Sunday, January 23, 2011

End of Week 10 Update : Busting some Punks?

Alright - the time has come to start having the rest of the team start chiming in on the development to help shed more light on what's actually happening under the surface. First up is Johann, who originally had worked on the PB integration for the original release, and is now responsible for the overall anti-hack/anti-cheat detection for the game as a whole. My plan is to let key members share their ideas on this blog regularly, and hopefully that will spark some interesting discussions.

Johann - take it away:


Busting some Punks
by Aphadon
Hi, I’m Johann aka ‘Aphadon’ - previously a Living City / AI Engineer for Realtime Worlds, and now a ‘Pretty-Much-Anything’ Engineer on APB Reloaded. When TechMech recently asked the team if we’d like to share anything on the blog, I thought I’d take the opportunity to discuss in greater detail our plans for addressing the cheating problem. This is a subject we are quite passionate about, and while it may be virtually impossible to ever win the war against cheaters completely, we certainly intend to give it our best shot.
But before I get into the details of where we stand with that now, let me start off by explaining a bit of the development history. 

We originally integrated PunkBuster into APB in January 2009. After this was completed, it was disabled and essentially left untested until near the end of Closed Beta (~ April 2010), since it was not deemed an essential feature to enable before launch. However when we finally did turn it on, we were caught off guard by a whole bunch of unexpected issues. Many people were getting kicked due to PunkBuster configuration problems, the servers were hitting lag spikes upwards of 10 seconds every few minutes (we used to joke internally and call them “lag mountains” since they were too big to be called spikes), and some people even reported BSOD’s starting on the day we turned it on. So in a nutshell,  it was quite a mess.

We were forced to disable PunkBuster again straight away until we could fix it, and ended up launching the game with it turned off. I offered to help out at this point since the developers in charge of PunkBuster at the time were tied up with other work, and I spent the next two months working closely with Even Balance to track down and fix the majority of issues. We eventually managed to turn it back on without issues for a few weeks before the servers were shut down, and -  contrary to what the aimbot sites would have you believe - during that period PunkBuster was able to successfully detect every single commercially available aimbot for APB. Over 1000 cheating players were silently identified and logged by the system, but unfortunately RTW was already having financial difficulties by then and we never had the opportunity to get our hands on the list of cheaters to ban them (since once you stop paying the people with the info, they are unlikely to give it to you).

Fast forward to today, and we’ve just completed a full upgrade of PunkBuster to the very latest version. I’ve been going over the issues we’ve seen before, and Even Balance is confident that all of them will be fixed in this version, along with new and improved detection methods and many other behind-the-scenes improvements in addition to Punk Buster alone. We also plan to have anti-cheating enabled on all servers from the very start of Closed Beta, allowing us to get as much testing done as possible. That way if any more surprises turn up, we should have more than enough time to fix them.

Ok, the non-technical people may wake up again now.  The next bit of information I’d like to share is our proposed banning policy. This isn’t set in stone yet, and some parts of it may not even be finished during beta, but this is what we would like to work towards: 

If a player is positively identified as running a known aimbot, he/she will be immediately kicked from the district and a notification message will be sent to all other players in that district. The cheater’s account and PC will be immediately banned for a period of time, during which the person will not be able to play using that account on any computer. If an aimbot is detected a second time, the account and computer will immediately be permanently banned, all monies paid will be forfeited and any upgrades or customizations will be revoked. 

This might seem quite harsh, but there really is no excuse for aimbotting and this time around it will be treated with zero tolerance. We believe this policy will cut down on cheating significantly, and ensure a fairer and more fun experience for everyone.

Next week I believe Qwentle - our Designer - should have a somewhat more light-hearted post to share with you, containing some juicy tidbits about what we’ve been up to recently (aside from plotting the doom of cheaters, that is).

Johann / Aphadon.


There you have it. Many thanks to Aphadon for sharing, and as he is alluding to, there are actually in this build going to be things other than Punk Buster to help keep the playing field level. What are those? Who knows :) What we all do know - we take game cheating extremely seriously. At some point we want to introduce bullet-proof vests, and for that to work, we clearly need headshots also be something you can actually achieve.

And everyone should realize that downloading hacks (even commercial ones) almost always entails installing a keylogger and malware on your own machine. Why anyone would ever do that is beyond us.

Til next week,


  1. I sincerely hope you are joking about the bullet proof vests and head shots. While there are certainly an appeal to the skill-oriented increase in take-down speed, when APB first launched, and lacked head shots, it actually felt quite REFRESHING. The difficulty required to hit targets was still enough to require aiming well and the combat became more about good aiming, good movement, and clever positioning, rather than the frustration of dying instantly to a random stray round.

    On a lighter note, good to hear about Punkbuster! Even when you weren't directly fighting a cheater (which was rare) there was always building suspicion of cheating when met with a skill gap, so much that all manner of polite conduct and sportsmanship went out the window, as your opponent shouted profanities at your corpse over the mic after every fight. With PB working better and bans going out, hopefully San Paro will become a little more polite, a little more fair, and a lot more violent :D

  2. Great News!!! I hate cheaters. I can not wait for next week. You guys are doing an amazing job. Thanks to all.

  3. OVER a 1,000! hahaha and all you cheaters were still getting pwnd, hahahaha well spent money there, good job noobs! hahahaha

    "At some point we want to introduce bullet-proof vests, and for that to work, we clearly need headshots also be something you can actually achieve."

    I'm not falling for it this time TechMech! pfft, yeah right...

    GRRRRR! Headshots restricted to a ruleset maybe, but best not be in all rulesets!

  4. please, please, PLEASE do not implement instant kill headshots. Giving every weapon 1HKO capabilities would turn actions like dismounting cars, opening doors or doing anything mission-related into a luck based task, hoping that your opponent is not aiming at the exact point of your head while you're in the middle of the animation. Not to mention that weapons like the NTEC, the OBIR and the STAR will turn into magical death machines considering they have a fast firing rate with a relatively small bloom, a good accuracy while in sniping mode, a long firing range and a hit-on-the-spot first bullet on each burst. Basically, giving every weapon a 1HKO capability would ironically kill the sniper rifle, which is the first gun that come to mind when you think about headshots.

    What you CAN do to implement headshots and keep them balanced would be turning headshots into critical hits (1.5x damage perhaps?), which would give 1HKO capabilities only to certain weapons (snipers, shotguns). It won't punish players for getting off cars and performing actions that require time, but it would still reward those with a good aim.

    Besides, forcing everyone to buy bulletproof vests would kill character customization, as everyone would walk around with the same outfit to avoid being at disadvantage.
    HP and defense perks already perform well in that regard, and don't force your character to look like an hedgehog. Just leave it be.

  5. great news about punkbuster, i hated being called "hacker" and apart from what people believed APB did not had that much people cheating also nice to hear that you warning people about the cheat programs having keylogger capability cause they do :/

    headshots don't sound like it will fit the game actually, people will get slaughtered :p

  6. I'm all for a headshot system, when I was trying to convince my friends to buy the original apb I played with them on my account, they enjoyed the game but the bulletproof cars, lack of hitboxes and the fact that blown up cars couldn't be used as cover were deal breakers for them. Adding a headshot system would also give a newbie a chance to kill the higher level players in a spray fest that would usually end in whoever had the highest monolith level/ most slots on their gun. Whether we like it or not if we want APB to continue we really should be looking into pulling some of the fps gamers.

  7. As long as said "bullet-proof vests" are presented in the form of a character upgrade or perk then go for it, but if it's going to be an aesthetic item for characters as well then any point on making torso customizations just went out the windows.

    I'm 50/50 about headshots. Headshots reward players with the skill to aim and land a headshot but at the same time anyone can score a lucky headshot. I'd like to know if you're putting headshots on certain guns or all guns to make a proper judgement about that though.

  8. I haven't commented on much stuff, but man, I can't wait for this to come out. I've signed me and like 10 buddies up for closed beta, we really hope to get in. Love the bulletproof vest idea, although I hope it won't make things too unfair. Either way, I'm really not going to decide whether additions will make the game good or bad at this point -- I haven't actually played it yet! At least, not the GamersFirst version. I played over 2nm00 hours of the original APB.

  9. It's nice to hear some backstory about the hacking complaints from someone who used to work for Realtime Worlds. :D
    I don't think I ever encountered a single cheater in the game, but complaints in district chat were getting so bad that I wondered if I had just managed to bypass the entire issue somehow. It sounds like the situation would have been alleviated if RTW had just had more time...
    Thanks again for the update. :D I have to admit, I don't know how they would affect gameplay, but headshots would be fun. xD

  10. @Ehlo If people actually followed the age recommendation, I don't think there would have been half as much "OMG OBVIOUS CHEATER"-spam. :)

    Great news overall, headshots would be nice, but it would be just as nice without them. Bulletproof vests on the other hand would kill customization, unless you make it possible to visually hide it or make it an upgrade (as someone already said).

    Looking forward to next weeks update! :)

  11. As someone who played APB from launch till the last day the server stayed up, all I can say to you is THANK YOU SO SO MUCH. Hackers were so rampant throughout the game it was ridiculous. The first couple of days that punkbuster was enabled, while terribly laggy, everything felt balanced for a while. And I think its great that you will publicly list players that get kicked for cheating. Realtime Worlds policy on that was dumbfounding. Over 1000 cheaters is a lot when you figure La Rocha had less than that many players near the end of APB's lifetime.

    And I'm glad the ability to make headshots is being added in. It was a bit disappointing, as someone who plays a lot of shooters, that head shots, body shots, and limb shots all dealt the same damage.

    One last thing. One of the last patches, I recall, removed some items from criminals/enforcers and made them class specific. In particular, bullet proof vests were made enforcer only. Will that be fixed to allow both criminals and enforcers to wear them? Same with the bustier. Why would they limit clothing options for each class, I never understood that?

    Anyway, keep up the great work guys. I really cant wait to get back into San Paro.
    And one more thing

  12. "If your caught aimbotting you get a warning temp ban"? "That may seem quite harsh"?!? ARE YOU F___ING KIDDING ME! BAN THEM PERMANENTLY THE FIRST TIME. IP BAN THEM, GET THERE ADDRESS AND SUE THEM. Crist... A WARNING BAN. SO F___ING DUMB..

  13. Like most people i don't agree w/ the bullet proof vest.

    As for the headshots i say critical damage instead of instant kill like someone suggested

  14. 1.IMHO the cheating is the first thing that developers have to think of.So I'm really glad that You're trying to prevent accidents of cheating.

    2.Headshot?First time I played APB I was surprised that I can't kill somebody in 1 shot,it looked unreal...but if U make the 1 shot system for every weapon the battles won't be interesting at all.For example Rifles and Submachine guns damage a big area and so even accidentally some people will kill others with 1 shot just shooting at the area close to the opponent's head.
    From the other side there was a wonderful weapon in the game called Sniper Rifle to kill an opponent using it players had to hit him twice...the weapon has a slow reload so while U were reloading the enemy just ran away from you.
    So IMHO the only weapon that deserves to have a 1 shot system is Sniper Rifle because it's really difficult to hit a moving target from the big distance right to the head and it will be really fair to SMGs and Rifles abilities.

    P.S. Thank You guys for reviving APB ^_^

  15. Punkbuster - epic win and justice! I mean, I dont think it was as bad as people were saying but I did encounter my fair share of aimbotters. Im also glad to hear youll give them a warning shot first, and then ban them if they do it again. They cant say you didnt give them opertunity to redeem themselves, which is about as fair as you can be really =)

    Bulletproof Vests - As an upgrade yes, but not if it's going to be a physical piece of clothing, because that would tie customisation to combat, which is not a good thing in any way, shape or form.

    Headshots / more hit boxes - I can only see two possible ways to implament this.

    A) Keep hitboxes a fixed size. This would lead to much confusion as the head hitbox will end up being above or below the head on many players due to customisation of character height, or

    B) Make it variable with character height, in which case GL;HF convincing people not to create anorexic migets and completly killing any and all customisation in the game (again, tying customisation to combat is not a good thing)

    So unless you guys have some uber-smart third option, don't even attempt to put headshots into the game because with either of those two solutions (and quite frankly, I can't see how else you could do it) it will just end in instant frustration and phailure for everyone. So please, reconsider this =(

    Oh, and before anyone says "go back to WoW" - I'm a hardcore FPSer, have been ever since the UT99 days ;) I love headshots as much as the next person, but I can't see them working with APB's customisation system. This is a sentiment shared by most of us on the forums, just for the record ;)

  16. I don't think that headshot is a good idea. Maybe (MAYBE!) it will be good to lower damage for shots in the leg and arm slightly but headshots will make gunfights less enjoyable. For instance, torso and head have 1x damage multityper, legs (below knee) have 0.75x damage from normal and arms have 0.85x damage. Then again, this may only apply to bullet damage, not to grenades and other explosives.

    P.S. A quick question for next week.
    1) What kind of editor is used for creating and editing district maps? Just curious in case users in future may contirube their own districts into APB.
    2) Shortly before classic APB shut down develpoers allowed 100 players per district (like in beta). That immediately fixed matcmaking system - will APB:R allow 100 players instead of 80 per distric?

  17. love they way cheaters will be dealt whit .there is no reason to cheat so why give more then one chance to remove it .. GOOD WORK !!!!
    but is PB going to auto ban players ? sens im guessing you dont have peapol to look over 1k off peapol ,sens it probly gona be tons of reporst on cheating asalways , will you have peapol on the apb R team that will look for new cheater programs and test them on "closed" servers ??? so if i new program comes out you will be able to fight it aswell ....
    any more news on cloed beta relese ??!?!?! cant w8 to go back to the best game ever made!!!
    im serius dieing over here i tryied playing everything from SC2 to black ops borderlands NFSP HP , GTA , but non off them have what apb has :D

  18. Someone who will stop cheaters i like it .

    Cheaters ruined the game, now its time for fair play.

  19. Loving this. With PB functioning properly, APB should be a little more fun. Of course, PB may not be the best anti-cheat software, but it gets the job done.

    I like the idea of having actual protective gear (like vests and helmets), and head shots to boot, but I'm not sure it should be implemented in APB as a whole. A rule set for that would be better, if you can do that. The only issue I know of for implementing head shots is the player count versus hit boxes, and for that I say just cut the pop. cap. in half for that rule set. Again, I know absolutely nothing about what would make the implementation of extra hit boxes difficult, so yeah...

    I was curious if APB will ever see larger conflicts; 4v4 is fun, but 8v8 is great, so 16v16 could be absolutely beast. Will we ever see that? I like the idea of a constant escalation in conflict, and APB would be a great stage for that.

  20. In case you go for implementing headshots, please please please create a new ruleset for that. The old gameplay was untypical for a FPS, but since APB is not a FPS we do not really need headshots.

    But great news about PB and how you will handle cheaters in future.
    Bust these Punks!

    Looking forward to reading Qwentle's post next week! Hope he brings some good news.

  21. Great! Let's kick theire motherf__king ass cheaters!

  22. Fucking Nice Johann, that's the way for cheaters to fall, i like the rullset of getting ONE Chance of making it right, or you get totally Kickt for cheating.

    I really most say, i am glad that you guys have bayed APB to save it, i really like this game, and it have soooo much potential

  23. From the first APB release I never liked cheaters.. especially aimboters!!...
    if protection works I will be very thanksfull to you guys.

    Can't wait to play APB;R

    In game nick: Krrris

  24. All sounds very well. Here it is in black and white that apb had cheaters and still some insist that they never seen any. Maybe all the cheaters were in La Rocha , I dunno.

    I like the fact that not only will PB be watchin out for cheaters, you guys have some hidden ace up your sleeve that will help too.

    I like how GTA4 does body armor, it treats it as a consumable pickup but doesn't change appearances.

    Head shots at least when the game first re opens is not a good idea. Lets show the cheaters we will not tolerate them first and then maybe implement headshots in certain rulesets later, cause aimbot+headshot=unplaYable APB.

    I feel the say way the guy a few posts up does, trying every game I can get my hands on to fill my need for some APB action but nothings working.

    Cant wait till CB.

  25. Beta is a perfect time to test both ideas. I like the idea of a headshot or more critical area to shoot. Not so sure about bullet proof vests though. Either way, Im loving the fact that we are at least kept up to speed as to whats happening behind the scenes. I was truly sad the day I could no longer sign in to APB anymore. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to splitting a few heads in Beta.


  26. I indeed experienced - like everyone, I assume - a lot of lag with PB on. It quite surprised me though to read that you're planning to use it once again in Reloaded. But hey, if you guys say it should work without lag now, I'm happy to hear it and I'll believe you without any doubt.

    *Counts down to 'end' February*

    Anyone interested in a left pinkie in exchange for a key <3?

  27. Also, I see a lot of people disagree with headshots, and I'm one of them. Implanting headshots and bulletproof vests would change 2 major things in the game:

    1. You would score more kills sitting in a certain spot aiming for their heads than hanging out of a car. And hanging out of a car is WAY cooler.

    2. Snipers would become OP.. Don't get me wrong, sniping was okay with the 95% dmg in APB (with upgrades), but I would assume a headshot would mean instakill, since a nonheadshot was already 95% of their HP. Now, in most games snipers can indeed oneshot, but it wouldn't fit in APB.. A headshot while people hang out of cars or stop to get inside one would be too easy, and everyone would gain a sniper.

    PLEASE, don't add headshots!

  28. Fail....

    There's no excuse for not having an insta ban policy for first time offences.

    It might be better from a financial stand point given the free-to-play payment model... "right we caught you hacking, dont do it again, but please spend monies with us" infact i'm pretty sure that's why.

    You suck to put it bluntly.

    Worst blogpost yet.

  29. i wounder what your going to do about grifers that will be atleast 10X more now when it F2P , imean peapol probly gona make second accounts just for stuff like that to harras ram and what not to mess whit peapol .. something i realy want is a Premium server for the more serius gamers so we dont have to deal whit all grifers that will be around ... atleast the first few weeks .

  30. I can honestly say this is excellent news. I think it is because of the hackers that RTW now is no more and the industry is suffering because of the loss of this combined talent and ground breaking design team. I wish these hackers would all just go do one and never play PC games again. Why hack? it is obvious they are doing it. They spend money on a game and then again spend money on a hack. What is the actual point in paying to cheat? are these people so retarded that they think they need to cheat to have more fun? do they think it makes them look better? infact they look like fukin retards and i do not wish them well and i do not hope they have a great time.

    Ok rant over for now..
    Sorry for the language but they did kill off the original APB so its pretty hard to feel anything but pure anger towards these scum bastard people and the people who make these systems.

    Come on G1/RTW staff !! Lets get back to san paro and have a greta time and the hackers can drool at our pleasure in seeing them all get publicly humiliated with a live face to face banning!

  31. Had to wait for class to get out to read this and loved it.

    I HATE CHEATERS, I believe gamers need to have honor, I actually write about this in this article "Gaming is destroying itself" (I know i have spoken of this before, if you care to read in depth here's the link (

    Anyway Johann I would love to meet you. It's so good to hear PB will be running right away, I mean I loved the game even with the cheaters as I could deal with them (cause APB was awesome), but to hear how your dealing with the cheaters makes me happy.

    I think cheaters should be punished hard, I mean the warning system is a great idea, and letting people know that person was hacking on the server, brilliant, infact you should make a list on a website, I know i will want to do an article on my friend's site (san paro post) with a list.

    You know what would make it better, is if you got that list of hackers from the originally APB, and banned them from the start, or atleast remove any perks, or atleast closed beta access, cheatings, cheating, and i don't think anyone should do it. So I am glad to hear you punishing them so severe.

    As for the headshots, that sounds awesome, I used the HVR, that was my weapon of choice on both characters (that was the Sniper Rifle for all who forgot), that gun was usually very hard to use when playing 1 v 1 as by the time I could get the second shot off I was dead. But I could see an issue with that bullet proof other words, noobs don't have it, the elite veterans do, they farm noob, while the noobs have no chance of winnning. If you could balance it I would love it, and the headshots still would be AMAZING! (Again I love my HVR, so...)

    So thanks for another update and thinking of us the gamer, PB will be nice and I am glad you are being this hard on cheaters as they are getting carried away. And for the headshot, would love to see that to, but I would rather see a fair game, even if that means I don't do as well.

    AngelofD4rkness - Zombie
    M3dusa - Zombie
    (oh btw please help me and my friend and check out, you'll like it)

  32. Whoa! Whoa! WHOA! Did you just hint at bringing hitboxes to APB? No thanks. Headshots although appealing as they are certainly one of the reasons i thinked APB shined. The R289 wasn't killing newbie R10 with stars from down range with a single dome shot. The overall combat without head shots was significantly improved being that it leveled the playing field with all the weapons OCA Vs Sniper,etc. Now a district deicated to headshots sounds valid possibley the chaos district although that sounds pretty unfair.

    Great news about punkbuster, was it possible to retireve the old list? You are paying the bills now! :P 1000+ cheaters thats pretty depressing since the last few weeks it was only 10-50 people in the action districts and to know so many were still being logged at that point dissapoints me.

    By the way.. are you guys doing anytthing about the guys who would grab a garbage truck and camp the gas station and kill/blowup other peoples cars even though they weren't related to their mission? It was pretty fun to do in those last few days since thats all that you could do (it was 6/1 crims on for me) but during legitimate missions it was pretty painstaking.

    Keep up with the updates that one little sentence about headshots certainly sparked a little fire in our bellies.

  33. I believe that bullet proof vests would only work if you could still shoot people from the waist down, arms, and head. I also believe that the whole headshot seems like it would make the game better it would dramatically mess it up unless it did more damage and what not. It's not realistic although this is a game and this can ruin the feel to it.

  34. Ehh... PB is shit. No game I used it on it did any good, in fact it often detected hacks on people that never had any and kicked them. Combine that with your automatic ban idea and much fail incoming. I'm sure the company behind PB assures you everything will be great... just as they assure all other game companies that use PB that it'll be fine. Most public servers turn it off because it lags, doesn't detect hacks and 'detects' hacks when there are no hacks...

    What happened to the days of non-lazy developers that made their own cheat protection...

    And headshots...?
    HEADSHOTS favor hacking/cheating. Headshots favor aimbots. DONT do it.

    Bad update is bad

  35. Loving the new stance on cheaters. Especially like having their name announced!

  36. Yea, I agree it's the worst update till now. I'm sorry, but no one wants headshots, bulletproof vests or the laggy PB. Neither do people want to see hackers gone for just a few days.

    Also, is there a chance for "premium servers"? I don't mean big advantages over normal players, but one of my biggest concerns will be griefing and hacking by people that don't care about their accounts because the game is free.


  37. I was really into APB from launch and two things I most enjoyed were having no random headshots to deal with, and that a character had no functional requirements limiting its appearance. These features made fights more interesting strategically and tactically, and let people really be free to play with the customization options that APB offers. I think functional vests and headshots will be a bad thing for the game. I also think weapon and player upgrades were a bad thing for the game in the way that an insurmountable gear gap developed over time but that was supposed to be addressed in the "true skill" district. I would be interested in hearing G1's stance on upgrades because, with respect, at least as they were in the original game they are the next worst idea after headshots and vests.

  38. I'm not okay with instant kill headshots. 1.5 critical damage is fine, and an indicator for the critical should show up for the shooter and the victim as well like a yelp, and an exclamation point for the shooter.

    I'm also cool with bulletproof vests? Should they be a consumable (i.e. Armor Points), or a character upgrade? Personally, I think they should be an upgrade that allows you to wear a consumable that reduces damage from certain guns. Of course, this should reduce mobility.

    You guys do plan on having downsides to upgrades I hope. Right?

    I also like JYamamoto's idea of having the battle constantly escalate into higher and higher numbers. Part of the thrill of APB was calling for backup, and then it comes, then the enemies gets backup, etc. Within minutes you had an 8v8 going all revolving around a briefcase and it ends in a 6 car pileup on the freeway. That kind of thrill is what I adored about APB and I hope you guys consider allowing some missions to support bigger battles.

    I'm loving this blog, thanks for keeping us in touch.

    DakotaTroy - La Rocha

  39. Eh, Punk Buster has issues even with people who don't hack so I don't think you should delete their account permanently instead ban them but keep their information and if they were not hacking there should be a webpage where you can submit a ticket to reopen your account. If they get busted again then you can delete there account.

    As for headshots and bulletproof vests headshots should only work with bolt action sniper rifles not semi-auto and bulletproof vests should not be completely bulletproof it should just protect you a bit more in the area. And another thing I remember reading on the old RTW APB forums that every character has a certain hitbox (big or small fat or skinny) so with this implemented I have no idea how you could put headshots in the game unless each character gets their own hitbox which wouldn't be a good idea because then everyone would just be small and skinny so they can't get shot as easy. Another problem with PunkBuster coming from a former hacker (I don't do it anymore but I used to hack for some flash games a long time ago, I never did for APB) a PunkBuster bypasser combined with something as simple as Cheat Engine or a .dll could hack the vests to make them never break.

    Take these things into mind.

  40. After all i've read about this new launch of APB, i would pay double price for the game.
    It hurt me to see the first one go down in flames, even with all of the hackers crawling up my ass. At least those sorry hacking bastards will have a tougher fight this time around with an improved PB on our side.
    As previously stated by some others, i don't really think headshots will go to well with APB. I'm a Call of Duty fan and love getting headshots, but headshots in a third-person shooter like this would frustrate me. Maybe just give snipers headshot abilities... and a scope? I always hated the people shooting me with a revolver and insta-switching to a sniper and capping my ass before i noticed i got shot. If you had to scope in with snipers, that'd be epic. It could make them see much further and make them feel more of a unique weapon.
    As for the bullet proof vests, it's a neat idea. But it would highly degrade character customization if you HAD to show it. Having a bullet proof vest could be like having 1 1/2 times normal health? Maybe 2x..but that seems a bit much considering upgrades. Maybe you even need to buy a bullet proof vest each time your other one gets riddled with holes(Like buying grenades, except you only get one) O_o

  41. Bulletproof vests could be ok if there is some kind of drawback. Let's say u get 5, 10 or 20% damage reduction but you are 5, 10 or 20% slower.

  42. I really dislike the idea of instant kill headshots in a game like APB. I agree with the increased damage instead. And as for the bullet proof vest...I think it should degrade and split your health damage with stamina damage. So if you keep getting shot you'll slow down and then get stunned, like in real life if you got shot with a vest you aren't gonna be running around.

  43. after thinking about the deal whit headshots and the vest , it has been going up and down all day for me and i think most peapol are right on that ,we dont need headshots in apb i think we all love the fights just they way they was before closeing it down . imean we wouldent be here if it wasent for that , and a vest ... isent there enought whit the health slots and all that but as im now typeing this i remembers somthing that did kind off piss me off and this might upset a few enf´s but why should crim´s have to use one off there upgrade slots for extra stamina when then enf´s kan just go whit health upgrades imean that means crims gona have to use one slot for that stamina boost that enf´never have to think about . and back to the vest haveing a vest and trying to stun someone ,,, i say good luck whit that :P shooting sad bag and tasers on to a vest ... nahhh dont think so .so pleas just skip that vest and headshot ,apb was never about that and never going to ,and still you can aim for the head if you now are so HS horny i know ido :P

  44. Good too see the hackers will be dealt with! I especially like how it will be announced over the whole district.
    Sunday is my favorite day right now lol, hoping for some closed beta invites soon :)!! Maybe in 2 weeks?!
    Thanks for the reply on my last message. I did not know you represent GamerFirst and my respect level has risen to an all out high.

  45. Wonderful news about PunkBuster; thank you, guys.

  46. I am very to happy to hear that Punk Buster had detected pretty much all the aimbot hacks in the past. It's good news to see that this time around it will be enabled along with other methods right form the start. I hope to be able to test the effects it has on performance etc. during beta.

    Also I agree with other people that you are not being overly harsh. You could be banning people on the first offense. The thing is I can understand giving them a temporary ban the first time, to give them a second chance, but most people hacking probably hack in almost every game they play, so it would be nice to see them take a real hit for it, and get perma banned, account and IP - the first offense.

    With aimbot type hacks actually under control the bullet-proof vests and headshots could be awesome.

  47. I really like the hard rules about cheating. Actually, at my time of APB, I didn't experience many cheaters to be honest.

    I actually liked the _IDEA_ about bullet proof vests but I don't like how it will affect the game. In APB you want to take advantage of the great customization of the game. By that I mean that you want to both look good and stroke enforcer asses (in my case).

    I must have missed it in the update, but in another comment here I read that perhaps there will be one headshot = kill and I'm pretty much against that. That would make a sniper useless, because you can probably run in with a god damn OCA-EW and just hope for a headshot.


  48. bann and publish cheater?...GREAT!
    Pin them onto a wall 4ever, bann their names 4ever, find out adress over ip-adress, shoot them to the moon ;)

    bulletproof vests?... NO WAY!
    I hope this isn´t just to sell something more?! Looks bad and kills the good gameplay it was

    headshot hitbox?... PLEASE NO!
    Snipers get nearly no chance to hit from greater distance when they wearing vests too

    CB-invites?... PLEASE NOW! ;)


  49. I dunno guys, i'd much rather see a more immerssive cover system than head shots first. Something akin to the original Gears maybe, but idealy i really enjoyed gunplay in Mafia II, and if that kinda cover could be brought into the game, it'd make it an overall more intriguing and tactical experience.


    Not harsh enough, once a cheater ALWAYS a cheater, if your caught using a hack, that account and PC should be banned for life!

  51. It is good to hear that you are taking the botter problem seriously and dealing with it as it was becoming a real problem in the end, to the point where they would actually announce; "what's RTW going to do ban us.." no, but GF will. 8)
    As to the armor and HS, well as I have always played a sniper when I first started playing APB I was stunned the first time I shot someone in the head with a HVR and they did not die, instead they turned around and at sniper range shot me with a pistol.... WTH?

    After the amazement wore off I continued to play from Gold to death and began to appreciate why there were no HS in APB, because the game style does not and will not support it and because of the lag having to keep track of the multiple hit boxes would cause to the system (lags everyone in the area). That's why the 80 player limit, because keeping up with a full body collision box was taxing enough, but to add body part collision boxes.... I would rather have large instances 80-100 players than be forced to smaller 10-30 player instances (districts) to allow for body/HS.

    As far as armor, well your marking people have already told you that this can/will be a premium item that people will pay for, and as you need to make money on APBR it will be a good Moneystore item. Please Just, make it consumable and no more that 50% dmg absorption; IE: a base vest has 100 HP and absorbs 10% ballistic damage and reduces speed by 2%, a base helmet has 100hp and absorbs 10% ballistic damage and reduces aim accuracy by 2%. The key here is Balance, the lack of is one of the key causes of the premature death of APB, yes lack of money was the main cause but lack of game play balance is what kept more people from playing.

    Which brings us to a major issue, before you start adding to the game you need to address the balance issues it had. For one thing the upgrades, there are certain upgrades that should not be allowed to be mounted on the same avatar or weapon, at least not in their APB form. Survivorman, Regen and Monolith being an example, spray and pray and others should not be allowed in their current form. That is without neg effects, for example, the neg effect of mounting monolith should be that your speed is reduced by 5% per level.. you mount a lvl3 mono then you move 15% slower, you want to wear armor now you move 18%-20% slower. If you want to be a tank then you should move like one.

    The opposite side is if you rig your avatar like a sniper IE, fast moving upgrades you reduce your HP so it takes less to kill you.
    The point is that APBR needs to have a lot more balanced upgrades which expire and thus have to be bought by money earned on missions or bought from MS, but that have to add both positive and negative effects. IE.. if anyone builds their avatar using the old SRM (demigod) form then they are a tank and thus move slower, aim slower, react slower but they are still very hard to kill, unless you use a car.


    it just makes the gameplay more random and encourages camping for several reasons.

    for one, a hidden, far off, motionless sniper becomes disproportionately powerful compared to the people actually moving around and fighting up close.

    also, random bullets WILL hit heads quite often in the normal course of play. the concept of headshots is supposedly awarding intentional SKILLED play.

    also, if you camp up on high places like a roof and aim down at people, the more downward you are aiming the more guaranteed you are of getting a headshot.

    let's promote people fighting with skills (simultaneously aiming and dodging) out in the open instead of boring campfests, where when victimized you often don't even know where the motionless person is at.

    if you guys are hellbent on headshots, make sure only sniper rifles can do them. any spray or scattershot weapons being able to do them is totally retarded.

    but please listen to the majority here. PLEASE DON'T ADD HEADSHOTS! PRESERVE THE UNIQUE aspects of APB gameplay instead of making it more like every other shooter.

  53. Hi, thank you for the updates.

    Can't wait to sink my teeth back into apb.

  54. I bought this game on Steam and yeah the title still is stuck in my Steam library, entirely useless...

    I pre-ordered in fact and got nothing back in return for it... (the game was so unplayable that I couldn't even force myself to use up all the game time)

    I was wondering if a) APB Reloaded will do anything about that, as in about the people like me who own the game on Steam

    and b) if APB reloaded will give bonuses to people who already bought the game retail and got nothing at all back for it.

  55. I remember in the first beta a lot of people had problems where Punkbuster files were being flagged as trojans by Mcafee and other virus-scanners and this was causing a lot of problems, meaning people couldn't log into the game or were being repeatedly kicked - etc. I hope this is being addressed so it doesn't happen again!

  56. ********Respond on LeJohn******** there is a few problem when it comes to the upgrades , one crims need to use one more then enf sens we need something for there stun weapons .. what good is a stun gun to someone that has a vest...
    sure haveing mon fast regen and anti weapon but if you ask me that is something that did even out imean most of the time your where fighting peapol whit the same upgrades . and if crims gona need one more char upgraded slot to compensate for enf stun guns . but crims will still be behinde due to haveing to pick a lvl 3 anti upgrade or paying for it .. not that much money but still .

    *****resspond To Neon ******

    apb dident have eny big problems ,well it was the hackers , and there has already been a reward for the peapol that already have apb ,we gona get to keep our char ,cars ect .. and you dont even say why you dident play it .. . i spent over 600 before it whent down . and you wont get a refund if that is what your hopeinf for THEY ARE BRINING BACK THE GAME FROM DEAD SO BE HAPPY !!!!

    *****RESPOND To Alex*******
    Mcafee is a virus progrm it self :P peapol that think that is gona help them from getting virus is lost ... and punkbuster wasent out on apb beta :P so ithink they had some other problems ...

  57. Any extras or items for users that bought the game before? be nice to least get a title out of it or weapon.

  58. 1st: Good news on the anti cheating part. I really like the fact. I also like the ban policy you have. It's good to warn first. This way you get the cheater to straingten up. That way you keep the population up.

    2nd: I really really hope you will _NOT_ introduce hitboxes. The way it works now makes the game more tactic as to gun choise, vehicle choise and location choise. Introducing hit boxes will make gun choise very limited, and be headshot oriented.

    3rd: Bullproof vest. As an upgrade, yes, but a bulletproof vest without hitboxes is complicated.

    I really can't wait untill the beta, and i really hope i can help.

  59. Hello again,

    Lots of anti-HS talk here, so I'm forced to throw in my opinion as well...

    I do understand that instakill HS doesn't fit at all to a game that uses "a clip to the body and he's still walkin'" -type of solution. So no need to implement that on all rulesets - that's understandable.

    BUT, it would fit PERFECTLY to realistic ruleset which I've been DYING to see...! Implementing hitboxes and HS to Realism Ruleset is just what's that RS would be all about! And because it's a RS, there's really no point for people to argue about HS - if you don't like it, just play the game in its standard arcade mode RS and leave it be. For those people who respect realism, who want to die from one bullet, whether it be the head or torso, this is it.

    Helmets could be cool in HS/Hitbox -type of game as well.

    Oh, and cheaters should burn in hell, so keep it up G1! :)

  60. I'm glad cheating will no longer be an issue with PB, although I'm not entirely sure how I feel about designated head/body hit-boxes. They would make the game more realistic, but I feel the fighting would become too fast. I feel like the average time it took to kill someone was balanced well enough given the objective times, respawn times, and spawn distances from the objective. If it only takes you one second instead of maybe five to kill someone, that's 4 more seconds on the objective.

  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. REAPERS Corking here,
    Ive succesfully spotted cheaters in the past, they really ruined the game for us, we where a top 3 clan everyday. mostly just ranking behind the cheating and abusing russian clan, we al know bout it ;)

    im just letting you know that if this works, you make us very happy, cause then its really about skill, and REAPERS wil dominate again :)

    My question though, will there be European servers?

    I mean ms issues and sorts, largerst public for apb, is within the european lands, just so you know.

    Anyway Corking out (damn cant wait for getting my old char back!)

  63. Giving cheaters a warning and a temp-ban the first time is not a zero tolerance policy.

    Ban them permanently, no second chances. If they want to do it again, they can start over with a new account.

    Good luck implementing headshots in way that doesn't ruin balance and lag the game to hell. Pro-tip: we were used to no headshots and the game was fine that way.

  64. I never got a chance to play the original APB, but i did hear cheaters were a real problem that also set me off from playing it because paying $10 a month and dealing with cheaters = not a fun time and I'm paying for it. So thank you for fixing the cheating problem.

    As for the bulletproof vest. I like the idea that it should be invisible, but you can also make it visible if you like the look.

    Headshots are fine with me if its put only on single fire weapons. Automatics can get critical hits for hitting the head.

    Keep up the great work and I hope to get into the beta soon. :D

  65. thank you, this was the only thing i didn't like in the original APB... cheaters. I'm even more eager to jump back into the game.

  66. I really hope that you guys bust the cheaters this time around. We ended up creating a website for members of the community (, so we can share our stories of suspected aimbotters and wallhackers. A lot of people recorded their fights and caught a bunch of people in the act.

    For example, a guy named "coolchris1" was wallhacking and I had proof in my video. RTW actually e-mailed me and let me know that coolchris was banned after reviewing my video and then monitoring coolchris.

    I "REALLY" hate cheaters and hopefully they won't be present in this version of APB.

  67. It isn't zero tolerance unless you ban upon the first detection of an aimbot. If someone is going to go through the trouble of downloading/installing a aimbot, use it, and hope not to get caught, is in my mind someone who should get banned permanently, end of story.

    Giving someone a warning the first time around adds unnecessary usage of resources. It also doesn't act as a deterrent in most cases.

    If your going to get serious with cheating, don't follow the common template of other game anti-cheat policies, deal with it using a zero-tolerance policy - If your caught, your banned...

    End of story.

  68. "If a player is positively identified as running a known aimbot, he/she will be immediately kicked from the district and a notification message will be sent to all other players in that district."
    You're joking right? If you kill someone you don't get a judge tapping you on the wrist, looking at you angry and say 'don't do it again you naughty boy'.
    No, that person gets to see the inside of a jailcell.

    "This might seem quite harsh, but there really is no excuse for aimbotting and this time around it will be treated with zero tolerance."
    Apparently your 'harsh' and 'zero tolerance' are different from the rest of the world.
    A temporary ban is not harsh. It's a tap on the wrist or a 'go stand in the corner' punishment, which is a joke.

    Your zero tolerance is a 'get out of jail freecard'.
    Zero tolerance means (and I quote): "The policy or practice of not tolerating undesirable behavior, such as violence or illegal drug use, especially in the automatic imposition of severe penalties for first offenses."

    Severe in this case should be a permanent ban.
    Don't feel sorry for the cheaters, as they're not feeling sorry for those they use their cheats on, nor for your game.

  69. @Ricje

    you clearly know the art of reading just what you want to read.

    Following what you quoted is:
    "If an aimbot is detected a second time, the account and computer will immediately be permanently banned, all monies paid will be forfeited and any upgrades or customizations will be revoked."

    If a teenage kid find it funny to test out I don't neccessarily feel he deserves to never play the game again. A smack on the fingers often prevents him from doing it again, which leads to more players and probably more income for the company running it, which is good.

    Also to those whom might read this I'm always looking forward to these updates! Can't wait for the next one, and I'm crossing my fingers for a beta spot. APB was the only game that's really given me hours of fun, other mmo's are usually just played for the community and .. well ye, the community.

  70. this is good, the cheating was most certainly a MASSIVE detriment to the game last time, thus far you have all done an amazing job with giving us info, however as for yuor stance on hackers, i advise you to let people know on as many fronts and as often as you can, ive been around the net and there is still a lot of uncertainty on this topic. In short however, i am very pleased with how much more involved you guys are with keeping the community up to date, keep it up and you'll go very far.

  71. SIMPLE FKIN SOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 HIT KILL HEADSHOTS FOR SNIPERS AND 2-4 FOR AR's SMG's Etc

  72. Personally I do not care much of the Permium account, eventhough I will play only as permium. I care alot about cars, I dislike the olds game driving system!!! It was like driving on ice.

    Finally no lame hackers to rum the streets, and of course earn more money than legit players.


    I must test the game, and enjoy the gameplay itself, as being a big fan of this game.

  73. " if you have any creative ideas for how to exploit this awesome environment, feel free to make suggestions. "

    Back on the original APB I had an idea for a third district game mode. The idea had some people interested and others not. But I shall re-suggest this idea now since you taking suggestions.

    The entire district is practically one large territory control game. At certain times of the day the territory nodes become active for clans to capture. When the zones are captured by the clan (and the capture time has ended) they will gain access to special vendors located inside the zone. These vendors will sell both functional and cosmetic items/upgrades/weapons/vehicles. What each vendor sells would relate to what the area is like. So the best / richest looking stuff would be sold from a mansion. Making some places more desirable than others.
    Any territory held by a clan will also serve as a social district alternative, having at least 1 of each of the vendors available exclusively to that clan.
    While the territory capture zones are not active they will generate money for the controlling clan. The richer areas will generate more money than the poorer areas.

    To capture the zone, a member of a clan will have to use a node located in the most fortified position of the zone. Meaning they will have to fight their way through the currently occupying clan. The node will be a very long capture as well so the rest of the clan must defend that person while he/she is capturing it.
    It uses a long-timer based capture point that captures quicker the more people are on it. Around 10-15 minutes uninterrupted to hold for 1 person to capture. Since this is a clan based idea. I think that is reasonable way of saying "work together you asshats".
    It has a sequence of attack and defend like control points where the attacking term will work its way through the zone fighting for each point individually and ultimately working their way to and capturing the core. Think TF2 CP game. You can capture the next point once you have the previous and the other team can push you back. One one team controls all the points the zone belongs to that team.

    Better yet, all 3 methods of capture could be implemented depending on the size of the zone being captured. Small zones would use the 1st method. Medium Zones would use the 2nd and large zones would use the 3rd.


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