A new patch is going up onto the Live servers for PC. This patch will be happening on Wednesday 8/5/2020. We are posting our notes a little early this week because there are a lot of changes to cover this time around (see overview for more details). The Patch is scheduled to start at 9 AM UTC and will last up to 6 hours. Console will have its normal maintenance starting at 9 AM UTC as well.
Our PC patch this week deals primarily with missions. Since Little Orbit took over, there has been a lot of talk about mission balance. We have been carefully listening to everyone's feedback and noting areas of improvement for some time now, but since Missions are the core of APB, these weren't changes we wanted to rush into. Any modifications to these core systems needed a strong understanding of APB gameplay and how everything fits together. As such, that is how we would like to frame this discussion: holistically. We are going to cover each of our goals for missions in a general sense before diving into the specifics in the changelog.
This first mission pass is intended to provide as much improvement as possible to the APB player's experience without fundamentally changing any of the existing missions you know and love. Our efforts here were focused on reducing pain points, like unwieldy timers, odd group sizes for missions, or awkward objectives. We wanted our missions to flow. Additionally, we wanted to introduce as many opportunities for counter-play as we could to emphasize opportunities for skillful and exciting back and forth between players.
Another area we knew we could improve upon is novelty. Many of our hardcore players have done the same set of missions thousands of times. In order to add some variety, we've gone back and found 50 missions that were previously disabled, added them back to the available mission pool, and updated them all to current mission standards. This means that, in addition to improved gameplay flow, there are also now many more missions to experience in any one gameplay session.
Finally, our third area is balance. With so many different missions and objectives, it was important to us that each felt as fair as possible to either side. Many of our timing, point, and grouping changes were in service to this goal.
There are many more changes than we have space to cover here or which can neatly fit into our three main pillars of Mission Flow, Mission Novelty, and Mission Balance. We will include a more detailed list of these changes in the change log below, but we encourage you to try them out for yourselves when the patch goes live. An important part of this process of improving APB is community feedback, so be sure to let us know what you think once you've gotten a chance to play!
This post is cross-referenced under Game Updates for your convenience.