Friday, January 25, 2013

New Year New Stuff!

It's January and now that everyone is back in the office from the Holidays (or recovering from the epidemic flu season going around) - we are picking up full steam ahead on all sorts of projects.

Server and game optimization, 1.10.1 patch update, Hit Squad Clan Event 2, Joker Jackpot, San Paro Royalty Event, and upcoming plans for Valentines Day! We are starting off the New Year right by working on a bunch of new stuff for all of you.  And part of our New Year's Resolution includes informing our community more frequently about all of the stuff we are working on as we are working on them.

So what's this 1.10.1 patch we speak of?  Our Dev Team has been focusing on various Weapon Balance modifications, crouching modifications, a couple new Weapon Skins, and some minor bug fixes. We are looking at releasing this patch in a few weeks time.

For a more in depth discussion about the Weapon Balancing and other modifications we've asked Qwentle to comment:


Written by Qwentle
(Lead Designer APB Reloaded)

1-10-1 Weapon Balance

Afternoon guys,

I promised an update prior to the Christmas release but getting those elves into their costumes and ready to go outside took a little longer than anticipated, so I’ll just talk about what we’re working on now.

As promised, we’ll be making a number of balance changes to APB: Reloaded in our next patch, mainly concerning Damage over Range and Crouch heights.

Damage Falloff

Currently we have an ‘Effective Range’ distance, which determines at what distance weapons do their maximum damage. From this point, the damage they do falls linearly down to 35% at the weapons maximum range, which for almost every weapon is 100m. This means we have a damage graph like so.

For 1.11.0, we’ll be adding a further stat, ‘MinimumDamageRange’, while also adding the ability to adjust the minimum damage on a per-weapon value. This allows us a lot more flexibility when determining damage over range, especially for weapons we want to be fairly accurate, but quite low range (i.e. the Joker Carbine and the Nano). It will also allow us to add a more effective niche for sniper rifles, making them the only weapons effective over 85m (I’m also currently playing around with having a 150% effective range on the DMR, making it a 2 shot at extreme ranges and a 3 shot at closer, but I’ve not committed to this yet).

This gives us damage graphs more like the following:

This means weapons fall better into their range niches, with snipers dominating extreme range conflicts, and longer range weapons beating out hybrid weapons such as the Carbine at mid-ranges.

We’ll also be making a number of individual balance tweaks on the weapons, but as these are still being play tested, we’ll wait until they are finalised before revealing the changes.

Crouch Heights

The other thing we're looking to address with this patch is the crouch heights of players. Currently the hit-box for players when crouched is significantly taller than their player, even for large characters. As such you can often shoot at players that are very deep behind cover by aiming above their heads and checking the reticule colour. This is because when players move while in a crouch state their models rise significantly (as they’re standing on the balls of their feet).

To solve this we’ll be adding a third hit-box which will take effect when the player is crouched but not moving, that will be significantly smaller than the current crouched hit-box. This allows the player to fully hide behind most pieces of low cover around San Paro, and they’ll be safe from incoming fire that would previously hit them, but only as long as they don’t move. 


As mentioned earlier, we also have a few different Community events going on this month.  Seeing as we'd like to continue fostering more Clan-based activity, we decided to launch "Round 2" of our Hit Squad Clan Event.

From our first Hit Squad Clan Event, we received a lot of good feedback from the community.  It seems a lot of players were given an opportunity to group up and meet with new people.  There were a lot of new Clans which formed and some older Clans recruiting new players too.

Round 2 offers some of the same rewards from the first event. That includes free Joker Boxes for participants who simply complete the required number of Missions, and for the top Clans per server a "Clan Shout Out" (in-game broadcasts for their World). 

This time though instead of using Backpacks as our random drawing prize, we thought it would be interesting to change it up with Joker Tickets. It's kind of an indirect introduction of Joker Tickets becoming a reward for Action District Missions. Currently, they are only obtainable through Fight Club Missions, but as we mentioned before, we have plans to have them for Action District Missions too.

San Paro Royalty Event rewards players for finding players in game who have won the elusive Crown from Joker Distribution.  If you saw these "Kings" and "Queens" on the streets of San Paro and took a screen of them you would be rewarded.  And if you get the San Paro Royalty to emote you could earn more rewards.
A simple sighting event that everyone could participate in was what we had in mind, which also gave some recognition to those who worked hard to earn Crowns.

While those events are coming to a close soon, we are already brewing up some events and contests for next month.  Stay tuned for our next post where we'll be sharing more details on how we'll be celebrating Valentines Day in San Paro this year!