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    • FRAYDO

      APB Regular Playing Times   04/05/2017

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Pushwall   

[blurb]Many changes for APB since the forum upgrade! Read all about it![/blurb]

:allied:  Red Alert: A Path Beyond Update      :soviet:

Apologies for the long wait; the forum changes slowed things down a bit. However, I managed to cram more into this update as a result!

 

GENERAL

  • AI-controlled Allied/Soviet bots and defenses now earn points for their team when they damage or kill things, so they will no longer put close games in jeopardy when they steal your kills.
  • AI-controlled combat units now use moonsense715's refined AI, which will attempt to strafe in combat, and not get too close to its target (except melee ants).
  • Hitbeeps have been disabled entirely since CJ is no longer around to fix the issues with them (most notably, the "60 hitbeeps per second if you cause a damage-over-time effect" one). Hitmarkers are still there though.

 

INFANTRY

  • Issue with sniper camera on map transitions should be fixed for real this time.
  • Infantry armour-shredding capability of weapons has been enhanced further for things that are supposed to be good at it, and nerfed for things that are supposed to be bad at it. (Shredding = how much armour damage is dealt compared to health damage.)
    • Machinegun/Sergeant slug/flame weapon shredding improved from 100% to 150%.
    • Flame weapons have zero shredding against Flamethrowers, Volkovs and Engineers (i.e. the same infantry that can't be set on fire) - saving the first two from some of the wrath of their own weapons.
    • Assault rifle shredding improved from 75% to 100%.
    • Dragonsbreath shotgun shredding weakened from 75% to 50%.
    • Pistol/sniper/non-incendiary shotgun shredding weakened from 50% to 25%.
    • Shell/rocket shredding improved from 100% to 200%. However, due to the added splash damage that has zero shredding, it's not that high in practice (but still more than the health damage in most cases).
    • Artillery splash shredding weakened from 62.5% to 50%.
  • Tanya, Volkov, Medics and Engineers have twice as much armour as they do health.
  • Infantry can now regenerate up to 100% health when out of combat (balancing out the now much higher likelihood that most of them willl have no or very little armour).
  • Shells/rockets do 25% less damage to infantry (this is countered by the improved shredding - you're very likely to 100% break the target's armour leaving them ripe for splash)
  • Using a medic kit on a fully healed infantry unit will now instantly refill their armour.
  • Technician/Sniper Spies now have no armour, so that they are not immediately given away when someone targets them and sees an armour bar. To compensate, they have 75 health. This tradeoff can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on what weapons you're facing.
  • Sprinting speed boost increased (30% -> 40%).
  • Grenadier/RPG Trooper are no longer missing their head hitbox.
  • Ants' speed increased (Scouts 10 -> 12, Fires 9 -> 10, Warriors 8 -> 10) to compensate for the increase in sprint speed and ants' forward charge being slowed by the occasional strafe.
  • Fixed missing killstring for Fire Ants.
  • Ant bites now deal splash damage against infantry, so they will still be lethal if they're in a place where their bite can "miss" your infantry.
  • Ants now cause periodic damage to infantry that are within their minimum range.
  • Technician bots are much more inaccurate than before.
  • Technician bots no longer attempt to target vehicles; that feature may have contributed to the "panicked" motif but it also made them the ultimate Phase Tank detectors.
  • Sergeant bots now always use the slug shot.
  • Engineer C4 now kills basic base defenses (Pillbox, Flame Tower, AA Gun, SAM Site) in one shot.
  • Shotgun chance to burn increased (20% -> 40%).
  • Burn damage has now been split into two types: slow and quick.
    • Previously all burn damage was 7.5 HP over 6 seconds (1.25 per second). Slow burn damage is 7.5 HP over 10 seconds (0.75 per second) and quick burn is 5 HP over 3 seconds (1.667 per second).
    • Slow burn damage is used by flamethrowers, nukes and barrels; the longer duration means anyone who gets burned and retreats has to wait longer before they can regenerate health, but the lower damage per second makes it slightly worse in direct combat with flamethrowers (but only slightly as the burn damage is not much compared to the splash damage).
    • Quick burn damage is used by dragonsbreath shotguns and artillery; the higher damage per second makes it better if you can land repeated hits in close combat to reapply the burn, but the lower total means it's worse if you can't do that (so for the arty/V2 it's a straight up nerf).
  • Makarov and Beretta now have slightly different behaviour from each other, like how they did back in Beta.
    • Magazine sizes now match their real-world counterparts (8 for Beretta, 12 for Makarov; was previously 10 for both).
    • Reserve ammo of limited-ammo versions is altered (40 for Beretta, 48 for Makarov; was 50 for both).
    • Beretta now does slightly more damage (9 -> 10).
    • Makarov has a higher ROF (4/sec -> 5/sec) but has lower damage (9 -> 7.5).
    • Silenced Beretta now has higher damage (12.5) instead of higher ROF.
    • Makarov and Beretta now have slightly different behaviour from each other, like how they did back in Beta.

 

VEHICLES

  • Fixed an ancient bug where minelayers would automagically create a "free" mine if they were within the range of an explosion that belonged to the driver. (For example, the explosion of one of their own mines, which would result in an infinite chain of mines.)
  • Fixed a bug where MAD Tanks dealt double damage to the SD/RPAD/Silo.
  • Fixed a bug where manually detonating your own Demolition Truck would cause you to lose points for "teamkilling" it. Damaging/killing any other friendly objects will still cost you points though.
  • MRJ jamming range increased (300m -> 350m).
  • Credits received for damaging Supply Trucks now properly matches 20% of their price like everything else (60 credits instead of 40).
  • Clarified MAD Tank's detonation timer of 30 seconds in the help text.
  • Neutral supply trucks can now spawn in various states of disrepair (25%, 50%, 75% or full health).
  • APC anti-mine splash damage up by 50%.
  • AP mines no longer deal pity damage to vehicles.
  • Ranger max speed increased (16 -> 17).
  • Mammoth Tank rocket splash damage decreased (37.5 -> 30), radius increased (12 -> 14), cover penetration increased (20% -> 25%).
  • Phase Tank splash damage increased (22.5 -> 25), radius increased (8 -> 9), cover penetration increased (20% -> 25%).
  • Attack Sub splash damage increased (40 -> 60), radius increased (10 -> 14).
  • Mobile AA Gun should no longer have a dodgy handbrake when spawned.
  • V2 should no longer aim up so much while camera is looking to the side/rear.
  • Gunboat cannon damage increased (65 -> 70).
  • Reduced points value of a bunch of units:
    • Ranger (75 -> 50).
    • Ore Truck (125 -> 100).
    • Phase Tank (150 -> 125).
    • Tesla Tank (150 -> 125).

 

BUILDINGS

  • War Factory now has some large wooden crates in the back, providing ample cover and hiding places for infantry.
  • Construction Yard has more large wooden crates for cover/hiding, mostly around the main door.
  • Construction Yard main door trigger zone is smaller, so it will not be triggered by infantry hiding behind the new crates.
  • Advanced Naval Yard's front gate has been idiot-proofed in various ways. Long story short it should be much harder for the gate to lift a boat, and even if it does, the boat shouldn't end up stuck when it happens.
  • Construction Yard main door now correctly blocks helicopters.
  • Walking onto depressed grate floors in the Advanced Naval Yard and Advanced Sub Pen should no longer cause your weapon to become inaccurate.
  • Added some small crates to Naval Yard, to make it possible to climb up onto the containers and large crates.
  • Tesla Coil charge time reduced from 3.83 to 2 seconds, and now has a 2 second cooldown after firing. So it's slightly slower in a drawn-out fight but its faster initial response should even this out.
  • Naval factories now allow you to sell naval units! However, this causes your infantry to eject at the usual spot (the stern for boats, the bow for submarines) or just straight up drops them into the water if it can't eject properly, so I recommend doing this as close to shore as possible - or on Hostile Waters, just accept the death of your infantry.
  • Base defenses are more fragile in small games. The fewer players there are, the more damage defenses take, up to a maximum of +50% damage at 0-2 players. At 10 or more players, they receive the same amount of damage they did in previous patches. Weapons with limited ammo do not benefit from this damage bonus (except the MAD Tank and crate versions of weapons that are normally infinite).

 

AESTHETICS

  • A familiar sound is now played when selling vehicles.
  • (Mobile) AA Guns now have a visible tracer beam like the Pillbox.
  • Animation of incoming nuclear missile has been refined; it now flies much faster, has trails like the one coming out of the silo, doesn't sink into the ground, and falls at a less ridiculous angle.
  • Dead SD/RPAD should respond a little better to the area lighting.
  • The old radar dishes in the Radar Dome have been replaced with the Advanced Naval Yard one.
  • All instances (as far as I know) of the "small wooden crate" prop have been replaced by the one seen on RA_Siege, as the Siege crate is less performance-hungry.
  • All power line transformers now have the appropriate sound effect.
  • Mammoth Tanks now have exhaust smoke.
  • Ore in the back of Ore Trucks is less blocky and doesn't shade as weirdly.
  • Tracks of Tesla Tank/Mobile Radar Jammer animate faster.
  • Fixed a sorting issue with the glass of the Cargo Truck.
  • Gunboat/Destroyer rotors are now animated.
  • Sinking Destroyers and Missile Subs don't emit smoke/fire anymore.
  • Sinking Attack Sub now repeats its alarm like the Missile Sub does.
  • Sinking naval unit bubbles spread out more.

 

MAPS

  • Opened a few shipping containers on various maps. (I forget which.)

RA_AS_Seamist

  • "Mission timer initialised" and "20 minutes remaining" speech no longer overlap.

RA_CamosCanyon_Bots

  • This map had to be rebuilt from the vanilla RA_CamosCanyon due to corruption in the previous Bots map file, so some unit placements may not be the same as they were before.
  • Allied AI Ore Truck now collects ore properly.

RA_Complex

  • Expanded lighting around the Service Depots.

RA_ForestOfIllusion

  • Fireproof suit now increases maximum armour by 50%, like the heart container does for health, rather than a flat 50 points (you can't get naked characters on this map anyway).

RA_GuardDuty

  • Added a prop in the Soviet ore field to climb on to allow Allied infantry an easier route to the ore silo.

RA_HostileWaters

  • The bomb crate now actually explodes, and will destroy your helicopter if you're riding one. (The heli will still shield your infantry from the instant death like it did before.)

RA_KeepOffTheGrass

  • Added extra neutral supply truck in the central gem field.
  • Moved the neutral supply truck that was near the Allied base onto the "lonely mountain" (i.e. the place in the opposite corner of the map from the house, which rarely had any reason to be climbed).

RA_PacificThreat

  • Added a small island on the west side of the battlefield, between the two main islands. This allows infantry taking the "long route" to stay hidden more easily.

RA_RidgeWar

  • Added extra neutral supply truck by the central mammoth tank wreck.
  • Shack Service Depot rubble no longer clips into the shack's basement.

RA_RiverRaid

  • Removed base defenses.
  • Added concrete walls covering the opposite base entrance from the one that already had walls.

RA_Siege

  • Added a neutral supply truck in the courtyard; there are a few different places it can spawn.

RA_StormyValley

  • Fixed some sticky rocks.
  • Added extra neutral supply truck near the top of the mountain road.

RA_ToTheCore

  • Tesla Coil behind the Soviet War Factory is downgraded to a Flame Tower.
  • Removed the concrete wall behind the Soviet Refinery to afford more coverage for its Flame Tower.

RA_Wasteland

  • Teamed supply truck no longer respawns.
  • Added neutral supply trucks (also non-respawning) by the wrecked Allied base and wrecked Soviet tank column.
  • Starting units are now based on player count:
    • 2+ players: Supply Truck
    • 4+ players: Ranger
    • 8+ players: Medium Tank/Heavy Tank
    • 12+ players: Light Tank/Tesla Tank
    • After 10 seconds have passed, these spawns are "locked" and adding more players will not activate more of them.

RA_Zama

  • Removed the Service Depot closest to each team's Missile Silo.

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5 hours ago, Pushwall said:

Fixed an ancient bug where minelayers would automagically create a "free" mine if they were within the range of an explosion that belonged to the driver. (For example, the explosion of one of their own mines, which would result in an infinite chain of mines.)

I enjoy how so bugs so absurd are even possible, heh. I appreciate the work that must go into hunting down things to fix that don't really make sense in the first place.

Edited by OrangeP47

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Pushwall   
54 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

I enjoy how so bugs so absurd are even possible, heh.

The script that lets the Minelayer's weapon do something different to the standard weapon behaviour of "fire this projectile" was coded over a decade ago - it's pretty natural that back then the original developers had to resort to hacky methods to make that happen. Even now we still use hacky methods for a bunch of other stuff, like the Binoculars being able to do their radar-marking job by virtue of being a scoped C4 explosive. Let that sink in for a minute.

The issue was exactly the same as the one that previously caused Demolition Trucks to prematurely detonate if touched by any sort of explosion belonging to the driver (which could again be a mine you laid before, or it could be a grenade or clearing charge - the problem became much more widespread in Delta due to the wider variety of tools/weapons that use C4 logic), and that script is just as old.

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You know... I actually seem to remember that conversation happening back in the day now. It's been a long time so I don't remember everything, obviously, but I do remember a time period when people were extraordinarily mad about mine layers and how they shouldn't even work in the first place.... nostalgia...

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Pushwall   
22 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

I appreciate the work that must go into hunting down things to fix that don't really make sense in the first place.

I wasn't even aware that this was a real problem until a week ago, then it took a few minutes to connect the dots between it and the previously-fixed Demo Truck issue, and a few more for jonwil to fix it :v In the past I have noticed extremely rare instances of what seems like a single mine repeatedly blowing itself up for about 10 seconds, and just wrote it off as a harmless oddity not worth investigating because it looked too unpredictable to rely on and abuse (I saw it happen like once every few hundred games) until I figured out the 100% reproduction method of "be near the mine when it explodes", completely on accident due to now having a test map where all the units are within easy reach of each other and respawn instantly upon death (leading to me being unable to get away from a laid mine without it exploding and... you get the picture.)

But yes, even if this isn't a perfect example of it, there's been quite a number of puzzling and crippling bugs in the past that have racked our brains for a while. Thanks for your support!

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NoSpoons   
6 hours ago, Pushwall said:

:allied:  Red Alert: A Path Beyond Update      :soviet:

  • Ant bites now deal splash damage against infantry, so they will still be lethal if they're in a place where their bite can "miss" your infantry.
  • Ants now cause periodic damage to infantry that are within their minimum range.
Spoiler

61656d286f.png

Regardless Antlion will be loads of fun. :p

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Pushwall   
11 minutes ago, NoSpoons said:
  Reveal hidden contents

61656d286f.png

 

Sorry man, it was just too easy to deal with them before when you could hug or goomba-stomp them. Even with the improved AI, the AI still isn't flexible enough to retreat from minimum-range abuse. Now you should be a bit more encouraged to work together with your team, or even the enemy team :p

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Raap   

Pretty substantial patch, Pushy.

Let me quote something to highlight it as this is quite a game-changer that could easily be overlooked in this wall of text you call patch notes:

Quote

Base defenses are more fragile in small games. The fewer players there are, the more damage defenses take, up to a maximum of +50% damage at 0-2 players. At 10 or more players, they receive the same amount of damage they did in previous patches.

I'll run through some of the changes tomorrow, and I'll post if I see anything unintended. :)

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Pushwall   
6 hours ago, Raap said:

wall of text

Sorry, I'll go back and embolden the big game changers. :p

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Einstein   

Nah, just put it back to the 9 or so updates it was going to be before we lost pushing for a while. That way we can read it easier, and it better gives the illusion of progress ;)

Kidding, good work man :D

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NoSpoons   
19 hours ago, Pushwall said:

Sorry man, it was just too easy to deal with them before when you could hug or goomba-stomp them. Even with the improved AI, the AI still isn't flexible enough to retreat from minimum-range abuse. Now you should be a bit more encouraged to work together with your team, or even the enemy team :p

Haha well Mario APB had to get patched out eventually, 10/10 best Nintendo game ever

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des1206   

With the sprint speed increase, I feel like the "fast" units like Tanya/Nader/Volkov don't run that fast anymore compared to the other lesser tiered infantries?

 

I also noticed how Tesla weapons directly skip Infantry armor now and hits their health only. PushWall can you explain to us what types of damages armor reduces against?

Edited by des1206

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Raap   
3 hours ago, des1206 said:

 

I also noticed how Tesla weapons directly skip Infantry armor now and hits their health only. PushWall can you explain to us what types of damages armor reduces against?

I think that the type of armor and the resistance values of them versus each weapon should ideally be listed in-game somehow. APB unit and weapon balance is quite 'complex', well beyond the days of Renegade where only a select few damage types and armor types existed.

Frankly, if the in-game GUI could be more easily modified, I'd suggest having a complete mini-wiki available, with a page of information dedicated to each unit, building, map, etc. with detailed information (not just 'strong or weak versus'). But then again, countless other GUI functionality has been wished for in the past, from 2D/3D level maps with live building status information, to map-specific GUI tie-in capabilities. I'm assuming anything GUI related is just hard to do.

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Pushwall   
5 hours ago, des1206 said:

I also noticed how Tesla weapons directly skip Infantry armor now and hits their health only.

They've done that for all of Delta.

1 hour ago, Raap said:

I think that the type of armor and the resistance values of them versus each weapon should ideally be listed in-game somehow. APB unit and weapon balance is quite 'complex', well beyond the days of Renegade where only a select few damage types and armor types existed.

I think it's less that and more the fact that in vanilla Renegade, old APB, Reborn and so on, shields and health had virtually indistinguishable roles. It's still sort of like that for APB's vehicles in that shield is still like a "secondary health bar" for them, but the effect of not having armour as a vehicle is still more noticeable than in Ren (particularly Mechanics repairing health much slower than they do armour).

1 hour ago, Raap said:

Frankly, if the in-game GUI could be more easily modified, I'd suggest having a complete mini-wiki available, with a page of information dedicated to each unit, building, map, etc. with detailed information (not just 'strong or weak versus'). But then again, countless other GUI functionality has been wished for in the past, from 2D/3D level maps with live building status information, to map-specific GUI tie-in capabilities. I'm assuming anything GUI related is just hard to do.

I was hoping for something like this in Delta's development too, utilising Renegade's encyclopedia logic but allowing it to be accessed during a game, probably through the Esc menu. That never bore fruit though. I would have explained the efficiency of infantry armour somewhere in there.

5 hours ago, des1206 said:

PushWall can you explain to us what types of damages armor reduces against?

Infantry with armour take less health damage as follows:

  • No reduction: Nukes, Tesla weapons/splash, all damage-over-time and environmental effects. (Since these bypass armour entirely, they also don't have any shredding power because that's not possible unless I give them like 0.01% reduction and shoot their anti-armour damage through the roof... I'm fine with them not shredding at all though.)
  • -25%: Small arms that handle vehicles well (i.e. all types of machineguns), and also flame weapons/splash, direct hits from explosives, AP mines
  • -37.5%: Small arms that have reduced effectiveness against vehicle armour (i.e. Assault rifles, incendiary shotguns, Sergeant slug, Pillbox)
  • -50%: Small arms that cannot hurt vehicles at all (i.e. pistols, snipers, Kovshotgun), and also Grenade/Artillery/V2 splash damage
  • -62.5%: Generic explosive splash damage
  • -75%: C4 splash damage

I recently added an autoannounce message about infantry armour, though due to character limits and the attention span for chat people can be expected to have while trying to play the game, it's much more succinct than this, basically just saying pistols/snipers/explosions are the big things to watch out for when naked (since they get muffled so much normally) and that you can recover armour by refill/medic/most dedicated transport vehicles.

This "complex" armour system was developed because I thought Gamma's was really low-effort (it TRIED to be what this is, but the effect of losing your armour was negligible and you lost it in like 1 or 2 body-shots from any weapon anyway) and it made an interesting countermeasure to the "infantry heal when out of combat" system - you can keep surviving battles and regenerating all you want but eventually you'll lose your armour and be much easier to kill so it's pretty hard to go rambo forever. Medic/supply truck restoring armour was then added to help make those units more relevant (which might kind of downplay the countermeasure part, but it's not particularly hard to kill a supply truck to stop the flow of armour, and the medic can't repair his own armour and if there's several of them then that's a lot of manpower that isn't driving tanks). I didn't quite have it "right" for much of Delta though, as it previously took too long to lose your armour and medics also repaired it far too slowly because I thought it was a bigger deal than it really is.

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des1206   

I noticed it's much harder to kill infantry w/armor now with Mammoth tusk missile splash. Also, RJ's range boost is giving it a couple of additional hiding places on many maps, this is going to be fun. Also Mammoth's smoke emission and new nuclear missile strike speed are both very cool.

PS: Did you know, the world's fast sprint is about 25 miles/hour, this comes out to be about 12m/s. So our infantry sprint speed (tops off at ~9m/s) is fairly accurate?

@Pushwall so in general, the more anti-infantry guns (except sniper and Tanya's desert eagle, and tesla/nuke aside), the more effective it is at getting through/shredding armor. Armor though is very effective at protecting infantry from indirect explosion damage.

I wonder if headshots ignore armor?

Edited by des1206

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Pushwall   

 

5 hours ago, des1206 said:

PS: Did you know, the world's fast sprint is about 25 miles/hour, this comes out to be about 12m/s. So our infantry sprint speed (tops off at ~9m/s) is fairly accurate?

9.8 for the fastest infantry. Who still aren't exactly travelling light. Volkov could justifiably run faster because cyborg legs, but game balance forbids that. On the flip side though, a lot of vehicles are slower than their real-life counterparts - which again is attributed to balancing vehicles against infantry.

5 hours ago, des1206 said:

@Pushwall so in general, the more anti-infantry guns (except sniper and Tanya's desert eagle, and tesla/nuke aside), the more effective it is at getting through/shredding armor. Armor though is very effective at protecting infantry from indirect explosion damage.

Yep. This doesn't necessarily mean the sniper/tanya/Kovshotgun are bad against armoured infantry though, just bad at shredding the armour to make them even easier to kill if they retreat. :p

5 hours ago, des1206 said:

I wonder if headshots ignore armor?

Nope, I kind of wish that was plausible. Headshot multiplier would have to go down though - 3x damage even with armour is pretty strong as it is, even 2x without armour would mean Tanya's colt starts one-shotting all infantry except the kap/kov/sniper.

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