.
    Having tried asylum, I can see that there needs to be a safeguard for players spawning and immediately getting killed before having a chance to move, a few bonus seconds of invincibility would probably sort that out. 3 of my 4 joins as an enforcer had more criminal players than enforcers, and the spawn points were literally surrounded. It would be handy to have a little more to do in the chaos districts, it's very aimless and currently doesn't feel like anything is getting acheived.
    It seems like roles don't level fast enough early on. It would be nice to get slightly faster access to a few decent weapons earlier, it's fine for the high end stuff to take a while to unlock but it's taking way too long to get the early content.
    Finally, I'd really like to be able to get more inventory space somehow, clothing and vehicle space has been maxed out for some time and it's a pain having to delete a vehicle to try out a new one.

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  19. It woud be awesome if the song in the loading screen at the disco place where some guy is giving your charator a gun, it woud be able to listen to the song in the game, like from the music player in the game because i think it sounds really amazing.

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  20. gg and keep rockin our world guys :)

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  21. hmm i was thinking... cops should be able to break-in into criminal houses to get money (just like criminals do by breaking into shops), and criminals should be able to stun and take cops as hostages for ransom. (just like cops arrests criminals).
    that way the cop-criminal roles would be a little more balanced.

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    1. I agreed Alan, Would be way more balanced that way. would be more like irl.. crimes always get there hands on illegal weapons and stuff. and how the cops always are on there tail, to stop them.

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  22. I think the restriction on threat and server selection are excellent. Almost zero hacks on servers below gold threat except the occasional hack passing through. This is the biggest problem with APB and what caused me to hack myself. Now I am legit since I don't have to compete with hackers and even bought some weapons and will buy more if they are not renered ineffective against bots.

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  23. Asylum is boring now. It was perfect as a fight club. Please let it be like it was. :)

    The restriction threat is dumb and I'll tell you why. Because there isn't enough players to get good opposition all the time. So you have to wait around for 10 minutes before you get a mission... that is stupid.

    Alan has some great ideas.

    A huge bug is when a car shell (after a car has been blown up) is in front of a ladder you can't climb up! This has cost me several missions where I could have won at the last second but failed because of the car is in the way! Please let nothing block the ladders somehow in the future!

    New clothes is a must. Like a full stocking mask with no eyes so I can cover up the face completely if I want. That would be great.

    Also I would like the criminal's impact armor for enforcers. I made my character look like Iron Man and it's good but I still want that armor. With it it would be perfect.

    That's all my thoughts! Wish you guys the best of luck!

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  24. please ... criminals support APB reloaded too right ????
    take care of us ... .
    Enforcers .. have everything we do ...

    .. Give criminals their own stuff ..
    and don't tell me enforcers and criminals ..are the same .. no advantages, just the pig-gun made me quit from supporting 6 months ...

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  25. hello, firstly I apologize for my bad English.

    I'd like you to read these few observations of mine since I'm what you may call a hardcore player on APB. I've been playing for over a year now and I observed every changes on this game.

    1. I congratulate RP for the numerous modifications on the game's look. But I think, for instance, you should already prepare a new background animation for the login screen or else it will really feel dull and repetitive.
    2. I really appreciate as a mid-end pc owner the optimization works, but why don't you accept players' initiatives like player made shaders and config packs that DO work since using them significantly improved my overall performances (and many others')?
    3. I just left the game (temp I hope) because of the huge cheater population. Every 3 opposed matches or so there is at least one cheater in the opposition. Also it seems "they" are particulary found of one faction. In my humble opinion, it's maybe time to turn on your scarecrow mode. At first you should send your GMs more often with loud BGM (ride of the Valkirye for the mood) and proceed to banwaves with general broadcasts and shame list on G1 forum.
    Every one here hate them, showing no mercy to these naughty children will only be a good thing for your image and the community's mood (currently so irritated about this topic). Putting it as your top priority would reassure players like me but also the so-called "pro" players and newbies alike.

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  26. Improve the FPS and it's not optimized very well at all. Please I would like the gameplay to be smooth for me

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  27. :) best Online game ever!! :for me:

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