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ComFeyer

Second APB Reloaded Q&A Videos

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oh, hi there.

 

Thank you all for tuning into the Q&A stream.

 

For those of you that might have missed the Q&A stream, you can re-watch the full video on

Twitch:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/478716864

 

Or Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKvAdRXOeYY

 

@Kevkof was kind enough to make a full transcript for those of you that want to read through the answers instead:

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/11052-second-apb-reloaded-qa-videos/?do=findComment&comment=144943

 

Edited by ComFeyer
added transcript
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What a gentle Senior Game Master do we have? Thank you too, very much.

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I'm really excited for new contacts.

 

Love the idea of cross-platform Social District.

 

These types of videos make me excited to play again.

Edited by Cheeseburger!
Just finishing the video
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As a former avid PC player, to a now avid console player. I am so excited for everything coming for both platforms! Can't wait! (Still salty yall gonna release my PC name tho >.>)

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@MattScott In regards to ARMAS being shifted into a purely account-bound purchasing platform, what will happen to existing character-bound items we own via ARMAS (not talking about Joker Store stuff here)? Will they be upgraded to account-bound for free (would be insane PR move, but doubt it'd happen for obvious reasons)? Will we be given the option to upgrade our stuff for a heavy discount (like we already can with character-bound weapons)? Any other specifics you can elaborate on for us?

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4 hours ago, ComFeyer said:

oh, hi there.

 

Thank you all for tuning into the Q&A stream.

 

For those of you that might have missed the Q&A stream, you can re-watch the full video on

Twitch:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/478716864

 

Or Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKvAdRXOeYY

 

oh, hi ComFeyer 

 

unfortunately I am not a native English speaker . viewing won't give me any information . is it possible to make a text notification on the main questions and answers ?

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5 minutes ago, olo said:

oh, hi ComFeyer 

 

unfortunately I am not a native English speaker . viewing won't give me any information . is it possible to make a text notification on the main questions and answers ?

afaik @Kevkof is currently working on transcribing the q&a to text

 

 

Edited by Solamente
mention
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Just watched the VOD on youtube, really great stuff and thank you to Kemp, Matt and everyone else who helps with these streams as they give me great hope for the game and faith in the team.

I think that this transparency with the community via regular broadcasts really brings the community into the game and creates a fantastic opportunity for immediate feedback.

An example can be seen with Digital Extreme's bi-weekly dev streams for their game Warframe, speaking for myself these keep my friends and I very engaged as we always look forwards to what might be on the horizon! Seeing Matt be open to communication is a wonderful feeling after so many years of issues on the communication front.

 

You've genuinely re-interested me in the game, thank you,

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9 hours ago, Erisedd said:

As a former avid PC player, to a now avid console player. I am so excited for everything coming for both platforms! Can't wait! (Still salty yall gonna release my PC name tho >.>)

you could just login once...

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Watch the entire video and pretty much satisfied.Still the fact that players from different regions will be able to choose on which region they want to play still worries me.Nice to know that after 3.5 voIP gonna get upgraded finally.Also they have in mind to work on clans and on pve kinda stuff like ram-raids,mugging,shope braking etc(maybe ambulance and taxi missions like in gta games?)Ofc public test will start before end of the year.Till end of the year i expect 3.5 full release(or at least open beta)

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10 hours ago, Fropsik said:

Can we have text version? 

i think @SKay gonna show up soon :v

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7 hours ago, neophobia said:

you could just login once...

Don't have a working PC at the moment. 😕

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Matt, i just want to know one thing. Is there going to be HQ bloom settings in the engine upgrade? That's all i want to know.

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The more I think about it, the more I wonder why we need a limit on Joker Tickets earned via mission gameplay. Especially when (based on the way it was described) half the time you won't even see a payout on a given mission, and when you do it's such a tiny amount.

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33 minutes ago, Hexerin said:

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why we need a limit on Joker Tickets earned via mission gameplay. Especially when (based on the way it was described) half the time you won't even see a payout on a given mission, and when you do it's such a tiny amount.

there's a cap because they want to be able to control the joker ticket economy without pricing everything as if people play missions 24 hours a day

 

i did find it a little odd that mattscott went from "1-10" to "0-10", it seems unnecessary to have a nonexistent reward when working with such small numbers

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1 minute ago, Solamente said:

i did find it a little odd that mattscott went from "1-10" to "0-10", it seems unnecessary to have a nonexistent reward when working with such small numbers

The "1-10" payout was when he was describing the system in the test districts, with the "0-10" payout referencing the mission districts. The "0" in the "0-10" is referencing that in their current design intent, you won't always receive a payout for a mission in mission districts (whereas test district missions will always reward them).

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10 hours ago, Erisedd said:

Don't have a working PC at the moment. 😕

contact support and let them know.

Q&A says it counts if support knows and is talking with you

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Dont forget to release brand new exciding trailer alongside with 3.5. Its very important marketing move to bait the players.

 

New threat system looks veery interesting, and Iam looking forward to it.

Edited by AxeTurboAgresor
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1 hour ago, AxeTurboAgresor said:

Dont forget to release brand new exciding trailer alongside with 3.5. Its very important marketing move to bait the players.

 

New threat system looks veery interesting, and Iam looking forward to it.

where do you see the new threat system,?

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5 minutes ago, LAPDAlonso said:

where do you see the new threat system,?

ELO based threat system they are talking about in the video that comes with 3.5

Edited by AxeTurboAgresor

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Wait a second, using JTs as an incentive to get players into an unpopular district? 

They're using my idea!

I'm not angry, just pay me my way in JTs and I won't sue.

 

Edit: I finished the video and there was so much win in it it will probably keep me high for a year. Thanks so much to listening to the players LO. ❤️ QoL changes.

Edited by KnifuWaifu
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This took longer than I had initially anticipated, but guess that's within the norm for APB, right? 

 

The entire video is split per topic discussed with a link directly to that time in the VOD and nearly all the text is here (skipped some stop words and stuff)

Things that did really have a question or were picked out of the chat by Matt or are just Kemp explaining something are marked in a different color. 

This is an overview of all the questions asked:

 

And as a new addition a download link: link

 

This is placed in a spoiler tag so you can close it for easier scrolling. 

 

 

 


 

Intro, being skipped for this.

 

https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=3m15s
Q: The IP and brand sale that came out of nowhere. Unit Game and the IP Branding, what does this really mean for the future of APB Reloaded and the brand of APB in general?
A: I described this as kind of a win-win deal. The deal started months ago, it was only going to be a mobile deal. Just because historically Little Orbit has been bad at mobile. The CEO of Unit Game is a lifelong fan of APB, he loves the game and is a player. I won't give details out on who he is, it definitely started from the perspective of him really liking the game and so they wanted to do something on mobile. Something more Asia focused, which was an area in our roadmap we weren't going to get to in a very long time so we started there and then the deal sort of evolved. Certainly at one point there was an offer to buy everything and take the whole thing over. I like the idea of another team who's passionate about APB creating new content, taking it forward and doing some cool stuff with it but I also feel that, and I said this as well, we can't put the players through another management change. Especially with Reloaded and where Reloaded was at code wise and platformwise. We are mid-stream on so many different things, it would be virtually impossible for a new team to pick that up. We arrived at a fairly unique deal where they bought the IP and bought the brand. They are moving forward, mostly on mobile and in the Asian markets but we've retained all the creative control and creative rights to APB Reloaded which means we can add new lore, new characters, new game modes, new content, we don't need to go to them for approval. We're sort of co-managing the brand as it were that's where we netted out.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=5m54s
Q: Okay yeah, I think that was kind of the main concern with most people because the idea behind it was "Oh no, they've sold the brand does this mean that APB Reloaded is now at a stopping point, can they move anywhere further from it. I think just for clarity's sake, it's more you can do whatever you like with APB Reloaded and you can keep running it indefinitely. However any new games revolving the brand of APB is going to under the control of Unit Game and I'm guessing that means if you were to try and release another game under that brand you would have to go to them for approval or for them to manage it in the process.
A: That's exactly correct, we had loosely started thinking about APB2 or we had a team in Australia that was doing some work and it became very clear to me in the last couple of months that APB Reloaded is a very complex game and it was a bit naïve to believe that we could grab a team that's out of house and expect them to get up to speed and start doing some really complex work in Unreal 4 and this was my answer to keep the brand moving forward. I'm sure fans would love to see new content on new platforms with new ideas behind it. So this was the answer to that.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=7m20s
Q: Kind of on the topic of branding and marketing, cause this is kind of where APB needs to go. I mean after the engine upgrade, don't worry we'll get onto that in just a minute. Everybody in the chat don't worry we have stuff to talk about regarding the engine upgrade, don't worry. We'll get there in just a minute, hold your horses there's a few other things we need to go through. The main one is: What sort of marketing do you have in place for APB? Once the engine upgrade does come out, against all the nay-sayers out there. What kind of strategies do you have in place to start getting the word out that this is the game now, this is what we've got, it's on the new engine, here's what's coming and to entice you here a few things we've got. Have you got anything along those lines planned or maybe already coming? 
A: We do, that's a big topic and we could spend the whole stream talking about it, it breaks down into three main pilars and all of them are really focused on the engine upgrade. For me personally, I want to get the game to a point where I'm happy with it. Not all of that is the engine upgrade, but a lot of it is. There are some core systems that we've been tweaking, in terms of Joker Tickets and the availability of in-game currency to be able to buy things that are permanent, we've been making some small changes there. Largely once we're ready we have partners, I think we saw the first inklings of that with the Razer phone case deal. We are going to be doing something very very quick with Razer as another kind of promotional arm, the second area is really streaming online in an organic group. A streamer program with all sorts, we've got some influencers identified and some people we're talking to to start driving awareness and streaming the game a lot more. I think once the engine upgrade comes along and it runs better on newer hardware, that's kind of a big barrier there so we need to solve that. And then lastly is just straight up paid marketing, we've got an enterprise deal with Google and with a couple other partners that we've already got initial campaigns sort of identified and we're tracking towards some of those small tests and be to be able to really turn the crank there. I really want to be in a position of really driving awareness for what the game is now, millions and millions of people have played it so we have the benefit of having a lot of people that know of the game but maybe have moved on or maybe not played in a while. It's really just driving awareness of where we are now.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=10m25s
Kemp: I think the most difficult part will be getting rid of that negative stigma but I think once the engine upgrade comes out and it is a good success, it's been through all the public testing and what not. It gets to a point where not only you're happy with it, players have responded that this is good enough, it's better performance. At that point it would be a great time to start to say "Guess what, the engine upgrade that's been fabled since 2013 has finally come out and here we are". 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=11m01s
Q: The one thing that I think needs to be discussed really carefully, is graphical settings, the things people have done to tweaking the shaders, text edits and also what that means in the future. So kind of the two big questions I've seen asked a lot from the community is mostly what sort of modifications can they make to the game files, but more importantly, will we see features. We'll break this down into two, I'll go over both but we'll break it down into two. The second one being now that we have the Advanced Launcher on the official website and there was a previous 'knock-off one' that was being prevented and now subsequently being looked for and banned for as well. The main thing is can we expect to see those kinds of graphical option in the engine upgrade once we get to it. Is there gonna be more flexibility about what we can turn down or turn up, if we can turn any features off, that sort of thing. Lets start at the first one, now that the advanced launcher is here and it's officially linked what kind of stance do we have in terms of modifying files at all? More specifically are people allowed to do shader edits, are they allowed to use custom crosshairs, ... that sort of thing. I think people just want not so much a yes or a no, but more a "here are the lines in the sand, don't go beyond them" sort of thing.
A: The general rule is, you can edit the config files, that's what the game edits when it saves settings and certainly those are editable files. That's what the Advanced Launcher edits, editing config files you're good to go. Editing shaders is a "No, you can't edit shaders". I think there are layers there that get a little bit nuanced. The problem with editing shaders is this: It's very easy to change the shader to do things like wallhack or create transparency or add really bad, lets say egregious cheats in there that enable you to do things that you otherwise shouldn't. I do know that there are some shaders floating around that people try to use to reduce fog. That's one that I've been pretty lenient on because it does affect the performance of the game pretty radically, on average about 15-20 fps. Fog is not a gamebreaker, it doesn't give you a huge advantage. It's usually so far out on your line of sight that it's not going to help you see other players. So fog is the one place where I have gone on record and I've said "Look, I don't love it, but we are certainly not going to be banning players for disabling fog. But just know if you get in there and you start messing with shaders you're opening yourself up. That's what happened with the Russian version of the launcher, I don't believe that those guys who have been very supportive of the game had any ill will there. Easy Anti Cheat picked it up, to Easy Anti Cheat it looks like someone is hacking around in the shaders and people got banned because of it. We got a lot of very unhappy, mostly Russians because in this case the site was in Russian, players who felt that they were unjustly banned and they were like, look I've never cheated. We listened to them and looked at the logs and the launcher. Ultimately I made the decision to go ahead and roll that back, most of these players did end up getting banned for two to three weeks while we sorted that out so they still got a level of punishment there but in general I guess the message is "Don't mess with shaders, don't mess with stuff that isn't directly editable as a text/config file". You mentioned crosshairs, this is a super controversial one. Look, I can take a piece of tape and stick it in the middle of my monitor. That's not cheating right? No publisher in the world can detect a piece of tape on your monitor. Overlays have come up, currently my stance is "We're not banning for crosshair overlays, anything outside of the game. Don't go editing any of the images or any of the crosshairs ingame, don't start tweaking around with things. If you want to run something outside of the game, we can stop them but we are not going to police to that level of what's happening on your PC while you're playing the game. The trick is don't modify the files, but overlays can be used. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=16m35s
Q: In terms of graphical options for the engine upgrade, with what the Advanced Launcher is offering at the moment, can we expect to see something similar or more complex in terms of graphical options in the engine upgrade that will allow us to at least help adjust the settings in a more detailed manner than what we have in the current engine? Which is kind of very limiting and almost does nothing.
A: It's a two sided answer. The main answer is yes, I wanna try to improve the options and add in some of the features from the Advanced Launcher or even from the more crazy configs. I want to be able to build in the proper spectrum so the game runs well on a lot of PC's. Do I want the game looking terrible on streams with no textures and like potato faced characters, no I don't want that. That's absolutely going to be blocked. You are not going to be able to delete textures and things like that in the new engine, what I will say is I'm also not going to hold back the beta for the new engine waiting for a graphical feature/settings. I think this is something we're gonna get the engine upgrade launched as fast as we can, it's going to go into beta and over time the goal is to get as many graphical settings in there as possible.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=18m03s
Q: When we get it into testing and subsequently going live, will there be at least more options in there compared to what we have at the moment? Or is that something we are not so sure about yet?
A: I don't know. If I had a version of the engine upgrade that ran, that I felt comfortable with I would be putting it up tomorrow. I certainly wouldn't hold it back because we're missing a couple graphical options.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=18m38s
Q: The big one I know a lot of people have asked, with the latest generation of Nvidia cards (the RTX cards), there are several issues on the older live engine where it's causing constant crashes which leaves them unable to play the game without doing quite a few tweaks to be able to play at all. Are RTX cards working as intended and working normally on the engine upgrade and can we expect to see them working as intended when the game goes live?
A: I believe so. I'm well aware, unfortunately, of the memory issues. The RTX issue in live is kind of complicated because the live game is 32-bit and Nvidia's drivers for the RTX cards it's just ... The driver is part of the problem, it's not that backwards compatible and then there's problems on our end because the engine is so old. From what I can tell the RTX cards work beautifully in the new engine. We haven't had any reports of Out of Memory issues or crashes or anything like that. In general there are a number of situations players find themselves in where they do get an Out of Memory error or crash in the current engine that won't happen. That's exclusively because of the jump to 64-bit addressing memory and things like that.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=20m21s
Matt: To be fair actually, Nvidia sent us two RTX 2080's to test on so thank you Nvidia. We were able to do some internal testing on the new engine there.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=20m33s
Q: The next one is kind of performance, that's the big one. The big one is, we're going to the engine upgrade. The performance is for most people they expect it to be better than what it is on live. They don't want as many micro stutters, they don't want it suddenly freezing on them, they want the average framerate to go higher, that sort of thing. As you've mentioned in previous blogposts, you've mentioned that optimization is still in progress and things are slowly getting better. Now lets look at where we are today, which is September 2019. So, loads of optimizations have gone through at this point. Where are we in terms of a timeline? I know from the most recent post you're saying we're getting close to a public test but you don't want to leave an ETA, incase something else comes up. But in terms of performance, lets do performance first, can we expect the average performance for an average gaming machine to be higher on unreal 3.5 as opposed to what it is at the moment? 
A: I'm gonna say, initially at the launch of beta I don't think it will be higher. I think our target right now is at or maybe I'm willing to let it slide if we're slightly below. I think the key, you mentioned those micro stutters and you mentioned the bottoming framerates. Those are absolutely radically improved, I think we had the 0.1% frames down at 8 or 10 frames per second just because of those micro stutters. That's almost been eliminated on the new engine, we're certainly seeing low end framerates much much higher than the low end framerate of live. Where we're struggling is the high end framerates. When I say struggling, we're optimizing the rendering thread and the game thread. We've made tons and tons of small little optimizations to drive up the framerate. Ultimately we won't know how it's going to run until we get in onto OTW and get it in the public beta. My goal is to absolutely have it run as smoothly and as fast as possible, I think that's going to happen overtime as we start getting stats back from a wider base. We do have limited hardware and limited systems in the SPCT that we've been testing on. It's just a matter of iterating a little bit, I would say right now optimizations are one of two big categories that are holding up the engine upgrade right now. We actually have one more optimization round that we're doing, which hasn't been fully tested yet and I think the plan is to finish development this week, this coming week. Then we'll put it in the testing and see if it's a viable option. The problem with some of these things is you chase them and then they don't work. Or you don't see a benefit or worse case you see worse performance. You thought, we're going to multithread this and the cost of doing that ends up being more than it was originally. The last one that we think will go in this week and then we need to do an amount of QA and bug testing. What's happened in the last two weeks, we've got one more optimization that's going to be next week's build. But we got a 'candidate' for the engine upgrade where we've merged all the content in, everything from live has been put in. Including showstopper, New Glory, all the various bits and bobs that were missing from the last two years. From a content standpoint we're actually fully merged together. We did have to rebuild a number of screens that just needed to gel(?) a little better, the district select screen is a great example, the scoreboard is another one which had to be entirely rewritten to kind of merge some of the functionality that we have on consoles versus some of the functionality that we have on PC. The console version of the game, from an infrastructure standpoint is actually quite good, they can swap districts on the fly, they don't need to patch as much. We wanted to keep some of those things but it's forced us to redo a couple of screens. All that work is actually done, we're literally just working through bugs now. The core team of developers, they'll just run the game, find a bug that crashes it, they'll fix it and then it's rinse and repeat. So bug fixing and the last optimization is where we're at there. 
I should also give a nod to our console players who have been more than gracious and patient with us, those guys have been dealing with really absolutely abysmal performance and so we've got both the Xbox and PS4 in QA with our console publisher. We've been in submission twice now, we've got them kicked back with crash bugs so we're going through a round of fixed and are hoping to get them back into submission next week. This is just part of the process where the game hasn't been updated in so long that there are lots of little things that have changed standards wise with both Microsoft and Sony that we've had to fix and adjust. I'm hopeful, trust me guys, we're pushing through as fast as we can. I'm actually really excited about some of the rendering changes to both the PS4 and Xbox One we've managed to improve the performance there significantly, so I'm hopeful those players will be happier as soon as we can get a version live.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=28m12s
Kemp: I tried to briefly go about this on my stream just explaining that the process is quite long. You've got to send one to your partners, then they have to send it to Microsoft and Sony for verification purposes to make sure it doesn't crash the console, that sort of thing. Then they have to get back to Deep Silver and say Okay, we're pushing it live. Then they have to find a timeline to put it in as well. The whole process itself is, you can have it ready almost a month before the thing actually goes live. At that point it's out of your hands, that's the main thing people have to appreciate in this whole process of updating a console game.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=28m52s
Q: 3.5, we've gone through performance etc.. So the big one is obviously new content, you're getting 3.5 out the door. I know there was a discussion before with the intention of RIOT being kind of the game mode that was going to come hand in hand with 3.5 to kind of showcase here's the engine upgrade, we've now got RIOT, lets do them both at the same time. A few things happened there unfortunately, so we've gotta look at other options here. In the July blogpost you mentioned that there are two new contacts coming, 'Lynette Casey' and 'Lucas Van Rooyen'. What can you tell us about them, is there anything you can tell us about what they're going to bring to the game, new weapons, new items. What is their progressions going to provide to the community that's going to be fresh?
A: I'm actually really excited about these guys, we made them lower level contacts i think. They didn't feel like the higher tier kind of contacts, one's a bodyguard and they're both fixers. We kind of changed where we were going to put them to make them more accessible to all players. For clarity, all players are going to have to go through and progress these contacts, you're not going to get automatic standing with them. Basically every player will have to go back and check out what they have to offer. From a content standpoint, I'm excited. RIOT being what RIOT was, it was somewhat disconnected although a lot of the underlying systems that are shared in the game overall are really exciting and we will be doing stuff with those later. With these two new contacts I feel like they really feed right into the heart of APB in terms of hopefully what players actually want, which would be something that is going to get them out playing missions and having a good time. I've already announced the EMP, which is kind of the big gameplay content piece for these guys. The EMP is really an anti-vehicle grenade that we're playing with, it's got some really fun gameplay associated with it. So I'm hoping that players will have a good time with that. One thing we haven't announced is that on these contacts we're putting the two Refer a Friend guns, so we're bringing those back. The temptress and the Cap 40, those will be in the progression just like the showstopper will be added to both contacts as well. We've got kind of one quirky piece of clothing that's going to go on these that I think is kind of worth mentioning, it's a tattoo sleeve. There has long been a complaint about how tattoo's work and those tattoo's are attached to your character and not to your outfit. If you want to switch outfit you have to redesign the entire tattoos or swap them in and out, which can be a somewhat tedious and difficult process. The tattoo sleeves were a really basic piece of clothing that you can match to your skintone, you can prebuild all your tattoo's onto that piece of clothing and you can swap it out with your outfits. It enables players a little bit more flexibility with tattoos, that's something we heard was a bit of a pain from the design community which we wanted to address with one new piece of clothing. I don't have the exact count in front of me, but I want to say that there is maybe nine new pieces of clothing on these contacts, we've got a couple new emotes. So they're pretty well rounded in terms of what we've been able to do with them. I'm excited about them.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=32m46s
Q: It does sound you've got these all thought out and enough content to satiate sort of, I'm guessing the 10 levels of progression on these contacts. If they're at fixer level I would assume that for reference sake for those watching at home that is on the same level as Grayson Fell, {Bonita Benjamin, Tyron Sennet, Jeung Bloodrose, Kaspar Danko, Hea Choi, Chiza and Byeong Lee} and all of the other contact name have now eluded me, well done. So I think it's at that level at Grayson Fell, which is basically the one just before...Matt: I think they're Tier 3. In any case, that's really awesome. I can't wait to see what kind of clothing we've got.
A:  Technically we finished production on the new contact items, they're basically all done now. The contacts are done, the items are done and those will be going into test this week. But the production on those is all finished. There's been talk of releasing them early, personally I think we're going to hold them. The main thing is to just put everything into the engine upgrade and give players a reason to come back and try things out.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=34m05s
Q: At that point, if you're throwing some of the content early it kind of ruins and takes away some of the edge from all the content that comes out with the actual contacts. The least amount of overlap possible the better.
A: It's also worth noting that going through the contacts we had to fully get our head around the entire clothing and art pipeline and how to do it. I definitely think we have some exciting new content coming that the players can have a good time with. The team has gotten better at this process and I can ensure, I'm sure being in the SPCT, our first effort was not ideal. We went through some iterations of how weird things came out looking initially.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=35m13s
Q: So, the next one is the big one, a little bit less than 3.5 but still a huge one. There was a joke from a few years ago that they're never going to merge Citadel and Jericho, that would be really stupid and there's going to be bedlam if it is merged and the server happens to work in the same way as it did before. That joke suddenly became a reality except in a slightly different way, it was mentioned in the blogpost so there is a lot to talk about here. We're going to try and break it down into a few simple, easy chunks. Number 1, how is it going to work once the servers are merged when we want to play on a district. Are we going to have regional action districts or is there going to be a way where you just simply click the button and it'll just find the best server for you. How is that going to work moving forward, especially with 3.5 on the horizon as well. What can we expect to see in terms of joining a district as well as joining your friends?
A: First, I'm going to agree with all the people that said that merging Citadel and Jericho in a traditional sense, that would be a horrible thing to do because of latency and all kinds of problems. I think I've stopped calling this world merge purely for that reason, I think it's more of a world consolidation that we're doing some different things with. Fortunately this is something we can do with the current live version of the game, it's not predicated on having phasing or having our district management system up yet, that's not predicated on the engine upgrade so this is something that I think will go hand in hand with the engine upgrade but the idea is that you are still going to be able to right off of district select, click financial and we will connect you on pingtime. We'll basically find the lowest latency server and get you onto that server. With the world consolidation of characters, the idea being that I can now log into any district anywhere and use my characters. Hand in hand with that we have to add regional or local action districts, that means servers in New York, testing servers in LA, testing servers in Brazil or Moscow. I think the idea of having these servers all over the world as opposed to being married up with where the world is. Currently we have got Citadel and the world server in Europe there and all of the action districts are kind of in the same area there which is very restrictive. So, to your point. You'll be able to go through the main district select where we'll use latency pingtime to connect you with the fastest server and possibly the most populated server, there will be a waiting system there. But if you  want ot go to the advanced tab, all of them will be there marked so you can see "Oh, hey I'm gonna play with a buddy. Maybe I'm in Chicago and my buddy is in the UK and we're gonna play on the New York server to get the best kind of "most perfect" pingtime between us.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=38m40s
Q: Another big one is, this is more of a specific question regarding characters on Jericho, characters on Citadel being merged together. We'll go into a bit more details of how the naming system is going to work and who's going to get reserves, but more specific on that which everyone wants to know. For example: if you have a character on Jericho and on Citadel with the same name and both on the same account and both have been logged into, which one gets priority on the name and do you have the option to choose?
A: We have additional name conflict rules that we use with every merge and that traditional system looks at account age, rank and a number of other factors to try to figure out who has played more to try to award that account with the name. We try to give the player who has more history with us the name. That's actually why we're going to do the name release first. We realized that when we go to do this consolidation, this many characters together. There's going to be a slew of name conflicts, to your point I think we're still through it. In an ideal world, we'd love to have the players choose which one gets the name unfortunately we're on a pretty aggressive timeline. That would be an additional feature that would require all kinds of craziness in terms of dialogs and kinds of things we don't have right now. I don't think we're going to be able to do it that way, basically the idea is to release as many names as we can which will naturally reduce conflicts. For those players that already have the same name on the account, we've toyed with a pending @NA or @EU that way there's some name recognition and you still have your name but you've got sort of a marker of which server it came from. And then they can choose to rename what they want to rename their character to. We're going to have to work through it, this is one of those last chunky legacy fixes that has needed to be done for quite a while. With the new world consolidation we've got to get to it pretty quickly.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=41m28s
Q: And just for clarity's sake regarding the name releases, do they have to log into all the characters on that account to reserve their names? Or is any character good enough?
A: Just any character, we're not looking to punish anybody. If that player has abandoned APB then we're going to recycle the names, if you logged in to one character we're going to assume you're interested in playing and that you're 'active' or at least have access to the account. All the characters on that account will be preserved. One other question that has come up on the forums is people who can't get into their accounts. Be that from support issues or password issues, we're also going to try and flag everyone going through support as having logged in. So if you're currently in support trying to get access to the account, I recognize that we are running behind on support. We're running at about a three week timeframe right now. We're not going to punish you for that, we're going to flag the account as yep, you logged in. We're not going to release your names arbitrarily just because you couldn't get through support fast enough. One other point that has come up, unfortunately if your account was banned, we're not releasing those names. Obviously any banned account over a year old, they haven't logged in so those banned account won't have their names recycled.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=43m16s
Q: Does this also apply for clans as well? So if you have two clans with the same name, possibly from characters on the same account as well. How do you handle clans being merged into each other?
A: Slightly different rules, but the same technique. We're going to try appending @NA or @EU to them, we're also going to look at the size of the clan, the activity you know, try to gauge who can get just the straight name and we'll flag the other clan for a rename. There are a lot of clans that haven't been logged into in a long time, so I think players are happy to be able to recycle some of those names and claim things. If any one player logs in as part of that clan, then that clan name will be preserved and we're not going to release it. But if a clan is completely dead and nobody has logged in, then we'll release it.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=45m08s
Q: Weapon balance, this is going to be the fun one. As people are aware, or if some people aren't aware. They are going through another process of weapon balance pass. They have been looking at the RFP, the OCA and most recently Low Yields and the OBIR have been put into the testing districts with different variables involved, we won't go into too much detail about them at the moment because all this information is readily available on the forums. However, do you have any plans to any more to this mix before they all go live or more specifically what would be the next one?
A: The general strategy is and this is just based off of the learning from the last time, which was fairly rough we were learning a lot there.The idea is to hold all the weapon balance changes in those testing districts until we're happy with the whole ecosystem. Right now I'm fairly happy with the OCA and the RFP, I feel like we've addressed some of those big core issues and they're feeling pretty good. You're right, we just added the OBIR and the Low Yields so again we will let those percolate together and let players get in there. Now we have had a kind of low population in terms of testing and so we're going to be doing something to address that and try to incentivize people with a new system we've designed, which I'll talk about in a sec. Going forward I think the next weapon we're going to do is the N-Tec. I do want to convey to players that we are listening, we've definitely made some mistakes in the past. We're trying to correct or learn from those mistakes, look, nothing like even the RFP in the initial weapon balance stuff is just ... it was crazy out of line and I just assumed, inaccurately, that we could throw some crazy stuff in there try some really off the beaten path type stuff and that players would generally understand that it's a test district. It's easy for us to change something and try something else. Having said that, again, I think we're being a bit more conservative with the kind of stuff we're testing all though I think with the N-Tec we are gonna try something, so be prepared. The goal is not to nerf your favorite gun, trust me. Our goal is to just bring the game into balance a little bit. We want people to have a better meta, have a little wider range of choice. Right now we do see a couple guns dominating the field and in some ways you almost make fun of a player if they're not using X/Y/Z/ combination, it's basically just one choice. We're just trying to kind of open that up a little bit.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=48m19s
Kemp: It's always going to be the scary one touching the 'foundation' weapons as I would name them, cause obviously in the past the N-Tec has been kind of the foundation for a lot of weapons to be balanced around. But subsequently a lot of them have either been too niche or they only work in certain ranges against it and as a result the N-Tec is almost a master of all trades in some regards due to how flexible it is. I would say, at least with a lot of people in the chat, when the chat just exploded when we mentioned that just to be very careful.
Matt: Our goal with the N-Tec is just to emphasize the value of every shot. it's a very powerful gun, especially if you're using it right. You mentioned its flexibility, that right there should be a kind of a big red sign that it does need a little bit of adjusting because it's just a bit too flexible. But emphasizing the value of every shot because it has to fit into it's niche, that's what we're going to try and lean into. It's a little experimental, but again I want to emphasize that we're holding all the changes until we feel comfortable with the ecosystem and then we'll bring them over. This is not a one time thing where we go okay we're done, we're gonna throw this in live. We did that a little bit with Low Yields, because we needed to make a change there. Predominantly with the weapon balance stuff we're not doing that. I will say, this is probably a good segway to talk about a new system that we're going to be experimenting with in the test district. This is kind of a fun opportunity for us because in a sense we've got this kind of beta area in live and we're kind of going to, hopefully, kill two birds with one stone. This new system, it's not going to be this week, but it is going to be soon. It's going to be a Joker Ticket reward system for missions. Players logging into test districts in opposed missions will have a chance to randomly get between one and ten Joker Tickets per mission. This system, these are real Joker Tickets so even though you're getting them in the testing districts they can be spent in the live game. We're being a little bit cautious because of that, we've also thrown in a much lower percentage chance to get a one time bonus item so there's effectively a loot table. At a very low percentage chance, if you're doing missions in test, there is a bonus item that we threw in there. The key there is that this is something we're playing with in test districts, but that we're going to be rolling out to the live game. We've talked a little bit about our changes to the Joker System, really focusing on Joker Tickets as our in-game premium currency for character based items. You'll never be getting account based stuff with Joker Tickets. But that's the big delineation for me, if you go to Armas and pay G1C. We're really shifting Armas into almost all account bound stuff, that change hasn't gone through yet but effectively we're going to be taking away a lot of character bound level pricing in Armas so we're just going to be going with account level and all of the character based purchasing will happen in-game through the Joker Store.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=51m51s
Q: Okay, So we're looking at kind of ... what you're suggesting is there's a slow rollout of removing the timed weapons and looking more to provide more permanent solutions.
A: All along, personally I don't think that APB is a pay to win game however we evaluated all the free to play currencies and the free to play mechanics and clearly APB was missing some. The ability to earn in-game currency that gets you permanent items, unlocking access to it. The Joker Ticket mission reward system is going to be rolling out, it's got a couple of key pieces. One is this randomized drop of Joker Tickets from 0 to 10, we are going to be giving premium holders a set amount dropped in addition to the random drop and there will be a daily cap on how many JT's you can get from missions. This is in addition to what you can already do from Fight Club. One creative thing we're going to be doing with the cap is it's going to be based on your highest threat level that day. So bronze players will have a cap, right now in theory, of about 100 Joker Tickets per day. Silver players will have a cap of 150 Joker Tickets and gold players will actually have 200. I really like this idea because it finally rewards gold players for playing at gold and giving them a shot at double the joker tickets they can get per day out of missions.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=53m45s
Q: 3.5, when it comes out ... We've seen it on consoles and there hasn't been any sort of visible threat system on there. There's some stuff going on in the background which I think people can appreciate, but there hasn't been anything substantial that people can kinda go okay, I know who I'm going up against. What can we expect moving forward into the engine upgrade with matchmaking? That's kind of the big one, so I know there's been talks about phasing in the past and having it so players will automatically be moved over from one instance to another once a match has been found, if it's more suitable. But prior to that, what sort of systems will be in place when 3.5 comes out to ensure that matchmaking will be as good as it can be? Can we expect to see the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Green threats in the new engine?
A: Lets talk about threat, I think where we're headed is ... I both agree and somewhat disagree with what players have sort of asked for. I do think there needs to be a visible ranking still, what we're not going to do necessarily is show you your threat level. Which is our internal metric of your threat level. What we are going to be doing over time, this is going to be happening in stages so bear with me. What we're hoping to do is split this. The marker that you see on someone, whether you see green, bronze, silver, gold is more going to be an ELO based system based on some rolling window of all players in the game. It will really be an indicator of where you fall, so if you're in the top X you're gold if you're in the middle you're silver, bronze that sort of thing. We're basically taking a rolling ELO score and presenting that as your threat level. Behind the scenes we have a different metric that we use for matchmaking, that metric can also change over time. Basically the one that we show in-game which we'll be adding because you're right, it's not on console right now. That will be a reflection of where you sit with respect to your other players. The first metric that we have internally is really a reflection of how you're playing.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=56m50s
Q: On the engine upgrade can we expect to see a bit of an advanced tab window again for districts in 3.5? Or will there be another system in place for that?
A: I think the advanced tab is going to have to be there for the launch, for the way that we're world consolidating and to pick regionalized servers so for different reasons we do want the advanced tab there. This will come in stages, so we'll end up building in the district management system we've called DAM so that'll be coming in. All that really is is the ability to spin up districts at different threat levels that we need based on population. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=58m35s
Q: So it's kind of a dynamic matchmaking system when instances are spun up and it will kind of set boundaries on who can join and will try to get as equally ELO-numbered players together to make sure it's as balanced as it can be. And then phasing. Those are the main ones, now for some of the questions provided by Lixil. RIOT was not as successful as intended/hoped and has kind of been put on the backburner for an unspecified amount of time. But one person asks about the way they first presented RIOT and then when it flopped how the mode was played down as a learning experience for the dev team and I know there was a bit of a conflict of messages there. Because the first kind of thing was more it's a way for you to get more content or a new game mode to the game and then it felt like there was a bit of backpedaling going on with the whole "it's a learning experience, we're just testing things out". Are you able to clarify on this at all?
A: I think both can be true, look, no question RIOT didn't work period. We had a lot of ideas for it and had a lot of things we wanted to do. I would say that the mode was a bit rushed, there were some things ... At the end of the day, here's the core question that I think we got the answer to and that is "APB is not like any other shooters and when you have the level of differentiation between the guns it doesn't really lean into a mode like Battle Royale where you're just running around, picking up a random gun and trying to use it. You can do that with other games, where it works quite well. Where the guns all kind of feel the same or they're easily accessible. We've got other plans for it, so certainly, look, at the end of the day I think the mechanic of collapsing the district based on blocks as opposed to just a straight up circle plus just the differentiation in guns. It didn't make for a very fun mode. I do think the intention of picking something that wasn't super core APB, we knew we were going to be making a lot of changes there. And there was a lot of hesitation on my part about diving into something as core, even some of the stuff we're changing now in terms of the economy in the game. There was just a lot of concern. Biting off something that we could basically build from scratch, learn the systems underneath and then launch without endangering the main game. Be able to kind of jettison it or change it if it didn't work, certainly that was a lot of the thought process going in. I'll state, from my position at least, you're always looking at plan B. If plan A doesn't work, what is plan B? I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it didn't work so if I came across as trying to backpedal away from it that wasn't my intention. I think it was more an effort to look at some of the systems we built, which we're carrying forward and we're just simply learning from it. There was, at least for the team, a huge amount of learning in terms of what to do and what not to do. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h2m41s
Q: At what point would the community have been informed about the IP/Brand sale if players hadn't stumbled upon the apb.com website?
A: Unfortunately, I was on vacation that week. The plan was not at all to announce it yet, the deal had been done but there was a bit of a misfire on communication back and forth with Unit Game so they ended up launching it but I wasn't even in the office when players found it and started talking about it. We did a bit of an emergency, I had to take a break from my vacation and sort it out, work with the team to get the announcement out. It would have come when I got back from vacation, that's when we would have announced it. There was just a little bit of bad timing there.

Q: I hate to ask, would that have been in a week or two weeks after we found out?
A: Two weeks, because August was a bit tough for me. Every year there's a big show in Cologne, Germany and I was working out of our London office prior to that. Then took a small break for about a week, so I think it would have been a week to two weeks as when we would have just made the announcement. There were already press releases and things being circulated internally about, in terms, what we wanted to say. We had to escalate that very fast but there was already work being done on the announcement.

Q: So there were ideas in place, it was more of a structure that you were looking for rather than kind of an "Oh god, what have they done now". 
A: I would have preferred to not have been on vacation. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h4m46s
Q: Will APB on 3.5 support 32-bit. Now I think this was discussed years ago actually and the answer to that, as far as I'm aware if it hasn't changed, is no. It's moving over to 64-bit and sticking to 64-bit. This is back from even before Little Orbit took over, the demographic that they had of 32-bit players was 1% or ... . A really small amount of people that's actually running a 32-bit systems which would suffer from this engine upgrade. So even back then with Reloaded Productions at the reigns the idea was that they were going to go to 64-bit, it solves a lot of problems with memory management etc. So the idea is that no, if you're on a 32-bit based operating system then APB 3.5 will not run on that system. Is there anything you can add to that at all?
A: Ye, that's absolutely correct. Unfortunately we won't be supporting 32-bit any longer, everything is moving to 64. And then the other thing, we are dropping DirectX 9 support so there's a fair amount of work that they had put in to build in DirectX 9 support and it didn't make sense for us to go back and revisit that renderer while we were trying to optimize DirectX 11 and other renderers so in the interest of time we went ahead and cut the DirectX 9 renderer.

Q: So we're looking at DirectX 10 or 11 for 3.5?
A: I believe it's 11, they kind of skipped 10 and 11 is the benchmark now. The vast majority of the systems run DirectX 11, so I would hope we're not losing too many players there unless they're running windows Vista. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h7m0s
Kemp: The other question that was asked, which was about removing threat ranks. It's kind of being normalized, it's going to be a system in the background that you can't see. But with the intention that the matchmaking system and the regional servers are going to hopefully put you into a district, if you choose not to specify, to a district that's actually going to allow you to play with people of equal skill according to the system in the background but I don't think there's going to be any visual representation of this that players can see on the fly as they're playing the mission. It was always going to be a critical topic, because removing that is kind of, I don't want to say core to the game but part of the community for a long time and subsequently a lot of jokes and kind of insults have been spurred from it. Saying "Oh, he's a silver so he doesn't know what he's doing", that sort of thing. It's going to be interesting to what's going to happen here for that.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h8m0s
Q: Are you seeing performance issues with the user interface internally and if so, are you looking at the finishing merge to Scaleform or some other alternative?
A: This has come up quite a bit, we're sort of married to Scaleform unfortunately. There is so much work that was done, really when you look at Unreal 3.5 you've got 2 options and that's it. It's Kismet or Scaleform. Kismet is abysmal, so we've tried to get rid of as much of that as we can. We actually went in and did a bunch of optimizations in Scaleform to make it run better. Scaleform isn't much better, it still runs fairly poorly out of the box, so we fixed it up. We are definitely doing all the new UI's, the new scoreboards the new district select screen, ... that is all on Scaleform. For the time being at least, that's where we're headed.

Q: So the idea is to eliminate Kismet as much as possible, because I think on the current live version you've got 2 systems running. You've got Kismet on the front end and Scaleform which is the fps counter and also the intro and those systems are in Scaleform along with some of the menu options. But then for example the scoreboard is Kismet still and some of the icons that appear on the hud as well. That's always been a framerate killer, from what I remember.
A: The goal is to get as much up and running in Scaleform as we can and we did take the opportunity in the last build of the engine upgrade to go ahead and revamp a couple screens that desperately needed a little work and revamped them in Scaleform.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h9m56s
Q: One person wants to know, we know how many loading screens there are and I think the big one is the time it takes for the game to actually start. Some people go downstairs, make a cup of coffee, maybe make their lunch, come back, go to the toilet, maybe go watch a movie, come back and APB has only just gotten to the login screen. Bit of an exaggeration. But in terms of that as well, what's the loading times like in comparison to live and how many loading screens are we going to see when we're going through districts. Especially with phasing in mind, are we going to little loading screens pop up as the phasing happens. What's going on there, are we going to see more loading screens or hopefully less loading screens with less time?
A: Right of the bat, I think you can probably speak to this too having played the engine upgrade. The loading times are drastically reduced. Maybe a third of what we have now, you'll have to weigh in on that. From when you start the game to getting into a district, like financial which is a bit of a bigger, beefier ones that take a little bit to load into. I want to say that's significantly reduced that amount of time. Already, right, so we already benefit from that. The phasing, the whole point to phasing is to avoid a loadingscreen, that's actually I think the critical piece. We want to keep all of those objects loaded, disconnect from one district server, move to another and stitch all those objects back up without a massive loadingscreen there. The loading predominantly what you're seeing there is loading assets of the drive and in this case there may be a tiny progressbar or something, it's super fast but there's no loading happening when we're phasing. We're literally just disconnecting and reconnecting the network.

Q: It should hopefully be as smooth a transition as possible, more or less. I think it's a little bit too early to tell.
A: That's the idea, I mean, it should be extremely smooth. It's something that we've started work on internally, maybe the topic for an upcoming stream might be benchmarking and literally side by side showing video of "here's me getting into live" and "here's me getting into 3.5" and timing it. 


Kemp: I can attest to that as well, because for me starting APB cold on live is about two minutes, three minutes I reckon. Subsequently on 3.5 it's about 30 seconds. This is on a standard drive, not an SSD. I haven't gone to great lengths that people have done to improve performance.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h12m35s
Q: Another big one for 3.5, this is the big one. Texture pop-ins in missions districts. A lot of people commented on the video that was kindly provided and presented to us by rooq with the fly by. But a lot of people noticed that texture pop-ins were happening, LOD was still kind of a major issue and in some cases there were, not as many stutters, but there were one or two. Albeit that that's a slightly older build than what we have now currently, but the main thing is: "Are there going to be improvements done prior to release to improve texture pop-in, the LOD, that sort of thing?". Just to make it look more seamless so it's not as jarring when you're driving through the city at 50 km/h.
A: Absolutely, I think the goal of the video was to show the game, show progress. I think we tried very hard not to do any post processing on it and not to do any cutting to try to hide things that weren't as attractive. Here's the thing, the LOD system on the Unreal side was a massive rewrite between 3 and 3.5 so what you're actually seeing there is that we programmatically populated all the LOD distances based on guess work. We just need to finetune that, a lot of the pop-ins you're seeing are simply because we don't have the buildings set up properly yet. That'll be something we need to ... we're still making changes to time of day, the look of shaders, what the nighttime settings look like. The LOD setting are another thing that we just need to make a pass through with an artist running around the district and watching how things fade in and fade out, the distance and time it takes to fade and things like that. It's just something we haven't gotten to yet.

Q: Okay, that's fine. But is it going to be something that is looked at and hopefully worked on prior to release or is it something to be done after release? That's the big question.
A: Again, my take right now is to get it into the hands of 'beta' players as soon as we can. I think certainly long before we take that beta tag off of it I would hope we fix that, because it's not an attractive thing. I think, having played the engine upgrade and having played live it's kind of hard to go back to live because of the speed and the smoothness and some of the other things. I think the vast majority of players would simply appreciate playing on the engine upgrade just because of how smooth it is and some of the things we fixed. The pop-in definitely needs to be addressed.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h15m31s
Q: Is there going to be cross-play between all consoles and the PC or just between consoles?
A:  This is a complicated topic. One is that's not something we get to decide uni-laterally, we have to work with Sony to get approval to cross-play with PS4. With Microsoft it's not a problem, we do have to code for it. There's some extra requirements that we have to adhere to to get the approval but they give the approval it's fine. Here's where I'd like to go with that. One is, I would like the console players to play on the same district servers as the pc players. That's really just an internal thing for us to make sure that our entire network is sort of homogenous. We can host any match on any server or maybe even one Xbox district on a physical bare metal server next to a PC district, next to a PS4 district. Right now every environment is totally unique and there's a lot of infrastructure that we have to keep up and running to make that happen. Secondarily, I think it'd be great to, once we get phasing in, if we simply locked Xbox players in to playing other Xbox players then we can have them running around social we, we could have them interacting. We could even have them in a district along side PC players and I think that would be a lot of fun. I have some hesitation obviously about matching Xbox players and PC players, there's a bit of work we'd have to do for that. I think having that level of cross-play, certainly in social would be fantastic and certainly if Sony wants to jump on board there then I think we'd love to support the same for PS4.

Kemp: I think the social one would be the best starting point, because if we can have all the players at least meet each other and meet some of the veterans that have been playing on PC and maybe get some trades off as well to get some of the unique items from PC that they've had for years. I think that would be really nice.
Matt: I think it would be nice, because for the Xbox players they don't have as much design and symbol ... it's much harder to do, so having access to that ecosystem where a PC player can design something and trade it off to an Xbox player would be really cool.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h18m20s
Q: Quick one for you, classic menu and login screen will it make a return? It was a big part of the game for the longest time and then we got {BRRRR...} for obviously forseeable future, but are we at least going to see an option for players to turn on the classic menu and the login screen?
A: I actually want to just wholesale put back the classic screen, mainly just for loading time and while I like the general idea behind the 3D scene with the login and everything. I feel that most players just want to get into the game, so unfortunately that creates a bit of a negative moment for them where they realize they've spent all this time loading just to get into a login screen. So I think for both reasons. One, I'm a fan of the original screen and the original music but two, I just feel it would be way more efficient if we went back to the original login screen.

Q: Do you know sort of what timeframe the old login screen might be reintroduced? I'm guessing this is after 3.5 release?
A: Yeah, we just have a lot of bigger fish to fry. It's on the list and we certainly have all that old code, I think we didn't spend the time to migrate those packages over. I think we're running with the build we have as fast as we can to get it up on OTW and getting into beta, but after that there's a whole host of minor Quality of Life things I think we'd like to do. 


Kemp: I think some people in the chat are going about remastering the old login screen, rather than just importing it. Honestly that would be brilliant and I'd love the old login screen because it was nice and simplistic, it got you into the game. It wasn't just kind of an eye sore, with exploding lights everywhere. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=h1m20s24
Q: Someone mentioned about new clothing items, does that mean new types of clothing or just old ones used as presets?
A: Definitely new types of clothing, there's going to be some things we're doing where we're doing new presets on some older stuff that's just primarily us having some fun. I think it was important for these contacts that we actually make new clothes, legitimately new types of clothes. I know we've shown some of that off to the SPCT and I don't want to steal the marketing team's thunder. I know they're going to be previewing, not too long from now they're going to start running I think every week, they're going to start spoiling some of the new clothing types and what's going on there.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h21m25s
Q: A few people are asking about account merging and if that's ever going to be a thing in the future, because they may have made multiple account with different characters for various different reasons. Will there be any option in the future to merge two accounts into one?
A: It's something I would like to do. Again, I think the team has a load of stuff. You can't have two number one priorities and there's a lot of high priority items, but I would certainly like to see us do that. For the record, account merging is a pain. It actually takes manual intervention, there's no like magic tool or button that we have that does it. It takes actual engineering time so we do it on occasion, rarely but through support if there's a real need for it then we'll go ahead and do it. But it's something we need to automate and design a system for that people can just go do, because otherwise it's going to take away from development.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h22m27s
Q: What do you think about adding contact weapons like the N-Tec, the JG and one to two slotted weapons to the JT store? And what about the idea to allow players to trade Joker Tickets as well as APB dollars? Or do you want to keep the premium currency as an account specific thing so players have to earn it. 
A: I don't think we'll ever allow trading of JT's, I think it open the door to a whole host of problems. JT's will always be a character limited currency, but we're all for expanding what people can get through the Joker Store. I think the Joker store itself needs a bit of a work, I'd like the presentation to be better with better information to kind of help players make better choices.


Kemp: Better menu's I think as well are what's needed, because when you add that many weapons you gotta scroll through and hopefully find the one. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h23m18s
Q: Another one regarding shaders and I believe this is an external shader, I don't know a lot about it. ReShade is whitelisted on Easy Anti Cheat, what is your take on that? I believe that affects post processing a little bit. 
A: We've gone back and forth with those guys, it's an aesthetic thing unless I'm completely off base. I don't think you can affect explosions or things, lets say gameplay breaking things with ReShade. It is a post processing, but I think it's mostly color shifting. We've allowed it for now, we'll see. I think going into the engine upgrade we're going to be taking a hard look at some of those again to see if we want to build the feature into the game or allow it.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h24m16s
Matt: We're not going to do melee. It's just not our game. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h24m31s
Q: Will we get a gamma saturation slider?
A: Hopefully.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h24m39s
Q: Are there any plans to add weapon mods and character mods to the JT store? Because someone is asking specifically for muzzle break. 
A: We've talked about it, we've talked about adding deployables into the JT store to sort of level the playing field there. I think we're looking at anything that makes sense, I think absolutely. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h25m06s
Q: Someone's asking if there's going to be the trade system on consoles, I believe this has already been discussed before and the answer is yet. The idea is that the code for the console versions is going to be unified with the code for the PC, so the console versions are going to get all the updates like Showstopper, the Thunder, the New Glory and the trade system and some other things that have come to the PC version but will be on the console versions as well. So, yes. Unless you want to jump in and say "No, stop talking out your bottom" the trade system is definitely coming out on console.
A: No, it's unified code.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h25m40s
Q: Some people are asking if there might be clothing physics in the game, I'm not sure if that's possible. Because I know a tiny little bit about how the clothing is made in the game, so I'm not sure if that's a possibility or if that's just not on the table at the moment.
A: Not on the roadmap, yet.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h26m20s
Q: They're asking if there will be more modern clothing items, I'm guessing people want more sort of blank slate sort of things, new hoodie designs, new kinds of shirts and tops, new kind of trousers. Is there kind of like a main plan to get a nice big bundle of these through, so that there's more kind of modern style clothing items in the game?
A: Absolutely. That is a higher priority on the content side and the SPCT have already seen some of what we're doing there. As the team gets better we definitely want to modernize the clothing options. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h26m57s
Q: Are we going to see any new carkits for some of the less popular cars like for example some of the pickup trucks, some of the kind of saloon vehicles. 
A: Admittedly, cars are the one content place where we're still kind of learning the ropes. So, we've got a new car that was done largely before we even took over but the content team and the art team need to dive in a little bit. I want to say yes, because I feel like the cars have been a little stagnant so certainly adding kits and juicing some of the lesser used cars would be a lot of fun. It's a little lower on the roadmap, I think we want to do a little bit of hard charging on the clothing right now. And then we'll work our way towards cars and more kits. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h27m51s
Q: So there is a plan, somewhere in the pipeline to do a car balance rather than a weapon balance. Just to bring some of the less popular cars up into, not necessarily meta or balance, but just to make them kind of more fun and more useable so they're not just completely ignored once you've got the better car. 
A: Ye, so to speak. For the balance. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h28m14s
Matt: Look, I can definitely say we don't have any motorcycles in the queue right now. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h28m25s
Q: Is there anymore information you can give to us regarding plans for Halloween, it is next month and it is around the corner almost. Is there any little hints we can have to what you've got planned for Halloween?
A: So, we're going to do the traditional Headless Horseman event. I'm going to cross my fingers here, we've got new rewards. They did put some effort into some pretty fun, unique new items that we're going to be doing as part of the mode. But I think with everything else, just doing something all new for Halloween again didn't make sense. I don't think we're going to be doing Epidemic, we'll be doing the Headless Horseman event. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h29m11s
Q: Someone's asked a few times if you ever have any plans for kind of like double contact standing weekends or double xp weekends where players can progress quicker for example over a weekend.
A: I definitely think that a lot of those plans happen post engine upgrade where we can flip the switch dynamically. We have some limitations on what we can do right now, where we have to actually patch and do some weird things. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h29m45s
Kemp: Taidouken asks, I want temptress, when will it be available on the JT Store? If you were here earlier Taidouken, it is coming with the new contacts. The CAP 40-C NFCP2 and the VBR 'Temptress' are going to be unlockable weapons on the two new contacts. That's Lynette Casey and Lucas Van Rooyen which are Tier 3 contacts, so they're not after boss contacts. But if you've already got all the other contacts unlocked you'll still need to do the progression with them, however for newer players or newer characters they'll be able to get to those contacts sooner. Rather than having to go through the whole rigmarole of doing for example on the criminal side Arlon Benjamin, Tiptoe, Birth and then Gumball. They won't have to do those, you'll actually get to them before you get to Arlon Benjamin.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h30m33s
Matt: No, we want to do some new hairstyles certainly, some of them need some work but the team we're still getting up to speed on them. They're quite complex so I think we've got hairstyles on hold right now until we ship a couple of other things. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h30m47s
Q: Are there any plans to merge weapons roles on an account level rather than a character level? So for example, at tier 16 for a lot of the weapon roles you unlock a unique skin which you can't get anywhere else. Which is the chrome weapon skin, for that range of weapons, that weapon tree. Is there any plans to kind of merge that system to make it an account wide level so it's not a case of unlocking the same thing five times over and having to accrue almost 500 000 kills on one weapon role just to have the chrome skin unlocked on one weapon tier for five different characters?
A: There's nothing in the works right now, I can add it as a Quality of Life change. But I can say that we don't have anything on the books in active development now for that. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h31m52s
Q: After the engine upgrade, are there currently any sort of plans on the board regarding more rewards and systems or maybe some kind of fun events that will be more clan focused? For example: clan wars, hosted tournaments. Kind of emphasis on more competitive play which will allow those top players who do take the game quite seriously to engage in a kind of more formal manner?
A: There is a while host of things that I'd like to do better and have some lightweight discussion on that. I can say that nothing is directly being worked on yet, again really focusing on the engine upgrade and some of the other stuff we've already announced. Clans is definitely a big area that we can improve and grow on and I think that that's where you'll see some of the systems that we built for RIOT come back into play.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h32m55s
Q: Will you be releasing the last two equipment slots for the character that have been locked since RTW. You have got 5 equipment slots but there's two equipment slots that are constantly locked and there's no way to unlock them at the moment. Are there any plans to get those unlocked at least?
A: I don't honestly know, that's a question for the development team. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h33m37s
Q: Spotify and music features, will that be something that is being added to the game eventually?
A: It's not currently on our roadmap. I definitely think that the music feature that launched with the game in terms of broadcasting music is nice. I mean, we'd like to do something there. It's  part of the game, driving around that sort of thing.
Someone else mentioned the VoIP system, there already have been massive upgrades to the VoIP system. They won't launch until the upgrade.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h34m17s
Q: One that I forgot to mention earlier, the Cyrillic text and the Russian kind of nicknames and what not, when is that being managed and subsequently turned off to homogenize it into the Sans Serif sort of font.
A: As soon as possible. The idea there is, we're going to do another wave of name changes where we need to standardize on standard ascii character sets and eliminate some of the special Latin characters and the Cyrillic's. It's not just Cyrillic's, I don't want to put them in a bad light. With the unification of Jericho and Citadel we need to be keyboard friendly, some of the for example American keyboards don't have easy access to some of those characters. So typing in a name to try to report a player or to send them a message, people are having to like cut and paste right now. It's pretty awkward. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h35m25s
Q: There was also a question about either removing or tweaking spotter and High Burn Fuel. I don't think there's a lot that can be talked about at the moment regarding that, but if I'm okay to say. That is on the radar somewhere.
A: It is, some work is being done on that definitely. I think that falls into the Quality of Life stuff we want to do where we make a pass through some of the broken things. I was going to drop a hint there, but I'll save it.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h36m0s
Q: Someone's asking about if there's going to be any changes to the hitbox of the character.
A: No, this has come up a lot but here's the thing. If you scale the hitbox to the size of the character then you will end up with every good player making as small of a character as they can. You'll never want a big character in APB so, they made that decision early on we're going to stick with it for now. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h36m54s
Q: There are two systems in the game at the moment in mission districts which kind of feel a little bit out of place but they add a bit of character to the different factions. I'm talking about arrests and ramraiding/money laundry, are we going to see any improvements or updates to those? Or are they going to be rolled away? Or are we going to see kind of more systems put in place to add different varieties to the gameplay within the same districts, bearing in mind phasing will become a thing?
A: With respect to witnessing and arresting, ramraiding, those sort of lets say faction specific gameplay. We definitely need to make a pass through that and try to level some things out, I'd like to see us just take a hard look at what's there for starters. That goes hand in hand with expanding mission types, I think we've been playing the same types of missions over and over and over and so the team is definitely looking at opportunities to add other mission types to spice up the gameplay a little bit. Hopefully, I don't think it's going to make the two new contacts, but we've got another change for contacts coming that we're hoping to get that into. So that people going back, basically we're going to give you a reason to go back and play some of the older contacts and alongside that we want to unlock other mission types. 

Q: So there will be a reason for people to revisit some of the previous contacts so they're not dead content by the time they've already made the end. 
A: I think this is going to be a very compelling reason to go back, so hopefully ... One of the things we want to do is, we want players to just go back to having fun while playing missions. We know that Fight Club gets a lot of playing right now. So a lot of the design work we're doing is just how do we make missions fun again.


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h39m15s
Q: Has there been any sort of progress at all on looking into either disabling the P5/N5 system for now, because it's a bit of a hinderance for some players? Or at least any sort of work done to think about reworking it in a different way?
A: I think we may want to disable it for the meantime, to be honest I think we didn't expect the engine upgrade to quite as long as it has. Some of that stuff was put on hold thinking that we'd be getting to it by now. I think we could potentially disable notoriety. I've also talked about turning off the Out Of Bounds check if you're not in a mission and a couple of other things we would want to roll into Quality of Life.


Kemp: By the looks of it, it's well received. I think people want it off. And I have to attest, I'd like it off as well. Because constantly running back and forth, especially on enforcer side to lower your prestige. It is a faff.
Matt: SKay disagrees. 
Kemp: Well, SKay it's your birthday so ...
Matt: That's true, Happy Birthday @SKay 😉


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h40m36s
Q: He wants to know about upgradeable car slots, I'm going to try and elaborate on this because I think I know what he means. So the idea of lets say you have a one slot vehicle, is there a way to upgrade that car to have additional slots in it? Or are there any plans for a system like that? Or is still still a case of you'll have to buy completely new vehicle with the additional slots? Is there going to a way, maybe on Armas to upgrade the vehicle?
A: That's not how APB is designed, that discussion in general has come up quite a lot. even beyond vehicles possibly. Right now there's no definitive design that has been agreed to. I think right now it's one of those cases where you'll just have to buy a new car with more slots on it. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h41m32s
Matt: One thing I did see come up in chat was the differentiation between account level stuff on Armas and character level stuff in the Joker Store. That is something we're going to be doing to both clean up the Joker Store and clean up Armas. The focus of Armas moving forward will be all account level stuff or at least if you buy it you'll get it across all your characters. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h42m31s
Q: For those who bought character bound items will they be automatically upgraded to account wide or there be an option in the JT store to say, for a little bit extra here's the option to upgrade to account wide rather than rebuying the entire item? 
A: The feeling is that the JT store will never offer account level stuff. I don't think you'll see the upgrade there, if anything you might be able to see that at the Armas level where you go up and see "Oh, I've got this character bound thing. Lets pay to upgrade it to account wide". That is certainly an often requested feature in Armas, that we just don't support now. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h43m15s
Q: Is there going to be any work done to hopefully improving and increasing the size of the inventory? So, for example weaponlocker. Because I am now at the point where I actually can't buy anymore weapons on my main character because he has a plethora of Joker Mystery Boxes and almost every weapon on the Armas Marketplace. So are we going to see at least inventory expansions?
A: There's a whole discussion around how to potentially revamp the inventory. Just taking a good hard look at that whole system and that goes hand in hand with mail and how we deliver rewards and things. I think the answer is yes, we're taking a hard look at it. Design hasn't come back and said what we want to do, yet. But definitely you're not alone, certainly with where APB is at now there's a lot of the players that are now playing who are older players who have a lot of stuff and they're all hitting those caps as well.  


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h44m17s
Q: With regards to reworking the menu in the Joker Distribution store, will we see a rework to the basic inventory menu to make it more manageable and easier to go through so maybe filters or that sort of thing. I know the mailing system needs some serious work to it, because 3000 odd mails is going to be a pain in the patootie to not only delete them but to sift through the ones that you want to find.  
A: All of that needs to be redone. It probably won't happen before the engine upgrade but definitely in terms of like a Quality of Life kind of thing. The mail, inventory they're all big pain points right now for players. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h46m24s
Q: Will there be an option to blanket turn off themes and songs in-game? At the moment I believe players are using a text edit or at least a way of adding blank files to the directory which are labelled the correct synthesizers etc. just to blank the themes. But will there be an option to just say turn themes off?
A: Obviously we still want to encourage players to create themes but I think at this point we have just come to terms that we should just give players the ability to turn them off. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h47m25s
Q: Can we see new clothing bundles for example like the armored bonus pack being added into the Armas Marketplace? Because I think some of these have disappeared unfortunately.
A: Absolutely, I've been very hesitant to overload Armas with stuff, I don't want players to feel like we're there just to milk the cash out of them. My hope is that over the past nine months, what we have put up has felt pretty good. Personally I'm a huge fan of the Kabuki pack of skins that we did. We're really looking at what can we do on Armas that has value. And those bundles are part of it, just going back through and seeing what we can bundle up that makes sense there.  And we have a lot of new clothing and things that we'll be putting up on Armas so that the people can get the unlocked customizable versions. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h48m30s
Q: Are there any plans to make the Q&A's more frequent? A suggestion was to have one every three months or so, would be a huge step up from this kind of slightly infrequent format. If people find it's well received, are you okay to do more Q&A sessions?
A: Absolutely, these take a little bit of prep. And I certainly don't want to over do them, ye absolutely.


Matt: By the way, thank you to everyone who showed up and followed us on Twitch. This is our first official stream on Twitch under the Little Orbit channels. Making that successful for us. The whole point of the channel is absolutely we should be doing more of these. I think quarterly is a good candace for these along with potentially some other stuff we're going to be trying. But definitely these sorts of Q&A's I'd like to do more. 


https://youtu.be/EKvAdRXOeYY#t=1h51m18s
Q: I don't like offering the question of ETA's. Can we potentially see the public testing of 3.5 before the end of the year?
A: Oh, god. I hope so. Good grief. I would hope a lot sooner than that. We'd better. 
 
 

 

Edited by Kevkof
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