What’s Up – October 21st 2019

Halloween Approaches!

The nights are getting colder, and All Hallows Eve grows closer. It’s time for Halloween to haunt Gears 5 Versus!

Pumpkin Ball

For two weeks beginning this Tuesday, Pumpkin Ball will arrive for the first time in Gears 5!

For those of you who didn’t experience our final version of Pumpkin Ball in Gears 4, Pumpkin Ball is a Dodgeball variant where the dead just won’t stay dead.

DBNO players will self revive almost instantly, making this one all about classic zombie movie traits – aim for the head or blow ‘em to pieces. Any players brought back from the dead will come back instantly in Pumpkin Ball, so be prepared for enemies to appear out of the blue at a moment’s notice.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without our oversized Juvie Pumpkin Heads.

Special Event Reward

Frankenstein’s Imago Character Skin

Fighting the undying dead comes with its own rewards– the Frankenstein Imago! Unlock this special Halloween character skin by completing 13 matches of Pumpkin Ball before the event is over.

Don’t forget to track your unlock progress in the new Tour Medals section for Pumpkin Ball.

More to Come

The Halloween festivities don’t end next week. Next Tuesday, we’ll announce our new Horde Event – The Mad Man’s Monsters, with 13 Jack-O-Lantern weapon skins to earn!

Build Us Your Scariest Escape Hives!

Finally, we want to feature some of the scariest Escape Hives you can conjure up with Map Builder!

For a chance to be featured at the top of the in-game Map Builder Browser and get some sweet rewards, send us a quick line about your spooky-themed Escape Hive along with the Map ID via Twitter to @GearsofWar with the hashtag #HauntedHive!

Markza Tuning Changes

As we continue to tune refine our Multiplayer balance, our attention has turned to the Marzka based on continued feedback from launch.

Beginning with our weekly reset on Tuesday at 10am PT, the following Marzka changes will take place:

  • Reduced body damage by 30%
  • Removed active reload effect for weapon rate of fire (was 25%)
  • Added active reload effect for bullet damage (25% increase)
  • Increased initial recoil by 30%
  • Reduced recoil & recovery speed by 20%

We talked to Jamie MacTaggart, Gameplay Design Lead, about the intention behind these changes:

“The Markza has been over-performing beyond it’s intended design, especially in Escalation and ranked matches. We wanted to maintain the effect of headshots – 3 to kill – but increase the skill gap with how easy it is to land them in succession.

To do this, we removed the rate of fire increase on actives (shared with other assault rifles) and put the bonus into damage per round, bringing it in line with other precision weapons like the Boltok and Longshot. We also increased the recoil strength and recovery time, putting more pressure on the shooter to control their recoil and maintain their target between shots.

The final change reduces the base damage, increasing the amount of body-shots to kill by 1, from 4 to 5. An active magazine, however, will reduce this back to 4 for the duration.

Headshots to kill will remain at 3 across the board, but the margin for error is increased as each shot takes off less overall health, so team fire becomes more important when supporting the Markza shooter. Active headshots deal more damage and ultimately allow for a combination of 2 head shots and 1 body shot to finish someone off.

As always, we are looking at gameplay balance across the game based on your feedback and will have more to share soon. We’ll also be monitoring this Marzka change closely to assess its impact on the weapon.

Foundation Enters Matchmaking

Earlier this month, we asked the community to pick which Classic Gears map they would like to see to enter matchmaking. Foundation was the clear winner of our poll, and will enter the matchmaking rotation at our weekly reset at Tuesday, 10am PT.

By beginning with one map, we are giving all our players the opportunity to continue to provide feedback. We know our audience goes way beyond who we talk to online, and we want to take everyone into account.

If the response is good, we’ll look at adding more classic Gears 4 maps into the matchmaking pool!

Terminator Dark Fate Horde Event

T-800s march towards the camera, lancers out

The onslaught of the machines begins with the Terminator Dark Fate Horde Event!

Running until October 29, this special Horde event pits COG Heroes against waves of Rev-9s, T-800s, Kestrels and Trackers.

Complete special Medals in the new Terminator: Dark Fate Tour panel to earn exclusive Terminator: Dark Fate content including a new Blood Spray, Mark and Banner!

See Terminator Dark Fate in theaters beginning November 1.

Escape

This week’s new Escape Hive is known as The Labyrinth. And it’s filled with Wardens. Yup.

In this Hive, you’ll need to manage multiple Wardens at once to make it out alive. At higher difficulties, where the Wardens become invincible, finding ways to lock them into the various rooms throughout the Hive – and quick enough – will be your only way out.

(P.S – With the Invincible Warden Modifier off, this is a great place to get those Warden Kills for your Warden Totem!)

Supply Content Drop

Supply Drops are another way to earn rewards in Gears 5, dropping you content from the Supply Pool every time you fill your Supply meter just by playing the game!

Here’s this week’s drop of Supply content available at our weekly reset:

Weapon Skin: Art Deco (Longshot)

Weapon Skin: Relaxed (Boomshot)

Expression: No (Global)

Execution: Hammer Away (Dropshot)

Bloodspray: King Crown

Mark: Bomb

Banner: Cole Train

Weekly Store Items

This week’s Weekly Store Items get in the spirit of Halloween with two new Character Skins and the Jack-O-Lantern Loadout Weapon Skins!

Weekly Store Rotation

Skeleton Kait Character Skin
Inside Out COG Gear Character Skin
  • Skeleton Suit Kait Character Skin – 800 Iron
  • Inside Out COG Gear Character Skin* – 800 Iron
  • Jack-O-Lantern Loadout Weapon Skin Set – 400 Iron
  • Retro Wave Longshot Weapon Skin – 250 Iron
  • Crosshair Mark – 50 Iron

* The Inside Out COG Gear skin can be acquired with or without the COG Gear Character unlocked. In order to use the skin, you MUST unlock the COG Gear separately. The skin will not provide access to the COG Gear Character.

Note: The Halloween Content will also be available in the Store under a Halloween Tab next week at the same prices. The Store will still refresh with new content next Tuesday.

Signing Off

That’s it from us this week! The team is continuing to work hard on fixes and improvements for our upcoming Title Update in early November, with even more to come with our huge Operation 2 Launch in December.

We won’t keep you waiting too long to find out more about what to expect from Operation 2. New modes, new maps, new Characters and more await.

See you online,

TC, out.