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What's Up – April 30th 2020

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Welcome to What’s Up, our weekly blog where we’ll recap everything that’s happened in the past week and talk a little about future developments. In What’s Up this week:

  • Gears Tactics Out Now
  • Follow up on last week’s Skill Point changes
  • Title Update 5.1

Gears Tactics Out Now!

It’s out! It’s finally out! It’s been almost 2 years since Gears Tactics shared a sliver of the Gears 5 spotlight on stage at E3 2018 and now it is (or should be) sitting on your PC’s hard drive ready to play whenever you want. How did two years go by so fast?

We’re so proud to see continued great reviews for the labor of love from us and our partners at Splash Damage. Venturing into a new genre for the Gears franchise was never going to be easy, and it’s great to see so much positivity around the release. We hope you are having a blast with it!

Some of you may be wondering what’s next for Gears Tactics. We’re going to support the game with further Title Updates to address any emerging bugs or balance issues as huge numbers of players get their hands on the game.

Beyond that, we’re working hard to deliver the Xbox Console version of Gears Tactics later this year. All the love that was poured into making Tactics a true made-for-PC title is being done to make the console version feel right at home there too. For those of you waiting on Tactics to hit your console, we’ll make the wait worth it.

Skill Points

Last week, we launched a trial solution to the Ranking System awarding 0 points on a win – instead of mitigating losses, we would ensure gains on any win by awarding points.

As a reminder, the current Gears 5 system is based on the quality of your performance vs the quality of your opponents, which means dropping a round against the wrong team could net you more negative points lost than positive points gained.

We updated the system to prevent a win resulting in negative points, which was then followed by this change. When you receive a 0 in Gears 5 on a win, this was the system protecting you from losing Skill Points, despite the fact you won the match. After the change, you would gain Skill Points in this scenario.

The downside is that, when a player eventually loses after only gaining Skill Points only through the artificially added Skill Points, the system will give them negative points to ensure their rank and True Skill Rank is aligned.

Given the vast majority of our Ranked development is being put into our new overhauled Ranking System, which moves away from this model entirely, this was an interim solution we wanted to try to see if it could offer improvement while we finish development on the new system. Frankly, based on your feedback, it hasn’t worked.

As of today, we’ve rolled back to the previous 0 protection version of the Ranking System with no artificially added Skill Points for winning. We know this isn’t ideal either, but it’s the lesser of two evils.

Given where we are in the development of the brand new Ranking System, we have no further updates planned for the Ranking System that exists today. Soon, it will be going the way of the dodo – but for now, the experience will exist as it is until we rollout the new Ranked system.

Title Update 5.1

In case you missed it amidst the Tactics fever this week, we dropped a small Hotfix Title Update on Wednesday to address some issues that emerged since the launch of Operation 3. We also snuck in a couple of consistency updates for the Gnasher and movement under certain conditions too.

You can find the full update notes here.

This Week In Gears 5

This Week In Gears 5, it’s headshots galore in Escape with new hive Lethal Encounters and Hyper Dodgeball is delivering jump scares for days.

Check out everything on offer this week in game in Monday’s This Week In Gears 5 post.

Signing Off

Things have been a little quiet these past two weeks from us but the tides of change are coming.

The team are heads down on the next big things for Gears 5. As we’ve been talking about over the past couple of months, development is laser focused on addressing some of your biggest fundamental concerns and feedback points around the game since launch above all else.

There’s a lot to unpack that we are really excited to tell you about. The new Ranked System is just scratching the surface. However, the team is adjusting to a new remote-work based existence that means it’s a little tougher to predict schedules – especially when it comes to testing.

We’ve been promising a Roadmap full of whats and whys for a while now, but the team are also conscious of the unpredictable scenario we find ourselves in. The Roadmap will come, but it may still be a little while yet. Thanks for all the understanding and patience you’ve showed us since the COVID pandemic. We really appreciate.

In the meantime, go have a blast on Gears and we’ll see you next week.

TC, out.