Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is getting a new patch next week

Despite Gears of War: Ultimate Edition being one of the front-liners for the Windows 10 Store, Microsoft released it with barely any advertising, and worst of all, terrible performance issues.

There is a glimmer of hope, however, as the GoW team has announced that next week's update will include performance improvements, the removal of mouse smoothing and a couple of other nifty features. Here's the list of everything coming next week, and after that an overview of which issues are currently being worked on:

• Performance optimizations

• Refactor of texture settings to better reflect VRAM requirements and to better manage the texture levels for each setting.

• Ambient Occlusion tweaks (visual adjustments on our end).

• Tuned mouse coming out of roadie run.

• Disabled mouse smoothing.

• We will also be deploying some updated optimized playlists to help with matchmaking. We were hoping to get these out before the weekend but will instead get these out early next week. 

News about the upcoming changes comes from the Technical Director for Gears of War: UE who recently held a short Q&A on the official forums. Here's what he had to say about the biggest issues:

Textures not loading 

This will be improved by the update next week. We’ll continue to make improvements here where we can. 

NAT problems 

We are looking into why this is happening. While we work on discovering the root cause, we are discussing changes we can do to help matchmaking if you are erroneously given the wrong NAT type. 

Long Queues 

Our playlist change coming early next week should help with this. 

21:9 Support 

We hear you and we are adding ultra-wide resolutions to the game. 

Mouse Acceleration 

Our update next week will disable mouse smoothing and increase the responsiveness coming out of roadie run. I’ll continue to read the feedback after the update. 

Quick update based on some posts I've read across the Internet: Gears does not have mouse acceleration. The acceleration variables in the INI are for the gamepad. The PC version has always had mouse smoothing, which is what we are disabling. Smoothing is used to maintain consistent mouse input based on framerate and resolution of your mouse, but it can have a minor effect so we'll see what it's like with it off. If after the update I am still seeing reports of the mouse not feeling right, we'll dig deeper and find out what's going on. 

Achievements not unlocking 

We’re working on tracking down the reason this would happen. 

FPS Counters  

I agree. I know there are some out there that already work with UWP. We'll look into adding something until there is more support.  

Population Indicator  

We've discussed this internally, let's see how our playlist changes work out and then we can consider further changes.  

Custom Lobby List  

I'll talk to the team, again we'll see how the playlist changes work out.  

Push to Talk  

We don't have much space for more options on the controller, but we're considering this. I think it's a good idea.  

V-sync  

We all agree and are working with the platform team on this. The game is capable of much higher framerates than you're seeing if your monitor is limited to 60hz.  

Dedicated Servers and Other Game Modes  

Gears absolutely uses dedicated servers. We will look at what's happening and make sure all the game modes are working correctly. The playlist changes will help here.  

EXE File  

Gears does have an exe file. However, it's run through the windows app container. The gaming community has given lots of feedback in this area and I'm sure it's being heard.  

VRAM Issues  

The texture changes we've made will help with this. I went into some more detail in the texture streaming thread as well. 

Increased video requirements

We create our swap chain differently in UWP to manage this. Extra VRAM pressure generally comes from other things you're running on the system and can affect us, this is the same in exclusive full screen.  

Multi GPU

There is no limitation here. We are working on adding mGPU.  

Strictly enforced V-sync

We are working with the platform team on this. https://twitter.com/XboxQwik/status/703734557774774272  

Adjust FOV  

Will look into it and update soon.  

Cross play  

We have discussed this (we talk about everything you guys are suggesting). We are going to make sure all game modes are working as expected and roll out the playlist changes and evaluate those. We'll continue to discuss options to improve.  

Updates through the Windows Store 

OutOfReachCake answered within the thread - you should not have to download the full package. Here's some technical details on how the update process works:  

The Store uses a delta update system. We update our game package with fixes, submit the full package to store and then the Store does the rest to get you an update. The Store achieves this by doing the following:  

It maintains a list of "current versions" of all apps/games in the Store.

This is periodically synced with your machine to identify apps/games that are not latest version.

When you update the Game, the store scans the installed package compared to what it has on the server and identifies the chunks that differ between the two. These chunks are then updated on your machine.

For people who download the package for the first time (or re-download), they get the updated package immediately.

Now, the problem we experienced with the last update was a bug in the store UI that didn't properly update the progress bar while the above steps were running. The fix for this was rolled out the day we launched by the store team, but it takes time to propagate Windows updates worldwide. The progress bar would show 50+GB the entire time it is scanning to see what to update. Gears is one of the biggest packages in the store, so that process takes a little bit of time. We are constantly giving feedback on how the store can better support us and other games. We checked with the Store team and 95%+ of users downloaded the correct 105MB update.  

Access to Game Files (INI's) 

I'm looking into what we can do here.  

Other items we are working on: 

• Reducing hitches on start of level. 

• Reducing hitches when streaming level chunks. 

• Reducing audio stutter on older CPU’s. 

The most interesting part of the entire Q&A is that they are seemingly working towards dismantling some of the more annoying Windows Store requirements, such as the strictly enforced VSYNC, no full screen option, and lack of .exe file which means you can't link up your games to Steam, and so forth. Hopefully all this negative feedback makes Microsoft listen to the community and make it so that games bought through the Windows Store aren't objectively worse copies than those found elsewhere.

You can grab Gears of War: Ultimate Edition from the Windows Store for $30, though I'd suggest waiting a week and seeing how this upcoming patch ends up shaking out. 

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