It might seem a bit odd that Grand Theft Auto Online’s playerbase is up in arms about the Oppressor Mk. II because the jet bike is not actually in the game at the moment. It’s been datamined, but you cannot actually jump onto the bike right now. But that doesn’t change people being nervous, and for somewhat good cause; the description alone reads like an insanely overpowered toy, after all. It’s a flying jet bike with high agility and missiles, and it can also jam incoming missiles so that it’s hard to shoot down.
This would be unbalanced enough if you were playing on your own, but people are chiefly worried about the impact it might have in multiplayer lobbies, where it’d be almost impossible to stop and definitely not fun to play against. There’s no word on when or if it’s actually going to be released, of course, but some of the player anxiety is partly a matter of getting out ahead and hopefully causing the developers to tone down the vehicle ahead of a wider release.
It would be understandable if you felt a little cynical about the future of APB: Reloaded even after its acquisition by Little Orbit, but the new team is genuinely hard at work to improve player experiences. A pair of recent patches dropped back-to-back to improve the game. The first one added a whole new gun, the Showstopper, along with a variety of balance changes like making shotgun pellets more damaging and encouraging greater accuracy on sniper rifles.
After just a day of testing, another patch arrived to provide fixes for issues like a crash related to friend requests, as well as further addressing balance issues by adding new variants of the Anubis. Prototype districts have also been renamed for clarity, so it should be easier to see where you are and where you’re going, in short. It’s all good news for players, and it should show a commitment to providing updates and patches in a timely fashion for the playerbase.
Rockstar has a big update coming today for those of you more into glamorous thuggery than the sci-fi exploration GTAO will be competing with this week. It’s called After Hours, and yes, it brings back Gay Tony, the titular star of The Ballad of Gay Tony, GTA IV DLC that charmed audiences not quite a decade ago.
“Los Santos is a city of bright lights, long nights and dirty secrets, and they don’t come brighter, longer or dirtier than in GTA Online: After Hours. Partner with legendary impresario Tony Prince to open and operate a top shelf Nightclub featuring world-class DJ acts Solomun, Tale Of Us, Dixon and The Black Madonna, and use it as a front for the most concentrated network of criminal enterprise ever to hit San Andreas.”
“Tony, I don’t think you can say Gay Tony anymore,” a trailer character quips (and you can just imagine a Rockstar exec saying this before greenlighting it anyway, can’t you?). “It’s not PC. The internet will go crazy.” Get to the disco today when it launches.
Bring your glitter eyeshadows, your glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and some extra earplugs because we’re going clubbing in GTAO and you’re invited.
“World class talent have announced their upcoming residencies in Los Santos and fans will soon be packing out clubs and warehouses across town to lose themselves in sweaty, ecstatic bliss to hear new sets from Solomun, Tale Of Us, Dixon and The Black Madonna while dancing through the night and into the morning,” Rockstar posted this week. “Nightclubs are the perfect cover for any other operation you might have going, so get in on the ground level as a business partner to open up a brand new establishment, and help the DJ’s make their shows the best ever. Run your nightclub business from setup, design, staffing and promotion; the more popular the club, the faster your secure wall safe will fill up. Management is honest work, a tidy way to keep income from your more seedy ventures with Disruption Logistics, The Open Road, SecuroServ and Free Trade Shipping Co. looking clean as fresh laundry.”
The fun is coming in July.
With multiple projects in the works and an effort to bring the console and PC versions into parity, APB Reloaded is enjoying actual development and direction these days.
New owners Little Orbit published a roadmap for the troubled MMO, breaking it down into several different tasks. Strengthening the game’s infrastructure (including “cleaning out the cobwebs”) is a high priority, as is integrating a new client-side anti-cheat system and exploit fixes. Other projects include reducing lag, bringing the game up to the Unreal 3.5 engine, adding console features, and actually adding some new content.
Little Orbit said that it also has a second team devoted to working on an Unreal Engine 4 version of the game: “This will not be a short project, but it has lots of miilestones along the way. We are initially focused on getting the third-person shooter mechanics of APB up and running in one of the existing districts.”
How weird is it that we’re talking about APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth in 2018? But it actually seems as though the acquisition of GamersFirst by Little Orbit is producing momentum in both games and drawing more attention to them.
First up for APB Reloaded isn’t any sort of fancy content update but rather a patch that’s targeting cheaters and exploiters. But not only is the team cracking down on those trying to skirt around the rules, but it is also unbanning many players that had incorrectly received permanent bans in the past.
“This is the first big step in rebuilding this game as a fun, safe environment to play,” the team said. “Our new client-side anti-cheat is the biggest addition in this update. Our initial implementation should handle a majority of situations, but you can expect that we will continue tweaking this until we’re happy with the results.”
Could the acquisition of GamersFirst — including APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth — be what actually saves these games? Players of these long-abandoned MMOs are holding onto a fresh hope that Little Orbit is going to actually give these titles support, marketing, and development.
For the first time in literally years there is movement on the Fallen Earth front. New forums under the Little Orbit management have opened up with additional features, security, and discussion areas. But that’s not all! Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott told the Fallen Earth community that he not only personally enjoyed the game but feels that it deserves the publisher’s help in rebuilding it.
Ever wonder if the developers behind APB Reloaded are looking at the current boom of battle royale-style games and kicking themselves for not having the foresight to get in on the craze? Always easier to direct things in hindsight.
At least there looks to be a path forward for the PvP title, what with the GamersFirst acquisition by Little Orbit. The dev team recently sat down to talk about the direction that the game is heading, including the decision to add Battleye to counter cheating, building up APB’s infrastructure, fixing mechanics, and unifying the console and PC versions.
This development will benefit the title, which is still sporting an active population no matter what you may assume. Rock Paper Shotgun sent a reporter in to talk to players about why they’re still engaging with APB with so many other options out there. One player said that he feels the title is “like a unicorn” with its unique features, such as the varied missions and creator.
“APB has more of an e-sports like feel to it. But it also has its open world,” he noted.
Fortnite had another record month of revenue in April, according to SuperData’s latest global revenue report. “Epic’s Battle Royale shooter made $296 million in April across Console, PC and Mobile, up from $223 million in March,” says the firm.
But the more interesting story is SuperData’s assertion that “Grand Theft Auto V is finally showing its age.”
“GTA V Online revenue declined 9% year-over-year, ending an impressive streak of 12 consecutive months with year-over-year growth. GTA V Online has declined sequentially every month since the start of the year, likely in part due to the continued rise of Fortnite as well as a dearth of significant content updates from Rockstar.”
One of the goals for the new owners of APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth is to avoid falling into the same traps as the past. Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott has posted a new entry about the impending changes to community management, starting with Tiggs moving out of her current composite role of producer, community manager, and customer support manager. Instead, she’ll be working in more of an advisory capacity while more people are brought in to more effectively split up her overabundance of responsibilities.
The current customer support manager and community managers from Little Orbit will be stepping in to take over the GamersFirst library. The owners are also rolling out a new support site for the games as well as new forum software, although the existing forum posts will still be available to see. Players are encouraged to keep asking Scott questions about the future, although he acknowledges it can’t be his top priority to answer them immediately. So you might have to wait a little while.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin do their darndest to shape the MMO industry by holding up Wild West Online as a cautionary tale and talking about how studios need to think before applying real-world labels to games.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
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It’s been exceedingly quiet for a long while when it comes to APB Reloaded, and it’d be easy to think that the game’s second lease on life had come to an end. But it turns out that other things were going on. Little Orbit has acquired GamersFirst, the company behind APB as well as Fallen Earth, and is promising players in an open letter that more stuff is going to be happening and that this is the start of more active development for APB.
Source: Official Site
; thanks to Secrets, Genobee, and Steven for the tip!
While Massively OP’s MJ is in California, we thought it would be fun to join her for a bit on her adventures. So here she’ll be letting us tag along for a live feed of her traversing the beautiful southern California coast: stopping in shops, talking to locals, and enjoying the city live. (This totally isn’t a GTAO feed; Los Santos is real!) Tune in live at 1:00 p.m. for a wild ride.
What: Grand Theft Auto Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018