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Revoluzzer

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  1. I think instead of disabling threat-segregation they should've gone the proper no-threat-districts and thus hiding threat levels altogether. This whole debate would possibly be much less heated if players wouldn't throw in the towel the moment they saw a higher threat colour than their own on the scoreboard.
  2. The game shouldn't allow anything but 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4 and their uneven variants (e.g. 2v3). Mission design is built around those numbers. Anything bigger and the defending team will gain a major advantage (unless the attacking team outclasses them by far). A pre-made group will always win against a random team, unless the latter is far better at the game. A pre-made group will therefore also routinely end up in a higher threat bracket, which ideally results in them fighting other pre-mades rather than randoms. Of course, this will only work when people can't game the system so much. Has been done in the past, doesn't work. You'd have the current situation, but everyone's threat would wildly fluctuate for a while, before settling down back to where it currently is. The problem isn't how threat is caluclated, the problem is how players try to game the system. If you want to tackle that issue, you need to take away their ability to do so, for example by removing manual district selection. There need to be weapons which are easy to use, but not very powerful (low skill floor, low skill ceiling), weapons which require some understanding of game mechanics and can deliver a punch (low skill floor, high skill ceiling) and weapons which require fundamental skills at the game and can turn the tides of a mission (high skill floor, high skill ceiling). But ALL of these weapons need to be balanced against each other, otherwise you end up with some garbage nobody needs after a few hours and the hot stuff everyone uses once they got comfortable with the game. APB had a good foundation with their original gun setup, but lacked some variety. The introduction of recoil allowed for more variety and made guns not only look and sound, but also feel different. The (poor) implementation of alternative models for guns added some visual variety, without the necessity to disrupt gun balance too much (which they did anyway, tough luck). Here's what I find a good example: The ALIG, when first introduced, allowed players to rapidly shred vehicles to bits, which could heavily influence the way a mission would play out. It was still very good at fighting human targets, provided the user had good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of his weapon and kept within the ALIG's comfort zone. A more novice player would lack the fundamentals of how to fight human targets and only use the ALIG's strength of destroying cars. Another more experienced player would also understand how to counter an ALIG user outside of his comfort zone, by picking an appropriate weapon and an appropriate path of attack. (Normally half the population used the N-Tec anyway and thus had a perfectly capable counter-weapon already at hand, even within the ALIG's comfort zone. In a more balanced situation assault rifles would've been viable, but CQC weapons would've been far more capable.)
  3. Game-tick as in what your client does? Because, correct me if I'm wrong, a macro will talk to the server through your client. If that doesn't run smooth, neither will the bot. And since the gun you're using has a defined rate of fire, you would want the bot to hit that ROF rather than send a trigger-pull every tick. Otherwise you'll run out of sync and miss every couple trigger-pulls (e.g. every 5th one for the N-Tec 5, if your client runs at 60 fps and your server at 30). If I fire as fast as I can ingame, the gun will not fire smoothly either, because I'll inadvertently pull the trigger before the gun will be ready to fire again, which makes me miss one shot until the next game-tick.
  4. 9 out of 10 players: "Matchmaking doesn't work, unless I win!" 1 out of 10 players: "I think these following improvements could alleviate some issues with the matchmaking:" The matchmaking-system in APB isn't very complex anyway. It looks at all currently available players in the district and figures out, who'd be a good match based on their (combined) threat levels. It starts off with a very narrow goal and slowly widens its search radius, if no applicable opponents are available. The threat-calculation-system is, as far as I'm concerned, pretty smart and should do a good enough job. Unless it doesn't actually work the way it has been described by the devs. It would, of course, do a better job with a bigger pool of available matches. Now here are some real issues with matchmaking: Allowing players to be in an Action District, but not be available for missions (Ready-Up feature). Allowing players to manually join a district of their choosing, rather than putting them in one designated for their threat level (this reaches back all the way to the original beta in 2009). Allowing players to see threat levels. (If you can't see your own, it's more difficult to manipulate. If you can't see anyone else's, you have to play against them to judge how good they might be). A pool of 10 full teams per side isn't so bad, if at least some of them are available for matchups and all of them are roughly in the same threat range. But with everyone being able to mix and mingle all the way across three "colours" and many of them possibly idle in the district, it becomes tough as nails.
  5. That's kind of the point of team based multiplayer games. Since APB is fairly old-school in this regard, too, it is almost mandatory. You can learn to play an instrument and stay in rhythm while performing complex melodies. Tapping a mouse-button is child's play in comparison. What your client sees and what actually happens are two different things, anyway. So if you think someone "shoots faster than the weapon can" (which is mechanically impossible) or "always perfectly times their shots" it is, more often than not, your perception and your client's presentation playing tricks on you.
  6. I'm not holding my breath, but I do hope you will succeed.
  7. None of those three "features" is dependent on an old engine, though.
  8. It remains to be seen if pushing through with the engine update will be quicker than rebuilding APB from scratch, even if they would start with the latter today. And how much they can really do with that upgraded game, compared to a proper new setup. A major benefit I see for a complete rebuild is that all the conceptual groundwork has already been laid out. All the "how could this work?" and "how should that look like?" questions don't have to be asked any more - unless they want to improve certain aspects of the game. And they could probably trim a lot of the fat along the way. As it stands, they are upgrading a minimal viable product of 2006 to a minimal viable product of 2014-ish. In 2021. With UE5 around the corner. And since they port everything, they have to put a lot of work into getting stuff to run that they might not even want to use in the future. Is the way APB handles character customisation even feasible in this day and age? Fifteen years ago it was a spectacular novelty. Today it is a run-of-the-mill feature that has been drastically optimised. Heck, UE probably ships with some module for out-of-the-box support. And that's just the obvious tip of the ice berg. APB has a day-night-cycle. Uncommon back then, absolutely nothing special today. A small-scale open world? Realtime Worlds had to hack together a solution in their version of UE to get this to work. As far as I'm aware their districts are, technically, composed of "rooms" stitched together at invisible walls, because that's how UE's logic worked at the time. Today the size of these maps is child's play for any modern engine.
  9. Flak Jacket had to be added when they introduced Low-Yield Frags, because those were problematic, to put it kindly. It's not a good solution to anything, it's a band-aid fix at most. Since grenades are an essential asset, having one taken away from you is an absolute no-no.
  10. The districts aren't large enough for truly fast vehicles. If everyone could zip around at 150-200 km/h, they would feel absolutely tiny. (Current top speed is just above 80 km/h.) As for the handling itself, I think it is fine. The vehicles feel weighty, which I believe is much better than arcade-y driving physics that other games have. Perhaps it's a tad extreme. In contrast, it also makes it a valuable skill to have. A good driver can make a difference in APB. Plus: Had RTW tried to go in the other direction, we might have ended up with Saint's Row vehicles or something like in Ghost Recon Wildlands (Beta). Ugh. I agree with the first two points: The entire progression system needs to be condensed. It's unnecessary fat, which was justifiable when the game was bigger. APB wanted to become more fast paced, more lean. The progression system didn't follow suit. About the third point: (tl;dr: there is a system in place to widen the length a player maintains their threat level. But it can not work if players of similar skill levels are segregated into different districts.) Just removing Gold districts is no solution. Removing threat segregation in general is important, but putting players of similar skill levels in the same districts is the key. They do work on this (and call it phasing, because players will be matched against each other across district-servers and then phase onto the same server), so it's primarily a matter of time. The threat system (I assume you talk about threat here, not rank) is not progressive. You do not "rank up" (or "rank down", for that matter). Every time you play a mission, your performance is evaluated against everyone else in that same mission (based on the score you reached). Following the conclusion, your personal "score" (glicko value) is adjusted. The coloured threat levels are a representation of glicko value ranges. A Gold player can be one measly point "ahead" of a Silver player. But each threat colour spans over several hundred points. So that Gold would be closer to the Silver than most other Golds, in terms of threat evaluation. One major pitfall concerning matchmaking systems is, to assume they'd be linear (i.e. skill only goes up). Rank is linear. The more you play, the more points you collect. Ultimately you reach R255, no matter how good you are. Skill is fluid. The older you get, the harder it becomes to maintain some skills (playing fast past shooters, for example). Not just motor skills, mind you, also time invested. For example: I just don't have the time to play as much as ten years ago; or at all. My account is probably still Gold threat (although it's supposed to degrade over time, if you don't play). If I started playing again, today, my threat would probably go down quite fast. R255 Bronzes can absolutely, legitimately exist. Back to your third point: "Widening the length of time a player maintains their [threat]" is (supposedly) already part of the system. It's a confidence value. When this value is low, your threat changes quite rapidly. This means each mission performance has a large impact on your glicko value (which goes up or down). The reason for this is, that the system searches for the most optimal skill range for each player. Once you start playing with and against people who share a similar skill level, you will reach similar evaluation results in each mission (which is not just your absolute score, but the relation to everyone else's). As this happens, your confidence value increases and your threat is adjusted less with each mission result. This means, you maintain your threat level more easily, because the system is confident it found the right spot for you across the whole range. But if you get matched with wildly different skill levels all the time, the system will have a harder time becoming confident in one value. And that's where threat segregation throws a wrench in the whole machine. As I explained before, a Gold and a Silver threat player can be closer to each other than two players of the same "level" (i.e. colour). But if they are segregated into different districts, they will get matched against each other less likely than two players who are far away from each other. For those edge cases, it's difficult to get a high confidence value and as such, their threat remains floaty. The same principle applies to dethreaters, by the way. They actively (and often unknowingly) keep their confidence value low, allowing their threat to rapidly degrade. Fortunately, it can increase just as quickly. If players were unable to manually select districts (like originally intended) and if districts would dynamically adjust their assigned threat range (as. in part, originally intended*), the entire matchmaking system should work much, much better than it currently can. *Originally servers would spin up dynamically, but have a fixed threat range assigned to them. As players entered and left, the actual threat range of the population would deviate from the assigned one. But more importantly, a few groups of high skill players would remain and drive out those experienced enough to quit the district and try for a different one, but not good enough to compete with those high skill players. Thus leaving only cannon fodder to those few groups. At the time, threat was primarily (or maybe even exclusively) based on mission win-loss-ratio. Win a mission, threat goes up. Lose a mission, threat goes down.
  11. APB must've been a real outlier in skill distribution then, considering the number of N-Tec users. Or the skill required to use the N-Tec at its fullest potential just wasn't that high. But the fullest potential was leaps and bounds better than that of other weapons.
  12. Wild idea: Kevlar turns lethal damage into non-lethal damage and vice versa. No speed penalty, but sprinting consumes stamina. Also no more levels.
  13. So is it a huge issue now or not? Because you make it sound like it isn't, when before you made it sound like it is. This doesn't really matter, because hard and soft damage are not the same. If the tankiest car had 650 health and weapons dealt half as much hard damage as they do now, it would be pretty much the same situation still. As it stands most weapons deal a fraction of their health damage in hard damage. Well I just have to disagree with this. The way I see it it levels the playing field a little. Of course it doesn't address some of the other issues you mentioned (e.g. weight and flip-ability), but this might be more fundamental changes which aren't as easily done. When it comes to vehicles that are available to newbies compared to veterans you always need to remember that there should also be a sense of progression. New players start as bottom feeders in the lowest ranks and work their way up through the organisations. This gives them access to better equipment over time and something to strive for. For what it's worth, I used the Balkan Varzuga regularly even on R195.
  14. On one hand I agree with @Noob_Guardian, if you use a weapon within its intended range you won't have to deal with RNG. Only outside that range it does become a factor. Of course this is usually gradual and there is one perfect spot where a weapon is entirely predictable, while it becomes increasingly less so as you move away from that sweet spot in either direction. And generally speaking all weapons should be 100% predictable when your barrel touches the enemy, because the bullets have no other option but to hit. But due to latency this rarely ever applies. I think the SHAW is a great weapon and needs the amount of RNG to work. Without the heavy recoil it would need a much higher TTK or much lower accuracy, both of which would make the gun less unique. Not every weapon needs to be a competitive headliner. The SHAW is a fun niche weapon which is still perfectly able to compete, albeit less comfortably. The NFA in its current state is bad, but I'll say that I don't think the concept behind it is fundamentally flawed. It is supposed to quickly dispose of enemies as extremely short range and to force it into this range a low base accuracy is necessary. Alternatively one could cripple its effective damage range. But this would turn it into a much more frustrating weapon, because it would allow shots to hit at greater range without dealing any meaningful damage. It would communicate a use-case which it is not supposed to be used in.
  15. Gotta admit I haven't played the apparent current implementation of Territory Control, I'll argue purely based on previous versions of that mode which existed in the game. Territory Control or Domination, as other games would call it, is probably the best mode for Baylan. It encourages players to fight in the actual set-pieces of the map, allowing both long range and short range engagements. Takeouts/Kills or Team Deathmatch, as other games would call it, mostly left the inner part of the map unused, because players would always focus on the spawn areas. This also heavily reduced gameplay variety, because it mostly boiled down to long range engagements or explosives-spam. Now one important change that would, in my opinion, improve Baylan in general would be fixed spawn-sides for each faction. But not North/South based, but instead East/West. As far as I'm concerned the Southern spawn area is superior to the Northern one, as it allows for better access to the inner part of the map - especially on foot. The Northern area can more easily be locked down for spawn-camping. The East and West provide more cover for spawning, especially when nobody can spawn to the North or South. I'll go out on a limb here and say that Baylan is the best Fight Club map. It offers the greatest and most balanced variety of combat ranges and is very easy to digest both visually and mechanically. There are no complicated or incomprehensible routes, but it still offers a couple of shortcuts/trick jumps. Its greatest weakness is poor access (i.e. barely any cover to move) from the spawns to the inner part. The TDM-mode exacerbated this problem, because fighting mostly took place in the spawn area and much less in the actual meat of the map. In comparison, the Asylum is a convoluted, visually confusing house of horror. It does, hands down, have the best atmosphere of all maps in APB. But as far as I'm concerned it also has the least variety in gameplay. It is almost exclusively built around short range engagements. The few areas which allow for medium or long range combat can pretty much all be circled around to still force opponents into CQC. Of course this flexibility in access to various areas is also its biggest strength. I love outmanoeuvring opponents on this map, despite the fact that it usually takes a while to get around an area, because most routes take you on a little detour. The Beacon is too vertical, I think. In some games verticality is great, but in APB it only works well when adding to a good horizontal playing field. Since Beacon has a very small footprint, there is too great a lack of horizontality to make proper use of its vertical features. If the concept of two opposing towers was more fleshed out, it would probably work better. But with their very close proximity to each other it also mostly boils down to short range engagements with the occasional medium range skirmish sprinkled on top. Snipers work better on Beacon than they do in the Asylum, but they don't shine nearly as much as the concept of the map would suggest.
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