Category Archives: APB

Transparency: Reloaded

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.

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in APB


APB vs APB:R – Never let games die, or maybe never resurrect games.

When a game fails with an active anti-fanbase, something extraordinary occurs.

From the corpse of a game, the resulting shambles gives birth to someone who honestly thinks that they know how to run video games. It is one thing to have an armchair game designer, but I think it is another when you have an armchair game designer with a dead game under his belt.

Today, I think I spent too much time on the forums, talking at people who played RTW APB like I did with especially big chips on their shoulders. Of course, I played open beta as well and I had certain expectations, but I eventually grew up and realized that APB, for all its hype, was not going to be as realistic as I dreamed it would be. Now, it has aged into a interesting mix between low-mechanical shooter with movable walls. I see the merits in this weird mixture of low barriers to entry with a non-competitive, yet surprisingly unique and fun, hybrid shooter. Of course, when you say anything nice about APB:R, it becomes the civil duty of others to make sure you don’t spread false doctrine.

APB makes people angry. Furious. It was a game that embodied the possibility of a dynamic multiplayer GTA that ultimately game to grips with why game development is hard. I’ve seen a lot of bitching in my time, given that I frequented the official Starcraft II forums with regularity, but the vehemence infused in APB is legendary. You cannot give a sliver of input without having people jump on you like crazy. That and, well, it is a beta and it appears that the developers are listening. The mixture of a bad legacy with a good developer team has created a cesspool of non-stop emotions, clamoring to be noticed, recognized and hailed as the one-true-savior of APB.

I just had an argument today about how APB is an open-world, and as a result, is not a game that can be truly balanced. The other person found it absolutely necessary to clarify that APB is a glorified lobby and not an open world. I disagree on that notion because it is an open-world map where other players can directly and indirectly change the outcome of your missions, whereas a closed-world would be a Bad Company 2 map. My criteria is simple, but different from the apparent norm. The number of usable cars nearby, their position and their health does tangibly affect whether or not you will win a mission, and it is those variables to give credence to the idea that APB is open in comparison to other shooters.

Now, that’s really a matter of opinion and contexts, but at the end of everything, I was being called daft for being “over-analytic.” Granted, I understand that many people can’t analyze without siphoning gallons of tears and that insults are the last refuge of a dead argument, but this particular response is definitely the hallmark of APB’s current beta-talk state. Perhaps in being critical, I have discovered that this unreasonable behavior is carried over from the sense of participating in the death of a game. I’m convinced that APB:R’s open beta stage has awakened a spark in the lives of many angry nerds, whose calling is to hunt down and kill all optimism pertaining to the game that stole their innocence. Charming.

Personally, I wish game companies would post a really fat sticky on each forum, detailing how and where you can submit your opinion about the game without subjecting it to peer review. Not because peer review is bad, but generally because casual forum peer review is frustrating for peers with a differing viewpoint. I’ve found that the best way to dissuade yourself from a game is to read its official forums. Many testers and active players find it necessary to act as beligerent as possible. This would be fine if their arguments were reasonable, but once you get the fire started, the logic unravels.

Basically, I’m sick of other people. Today was a day ruined by a breed of people who are emboldened by the death of a title to be as asinine as possible.

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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in APB


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