Looking back, and forward

I haven’t been active on the forums in a long time. In fact, this is my first post since the new forums went live. Reasons being that I didn’t like the atmosphere that was developing( but I won’t go further into that now as it’s not my intention or the topic here ) and I felt like I had pretty much said everything I needed to.
However, seeing as this year’d E3 is drawing closer and Gears will probably be there, I decided to create probably my final topic about Gears 4, with a bit about how I want the series to progress from now on. It’s gonna be a long post so bear with me.

I’ll get into versus first as it’s my main focus in Gears.

I find competitive weapon tuning to be near perfect. At least, I think it’s the closest to perfect in any Gears title so far. Especially after the last changes to starting weapons. The Lancer is the strongest support weapon out of all starting weapons in competitive and its dps and damage fall off are on point. It can down an opponent very quickly when used in correct scenarios and with good aim while still leaving the opponent some ability to work around it so it doesn’t cause complete stand off situations. Likewise, the Gnasher’s attributes are on point. It doesn’t have too much range and because of its damage fall off Gnasher gameplay involves more depth than in does in Core or any other Gears title. The only complain about Gnasher gameplay in Gears 4 I have is about hit detection, but that isn’t really a weapon balance issue. It’s a connection issue.

But what comes to power weapons and secondary pick ups in Competitive, there are a few gripes. Specifically concerning Dropshot, Overkill and Boltok after the latest competitive tuning update.
Dropshot was perfectly fine with 3 rounds. Its ammo was increased so that it’s compete with the Boomshot, but I don’t think it rally has to. Dropshot was the perfect choice in Escalation if you wanted some more firepower in play but didn’t want to go as far as putting down Boomshot. Now, Dropshot in the right hands may even be more impactful than the Boomshot is, and that wasn’t really needed imho.
Overkill was buffed as well, which, once again, wasn’t really needed. At least to the extent it’s now at. You might say the buff was a bit… Overkill( sorry… Enough with the bad puns ).
And then there’s Boltok. I think it was a good choice to remove its headshot capability. It was too impactful. I thik it still is a bit too powerful. A little more damage fall off would make it perfect. but that’s just my opinion.

For me, the ideal would be current competitive tuning( with the changes above )as the universal weapon balance in Gears 5. At least in Ranked matchmaking where the more “serious” competition is. I used quotation marks because I couldn’t find a better word for it.

however, I would be willing to accept a sort of compromise if universal competitive tuning is too much to a large audience. As long as competitive matchmaking uses the competitive settings( obviously ).
For example, there could be more starting weapon options in core( or whatever the matchmaking subcategories will be called, if there will be separate ones again )but the weapon balance itself would remain largely the same. Possibly with a bit stronger aim assist( like there is now ). As long as core won’t be as far away from competitive as it is in Gears 4 and at least close to how competitive is, I’d be delighted.

Next up is Horde.
I think Horde 3.0 was a step in the right direction. Horde 2.0 was too limited. Building your base wherever you want to was a great idea, but not perfectly executed. That’s why there were several updates to the balance of class abilities. I hope TC holds on to the concept of Horde 3.0 and refines it.

Then a few thoughts about the campaign.
I was very skeptical about the new characters, new enemies and all prior to the game’s launch. I’m glad that TC found a way to introduce the new enemy and even revive the Locust convincingly. The insect metaphor for the re-emergence of the Locust in the very beginning was a nice touch. There could’ve been more diversity in enemy types, though( would’ve been beneficial for Horde, too ). The campaigns of Gears 2-4 haven’t had the impactful introductions of new enemy types Gears 1 had, either.

Then let’s talk about the new characters. I really didn’t like any of them at first, but they developed pretty well over the course of the campaign which gave the characters more depth. Del and Oscar were disappointing, though. Del was there just for the sake of banter( which felt forced at times )and Oscar could’ve been an interesting characters if he was scripted better. Honestly, some of his lines were really dull.

And last thing I want to bring up about the campaign atmosphere. I think that it was a step in the right direction. Not overly dramatic like Gears 3 was( to me at least ). And a bleak atmosphere works the best in Gears. So again, this was a step in the right direction but should be developed further in Gears 5.

There are a few other subjects I still wanna bring up. Namely progression unlocks, DLC and micro-transactions.
Now, I don’t have anything against micro-transactions in general if they’re done right as it allows for free DLC maps. The maps should remain free content as paid DLC maps only divide the player base further( which has always been one of the biggest issues in Gears versus mp ), so micro-transactions should stay.
However, micro-transactions shouldn’t replace progression unlocks, even if paying with real money was optional as it is now( except for the more exclusive packs ). There should be a balance between the two. Earning customization items through progress is much more satisfying than earning them through RNG. There could very well be a few exclusive weapon skins and characters that were only available for purchase, but the main focus should be on progression unlocks.
And about the exclusive ones that’d be available for purchase… Please, PLEASE don’t make it lottery again. Adjust the pricing if you must, but don’t make eSports items RNG-based again. I’d gladly pay 4 or 5 Euros for that one character I want if I were guaranteed to get it. Likewise, the eSports themed weapon skins could be something like 2 Euros a piece. That’d be only fair and guarantee better consumer satisfaction while still giving you guys the revenue needed for funding eSports.

Lastly, I wasnt to say a few words about the DLC maps. I’m glad they’re free content, but there are too many remade maps compared to new content. TC “bit more than they could chew” with the 2 maps per month program. That’s a ridiculous amount of work, which ultimately lead to heavy focus on remade maps. Luckily, TC has acknowledged this( this was stated by Pezradar long ago in a live stream )so I’m pretty confident we won’t have the remake-heavy DLC program again in Gears 5. Still, I cannot be sure, but I am hopeful and I wish TC will focus on quality over quantity with Gears 5.

Aaand that’s about it, I think. I may have forgotten to mention some stuff. Anyways, feel free to discuss, but be respectful. Note that this post is most of all intended to be constructive feedback directed to TC.

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Very well written and constructed feedback.

Much appreciated :+1:

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My quick take…

Versus has been shockingly bad in Gears 4, having social, core and competitive as different settings is just splitting the community even more. Half the playlists in Europe/UK are impossible to find a match on, which is just downright ridiculous and the matchmaking is abysmal .

Stopping power should be removed across board, if you’re standing there or in sitting in cover, not moving lancering/shooting someone… then you deserve to be killed by someone pushing forward. This is an attacking close quarter combat game and cover should be used temporary to move forward to locations and not to sit and camp in/behind. That just slows down the pace of the game.

Horde 3.0 is just a long boring grind. Waves should be removed, it just adds unnecessary time each time it pops up. Everything should be on the fly. There was no improvement over Horde 2.0, Horde 2.0 at least had mutators you could earn, which made it slightly more fun. The class system doesn’t do anything different enough to actually change the dynamic of how its played.

The campaign was uninspiring, boring, samey and the format is just old. How anyone thinks its good, obviously haven’t played many games before.

Micro-transactions, RNG and eSports… remove that rubbish out of the main game. I don’t care for any of that. eSports is now big enough, it can easily find funds from big sponsors. No need to keep showcasing skins etc for it.

Characters, skins, emblems and all that type of stuff etc, should all be made available through game progression. Its shocking how backwards it is compared to Gears 3.

DLC should be brand new content, not rehashed stuff from previous games. You should also be very clear what a season pass will contain.

It shouldn’t have any maps that have been in previous games… because Blood Drive and Gridlock, like wow, just wow when it comes to people voting for these maps just because they know the name. Yet they still don’t know how to play and win on them, its just completely shocking. Those maps are ■■■■■■■ terrible for KOTH and other modes.

Edit, why is that word above classified as something that needs to be blocked out… that’s pretty ridiculous

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“This is an attacking close quarter combat game…” I’d have to disagree. While Gnashers are the most commonly used weapons, there is a wide range of weapons used in it, and the rifles will feature strongly as a mid range option and have stopping power.

Agree on many of the other points though.

I thought the campaign was very meh. It wasn’t particularly exciting and character wise I didn’t feel very invested in the new ones. JD is that typical protagonist with daddy issues, while the mood created by the squad seemed a bit too PG13 and lighthearted. There’s some hint of something interesting beneath Kait and Del’s surface so hopefully GOW5 brings this to light.

The new enemies lack variety. I presume that all other beasts like Bloodmounts and Reavers were infected by Imulsion and would have evolved over the last 25 years. Hopefully their mutated forms make a return in some form in the sequel.

I don’t mind old maps returning, but the second variants (Reclaimed Windflare etc) were a cheap way of fulfilling the new map commitment. I’d like to see some more actual new maps.

The custom skins and loot boxes need to change. The RNG nature makes them an unpredictable way of delivering extra content. Also RNG has no place in a game if real money is involved. If people spend real money they should guaranteed the product they have bought. I don’t know how that would look exactly - perhaps people can choose individual character or weapon skins? Or if there’s a full airdrop package that contains the full set? I think this is a necessity for eSports packs. Overall, I’d like to see far more customisation skins available through in-game achievements.

And lastly the season pass needs to be clear about what it offers. This last one was extremely poor value.

@Excalibur

I can agree on many parts( as you probably know if you read the entire original post )
However, it’s ignorant to say anyone who likes the campaign in any way has not played many games before. It’s all personal preference and I did like some aspects of the campaign but there were obvious flaws that I too pointed out.
Then there’s the eSports part. Once again, it’s a matter of personal preference. ESports caters to a very specific audience, and personally I’m glad that Gears eSports has received this support from the developer. However, the eSports-themed Gear packs need to change. Like stated in the original post, they need to be reasonably priced and the consumer should know exactly what they’re paying for, But all standard customization items should be unlockable through progression, not RNG.
Also, I think Horde 3.0 was a step in the right direction but because they changed the formula so much there wasn’t as much time for refining it as it would’ve required. This is just my opinion of course, but Horde 2.0 was too restricted while Horde 3.0 is too grindy. Instead of making a lot of drastic changes again, they should polish the Horde 3.0 formula imo.
Also, I don’t find the versus shockingly bad. Competitive versus is very well balanced and Escalation is a spectacular gametype. I do find Core very poorly balanced, which is why I quit Core entirely. Also KOTH and Dodgeball spawns are a disaster at worst.
If all playlists were more like Competitive playlists, I’d likely play a wider variety of gametypes.