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What’s Up – July 23

Welcome to What’s Up! our weekly blog where we recap everything big in the world of Gears. In What’s Up this week:

  • Ranked Preseason update
  • Ongoing fixes and updates

Ranked Preseason Update

It’s been a little over a week since we launched Operation 4 and our new Ranked System. The response has been largely positive but we’re not resting on our laurels. The team has been crunching the data and reading your feedback and suggestions as we look to improve Ranked even further.

Even though we still have a few more weeks left in the preseason, we grabbed Jonathan Taylor, Lead Gameplay Designer, for a brief Q&A to shed some light on the new system and our priorities. We’re also having him on today’s stream to answer your questions directly.

Why a ranked preseason?

Our new Ranked System is a big departure from the old system so a preseason enables us to test it at scale. This allows us to validate our internal simulations which will give us further confidence in determining the impact of future potential changes.

We’ve been looking at data and collecting feedback from the community to make sure that scoring and tuning values are working properly and to identify any issues with the system that had not yet been uncovered.

In short, a preseason will set us up to have much stronger regular season.

Can we expect any changes?

It’s still early to give a detailed overview of everything we have planned but we are currently looking at a variety of improvements. Here are our three immediate priorities:

  1. We’re reviewing matchmaking times, especially at the higher ranks in certain modes. Basically, as some players move up the ranks more quickly than the majority of the population, they have a smaller available group for matchmaking. While this will balance out over time as the higher ranks fill up, we are temporarily expanding the matchmaking parameters so you can now be paired with or against players that are two ranks above or below you. To reiterate, we expect this to be a temporary measure.
  2. We are investigating adjustments to the GP scoring values in KoTH. We’ve heard your feedback and agree that current scoring is tuned too generously with higher-performing players aren’t differentiated enough from the players not performing as well. We are currently simulating the impact of adjusting scoring values and are working aggressively to implement changes to these values by the start of the regular season.
  3. We are also looking at making changes to FFA to improve the quality of matchmaking as well as the variety of the overall experience.

We’ll give more details when we’ve locked down designs, but we want to be transparent on what we’re currently focused on.

Why are points capped?

Uncapped points would encourage behavior where teams can exploit how much GP they can gain per match. This would reward players that farmed the hardest; limiting the possible points gained is necessary to prevent this and allow the Ranked System to work properly.

However, we do want the system to feel rewarding throughout the match. We are currently investigating the average amount of personal GP you can gain in all modes, with a particularly close eye on KoTH’s values.

What about adding new modes to Ranked?

We want Ranked to be a rewarding and satisfying competitive experience for all players. Previously, Guardian was one of our least played ranked modes but we have recently re-introduced it with some improvements – the initial feedback has been very positive. We will be moving Guardian into its own Quickplay playlist next week and will continue to monitor its performance. There are no current plans on moving it into Ranked for Operation 4, but we are keeping an eye on the feedback.

We’ve also heard your feedback about TDM – both for and against it as a Ranked mode – and there are many conversations taking place in the studio about the future of this popular game type.

Updates and ongoing fixes

This week we rolled out a minor hotfix to address a few issues

  • UI – Incorrect ranks displayed in Ranked Playlist screen
  • UIR Cosmonaut – Character is missing team shader
  • Campaign – Lobby Browser – Chapter number and name text are removed in lobby browser

The team is also actively working on the following known issues:

  • Errors in Quickplay map voting
  • Disconnects / server stability including the inability to rejoin Ranked matches
  • Players that aren’t properly bringing their cards with them into Horde
  • Players unable to access campaign saved flies

Note: This list is not comprehensive of everything the team is working on.

That’s it from us! See you next week when we’re going to provide a detailed overview of the next Developers Playlist.

-TC

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