Third Open Beta
If you have been following Matt's regular posts on the engine upgrade, you know it has been a massive and sometimes frustrating endeavor. APB's code rarely does what you'd expect, and this complexity has made progress slower than we would have liked at times. Because the 2.1 build is so critical to other essential improvements to the game, such as better district management, better matchmaking, and cross district play between worlds, we have decided to bite the bullet and launch 2.1 sooner rather than later. We will be having our 3rd open beta on Saturday, October 24th through Monday, October 26th as a first step towards this release.
As we gear up towards this milestone, it is important to set some expectations, both for this Beta build and the 2.1 client in general. First, there are areas where the 2.1 FPS will significantly under perform compared to Live. Our engineers continue to make improvements to our rendering pipelines, so raw performance should improve with time, but we want you to be forewarned. More critically, for this upcoming test and moving forward, we ask that you put away your FPS counter for now and focus on the feel of the client over raw numbers. Those numbers will go up over time, but subjective feel is something that we can only probe with our community's help. Initial feedback from our closed testing group suggests that we have made strides here, but your impressions will be critical as we zero in on this essential quality.
Second, though this Beta build is missing a few recent additions to Live, it does include substantial improvements, including the addition of all districts and the removal of AVX. In some of our last beta tests, we required AVX in an effort to improve performance, but this caused a significant number of people to be unable to join our tests. Removing this requirement should allow players with older machines to enjoy the 2.1 client, as well as join us for Waterfront and Financial gameplay.
Finally, third, we want to remind everyone that there will be bugs. This is a beta and things will break. As we transition 2.1 over to live, it is possible that some of those bugs will transition over as well. We remain committed to squashing these issues, but we believe that the benefit we gain from being able to move forward on critical improvements to the APB experience (better district management, better matchmaking, and cross district play between worlds, etc) outweighs chasing a perfectly bug-free release. With the test on the weekend of the 24th, we'd greatly appreciate your help in identifying the issues that impact the feel of the client the most for you.
Here is what we would like to see from testers who join us for Open Beta #3:
- First, ahead of the test, get on Live. Try a mission or Fight Club.
- Try raising or lowering the graphics settings on Live to zero in some of the visual elements that make or break the game for you.
- Focus on the feel of Live - the hitches. the mouse input latency, etc.
- Next, get into the Open Beta and try to do the same things in the same districts.
- Play around with the graphics settings to try and see if you can get to a similar visual quality.
- Then, try to compare the feel of Live versus the feel of 2.1 and give us some feedback.
To join, you will need to download the Beta client here and log in using your existing APB account. Our third Open Beta will run from Saturday, October 24th at 9AM UTC through Monday, October 26th at 9AM UTC.
If you haven't joined us before, the first time you enter we will copy over your characters from Live so you can try out the build for yourself.
Here are some things to remember when playing the Open Beta:
- When selecting a district, the client will automatically connect you to the region with the best ping for you. If you want to change your region manually, you can do so by going to the "advanced menu" by selecting the gear on the right. Players from Jericho and Citadel can mix and match on any server they want. Some players may have difficulty connecting automatically. If this happens to you, use the advanced menu to find an appropriate district.
- The numbers you use for mouse sensitivity and handling in the Live client will not be the same as what you need to use in the Beta. Because numbers scale differently in the new client, we can't give you a 1:1 conversion for your settings. Please experiment and find what numbers feel best for you.
- Finally, please remember that this is a Beta! Things will break. In fact, we hope you guys will help us stress the heck out of this build. Every issue you find and report brings us one step closer to the Full release, so please be sure to get us all your feedback on the forums. Below are some instructions on where and how to do that in a constructive manner.
Once you've had a chance to try things out, we'd love to hear from you. We've made a dedicated section on the forums where you can go to let us know what you think, check out our known issues, and leave any bugs you might find. You can check that out here. Please be sure to leave your feedback in this new section and not in the forum's Social District section. There's a lot of stuff to unpack with the Beta, and we want to make sure we hear from every one of you. Posting in the right place will ensure your voice is heard. Finally, please remember that these Beta tests are part of the process leading to a Full Release. Participating in these tests and letting us know when things work well and when they don't is a critical step towards a fully updated client. Thank you for your patience on this journey, and we hope you will join us for this latest Open Beta window.
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