Ok folks, exciting changes happening today (may already be live as I type):
- All rifles being reverted to values they were at ship
- Stun on smoke grenades being converted to match melee stun (reduces stun from 2 seconds to 0.3 seconds)
- Stumble after falling from high distance also getting slight reduction in length (ongoing effort to remove bad stun issues from game)
- Smoke martyr being removed for reals (didn't take last time)
Thanks for your input!
So, it appears that one or two of you have noticed a couple changes to the game recently. I'm long winded, but I'll get to a list of changes below. Skip ahead if you're impatient, it won't hurt my feelings...
We hit this strange point of convergance where we had people off at GDC, and out for the Holiday weekend, and our DLC hit earlier than expected, and... anyway, enough excuses. It was a great opportunity to make some updates that could reach a broad audience, but it happened before we had a real chance to engage with you guys. This obviously led to some questions, and in a few cases, some good old fashioned rage. I like passion.
We want Gears to be a "living product". Over time, it will grow, and it will change. It will make mistakes, and (hopefully!) it will learn from them and be better because of it. Just like me and (dare I say it) you! But the main thing here is that we want this Gears to be a conversation. From the outset, we've wanted to make a game for you, and one that we'd want to play with you. So I'll say up front that if you ever have questions, concerns, or just want to chat Gears... you can absolutely feel free to contact me. Will I respond to every message I get? Nope! Will I read each and every single one? Yep! Raczilla, Flak, and our amazing team of community mods are all there, too. They want to talk to you. This isn't an invitation to spam, or harass, or complain. This is an invitation to start a real dialogue on how we can make Gears better. Together.
Still with me? Sweet! Here's the promised list. Apologies for not getting it out earlier:
- Execution now available as a gametype. Execution, I missed you. Desperately. Welcome back!
- Under the hood, Warzone has always been called TDM; this led to a bug in the menus where Warzone was actually showing up as an available option. No, it was not Warzone, it was a broken version of TDM thanks to a typo. Typo fixed, Warzone no longer showing up. (Sorry if we got your hopes up!)
- New map released. Look for Haven in standard MP!
- Mortar wasn't working properly on clients, so it was replaced by Torquebow (only affects Gondola). May be addressed properly in future patch.
- Frags were appearing in Execution under some conditions, so all base Frag pickups replaced by Smokes. This, too, is a temporary fix to keep the game moving, and will be addressed properly in a future TU. This also affects only Gondola. Poor Gondola has had a rough week.
- Boomshot appears to be horribly OP in Execution. Boomshot has therefore been temporarily removed from Execution gametype. Would love feedback here.
- Smoke nade count reduced from 2 down to 1 in Execution.
- Removed the ability to martyr smoke grenades. Executions are now fun in Execution again.
- Smoke cringe duration slightly reduced.
- Shortened lifespan of Stim grenades in standard MP. Overrun/Survival unchanged.
- Value of XP in all prize boxes increased.
OK, here's the more controversial changes. Feedback appreciated:
- Shortened the melee stun significantly, and added a very, very short delay after melee swing with the Gnasher. Note that Sawed Off now inherits from the Gnasher, so this change will affect both. Melee was getting more kills than all other weapons in the game combined, excluding the Gnasher.
- Lancer buffed (about a 15% increase). My gut says that's a bit much - and Pete is wary as well - but we wanted to let it play out a bit and see how it shifted the balance of gameplay. In the first week of release, approx. 80% of all kills in MP were from the Gnasher. (Were you one of the people who claimed this was going to be a Rifle only game? Eat your words! :P) I would love to hear your thoughts as to whether this is because the Gnasher is the preferred weapon (not a problem) or if the Gnasher is the only way to play because balance is off (a problem). Obviously, the true answer lies somewhere in the middle, but we should still look at it.
- Retro and HB both given a very, very, small buff (1 bullet fewer to kill with Retro, and a fraction of a bullet less (math is fun!) for the HB) to help them hang with the new and improved (?) Lancer.
I'm hoping to avoid gut reactions and assumptions here. Instead, we want to make decisions based of actual experience and data. So: Go ye forth and play. Then play more. THEN give us feedback. We'd love to hear it.