This is a good idea. No, this is a strategic snipe at one of the great screw-ups of RTW’s old secrecy model. Implementation of a development map will satisfy the silent majority quite nicely, but I doubt the vocal minority will pipe down. There isn’t much to analyze, honestly. I can see the nipples of the work being done and that’s sufficient for me.
In regards to the vocal minority, I am reluctant to call it trolling because many people are being their honest, stupid selves. Most people are completely unaware of how difficult the development process is in regards to gaming in general. I remember Aion’s beta where one of the elements of the network outside the direct control of NCsoft was bad and was causing significant lag issues. People, of course, assumed that it was an internal problem.
Overall, I like the projected changes (Okay, I lied. I barely understand them), but there’s one thing I’m concerned about:
While players will not be stopped from moving around to different districts, as a future enhancement there will be penalties for very high level players joining low level districts and trying to ROFL-stomp newbies.
I’m not sure where the high-level barrier starts, but in regards to fun-factor, I really-really enjoy 1v2 Silver-Bronze as a format. I would hate to see this taken away because it is an unusual matchup that is unique to APB at the moment. Most games take fairly linear matchups and reasonably so, but the 1v2 is balanced in a non-linear fashion.
That and friends playing with friends. Although I do see this as a possible way to move character slots off the shelves, this produces an extra barrier between friends who want to play together despite great differences in time played. Matchmaking will still likely pit an adequate number of players against a higher ranked team, but the rewards will be reduced by the assumption of ill-intent made by the developers.
I’m curious to what the penalties will be. Dedicated players understand that money and reputation are relatively cheap. The tears, however, are priceless. While this does deter the use of lower-level players as a platform to advance, I can see myself hanging in these districts and pummeling lowbies knowing full well that I will remain in the same ranking category. The most effective solution would be a penalty that reduces the quality of the game itself, such as slower movement speed or reduced regeneration rate, because I wouldn’t be there to farm cash or reputation in the first place. Of course, this poses the possibility of purposefully joining low-rank districts to down-rank quickly by purposefully losing.