APB is one of the most expensive games to develop in the history, and it has always been the game with the most potential, but also the one with most unfulfilled potential. It cost around $100m to develop, and was bought for around $1m, for its continued development. Don't spoil it by neglecting the community and the most common issues in the game. The company have gone down from around 300 people to being around 20 people, but the framework is developed, and alot of these things mentioned below doesn't require a oversized team to fix.
Post your feedback and add things you think I might've missed or forgotten about.
Options and VOIP:
- Add more video options for more advanced quality settings, such as the ability to disable post processes.
- Add more options for crosshair such as size and the ability to have a center dot available at all times.
- Add the possibility to bind crouch as a hold button, instead of a toggle.
- Add the possibility to bind keys for primary weapon and secondary weapon.
- Add the ability to enter a number for your mouse sensitivity. The slide bars are very inaccurate and non-descriptive, not to mention unusable for someone with very high DPI.
- There's a lack of sound options, which would let you alter VOIP, music, and general volumes seperatly and independent of each others.
- There's no option for selecting your mic device to be used for VOIP.
- VOIP often doesn't work at all for various reasons (such as you not having a key bound to VOIP?).
- People are experiencing performance and mouse issues with the Vivox service running.
- Re-enable VOIP by default, and have it as a pop-up informing people about it when they enter a district, the same way they get asked if they want help with finding a group.
- Add the ability to mute people's VOIP without having to ignore them.
- Add the option to disable ingame story mails that don't contain any attachment.
- Add the possibility to bind hotkeys for emotes.
- Implement a queing system for people who want to connect to a full district, or if you want to connect to a district with not enough slots for a group. It should display your current position in que while you're waiting. It could also be a premium only feature to give people more incentive to get premium.
- Implement a system that remove low populated districts from the list and starts to force move people to more populated ones once they've finished their mission. Ram raiders should keep their acquired assets into the new district. Once everyone has been moved, that district can shut down.
- Force people to only be available to connect to a district that's either one rank over, or one rank below their current threat level. Bronze people would be able to connect to green, bronze or silver districts, while gold people would only be able to connect to silver or gold districts. Exceptions would be made if you get put in a district by a group leader, or if you join through groups and friends.
- It would be nice if there were a possibility to check the players on any current district, to be able to see their threat levels for each faction.
- The threat level rating of a district needs to take into consideration that there's two seperate factions. Just because all criminals are gold, and all enforcers are bronze, doesn't mean it's a silver district for example.
New and casual players:
- Create new introduction videos for players, featuring footage from the latest version of the game.
- Have a tutorial menu featuring tutorial videos for the different aspects of the game, and let people be able to browse through them and rewatch at their own leisure.
- The current premium and item leashes are directed to hardcore players, where if a casual player only play once a week, he won't even afford being able to buy weapons. Implement an alternative leash method based on time spent rather on a specific time period.
- Default channel for players are "say". People often try to use the chat without knowing that nobody is able to read what they're saying, and they end up believing they're being ignored. Change this to be district chat.
- New players with low threat levels usually gets kicked by groups simply for being new players.
- New players tend to end up in gold district to begin with, facing opposition that have way more experience than themselves, and thus getting very poor initial matches.
- One of the most confusing things for new players is to retrieve their grenades and ammo resupplier from the mailbox, and then equipping them through the Joker vending machine. This could be better highlighted with locational markers, key input indication, and highlighting the menus which the players need to press (or to emphasize, a ghost cursor that repeatedly moves to the required menus).
- Another confusing thing for new people is the requirement to buy and stock up on ammo. This process could instead be handled automatically, by detracting the cost when you die, or resupply.
- Colby SNR 850 is a horrible starting pistol for players. I'd recommend replacing it with a new pistol instead. Something similar to a ACT 44 with a reflex sight, but with less range.
- Keep us updated biweekly on the blog regarding how things are going. Good or bad doesn't matter, just be open with us and keep us informed.
- Tease us about the future. Alot of things may be far offf, but we need things to look forward to, so that we'll feel it's worth to stick around in anticipation for them.
- Have a monthly/biweekly contest where the best APB video, and screenshot gets rewarded x amount of G1 points, and gets featured on the facebook page, here in the forums, and on the blog.
- More crazy competitions such as the ones Monte Cristo is arranging, with unique rewards.
Match-making and threat levels:
- Match-making should prioritize opposing new players against people that have played proximitly the same amount of time as them (including time spent on other characters).
- Alter backup calls so that they show up as a pop-up (similar to group invite) with some mission statistics (time, stage, score, number of players, distance to objective) for people/group leaders who are not in any opposed missions. First one to accept gets in the mission. Add a small cooldown for being able to call backups so it doesn't get spammed. This would also fix the issue where people get thrown into a backup call with only a few seconds left.
- The current match-making is too restrictive, and it's often very hard to get opposed missions as high threat level gold players, and when you do, it's often against the same group of people. This is a player versus player game, and without opposition it's horribly boring. It's bad when there's 20% or less of the server you can actually get opposed against, and there's no guarantee they'll be available. No other online game I know about is restricting people against playing other people. I'm sure the majority would prefer to have unbalanced missions rather than no missions at all.
- Players should never be placed in a solo mission. Instead, give priority to the players who've gone unopposed the longest. This would also prevent people to wait at the last stage until they get opposition.
- Add spawn points to the inside of the boat in Waterfront.
- Remove the spawn points from the docks in Waterfront (the ones with all the bridges and yachts).
- The current system is horribly flawed. The only issue with the old RTW system was that you could respawn on the wrong side of the canal in Waterfront. This issue still happens, if not more often now than before. The current system makes it almost impossible to attack spots since the opposing team keeps respawning at their team mates right next to the objective, while you keep respawning at the same position from the same direction of the objective. There's a great suggestion in the forums for tactical respawning which is worth alot of consideration:
Solution to the Spawn Problem
- Server fps cap was lowered from 30 to 25 fps due car physics behaving weirdly around 30 fps, but this doesn't fix the problem, only the symptom for it. Higher server fps helps out alot with updating player positions and hit registrations.
- Server fps isn't stable and often drops from 25, not to mention all the spikes that currently exist, causing people to briefly warp from time to time. This is usually most noticeable when you're driving.
- High latency players tend to warp around alot, causing them to become really hard to predict or shoot at, not to mention it looks bad. By improving the interpolation of player positioning, it would reduce these issues.
- There's no reason to have Obeya and Patriot as seperate servers, especially considering they're located in the same server hall. Currently the servers are almost empty at low peak hours, causing it to be extremely hard to get any opposition and people choose not to play instead. A merge would mean that there would be atleast enough people to fight during off hours, or for those people who play during the night.
- The range of car explosions seem to sometimes kill you, even though you should be out of range. I believe this occurs when a player is running away from a vehicle, and the server position doesn't match the client position at the point of detonation, where it looks like you are at a safe distance, you haven't gotten far enough on the server yet.
- The current implementation of bloom looks horrible, which mostly blurs everything, as compared to only highlighting bright sources such as lights. The look of the bloom used to be in a plus shape as opposed to a circle, which used to look much better.
- Depth of field isn't usually a good idea, considering you never know what the player is actually focusing on, nor is the blur calculation looking good. Alot of time goes into customizing things in the game, and often people would like to take a close-up screenshot of something, but it instead ends up getting horribly blurred.
- Optimzing the post process to minimize the amount of frames required to render it, minimizing input latency, and the performance cost of the post process overall.
- Implement FXAA as an alternative to anti-aliasing.
- Improve on the anti-aliasing implementation for the game (does it even currently work?).
- Enable higher quality textures.
- Improve the skyboxes for the game, making clouds, stars and such more defined and distinguishable.
- The game has had declining performance for every patch that gets released. There's alot of people who enjoy to play the game, but simply can't because their computer can't (or no longer can't) handle the game. One of the reasons why World of Warcraft became so popular was due to it being possible to run it on almost any computer. Optimizing the game will let more people be able to play it, which would mean more potential customers.
- One of the biggest performance impacts at the moment is the fillrate, which takes a huge hit whenever someone is firing a weapon such as shotguns, or during explosions. Maybe it's possible to improve on semi-transparent particles so there isn't as many layers that have to be rendered ontop of each others.
- The current UI takes up alot of performance. For example compare performance for when displaying the scoreboard, and for when it's not being displayed. Implementing a Scaleform UI might help to improve on this.
- There's currently no
- Add the ability to migrate your character to another server as a feature on Armas.
- Add a spectator mode, where players could connect to a district as a spectator (give additional district slots for spectators), and either let them free fly, or track specific players. Players spectating a mission would get listed as a third faction named Spectators, so people can see who's currently watching the game, and click their name to get additional information, just like you can click anyone's name in the scoreboard. This would help machinima makers alot, aswell as people suspecting other people could simply spectate them for a while to reinforce their suspicions or realize they were unfounded.
- Add demo recording and playback to the game, aswell as the ability to render out parts of the demo to a video. This would also help machinima makers alot.
- Change the ingame recording to work more similar to Dxtory and Fraps, with a better codec such as Lagarith (lossless) or x264 (compressed), aswell as options to record in full resolution, and at which framerate. It should also have the buffer function that keeps recording the last 30 seconds until you decide to save it, or turn it into a longer recording.
- I'm not sure if the Cineplex is being completely removed in 1.9.0, but otherwise I'd recommend G1/RP to partner up with Twitch.tv, so that they would be able to broadcast APB livestreams ingame. It would work as the music broadcasts with first come, first serve, but there could also be display points which could be bought and broadcast a specific livestream. This should be possible to implement with Scaleform. Also, you would be able to add the livestream chat channel as a ingame channel where the viewers could discuss it both ingame and on Twitch.tv.
- This is probably hard to implement, but if not, then I'd suggest adding a death cam to the game, that shows the last few seconds from the enemy view as he kills you, while you're waiting for a respawn.
- Buying a statue display point currently gives no benefit to the player who does it, since you can't really tell who the player is that the statue represents. Adding player customization to the statue would make them much more lucrative.
- Implement smoke grenades. These could provide momentarily cover as you move from one position to the next, or could help out with letting you try to grab a objective. It could use a retextured version of the car explosion smoke, to make it more white.
- Remove Punkbuster and implement Frost anti-cheat system (the one you're using on the Pioneer servers), aswell as disable the possibilities to edit any .ini files or shaders. Punkbuster is very performance intensive, keeps kicking people without any reason (losing key packets), and doesn't detect most of the hacks.
- Add the katana that Akiko X is wearing on her back, as a clothing item available on Armas.
- Being damaged shouldn't hinder your ability to spot enemies or objectives.
- Bring back the pickup-animation, to prevent people from abusing the ability to move heavy items faster by repeatedly dropping and then picking them up while sprinting. Could slightly improve the movement speed while carrying heavy items to make up for this.
- Change all "Your Drop/Their Drop"-missions to be one or several heavy items, with takeouts and a 9 minute timer. At the mission start the item should spawn equally far from yourself, the enemies, and the drop off points. The drop offs need to be both equally hard, so not one team simply can drive directly to the point and drop it off, while the other have to walk through buildings and similar things to get to theirs. The current implementation of these missions are the worst end stages available in the game, which usually ends before anyone had a chance to do anything.
- Osmaws should only kill on direct hits.
- Percussion grenades are currently horrible from a gameplay balance standpoint. There shouldn't be anything in a game which you can't counter or dodge. This causes player frustration simply because they don't feel they died by their own fault, but due to the fault of the game. I'd either replace them with something like a low-yield fragmentation grenade, but with a shorter fuse and blast radius, or simply reduce the blast radius of them.
- Revert the concussion grenade to the old versions before the nerf. Stun grenades still instantly stun people on direct hits, and there's no reasons why concussion grenades shouldn't either. It seems like after the nerf they've had a harder time damaging vehicles aswell, but this might be due to server performance not being able to correctly determine positions at the time of detonation.
- Weapon balancing needs to be situational and weapons should have their own niche. Long range weapons shouldn't be viable options in short to mid range, so having a longer TTK to those weapons would make up for their increased accuracy and range. Secondaries are supposed to make up for the primaries weaknesses, and should have low equip times to make them be the panic option or the weapon of choice instead of reloading. Mid-range weapons need to have longer TTK than short-range weapons, but less TTK than the long-range ones. Secondaries should not outperform any primary weapon in their respective niche.
- Quick switching completly neglects the previously mentioned balancing for weapons. Pistol shot, and then HVR can halve the time, if not more, it takes to kill a target, both on close range and on long range. Same thing goes for HVR, to throwing percussion grenade. Time to stun for a shotgun/scout shot, followed by Stabba PIG is greatly lower than any other stun weapon. People shouldn't be able to switch and fire a weapon between the fire intervals, aswell as the HVR could have a longer equip time.
- Macros are a very present issue in APB since it makes alot of the semi-automatic weapons perform better than the weapons outside of its niche, aswell as it beats anyone with the same weapon without a macro. There really needs to be a system that's able to detect clicking patterns for players and kick/ban/flag those who are abusing it.
- Disable being able to bind the mousewheel to the firing buttons.
- Here's a updated list of camp spots (the crossed out ones have been fixed). I left Michael Simeone place in there since it still too easy to defend:
- Level 4 gas can model morphs during its animation.
- If you push your key for using nitro while being in another vehicle, it activates the nitro of your own vehicle.
- Only the player who owns the car can use the nitro in it.
- Currently, you can't use team chat while you're dead. There's no reason for this and it only causes frustration for people.
- Currently, you can't access groups & friends while being dead. You might want to kick a player or invite someone to a group during your death screen.
- Currently, the death message about who it was that killed you gets pushed back by other broadcast messages such as resupplying or new addition to armas. Who killed you should take priority over other messages, since it can be essential information for the mission.
- You can't type any sentaces with "ii" in most of the chats. For example, typing "Hello Briice" in district chat won't be displayed for anyone else than yourself.
- There's alot of bugs with grenades that didn't use to exist in the game. The fuse beep might skip the second iteration and jump directly to the third, totally messing up your timing, or sometimes it doesn't sound at all. The animation for a player that's going to throw a grenade sometimes breaks so that he looks like he walks around normally rather than is about to throw one (only occurs for your own player as far as I know). Grenades sometimes don't get thrown and instead get stuck on your character, whereby it later explodes and cause damage to yourself (occurs when switching weapons while about to throw the grenade). The grenade sometimes goes in a completely different direction than intended (probably due to server performance not updating positions correctly, which could cause the player to collide with the grenade and thus offsetting its initial direction).
- Vehicles carrying items, and then get pushed into a wall so they explode, can cause the items to get stuck in the wall, making the mission impossible to complete.
- There's still issues with players getting stuck in crouch/position, making it harder for them to move.
Time to kill:
- And the biggest of them all, make the time to kill a bit longer. Sure, the current system makes the game more accessible since new players might be able to kill something they get the drop on, or are lucky enough to have someone run into their aim. But the same goes for experienced players, which more often can obliterate people without them having a chance to react.
Besides, the levels were built around the old TTK from the RTW days, and aren't balanced for such fast kills. To have balanced levels with lower TTK, they would be needing a lot more cover, or be tighter enclosed spaces, rather than the open areas that exist now. People aren't able to move between positions without getting gunned down by a lone gunman.
The same goes for the current imbalance between playing as the attackers or defenders. Attackers don't have a chance to get back into cover or do any substancial damage, as the defenders usually have good positions that gives them the drop on the enemy every time.
Having higher TTK would put more importance on teamplay instead, as it would suddenly become important to have two people shooting at one target to be able to take him down quickly. Same goes for people attacking in a group becoming more effective as they can focus on targets together. The low TTK kills people so fast so there's no need to have a teammate to help you with taking out a single target.
Recoil management would become more important with higher TTK as you need to sustain fire for longer periods of time. Also, you'll have to be more accurate and keep having your enemy within your crosshair, and not only get a few occassional bullets by flailing with your aim. This would make it more skill-based and remove what alot of people feels as being random outcomes.
Weapons could be balanced more differently aswell, since they all don't have to have the low split-second TTK as the current ones. Longer TTK gives more room to make the different weapons more different!
With the current low TTK, this feeling of randomness makes it easy for players to get frustrated and blame the game rather than their own lack of skill. Frustrated players tend to quit the game instead of giving it an additional chance.
Now, when I've hopefully put forth a couple of valid points why increasing the TTK would be beneficial for the overall balance and gameplay of the game, I just want to note that I do realize that this wouldn't be a small change.
This would require the rebalance of all the weapons, with calculating the rate of fire, how many shots to kill, damage per second, amount of ammo in each clip and how many clips. Not to mention the balancing between hard, stamina and health damage. How long time it would take to drop-off, and how much time objectives should take to complete (spray, burn, break-in, hack, and so on). I believe, together with many others, that this would improve the game immensily.
If nothing else, you could probably change the TTK together with the release of Asylum, send out a email to every player who haven't played in a while announcing the release of APB 2.0. That would probably see a surge in the player base.
Peer-reviewed by Medik
Since this post have been created, we've had:
- Option to turn off mouse smoothing
- Sound effects while using nitro
- Q&A with Revoemag
- More competitions
Edited by TheDopefish, 17 December 2012 - 10:12 AM.