Just a few hours ago Rod Fergusson – of Epic Games fame – released information of a huge new update affected multiplayer in Gears of War 2 (which is creatively named Title Update 6). We’ve got the scoop straight from the source, and the first change is an all new matchmaking option entitled Social Xbox Live. The new mode is open to those who have the downloaded maps and notably allows players to join matches that are already in session, a feature that is likely to appease many Gears enthusiasts.
Here’s the scoop on the improvements:
- You can join Social Matches in progress and can quit any time without penalty, although players who quit a match early don’t receive earned experience (XP) from that match.
- Social matchmaking lets your party join a match in progress. If a match is not found, your party hosts a new match, filling any empty player slots with bots.
- Social Matches automatically cycle to the next map without further matchmaking.
- Teams are rebalanced between matches based on XP level without splitting parties.
- If you quit, your spot is taken by a bot until a new player joins the match. That new player can join while the match is in progress.
- If you join a match in progress, you are assigned a team based on XP level and party size.
- If you join a match in progress, you replace a bot at the earliest opportunity: at the first bot’s death for respawning game types (for example, Annex) and at round completion for Warzone, Execution, and Wingman.
- Social leaderboards become part of the War Journal.
- Renames Public Matches to Ranked Xbox LIVE Matches to differentiate these from Social Xbox LIVE Matches, and adds some improvements to these matches.
- Improved host selection using bandwidth testing and previous hosting data has been added.
- Before the match begins, teams are balanced based on XP without splitting parties.
- Renames Private Matches to Custom Xbox LIVE Matches and makes these matches invite-only.
- Adds the ability to join Horde sessions that are in progress.
- In Social Horde, you can join a session in progress through matchmaking and you are able to continue your session from the last wave you failed without starting over.
- In Ranked Horde, you can join a session in progress only through invites.
- If you join a session in progress, at the end of the session you receive the score you achieved during the time you spent in the session.
- Improves the precision of weapon selection using the D-pad.
- Improves client-side hit detection for ballistic weapons.
While there are a ton of major updates Rod and the crew aren’t done yet, they’re just getting their lancers revved up. Epic has also fixed some annoying exploits that I know for sure have plagued many gamers.
The following problems will be patched:
- Execution rules could be ignored when using certain weapon types.
- On the Subway map, you could get outside of the playable environment by sliding into cover and rolling between a train car and the side of tracks.
- On the Blood Drive map, you could get outside of the playable environment in various locations.
- Players could grief other players on Submission, Annex, King of the Hill, and Guardian games by preventing the objective from being completed while racking up experience. Title Update 6 adds match time limits to each of these game types to prevent this practice.
There were also two general (and scary sounding) errors that have been fixed and I feel completely sorry for anyone to get hit by that first one:
- An issue that could cause your profile to be overwritten, erasing XP level, and achievement progress.
- An issue that could cause a campaign save slot to be overwritten if you previously chose to continue without saving and then signed in.
Lastly, there was some tinkering with balancing, which is coming out a bit later, but in reality only the first change is really going to affect things.
- Changes the Gnasher Shotgun pellet pattern to increase hit consistency.
- Changes the Guardian game type to select the leader based upon XP level (highest to lowest).
Rod stated on his Twitter that the update doesn’t yet have Microsoft Confirmation, but you can expect it to be coming within the next few weeks. See you online!
Source: Rod Fergusson