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A new patch for Gears of War 4 is coming out tomorrow, January 10, Microsoft has announced. As detailed in this forum post from developer The Coalition, the patch is slated to arrive tomorrow at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. There may be some "disruption" starting at 9 AM PT as the patch rolls out.
As for what the patch adds, players can expect two new maps (there was no mention of which ones are coming), as well as the Gear Pack Season 2 content. This comes with "hundreds" of new cards. One important note is that the new Series 2 content will be available to craft starting at 10 AM PT tomorrow, but won't be in Gear Packs until "a few hours" after the update comes out. "If you are looking to acquire new Series 2 content, please withhold from buying Gear Packs until we confirm the Cards are available in the pool," The Coalition said.
Lots more details will be announced tomorrow morning PDT--we'll report back with the details as they are announced.
Tomorrow's Gears of War 4 patch also introduces new measures to combat quitting.
'We're introducing new features as a first phase of updates to combat quitting in Core / Competitive," The Coalition said. "As of this update, players who quit a Core or Competitive Match will now be suspended from all matchmaking of any kind for a limited time to discourage drop out behavior, with the biggest time punishments going to the first player to quit the match. In addition, the more you quit, the longer the suspension you will receive from playing matchmaking."
If you drop out of a game due to a connection issue, you have up to five minutes to rejoin the match, as long as it's still underway. If you are able to rejoin a match and you complete it, there won't be a penalty against your profile.
"With these new features, we hope to see a major improvement in player mentality to committing to a match in Core and Competitive," The Coalition said. "We have further quit penalty and balanced match features in the works--including Core/Competitive pre-game lobbies--coming in future Title Updates to further improve the online experience."
Here is a rundown of the new quitting penalty system in place right now, as written by The Coalition:
- Players leaving a Core/Competitive game early will now be suspended from matchmaking
- Players can rejoin a Core/Competitive match within 5 minutes of being dropped or quitting from an option in the main Versus menu
- Rejoining and completing a match will remove the matchmaking suspension time
- Added functionality to display matchmaking suspension time (including to your Squad Leader). You will not be able to matchmake if your Squad contains a suspended user until their suspension has completed.
Tomorrow's Gears of War 4 update also makes the following improvements for the game's Spectator Mode, as written by The Coalition:
- Player Cards have been re-designed to take up less visual space
- Player ammo and reloads are now visible in the Spectator Mode UI
- Crosshairs are now visible to Spectators
- Respawn timers are now displayed on Player Cards
- Weapons holstered onto a player’s back can now be seen in Spectator Mode
- K keyboard button now removes spectator inputs UI and/or the black bar altogether
- 'L keyboard button toggles Player Cards to the far edges of the screen or normal positioning
- V, B, and N keyboard buttons now jump to specific Escalation hill battle cameras
- Fixed an issue with X-Ray vision not rendering as intended
- Made X-Ray a 'toggle' rather than 'Press-And-Hold'
- Fixed the ordering of players in Competitive UI to match the Lobby Order
- Pressing B while holding Jump Cam now cancels a pending Jump Cam
Added new mapping for specific face buttons for specific camera modes, listed below:
- Gamepad A, Keyboard Z -> Switches to Player or Follow Cam. If already in Player Cam, switch to Follow Cam and vice versa. Last used mode is saved as your preference when switching back to Player/Follow Cam from other modes and when using the Jump Cam
- Gamepad X, Keyboard X -> Switch to Ghost Cam
- Gamepad Y, Keyboard C-> Switch to Battle Cam
Additionally, the Gears of War 4 patch contains these fixes (official descriptions via The Coalition):
- Skill ranking will now be visible again at the end of match scoreboard
- Added 'Spawns Swapped' UI when spawns flip in Versus
- Increased the Energy cost of the Hammer of Dawn Strike in Horde
- Increased Escalation Win and Loss bonuses
- Increased Escalation Win Bounty Rewards
- Tuned criteria and rewards for King of the Hill Bounties
- Fixed an exploit that allowed players to teleport Energy to their position in Horde
- Squad Members can immediately see when they have been removed from a Squad
- The 'Horde Skills' UI Notification alerting you to new skills now works correctly
- Horde Skill cards can now be equipped and unequipped in the Horde Skills inventory
- Added UI notification to show new Cards in your collection when opening Gear Packs
- Improved UI on Turret Heat bar
- Improved performance when switching tabs in Card view menus
- Added slider to control how long text chat remains visible after a message
- The Longshot can no longer shoot through walls if positioned through a 90 degree corner
- Added a Duplicates Only filter to the Inventory Menu
- Fixed an issue where audio slowly cut out in Horde
- Fixed an issue allowing grenade effects to continue into the next round in Versus
- Removed an exploit allowing users to break the map boundaries in Horde on Foundation
- Fixed an issue that allowed players to respawn out of the map boundaries in Horde
- Fixed an issue where offline customization would reset if user changed characters
- Miscellaneous fixes and improvements
"We're continuing to work on lobbies for Core and Competitive in addition to more punitive measures for quitting and investigating tuning improvements,' The Coalition ended its addressing saying. "We can't wait to deliver all this and more throughout 2017. Here's to another year of Gears!"