Yeah, I wouldn’t say the game is worse, but it is still rather the same. The lancer is still pretty potent at close range for crossing, but it’s not nearly as good for mid or long range. So any high level team is going to know how to cross, there’s no other way around it. I think throughout the majority of gears life cycle, high level play has been more about knowing how to hold angles and cross rather than handling 1v1’s. Shotgun play is still important when they get close, and is arguably more fun, but if they never get close to begin with, you don’t really have to worry about it. But the lancer is a lot more nerfed than before, so it’s not as big of an issue as it once was before. You’ll still get melted by 2+ lancers though. The new problem is that the gnashers damage range is crazy strong, so you can get grazed by a few lancer billets, and by the time you reach a dude you get one shot downed. Gnasher fights are basically a joke now because it’s usually just 2 shotting people from pretty far away, and the fights end before they even get a chance to begin. It promotes a very defensive play style and makes pushing people very difficult because pretty much whoever gets the first shot is almost guaranteed to win the fight, and 9/10 times the person being pushed gets the first shot. You cant play off people shots anymore because it basically takes one full spread and a half to down from like 8 meters away. It’s just really annoying going down and dying before you even get a chance to do anything because the gnashers firing slugs now. If you’re up against 2+ people just forget about it. We do have stun grenades back though so at least we can actually safely push now.
FFA now has a ranked playlist, not sure if that will fix any of the connection issues, but I think it will be a bit more competitive if that’s what you’re looking for. The spawns aren’t really gonna change due to the nature of the maps and the gamemode. There’s no set spawn area or team to spawn on so you have to be a little lenient when it comes to that.
I hear that the new ranking system is good overall, but there are a few problems that TC are planning to fix soon. To read them go see the What’s Up July 23rd. Most common complaint seems to be queue times once you hit gold in some modes. As for the lop-sided-ness, you can still go against a full stack if you solo queue. I don’t know if or when they plan on limiting teams in ranked, but hopefully it gets done. The problem now is that the only gamemode they should allow for a 5 stack was Escalation, which was removed from ranked. If they let 5 stacks in KOTH then it will be much of the same problem because KOTH is the most popular gamemode. Maybe in Gridiron? Btw, if you haven’t played Gridiron, I’d give it a try. It’s a great addition. Anyways, at least you can see player ranks and who’s partied up now.
Guardian has returned to its previous version, where teams respawn at the set spawn points and switch every 90 or so seconds. Leaders have an ability that pulses the entire enemy team and reveals them to the leader, but I believe it also reveals the leader who pulses as well. From what I’ve heard, this new version has been very well received. I’m glad they realized that flipping spawns was what made previous guardian modes so much fun. For now it’s still in quickplay but I have a feeling they plan on rotating it into ranked sometime in OP5 or maybe late OP4.