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  1. Funnily enough, the game already has shades of that, where some contacts' will have their unlocks be more focused on a specific item category (customizable clothes, preset weapons, preset vehicles, vehicle parts etc.). However, for whatever reason the actual non-preset weapon unlocks are tied to role progression instead of contact progression, which is good on paper because you're not tied to a specific district to unlock new guns, but the numbers themselves have never received any kind of fine-tuning. This is especially bad with the current playercounts; expecting people to get 10,000 kills per category to unlock 3-slot variants is insane. Even considering that this game is a free-to-play title and thus needs to incentivize people to spend money by letting them skip the grind, and even with a "normal" playercount, getting 10 thousand kills 5 times over to unlock the 3-slots for the main 5 primary weapon categories is a truly deranged number that I think I would only be somewhat willing to accept as an account-bound grind, not a per-character grind - and even then I'd be for lowering the requirements. Chrome skins can stay at 20k as a cosmetic reward for those truly dedicated, but let's not gate gameplay improvements behind such steep numbers. Back when Secrets was part of the dev team, they stated in the LO Discord that optimally the Permanent Weapon Selector from the tutorials shouldn't be a selector of one 0-slot gun, but a care package of all the basic guns in 0 slot versions, just so progress is always possible in each weapon type without having to spend APB$ first — a sentiment I entirely agree with. Whether this will be realized remains to be seen. If I remember correctly, that's what Little Orbit want to do: move matchmaking from district level to world level so you can be moved wherever a good mission would be feasible, so that's neat if/when we get that. Other than that, yeah, your ideas sound neat. The car flipping part is one I'm kinda iffy about (can't think of a good rationalization for that one, even taking into account that this is a game where you can have kevlar implanted under your skin and take pills that numb you so much you don't feel a car slamming into you), the rest is neato.
  2. Got briefly confused by the "Rank the following elements by level of importance in terms of contribution to the previous question" part. My understanding is that this is not supposed to be my personal view of how important I consider these things, but a list of 5 elements in order of how much they impact my view of APB returning to its state circa 2012-2014 (as per the previous questions), is that correct? Layout-wise, I think that specific question would've worked better if the options were put vertically, not horizontally. As in, instead of horizontal axis being "how important is it to you"" and vertical axis being "which subject does this apply to?", I think switching the axes and making importance go from most to least would be more instinctive because you're literally vertically putting things over other things. Also, I think this question would work better in isolation instead of being contextual to the one preceding it. My opinion on the order of importance of those questions (from most to least) without the context of APB circa 2012-2014 is: Player population and community > Development decisions and engagement > Game mechanics > Gun balance Can't really fill in the "other" option in the poll, though even if I could I wouldn't be sure what to pick. Nevertheless, I've done my part and filled in the survey. Cheers!
  3. First things first, massive thanks for breaking the silence and coming forward with an AMA stream (though I do understand the reasons behind the silence as described in the recent blogpost; again, my condolences, and I wish the best for the future). As for the actual questions I would have, trying not to repeat the ones I've already seen here: For all of the love I have for the game as a whole, I'm also eager to point out that APB's first time user experience (FTUE) is absolutely abysmal. The tutorial system is clunky and uninviting; some time ago I'd managed to get a friend of mine to give the game a shot and he said he found my advice a lot more comprehensible than the tutorial menu. I remember that plans to improve FTUE were already brought up in the past, but approximately speaking: how much of a priority is improving FTUE? One of the things from APB's past which I would actually say was a good idea is the Refer-a-Friend system... on a conceptual level. Its implementation left a lot to be desired, owing largely to the fact that the actual invited players saw no profit from the system and the inviter got to reap the full benefits, including some really good items to get as account-bound. Would LO be willing to reintroduce the Refer-a-Friend system in some shape or form at some point? Otherwise, are there any plans to encourage or incentivize players to recommend the game to others? The interface of the game is honestly a bit dated in various ways. Besides having mechanical issues (the UI running on both Scaleform and Kismet being probably the biggest one, but there's also the reliance on non-descriptive bars instead of exact values) I think it's also showing its age visually and aesthetically. Are there any plans to modernize or otherwise update the game's user interface? I think that's it from me. Looking forward to the Q&A!
  4. No matter which side of the San Paro divide you're on, everyone knows the best method of dealing with those nightmarish pumpkinheaded bastards – blow 'em all up back to hell.
  5. Mission descriptions are specifically written as non-indicative/generic enough for the players to be able to see their dispatcher contact and read the description and go "yeah I can imagine this character saying that". This has mixed results as you bring up in your post because ultimately all contacts need to have some pool of missions anyway, and not all of them would be using the same language or style of speaking, so some missions are thrown into the pools of characters that simply don't talk that way or don't have the motivations described in the flavor text. I've got to say though, the notion of individual missions being assigned to specific contacts sounds kinda cool. Makes me think of the game occasionally offering you a mission instead of assigning you into one at random; "this contact is offering you this specific mission that's only available from them in this form, you'll receive increased mission rewards for taking part, do you agree?" or stuff like that.
  6. Any one of my friends that I've met through APB will know that I'll jump at any chance to talk about its lore, chiefly because of how little attention it gets, so this thread is a godsend to me It also gives me an excuse to revisit all the bios and e-mails on APBDB, so that's cool too! The kicker in APB's world is that every faction is composed of hardliners dedicated to its ideals and of opportunists or pragmatists who see it purely as set dressing. This applies to both sides and to all four main factions. The underlying issue with almost everything in San Paro is injustice, and each faction – disregarding the aforementioned opportunists, who are playing their own game – adapts a different approach to the problem. Arlon Benjamin, the man in charge of the G-Kings, earnestly believes in his ideals of leaving behind a better world, disillusioned by the San Paro government bowing down to corporate interests and by private corporations deploying armed forces to enact their own rule. Shift sincerely preaches her ideals of subverting authority through free expression and winning people's hearts over bodies. Javez wants to paint the world, express himself, find his place in the world and a crew to call family. This is contrasted by Grayson Fell – Arlon's right hand man – being a fixer purely in the business for personal gain, or by Terri Quan, who's happy to be a pawn and information scout as long as she gets a thrill out of it... or Arlon's own daughter Bonita, who's really psyched about this whole "gangster princess" thing and the ways she profits off that status. Prentiss Tigers – an anti-gang of sorts, dedicated to defending the neighborhood of Prentiss – are led by Orlenz' Moretti, whose grandfather was a feared and notorious criminal and whose father chose to go corporate and ditch petty crime for higher profits. (Hell, "in the modern world, you can steal more with a handshake and a business diploma that you can with a gun, and all of it legitimately" is a literal quote from Orlenz's in-game biography.) Right below him in the progression ladder is Byeong Lee, an old retired deputy commissioner of the San Paro Police Department, who resigned in disgrace when it was leaked to the press that he believed in bringing about peace through lethal measures towards lawbreakers. You have Darryl Kent, who works for the Praetorians but relays intel to the Tigers to avenge his girlfriend who got killed by the Blood Roses, and his older sister Miranda, whose bio and e-mails exude big marketing ghoul energy. (She openly says it's a shame he doesn't want to turn the story of his girlfriend's death into a marketable movie to profit the Tigers. Seriously, even APB writers knew all that time ago that no one who works in marketing is a human being. :^) ) In terms of private military companies, the Praetorians are half what-you-see-is-what-you-get mercenaries and half nice faces for PR. Ty Durrant is just on board because he gets to shoot criminal scum. Hea Choi is there with intentions to be their oversight, making sure that their efforts don't cross certain lines. Grissom is a former special forces operator and he's stuck in the war mindset. Eva Orlandez is an upper class young adult who joins up to have cool stories to tell but grows to actually believe in the public mission of the Praetorians. There's also Ernst 'Mule' Templeton, who's a weird (for the organization) mix of being a hardened veteran hellbent on bringing an end to the urban war in San Paro, but still finding the humanity in himself to understand that his brand of getting things done is not always the best way. There's also his comments on Sabbat, where he acknowledges her reasons behind joining and shows compassion, but says that she should not be putting herself in the line of fire for her own sake and she might be in over her head. The Roses specifically are rich partying brats led by people who realized that having a smoke-screen of self-absorbed clout chasers works well when you can focus their bloodrush on some kind of goal. Seung is jealous of his cousin Jeung's higher status in the Blood Roses hierarchy, being an obvious case of an inferiority complex. Jeung himself absolutely cannot fathom the possibility of not being the biggest fish in the sea, living in a constant state of fury at the concept of being disrespected. Britney is a living stereotype of a rich bimbo partygirl, pretty much being beneficial to the Roses purely by being so shameful to her parents that they're eager to put funds towards a media blackout of the gang, just so people wouldn't learn what their precious daughter Clarissa is up to. None of these dorks could ever lead any serious criminal organization – which is something Byron Bloodrose also half-acknowledges in his e-mails. This is why Tyron Sennet and Michael Simeone are there. The partying and being insufferable is a deliberate distraction (whether the distractions themselves realize it or not), because while you're furious at the crimes of these spoiled brats going unpunished, you fail to notice the puppeteers piloting these same brats. All the daring heists and public displays of arrogance spoil the perpetrators by giving them fame and glory and fill the wallets of those behind the scenes. The partying part of the Blood Roses doesn't want to change things. They're just comfortable enough being rich/famous/powerful within the existing framework. And as long as the scheming part of the Blood Roses keeps the partying part happy, they can cause all the changes they want to see piece by piece, day by day, one crime leading to another. After all, it's a marathon, not a race.
  7. Even though I'm interested in APB's lore and the world of San Paro, I'm also eager to point out that it's conveyed very poorly alongside just being very ambitious yet saying very little. The plot e-mails with an expiration date of 3 days are just the tip of the iceberg. I'd say one of the issues we're looking at is the fact that this is a multiplayer online game chiefly focused on combat gameplay and customization, not on providing a storyline. An overarching plot, like one we would see in other open world games (any of the Grand Theft Auto games, or any Saints Row title, or Watch_Dogs... I could go on), is not conductive to a multiplayer experience. You can't really have any massive plot changes or anything like that because the status quo of the war between Enforcers and Criminals needs to be there in order for the game's premise to even function. On top of that, we've pretty much always had cases of newcomers getting teamed up with veteran players to do the same mission, and it would be tough to provide a plot-friendly justification as to why You™, Newbie McNewcomer™, are even participating in the affairs of someone who's supposed to be more connected than you are. The greatest bits of character development we get are the lines we hear from contacts as they give us missions. For example, Harmon Benjamin, being the black sheep of the Benjamin family, is pessimistic and insecure when you're at early Standing levels with him, but as you let him coordinate your missions and help him prove himself to be competent, his mission intro lines shift into optimism and confidence. Harmon giving you a mission while at level 10 is basically "I'm giving you this mission 'cause I know you're good and you're gonna get it done 'cause we're awesome"... Maybe he doesn't say it literally, but you get the point: characters warm up to you as you help them succeed, their faith in you grows with each mission you execute, and they confide more secrets in you in their e-mails and such. One of the main themes of APB is the web of intrigue and how no one has any idea what they're really doing, with pretty much every player thinking themselves to be on top of the game actually being a pawn for someone else or otherwise being manipulated to serve a greater scope goal. The Blood Roses fit into the stereotype of spoiled rich brats high on the power that crime and money gives them... and they are that by design because they don't have to be anything more than that. A lot of criminal activity traces back to Luke Waskawi, the guy who (if we're being very simple about it) got manipulated into killing the previous Mayor of San Paro and now wants to get his revenge, maybe destroying San Paro in the process. Waskawi's plan doesn't need Blood Roses to be this secret mafia enforcing his will because letting them be self-absorbed criminal pricks suits his needs just as well and he doesn't need to worry about any of these spoiled brats trying to backstab him. Hell, they don't even know he's the one pulling the strings. And chances are, if you're not paying attention to the plot, you won't know he's there either. Most you'll get is Michael Simeone confessing that he's in charge of keeping the Roses on a leash specifically because Waskawi made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Other than that, (one of) the greater scope villain(s) never even shows up physically in the game. (The previous paragraph may have spoiled you some bits of the Criminal side's plot. If so, I apologize.) There are promises in the game. Each maxed out Contact giving you some (metaphorically) game-changing information, often emphasizing how what they've just told you is a secret and you really should keep it that way for their and your own safety... but ultimately the setting of the game cannot change. In a game all about taking action and changing the city, we cannot bring about any actual change. None of the contacts can get killed off because some other player will need to receive missions from them, be told their story and get their rewards. No landmark will get blown up, no part of the map will get changed due to your actions because a new player wouldn't understand the changes, or even know that any change happened in the first place. What I've said might sound really depressing or pessimistic, but I wouldn't really go as far as to disavow the existing lore because player actions don't influence it. There's more to telling stories in video games than just choices and changes. I would say APB's approach to storytelling is the breadcrumbs method. As you engage with the gameplay loop, you may sometimes notice a trail of crumbs here and there. It's up to you to decide to follow that trail and see just what it leads to. Only then will you start noticing the connections and dependencies between the characters in the world of San Paro. On that note, man I would be so down for another alternate reality game. The one we got as a teaser for RIOT Mode was surprisingly fun and just about the only criticism I could level against it is that it was too simple (but I also do understand the limitations, so yeah, I'm not too bummed). Just imagine: changes to the game world sneakily added in an update, unmarked interaction nodes/NPCs added to the map giving hints to those who find them, messaging secret characters through in-game e-mails and getting more clues that way, contributing to a narrative that's half in the game and half in supplementary material... APB lends itself to the shady conspiracy narratives really well.
  8. A long overdue change, in all honesty. Putting the High Mag Scope on the RSA always felt like someone's attempt to make an impractical joke weapon. Looking forward to more (and more in-depth) revisions down the line!
  9. We already do have mission(s?) in the game with that kind of a final stage, and from what I've observed it's not a stage type that's popular/liked by the community, chiefly due to the whole culture of running away not really being fun to play against. Don't forget about the existence of gas stations and the Blowtorch orange mod, helping the running side run away for longer periods of time. Even if we solved the issue of the runners getting a car with massive amounts of HP and the ability to repair it, the layouts of both districts are flat and there's only so far you can keep running away for. Runaway/chase missions are only effective up until you get cornered and all paths are blocked by the ALIG, the DMR-AV, or explosive weaponry. I'd be willing to give hypothetical sliding mechanics a shot, though I'm not too hyped for going prone; that aspect can stay away. We don't need snipers getting an even shorter hitbox, or – even worse – actually shooting from behind cars from the prone position. Not really – there's really old prerelease footage out there online which shows that the overpass/highway in Financial was actually finished at first. It was changed because it was awful for gameplay flow, with no real opportunities to get on the overpass besides the few intended entryways. What we have nowadays was an intentional decision to set the overpass into this unfinished state to allow more opportunities to get onto it, with ramps for cars and scaffoldings for players.
  10. The part in the opening post about "item themes" got me kinda intrigued. Hopefully I understand it correctly as I say I'd love to see more "canvas items". What I mean by that isn't clothes literally made out of that specific fabric, but clothes with as few imperfections or preset texturing as possible. To illustrate what I mean: if you were to create an outfit that looks like the plugsuit worn by D.va from Overwatch, you'd have to go with a long-sleeved shirt and leggings, but the latter will have that weird glossy look to them, making it obvious you're wearing two entirely different clothing items. The turtleneck has a similar issue, where it very obviously has this wooly texture to it. I think the jeans also have this problem. So yeah, in terms of clothing I'd just love to see more things that let the players go wild with the symbol designer. A variant for leggings without the gloss would be a good start by itself. The clothes wouldn't have to be skintight, but it would certainly help with designing outfits that, with the right symbol work done to them, look like clothes that aren't even in the game. (Maybe we could even have an alternate Body Paint option for tattoos that also removes the glossy effect of light reflecting off of the character's skin?) Speaking of which, it'd be neat to have item combo restrictions removed or at least scaled back, so that we can mix and match more clothes together. I'm sure at least some clothing articles could be combined for cool results without their meshes clipping. As for more specific/individual things I'd like to see (assuming we're talking about cosmetic items and things that don't impact gameplay directly): Uniform Shirt, but for female characters. Similarly, an actual Hood Down counterpart for male characters, since the current Hoodie (Hood Down) looks completely different from the normal hoodie. Also similarly, a pullover hoodie for female characters, without the zipper in the middle. Just in general, having the majority of items have counterparts for both genders in the game. Optimally we could be going the path of Saints Row 2 and ditch gender restrictions on clothing altogether, but I'm not sure how feasible it would even be with APB's customization architecture, so I'm just mentioning it as a dream scenario, not an actual goal I expect to be met. Leotard/bodysuit. There is an old listing for a Bodysuit Tank somewhere on APBDB, and it's been said multiple times that it was never a finished item, but it'd be neat to see something like it one day. Medical facemasks. Like the ones we've seen the most during the peak of the pandemic. Long-sleeved Shirt for female characters that looks like the male variant of that item: kinda like a baggy pullover sweater. Pantyhose/tights, to help reduce clutter in the wardrobe and let people have one item that serves the purpose of two. (Also, having the stocking tops on display is trashy.) Standalone sleeves, in loose and skintight variants, so you can place tattoos on individual outfits instead of your character. More eyeglasses. Just in general, both the sun protection and eyesight correction types. Flip-flops or sandals, for beach/summertime outfits. A bucket hat. Or a sun hat. Really, just any big and silly hats, ones that put the Wizard/Witch Hat to shame. Deep inside your soul you know you want it.
  11. I found some gameplay footage from Watch_Dogs showing the radar in the bottom right corner (though Watch_Dogs 2 switched to the bottom left corner). The Grand Theft Auto series consistently holds its radar/minimap in the bottom left corner too. Call of Duty seems to prefer its radar in the top left corner , and so does CS:GO. I'd say this isn't as universal as you portray it in your post :V There's no golden standard for on-screen radar placement, and in my opinion shifting it around to follow other games (particularly ones that a single community member has a preference for) feels kinda nonsensical. Of course, the best solution would be to make the HUD elements customizable location-wise, kinda like Need for Speed: Porsche 2000 did all those years ago, where you could turn off individual modules of the HUD and freely set their position on the screen, but that's probably not too achievable right now.
  12. Ignore tools are stopgap measures which put the responsibility on the victim of toxicity to block the toxic users instead of putting the responsibility on the toxic users to behave properly towards fellow community members. They work best as supplementary measures to other prevention systems. Optimally we should be solving problems by working at their core instead of applying band-aids to bullet holes. As @R3ACT3M put it, toxic users should be faced with consequences for uncivilized behavior – and an obvious starting point in this case is, for example, temp-restricting offending accounts from using in-game communication, much like the idea in the Open Letter crossposted by Matt Scott in the opening post here. If certain users can't utilize the in-game chat without insulting other users or straight up throwing hate speech around, I see no benefit to the community as a whole in letting them continue to do that.
  13. One more tech to add to the list could be about entering vehicles. If a car is positioned in such a way that the door can be accessed but the door opening animation would not be able to play properly (i.e. not enough space), you just warp into an available seat instantly, with the driver seat being given priority. Other than that, man, this topic is making me mildly aware that there might not be as much tech in APB as I used to think. Hope there's more nuggets of knowledge that people can share though!
  14. Honestly, for all flak a certain forum user over here gets for repeated insistence* about their preferred green mod needing a buff (and Clotting Agent needing a nerf), it is entirely correct that the meta needs adjustments in the green mod field. Clotting Agent is the go-to option because of how drastically it changes the combat experience. The default health regen time of... 8 seconds, if I remember correctly? Being put out of combat to regenerate health for such a long period of time is too harsh of a punishment for simply participating in combat. However, simply setting CA2 as the default and then letting players alter that with CA3 is a band-aid solution to a deeper problem causing the rot in APB's meta. I feel like if we want to touch anything further in the character mod department, we need to open up the options – and one of the first things that would need to be done, even if it's a band-aid fix too, is the removal of the R195 restriction. Its only function is to keep the options stifled until you reach the halfway mark in progression. It can be argued that you actually have a choice of 6 green mods before hitting R195, but fundamentally it's the same mod, just with varying intensity. On top of that, Clotting Agent's three levels actually have a tangible difference, but the 3 levels of Kevlar Implants differ so little that it's hard to argue for any one of them in particular – and that's if you even find someone willing to defend a mod that lowers mobility in a game where mobility matters so much. In order to broaden your options, you have to force yourself to use the same few mods for however long it takes to reach R195, and then your mod choices expand. If we treat number variants as the same mod, you get 4 blue mods to choose from instead of 1, 4 green mods instead of 2, and 6 orange mods instead of just 1. Until that happens though, you're stuck with Field Supplier, Happy Landings, and Clotting Agent because there's no real reason to pick Kevlar in the current state of the game. Ultimately the issue I see here is a lack of available options, and our collective inability as a community to come up with a solution or brainstorm new mods or anything of that sort. I don't subscribe to the notion that we should act careful so as not to upset the delicate nature of the current meta – it just feels like a surefire way to keep the gameplay stale and unchanging. Sitting on our asses and never making any changes so as not to upset anyone gets us nowhere. Instead of catering to specific demographics within the playerbase we should focus on things that can breathe some fresh air into the playscape. On the other hand though, how many stats can we even alter as part of modifications? The "main" trait of green mods (and I use the word "main" very loosely) is trading mobility for survivability or the other way around. Flak Jacket experiments with resisting specific damage types, but that's about as adventurous as things get right now. We could have a whole multi-stage process of adding new things. Have people suggest new mods on the forums in dedicated threads, pick the most well-received one (or multiple ones; we don't have to limit ourselves to adding just one new mod and we shouldn't) and add them to the game later down the line; we could even hold an art contest by having people create in-game symbols that will be used as mod icons. I think one of the biggest hurdles to overcome here is pessimism. Active suggestions for new things are better than passive reactions to things that are added without prior polling. I understand disliking the history of changes so far, but LO aren't mind readers and I don't think it's fair to blame them for not getting things right on the first try. (Hopefully I've conveyed my idea here in a relatively clear manner :V ) *the issue that I personally take is that they are at the right conclusion, but they reach it through absolutely incorrect analysis and they offer completely wrong solutions.
  15. So far, Todesklinge's track record with threads regarding Kevlar and game balance (ignoring this very thread) includes, as listed on his forum profile: a demand for Clotting Agent and a few other things to be removed because he can't combat them, in September 2021. a miscategorized thread which calls Kevlar's underperformance a "bug", in January 2021. a complaint about Clotting Agent beating him, a Kevlar user, which somehow proves that Clotting Agent needs to be nerfed, in October 2020. a claim that using meta weapons is actually cheating, in August 2020. a whole slew of weird demands for gameplay changes that essentially boil down to "Kevlar should make me a bullet sponge", in July 2020. an empty complaint with no proposed fixes regarding the shape of the meta, in December 2019. a proposal that Kevlar go as far as increasing player health by 45%, along with a whole bunch of other wild math misadventures, in October 2019. a suggestion of making Kevlar the only way to survive an N-HVR shot, in October 2019. a "bug report" of Kevlar 3 making players slower at retreating into cover in fights against snipers, in August 2019. a call for Kevlar to become singular instead of existing in 3 variants, and to have it increase player health by 60%, in September 2019. a generic complaint about being too slow because of Kevlar, in August 2018. If you feel like you've seen this thread before, it's because this is almost the only thing this user posts about. Credit where it's due, Todesklinge is the most persistent member of the community, even if for the worst possible reasons. Continuing to use a character mod that has – over the course of over 5 years – proved itself to drag you down in most fights is a feat that I quite literally don't know how to describe.
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