A server outage delayed release, so we've taken the time to pack in more changes, fixes, and performance boosts. Most maps see far better framerates, and many look a lot better. Included is a partial changelist for APB 2.1 which is undergoing final testing, plus graphical updates for this and later versions.
We recently had some downtime and have moved to what should be a stable host; let me know if you still see any problems cropping up. You might notice we are using a new domain (BluehellProductions.com) but you can go ahead and keep using APathBeyond.com or RenAlert.com if you wish. We still need to work out the details there with Crimson, who has hosted our site and IRC channel for the past several years and is responsible for those domain names. Do note that our IRC channel is still at the same place it has always been, on network irc.n00bstories.com at the #apathbeyond channel.
As we do the bulk of our testing (and a lot of development) on weekends, especially lately due to final exams for many testers/staff, the recent downtime and server migration has set us back slightly but we've got another double-edged sword to place the blame on: feature creep. The 2.1 balance adjustment patch has grown quite a bit as we play the game along with everybody else and watch your reactions, and as the TT engine development team works to fix bugs and solidify new features.
Trees and Performance
It's probably for the best that we've delayed. APB 2.1 is aimed heavily at reducing lag an increasing framerates. For example, on top of all the performance increases already announced (20% here, 30% there, 15% for another reason) we were able to increase performance on the map Zama by another 50% this past week.
Several new sets of trees are part of the reason, such as this smaller deciduous forest shown on The Woods Today. They help us look better, and get past the CPU bottleneck we have run into with vanilla APB 2.0 which translates directly to improved performance. Zama, for example, gained a 50% framerate boost despite adding probably ten times more actual trees, as the newer ones render much faster. The Woods Today now has much more actual woods, but yet again it will unintuitively run faster thanks to the newer trees.
Fabian and ChopBam did a good job with them. There are a few new kinds of trees, although you won't see them all in APB 2.1 as they would not necessarily fit into the existing maps. There are some new pine trees and some new poplar trees, shown here on this dark new mystery map.
The final 'base defense' style building to be fixed up, the Ore Silo now has its destruction complete, thanks to Cuddling. Have a look. First, a fiew from the back; then, a video of it in action.
Other New Buildings
A full set of new buildings won't be out until the next major release. In fact, it is pretty much the definition for being the next major release. Here are several buildings being worked on by ChopBam and one mostly complete by Cuddling, next to the old buildings for comparison. Remember, these won't be in APB 2.1, unlike the silo above.
The APB 2.1 Changelist
Here are a few of the things that have changed, gleaned from my (Chronojam's) own notes on the matter. Note that there are several other map changes, code changes, and balance adjustments not reflected here. Many of the map and code changes contribute to increased performance that has been alluded to over the past several news updates.
Reduced support pistol maximum firing rates (Beretta and Makarov)
Added slow auto-fire to all support pistols
Replaced Beretta with Silenced Beretta for Thief
Added quick auto-fire to Silenced Beretta
Increased pistol effective ranges to 50 meters (was 10)
Set build limit on Demo Trucks: 2 at any time (was 4)