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Fine Tuning Gears 3 with Ten New Sensitivity Settings

March 3, 2012

Let me say that Epic Games has an ass backwards method of informing their playing community of any updates and changes to the game. Instead of using their official community forums to dessiminate information, they opt to social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. In order to glean any upcoming information about the game, gamers have to follow a dozen individuals and sift through useless information like what color their crap was, what their pet dog did, etc. to get anything pertinent. Talk about inefficiency at its best. That just proves that they’re more interested in driving their egos in soliciting followers & hits than using the normal & most effective means of informing their community- their very own forums.

With that rant out of the way, Pete Knepley (aka Pete Nub), senior gameplay designer, just informed the community via Twitter that they’ve just added ten additional levels to the game’s sensitivity settings effective immediately. You’ll forgive me if I don’t link his Twitter comment because I don’t want to feed the problem. Instead of the maximum level settings of twenty to Look, Targeting, and Zoom, respectively, they will now be thirty. Epic is working hard to modify the initial version of Gears 3 to accommodate the pro players. They experimented with removing stopping power, creating playlists that remove the Hammerburst, Retro Lancer, & Sawed Off, and reimplemented the Guardian gametype. If you didn’t know, MLG did not opt to include Gears 3 on their winter schedule, neither was MW 3. That’s Epic’s main driving reason for making all of these “improvements” in the attempt to get it on the MLG playlist. As long as Epic is trying to proactively improve the game, I’m all for it. They’re already working on improving the private match features (which is great for us), but nothing has been officially announced. Figures…

  1. March 3, 2012 10:58 am

    Great post! I must admit that I never bother checking their community news page because you hear updates much quicker on Twitter. I don’t agree with this, but this seems to be the new trend. Do you think they want in MLG? Pete didn’t seemed phased by Gears not making the cut to MLG this coming season.

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 3, 2012 11:09 am

      I think that part of Pete’s posterity was to save face and part of it was truth. As long as community-driven tournaments such as Hypefestation & EGL exist, I think that Gears 3 has a good chance in maintaining gamers’ interests. In my opinion, Gears 3 translates very well, as in terms of “watchability.” The game is entertaining to watch due to the visceral nature of the game, pacing, and overall gameplay. Seriously, what other game out there elicits hand over the face “WTF?!?” moments like the Gears franchise? I could really care less if Gears 3 ever gets approved for MLG. My ulterior interests lies in Epic’s commitment on improving the Private Match features because they also translate to LAN-settings which is what competitive tournies use. I want to see the dead room, map rotation selection, and ability to switch teams after each match return like Gears 1 had.

  2. March 3, 2012 11:32 am

    Great post, and your follow up comment to Numbuk was also enlightening.

    I agree that Epic would definitely want their game in MLG. MLG has been taking off the past few years, and the gaming industry has always had trouble getting gamers to buy their games after the first couple of months or so. There’s usually a slump in sales after the launch.

    MLG seems like a great way to promote and reignite interest in your game months after it’s been out. I’d be interested to see if there’s a correlation between appearing on MLG and a boost in sales.

    Anyway, great discussion. I feel your frustration about Twitter. I suppose it’s just one of those things we’ve got to get used to. The information will be thrown into an article by someone eventually, but Twitter offers instantaneous news.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 3, 2012 5:10 pm

      Thanks for the comment, mikereverb! You pose an interesting question on the correlation of increased sales due to MLG coverage. Although it’s never safe to assume, a game’s longevity & relevance does depend on word of mouth & the ability to stay in the limelight. Hmmm, very interesting.

      I’m not sure if MS & Epic would see an increase in sales if MLG picked up Gears for the next upcoming season because Gamestop & other used game establishments undoubtedly have a sizable stock in the game since people have traded it in. Epic can thank the Sawed Off shottie for that. 😦

  3. Kenai 91 permalink*
    March 3, 2012 11:54 am

    My amp goes to 11…

  4. 3Suns permalink*
    March 3, 2012 8:42 pm

    Thanks for the saving us the hassle of having to wade through twitter entries. Great pic, too.

    Over time, I have become convinced that a significant part of the magic of Gears 1 was the accidentally innovative private match set-up. (I say “accidentally” simply because Epic was honest about their rush to tack on MP in 3 months. I don’t think they realized they were making lightning in a bottle.) Anyway, having the players spectate and engage in team cross-talk in the “valley of death” while they watch their teammates duke it out for victory is a stroke of genius, and something that I haven’t seen in any other game (probably because most have respawning). Moreover, options to set up weapon swaps and map selection and rotations empowered the gamers and for the host, it felt analogous to making a mix CD for a friend. Then, having it all automatically work, provided us with the “tools” to have hours and hours and hours of uninterrupted fun, even with substitutes jumping in and out between matches.

    Though RoBBins isn’t a fan of private matches anymore (and I don’t hold that against him), if Epic were to add these “features”, it would be a windfall for private match gamers.

    While they are at it, if they could provide a couple of weapon setting options, that would be cool, too: fuse settings on Grenades, toggleable stopping power, and of course, extensive weapon swap options. We could actually build entire communities of gamers with those kinds of features and options.

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 4, 2012 10:15 am

      You are definitely correct in Epic’s “lightning in a bottle,” Mike. In their desperation to get the MP feature out, they instinctively implemented those features because they made sense. The following iterations were mucked up because they screwed with the “formula” in an effort to improve it. Think “New Coke” vs. original formula. Yeah, FUBAR, right? It goes to show that when you try to over think something, you lose that essence that made the original so special in the first place.

      As you already know, Epic hamstrung themselves by only providing themselves with eight slots for game playlists. Well, they did the same exact thing with options slots in private match settings. Yep, it’s just a comedy of errors. The Halo franchise has always benefitted from a multitude of selectable features that the host can toggle to fashion their desired game. Well, that’s Bungie for you, give players the ability to make the game they want to play to a certain extent. Epic, on the other hand, wants you to play the game like they want you to. They think big head and laugh track mutators were enough to “customize” game play experiences while taking away basic features that captured people’s excitement in Gears 1. Half baked ideas with the Ghost Camera that gets stuck on practically every piece of geometry barely received a makeover from Gears 2. The list just goes on. As in regards to weapon options, that already exists. We just haven’t played around with them because many of us shudder on the days when there were Boomshots everywhere on the map to appease a few individuals. I know that you’re not a fan of the Ink Grenades, but Cornie & Johann were owning people with them, especially on the Academy map. We can play around with the weapon locations on the next FoD. 🙂

    • March 4, 2012 10:32 am

      I love ink! Its totally over powered, if your remotely close to one and get stunned 8/10 times you get downed by others. It makes me laugh on public when people are fighting over ‘boom’ or ‘nades’. Not many seem fussed about ink, its totally underated in my opinion. Great pick up! 🙂

  5. March 4, 2012 12:28 am

    I could handle the stopping power of the Lancer, providing they put a cap on level 25 or 50 for using the S/O.

  6. RoBBins0096 permalink*
    March 4, 2012 5:48 pm

    I thought that the max sensitivity being 20 was perfect. I havent tried out maxing everything to 30, but it seems completely stupid to be adding something so small like this to the game. Worry about bigger things like possible future DLC, Title Updates, and fine tuning weapons CORRECTLY. (see Retro Lancer update for examples of how they fine tune weapons INcorrectly). Just my 2 cents on the matter. They dont need to be adding stuff like this when they could be working on making the game better. Instead, they tweet about how the sensitivity increase will help wall bouncers. EPIC fail, Epic. Pun fully intended. /endrant

  7. March 4, 2012 9:43 pm

    I wouldn’t blame epic for not using their forums. They are the least community building tools right now with all the flame wars and rant fueled posts for every news piece they put out.

    They know they will not be winning over many new players, no matter what DLC comes out next, and now they are back to just keeping those that are still playing the game.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep adding colors to the ranks. Or do a bunch of little updates that at the end might prove to be irrelevant. It won’t make the whole theme of “What went wrong with Gears?” go away, which happens almost each night the game is played.

    Will having private matches fix it? It might be better for community building in general, which the franchise desperately needs, but at the same time it’s the constant stream of public matches and competition what drives players to get better, otherwise it wouldn’t really matter if you are playing bots or humans on your way to the next colorful rank.

    but honestly the franchise just won’t last. As time goes by and more games come out that further shrinks the community it will get harder to play execution or other less played gametypes in ranked.

    wether it was weapons in the game or whatever other reason, for me is just that Gears just isn’t in the same level as other games out right now, and Epic’s best game and kitchen sink just pales in comparison to what is out now, and I am definitely not getting into the “Maybe Gears 4 will fix this” bandwagon.

    what I am going back to caring is that Horde is fun, Beast is fun and the campaign is fun to run though when bored.

  8. Euan permalink
    March 5, 2012 4:57 am

    Its a bad move that only gives an advantage to a small minority of players who can handle the insanely twitching aiming. Gears 1/2 gave eeveryone a limited look speed and real skill shined through as people did what they could with the tools available. Now it becomes too fast and twitchy and gives the advantage to people who can handle the faster aim. Just my opinion and i think i’ll keep mine abetween 20-25 as its much more controllable

  9. March 5, 2012 5:28 am

    Don’t play Gears, but this comment popped out at me:

    “Epic is working hard to modify the initial version of Gears 3 to accommodate the pro players… That’s Epic’s main driving reason for making all of these “improvements” in the attempt to get it on the MLG playlist. As long as Epic is trying to proactively improve the game, I’m all for it.”

    In my experience, catering to the professional or competitive players is not the same as improving the game for all. In fact, it often is not in the interest of the masses. Comp players have different priorities than everyone else.

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 5, 2012 5:17 pm

      Let me explain a bit more in-depth about what I meant. You see, the “pro” players have been lobbying Epic to reimplement those aspects that made Gears 1 successful in the first place such as no stopping power, title updates that also affect LAN settings, no Sawed off shotgun & Retro Lancer weapons, dead room, map rotation setup, classic stalemates, and the ability to switch teams without returning back to the menu. With every iteration, Epic removed those features for whatever reason only to place them back in due to pressure from the community. Although I agree that games that cater to professional/competitive players often lead to games that alienate the general gamer mass, this isn’t the case concerning Gears 3. Since you don’t play Gears, you wouldn’t know the context of where I’m coming from. Epic has slowly started to reimplement the features that captured the “lightning in a bottle” sentiment due to the pressure from pro & casual gamers alike. For that, I’m thankful that Epic is at least making changes that will improve the overall game for everyone despite their ulterior motive of getting it on the MLG playlist.

  10. Blankman permalink*
    March 5, 2012 9:05 pm

    Here are the flythroughs for the five maps in the ‘Forces of Nature’ DLC 4 (YouTube won’t allow embedding, so click on the bottom right hand corner of the vid to watch it on YouTube).

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