Friday, April 24, 2015

APB Reloaded (Part Six)

Further Customization (Social District)
Not sure why I've left this till last, but as I've said before, the Social District's the place you've gotta go to to make your character, clothing and vehicular customizations (after you've unlocked them that is).
APB Reloaded - Social District Kiosks
In it, there are five particular "kiosks" that you will have to take note.
  • Marketplace
    APB Reloaded - Marketplace AuctionAPB Reloaded - Create Auction
    The Marketplace Kiosk serves as your typical "auction" terminal. You would usually use it for when your trying to buy something you don't have or sell something that you have (that others would want).

    These may include stuff like mods that others might have yet to unlock, clothings or patterns that you've took the time and designed yourself.
    APB Reloaded - Refurbish Item
    Just remember that you will need to "refurbish" the item first before you can place it up on auction.
    Do note that there are some items that simply cannot be traded though (and hence cannot be refurbished).
  • Character Kiosk
    APB Reloaded - Changing Looks At Character Kiosk
    The Character Kiosk is where you go to make additional changes to your character's looks.
    However, any changes that you decide to make now will cost you some in-game cash.
  • Symbol Designer Kiosk
    APB Reloaded - Symbol DesignAPB Reloaded - Load Create Symbol
    The Symbol Designer Kiosk is where you make your designs and patterns.
    As a free-to-play, the complexity of your designs will be limited (due to the maximum number of layers that you can have in your design).

    Additionally, you will also be restricted to a smaller quantity of symbol designs that you can have, store and save.
    APB Reloaded - Billboard Graffiti
    Upon finishing and saving them, you may then use them in other places such as on the clothes/cars that you've unlocked and bought or even as a graffiti that you paint on billboards.
  • Wardrobe Kiosk
    APB Reloaded - Wardrobe
    The Wardrobe Kiosk is where you handle all your fashion attire and accessories. You can buy stuff that you've unlocked here at this kiosk, design and customize them as well as sort them into sets for quick changes.
    APB Reloaded - Clothing Color ChangesAPB Reloaded - Clothing Inserting Designs
    For clothing that are customizable, the stuff that you can do to it basically involves the changing of its colors (for different sections of that piece of clothing) and also the adding of patterns and designs to it...that's all.

    Its impossible to change the size and/or shape of the clothing itself (physical changes).
    So nope...I'm afraid that you can't put holes into the pair of jeans to make it look torn and worn out. Neither can you cut off one of its legs to make it one side long and the other side short.
  • Garage Kiosk
    APB Reloaded - Garage
    The Garage Kiosk is where you make customizations to your cars (much like what the Wardrobe Kiosk does for your clothing).
    APB Reloaded - Garage Parts ChangeAPB Reloaded - Garage Designs And Patterns
    Similarly, most of what you can do to your cars here is external as well. Stuff such as the changing of car parts (wheels, headlights, license plates, sirens, etc) and the inserting of patterns and designs onto its exterior body.

    And likewise, the complexity of your design will be limited too...unless you go premium.

Previous: APB Reloaded (Part Five)

Friday, April 17, 2015

APB Reloaded (Part Five)

APB Reloaded - Weapons Category
I believe by now, you know that there's quite a number of weapons that you can buy and use in APB Reloaded.

From Assault Rifles, Explosive Weapons, High-velocity (Sniper) Rifles, Less Than Lethal (Stuns) to Light Machine Guns, Rifles, Secondary Weapons (your fallback weapon, e.g. pistols), Shotguns and Sub-machine Guns.
APB Reloaded - Light Machine GunsAPB Reloaded - High-Velocity Rifles
And even though there seems to be plenty, I've found that somehow...within the same weapon category...there's really only just a couple of models each. The rest are just variants of the same with some minor modifications to them.

For instance, let us take a look at the "Light Machine Guns" (refer to previous screenshot). In it, you can more or less see two recurring weapon names, the "Alig 762" and the "Shaw 556".

These two are the "models" that I'm talking about. The rest of them (with the same primary names) are its variants.
APB Reloaded - LMG Alig 762APB Reloaded - LMG Shaw 556
And as you can see in the above pictures, the variants doesn't seem that much different from their "mother", the main model (stat-wise).
I believe those aren't a reflection of the variants' real stats. They appear to be pre-modified ones that does not take into account the weapon mods' effects yet...which is why they look exactly like their "mother's".
Even amongst the variants, you can easily see that there's actually only two general versions of them, those with free mod slots and those with weapon mods already attached to them (fixed mod slots).
The difference?
Weapons with free mod slots are essentially "free". Players can slot in and remove weapon mods from them as and when they like...provided that certain rules are followed (to be explained later).

Weapons with fixed mod slots, on the other hand, cannot. Players who've bought these can only use them as is. The weapon mods are affixed to the weapon itself and cannot be removed nor changed.
As far as I know, unlocking of the NPC contacts and gradually climbing up the "Standings Ladder" will only get you the main weapon models and their fixed mod slot counterparts.
APB Reloaded - Assault Rifle UnlockAPB Reloaded - Rifleman Rank
The free mod slot versions can only be obtained by raising the rank of a role (that's associated with the weapon) up to a certain level.

And to do that, you will need to rack up kill points using the existing ones that you've unlocked.

Other Weapon Need To Knows
  • One must note that a player can only carry two weapons (1 primary, 1 secondary weapon) and a couple of grenades at any point in time. As such, you must be selective in what you choose to bring and use. Match them to your game-style or the situation that your in accordingly.
  • There are two kinds of targets in APB Reloaded, soft targets (players/NPCs) and hard targets (vehicles).
    • When dealing with soft ones, use a high "health damage" weapon when you wish to kill them and a high "stamina damage" weapon when you just wish to stun and arrest them.
    • When dealing with hard ones, use a high "hard damage" weapon.
  • Though there are in-game weapon stats available, I've found that more often than will still need to give the weapon a trial run first before deciding to scratch it off as useless (or something like that).
    This is because of "hidden factors" that can't be noticed until you've tried them cross hair size and range when damage starts to drop off.
    Take for instance, the Alig 762. Although it looks as if it should be a good all-round primary weapon (able to take out soft and hard targets alike, has mid-high effective range, spits out bullets at a decent pace and has a large magazine size), it isn't quite so.
    APB Reloaded - LMG Alig 762
    Upon using it, you will find that the weapon's cross hair is pretty large on its own and aim-down-sights doesn't do anything to decrease it (so you might have to do crouch-fire on far targets), enlarges itself at the slightest movement (you should preferably be stationary when firing, but that would also mean that your a sitting duck though) and blooms terribly fast on full-auto (so starting from as early as mid-ranged target onwards, you will already have to do controlled bursts in order to hit).
    APB Reloaded - Alig 762 Damage ChartAPB Reloaded - N-HVR 762 Damage Chart
    As for damage drop-offs, you might want to consider giving APB:DB a try. I've found it to be pretty useful for that (with its damage vs range chart).

APB Reloaded - Vehicle Han Veo 320LXAPB Reloaded - Vehicle Pioneer N54A Dominion
Just like weapons, cars also have their own specs chart to look at, those with no mod slots, with free mod slots and fixed mod slots.
And since they pretty much function in just the same way (except that you don't have to kill to unlock them), I guess I can skip the explanation on them.
But anyway, regardless of its specs, the one main important thing to keep in mind when choosing which to get is its ability to "push away" others when being blocked.
This is because the mission district is often filled with NPCs' as well as other players' cars. And they don't very well park them nicely at the side of the road for ya (when your in a car chase).
APB Reloaded - Cars
To this aspect, I've found that the vehicles within APB Reloaded can generally be summarized into the following "four" kinds.
  • Vehicles that have very fast acceleration, but are light and can easily be pushed (veered off course) or flipped over.
  • Vehicles that have fast acceleration, but no pushing power at all (easily deflected or stopped despite having attained some decent speed).
  • Vehicles that have average acceleration and decent pushing power.
  • Vehicles that have very slow acceleration but becomes a total powerhouse (when it comes to ramming others) once it gains sufficient speed.
As for which kind to get? I'll leave it up for the player to decide.
If you want to "save money", you can always hijack the vehicle model first (in the mission districts) and give them a try.

APB Reloaded - Character Mod Slots
There are a total of three kinds of modifications found in APB Reloaded. Apart from "Weapon" and "Car" mods (that have already been introduced earlier), the last kind (which you've yet to know of) is actually "Character" mods.

Together, these three group of mods represents the tweaks that you can do to your weapons, your character and your cars to make them fundamentally different (not visually, but in terms of performance) from other players'.
Tell me something I don't know.
And while all that sounds fine and swell, there are two vital points to note of.
APB Reloaded - Character Mod ExampleAPB Reloaded - Weapon Mod Example
First of all, mods (in APB Reloaded) aren't all good and no bad. They have their bonus aspects as well as penalties.
And by choosing to insert the mod (and using it), means that you implicitly accept BOTH the bonus and penalty (that it provides).
APB Reloaded - Modifications
Secondly, mods are color-coded and at no point in time can you simultaneously slot in two mods of the same color-code...into the same item (your weapon, your character, your car).

Hence, at the end of the day, the player himself/herself must choose what mods to put on wisely. For if you put on the wrong ones on the wrong stuff, it might harm your gameplay instead of help ya.
I've heard that some weapon mods just aren't fit for certain weapons. Forcibly putting them on would not help the weapon one bit, but you will still get hit with its penalty nonetheless though.
APB Reloaded - Weapon Mod Hunting Sights
For instance, putting hunting sights on a shotgun or smg is totally useless cause your never supposed to aim-down-sights while engaging in close quarters combat (in APB Reloaded anyway).

Ignoring the penalty, you'll already be moving too slowly in marksmanship mode...not to mention having no effective range (on the weapon) to actually make use of that added accuracy while aiming.

Previous: APB Reloaded (Part Four)Next: APB Reloaded (Part Six)

Friday, April 10, 2015

APB Reloaded (Part Four)

Gameplay (Continued)
Abington Towers And Baylan Shipping Storage
If you've not read my earlier post (APB Reloaded Gameworld), then I'll say it again here.
APB Reloaded - Abington TowersAPB Reloaded - Baylan Shipping Storage
The "Fight Club" districts, Abington Towers and Baylan Shipping Storage, are essentially two mid-sized zones that do not contain any NPC inhabitants, made with the sole purpose of allowing criminals and enforcers to fight against each other...within its confines, without any distractions or too much running about.
Abington Towers itself is designed with a mansion in mind while Baylan Shipping Storage is made in the likes of a port harbor with warehouses and cargo containers.
And although the gameplay, in both of these districts, still requires the player to participate in group-based missions much like the ones found in the "Financial" and "Waterfront" districts, the motivation for doing them are entirely different.
APB Reloaded - Joker Ticket Vendors
Players mostly join these two districts with the primary purpose of earning "Joker Tickets".

And these "Joker Tickets" are in turn to be used for purchasing some of the more special items sold by the NPC vendors found in the "Social" district (refer to above pic).

However, I must clarify that these "Joker Tickets" aren't quite won by merely being constantly on the "winning side" in the group-based missions, in these "Fight Club" districts.
Although they do kind of coincide, of course.
Rather, you must strive to achieve a specific criteria (depends on the district) in order to get those tickets.
APB Reloaded - Abington Towers ScoreboardAPB Reloaded - Baylan Shipping Storage Scoreboard
If its the Abington Towers, you must earn a certain amount of money or cash whilst within the district.
Earning $3000 will instantly net you 50 Joker Tickets. Earn $6000 and you will get another 150 Joker Tickets (also instantly).

If the amount of cash you've earned gets you within the top 10% of the cohort (for that week), then you will be rewarded with 200 more Joker Tickets.
If its the Baylan Shipping Storage, then instead of earning cash, you will need to perform random sets of activities.
APB Reloaded - Baylan Shipping Storage Activity
These activities can be anything from getting X number of assists (help to damage but not kill an enemy) to perhaps killing Y number of enemies with a specific weapon (can be pistol, rifle, shotgun, assault rifle, etc).
Each "Clear" counts as 1 activity and when you've successfully finished 7 of these, you will get 50 Joker Tickets. If you've managed to clear 15, you will get another 150 Joker Tickets.

Likewise, if the number of activities that you've cleared gets you within the top 10% of the cohort (for that week), then you will be rewarded with 200 more Joker Tickets.
If in the event that you can't quite complete the activity that you've been given, you can also consider pressing "F7" to skip it and change to another. However, there's a cooldown of several minutes in between such a use.

Gameplay Need to Knows
Now that you've roughly been introduced to the gameplay of APB Reloaded, here's a list of minor things that you might want to know about too.
  • Things That You Can Buy From NPC Contacts
    Remember the NPC contacts, that I've talked about, which are littered all over the two mission districts (Financial and Waterfront)?
    APB Reloaded - Contact Buy TabAPB Reloaded - Contact Sell Tab
    Well apart from being an unlockable, pledgeable "statue" (kind of), these contacts also serve as points to buy and sell your items actually (not that there's many things that you would want to sell).

    Typical stuff that you can buy include weapons of all sorts (smgs, lmgs, rpgs, pistols, sniper rifles, assault rifles and shotguns) to clothings, equipments and modifications to even vehicles of all kinds (cars, trucks and vans).
    All so long as you've unlocked them that is.
    And all those stuff that you've bought (well almost all), you can always sell them back via the "Sell" tab.
    But I would strongly advise against that its an all lose and no win situation (you will get back less money than it had cost ya).
  • Terminals That You Ought To Know
    Below are some terminals that you ought to know about.
    APB Reloaded - Important Terminals
    The Joker Ammo is kind of like your munitions cache. You will basically go to this terminal to replenish (buy) your bullets and grenades.
    Kind of funny that its in the form of a self-service vending machine (if you ask me). As your own self-defense or justice? And especially when all hell had broken loose? That's just weird I tell ya.
    The Mailbox functions exactly as its name implies...handling your mails. This can be anything from letters and correspondence sent between you and your friends to random rewards sent by the game system as well as stuff you've won via auction (Marketplace, Social district).

    Last but not least, the Vehicle Terminal. This is the terminal to access when you want to spawn your own private vehicle. The one which you've equipped and had customized.
    Though you can always hijack or commandeer a nearby civilian's, the fundamental difference is that no one else apart from you and your mission team-mates can use your private vehicle (but the opposing team, in your mission, can always blow them up).
  • Changing Setups And Reloading Ammo
    APB Reloaded - Locked Loadout
    If you press "I" while your out in the districts, in the middle of nowhere, you will inevitably find red "padlocks" on all of your changeables (in inventory loadout).
    Which brings us to the do we change our setups then?
    Well...remember the NPC contacts and terminals that I've talked about earlier? You will need to be near one of those in order to access your inventory and swap equipments (normally and without restrictions).

    Apart from that, they also serve as "ammo reload points" for you to replenish your carried ammunition. So if you ever run low on bullets and grenades, you could consider standing beside one of them for a couple of seconds (unless you have your own field supplier mod).
    Yup. The bullets and grenades that you buy from the Joker Ammo will just go into a "storage pool" (which you will need to regularly maintain). You can only carry a limited amount of ammunition on ya and will be grabbing your supplies from this pool as and when you've spent some.
  • Stuff Within The Game That You Can Interact With
    APB Reloaded - Action Scenes
    To be quite honest with you, there's only that many things which you can interact with in APB Reloaded.
    And one can literally count them all with the fingers of one hand.
    There are only certain doors which can be kicked open by the player, certain gates that you can crash through, ladders to scale the exterior of a building and fences that you can climb.
    APB Reloaded - Destroyable Fire HydrantAPB Reloaded - Non-Destroyable Fence
    Except for some (purposely made) destroyable ones like traffic lights, mailboxes (nope not the mailbox terminal that your thinking about), fire hydrants, trash cans, traffic cones and small wooden roadblocks, the rest are pretty much rock solid, non-movable, non-destroyable "blocks" that one can hardly do anything about (to it) and will have to avoid crashing into them at all cost.
    Yes. Even if they do look paper-thin. They're not.
    APB Reloaded - Enterable Building
    Most of the buildings are pretty much inaccessible to the player as well...unless they are structurally-designed to be entered (with doors that you can kick open and corridors to run in).
  • Switching Cam Position And Leaning
    APB Reloaded - Camera PositionAPB Reloaded - Leaning
    As most of the in-game fighting involves taking cover and firing from behind solid objects (like corners of buildings or walls), it then becomes especially important that you know how to switch between your left and right (over-the-shoulder) camera positions as well as to learn how to lean out (from cover) to fire your weapons.
    And its actually quite easy too. All you need is to remember these three keys, "V", "Q" and "E".
    "V" allows you to switch between viewing from over your left shoulder and from over your right shoulder.
    You should always make full use of this to peer over any "suspected" corner without exposing/revealing yourself to an enemy.
    "Q" and "E" allows you to lean left or right...but only when your in "Marksman" mode (aim down sights).
    I've found that usage of these only becomes useful when you've matched them with the appropriate camera angle (left to left and right to right). Else, they will only obstruct your view and ability to fire (note cross hair positions).

    In addition to that, be especially mindful of where the muzzle (of your weapon) is at. I've found that unless you've made certain that the nose is clearly sticking out from the corner or wall, it actually blocks your shots and prevents you from hitting your target (but your target can still hit you).
  • Prestige/Notoriety (a.k.a. Heat Meter)
    APB Reloaded - Prestige
    The "Prestige/Notoriety", or as I would rather call it...the "Heat Meter", is actually some sort of an indicator denoting your "Heat" (or "Presence") within the district.

    As you (the player) performs various tasks like committing crimes (if your a Criminal) or killing/arresting criminals (if your an Enforcer), your "Heat" will gradually climb and increase up to a maximum of "5 Stars".
    Apparently, due to some inherent "handicap" (in game mechanics I presume), Criminals start from "No Star" while Enforcers start from "2.5 Stars".
    Conversely, if you find yourself doing the exact opposite (of what your supposed to do), like indiscriminately killing NPCs or destroying public property while being an Enforcer, your "Heat" can also fall to zero ("No Star").
    And how does that affect me?
    APB Reloaded - Low Prestige RewardAPB Reloaded - High Prestige Reward
    Well...if you take a look at the "Multiplier", you should be able to deduce that as your "Heat" increases, your rewards from completing tasks will also actually increase accordingly.
    However, as fine as that may sound, the potential rewards (that you may get) does not come without its risks.
    APB Reloaded - 5 Star Bounty
    For once a player reaches "5 Stars", he or she actually gets flagged for open district-wide PVP (can attack anyone and can be attacked by anyone)...and with a "bounty" placed on their heads even (by the server).
    Note that a criminal's bounty can be collected by anyone, but an enforcer's bounty may only be claimed by a criminal.
    Regardless of where they flee to, they are open for attacks and their cars become destroyable by anyone.

    What's more? They even get their presence announced to everyone in the district (on their radar and even their map too) there's literally nowhere for them to hide.

Previous: APB Reloaded (Part Three)Next: APB Reloaded (Part Five)