1.14.0 will be arriving early next week. In the meantime, we've got a quick patch to blaze the trail which includes some changes to shotguns. We’ve heard a lot of talk lately about shotgun usage, especially in gold districts; specifically, the over-application of shotguns. To be clear using shotguns is completely fine, but given that all weapons in APB have situational benefits and drawbacks, we've found that shotguns specifically, based on how they worked, were more powerful in certain situations than they should have been. In today's patch we’ve given a little bit of a rework to the way that every shotgun in the game works: Now, before everyone freaks out, this isn’t a nerf. Nor is it a buff. But it is a change.
WARNING: The following contains technical-sounding game-developey mumbo-jumbo. Proceed at your own risk.
Previously, to calculate shotgun hits, we used a center-point at the middle of the spread of the shotgun. We then put the other pellets around the outside of the point equidistantly from each other. The whole thing was then randomly rotated to give the pellets their spread. This meant we needed a very tight spread in order to get reliable shots at close ranges. The downside to this was that even at extreme ranges (25 meters and up) shotguns were too effective.
The new change defines the number of pellets being fired by the shotgun and then creates a rough circle at the target of the shotgun. The circle is then divided up into a grid and each cell receives a single pellet that’s randomly placed inside that area. Overall this increases the consistency of hitting with shotguns, and as such we've altered damage and pellet numbers for all shotguns to better balance them with this new spread pattern. The total damage output of shotguns haven't changed, but the number of pellets fired has -- most were increased, while the NFAS shoots fewer now.
The important thing to take away from this is that at close range shotguns are still going to be very strong. At ranges of around 18 meters and up -- you know, the range where you should really be thinking "Maybe I shouldn't be using a shotgun" -- you’re not going to have the same ability to deal large amounts of damage inconsistently to enemies. Another thing to note about this change is that currently you're likely to do anywhere between 10% and 80% of a player's health. Now, provided you aim accurately, you're more likely to get 40-65% damage out of each blast.
One of the best things with the shotgun changes is that this new method of calculating spread allows us to tweak shotgun damage and play in ways that simply weren't possible in the past. This will allow us to make the CSG and the JG feel a little more different than they do at the moment and should help us breathe new life into the NFAS. Give ‘em a try, we think you’ll like them -- the new Joker Mystery Box 8 includes the new 'True Ogre' variant of the NFAS with the Double Drum mod.
Also, after seeing some mentions of the engine upgrade, yes it is still proceeding along well! While these postings are primarily concerned with version 14, one of the next postings will give some further progress info on things like the engine upgrade and ongoing performance improvements.