Explanation on Gears of War Multiplayer

GoWGroup.jpgOn Wednesday we reported that Gears of War would not include the ability to join a ranked team match with your friends. Well, it seems that is only partially the case. Today we received an email from the folks over at The Applied Games Group, a blog maintained by employees in Microsoft’s Machine Learning and Perception group, that pointed us to an article they wrote attempting to dispel what’s been broadcast over the internet thus far about ranked matches and playing with friends.

Basically TrueSkill, the programming behind matchmaking and skill ranks in Gears of War, will not let friends play against one another in ranked play. The thought behind this is that friends may collude to alter the outcome of the game by one party throwing the match for the other. Of course if this were to happen, the rankings would be slightly skewed for any individuals able to get matched against friends on a consistent basis.

Although playing ranked matches against friends in Gears of War is not a possibility, playing with friends in will be. Since the friends would share the same outcome at the end of the match, in theory this would prevent people from purposely losing a match to boost the rankings of another member. The only time this might not work is if you have a particularly vindictive (or very drunk) friend that thinks killing teammates is the most hysterical thing ever.

While there will be no restrictions on unranked games, the only thing the article does not go into detail on is if the ability to join a team and enter matchmaking together for ranked play (ala Halo 2) is an option. I’ll check for more clarification on this, however we’ll all find the answer next week when Gears of War launches.

Update: I just received further clarification from The Applied Games Group. Their article referenced above is only about the technical aspects about the TrueSkill system. They wanted to stress that while it is possible for players to hook up with their friends and play on the same team, they are unsure if Gears of War will make use of this functionality. Again we’ll find out soon enough for sure.

About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including VGBlogger.com.