E3 2011 is all about new and upcoming games, and one such game is APB Reloaded, GamersFirst's revamped version of Realtime Worlds' dearly departed online game. Reloaded just recently went into open beta, but the team at GamersFirst is still hard at work on new improvements to add to the game in the coming weeks and months between now and the game's planned official launch later this year.
In the near term, player matchmaking is getting overhauled, and larger-scale clan warfare battles are being added. The current player matchmaking system, which is purely point based, is getting thrown out completely for a system modeled after the Glico scoring system used by certain tournament chess organizations. In a nutshell, this new ranking system will give players a rank between one and 30 (bronze rank one through 10, silver rank one through 10, and gold rank one through 10) based on past and recent engagements, which will more accurately and more currently gauge a player's skill level. It will also use this algorithm to place players in one of the game's 70 districts that is closest to their current rank. This algorithm will be used for clan wars, larger-scale eight-versus-eight or 20-versus-20 battles that will take place in specific districts designated for clan warfare. Winning clans may get to leave their mark on the district with persistent markers that remain in the world for a time, even after they log out.
Further out, the GamersFirst team is working on implementing two additional ways to play: racing and Asylum. The former is a full-on racing experience that will take place in new districts specifically designed for vehicle racing. These new areas will be smaller than normal districts and consist mainly of roads adorned with power-up items (such as speed boosts) to make them conducive to player racing. The latter is a new district that was once a mental institute but is now a close-quarters combat arena with a layout that's significantly different from the open-world city streets of APB. The idea for the arena is to provide more of an immediate head-to-head shooter experience among smaller teams, similar to Half-Life: Counter-Strike, though the entire Asylum district will be one big arena, so it's not clear exactly how the details will work.
While overhauled matchmaking and clan wars are planned for the next two weeks of open beta, racing and Asylum are scheduled to be added to the game in the coming months. APB Reloaded is tentatively scheduled for a full launch this August.