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Short Thoughts after beating Inconceivable Horde




Small Proof that we cleared Elite, Insane and Inconceivable Horde. It took approximately 3 hours and a half to clear Wave 50.

< Before I Begin >

After making a new account, upon looking at the General Discussion sub-forum I noticed there are people who are either discontent or very satisfied about Gears 5, and some of them were arguing in a heated discussion.
So let me be clear here; I’m not here to start a flame or suck the game like a fanboy. If any, I only care about how Cooperative Shooters are designed.
I believe it is rather easy to make strangers fight each other, but encouraging people to work together towards success is a much more difficult challenge for game designers. So I’m just going to focus on that, and leave my thoughts about the new Horde as objectively as possible.

< About Me >
Although not a hardcore Gears of War fan, I have the most interest in Cooperative Shooter genre, and that’s why I got sucked into the Horde mode in GoW3, I’m not here to brag, but I’ve spent 5,000 hours playing titles such as Mass Effect 3 MP, Warframe, Sanctum 2, Evolve, Deep Rock Galactic, Payday 2, The Division 2 and et cetera. Horde mode is the only reason I bought Gears 5. I dived straight into the Horde mode, ignoring the other three game-modes. I re-uped twice and am now at Level 1.

< Overview >
There are a lot of die-hard fans on this forum so this may seem unnecessary; but for people who never played Gears 5 Horde Mode, it is a PVE content where up to 5 players cooperate and fight against enemy AIs that come in multiple Waves. As the match progresses, Waves increase in difficulty; but players can also upgrade their Characters, purchase and reinforce Fortifications to gain an edge.

Compared to its predecessors, Gears 5 Horde features new systems such as Character Classes, Ultimate Abilities, Non-Duplicate Characters, Forced Initial Loadouts and so on. This has made the game-mode more heavily reliant on team-work than ever, since now each Character possesses unique functionalities and benefits that no other Characters have access to, and the teammates can only pray that a player with an important character knows what they are doing.

I know this sounds stale at this point, but victory does depends on the players’ knowledge about their Characters, the game-mode in general, and most importantly, cooperation.

< In Short >
Similar to Evolve, Gear 5 Horde provides an inconsistent experience; it is exceptionally entertaining when cooperation and communication are in play, but it can perhaps be one of the most stressful and irritating experience if even a single person is unwilling to listen to the team. And unfortunately, the latter happens more often.

< Details : the Positive Sides of new Horde >

  • One benefit of creating concepts such as Roles (Tank, Offense, Engineer and so on), is that a player can understand what role the other four want to play as, and can anticipate their behavior in-game. Especially since it is very likely that they never met each other before, clear and specific concepts officially defined by the game allow players to comprehend others’ desire without communication.

  • Each Role has access to certain unique features that others cannot possess. This means that every single Role stands out in a certain way, and they make people believe they are more special and valuable to the team when the teammates ask you for help. People who have a great degree of skill in a certain Role can build more pride and feel a sense of accomplishment, and fortunately the game somewhat reflects this in Character Level, a value that displays the overall experience of a certain Role. This also contributes to better decision-making, such as determining which player should yield JD and play as other Characters instead.

  • When the teammates are cooperating and the team is doing well, everyone is satisfied and builds trust towards one another. Each are enjoying their own “dirty job” that others might hate or even refuse to do, and the team is still moving forward anyway. At this point is where the baseline gameplay is happening, intended to let players taste the ultimate team-work experience.

< Details : the Negative Sides of new Horde >

  • Unfortunately, there are a lot of requirements to make the baseline gameplay happen and it is quite likely that it won’t happen in regular matches.
  1. All players need to know the same language to communicate.
  2. All players need to willingly follow the leader’s instructions (who tends to be an Engineer)
  3. All players need to listen to other people’s mics, rather than reflexively muting them immediately
  4. Combatants (who are not Engineers and Supports) need to realize their survival depends on the Heavy weapons rather than their character upgrades.
  5. Engineers especially need to be vocal since they are the planners, and teammates don’t know about your plan that only resides in your head.
  6. Engineers and Support need to know about the advanced Horde-knowledge, such as upgrading a damaged Fortification in order to instantly repair its Health can double, triple or even quadruple its original upgrade cost.
  7. And so on…
    There are too many knowledge and equipment that a Horde player needs to have, it’s very likely that a Pick-up Group will lack a few qualities and the match goes downhill.
  • In games where playable characters possess unique functionalities and quirks (such as Evolve, and to some extent, Deep Rock Galactic), a heavy emphasis on team-work means individual player’s arbitrary actions are disturbed, and a teammate is forced to follow the other teammate even if they are going the wrong way. In other words, you can’t exactly “carry baddies” as your character isn’t jack-of-trades, and lack of solution in these situations will cause frustration.

  • Even though there are a few mechanics that promote teamwork, some are actually against it; for example, Energy gain from the Energy Tap is split between players, but the two free ammo-pickups aren’t and ammo is scarce in the new Horde; players who didn’t camp the pickup spawn might think they got “robbed” by their teammates, which is a sign of potential conflict.

  • The Result Screen doesn’t have to appear after every single Wave. It kills the flow and wastes a lot of time, especially in early Waves where enemies don’t last very long. I heard it has been like that since Gears of War 4, and I don’t know why they are so insistent about it. If I had to pick only one thing that needs to be changed in new Horde, it has to be the Result Screen.

< Closing >

Gears 5 Horde really consumed me, it is a cooperative shooter game-mode that also demands good strategy. Knowledge is as important as reflexes in the new Horde, and it is one of the biggest reason I am looking forward to its future.
However, due to the nature of the new features, the game-mode has become even more reliant on cooperation, which isn’t guaranteed when playing with strangers on the internet. Thus, depending on who you are playing with, the matches will be either an excellent hit, or a complete miss. There is no middle ground.
The Horde will have to provide more tools to the each player to make the overall experience more consistent.

3 Likes

TL;DR horde hard git good scrubs screenshot of my success. (Can we play later?)

2 Likes

Sure! I’ll send a friend request after an hour :slight_smile:

How many sentries / turrets you had ??

I always place a MG Turret near to every Decoy so it can deal with the Execution Rules Modifier, and in a well-going match we get four Lv 4 MG Turrets around Wave 35~39.

1 Like

We had level 4 turrets before wave 20 on horde elite difficulty but turrets suck…

Elite is super easy to beat heck we even won on higher difficulty real easy the horde is not that hard it’s very basic and simple…

The way we beat horde on some of the highest difficulty is we built a forge first and then upgraded it to level 4 ASAP and had Jack melt weapons down for money with 200% weapon melting card. You get tons of money that way.

Then we next build weapon lockers and fill them up with heavy mini guns and rocket launchers and just spam the heavy weapons swapping empty ones with full ones all the way to wave 50 they are really powerful…

All you need is weapon lockers and a forge and the games easy mode on any difficulty if you abuse the weapon lockers lol

Also I dont know the character name but one of our players has a weapon locker for himself where he shoots this long range airstrike explosive weapon over and over and when empty swaps it into the weapon locker for another and just repeats over and over for easy kills

As I said horde is really simplified and basic not much strategy needed.

Before I read (I will) 2 things.
First, well done :+1::clap::+1:

Secondly. The final wave had 26 enemies. That is a joke. I would not care if it was 26 Bosses. We should be having 50+ easily on the final waves. It is meant to be a Horde, not a “small gathering of Swarm!” it really grinds my Gears. so very, very poor :-1::-1::-1:

2 Likes

The important part is that said dominant strategy cannot be done without the cooperation from all non-Engineer players. Since the strategy (Forge and Locker rush), at its core, only requires people to deposit for the Engineer, this is obviously easy to achieve if you are playing with 4 friends. So you could argue that the current Horde mode is simplified and doesn’t offer various strategies, and this is actually correct.

However, the only viable strategy for higher difficulties becomes inaccessible if a single person is unwilling to cooperate or lacks knowledge. People not depositing at Wave 1 makes rushing for Forge Lv 1 quite difficult to achieve, and this is not good when Power Drain is enabled. Either Jack not smelting, Kat insisting on building Fortifications herself instead of Del, non-Engineers going for self-upgrades and not depositing breaks the game quickly, and stresses out other players. Host can’t kick players whille in a match, so it is also impossible to remove problematic players.

One can’t simply say “then just get friends”, since the Horde supports matchmaking and even Lobby Browsers. It is fair enough to say the Horde is designed (or tries) to appeal to Pick-up Groups. But the original post explains that it’s very unlikely, because the requirements are too much for 5 random strangers. Ultimately, the process of winning a Horde match can be dumbed down to keep getting frustrated in random matches until you finally find 4 new friends.

The goal of this post isn’t about me beating Horde on Elite or how the Horde is meant to be played; it’s about addressing how inconsistent Horde matches can be, and how this can hurt player experience in general.