Welcome to another section of APB Dev. Blog!
For those of you who are first visiting, welcome and thank you for tuning in! For those of who are returning from the previous blogs, let's get right to it!
A number of maps have been receiving attention, and some of these you may remember even!
To start with: Guess that map!
Anything? How about a nostalgia shot from the Beta era?
Allow me to introduce to you (or re-introduce to you oldbies), RA_Pacific Threat!
Pushwall has re-visited this old locale, and has touched it up quite a bit. Of course, I can't just simply say so. Have some comparison shots!
You may notice the lack of a Refinery and War Factory in the current version. Indeed, Pacific Threat will be an Air / Naval map. We originally entertained the idea of having it limited to Soviet naval units versus Allied air units, but it seems better to have both sides on equal ground. Both bases will have a Helipad, as well as a Refill Pad and Service Depot.
But don't forget what you also have at your disposal: naval units! Patrol the sea in the Gunboat and engage enemy Submarines, level the Allied base with Missile Submarines, or down enemy Hinds with the Destroyer.
Here's Pushwall to elaborate more! ::
"When the original map landed in my lap, I found myself wondering: what exactly makes it "pacific", besides the ocean being made of radioactive Blue Hawaii - and even that "feature" didn't survive the conversion from Beta. The original Pacific Threat is a barren wasteland, even by the standards that were accepted back in 2007; if you go back and look at the really old versions of maps like Bonsai and River Raid, they're actually more lush than Pacific Threat. So my primary mission statement was to make the map actually look a bit more like a tropical island chain. Aside from the artillery craters and ruined houses and tanks, but it's not like such settings are immune to the ravages of war. (Plus infantry needed more cover.)
Why replace the War Factory with a Helipad? Well, ground vehicles just never suited the map, honestly: why save up for a Missile Sub when you can get a V2 for less than half the price and hit the Allied War Factory from a few metres in front of your own factory? B2B is great! When you have the money for a Missile Sub, why not just get a Mammoth Tank since it takes about as long for one to reach the Allied base as it does to get in a Missile Sub and move it out of the dock? And how about them Light Tanks/Rangers running circles around the undefended Soviet base? Air units aren't that much better with regards to running rampant, but they have defenses specifically tailored for them, so we can prevent them from swarming bases and stealing naval units' thunder without gimping infantry in the process. Plus it gives us an opportunity to try out naval-versus-air combat, making the map more unique. We'll have to see how it works out in practice, of course, but it's unlikely the map will return to having a War Factory. If the Helipad turns out to be a bad idea it'll probably become a Missile Silo instead.
With no Refinery, income is reliant on Ore Silos - but surely that means Allies are sure to control the waters effortlessly because Gunboats cost half as much as Attack Subs, right? Well, some unit prices have been tweaked for the sake of balance, and the Allied naval units are an example of this. Allies have always had trouble finding ways to spend their money, and it was quite ridiculous for their big hulking boats to be so inexpensive, especially compared to the Soviet subs. Gunboats have gone up from 500 (cheaper than a Ranger... okay Westwood...) to 750 (slightly more than a Light Tank), and Destroyers have gone up from 1000 (only slightly more expensive than a sub that's restricted to hurting waterbound foes... uh huh...) to 1500 (same as a Tesla Tank). So the Allies may still hold a slight advantage over the Soviets when it comes to quickly fielding their navy, but not as much as you'd think."
And that's that for RA_Pacific Threat!
Another Destroyed Light Tank
Of course, that is only but one map! Before we move on to the next map, a quick interval! Ever the destroyed prop aficionado, ICE presents a second variant on the Light Tank.
APB_ICE, if you will. Tell us more!
"Thanks Fraydo! Unlike the flexible-but-generic destroyed heavy and medium tanks, the light tank was set up as a one-piece prop set up in a specific configuration. While allowing more detailed damage and simpler placement on maps, it would also result in seeing tanks mysteriously destroyed in the exact same way regardless of the circumstances, which would get pretty repetitive. To spice things up a bit, the light tank will come in at least two versions."
And we certainly enjoy things spiced up. I'm sure mappers would appreciate the variety. Thank you for your time, APB_ICE!
Back to map developments!
Now, take that - and put that into A Path Beyond! and voila!
What you are looking at here, is the new RA_GuardDuty! Now from up here, you'll notice that it is no longer an island as it was previously. Rather, it has been set inland as this makes more sense; it being the German-Polish border and all.
Let's take a look at some shots from the ground, shall we?
Besides just showing pretty pictures, here's Pushwall again to elaborate on his latest work here ::
"First of all I'd like to give a shout out to Pyryle. When I originally joined the BHP team, Guard Duty was one of the first maps I restored (actually possibly THE first, I don't entirely remember), though until recently, the basic terrain was exactly the same as the original Guard Duty, save for the ore fields being dug out similarly to how they are on Coastal Influence. I chose to restore this map purely because I liked Pyryle's visual updates to Guard Duty in 2.1.4, which brought the map quite a bit closer to what it was supposed to be. Without him I probably would have forgotten this map for a long time, so props to Pyryle!
Oh right, the map. The adjustments to the terrain have quite an impact on the gameplay; it's actually somewhat plausible to sneak around now due to the various tall, unscaleable mountains preventing scouts from seeing everything happening everywhere at once, so infantry should have an easier time contributing even with the reintroduction of snipers. Bases are a little further away from the river than before, meaning V2s and Artillery have to expose themselves a little more to hit buildings, so matches on this map should be less likely to instantly devolve into arty wars like they always used to. And the ore fields are much farther away from the Refineries than they originally were, because receiving over 3000 credits every 5 minutes when you can't spend more than 1300 on an infantry+offensive vehicle combo is just silly. So expect to actually pay a bit more attention to your economy this time around!
I tried to create a few more allusions to the RA map and mission setup in addition to the obvious reworking of the map borders; see if you can spot them in the screenshots! Sadly, since fixed-wing aircraft aren't a thing, there are no Airfields, and having Construction Yards and Turrets in such a low-tech map would just drag matches on for far too long. So it's not a perfect representation by any means, but it's definitely an improvement over "Why is the Oder River on a tropical island? Did someone try to remake Pacific Threat and change their mind halfway through?" The reworked borders is a very recent development and one that I would never have considered until I figured out a fairly easy way to make mountains, so you can expect to see more mountains on other inland maps with barren borders in the future.
And lastly, a shout out to ChopBam; without him I would have remained utterly clueless when it comes to map editing. Look forward to seeing his works in a future blog!"
Thanks much, Pushwall!
Now! Before I close out with our links, I will leave you with this nifty list - and not just any list at that! This list below has what maps are ready or are very close to ready (legend included!).
► Green maps are not present in the public release -
► Red maps have had their visuals and/or gameplay overhauled considerably from their last public incarnation -
• Camos Canyon
• ► Coastal Influence
• ► Guard Duty
• ► Keep Off The Grass
• ►► Pacific Threat
• ► Ridge War
• ► Stormy Valley
• ► Under
• ► Wasteland
There are also two new infantry-only maps in the pipeline whose identities will remain a mystery for now; all I can say is that one of them is a significant revamp of an old map, while the other is entirely new.
And that just about wraps up this blog! Catch us on Facebook, Twitter, and Steam and tell your friends!
To recap; RA_Pacific Threat, APB_ICE's second destroyed Light Tank, RA_GuardDuty, and of course, our maps list! Be on the lookout for our next update and while you're here, feel free to comment!