This will likely be a long post, so consider yourself warned.
Horde in Op 4 is just frustrating now, something I have realized over the last 2-3 days whenever I tried playing it with a friend. We would be searching for lobbies often which then would either fail or have bad/inadequately leveled teammates and team compositions that we were not happy with and hosting a lobby ourselves often didn’t seem to do it either.
There is various things I consider as making it a frustrating experience rather than fun :
- The lack of power without Jack and taps, as well as the new functioning of Power Drain and tap RNG spawns
- The insistence of many lobbies to not have a Jack and/or Del/Baird/Kat, or simply many lobbies not having one of either or neither and starting without them
- How perks are relied upon too much to make certain characters/weapons better/useful at all
- A seeming increase in incompetent teammates
- The lopsided economy :
Now, yes, I’ve seen people say before you need neither Jack nor an engineer, and while this is true to an extent, I don’t see how it is a lot of fun to be playing without one of either or neither. With the new constant linear 50% build and upgrade cost price increase of Power Drain you frequently are stuck with little to no power for building and other purposes unless everyone is depositing and even then, if you don’t have Jack running a Forge you’ll maybe have some barriers and a few lockers at Level 2/3/4 by wave 10-15+.
And the taps don’t help it much either when you don’t have time nor funds to relocate to the first one’s location properly when the game’s stupid RNG decides it will spawn in a completely exposed location somewhere near the opposite spawn of the map you’re playing on. Most teams simply will not bother going for those and it only exacerbates the lack of power when you only have pickups to go by, highlighting how lopsided everything is towards some guy getting bored to pieces being a power workhorse for the team as Jack. Why do we need someone to be playing a boring role just to have more than a basic amount of power if we can’t get any taps whatsoever? It should be a bonus, NOT required.
- Teams playing or insisting on playing without Jack, and/or Baird/Del/Kat :
So you can have everyone building and upgrading as they please, which is great. But now that I’ve tried playing without either or without both of those team components, it does not seem enjoyable st all to be living on mere scraps and even with Del having to contest with very pricy fortifications when Power Drain is on, especially if you have a character who wants/needs perks to do well or be enjoyable(I’ll get to this in point 3). It is much worse without a Jack running a Forge however, than only missing an engineer from the team, because of the inadequate enemy power drops and tap spawns RNG that teams often don’t bother going for. And often the teams who do not want an engi or Jack or start with neither or one of both missing are often filled with bad or inexperienced players.
It also is of no help when nobody appears to want to be an engi or Jack, not that I can really blame players for not wanting to be, especially when it comes to Jack. Both characters have a comparatively minimal influence on the outcome of a match if your damage dealers are terrible, and Jack definitely is not the most entertaining of roles to play.
- Characters/weapons that rely on perks too much to do best or be good :
I don’t know exactly where to begin on this point because it’s a nuisance on several levels(don’t hate on me, I’m not writing a scholar essay here after all), so I’ll just go with my intended example : Lizzie. You have a choice of four perks here but to me two seem most relevant, the extra ammo capacity and damage. So let’s say you’re trying to be a Dropshot user instead of spamming Salvos, Tri-Shots or what have you, with the “The Hammer” skill. But your Dropshot only starts out with an absymal ammo count of 4 rounds which is a ridiculously excessive downgrade from the 7 rounds the weapon had as base capacity in Gears 4 when it no longer has the capability to one shot enemies with a headshot or direct hit.
So you practically run out of ammo whenever you start shooting at anything with it, while lockers are often now built later on and recharge the weapon very slowly and if you’re unlucky you start with the Imago waves for the first wave set in 1-10 and/or don’t get many Dropshot Scions so you won’t get many Dropshots until later on in the match and just having two on a far too slowly recharging locker while there is only 4 rounds in each Dropshot is not fun at all. The character simply is not fun to play as when you are so reliant on perks to make your main weapon viable for killing on the higher difficulty settings but you can’t get them properly without taps or Jack with a Forge, especially in 50 wave matches. If you can get them Lizzie is great but still relies on a Level 3/4 locker, and I’ve actually had more success doing this on lower difficulties than I have playing Master.
Simply put, a character should never be so reliant on having both a level 3/4 weapons locker and two perks at max level to be doing best or good. Kait, JD, Marcus, Fahz, even Keegan more limitedly, they all do not require perks to be very effective right from the beginning. It should be such for all characters.
- A seeming increase in incompetent teammates :
It may just be I’ve come across a few bad apples recently but it feels like there is either many more bad players who are attempting Master with their characters not adequately leveled for it or with them not having a clue how to handle their chosen character well enough to be doing well or at least ok on that difficulty.
Often those players will also demand or start without Jack/engi when they’re not good enough to be going without them. It just seems blatantly obvious when I see Kaits shooting a Matriarch in the armored chest with a blasted Markza and making it charge straight into the base, or COG Gears who waste their Team Revive on a single down at the end of a wave with one enemy left that has downed the player from like, the other side of the map so they’re not even in any risk of death so long as someone goes there to revive them.
So there you have it. Those are the main contributive factors I can think of right now that I personally find make Op 4 Horde a frustrating rather than fun experience despite all the positive changes made to it.
Closing notes :
- I hear people saying, “Just play with friends”, and I would, but currently for me and my other friend that isn’t an option.
- “Host your own lobby”… well I mentioned trying that but people never seemed to join the Horde lobbies we’d started. And I can tell you twice it’s not because of us being bad players, toxic hosts or anything alike.
- “Just play lower difficulties”. Normally I’d be doing that but I’ve been wanting to test Lizzie’s abilities with The Hammer at Level 6 in the highest difficulty setting because what better testing grounds to a character’s potential than that is there?
- It should be worth mentioning these are mainly experiences for 1-50 Horde on Master, seeing as I currently do not play Frenzy.
Edit : Another reason why I hate the lopsided power economy is because perks need you to be selfish if you want to use them when there’s no Jack present and you have no taps, but I feel some obligation to providing power for the team to build. Yet some characters like Lizzie need them to be best so where do you draw the line? The Hammer should just provide some extra Dropshot rounds by default, or its base capacity be raised to 7 instead of the absymal 4 rounds we get.