Welcome back to What’s Up, your weekly look at all things Gears.
Here’s What’s Up this week!
- The April 2018 Update is out now!
- Easter Event now active including Bunny Hunt and Juvie Madness
- Big Rig Dizzy (and some surprise Esports Skins) arrive later today
- New information on the reported Rank Drops in the community
- First 2v2 Event arrives in Late April
Our next Easter Event is out now bringing back fan favorite variant events and a new character to collect!
Big Rig Dizzy Returns
The one and only Dizzy returns with the classic Big Rig Dizzy character variant!
Following the feedback from the COG Cadet and Spectral Gear Packs, we’re going to try something different with this Gear Pack by offering both a 400 Credit and 2000 Credit Gear Pack simultaneously.
Our goal with this test is to see which kind of Packs you prefer – 3 Card Gear Packs at a lower Credit value or 5 Card Gear Packs at a higher Credit value. As we’ve mentioned on our Weekly Live Streams, this is part of our efforts to try different approaches with our Gear Packs and get your feedback!
Note: Big Rig Dizzy will be live at approx 2pm PT on Thursday to allow time for our Update deployment.
Bunny Hunt is coming back to Gears of War 4 after a year long hiatus! For those of you who missed it, Bunny Hunt is a Longshot Starts, EMBAR Pickups, no melee Guardian playlist where the leader is rocking a giant bunny head.
Leaders – beware of those bunny ears poking out from cover and giving away your position. There’s 5 scopes out there waiting to take you out!
Juvie Madness (known as Jingle Juvies at Gearsmas) is returning for our Easter Event along with two new Midnight Omen Skin loot drops - the coveted Gnasher and Boltok! Fight waves upon waves of Juvies with weakened fortifications and random enemy Boss Waves in this 25 Wave Variant of Horde.
Note: Midnight Omen Skin Rewards are now live, earlier than their expected arrival of 2pm PT.
Easter Egg Weapon Skin Set
We’re updating the half unwrapped chocolately goodness of last year’s Easter Egg Weapon Skin set to cover all 14 weapon skins. All 14 Easter Egg skins will be craftable using Scrap for the duration of the event – miss ‘em and they’re gone!
Reported Rank Drops
Over the past week, reports began to emerge in the community of Rank Progress or Rank Tier drops, sometimes even after a win.
Our team has spent the past week diving into a metric ton of detail and data – from individual player reports to bigger picture comparisons of our entire playerbase. Here’s just some of the aspects we investigated:
- Comparisons in Rank Gains / Losses between the past week and 5 other comparable weeks in Season 3
- Breakdowns by audience skill percentile to determine if this was impacting a certain segment of the skill curve
- Breakdowns per playlist to determine if there was anomalous behavior in a certain playlist
- Reports into the potential of users erroneously getting placed in lower tiers
- Individual user reports, especially those involving significant Tier or Ranked Losses
Thank you so much for your patience as we took the time to comprehensively investigate these reports with the level of attention they deserved.
Results of the Investigation
After a week of thorough investigation, the conclusion is that our Ranking System is working as intended. The extensive data research we’ve conducted across a variety of factors shows no abnormal or unexpected behavior in the system.
Through the investigation, we’ve identified factors at play that cause the seemingly odd player-facing behavior of winning a match only to see your Rank progress drop (more on that in a second). We absolutely recognize that this is a confusing experience for our players, and it’s something we’re thinking about how we can improve moving forward.
So why can my Rank drop significantly?
In the player reports we investigated (thank you to everyone who passed along your Gamertag), along with wider data research, we discovered two key factors in significant drops:
- At the beginning of each match, both team’s Skill Ratings are used to determine the likelihood of you winning or losing the match. This is then combined with individual factors that take into account if you are in a Squad, the size of that Squad, and how many Squads are on the other team.
For example, if you are a team of 5 going up against a team of individuals with equal Skill Ratings, the team of 5 will almost certainly have a higher ‘odds to win’ in the calculation.
The big gains and losses occur when the system is defied. If you lose a match you are expected to win, the impact will be much bigger than losing a match you are expected to lose – and vice versa.
In all of the user reports we investigated that involved major drops, the player was predicted with a significantly high chance of a win (one was even as high as 97%) and lost. In these situations, which the system determines are almost certainly a win, you can see a major drop in your Skill Rating (and therefore your Rank Progress or Tier).
- Season 3 is also the first time we’ve instituted multiple Diamond Rankings which has resulted in more fluctuations at the highest level.
With the tight Skill Ratings and small top percentile of players that make up Diamond, combined with the fact only a set number of players can be in a select Diamond tier at one time, this is even more noticeable for our best players. This also includes the potential to be de-ranked to Onyx. In previous seasons, once a player was in Diamond there was no visual indication of how they compared against other players so any rank changes were not noticeable.
Why did I drop when I won a match?
This was a concerning report for us to receive but one that we’ve been able to explain through this investigation.
Your Tier Progress is not reflected instantly in all cases after the completion of a match - this can be as long as 2 hours after completion. This can cause the impact of a significant loss to be seen immediately after a win, hence the reports we received. If the win was not a significant odds defying win, the net result can be a regression in your progress rather than progression.
We’ll continue to monitor any new reports that fall outside the explanations of our conclusion. If you’ve experienced any of the following cases, please tweet @CoalitionGears with info:
- You won 5+ matches in a row but continued to de-rank throughout
- You de-ranked fast from Onyx 2 to Gold 3, Gold 2 to Silver 3 or Silver 2 to Bronze 3
April 2018 Update
The April 2018 Update for Gears of War 4 is out now!
Our April Update focuses on introducing the necessary framework to support 2v2 game modes! We’re so excited to add this functionality as it unlocks us to run fan favorite special events like Brothers To The End, 2v2 Gnasher fights on Raven Down and more. We’re hope you are as excited as we are.
We’ll be launching the first of these events in late April after we finish testing. Stay tuned to What’s Up for all the latest on when the first 2v2 Event will hit Gears of War 4.
For full information including Update Notes, head to our official April Update Page.
Museum of Community Glory
For this week's MOGC, we're highlighting YouTube channel 'GoW-Series.com'! GoW Series is a great channel for finding super high quality 4K footage of all the latest skin releases and characters as they release. Check out a couple in the video below or head to their YouTube channel to pick your own!
Are you a Gears Video Creator in the community? Tweet a link to your channel to @CoalitionGears with #GearsMOCG for a chance to be featured next week!
Come In, Control
We’re out there in the community every day reading and responding to our fans. Here's the most notable updates from the team you may have missed this week.
- Cupid's Torque Bow Tag: Flaming Enforcer and Torque Bow Rewards are now deployed
- All purchasers of the Esports Supporter 8 Las Vegas Edition have been awarded the missing Emblem. Future versions of the Pack contain the emblem.
- We are continuing to work through the Challenge Reward Weapon Skins support thread on our forums.
- Missing Gears Esports Viewership Weapon Skins? Post here.
- Kill Trading in Core is being discussed at the studio.
- Looking into missing Season Pass map ownership on Windows 10. Post here if you are experiencing this.
- Banning any Windows 10 hackers or cheaters within days, and escalating repeat offenders for platform-level action.
- Continuing to work with our partners to get two notable Windows 10 issues resolved as soon as possible. Two known workarounds are posted here.
Join us later today for our Gears Weekly Live Stream to ask us your questions, hear more about the Rank Drop investigation and win some Big Rizzy Gear packs! We'll be live on live.gearsofwar.com at 3pm PT. See you there.