November 13, 2008

gears of war 2: broken?

Okay... so here is the topic for debate for the evening. I'm up late playing GOW2 and my buddy and I were talking about the mulitplayer and how we think it's broken. I've been looking around for other people who have thought the same thing and 95% of the hardcore Gears of War 1 players (like myself and my buddy) fucking hate this new multiplayer. It's just broken. Let me list off the things that I feel are broken in this game.

1. Chainsaw battles. You are so vulnerable when this is happening that you can get sniped, boomshotted or anything else when you're in one. Then you have to tap B as hard as you can and if you and your opponent tie, it starts all over. Then it's a race to see who can chainsaw someone the fastest. To me, that's bullshit.

2. The shotgun. Now, this was everyone's favorite weapon in Gears 1 and shotgun battles were always fun. But now, the shotgun has such terrible shots that it's hard to do anything. One match my shotgun will be super dope (and I'm not host) and the next it will take 7 shots to kill someone. Also, when someone is running at you with a chainsaw, you can't stop them with the shotgun. It doesn't even faze them. It's like the chainsaw is invincible in this one. But this is what Cliffy B wanted, right?

3. The shield. The shield is invincible. You can boomshot a shield wielder, you can torque a shielder, and you can snipe a shielder. Nothing will kill him. Expect a chainsaw. However, read point #2.

4. The maps. This is personal opinion though but I hate all the maps in the game save for 6. Five of them are maps from the first Gears. Blood Drive is the dopest map in the game. Two of the maps, Hail and Avalance, have shitty elemental damage that doesn't make sense. Yeah, let's have razorhail come out of nowhere and kill everyone. See, in Garden in Gears 1, you could turn the gas on and off. Same with Bullet Marsh. You could turn the darkness off and Kryll the fuck outta someone. This shit pisses me off.

5. Matchmaking. This is one of the many things I cannot stand. Yes, I like the party system but didn't Cliffy want to eliminate the team stacking? The party system is a clan's dream. You could be playing an entire clan and you have four complete strangers playing with you. Also, the matchmaking takes, like, an hour to connect and then half the time you lag out of games and have to wait another 10 minutes for the fucking game to start.

6. Weapons. Is it necessary to have a Mortor gun, a sniper, a boomshot, and a hammer of dawn in one map? I mean, the power weapons in this game are ridiculous. Also, the swapping weapons in the map annoy me. One moment the weapon will be the sniper. The next round, you hope to grab the sniper again and it's the torque bow. Not that I hate the torque because I'm dope with it but it just annoys me.

Anyways, what do you think? I'd love to hear Sin's thoughts on this and if there is anything else please let me know your concerns or praise for the game. I will still play the multiplayer because I think that I'm in denial because I love Gears so much. I don't know. After the jump, though, is an angry letter from a Gears fan that sums up all my thoughts into one genius letter. There are many others on the forums that you can read with the link I've applied right before the letter. I hope they patch this but I'm afraid it's too broken to be patched.

You can cover scars with makeup but you can't get rid of them forever.

- MX

Topic from StLouisAssassin from the Official Gears Of War 2 Message Board


Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ray and I am an avid XBox gamer. I bought my Xbox about 2 months before GoW 1 came out. Up to that point, I had never been part of an online gaming community. That all changed with Gears of War. I became engrossed so quickly. I even tried the clan and MLG route for the extra competitive nature! I bled Crimson red. As I write this letter, I look to the right on my desk and see 9 7-inch figures (Marcus, Dom, Cole, Baird, Carmine, 2 Therons, a Drone, and a Sniper Drone). I look to the left, and on top of my CD rack I see a replica lancer that I willing dropped $130 because it embodied everything I loved. That lancer was to me what a replica light saber is to a Star Wars fan. I waited with so much anticipation for November 7th. It seemed like it would never come. When it did, I immediately poured through the campaign. It was longer. It was better! It even created some emotional reactions...something no game has ever done for me. Once I made my way through, it was on to Horde. Another homerun! It was fast paced and challenging. By wave 10, things were crazy and hectic. It was exciting. And working with 4 other friends was great fun. Once it was beaten, it was time to move on to the real bread and butter...multiplayer. For the past two years, I have played Gears non-stop. I tried other games...CoD4...H3...Rainbow 6...GRAW...TF2..But nothing could satisfy my desire for headshots, curb stomps, and bodies being blown apart into messy gory chunks. I loaded up multiplayer, expecting to see 10 new maps (some I would like and some I probably wouldn't...that's natural), and some game play tweaks to address inherent problems in Gears 1'1 programming. I even bought in to the hype of stopping power and smoke grenade stuns. I can honestly say now, having achieved a four-stripe ranking, how I truly feel about your sophomore effort.

We will start with the good. MOST of the maps are designed fairly well. I don't agree with environmental damage, such as avalanche or hail, but I can still stand the maps. They do seems to have lost some of that "detail" but I will let this slide assuming it enhances either the destructible cover and somehow helps reduce lag. Remaking 5 of the old maps was a nice touch too.

Sadly, that is where the good ends and the bad begins. The first problem, and one of the biggest, is the new matchmaking system. The first problem is the time it takes to get a game going. From the menu, you choose Multiplayer and get a loading screen. You get your friends and search for a match...another loading screen. You then get put in the lobby with the other players...another loading screen. The game then loads and you get put in the map with about another 20-30 second wait for the match to begin. It can take 4-5 minutes to just get in a match. Now, supposedly, this is all done in the name of reducing lag by matching up players with similar connections. I have yet to see anything like this! And heaven forbid the host should quit. You will then have another 5 minute wait for another match. Plus I would venture to say that about 20% of the games I have been in have had at least one player lag out of the game. Finally, although I don't agree with the loss of public rooms (I thought this was great about Gears 1), I don't understand why I must go through all these loading screens over and over when in a private match with my friends. Why can't I set a map cycle and just play without all the waiting and loading? You really did have a great system with Gears 1...all you had to do was allow people to go into the old "ranked" rooms with parties. Instead you've turned this game into another version of Halo 3. But here is a news flash Cliffy. A lot of us play this game because it is NOT H3. We like that it differentiated itself from that bunny-hopping piece of garbage.

As if the Matchmaking wasn't frustrating enough, the disappointment only mounts when you actually get into a game and deal with the new "style of play". Before even getting into any weapons, let me talk about player movement. I am not sure what it is, but movement now seems choppy. Everything in Gears 1 felt more fluid and natural. Now I run and I am glitching in front of and behind the guy in front of me. I side roll down some stairs on Gridlock, and suddenly I am stuck in midair. The game no longer has that fluidness to it that made movement seems so smooth. Now when I try to jump backwards, sometimes I will and sometimes I won't. And heaven forbid I am evading a pursuer and need to climb a ledge. I don't know what you did to the ledges in this game, but jumping over one is an exercise in futility!!!

Now assuming you can overlook the crap matchmaking and weird movement, you can start playing the game. Get ready to spend most of it on your ass. Take my most recent match on Gridlock. Every round saw 3 guys on the other team rushing mid tower and taking turns chucking smoke nades to lay us on our ass while the others rushed in for either clean up kills, or to grab the power weapons because we were forced to hang back. And heaven forbid I got stunned at the top of the stairs. Then I'd get caught in some weird glitch where rather than being down for 2-3 seconds, I was down for 5-10 while I waited for my body to float down the stairs, only rising to my feet when I had reached the very bottom! As I said earlier, I was on board in the teaser videos with this "improvement". Now that I have seen it in action, I can say it is a bust. There is nothing more frustrating than getting blown on your ass and watching helplessly as a guy rushes you with his shotty to jib you as you slowly rise up. Maybe you will survive if you aren't floating down stairs or are lucky enough to not get the glitch where you have to get up twice! And god help you should another smoke nade come in 5 seconds after the last one so you can get blown to the ground again before you even fully get up from the first one. And lord really help you if you want to play a new game type like Annex or KOTH!!! You'll spend more time on your butt and standing up to get jibbed than you will doing anything else. Kill the other team and what is your reward. Five respawners, all charging, smokes in hand to lay you on your butt and scoop up and easy kill. What a reward! And since we are talking about nades, let's talk about the wall tagging. I thought this would be awesome. I was remembering the old days of Goldeneye and the proximity mines in the facility map. Sadly, it just doesn't translate well. Especially when you take a game type like Wingman. The great thing about Gears 1 was how fast paced it was. If you were slow you were dead. Now the winning team is the one willing to camp, smoke and regular nades stuck in random walls. And heaven help me should I be the one pushing the action only to come around a corner and have some randomly placed grenade form 3 minutes earlier in the match splat me and my partner. If the point in nerfing the shotgun (something I'll discuss in a bit) was to reward skill, then explain how me getting killed by a nade from someone who was dead 2 minutes ago, because he spawned by nades and put one in some random wall, is skill. I don't want to have to inspect every wall and search every room I enter. If I wanted that experience, I'd play SoCom or Rainbow 6!

Now let's talk weapons. The first one is fairly obvious...the shotty. Love it or hate it, the shotty IS Gears. Let's all be honest. The shotty is to Gears what the BR is to Halo. It defines the game. I agree with everyone who complained about its randomness. And that was something rightfully adjusted. But the totally nerfing of the gun is inexplicable. I have shot guys, middle of my reticule, multiple times point-blank, only to be chainsawed or meleed by a hammerburst. You say the reason you did this was because the game wasn't being played the way you envisioned. Well that's not fair to all of us who played it for the past 2 years, keeping it in the top 10 (usually the top 5) of all games played over XBL. Sometimes visions have to change Cliffy. For your game to sty top 5 after two years should tell you something. Maybe you didn't intend the game to be played the way it was. And if that is the case, consider yourself lucky. You were searching for silver and instead found gold! I watched over the past two years as new games rose up on the most played list, only to fall off after the novelty was gone. And through all that. Through all the new games...both single and multi...Gears was there in the top 5 holding it strong. Although I've ventured for a bit, let me return to my point about the shotty. The point is that taking the randomness out of it was good. People want to be rewarded for accuracy, not be subject to a game decision. By fixing this you had fixed what was wrong with the shotty in Gears! Many times a guy strafing with lancer would down a shotgunner, just as often as the shotgunner could jib the lancer sprayer. All you needed was to make the game consistent. Not nerf one of the best up close guns to the point where it was almost useless.

What is even more annoying about the shotgun is its effectiveness against someone who wants to run at me with his chainsaw revved. For some reason the stun and drop from revving the chainsaw is either gone or extremely hard to make happen. I don't understand why. I can't name the number of times I've found myself between two guys, shotguns drawn, and have made a desperation roll and chainsaw rev just to take one of them with me. Every time I do this I know it is not skill. I know I will die for chainsawing the guy. But technically I shouldn't even take one of them with me. I am able to take advantage a big game play flaw though and get something before I am taken apart. I know you love your chainsaw Cliffy. I think it is pretty cool too. I look to my replica lancer on my left and think "sweet!". But just because it is cool is not a reason to change the way your entire game plays. Most of us play a shooter to shoot. Yes occasionally a chainsaw is called for and used as such. But these guys revving through my shotgun shots or my flamethrower and chainsawing me are annoying.

These are my biggest complaints. The matchmaking, the glitchy ledges, wall tagging, smoke concussive blasts, nerfed shotgun and over powered chainsaw have gone a long way to ruin what was an amazing online experience. I would have never thought there was ANY way Epic could screw this up. It was not conceivable. I should have known better I guess. Maybe Gears 1 was lightning in a bottle and you aren't capable of making an experience like that again. I don't know. There is so much more I could about. Problems with the voice servers again (like in the first one). I played in a game today...Guardian on Gridlock..where my team could all hear me, but only one player on my team could talk to me. And the inability to hear the lobby after the round is over? Weren't these problems that were in the first game and had to be addressed? How can something like that get past play testing??? Also the weapon sliding is back as well. Perhaps rather than testing your games in labs, it would be worth your money to hire a few of these exploit gamers and have them test your game in the real world (off of lag-free local linking). Beyond these glitches, things in Gears 1 that you obviously did not learn from, I would also question what you have done to the sniper. It was such a prolific weapon. It really was equal with the Torque Bow in terms of power. In fact it as often fun to watch a good Torquer battle a good Sniper! Actives rarely downed me, and that was because I wasn't stupid enough to stand in the open. Now the sniper is only good for headshots, and game play tweaks including the screen shaking and bullet fire obstructing your aiming have made the weapon useless. In Gears 1 I would have taken the Sniper over anything other than the boomshot. Now I'll take the Torque over the Sniper any day of the week (on a positive note, the Torque headshots are sick and was a nice addition!). There were so many other ways you could have addressed this weapon. The ability to crawl did a lot to address it in fact. Add that with perhaps a reduction in ammo (to like 6 or 7 bullets) and it would have been fine the way it was. As it is now, it is about as useless as the boltok was in Gears 1. And since I mentioned the boomshot, let's talk about the change you made to that! It is good that you fixed the problem of it not being effective sometimes when shot. It works great now. But the last thing it needed was an extra shell. Two was plenty and this change was totally unnecessary.

I could go on and on but the last thing I will mention is the shield. Now I think the meatshield was an excellent idea. It's really neat and works well in the multiplayer. The shield on the other hand is an overpowered force to be reckoned with. Your only choice when you encounter a guy with a shield is to run. There is absolutely no way to harm him. I have even used this to my advantage and will admit it was cheap when I did it. On a wingman match on Avalanche, the lone guy left grabbed boomshot. I immediately grabbed the shield. Everyone watched with amazement as I absorbed one shot direct on, and two placed by my feet..with no damage incurred! The next round, my partner and me found ourselves on the opposite end of this, only with the Torque instead of the boom since the weapons cycle. My partner torqued the guy’s foot, but he absorbed it since he was holding the shield.

I really could go on and on Cliffy. I know many wait, hoping a patch can fix this game, but honestly, I believe it is so broke that a patch may not be able to fix what is wrong. After all we are talking about core game play mechanics, not just random exploits. Whether things like this are fixable by "title updates", I do not know. But this much I can tell you. I am your market. I am your target gamer. I heard an Epic employee the other day allude to figuring out ways to ensure that gamers buy the game, rather than pirating or renting, because you don't make money off of these things. This much I can tell you. As it stands now, Gears 3 would be a rental for me. I'll beat the story and return the game. There isn't much in Gears 2 to make me want to come back for the next two years, religiously, like the way I did with Gears 1. Lately your forums have exploded with gamers like me..hardcore Gears fans...upset at what you have done to the experience. I hope you will truly take these voices to heart. I understand that some people out there enjoy the game as it is now. Those gamers are not the ones that have been playing for the past 2 years. This is the voice of your most hardcore fans speaking out here. Please do the right thing. We all expected so much. Please fix what is wrong.


aka StLouisAssassin
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1 comment:

  1. I agree with some of the things that people have complaints about.

    First off, the biggest one for me at least is the matchmaking. I can appreciate that they were going for something different, and honestly... with a few tweaks I wouldn't mind it much at all.

    I think if they fix the matchmaking process and speed of it (which they reportedly are) it won't be such a problem.

    Now, the thing I do hate the most about it is the lack of choice. See, some of the gametypes are put into their own catagories like elimination, territories and the like, so you actually have to VOTE on which match type you want. Yes, vote on what game I want to play which is bullshit. It's fine doing it for maps as that keeps things fresh but for actual game types? It's dumb.

    If I want to play Execution, I don't want to go through a game of Warzone or Guardian to actually get the chance to play it. I just want to fucking play it. The same also goes for Annex. I don't want to go through Meat Flag or King of The Hill to play it, that wasts my time and it feels like I don't have a choice in what I want to play when I earned that right when I fucking bought the game.

    Fix it. Fix it now, I HATE having to vote for gametypes.

    Now. My second gripe about multi is the smoke grenades. They don't live up to their name at all. They should be called Silvas named after Anderson Silva because they knock you the fuck down all the time, sometimes even in bullshit ways. I mean, do you even see that much smoke coming outta those things now like in Gears 1? Nobody uses 'em for cover at all, because they're designed poorly now. They are devices for a technique called (and MX has heard me name 'em this) Smoky Shotgun when you throw 'em at your opponents (usually the Annex point) and you go in and rape them with the shotgun as they lay on their back like a whore.

    Those need fixed, pronto. For one, don't make the blast radius so powerful so if I actually hear it, I have time to run and avoid it. I've done this, and still get knocked on my ass. Also, when it comes to camping on Annex points, turn the sensitivity down on them or something. Again, I've seen myself walk past them when I'm nowhere near them and again, I get knocked on my ass. That, or give me the option to shoot them so when they explode, they backfire on the team that planted them there. Just little tweaks like that to balance the game mechanics out would be fine.

    As for the shield, I can't say I've had problems with it because I've always been able to counter it, and I do that with the bullshit smoke grenades, because that sheild weilder might be able to withstand a direct boomshot to the face, but he can't overcome your new overlord of Gears of War 2, the smoke grenades, because yes, they will knock him on his ass ready for the smoky shotgun.

    Now, chainsaw stopping power. It's hit and miss. I've seen me using a weapon and it actually will stop them mid rev, but with other weapons it will have no effect and I'll be sucked into that chainsaw. If they fix that for all weapons so you can actually stop a revver, then it'll be fine I feel.

    Shotgun, the biggest gripe people have had in Gears 2. I'll admit, I hated parts of Gears 1 multi because of the shotgun and MX knows that.

    I love the fact that they put in bullet stopping power so people can't do that annoying rolling with the shotgun that everyone and their grans used to do.

    I love the fact that you can't shoot from the hip and make people explode in bullshit ways. Aiming increases your chances of winning a shotgun battle and that's how it should have been. It should never have been determind by how good you are at guessing from the hip. That just resulted in a ton of bullshit IMO.

    I love the fact that you can't get a heatshot with the shotgun from 10 feet away like in Gears 1. It's a shotgun, not a sniper.

    In saying that, with them putting in certain techniques to tone down how powerful the shotty was, for some reason that wasn't enough and they reduced the damage greatly from close range which is wrong, because that should have been its strength. If I have my shotty out and I'm standing nose to nose with my enemy and I have him down the sights and I shoot I expect him to explode into bloody chunks, because that should be my reward for getting close to him with my shotty which is and always has been a close range weapon. Tweak it's power from close range and it'll be fine.

    One thing I do disagree with in that letter though is his comment about the sniper. I absolutely hated active downs with it because it's all anybody would ever go for. Now, with that taking out you NEED to go for heads to get those instant kills. That's the gamble you take by picking it up, but by all means it is a power weapon and a force to be reckoned with so I feel it's perfect the way it is.

    With all of that said, I think it's still an amazing game, and with a few tweaks of the things that bring down multi I feel that it'll be the best multiplayer game on Xbox 360 for a long time to come.

    That's just my thoughts on the whole debate though.

    - Sin