I’ll start by saying 1) I have no information but suspect Escape is unlikely to return, and 2) yes, others have posted Escape 2.0 ideas before. But I reflected on the mode’s lack of appeal to me personally (despite being a PvE main), and so how to potentially address those specifics is my framing for this post.
Here’s some of what I suspect could make me enjoy the mode more without asking to radically re-design it (also possible, but I chose a narrower focus). Disagreement is welcome; this is obviously subjective.
Start with Ultimates charged.
I don’t mind if that means increasing the early area difficulty somewhat to compensate, and private lobbies should be able to choose either/any cooldown preference. I just think not having this part of the new Gears 5(+, hopefully) standard PvE gameplay available eliminates player agency as to when they decide it’s most tactical to use it.
Revisit class cards, abilities and/or hive designs now that all classes can play the mode.
I know every hive has been Master soloed with every class, but with almost no Breaker Maces present, for example, Striker could easily use an additional “does x in Venom” card. How about a hive that actually takes advantage of engineering classes build abilities, like maybe still starting with a repair tool, and that can be used to unblock an alternate path?
Design some pickup variability.
It probably can’t be fully random, since most hives have intentional designs/tradeoffs, but maybe they can vary explosive weapons among a Dropshot, Boomshot, etc… Or some playthroughs you’re awash in ballistics ammo, sometimes you have to live on grenades. Sometimes you exit the pods into a full loadout, sometimes you’re living lean until you squeak by to a hugely rewarding supply room (or come across a cache in an unexpected arbitrary tile).
Have better enemy randomization.
Only 2 sets max per hive (and with a subset of enemies available to the game) doesn’t offer enough replayability for me.
Create more tiles in every sense
More variety & theming, having longer and more branching hive chapters… new features within or across them such as (un)lockable doors via switches/key-fetch style simple sub-goals (beyond just The Gatekeepers-style boss kill events)… and definitely more than the same single saferoom, landing pad, and 2 start tiles.
Enable more variants than just 1 fixed modifier set for a hive
Some things maybe can’t vary across sets for some hives, but for example maybe The Wanderer is sometimes the hastened Mulcher Scion, and sometimes it’s a Snatcher or Warden that’s slowed down/can’t rush? At least enable private lobbies to choose any modifiers they want for replayability.
Provide a more robust editor and viable user content story
This is so the community can be vibrant and obviously take advantage of all these improvements. Or at least consider a random hive generator as others have suggested.
Support 5+ players.
I simply get less enjoyment from small team dynamics with heavier reliance on every single random teammate (including me sometimes being that weak link) that leaves little room for failures/learning that doesn’t drag a whole team down. This proposal is the most substantial and arguably breaks most existing hive designs, but I think more gameplay options could open up with more players (e.g., The Trap separation but more significant with 2 person squads and intermediate objectives, more overwhelming odds for those occasional Horde-ish The Choke set pieces, etc.).
A thematic through-line I noticed is that I don’t derive much enjoyment from rote path memorization and optimization that I feel is a heavy part of Escape today. More variability from the conditions and fellow players would raise this mode up in my eyes.
How does this relate to your own opinions? If you’re someone who favors the mode today, feel free to list what keeps you playing and that they should presumably amplify.
I think it was a pity that the fabricators were added so late on (Op 4 I think) and weren’t available in earlier hives. They would have been a nice way of adding weapon diversity to some hives. As it is, people usually gravitate toward certain classes due to weapon availability.
I don’t mind the smaller teams thing. It adds variety compared to 5-player Horde and as you say, can ask more of players individually to pull their weight. Having said that, half decent players can 2-man most hives fairly easily with some prior knowledge and half-suitable classes. And I don’t mean the crazy top tier players, but ordinary folk like me. So there’s definitely space to carry someone.
In terms of variety in hives I was always disappointed there weren’t more hives like The Mines, The Barracks and The Clock which had two different exits leading to different act 2’s.
Yeah, more Fabricators would definitely be a good solution to the weapon variety problem. A Hive with a moveable Fabricator where you could get more weapons from it after a cooldown would also be interesting. Tying it to the class value thing, an engineer might be the only one realistically able to drag it fast enough (at least solo) to stay ahead of the Venom. You could even make that the hive’s gimmick, where you require the fabricator at the end to proceed, so protecting the pistol-only carrier(s) is required.
Or the engineer discount is the only way to purchase a portable (“heavy weapon”) Venom fan, that doesn’t change the overall rate but provides a small, safe bubble for non-Venom-based classes to hang back, too. (Shouldn’t Protector’s ultimate prevent Venom damage, too?)
The prior knowledge is so key. There’s a lot one can’t bring from one hive to another. And the sheer teammate rage at those who don’t know (originally me) you can sneak-kill those first few enemies in Lethal Engagements…
Escape is my favorite Gears mode ever created in the history of this series and that is coming from a sole Versus only player from 1 all the way to 5. That being said though, I cant agree with some of these at all. Yes, i know the context of the post is what you would like but i just want to give my opinion on what you shared.
Completely defeats the meaning of the gamemode. You get taken by a snatcher with nothing but the sidearm you have attached to your minimal armor. Spawning in with your superpower would be meaningless despite whatever the first encounter is, unless it was a custom hive that has a truly unfair beginning like 40 of the toughest enemies right outside the door.
I agree. Marksman and Infiltrator completely turned Escape into easy mode.
I want absolutely zero random chance mechanics in Escape unless that is a hive’s gimmick : to be random. If theres multiple rng sets of enemies everyone will just reset over and over until they get the enemies they want ( which is what happens currently for people looking to complete maps for the first time). I think every hive should have one enemy set and static weapon pickups to give it its own identity.
Agree. Variety in scenery is nothing but good.
Sounds like this could just be solved with making a new hive altogether.
Agree. An Escape randomizer could be where all the RNG goes and could provide truly endlees variety.
Disagree. I just dont like the idea of having 2 more people, would cause some kind of balance issues on top of the balance issues we already have.
I’m curious about your dislike of weapon and enemy variety.
I kind of get the quitting to get particular sets, but I never saw that be an issue that much in public (an individual quitting out), or in private (one assumes the team agrees). Just a little time wasted.
For weapons, that would make a little sense on picking classes prior, but maybe just add more types in each hive would be sufficient?
I ask because I have a theory why escape is not widely popular, and it’s not as simple as it’s hard.
Sorta off topic but has anyone realized Gears has tried multiple sub PvE modes but have only kept resuming horde? First it was Beast Mode, then It was Overrun and now Its Escape.
Bro If Gears 6 happens we are definitely getting some Metal Gear crap called Infiltrate where you can’t be spotted at all. Or some campaign type mode where you need to restore generators around the map.
Gears never follows up with their PvE besides horde lol
lol well when you state it like that… FWIW I didn’t interpret Bleeding Pepper’s suggestion as actually having the full Horde-style Fabricator-- you’re not picking up energy; you’re not building fortifications or bases.
It probably comes down to what do you (anyone) see is “the essence” of Escape? I felt it’s about ‘limited resources’ and ‘continual movement’ distinguishing it from Horde.
I see the strong argument about including player counts in ‘limited resources’ so I’m not surprised about disagreement with my proposal there. (It’s the least likely and most challenging change anyway.)
But personally I don’t think more players or a Fabricator mechanic in Escape would inherently smudge it into Horde. Being forced to Escape while coping with the weight of a Fabricator (or choosing to abandon it and have fewer resources) in some hives seems perfectly legit-- interesting, even.
You’ve finally put your finger on the one Gears feature I didn’t know was missing: cardboard boxes. That and the fact that I can shout “bomb detonated” or “reloading” voice lines/emotes next to an asleep enemy with no consequences. Good to hear they’ll fix that, too.
I’ve posted an idea in the past before which combines elements of Horde and Escape. It’s basically a sort of dungeon crawler style mode where maps are randomly generated using map tiles, and teams have a choice at the end of exit, which leads to another dungeon. Each dungeon has a different objective and some may involve a fabricator and limit building resources. It’s a vague idea at the moment but could involve larger teams.
But it’s an unlikely one though cos it would involve map tiles which TC have indicated took up a disproportionate amount of time.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla had a DLC called The Forgotten Saga which was more rigid and used the same map, but had multiple paths you could take, and each map area gave different rewards. So I guess TC could create something like this to use.
I’m not sure that anybody actually knows though ? We are still awaiting 100% confirmation that we are getting a Gears 6. As for the mode, I did play it for the first few seasons but lost interest in it. I would take Beast 2.0 over Escape 2.0.
I like Escape on paper, but in practice it makes for a terrible casual quickplaying experience. Not a fan of classes being deadweight picks depending on the Hive you want to play. The mode also doesn’t explain itself very well so most randoms are completely clueless. And IMO there just isn’t enough tile variation, everything sort of blends together and becomes understimulating for people who are into unique pretty sights. If the mode had to come back for 6, they really need to either put more effort into tilesets or just design entirely unique levels instead.
All my friends that I tried to get into the game bounced off by mainly calling the mode boring and/or too hard. The CXP grind doesn’t help.
If they called it too hard in its current state, they should be glad they never played it in its original Op 1 state. It was brutal. The current experience, hard as that may be to believe, comparatively feels neutered in difficulty. With some exceptions due to terrible hive design(The Blight and two examples below).
I’m also not a fan of the 5 man Escape idea but that’s down more to balancing. If TC already makes hives like The End(which is also terribly designed imo, rather than actually being that difficult) and The Onslaught for three players, I would dread to think what kind of ridiculous nonsense they’d come up with for 5 players.
Had different friends trying out OP1 Escape and different friends on current Escape. The ones from OP1 did not ever bother to retry the mode despite all my attempts at polite persuasion, vehemently holding onto the “abysmally boring” stance too. And the “too hard” complaint for current is mostly based in the fact they mode isn’t as sandboxy as Horde and they don’t like having to cope with the cards you’re dealt in each Hive’s design intent. And maybe the bullet sponge caused by the More Health mutator. I don’t like that one myself.
I had an opposite experience. A lot of my friends I play right now I met playing escape from launch. None of them ever said it’s boring or too hard. They just tried to come up with strats how to do them. Back in op1 when you had to be in 1% to get unique rewards, I liked the difficulty
But I get it - different strokes for different folks. Nothing’s wrong with that.