Epic details next Gears 2 update, Snowblind to cost 800 MS Points


If Epic is looking to win back lost Gears of War 2 players, then it's going about it the right way. The company has released the laundry list of changes coming in Title Update 3, and we have to say a majority of them look nice on paper, but we'll have to wait and see if they can be properly executed before we pass judgment. Find the full list after the break.

Epic isn't stopping there, as the development studio also dropped information on something else Gears fans have been waiting for: a price for the new Snowblind map pack. As expected, it will cost you a cool 800 ($10) when it releases on March 31, just as the Combustible maps did.

[Via Major Nelson]

Title Update 3 makes these new improvements:

  • Adds 100 levels of player experience that you can gain based on your score in Public matches. The game still uses Trueskill for matchmaking to find the most competitive matches, but the skill rank is now hidden. The new level of experience appears next to your gamertag, with levels 1 through 99 displayed as numbers and level 100 displayed as an icon. The game normalizes experience based on match type so that players earn an equivalent amount of experience across all modes.
  • Adds an experience penalty for players quitting before a match is complete. (!)(!)
  • Adds bots automatically to a Public Match if players quit and cause unbalanced teams. This ability has always existed in Private Matches if the bot count is set higher than zero. (!)
  • Optimizes playlists to only have two modes per playlist. Ties are decided by random selection.
  • Adds map cycling to Private Matches. The first match map is chosen by vote or by host, and when that match is completed, the game transitions automatically to the next match, with the next map selected in alphabetical order.
  • Adds the ability for teams to talk to each other between rounds in a Private Match.
  • Adds the ability to save Public and Private Horde high scores after each complete wave, in case the host loses connection.
  • Makes minor changes to general bandwidth usage. (!)
  • Adds region preference to matchmaking. (!)(!)(!)
  • Improves standby detection. (!)(!)(!)(!)
  • Adds nine new achievements worth 250 points. Progress toward them starts after Title Update 3 is applied. Six of the new achievements require the Snowblind Map Pack, a set of four new maps to be released soon at the end of this month.

Exploit Fixes

Title Update 3 fixes these possible exploits, where under certain circumstances:

  • A player could swap from a pistol to a two-handed weapon during a cover slide and then mantle greater distances.
  • Players could kill themselves in Wingman to avoid giving their opponents more points. Now, suicides and team killing will reduce team score. (!)(!)(!)
  • A player holding a meatshield could melee through some walls.
  • A player could equip a two-handed weapon with a shield using either the Boltok or the Gorgon pistol.
  • A player could equip a two-handed weapon with a meatshield using either the Boltok or the Gorgon pistol.
  • A player could prevent planted shields from being picked up by other players.
  • Players could launch themselves into the air with a smoke grenade while mantling.

General Fixes

Title Update 3 fixes these other issues as well:

  • An issue that caused chainsaw interruption when a player is shot to be less reliable in some body positions than in others.
  • An issue where a third player could join a Public Wingman party lobby and remove another player from the game. (!)
  • An issue in Submission games where occasionally the meatflag would immediately run back to the spawn point after being dropped.
  • An issue where players that were knocked down but not out (DBNO) while planting the Boomshield would appear to be standing.
  • An elevation-based issue where the detection for a headshot might not align properly with certain character model heads. (!)
  • An issue that could cause Wingman teammates to have different character models. (!)(!)
  • Additional miscellaneous bug fixes.

Balancing

Title Update 3 makes these balancing changes:

  • Reduces stun duration of smoke grenades. Currently, characters always start to get up after 2 seconds. (!) x a billion
  • Gives melee the same delay after roadie running that shooting received in Title Update 2. (!)(!)(!)(!)
  • Removes spawn protection from the Horde in Horde mode.
  • Increased the forward angle that triggers chainsaw duels so that players with Lancers equipped won't be sawn from the side without a duel. (!)(!)
  • Reduces the delay before a player can climb up after entering low cover. (Will this affect Tyro Station, Canals, and other classic maps where it's hard to mantle up? We hope so!)
  • Makes minor changes to weapon spawns on the Subway map to provide greater balance. (So Cog won't automatically win thanks to better weapons any more?)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.