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MartinPL

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About MartinPL

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    Hi, my name's Martinz!

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  1. Little Orbit have gone on record stating that they have no plans to allow for Joker Ticket trading.
  2. Good point. Still, I personally can't criticize them for knowing when to cut losses.
  3. Subjective at best. I see no problem with the current timespan of those final stages, especially considering the overtime mechanic. It's either that or final stages drag on forever. As I've said: Point is, the events weren't immensely successful in terms of attracting players, but they helped Little Orbit from a developer's standpoint, as they were able to make something out of APB's spaghetti code.
  4. They've been kind of busy doing other things besides regular content updates. Because they are prioritising other things at the moment. No bigger complaints towards subpoints #1, #2 and #6, 'cause yes, these are mostly valid concerns... however: ad. #3) "just deleting" the whole system does not address the question of monetary rewards from various bounty levels. Both factions get 2.0x multiplier to rewards at Bounty 5, but different rewards at each level below that. How do we approach that? What do we do with the interface in the top left corner of the screen? ad. #4) You're using the term "RNG" like you don't know what it actually means. Also, exactly what is wrong with 3-point holds and 1-point holds? ad. #5) "Most of [the vehicles] are useless" ...and yet you only have a problem with the 4x4 Vegas outclassing the Bishada and the Jericho. You're forgetting about a lot of cars. Just to name a few: there's Macchina Calabria Cosenza and Balkan Ravan (both cars are practically made out of paper); there's Han Veo (which is very average at best); there's Charge Cisco (which is good at speed and terrible at everything else, such as durability and grip...) and it doesn't stop there. Practically every car besides the 4x4 Vegas has some kind of a problem holding it back from being competitive, the most prominent examples being the amount of HP and their ramming ability — and yet you only want improvements to be done to the Bishada and the Jericho? APB is literally not pay-to-win anymore. You can get permanent weaponry without spending real money. Nothing you can get for money gives you a straight advantage that is not available to non-paying players. What are you talking about here? See, this is a part of a bigger problem that APB has — a massive identity crisis on whether it wants to be a casual game or a competitive game. You could balance the game around the people who play the game every day, have every single mechanic figured out and can solo most fights... and that's going to leave you with changes that pretty much benefit only those players and leave everyone else in the dust. Instead of making it a game that's easy to learn but hard to master, you insist on making it a game that's hard to learn and hard to master. As a sidenote: How about you contribute to discussions? How about you provide some of your feedback? If you're so knowledgeable on gameplay mechanics, show it. Voice your opinion in weapon balancing threads. You've literally made this account this year, this is your only post, and in that post you complain about how Little Orbit doesn't listen to you and players at "your skill level" — to which I have a question: have you ever even given them a chance to hear your opinion? Honestly, at this point you're complaining about LO not being able to read your mind. They have been actively working on fixing those issues with the new server setup. What exactly is the problem here? Human resources management is a thing. Little Orbit can only allocate certain amounts of people to certain tasks. If you want to organize a tournament that's endorsed by Little Orbit, they would need to have at least one representative present there, in the form of a GM or someone with similar permissions. One GM would probably be not enough, two GMs would probably still mean complaints that it's not enough "care" from them — and the more GMs you have, the less GMs there are to tackle player issues not related to the tournament. Also, can we please please pretty please grow out of that silly attitude that RIOT was pointless and a waste of time? It was being worked on concurrently with the Engine Upgrade (meaning it did not slow down the process, presumably due to a different team being allocated to it) and it allowed LO to get a grasp of the game's codebase, how the game logic operates, how to alter the gameplay flow, how to add entirely new assets to the game, and so on... Yes, it wasn't perfect. Yes, it died quickly. You're absolutely allowed to have a negative opinion on it from a gameplay stance — but if you genuinely believe that nothing good came from those events/gamemodes and absolutely nobody benefitted from them in any way, you're just being dishonest.
  5. So this is what that news article on the RedHill Institute of Technology site was teasing. You guys have developed genetically altered bees in order to employ them as community managers later down the line! I have seen through your machinations, Little Orbit! I wish you the best of luck and lots of patience, Sakebee!
  6. Presumably the people of San Paro got upset at the Institute for some reason. Maybe the vandalism is meant to represent San Paro calling out RedHill IOT's plans and giving them bad reputation as a result. Maybe it's meant to represent the criminals of San Paro vandalizing whatever they can for shits and giggles. Maybe it's some author acknowledgement/meta nod towards the negative perception of RIOT by the playerbase. Regardless of what it is, the billboards have been vandalized for a long time now.
  7. This billboard is also seen in other places in San Paro (for example, on the south-east corner of the building directly north of the City Hall in Financial) and was a part of last year's RIOT ARG (alternate reality game) which was organized by the fine folks at Little Orbit to tease the now-inaccessible Riot gamemode. The ARG consisted of accessing the site whose address was written on the billboard in one of the corners ( https://www.redhillinstitute.com/ ) and solving puzzles regarding the Redhill Institute of Technology. Among the puzzles, we were guessing passwords to RedHill IOT employee mailboxes, deciphering scrambled images, and putting codes together. Worth mentioning is the fact that the billboards were not the only in-game development related to the ARG. Devil Dog, the Prentiss Tigers specialist contact, was relocated to the St. Medina Hospital in South Havalynd shortly after the RedHill website posted a news article about a mysterious virus killing two patients of that hospital (presumably to oversee its vicinity for suspicious activity). The gamemode was scrapped. Ultimately, it did not capture many fans due to many technical shortcomings (and being released during the process of working on the Engine Upgrade, which made a lot of people say that LO really should have focused on the Engine Upgrade instead of content) — however, it allowed Little Orbit to gather more technical information on how APB's mechanics work, test their skills at programming a new gamemode, and prove that they are interested in expanding APB beyond what it already is.
  8. There are some missions in the game already which shift roles of both teams. "Constructive Criticism" has the Enforcers defuse bombs on 3 portacabins in Stage 3 and the Criminals burn the same portacabins down in Stage 6. "Bad Investment" requires the Enforcers to take over an area in Stage 4 and the Criminals to retake it in Stage 5 (though as far as I'm aware, the objective completes faster for the Criminal side for some reason; could be me misremembering things though). I don't know how possible it would be to redesign missions, but I agree that it would be nice to see some more variety in mission flow.
  9. I’m making this thread after being inspired by a conversation among some of my friends regarding the Russian community organizing an APB tournament. (Which, credit where it’s due, is pretty recognizable of them. If my memory serves me right, it’s usually been the Russian APB players who have been trying to organize APB tourneys.) This is going to be a very long post. If you can’t (or can’t be bothered to) read through it, I’ll try to provide a summary of my points at the end of it — but I invite you to give the whole thing a read. I’d like to emphasize this right now - this is just my opinion. I am not saying that this is an absolute truth or fact or anything of that sort. You are welcome to disagree, provide your own opinion and all that stuff. Without further ado... -=-=-=- Personally, I don’t think that APB in its current state is a game that is ready for competitive gameplay. I am not talking about the performance side of things, though obviously it would be a factor when it comes to having people actually play the game. Let’s leave the hitreg, bugs, issues and other problems on the side for a moment — I think that the biggest obstacles appear far before we run into that. There are a few reasons behind why I formed this opinion, most of which boil down to APB’s core design as a video game. I will try to list these reasons in a way that makes sense from a narrative point of view instead of ordering them by importance or anything of that sort. Starting with... Randomness-Influenced Gameplay The name of this section is not a technical term; I just made it up on the spot to describe what I have in mind. Even though mechanically APB has all the makings and potential of a skill-based shooter game — that being a diverse range of weapons, all of which have a specific purpose and are dangerous when put in the right hands or used in the right situation, and several ways of minmaxing performance both by the players and their equipment — ultimately it falls flat because there are still some things that cannot really be accounted for. You can plan your choice of equipment in accordance to what is needed at the moment, by analysing enemy equipment or recalling the layout of the area you are supposed to be fighting in, but there will always be some things you cannot reliably predict. Let’s have our first example be traffic. Our community as a whole doesn’t really know anything about the way APB handles traffic generation. Pretty much the only thing we know is that the city has streets which will occasionally have cars spawn on them. This alone creates situations where randomness may just decide the outcome of your next fight. You may or may not have an entire street filled with cars, letting you take brief cover behind them and approach the objective more safely than if the street was clear. Similarly, you may end up without any cars and far from even the closest car spawner, or you may have an ever-convenient Cisco appear before you, just in time to quickly get you closer to where you need to be. What about pedestrians? This, of course, is less noticeable, as our fellow San Parians can’t really do much else than walk around, crouch in fear, run away when they hear gunfire or see an approaching car... but they can still stop bullets. And that one single bullet may just be the thing that saves you from dying. As I’ve said, this is a very slim and rare occurence, but it still can happen one day — and depending on which side you’re on, you may either be happy about that one bullet winning you the fight, or mad that the civilian got on the line of fire and denied you the kill. Streetcars and pedestrians are both unavoidable elements of a city. San Paro would not feel like a believably true city if it did not contain them... and yet we, the players, don’t really use San Paro as a city. A World Designed for Violence City planning is a difficult thing. We have an entire profession dedicated to it, we have internet communities showcasing buildings that look and feel evil, we have video games focused around letting us build our fictional cities. Us humans have a clearly defined idea of what a city is meant to be — but do APB players know that? How long did it take you, dear reader, to realize that Financial and Waterfront are closed loops, with no exit roads in sight? And after this, I would like to follow up with a different question: Do you think of San Paro as of a city, or a collection of small fighting arenas? I remember watching this one video which talked about America’s problem with school shootings and how some schools are being shaped specifically around trying to provide safety to children in the case of such a tragic event. The issue with creating a building with safety measures in a combat scenario is that the defensive capabilities eventually become their main purpose. That weird protruding wall in the school hall turns out not to be a goof on the side of the architect or the builders, but a deliberate choice — and once you realize that, the perspective of a mass shooting will be the only thing in your head whenever you look at it, looming over you as a grim reminder that a tragedy may occur here. In video games, we usually see the inverse phenomenon — maps are designed for fair fights instead of comfort for living or actual use or functionality. At their very core, multiplayer maps are arenas engineered to provide a combat situation that lets both sides test their skills. It may be decorated like a city or its part, or made to look like a town altogether, but fundamentally they are just layouts, built around the gameplay mechanics of the game they are in. Taking Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as our example — the Tunnels on Dust II... what purpose do they serve from a living standpoint? Suppose this were not a game map, but a part of an actual town that people live in: what role does this building serve? It has no closable doors, no discernible doors to any rooms inside... what is the point of it? In gameplay, you never really have to pay attention to the functional side of things. It’s not what you’re there for. So why should you care? And, more importantly, why would you? It’s a part of a balanced map; is there any point in disputing its faithfulness to reality? APB, however, is in a different situation. Its problem is that it has to be a believable city and a balanced battlefield — and at times, it doesn’t really know which one of those it wants to be. For an example of this, look no further than the highway/overpass stretching around Financial. There is an old video on which it was completed, but ultimately the highway was converted into this unfinished state, because it served the gameplay better to have it be unfinished, with dropped parts of it serving as ramps, and scaffolding being left next to it in several places. The districts themselves are filled with narrow corridors inside the buildings, fighting arenas neatly condensed into apartment blocks. If you pay attention to your surroundings, you will eventually notice that fighting spaces are confined in their city blocks, with barely ever any opportunities to shoot someone standing on the other side of the street. Most of the time in Financial you will not see any fire exchanges happen from two sides of a street. Sure, there are a few entrances to each spot every time, but all of the surrounding buildings act as giant walls containing the fight inside them. This weird blend of plausible city architecture and shooting zones creates an experience that is neither 100% the former nor 100% the latter. Credit has to be given where it’s due — San Paro does a pretty good job of imitating an actual city. However, this creates a problem with the actual balancing of matches, simply because... The Urban Jungle Does Not Care Competitive environments in video games are expected to have as minimal randomness as possible. If you want a fair playing field, you expect to play a game that puts you up against the same environment as your enemy. This is why conventional 5CP maps in Team Fortress 2 have rotational symmetry. This is why traditional Capture The Flag maps in video games are symmetrical. You have to go through the same areas as your enemy, as otherwise you would be dealing with issues such as one team having a height advantage or straight up better angles and so on — and even if the gameplay is asymmetrical, the rules usually switch the sides for each team, so that the defending team gets a shot at attacking in the second half. APB has none of that. We are members of one faction, pitted against the other faction in a mission. In order to maintain some impredictability, mission objectives are randomly chosen from designated spots within the district, so that you hardly ever (if at all) run into the exact same mission as before. If you lost all your defend stages and the final stage, that’s it; you don’t get to have a rematch against the same team with the same objectives, but as the attacker. The system actively tries to present you with an inherently different experience. Your best bet of a rematch is a prayer that the system picks your team against a different team for the second time, but in a different mission — which may still be a defend mission for your team. What exacerbates the problem is that some areas of San Paro have become notorious for being very difficult to seize control of. Financial District’s Ferjandro Shipping, known by some as German Fortress, is a glaring example. Its rooftops offer a height advantage to almost all sides, with the south entrances being bottleneck corridors “hidden” behind ladders, and the entire north side not requiring any attention due to a building blocking the sightlines to those who don’t attack from either the west or the east. Another notorious spot is Armory Wharf - Armstrong & Chen in Waterfront; it is the first warehouse north of Eva Orlandez, east of the “Fortuna Maria” Transport Ferry. If one team knows how to maintain a hold over this area, it’s exceptionally difficult for their opposition to breach through that defense, as they get a height advantage (since the only 1st floor entrance is a bottleneck in the form of a door) and the westmost balconies are only exposed from the east and the north-east direction. Continuing: the roof of the Mist restaurant in Financial’s The Needles - Canalside is sniper heaven. If you are on said roof with a sniper rifle, you are constantly at a height advantage from all sides, with the only real threat coming from its southern neighbor, the Hope Mall — and even then, all it takes is to take a step back to get out of its render distance. If the game’s mission logic decides to put an objective in any of these places, the ensuing fight for control of the area will sometimes go on for several minutes depending on the skill level of the players. This exact problem is what gives these places their reputation. Often times, the players lose morale when they see where the mission is taking them, before anything even happens. The architecture of the city is, at the same time, that of a believable metropolis, and that of a laser tag arena. The randomness of objective placement can end up deciding the outcome of the match simply by putting the mission items in a spot that’s easier or harder to take control of. Redesigning the entire map, or creating a district map around the idea of making each spot perfectly balanced is out of the question. Doing so would ultimately be a rejection of APB’s roots as a third-person shooter game focused on urban combat — and what we would get in return are environments that may seem more fair, but ultimately end up being cookie-cutter pieces on flat ground that get rearranged every so often. This leaves us with a single question: how much "urban" can you have in an environment for it to be believable and still fair to the players? TL;DR: There are small things (such as traffic density, traffic movement, and pedestrian activity) that cannot be controlled or predicted by the players, but can potentially impact the missions. San Paro tries to look like a city you could believe exists somewhere in the world, but has elements of architecture more designed around gunfights and the use of cover. The aforementioned “architecture for violence” creates a playing experience which is inherently imbalanced, in the sense of two sides not being faced with the same challenge in the same fight. -=-=-=- As I’ve said in the intro to this post, I don’t consider this to be undisputable truth; it’s just my opinion. If you disagree, that’s okay. If you have any feedback, whether it’s in agreement or disagreement, I would love to read your post!
  10. I have a couple of questions regarding the ruleset, and I'm genuinely interested in the reasons behind the answers. Why is there no restriction on the amount of 4x4 Vegas' that a team can have? It is easily the most versatile car in the game. It feels odd to see a restriction on the amount of tank-cars (Pioneer, Espacio) but nothing in regards to what is easily an S-tier car. Why exactly is Spotter the only orange modification that is allowed? What makes Spotter be considered okay for competitive gameplay, while the others are forbidden? Why is the ALIG banned? Why is the N-FA 9 banned? Why is the FAR banned, along with a fair number of Armas weapons? (My guess here is that you want everyone to have the same weapon set available without spending real money - in which case I'd be willing to agree with the weapon bans.) Are preset variants allowed? As in, is the FBW with RS1 allowed or is it only the standard FBW? Though I don't intend to participate, I wish you the best of luck with organizing the tournament! I've been there and I know organizing is not an easy thing.
  11. Everything has already been explained in the appropriate forum thread. On that note though, I know people dislike finding information on their own, so here's a shortcut of what you need to know: Little Orbit sold the rights to the "APB" intellectual property, not "APB Reloaded", to Unit Game. The terms of that sale state that Little Orbit retains the rights to APB Reloaded. Unit Game can do what they want with APB as a brand, Little Orbit can do what they want with APB Reloaded as an entity. The game we all know remains in LO's hands. If you fear APB Reloaded being handed over to "the Chinese" and undergoing severe changes to match the new culture, that simply is not happening due to the terms of the sale. If you fear the APB brand being handed over to "the Chinese" and undergoing severe changes to match the new culture, I'd say it's not likely to happen. Unit Game is a Hong Kong-based company. There is a distinction between mainland China and Hong Kong, as the latter is a Special Administrative Region with its own culture and a high degree of autonomy (which is unfortunately being challenged by the Chinese government — but that is a separate topic which is very political, and political discussions on the internet tend to go south very fast, so... let's not go there).
  12. Obviously can't speak for the entire community, so here's my two cents: In general? Yes, there are still cheaters out there somewhere in APB. It's an inevitability in online games; there will always be some cheat that hasn't been detected by anti-cheating solutions yet. As a wide-spread problem? No. I don't think the problem is as severe as it may seem. The situation is much better than it used to be in the past - as in, before LO took over. Cheating was rampant under pre-LO G1, to the point where you couldn't go a single day without seeing a cheater. I'm honestly not sure when was the last time I personally saw a cheater in the game. OP, I obviously don't know what types of matches you were in, nor who you were up against. Perhaps you did run into a cheater a few times, I'm not discrediting that option. However, I still think the cheating problem nowadays is being dealt with at least 10x better than it was before LO took over.
  13. Dethreating very much is bannable. The problem lies with actually enforcing it. GMs have to tackle several issues that happen in the in-game community; some cases are bound to slip past moderation. We're all human after all. (Allegedly :^) ) My experience is that it's very easy to breach into Gold while doing pretty average. Keep in mind that dethreaters really lowered the bar for what the system considers poor performance, to the point where you practically have to go out of your way to be considered eligible for threat level demotion.
  14. I see your point, but I can't 100% agree. Honestly, right now I would much rather see a redistribution of threat within the existing system, or a rework of it. Due to dethreaters, there is a massive skill gap between the average Silver and the average Gold. I think that adding one more step to the ladder at this point would only cause further divide and serve to spread the levels even further apart than they already are. I'd love to see my threat level in a redistributed system. Something tells me that I would probably be a Silver! Not a bad idea, honestly. I used to play on this one Multi Theft Auto server once; even though it was international, there were distinct chat types/channels that you could chat in. You could use the Global channel to talk with everyone, but it was strictly English (with timeouts if you deliberately used other languages); you could use the Language channel which you opted into, and the server remembered your preference; you could also chat with players in your clan using the Clan channel in any language you mutually preferred. The obvious downside of separate language channels is that you would probably have to have moderators who speak those languages, in order to prevent things from escalating. As far as I'm aware, the problem with this is that there is no back-end system that would allow for this type of switch to happen. Clothing unlocks are just the tip of the iceberg. Male and female characters have completely different body shapes. There are customization options which only exist for one of the in-game sexes (the most obvious being Pelvic Width for female characters; Muscularity for male characters can change body/muscle shape, whereas the same setting for female characters only adjusts skin shading in certain places) — what is the game supposed to do with those options when porting a character from one gender to another? You're effectively asking the system to fill in a blank. Back to the clothes themselves — unfortunately, most Armas gear is not all Armas gear. There will inevitably be situations where you cannot give the character the other gender's equivalent of a clothing item because it simply doesn't exist. It's not just an Armas-exclusive problem — the Long-sleeved Shirt is a completely different item depending on the character's gender. Also, what about customization? The aforementioned Long-sleeved Shirt may have nicely aligned symbols if you're applying them to the Female variant, but the same symbols applied to the Male variant, even at the same angles, will not give you the same results. The only situation in which I could see this working is if all symbols were removed from the character's clothes... which is a problem in itself. The foolproof way of handling this would be to pretty much make it so characters are completely wiped and have to be remade in terms of customization - but they keep their rank, items, weapons and all that. And at this point, why not just have them make a new character? The way I see it, low ranks give the incentive to play the game more. No complaints about the first two, personally. Audio kits could be a nifty addition. The Mako and Kissaki kits, though, have some explicitly factioned things, don't they? I think the Enforcer kit has some on-board police laptops or something like that. Would be a tiny bit silly to give those to Crims. Then again, faction boundaries got destroyed with cross-faction content itself.
  15. What about the discounts? Premium accounts get discounts for Armas items. The only way I could see this working out is if the 1 day Premium status did not allow you to get discounts — otherwise we would probably upset customers who have had to get longer Premium periods on their accounts just to get discounts. Additionally, there could be people who already have Premium but decide to buy the 1 day Premium. (I'm not saying it's likely to ever happen, but it's a scenario we need to account for.) How would the system distinguish whether they get Premium discounts or not? You would probably have to program a mechanic to define a specific 24 hour period where the account has in-game Premium but is shut out of Premium discounts. I'm not saying this is a bad idea, since it's definitely a convenience for people who are mostly interested in designing. I'm mostly concerned about the technical side of this. (I secretly wish for something like a Creator/Designer Pass, where you pay a price that's lower than the price of a Premium packet, and in return you get the Premium benefits for designing only. No gameplay benefits (more money and standing from missions) or discounts on Armas; you get the Premium symbol layer limits and that's it. You pay less cash, and you get to place 50 tattoos, 50 car symbol layers, 50 clothing symbol layers, 100 layers on symbols — but you don't get longer Armas trials, Armas discounts, APB$ bonuses, contact standing bonuses etc.)
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