Rod Fergusson took to the internet yesterday via another Epic Games livestream to clarify some of the happenings behind-the-scenes for Gears of War 3 and answer some questions from the fans – and we don’t use the word “some” lightly.

After asking for questions before the stream, the comments on the Epic blog became overloaded with fans fielding angry questions and negative remarks about the DLC and microtransaction pricing – a huge issue surrounding the game’s release and one that Fergusson totally ignore. For those loving the game however, Rod focuses on the exciting stuff coming up.

Like Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 will of course be subject to plenty of event weekends with modified playlists, changes to horde mode and even changes to weapons. Some of the things Epic is considering:

  • Torquebow tag – users won’t be able to use shotgun or lancers like in Gears 2.
  • Shotgun only event – gnashers everywhere.
  • Hordemode weekends where the default difficulty or creatures will be changed.
  • Halloween-themed event.

The Horde Command Pack DLC – the first of four planned DLC packs as part of the Gears of War 3 DLC season pass – was unveiled on Tuesday, offering three maps, three character skins, a pair of weapon skins and several horde mode fortification upgrades. Rod detailed some features a little more and explained how the 250 gamerscore points can be earned.

  • The new sentry flame upgrade not only helps in horde mode, but it makes beast mode a lot more difficult since berserkers now can be taken down with much more ease.
  • New fortification type ‘Command Center’ is a “panic button” of sorts – hit that and call in reinforcements: Level 1 is a sniper team, level 2 is mortar strikes and level 3 is hammer of dawn strikes.
  • In the indoor maps (Checkout and Rustlung), since the roof prevents hammer and mortar attacks, these two levels are replaced with Onyx Guards who come in with boomshots and vulcans.

Achievements

  • 5 achievements for an easy 250 points:
  • “Host With The Most” – Host private horde mode session with full party of five (25).
  • “Places to See Places to Destroy” – Host private beast session with full part of five on a new DLC map (25).
  • “What Does This Button Do?” – Upgrade Silverback mech and use its rockets to kill 500 enemies (50).
  • “It’s Hammer Time” – Upgrade new command center fortification to its highest level (50).
  • “Kill Locusts Like a Boss” – Play horde mode on hardcore with a full part of five, all using Onyx Guard skin and defeat a boss wave (100).

The next DLC pack, which we’ll find out about as soon as the Horde Command Pack releases, will be campaign-focused and we can expect it in early December. It’ll add a new story with entirely new characters.

As for game tweaks and balancing, since Gears 3 has only been out for two weeks, Epic will not be coerced into taking any kneejerk reactions. They are very aware though of concerns over the sawed-off shotgun and will continue to monitor, same goes for the skill levels for horde mode.

Some other questions asked about Shriekers in beast mode and Rod explained that it is something they experimented with but flying and the problems it may cause with players attempting to fly out of the map, on indoor maps with the ceilings, etc., it simply caused too many problems. Another issue brought up was about the Vengeful medal which involves killing your nemesis – this will be adjusted to make it more realistic to achieve.

Last but not least is the green liquid skin promotion. Rod previously mentioned that the folks at Microsoft gave up their exclusive skin so that it can used in a promotion for everyone. That promotion of course is through the Jack in the Box restaurant chain and some complained that since it’s only available in 14 states and not internationally, that they do not have access – too bad, it’s literally not for everyone. Rod says use social networking to find someone close and grab a code for you… or spend $45 to buy all of the microtransaction skins in the game ($3-4 individually).

Find out more about the Gears of War 3 DLC and check out the screenshots if you missed them. Also, read out Gears of War 3 review to see why you should be playing this game.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

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