Gears of War 4 January 2018 Update

Our latest Update for Gears of War 4 arrives on January 11th 2018 featuring new Gear Packs, updates to prepare for Ranked Season 3, improvements to the Heavy Class and more.

Read on for full information including the first details on our next Gear Pack!

Ranked Season 3

Our next Ranked Season is upon us, with the switchover to Season 3 happening on January 18th! If you’re on that grind for your highest placement, you still have just under two weeks to fulfill those Gears aspirations. You can do it. We believe in you.

In Season 3, we’ll be taking the opportunity to make some playlist changes along with introducing an improved ‘end-game’ for those elite enough to be members of Diamond division. Diamond players who earn their starting Diamond Rank again will still have to grind to improve their Diamond Tier beyond the base level. Head to our announcement for the first details on Season 3.

Heavy Class Buff

Since the new Rise of the Horde skills and our latest Horde balancing pass, we've heard (and felt) the feedback from fans that the Heavy Class feels less potent than it once was.

While the Sniper is rewarded for very high precision damage as a high-risk-high-reward class, the Heavy is meant to deliver consistent bursts of big hitting area of effect damage with explosives or Heavy Weapons. However, especially at higher difficulties, Heavys have become less important (or even present) than they once were in the Class lineup.

Since many of the Heavy and Launcher type weapons require a decent to high level of exposure from cover to use, Heavy players can struggle to find consistent windows of opportunity to lay down their big multi-unit damage (especially at later waves). To give Heavy players the option to make the class more survivable, we're buffing both the Berserker and Last Stand cards.

Berserker
While carrying a launcher or heavy weapon you deal more damage as your health gets lower

  • Berserker now applies to holding Launchers (Boomshot, Dropshot etc) as well as Heavy Weapons

Last Stand
While carrying a launcher or heavy weapon you take less damage as your health gets lower

  • Last Stand now applies to holding Launchers as well as Heavy Weapons
  • Last Stand Level 1 from 25% ->35% Damage reduction
  • Last Stand Level 2 from 35% ->45% Damage reduction
  • Last Stand Level 3 from 45% ->55% Damage reduction
  • Last Stand Level 4 from 55% ->65% Damage reduction
  • Last Stand Level 5 from 65% ->75% Damage reduction
  • Last Stand Level 6 from 75% ->85% Damage reduction

Heavy Players should now have the option to harness this exposure from cover to lay down even more damage with Berserker or use Last Stand to be out of cover for longer / more often. Of course, you can also use both in your build!

New Gear Packs

There's still plenty more to come from Gear Packs in 2018, with new characters and weapon skins to collect every month.

We're kicking things off with our old friends the Swarm, who haven't had a new character skin for Multiplayer in quite some time. Allow us to introduce the latest addition to the multiplayer roster - the Heavy Scion.

The Heavy Scion and Heavy Scion weapon skin set will be available in our latest 400 Credit Pack beginning on Friday January 12th.

In line with our other recent changes, we also offer a real-money Mega Pack variant of this Gear Pack containing 10 Cards (plus a bonus Card) and a guaranteed Heavy Scion character.

Things We're Working On

The Live Team are continuing to work on a number of issues both internally and with our partners. While this isn't the full list, here are some of the bigger ticket items our team are focused on right now.

Kill Trades
We hear the feedback on Kill Trading and are continuing to evaluate the system in Gears 4.

In an online environment, Kill Trading is meant to provide equal conditions by allowing a tiny amount of time to check for kill shots from both players at close range. This number is in the double digit milliseconds.

This system compensates for travel time over the internet to ensure the first shot that gets to the server isn't automatically considered the winner. Basically, we're trying to avoid the person with the fastest internet winning 1v1 battles if both players fire at essentially the same time. If a killing shot does not return from the 'already dead' player within this window, no trade will occur.

While Kill Trading can be fustrating, we have seen a reduction in reports of situations where you landed a killing shot and didn't get awarded a kill.

With all that said, we are continuing to listen and evaluating all options. A server-side change launches with this Update that essentially reduces the Kill Trade window to zero (trades will only happen if both shots arrive at the same server tick) for Competitive playlists as a test case. We'll continue to monitor feedback to this latest change.

QoS Matchmaking
Since it's introduction, our data has shown Quality of Service matchmaking is providing better quality connection matchups than the region based system that came before it.

However, data isn't everything. We hear your feedback on Quality of Service - from long matchmaking waits (especially in low population regions and/or those far away from other regions) to difficulty finding a match at certain times of the day. As temporary support for players encountering this issue, we'll be posting a regionally focused 'Best Times And Modes To Play' guide to aid in these situations.

In the long term, we'll be looking at our QoS tuning and evaluating how we can improve the experience for our players around the world. Know that we are currently discussing this at the studio and assessing any potential next steps we may make.

Windows 10 Issues
We are still working on a resolution for two notable Nvidia / PC issues. Both the studio and our partners are working hard together to fix these issues as soon as we can. Thank you for your continued patience. If you are experiencing issues, head to this thread for two known workarounds to the problem.

Missing Reward Weapon Skins
We are looking into the reported Reward Weapon Skin issues - most notably for the Flaming Snub and Cluckshot weapon skins. The volume of issues for this was higher than expected, so we're looking into a broader solution rather than individual fixes for each user. We'll update players as soon as we can with more info.

Midnight Omen and Flaming Skins from Gearsmas are currently due to roll out as planned later this month, pending any issues we have resolving the currently missing skins for some users.

What To Expect In 2018

Whether you just picked up Gears of War 4 through Game Pass or you’ve been with us since day one, we know many of you are asking – what’s next for Gears of War 4? Will there be any more new content or events coming more than a year after release?

The answer to that question is a firm yes! While our major feature support and map drops have ended, our Live Team continues to be working hard on new content and fixes for the game. Here’s a little of what you can expect:

  • New Gear Packs containing characters and weapon skins to add to your collection
  • Monthly Versus and Horde events with exclusive challenge-based rewards
  • Major Seasonal events
  • Ranked Seasons with skill placement rewards
  • Gears of War Esports Season 2
  • New achievements

Coming up next, we have Classic One Shot One Kill on January 19th - and thanks to support added with this update - melee will be disabled for the first time EVER!

That's it for the January Update! We can't wait to head further into 2018 with big events like Valentine's Day, our first ever St Patrick's Day events and more. If you want the full Update notes, you can find them below.

Thanks for all your passion since Gears of War 4 released - keep the feedback coming, and we'll keep listening. Here's to many months ahead of Gnasher dueling, cross map Sniper headshots and inevitably forgetting to fully cap that home ring every now and again. Erk.

TC, out

Update Notes

  • Added support to disable melee in special event playlists
  • Added support for 5 Diamond Tiers in Season 3 (begins January 18th)
  • Horde: Heavy Class Berserker Card now applies to launchers
  • Horde: Heavy Class Last Stand Card now applies to launchers
  • Horde: Heavy Class Last Stand damage reduction at each Card level increased by 10%
  • Improved the MP dialogue for Anthony, Benjamin and Clayton Carmine
  • Anthony and Ben Carmine now have almost entirely seperate dialogue in MP to keep their personalities distinct
  • Anthony, Ben and Clayton Carmine will now say their legacy dialogue more often
  • Fixed a bug that caused JD, Kait and Dom to sometimes say incorrect dialogue under certain circumstances
  • The 'Pick Me Up' achievement completion percentage now works correctly
  • Miscellaneous fixes and improvements