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What's Up – January 20th 2020

A roaring Kantus

Welcome to What’s Up, your weekly update on all the latest news, game updates and more in Gears 5 and beyond.

Here’s What’s Up in Gears this week:

  • Title Update 4 arrives Tuesday, January 21st
  • New Kantus Villain
  • Gnasher improvements coming in TU4 and beyond
  • Icebound Map Changes
  • TU4 Update Notes
  • Lunar New Year Versus Event
  • New Hive: The Line
  • Weekly Store Update

New Villain: Kantus

A Kantus roaring with arm raised

As a reminder, the Kantus Villain arrives with the release of Title Update 4! You can learn about the Kantus’ Totem Challenges and Arcade setup here.

If you’ve purchased the Operation 2: Free For All bundle, the Kantus will be automatically added to your inventory for FREE. And if you haven’t purchased the Operation 2 bundle yet, the Kantus will be added to the existing bundle with no increase to the price of the bundle.

Character Release Schedule

Adding to an existing Store Bundle while also ensuring we get the Kantus to previous bundle purchasers means a slightly different release schedule than usual.

As always, there will be an approx. 2 hour period between the release of the TU and the appearance of new content. However, slightly we’ll have a second live update to activate the Kantus for individual Iron purchases. Here’s what to expect on Tuesday January 21st:

~10am PT:  Title Update 4 rolls out available for download. The Kantus will not be available.

~12:30pm – 1pm PT: Live Update 1 deployed (includes Gnasher magnetism fixes).

  • Kantus becomes available to earn through the Kantus Totem.
  • Existing Operation 2: Free For All bundle owners will receive the Kantus Character.
    • This may take up to 1-2 hours to appear. You will need to relaunch the title to test if your Character has appeared.
  • Kantus Character is added to the Operation 2: Free For All bundle.

~3pm PT: Live Update 2 deployed. The Kantus is available for individual purchase through the Store.

Stay tuned for news on each phase of the rollout by following @CoalitionGears on Twitter.

Gnasher Improvements

Late last week, we posted the results of our extensive investigation into the Gnasher, including some new fixes coming in TU4 to return it to its pre-TU3 consistency and further improvements to come in the future.

If you missed the news, head on over to our blog from last week.

Icebound Map Updates

As part of our work to improve Gears 5, the Multiplayer Level Designers have been working on continued improvements to existing maps.

As avid players – and avid readers of feedback – they are constantly thinking about small refinements and improvements we can make that will have a big impact to the experience on their maps. They’ve already made spawn exit improvements to Exhibit, and the next changes to come are a sweeping series of refinements to Icebound.

For Icebound, the overall goal of these changes is to provide more ways to counter the strong rifle positions of the towers, which in turn will make the ice-lake a more utilized traversal and combat area than it is today.

The slide on Icebound with the cover removed

Layout Change: The mantle cover at the top of each tower’s slope slide as now been removed. This adds a new vulnerable flank to allow this strong position to be countered more easily.

Weapon Layout Changes: The weapon layout has been modified to provide more options to counter the strong tower positions and allow players to traverse the ice area more easily.

A Dropshot in the Lock

Lock: Frag Grenades have been removed and replaced with a Dropshot 

A Cryo Cannon on the ice

Middle Ice: Cryo Cannon has moved to the center of the ice, replacing the original Dropshot location

A Torque Bow at the Trading Post

Trading Post: Cryo Cannon has been moved and is now a Torque Bow 

An Enforcer in Radio

Market/Radio: Boltoks have been replaced with Enforcers 

Stable Spawn/Power Spawn: Incendiaries and Shock Grenades remain the same

KOTH: The ground level tower rings (at the bottom of the slides) have moved into the interior of the towers where the Enforcer spawns. Player spawns have been updated to cater towards these changes.  
 
Escalation: There are now 3 weapon placement slots on the center line, up from 2. This is to be at parity with all the other maps. 

Title Update 4 Notes

Title Update 4 releases on Tuesday, January 21st at ~10am PT.

Gameplay

  • Added new ‘Simple’ Omen Option
  • Added a menu toggle between Simple (new) and Immersive (existing) Omen options
  • Added new unique damage indicators for receiving active damage on the Omen
  • Added logic that will fade the damage indicators upon removal of an incoming threat (ie. Enemy shooting you was killed). The most recent damage indicator will otherwise remain on the Omen until health has started regenerating
  • Added a 0.25 second delay before being able to melee after firing
  • Tuned the overall redness for Immersive Omen down
  • Fixed an issue causing Gnasher hip-fire bullet magnetism to be incorrectly calculated, impacting consistency. NOTE: This arrives in Live Update 1 scheduled for ~1pm PT on Tuesday. This will not be active with the release of the TU at 10am.
  • Fixed a bug causing Gnasher bullet magnetism to be disabled on hip-fire when using a mouse
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Flashbang screen ‘after-effects’ to sometimes remain on screen permanently
  • Fixed an issue that hid the Omen momentarily when being grabbed as a meatshield
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Omen to flicker with dynamic resolution changes
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the step-down animation from playing when a user cover slipped over a drop down
  • Fixed an issue where LTing with a heavy weapon near High Cover would drag the player into cover leaving them unable to LT
  • Fixed meatshields can now be grenade tagged by opponents

Learn more about the Gnasher improvements in TU4 and beyond in our blog here.

Learn more details about the new Omen updates in our blog here.

Modes

  • FFA: Tuned DBNO Self Revive Time lowered to 8s (4s if tapping) – was 15s (7.5s if tapping)
  • FFA: Tuned magazine from Overkill ammo on pickup to have one less
  • FFA: Tuned respawn time for Breaker Mace and heavy weapons to 120s (was 60s)
  • Arcade Blitz: Tuned hills points to drain slowly when uncapped, rather than never draining
  • Escalation: Added ability to place weapons at half-time
  • Guardian: Players who Join In Progress or Rejoin will now be able to respawn if their leader is alive
  • Horde: Resolved a bug that could cause Level 4 MG / Shock Sentries or Weapons Lockers to be unable to be picked up after being healed and then placed inside a piece of cover
  • Horde: Fixed an issue that could cause a user to be unable to move after being saved by Jack from a DBNO struggle with an enemy
  • Horde: Fixed an issue that could cause negative damage valuesi n the scoreboard
  • Campaign: Fixed an issue where the Skiff could become stuck if mounted too quickly after killing enemies at the lower bridge controls in Vasgar
  • Campaign: Fixed an issue where the Skiff could get stuck in the air in Vasgar
  • Campaign: Fixed an issue that could cause infinite loading after the end credits

Heroes & Villains

  • Kantus added to character roster
  • Baird’s Global Sentry Upgrade card no longer effects Baird’s weapons
  • Baird’s Experimental Weapons card no longer applies to heavy weapons
  • Lahni’s Shock Chain card now functions correctly again

Maps

  • Icebound: New geometry changes, weapon layouts and ring updates to improve gameplay
  • The Pit: When scoping with a Longshot on a slide, the scope will now appear and accurately show where your shot will land
  • The Pit: Fixed an issue that could cause players on slides to float / fly or move erratically
  • Tiles: Minor fixes to address LOD and lighting issues on a number of tiles

User Experience

  • Added Estimated Wait Times for playlists
  • Added stats for FFA Quickplay and Arcade Blitz
  • Added a ‘Mark All Viewed’ button to Customization menus
  • Added the ability to choose Allfather’s Arena map layouts
  • Added messaging to alert users to already owned content when viewing bundles (such as the Operation 2 Bundle)
  • Re-Ups now show in the Ranked Lobby
  • Added: Narrator will now mention options to quit or change profile in the menus. (Accessibility Feature)
  • Added: Narrator will now specify the player’s MP level when reading out the number (Accessibility Feature)
  • Tuned lighting on the Versus MVP screen
  • Fixed an issue where users would sometimes not be able to finish a Hive playthrough on Map Builder when verifying with more than one user
  • Fixed an issue causing global chat to not display for both teams
  • Fixed an issue that could sometimes cause the front end menus to enter into a broken state if a lobby dissolves immediately

PC

  • Key binding any movement, combat or actions to “K” will now work on Allfather’s Arena
  • Fixed a crash that could occur shortly after launch

Versus Event: Lunar New Year

We’re ringing in the Lunar New Year with a mini Versus event to celebrate the arrival of the Year of The Rat.

Dive into our first ever FFA version of Golden Gun, where you’ll need to channel your inner McCree against 13 other players to take the crown. Pick up 108 kills in this special event to earn the Year of The Rat Weapon Skins (excluding Loadout) and the Golden Gun Boltok Weapon Skin!

UPDATE 1/20 – We previously posted the reward would be a Year of the Rat Bloodspray rather than the Year of The Rat Weapon Skins (excluding loadout). Apologies for the misinformation.

As an extra bonus, log in on January 25th to pick up a Lunar New Year Banner and Mark too.

Escape Hive: The Line

Your Escape Hive journey continues this Operation with our next Hive: The Line.

In The Line, your route to evac is a one way ticket to hell down this railway line as you face off against Scions with Ultimates!

Along the way, you’ll face off against Shielded Dropshot Scions, Healing Buzzkill Scions, Freezing Mulcher Scions and Ghosted Ice Scions stand between you and the end of The Live.

Weekly Store

Our Weekly Store this week brings back an old favorite enemy of ours – it’s the Locust Bolter!

Locust Bolter Character Skin
Year of the Rat Loadout Weapon Skin Set
Bicep Kiss Expression
  • Locust Bolter Character Skin* – 500 Iron
  • Bicep Kiss Expression – 400 Iron
  • Year of the Rat Loadout Weapon Skin Set – 500 Iron
  • Team Scorpio Bloodspray – 200 Iron
  • Hand Mark – 50 Iron

The Store will refresh with our Live Update that follows the release of TU4, which will deploy approx. 12:30pm-1pm on Tuesday, January 21st.

*Reminder: Purchasing a Character Skin does not include access to the Character. Use of Character Skins requires the base Character to be unlocked before associated skins can be used.

SIGNING OFF

That’s it for this week. With TU4 now on its way into your hands this week, we’re working on our next series of updates and improvements to the game – which remains our highest priority.

We’re working on new ways to keep you updated about the progress of development when it comes to addressing issues, bugs and needed improvements in a broader way than our 1-1 responses or weekly streams usually reach.

Movement is our next focus for a blog spotlight, within which our goal is to provide a clear look at where we are now and where we want to go with movement in Gears 5. We feel like outlining this in clear and transparent terms is an important part of having a continued dialogue on the topic with all of you.

In the meantime, please do join us each week for our Weekly Developer Streams for a direct way to ask the questions you want answered, or post in /r/GearsofWar or our official forums.

We’ll see you online.

TC