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Note to mods: Since nobody reads or even acknowledges the existence of the Game Suggestions board, I posted this here to spark a discussion on a borderline dead game’s forum, and possibly get developers to shift their priorities accordingly. Moving the post to Game Suggestions would be a mistake. Thank you for your understanding. Before I go any further, I want to preface those suggestions by saying that I can’t fully credit myself for coming up with some ideas, and that putting on the backburner major balance in favor of overhauls indefinitely was a mistake that instantly ruined most players’ faith on Little Orbit for multiple reasons. The game’s current toxicity mostly rests upon the fact that players are greeted with PvP, progression and balancing so hostile (along with lacking casual features that would make it at least fun), that everybody unanimously agrees that it was predatory design by Gamersfirst to force Armas sales. In true G1 fashion however, they even failed in this regard, and became one of the major reasons G1 got bought by LO, because they failed at following this simple core rule: If your MMO is unpleasant to grind on as is, no player retention will happen. No retention, no growth, meaning you earn an ever-shrinking pool of increasingly bitter and hostile customers over time. Somewhere within the forum a little over a year ago, Matt had typed about buffing every weapon outside of the DMR-AV, which for reasons unknown to anybody actually playing the game, would get nerfed. Hopefully that 18-page long file has been modified since, because I predict a do-over of more than a decade of power creep, toxicity being blamed on “griefers” (what streamers with unwarranted self-importance call dudes minding their own business who accidentally graze their cars) and people criticizing LO for not going full USSR on the community. No, giving streamers the power to phase through cars in a “rule for me, not for thee” system, and being banned for shitposting in chat won’t make this game marketable; you’ll just sanitize and ruin what little player interaction remains for cheap publicity the game currently neither deserves nor benefits from. To end this side note, let me say that this is more entertaining for everybody than what LO currently envisions. Rant over . Mods: Character mods: Universal change: All mods, regardless of where they are purchased, can be equipped by all characters, regardless of rank or mod type. There are two things in focus outside of direct balancing here: character progression and specialization, along with better cooperation. At the time, every mod outside allowing this outside of vanilla field resupply are locked behind 310+ hours of 24/7 grinding per character to reach R195. Not only does this mark a fundamental failure at understanding the game’s core design principles and is a direct betrayal of one of APB’s selling points (identity in both playstyle and aesthetics), it also fails in teaching new players valuable lessons in teamplay and loadout synergy across a team, which contributes to most of the toxicity the game generates by creating an ecosystem where solo plays are implicitly encouraged in a team-oriented game. Considering Gamersfirst was behind this choice, this likely is the product of malicious design to increase Premium sales. No, making mods available in the Joker Store and having newbs grind FC for tickets doesn’t solve the problem: it exacerbates it, as they are put against top-tier players who will inevitably crush them or farm them for easy role grinding, which would either have them leave the game or grow increasingly bitter as time goes. This choice indicates that there is demand for more teamwork across the game, and yet, nothing has been done to answer it in a meaningful, sensical way by anybody for a decade. Consumables are another bag of troubles that share the same space with orange mods: really, they just exist because G1 was creatively bankrupt concerning the last remaining character slot, and was too busy spiting the player base for daring to ask their game and staff to not be garbage. Most consumables either cheese fights (med spray, epi, mobile cover) or serve little to no purpose against experienced players (boom box, satchels) with no in-between. Orange & Yellow mods: Banners and boom boxes become yellow items. Yellow items do not require charges and are not considered consumables anymore (random weapon event boxes are excluded from this rule and still act as consumables). The idea behind this would be to turn yellow mods into “For Fun” mods. Not competitive stuff or gimmicks; just something nice to use off-duty/in Social or when screwing around during event times, and to top it all off, it would be a viable way to monetize the game. Remove resupply boxes, med spray, and epinephrine. All orange mods currently restricted to R195 are now available for everybody and are unlocked through T1 contacts for purchase for less than $1500. Once unlocked, one unit is mailed directly to players. The sole reason why this would take time would be because re-writing lore mails sent by T5 and Specialist contacts would take about 1-2 weeks of effort either editing or writing new things. But hey, in lore, Gumball correctly observes the crim player character never gave two flying Fs about mails outside of attachments, so why have lore stop you now of all times? Satchel charges: Now an orange mod. Satchels become Breaching Charges: sticky throwables statistically similar to concussion grenades in terms of hard damage, 500 in stamina damage and throwing weight slightly heavier than frags. Can open doors remotely and are activated 0.6 seconds after they have been planted. Breaching charges, once activated, are held, and then thrown with a single M1 click by default. Detonating the charges would optimally be done with a separate bind. Mobile Cover Mobile cover becomes large enough to fit at least one people and a half and gets slightly raised to prevent pixel peeking. Cooldown: 120s ->190s Shields in their current state only serve to block objectives and ladders. Let them serve an actual defensive use instead of being an easily broken nuisance. Field Supplier: Vanilla gets replaced with Wide Radius; lasts 35 seconds. Resupply box: Becomes an Orange Mod. You cannot modify loadouts with it and lasts until the cooldown is over or gets destroyed. Only one of them can be deployed per character. Voluntary ammo supplying in this game never happens, because currently, nobody has any real reason or choice to use any orange mod outside of suppliers, meaning everybody has ammo at all times. Considering the orange revamp proposed here attempts to diversify roles, here, an actual fire support role gets introduced, with two different approaches to it: Field Supplier would allow players to share ammo and switch guns without having teammates uncomfortably hug your face with their crotch, with the downside of taking the user out of firefights as long as his box is out (which would become a major gamble in certain situations). On the other end, Resupply Boxes would serve as a passive recovery point or a rallying point in SHTF scenarios where you’ll be needed in fights in exchange of team-wide weapon switching on the fly (in other words, trading team flexibility for map presence). Radar Jammer: Raise effects to 60m. Keep negatives. Currently, there are very few reasons to use thanks to the small range of it. The mod would benefit from having users just barely visible on everybody’s radar before they get jammed. Speedy and loud playstyles got enough toys now, why not give some love to stealth, eh? Green and Blue mods: Car Surfer becomes an orange car mod. Allows everybody to car surf onto a car equipped with it. -70% damage resistance. Just say that the chassis used to allow it requires thinner car plating or something, I dunno. I must admit to bias here: I love car surfing, and while removing this from the game would be a good step, it would also remove something fun from the game. Detractors of it often say that CS completely ruined car chases by allowing cars AV turrets, and I completely agree, which is why I redesigned this mod into forcing a glass-canon approach to car surf to all vehicles, including the bigger ones like Pioneers (which, if my math is correct, wouldn’t be able to withstand a direct OSMAW rocket). Attempting to make cars tankier by adding Steel Plating would successfully reduce the penalty against ambushing AV outside of OSMAWs, at the cost of top speed, something you don’t want to lose in a car chase or during objective transitions. I like to think that this version of car surfing would make for a good “for fun” mod with niche tactical uses. Make R195 mods of those categories available around the same time tier 2 modifications of their categories get unlocked. Optimally, you’d want opposite green mods being unlocked at the same time. Say I unlocked Kevlar II; I would also unlock Fragile for purchase, thus, giving me a choice between tanking damage at the cost of speed, more evasion at the cost of health, or sticking to either CA / Flak jacket or vanilla. Since variety in blue mods before R195 is nonexistent, each tier of Happy Landings would unlock something new, I thought of it in this order: HL1 / Hard Landing HL2 / Valzipram Tablets HL3 / whatever blue mod comes next since car surf isn’t a char mod anymore Weapon Mods: Improved Rifling: Range improvement hinges on small percentages instead of raw values. Replace the max bloom penalty with a ROF penalty. Leave preset versions of the mod untouched. Although it was rough around the edges back when LO did a similar thing, this change did show a good understanding of how gun mods should work in APB: as fundamental alterations to how guns behave, not direct upgrades. The slower ROF didn’t just make previously unusable guns usable; it made some viable: high RoF meme guns like the M1922 and the SHAW for example, became very fun to play with again thanks to them shooting fast enough for the server to catch up- it created so many cool things and combos that, for many, it became fun to toy around with gun mods again, and made discoveries some would have otherwise ignored. Unfortunately, the excessive whining of NTEC mains getting outperformed by CR762s legitimate complaints over some preset weapons breaking had them revert it back to its prior state, which turned it back into a straight upgrade for almost every gun. 3-Point-Sling: 3-5-7% less character speed as the weapon equips itself. I don’t understand why this mod in particular has no downsides whatsoever despite the insane bonus it holds. If anybody knows the reason why, do enlighten me. This change also incentivizes the usage of lower levels of it. Currently, lower levels of 3PS may as well not exist. High Magnification Scope: Raise accuracy benefits to Hunting Sight 2’s (might be too low in comparison the downsides HMS holds, HS3 levels sounded more reasonable in my mind) One of the reasons why this mod sucks is because guns fitted with this that would benefit from it can’t due to the piss-poor benefits the gun receives in exchange of tunnel vision and no crosshair. It’s a shame, because it’d otherwise be a serviceable, yet niche mod. Car Mods: Car Spawner: Removed. There are so many wrong things with this single mod. Reworking spawns might be the only good thing G1 did for the game: it gave the game elements of tactical planning for attackers and defender retakes that it never had with random spawns. In true G1 fashion however, they felt like going two steps back introducing car spawners, which completely destroy map balance by automatically turning fights into trench wars in favor of defenders, immediately erases defensive slip-ups and of course, has unlimited spam despite the very forgiving cooldown players have once they use it, meaning everybody’s forced to waste resources and time taking down spawners for no other reason outside of them being present on the map, and potentially killing earned victories in a single move. The sole fact you can by just spawn 50m from where you died should your opponent be forced to do something else other than destroy the 2-3 Pioneers around his objective is neither fun nor intelligent design. It is better off gone. As I type this I also realize this one mod prevented the refinement of the spawn system, and killed car variety across the board: why bother fixing spawning open-field in front of defending snipers and other nonsense when you can just give players the choice to spawn pretty much anywhere on the map? If your car can’t tank concs or frags, then what’s the point of driving anything else? Trading tanky spawners for speed or agility would be a terrible trade after all (conveniently, G1 sold the 4x4, which could tank concs, while having ridiculous acceleration, maneuverability, and speed, how curious). Mobile Radar Tower: Turned into Mobile Radar Jammer. Enemies within 30 meters of it have their radars jammed. Cars using it aren’t marked on your map anymore until you get jammed once. Jamming victims gone out of the car’s jamming range see the car jammer for 1 - 1.5 seconds on their radar. Currently, somebody running muffler/brick + MRT and sending it through areas you’re in means you automatically lose the element of surprise to what’s essentially legal wallhacks with no consequences for the guy sending it from 70m+ away. Once again, no thought had been put into creating this mod. Turning it into a jammer, however, has interesting applications where players are suddenly thrust into uncertain situations: “Is somebody running around with an active jammer? Or is it their car somewhere around the block? If it’s the former, does he know I’m there?”. This train of thought is much more interesting than: “Oh, his Vegas had Radar Tower. I’m blown”. Weapons: Firework Launcher Now a yellow mod. Remove the spotting effect. Same logic as Radar Tower. Nobody likes wallhacks. Let Spotter actually fill a role instead of giving players a tool that instantly does the job across a radius the size of the Atlantic Ocean. Slotted weapon unlocks: 1 slot: Rank 3&4 (respective total kills: 50 & 100) 2 slots: Rank 6&7 (respective total kills: 400 & 650) 3 slots: Rank 10 (total kills: 1500) Having game-changing weapons this far into progression for only a single character is predatory lunacy unfit for a game like APB. Spreading gun progression and edition this far negatively impact sales, AS PLAYERS FIND OUT BY BROWSING THE DB THAT IT WILL TAKE 10,000 KILLS WITH INFERIOR WEAPONS TO ACTUALLY START HAVING FUN USING MODDED GUNS FOR JUST A SINGLE CATEGORY. Another side effect of this would be discouraging curiosity with weapon tinkering, which itself would encourage account-wide weapon sales. The way it’s done here, a major balancing problem would be solved while leaving sales untouched, and that would only be the worst-case scenario, as the grind to acquire leases of slotted guns would still be present, meaning you would actually grow sales in a more healthy and natural manner. “Insane grind = more whales & sales” is a myth perpetuated by smart AAA management that inevitably net a game and its dev team a bad reputation (looking at you Diablo Immortal). LO cannot weather this sort of negative PR like AAA publishers and dev teams would. G1 was direct proof of this, and yet, this went unaddressed in favor of adding new stuff the game didn’t immediately need even recently. Give a chance for those within those districts to learn how to fight on equal grounds against yellows quicker, and you’ll soon find most balancing complaints and accusations of Pay 2 Win across the game would vanish in a matter of months; because on this front, new players are absolutely right to claim that they are put at a disadvantage against people who skipped the entire progression cycle and paid for slotted guns. NTEC: Walk modifier: 1.2 -> 2.5. Recovery delay: 0.07 -> 0.09 It usually strikes people when I point out that, despite being the game’s starter gun, the STAR simply vanishes from districts, with the occasional new player rocking one and local bored top score wizard packing a 3 slotted one with muzzle brake and RS3 for shits and giggles. Once you come out of several games with an NTEC and go back to it, however, it just hits you how easy managing mid to long-range duels with the NTEC is, because the STAR actually requires much more precise spread management when bursting or tap-firing. The NTEC, despite being an assault rifle (i.e. APB’s “jack of all trades master of none” class of guns), has no business being an omni-gun only outclassed by SMGs, auto-shotties and Snipers within their effective ranges. Let me highlight something most forum-goers have stubbornly refused to acknowledge for nearly a decade by now: ease of use does not equate to overpowered enough to wipe the floor with 2/3rds of the current weapon roster of the game, including its direct counterparts. I have read arguments about balancing weapons around the NTEC, and although it sounds nice when you willingly ignore the gargantuan amount of work this would represent (and the fact that this would cause a general increase in accuracy and a TTK decrease across the board), it also signals cognitive dissonance: the gun is “so balanced” that the rest of the weapon roster just needs to be as good as the NTEC. It reeks of dishonesty. Rant mode: On As 2/3rds of remaining players use it as a crutch (being generous), it is no surprise LO had backed down with from continually overhauling weapon balance in response to NTEC mains whining about their guns not being able to handle IR3 anymore, as it means that a fair share of those people will be gone in response to further change until the next meta gun finally appears. What LO doesn’t understand however, is that no games, casual or otherwise (and especially games like APB) thrive by directly pandering to meta-whores and “muh e-sports” types. The sooner and the more often those people are challenged and disrespected through balancing decisions, the healthier the game will be in the long run, especially over matters of toxicity, which LO sincerely believes it directly comes from its players and people screwing around in dump trucks instead of G1’s crack-fueled decisions cultivating a terrible PvP experience for everybody involved. /rant CQB: Revert changes back to Pre-LO era for both shotguns and SMGs. I cannot for the life of me understand what pushed them to break shotguns into either game breaking levels or unusable gimmick weapons, and then balance CQB weapons around a decision universally disliked by everybody (even yellows seeking mindless silver pummeling). I know for a fact reverting shotgun logic is possible unless LO directly screwed with their game update archives. It’s frankly weird they got around reverting everything they had experimented with back then, only to leave the second most hated change they had done intact. N-HVR: Damage: 770 -> 720 Remove the “damage with accuracy” gimmick. I must admit, I was shocked to learn that LO had finally gone and reduced the damage of the HVR. I’m not going to give them props for it though, because let’s remind ourselves, that was something over a decade overdue, and 4 years late as far as LO is concerned. Still, it’s a cute token attempt at fixing the gun I’m sure nobody expected at that point. The additional damage reduction given here won’t kill quickswitching but will make it supremely inconvenient where it matters. It’s enough damage to cook-up something good with an RSA/ACT44+HVR build in open areas, but extremely risky once put in a cover-heavy area with clotting agent opponents in CQC. All of this, while keeping the HVR’s support role intact and deleting what makes it now just janky and annoying to use. Leave situational gimmicks to other snipers. Hopefully I didn't write something boring. Thoughts?