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Category: Troubleshooting

What is FairFight?

What is FairFight?

What is FairFight and why is it in APB Reloaded? Fairfight is a real time cheat detection and suppression system. I’m basically summarizing their FAQs page which you can visit by clicking here. It is non-invasive, customizable, and engine agnostic. The previous statement meaning that it doesn’t scan your computer causing potential privacy issues, it is customizable to adapt to different video games, and is not installed on the player’s computer.

Fairfight utilizes fancy algorithmic models that scans for certain thresholds that if met can set off suspicions on a player. For example, if a player killed every single player in a full Fight Club district within 20 seconds, it would set off the alarms on Fairfight’s algorithms. But if a player was able to get four kills under 10 seconds due to an OSMAW fired at a full car, it would probably deem it as regular, normal, non-cheaty gameplay. Then again, I’m curious how the system would react if every player in a fight club stood next to an exploding vehicle and let one person kill them all. Would the alarms be triggered? Or would it realize that it was an exploding vehicle that killed all those players and realize the kill potential for an exploding vehicle is higher than an OCA or N-TEC.

If I remember correctly, APB doesn’t have FairFight automatically ban players. The flags FF puts on players are typically reviewed manually and approved/denied. This website shows all of the recent bans for APB. Fairfight is also used along with Punkbuster. Edit: Punkbuster is no longer active for APB.

But yeah, that’s it. Fairfight in a nutshell.

APB Reloaded System Requirements

APB Reloaded System Requirements

APB Reloaded requires quite a beefy machine, and even then, it’s almost guaranteed that the car explosions and smoke effects will choke your FPS. The following information has been pulled from the Steam page.

I will most likely follow up with another page that shows my computer rig that allows me to play pretty comfortably.

These requirements I feel are a bit outdated, but I will follow up with another post displaying theoretical system rigs that should be able to run the game.

For the Minimum Requirements:

OS: Windows XP
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz) or AMD Athlon x2 5800+ (3.0GHz)
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce 7800 with 256MB and support for Pixel Shader 3.0, or AMD equivalent
DirectX: dx90c
Hard Drive: 7 GB HD space
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection

For the Recommended Requirements:

OS: Windows Vista 64-Bit / Windows 7 64-Bit
Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad or equivalent AMD x4
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce 8800GT with 512MB or AMD equivalent
DirectX: dx90c
Hard Drive: 7 GB HD space
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection

Click here to find out what my system rig is! links not active because i haven’t wrote it yet. it’s 1:49 am, i’ll do it tomorrow.

Full Districts

Full Districts

Why Are Districts Always Full?

Full districts are the worst in APB. It might sound good from the outside, but a full district means that you aren’t able to play with a fully populated district. You might ask, “Why don’t you just join an empty server and wait for people to fill it up?”

The issue here would be waiting for players, as players rarely like to wait in an empty district. The most commonly full districts are the silver labeled districts.

Get ready for a read.

They are always full because of how APB works. Grind it down to the basics, and it’s pretty simple.

  1. Players want to play the game.
  2. APB wants to segregate the population for fair and fast matchmaking.
  3. Districts are only able to support a certain amount of players.
  4. Only certain segregated districts have enough players to play in. (ex: gold district almost always empty)
  5. Players of all threat levels go to where they can play a game as fast as possible. (ex: silver district) This creates matchmaking issues.
  6. A limited 100 players per district limits the matchmaking’s ability even further to create fair and fast matches. (although, it’s 40-40 as of now)

As the population fluctuates, a trend occurred in where players would play in districts that aren’t the same threat levels, for example, gold players in silver districts. The reason why silver districts are almost always the full districts is because that the threat level is the middle ground, in which two threat levels, one above and below, can join to play.

This obviously offers more combinations for match making, but there’s no sort of system to prevent a flood of one certain threat level of players. This might cause an interesting configuration of opponents.

  1. As a gold player, you might be facing a mix of silver and bronze players, in which the system tried to compensate the lower threat level, with more players. There have been situations where a group of 4 gold players can face up to 8 players on the other team.
  2. For backup, one team might be able to call in a gold, while the other team consistently receives a silver or lower.
  3. Trainees are wildcards, and the system has nothing to categorize them with. As this happens, new players might face against highly experienced players. There are additional consequences to this. First, if they lose, they might not experience any sort of fun while getting steamrolled. But if they somehow manage to win, the game might place them in gold, which would constantly pit them against players who have high rating gear that can only be obtained by progression.

The APB community was never able to work it’s way out of it’s trend, with fault on both the players and the game itself. If a player were to play on their on district, they would have to wait for players of the same threat level to join, and even then, many players express irritation when playing against the same group of people. Some community members argue that if higher ranked players avoided playing in lower ranked districts, then the game could operate more smoothly. It would also avoid deterring new players who would face against much more experienced opponents. Unfortunately, APB doesn’t offer any incentive to join your own threat level districts. Players mainly join the most populated district despite it even being a full district, in order to access the game as soon as possible. Before, players were actually penalized for joining a server they didn’t belong in, but players valued being able to play the game versus avoid having reduced rewards.

Are There Solutions?

There’s always a solution, but the question is, which one is the correct solution?

  • Increase the total capacity for districts. For example, allow 75 enforcers and 75 criminal for a total of 150 players in a district.

This could work as it’s the most simple one. The issue being that the servers might spontaneously catch on fire. There’s costs, but I think that the benefits outweigh the cost. With the added content, there seems to be some correlation to additional content and decreasing server performance. Quality servers sure would be nice though, wouldn’t they? 🙂

  • Force players to play in their own districts.

This would not work. This runs the risk of making it harder to play with friends. Also, the threat levels of players are not evenly spread. It’s mathematically impossible for APB to have 25% Greens, 25% Bronzes, 25% Silvers, and 25% Golds. Factor in the various times players would want to play, and there would almost always be an uneven distribution of players playing. That would mean that the Bronze server could only have 14 enforcers and 17 criminals, while the gold district is 30 enforcers and 48 criminals.

Full districts are a good thing, but this funneling of players into certain districts is detrimental to the game’s life span. Only time will tell how this longstanding issue will be resolved.

I’m Banned?

I’m Banned?

Uh oh! Someone’s been naughty recently! If you genuinely feel like you’ve been mistakenly banned, try contacting GamersFirst support with your case. If do decide to appeal your ban, you may be rejected and G1 will not release any specific information pertaining to what triggered the ban except a broad category such as “Utilizing Third-Party Programs”.

banned

Things you can get banned for:

Cheats/Hacks for any game – APB utilizes PunkBuster, which basically works like an anti-virus scanner and looks for known cheats on your computer. The cheat doesn’t even have to be APB related. Punkbuster scans for ALL types of cheats, and if it is in their database, it’ll trigger a ban.

Scamming – You can role play anything you’d like in San Paro. Just not as con artists.

Macros(?) – APB also utilizes FairFight, which keeps track of players’ behaviors and tendencies.

Account Sharing – Don’t share accounts. If you log onto a friend’s account to create a design, and they later out get banned for cheats, you may be banned as well due to your fingerprints on the account.

Crosshairs – Any overlays or files can lead to a ban. (actually, I’m not too sure on this policy).

Shaders – Shaders are not allowed. Bannable.

Altering Game Files – Not recommended to change any game files. If you insist on trying to gain more FPS, try USPStyle’s Advanced APB Launcher.

Player Harassment/Griefing – I think you start off as warnings , but they can eventually lead up to a ban after repeated offenses.

Racially Offensive Customizations/Names – No Nazi symbols please.

Explicit Customizations – Sorry, no more genitals, or boobies. (the boobies ban is new to me. they were allowed before. just no wangs. but no boobs now either).

Fraudulent Payment – Any charge-backs will cause the account to be permanently penalized. Don’t touch mommy’s purse, she didn’t raise a criminal.

Real World Trading – Typical in most/all games. You don’t actually own anything in-game, so selling it for currency outside of the game is a big no-no.