APB Takes A Surprisingly Critical Look At Itself
You don’t see this very often, within weeks of its release the Community Officer of Realtimeworlds is playing open card about the state of All Points Bulletin.
The many negative reviews of All Points Bulletin have not fallen on deaf ears. Neil Castle, Community Officer at Realtimeworlds, has posted an in depth look at the current state of APB.
“Over the last number of months, through closed beta and then KttC, we’ve collected a huge number of issues, complaints, suggestions and requests covering all aspects of the game. Because of the focus on getting the game stable and going through the process of launch, many of these (especially the ones requiring significant changes) may appear to have fallen through the cracks. But they didn’t – they’ve been sitting in our rather copious ‘to do’ list, waiting for us to have the time to begin to address them properly. We also wanted to get a chance to contrast the feedback from new live players with the feedback from the beta community to help us draw up our hit list for the first few months.”
Neil mentions the following topics that are up for improvement in the next couple of weeks:
Catching and removing cheaters from the game remains our top priority. Expect further news on this soon.
We’re already underway on a major overhaul to vehicle handling to make cars more responsive and less slippy overall. You’ll still be able to power slide around corners in stylish fashion, but steering is more responsive overall and easier to get the hang of early on.
We’re looking at almost every aspect of combat – how it looks, feels and sounds, as well as weapon characteristics and tactics. Weapon changes will be put up on the Public Test World to get some feedback in due course.
We’re taking a look at both the way in which player threat is calculated and how mission offers are distributed to players to try and improve the matchmaking experience overall.
We’ll be addressing a number of the worst camping spots in the game in an upcoming patch. We’ll be tackling the rest on an ongoing basis.
Investigations are already under way into ways to make mission objectives more interactive and to try and add a bit more strategy to the actual missions themselves, not just the combat surrounding them.
We’re currently looking at adding a ‘newbie’ ruleset to give players a safe place to learn the game against other new players, and of course we’re still progressing work on the ‘pure skill’ ruleset that was mentioned towards the end of closed beta. The Chaos ruleset hasn’t been forgotten about either.”
And to show that they are serious about this, the first in depth look at Matchmaking is already up:
“So, before we start talking about what the problems are with matchmaking and how we solve them, let’s talk about what it’s supposed to do. At its core, the purpose of the matchmaking system is to find groups of players of as close to equivalent skill as possible and send them to oppose each other. Simples.
The system looks at the relative Threat level of each group or individual available to join a match, applies various modifiers such as whether it’s a single established group or a ‘metagroup’ of disparate individuals, and then goes through a series of passes, first of all looking for a straight match, then beginning to include metagroups, and finally considering the same opposition as the previous match as a last resort.
Eventually it comes up with what it considers the ‘best fit’ for the mission-owning team and sends out Dispatch invites to all concerned to come and join the party. If it can’t find any matchup within the bounds of what is considered an acceptable match, it simply leaves the mission team unopposed and tries again 15 seconds later.”
Very impressive that Realtimeworlds have decided to be this upfront and direct about the flaws in their game. Let’s hope they make good on their promises!