Epic Apologizes, Provides Temporary Workarounds for Slow Gears of War 2 Matchmaking

While developer Epic investigates a lasting fix for the slow online matchmaking that has plagued some Gears of War 2 (360) players, senior producer Rod Fergusson has apologized for the issues and provided some temporary workarounds.

"It's a complicated issue as there isn't any one problem; it's a combination of factors," Fergussion wrote on the game's official forum. He also acknowledged that the issue was "unacceptable" and noted the studio's hope to release a fix soon.

Until that update arrives, Epic suggests:

If you're experiencing long delays (longer than 2 minutes) or you're seeing your matchmaking search restarting over and over again, please try a different playlist as that indicates a possible population issue with the currently selected one.

The problem seems to be heightened for parties of 1 and parties of 4 so please try to invite at least one friend into your party before matchmaking. And of course the fastest way to play is to have a full 5 person party before looking for a match since you won't have to find any teammates beforehand. Fortunately our new "What's Up" feature makes finding Friends who're playing Gears 2 online easier.

Also, after a match, if you'd like to continue to play with the 9 people you just played with, simply press Y to look at the previous match stats and press X to invite them all to your party so you can continue to play in a Private match if they accept. Private matches, while not arbitrated, gives you the flexibility to set exactly which map and mode you want to play along with customizing other aspects of the game.

And as always, please ensure that your router is set correctly so that your NAT is considered "Open" by Xbox LIVE as "Moderate" and "Strict" NATs make Xbox LIVE matchmaking more difficult. There are many guides available online to walk you through the process of correctly configuring your router for Xbox LIVE so I won't go into the specific details here.

Along with the suggestions, Fergusson revealed the following statistics:
  • Almost 3 million multiplayer matches (excluding Private) have been played.
  • Almost 1 million screenshot photos have been uploaded to gearsofwar.com
  • The most popular multiplayer mode is Horde.
  • The most popular multiplayer map across all modes is River.
  • The most lethal weapon is the Gnasher shotgun with almost 29% of all kills.
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From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 18, 2008 8:55 AM

    Yeah its pretty slow....and you have to keep matchmaking! Get a game going of Horde, then all die...then back to the search for a new game.

    PC's have had a better system over 10 years ago. You go to a server and play. Wtf is matchmaking about? If I wanted to play Invasion RPG for UT (think Horde for GoW2), I simply go to my favorite server and thats where all my friends are that are currently playing the game. With matchmaking lets say you have 20 friends and sometimes they are online and sometimes they aren't. Then you have to cooridinate and invite etc.

    • reply
      November 18, 2008 9:02 AM

      To be fair to Epic, they are trying to fix the biggest complaint of Gears 1, in that if you wanted to play with friends on public servers -- well, either you made matches that had odd win requirements or the like so they could easily be found, or you just didn't.

      This takes it back too far in the other direction, in that if you never want to play with friends, it takes forfuckingever to get a match up, and then you have to redo it once there.

      Someone needs to pay Bungie to make a API version for their matchmaking system, which just flatout works.

      • reply
        November 18, 2008 9:09 AM

        Agreed, Halo 3 matchmaking is amazing and fast.

        • reply
          November 18, 2008 9:14 AM

          To be fair (again) Halo 3 matchmaking has it's ups and downs. Gears 2 matchmaking just seems to have downs more often.

    • reply
      November 18, 2008 9:21 AM

      because there's no reason a computer can't automatically select the best pinging server for you and your friends. You last two sentences make no sense.

      With matchmaking lets say you have 20 friends and sometimes they are online and sometimes they aren't. Then you have to cooridinate and invite etc.

      Explain how that is different than on the PC? Except for the part where at least with a matchmaking system when your friends do come online they just see the game you're in and click 'join game' instead of having to IM you (assuming you're using Steam or XFire otherwise you likely won't get it), get the server name/IP and find it in the server browser. Unless you live in a world where every single one of your friends only plays on a single server every time no matter what map, mode or population is currently there...

      • reply
        November 18, 2008 11:16 AM

        I think he means you can just hop on your favorite server where you know all your friends play and that they will join and leave whenever they want. There's no need to coordinate to all be on at the same time, or do any of the invite crap. In a lot of ways I agree with him. I think matchmaking is a neat idea, but I still don't feel like it's been implemented all that well yet. I still prefer selecting my own server from a list.

    • reply
      November 18, 2008 5:20 PM

      You are right. Matchmaking is shit. I thought is was okay at first but I hate it more and more. The game lobby, like the one in Halo 3, is nice place to chit chat while waiting but it takes too long to collect the players and "Restarting search" is a common occurrence, especially once the community is fragmented by the release of optional map packs. A server list that you can sort, or at least organize by ping time, is the way to go.

    • reply
      November 18, 2008 7:27 PM

      GoW1 had the PC style system, and the PC style system is crap. 95% of people want to play now, against people of a similar skill level, with a low ping.

      If you want to play with your friends then add them to your xbox live buddy list and set up games with them... it's so simple that you don't need a dedicated server setup to do it.

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