Friday, November 22, 2013

Quick update today: I Call Shotgun!

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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

APB Version 14.0 Preview: New Breed Part 4

Welcome to the APB Reloaded blog. Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable. Today's update comes from the team on a subject that's been on everybody's mind lately: 14.0

Halloween’s over and done with and we’ve finally managed to pull ourselves out of that candy-powered-coma long enough to unveil the upcoming patch, New Breed Part 4. It’s been a long time coming, but we think that the two new contacts and the changes to vehicles will be worth the wait and add a whole new dynamic to the game.

First of all, let’s all say hello to the new contacts in Financial!

Aletta & Gumball

Aletta and Gumball are the two new contacts coming in 1.14.0. They’re specialist contacts, and have twenty levels of progression and are available to high end players. We’ve stuffed those twenty levels with clothing inventory and outfit capacity increases, unlocks for some absolutely top of the line vehicles and more brand new modifications than you’ll know what to do with. We’ve also added an unlock for the Flare Gun and some new titles to help you show everyone that you’re on the bleeding edge of progression.

Aletta and Gumball work for the Praetorian and G-Kings factions respectively and operate out of the Financial district.

Aletta’s goals are much darker than previous contacts, with other members of the Praetorians thinking that bringing her into the city might have been like opening Pandora’s box – is she going to do more harm than good in the city? Will the ends justify the means?

As for Gumball… well, he’s just in it for the explosions. Nothing burns quite like a car after ten seconds of sustained fire with an ALI-G, huh?

Vehicles, vehicles, vehicles

Both are specifically themed around vehicles. Between the Mobile Radar Tower mod (that highlights enemies near your vehicle), the Blowtorch (that burns your enemies and repairs damage to your vehicle), and the Remote Detonator which turns your beloved vehicle into a bomb on wheels, we’ve really tried to make vehicles much more important. Throw in a Muffler mod that makes your vehicle not show up on radar when you’re coasting and High Burn-Point Fuel that keeps your car from damaging you when it blows up and you're looking at some significant new vehicle-driven (no pun intended) tactics.

With all this change, though, we wanted to make sure everyone is going to stay on a level playing field. You’ll be able to buy leased versions of these modifications in the Joker store to put in your own vehicles and, from 1.14.0 on, whenever you point your reticule at a player vehicle, you’ll be able to see what modifications are on it. That way, you’ll know who’s got the radar tower, who’s got the spawn point and who’s got the ammo resupply. Prioritise targets and play tactical.

This is just a small slice of what's coming. Keep checking back for even more information on what you'll be able to find when 1.14.0 hits next week!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Halloween Idol Contest Winners!

The contest entries this year were so incredible I want to puke. In a good way. Like, it makes me nauseous to look at how good they all were. To everyone who participated, you've all outdone yourselves. There were over 500 submissions and all of them stellar beyond belief.

That meant 500 agonizing decisions.

Picking winners was not easy. There were very few disqualifications for not following the rules, and there were a fair number of entrants who took ‘pop culture’ as literal as possible, giving us some great music-personality themed submissions. As far as the judging went, we interpreted pop-culture as broadly as possible here; if your submission was recognizable to us from anything we’d have read, seen, watched, or played, it was considered valid. Submissions were evaluated fiercely on the following criteria:

  • How closely they matched their source material
  • Overall level of effort
  • Commitment to the character; this included anything like props, billboards, posing, or anything that really sold the character

So let’s get this started, shall we?


Because ALL of the submissions were of such insanely high quality, everyone who participated is getting 3 days of Premium and a Power Joker Mystery Box 7. Bam. That just happened.


Even though narrowing it down to the final winners was so difficult, we wanted to expand the prizes to include everyone we thought still did an exceptional job.Honorable Mentions will receive 1,000 G1C for their effort!


Atropine :: Fran Solo
Bombay :: Lilith
JakeHUN :: Nesquik Bunny
heysie :: McFly
Quemero :: Cyborg Superman
WeiShen :: Wei Shen
Miieena :: Mileena
TomBass :: Michael Jackson
SpittinBitch :: Ellie
CryinBitch :: Lara
CodeRed :: Ghost Buster
LslaSanguis :: Nicki Minaj
DrManfattan :: RoboCop
BannedKalyndria :: Pink Power Ranger
MakkeFett :: Boba Fett
Divlja :: Nova
Ivey :: Rogue
Fid :: Daft Punk


Ayyash & Apoplexy :: Legion Recruit and the Burned Man


xTech, Shadow007, & DarkStar0 :: Hatake Kakashi, Naruto, & Pain
FreddyKruegar, Jigsavv, jasonVoorheas, xCHUCKY :: Freddy Krueger, Jigsaw, Jason Voorhees, & Chucky



Doomed Space Marine (sorry couldn't help myself!)

Driver (+ hauntingly awesome slow-mo dance sesh)

Crysis Nanosuit

Vaas Montenegro (with such great posing I can hear him now! Warning: Explicit language)


ArtemKirillov and Abssento
Scorpion and Sub Zero

UrdontWrex & HalfxLife
Best buds Duke Nukem and Gordon Freeman! 
I...I really want to play this crossover game now


BlacklightITA, TheWarX, Cobra97ITA, AllCriminalsAreB
the Beatles

Tsaki23, Drharleenquinzel, Lance, and SPO3BuRaDoR
Ash, Pikachu, and Team Rocket

Dessal, Rutherus, and WookieeMan
Captains James Tiberius Kirk, Jean Luc Picard, and Benjamin Lafayette Sisko


Note: All winners per category are listed in no particular order. Winners and Honorable Mentions are going out now and should be delivered to all participants within 48 hours. Participant Awards may take slightly longer. Thank you for your patience.


Again we want to thank everyone for participating. I think this was the best costume contest yet!

On another note, 1.14.0 will be arriving soon. Check back early next week for a sneak preview of some of the upcoming stuff!