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All Points Bulletin

Petition to memorialize Robin Williams in World of Warcraft allegedly gets Blizzard's attention

World of Warcraft, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, All Points Bulletin, Miscellaneous

apb
Everyone is talking today about the passing of the great comedian Robin Williams, and while it certainly is sad for those of us who grew up loving his TV and movie work, we're also celebrating his legacy and learning a lot about his life. For instance, did you know that Williams was an avid video gamer who spent quite a bit of time in World of Warcraft under an anonymous name?

One fan did and thought that a great way to remember Williams would be to add him into World of Warcraft as an NPC. Thus he started a Change.org petition earlier today to do just that. With over 10,000 signatures added since then, the movement apparently caught the attention of Blizzard. "An amazing development has just happened," the petition author added in an update. "Celestalon has seen the petition and has been quoted as saying, 'We're taking care of it.'"

Robin Williams is being memorialized in other MMOs as well. One player took the above screenshot from APB, noting how a fellow gamer created and uploaded the in-game poster as a tribute to the man.

[Update: The official WoW Twitter account just tweeted, ".@robinwilliams Thank you. You gave us so much joy in our lives, and we hope you enjoyed your time in our world. We'll see you in-game."]

APB update pwns cheaters and creates quicker matchups

Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Legal, All Points Bulletin

APB
APB: Reloaded has moved beyond merely shaking a fist at cheaters to waging war on them.

Today, Reloaded Games released its Open Conflict patch that contains the much-vaunted "FairFight" technology that monitors for illicit behavior and nips it in the bud on the spot. This system also publicly shames hackers and botters as they are banned so that the entire server can witness their downfall.

Open Conflict also contains cloud saves for character settings and a new matchmaking mode that lumps people together based on availability instead of skill.

[Source: Reloaded Games press release]

APB shames cheaters, talks usage and purchasing stats

Real-Life, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Dev Diaries

APB Reloaded's latest dev blog post details the implementation of cheat detector FairFight into the MMO shooter. The update also reveals some pretty interesting stats related to cheaters as well as the game's overall performance. "The number of cheaters who log in to the game stayed pretty constant around 1.2 percent of all players (some of which were re-rolls)," wrote GamersFirst's Bjorn Book-Larsson.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of those cheaters were paying players. Book-Larsson says that only about 10 percent of APB's monthly unique players make new purchases in a given month, while 30 percent of players have made a purchase at some point during their account history.

Book-Larsson goes on to say that APB is the 19th most-played game in the history of Steam, just ahead of Borderlands 2 and just behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Finally, GamersFirst has publicized a list of banned cheaters for the month of July, complete with player and clan names and various other account statistics.

Perfect World's Arc expanding to include Path of Exile and APB

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Path of Exile

Arc
Perfect World is making a strong play to establish Arc as a vital digital platform for gamers. The company announced today that Arc will be expanding to include several titles outside of the PWE brotherhood, including Path of Exile and APB: Reloaded.

The announcement of Arc's embrace of third-party developers comes with the platform's transition to "fully live" status. PWE CEO Alan Chen hopes that this will make Arc a one-stop gaming experience: "Our goal is to make Arc the premiere destination for the best free-to-play online games for both our players and partners, and to achieve this by growing the platform with new games, a constant stream of content, and features specifically designed for the PC gaming audience."

APB: Reloaded team details Unreal Engine upgrade

Patches, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries

APB:R
APB: Reloaded's Unreal Engine upgrade is detailed in the latest dev blog at GamersFirst. In it, we get word that progress is slow but steady as the current version (from 2008) needs to be stripped and rebuilt due to the custom-built additions made in the original engine. Think of it like when you have to manually update your mods every time World of Warcraft has a new patch.

Although the latest version of Unreal will aid with performance and compatibility improvements, the Reloaded team says that you may not even notice much of a difference visuals-wise.

GamersFirst hopes to roll the new upgrade out soon, although a release estimate is still to come. Check out the full dev blog for more details on the Unreal Engine upgrade.

Mobile shooter APB: Retribution announced

Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Mobile, All Points Bulletin

Players wanting a little more shooter action while on the go will soon be able to jump into APB: Retribution, a top-down tactical shooter developed expressly for mobile devices. Not too much more is known about the game (like whether or not it is multiplayer let alone massive is any way) other than it is set in the same universe of the MMO APB: Reloaded.

Retribution is the first step along the planned route of expanding beyond the main MMO. This project was completed in six months, and Blazing Griffin, working with Reloaded Productions, already has a spin off planned. APB: Retribution is slated to release for iOS devices this month.

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APB: Reloaded brings loads of new free content with Version 14

Patches, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

APR: Reloaded 14
The team at GamersFirst's Reloaded Productions has been busy on the newest update to APB: Reloaded as the crime-based MMO hits Version 14 today.

This latest free content update introduces two new contacts that offer 20 more levels of high-level progression, a radar tower car mod that lets you see when enemies pass by your vehicle, a blowtorch weapon, remote detonators, additional slot unlocks, and much more. In addition to the free content, Version 14 also introduces a new purchasable bundle that includes the Rocker Outfit, the TAS20 Shotgun, and the Vegas G20 Muscle Car and Body Kit.

If you're a Steam player, this update introduces two new packs: the New Blood Pack with 14 days premium time and some nice starter weapons, and the Key to the City Pack that gives an impressive collection of high-end cars, guns, gear, designs, and emotes.

[Source: GamersFirst press release]

Use your car as a bomb in APB: Reloaded

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin

APB: Reloaded cars
APB: Reloaded's latest dev update is here. Items on the discussion agenda include two new specialist contacts featuring 20 levels of high-end player progression as well as vehicle updates. Said updates grant you the ability to specialize in combat, whether it be via the mobile radar tower ability that highlights nearby enemies or the remote detonator that "turns your beloved vehicle into a bomb on wheels."

Read all about it at the official APB Reloaded dev blog.

APB Reloaded brings Fright Club and Certain Death to San Paro

Events (In-Game), PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

APB Reloaded brings Fright Club and Certain Death to San Paro
While almost every game has some kind of Halloween celebration this time of year, only APB: Reloaded has nabbed the talents of the Scottish metal band Certain Death to add to the ambiance of this holiday update. The band picked three songs to add to APB's soundtrack, which the guitarist Steedo said "would fit the game as well as the new Halloween update."

The Halloween shenanigans include new in-game content and challenges including Fright Club, the temporary relocation of the popular Fight Club mode to an abandoned asylum filled with ghoulish gang members. Starting today, players can also get a new Punk pack, complete with devil or bat wings, witch and wizard hats, pumpkin and bat glow-in-the-dark weapon themes, and a scoped version of the new primary weapon, the STAC 10 (Somatic Tactical Assault Carbine). The holiday-themed festivities run until November 6th, 2013.

[Source: GamersFirst press release]

APB Reloaded survives GTA V, engine upgrade coming

Real-Life, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Dev Diaries

APB Reloaded engine upgrade
Did Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online impact APB Reloaded? Well, of course. Rockstar's juggernaut affected the entire industry via its total sales and its mind-boggling ascent to the top of the all-time 24-hour sales chart. And that's "all-time" as in the history of all entertainment. Ever.

Anyway, APB Reloaded. There's a new blog post on the game's official site that addresses the GTA impact as well as the addition of community management veteran Diane "Tiggs" Migliaccio to the team.

Reloaded's Bjorn Book-Larsson also mentions the firm's plans for an APB engine upgrade. The game currently uses Unreal 3, which is basically the same engine that powered the 2008 edition of Epic's Unreal Tournament 3. Book-Larsson says that a "massive engine upgrade" has been in the works since July 2013 that will ultimately move APB to the same version of the Unreal engine that powers Epic's Gears of Wars 3.

Massively Exclusive: Reloaded Games' CEO explains APB's layoffs

Fallen Earth, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Miscellaneous

APB
Massively reported earlier today the unfortunate news of layoffs at Reloaded Games' APB: Reloaded. New producer Joseph "Linus" Willmon, whom you might remember as formerly having been on the Fallen Earth crew, explained to players that at least five APB staffers had been let go but that development would continue on as planned.

That's hard news for any community to take, but apparently players have reason to be hopeful all the same. "It's a little more complicated than just layoffs," Bjorn Book-Larsson explained to me during a phone call this afternoon. Book-Larsson is the CEO of Reloaded, part of GamersFirst's assortment of MMO studios. He told me that the layoffs are part of a restructuring that's seen not just layoffs but the movement of developers between the APB and Fallen Earth teams, the latter of which has been given significant autonomy in terms of how it manages its resources.

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APB: Reloaded loses more staff, teases upcoming threat changes

MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

APB Reloaded loses more staff, teases upcoming threat changes
As announced in the game's official forums last night, APB: Reloaded said goodbye to at least five members of the development team, including Jericho, Quinzel, Jotunblut, Revoemag, and Farfletched. This brings Joseph "Linus" Willmon up as the game's new producer.

To help alleviate the impending concern from fans of the resurrected shooter MMO, Linus points out some new content coming down the pipe, including threat changes that will allow friends with varying threat levels to play together, and another hopeful cure to the lag and performance issues.

Look for more information on the staff changes and upcoming content in an interview we have with GamersFirst this afternoon.

[Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!]

APB Reloaded offers more gun-borne pathogens to players

Real-Life, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, MMOFPS

I've got a fever, and the only cure is... guns.  More guns.  That makes sense.  It's a gun fever.
A week ago, APB Reloaded introduced a new gun that had a unique trick to it: You could only get the gun if someone killed you with it. The Colby .45 AP was a hit, and killing several players offered a special title, so the team decided to go to the next level with new guns that travel like diseases. Players who rack up kills with the limited-time Colby .45 AP can unlock two new weapons based on the Argotech Close Engagement System (ACES) platform.

The ACES SMG boasts a permanent modification that increases its rate of fire while degrading accuracy, making it ideal for taking down opponents in close quarters. The ACES rifle, on the other had, has an extra-long barrel for increased accuracy and damage, turning the same core weapon into a long-range killer. If you've already got the Colby, start racking up kills to unlock the SMG and then the rifle; if you don't, the handgun can be purchased from Armas or Joker Distribution. Start infecting people with bullets!

GamersFirst adds Nixon masks, holiday event to APB

Real-Life, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime

GamersFirst adds Nixon masks, holiday event to APB
If you're going to be in San Paro for July 4th, be on the lookout for Richard Nixon. Or at least, players wearing those goofy Point Break-style bank robbery masks that GamersFirst has added to its APB Reloaded cash shop.

The firm is also putting on a holiday event of sorts, if your idea of a holiday event is literally killing everything that moves. G1 has locked up the game's Asylum action district until players meet or exceed 13,839,289 total kills for the week, after which point it will be re-opened for two weeks. The firm has even added some stretch goals, including an Asylum-themed weapon skin for taking part.

Anarchy in the APB

PvP, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Dev Diaries

Anarchy in the APB
If you think drive-by shootings, exploding vehicles, and an epidemic of robbery and murder on the streets of San Paro wasn't enough anarchy for you, GamersFirst has just introduced Chaos Mode to its crime MMO APB: Reloaded.

Joining a Chaos district will put you into a survival mode that allows you to gain points by killing as many players of the opposite faction as possible. All of the district's contacts are gone, replaced by vendors. So there's no other mission but to kill, and kill quickly. A leaderboard tracks the best of the best and several new titles and a new role have been added.

You can check out an early prototype of Chaos Mode in the game between now and June 6.

[Thanks to Derek for the tip!]

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