Will Gears of War 3’s “Man Up” Stalemate Rule Kill Execution and Warzone?


To be clear I do not believe anyone is being “victimized” here — it’s a game folks.  I’ve seen some very disturbing responses directed towards Epic around the net in regards to a change that hasn’t been properly tested.  I know, I know everyone hates change. Facebook changes – people yell and scream.   Twitter changes – people yell…you get the picture.  With this article, I am simply presenting information and my opinions on how this rule will affect gameplay.  I am approaching this new rule with an open mind and hope that everyone else does the  same — give it an opportunity.



There has been quite a bit of speculation the last week or so as to how the new stalemate rule will affect the outcome of the Execution and Warzone gametypes on Gears of War 3.   This past weekend @skyzyn and I discussed some of pros and cons of the new stalemate rule going into effect on Gears of War 3.  For those unfamiliar with the “Man Up” rule:


The team with more remaining players on the team, at the end of a round, is declared the winner.



  • Team A (5 Players on the team)
  • Team B (3 Players on the team)
  • Team A is winner when time expires at the end of the round.


In both Part 1 and Part 2 of our dual commentary, we provide our thoughts on how it would affect Public/Ranked and Private match players.  Part 1 (featured video above) focuses a bit more on some of the factors that play into competitive play while Part 2 is more for the Public/Ranked players.

Who is Most Affected?


Without question, I think the players that play Ranked and Public Execution/Warzone, specifically those that play by themselves, will be the most affected by the new stalemate rule.  Execution and Warzone, by nature, require players to be cautious with their life every round.  Thus players that enter the game with a full party are going to expose this new stalemate rule from the get-go.  The nature of the gametypes inadvertently create a “defensive” mindset before entering an Execution or Warzone playlist.  The primary objective, at least in my opinion, is to stay alive and kill opponents while @skyzyn feels that the objective is attaining power weapons.  Combining our theories, we believe that organized players will grab power weapons, pull off one kill and then play defensively for the duration of the round.  We believe that the team with a “Man up” will not have an incentive to push the other team because they will not be able to grab a power weapon, severely limiting their options to even the score before the round ends.


The pace and flow of gameplay from Gears of War 1 to Gears of War 2 was crippled, largely due in part to the change in Power Weapon Respawning system.  The weapons respawning offered an incentive for players to move around the map. Whether that incentive be to “even” the score, win the round or pull off a sick headshot with the sniper, it kept players mobile on the map.  In Gears of War 3 Ranked and Public matches, the weapon respawn system is not set on a respawn timer until after the last round of ammo is used in the weapon (the same system as Gears of War 2).  Ultimately, we believe there will not be an incentive for a team with more players on their team to move, especially if they have control of the power weapon(s) on the map.


Example (Checkout with a Party of 3 – 5 players on Team A):

  • Team A kills 1 player of Team B with Digger/Sniper
  • Team A defensively plays on the Digger/Sniper side
  • Team B defensively plays on the market side
I specifically used Checkout based on the power weapon allocation on the map.  The platform (Digger) side of the map is a power position on the map because it essentially cuts off access to the grenades and the Mulcher.  The map itself isn’t very well balanced in terms of Power Weapons allocation with a Mulcher as the secondary power weapon. Regardless, in this scenario Team A really doesn’t have an incentive to “push” Team B because they will win the round if Team B doesn’t push before the time expires.  Similar occurrences will arise that are identical to this situation.  The argument that I saw on the Epic forums went something along the lines of this “style” of gameplay will make people uncomfortable with the Execution and Warzone gametypes and the popularity of the gametypes will dwindle.  I actually agree to a certain extent, the popularity of Execution and Warzone will dwindle, but I don’t believe it will be because of the new stalemate rule.  I actually believe that Team Deathmatch will be the reason for Execution and Warzone losing popularity — but the stalemate rule may contribute.


What I am actually expecting to see in Ranked and Public Execution and Warzone matches are more players working together because the gametype will force a larger emphasis on controlling Power Weapons.  Either way, the rule will greatly affect Ranked and Public fans of the Execution and Warzone Gametypes.   Lastly folks, let’s not forget that Rod Fergusson stated in his Q&A interview on July 15th (around the 9:00 mark) that Epic has the ability to tweak changes to these new features of the game.  I can only hope that they also INCLUDE LAN UPDATES with any of those server side changes that plagued Gears of War 2.


The Implications for Competitive Gears Players



@Skyzyn and I focused quite a bit on the competitive community in Part 1 of our commentary video and I don’t want to focus too much on it for this early assessment article, but I do believe the competitive community is overreacting without much merit.  There are a handful of players that have actually played Gears of War 2 with the Man Up rule so they understand how the system actually works.  The only thing I really want to mention is that according to Jim Brown, Epic’s Lead Level Designer, Power Weapons will be set on a Respawn Timer for Private Matches.  That means that teams with a “man up” would potentially forfeit their control of power weapons if they decide to camp.





I think the one concern and it’s a valid one, is in scenarios where teams that have control of a Power Weapon decide to “camp” or defensively set up around power weapons on a respawn timer.  This scenario does cause some minor concerns, but I would hope that the players involved with creating weapon swaps aim to make the weapon swaps as balanced as possible on each map.  Although it’s not 100% certain, I have also heard that the ability to toggle the stalemate system is available in Private matches.  If so, that would be great, if not I’m equally cool with the situation.  As long as respawning weapons is available, it will make all the difference to me.  Without respawning weapons, it’s going to be a rough road when it’s time to determine competitive settings.  I would however, like to remind the competitive community that weapons like the Digger were implemented into the game to FORCE players to move from certain locations, effectively eliminating camping.  I believe its inclusion in competitive settings will be vital to the flow of each game.  I’m pumped to test the new rule!


Serious Suggestions to Epic


Hey Epic, we mentioned it in Part 2 of our dual commentary, how about a real objective gametype for once?  Execution and Warzone doesn’t have an objective; I know it and I know you guys realize it, why else would this new rule come into effect? How about creating a bomb gametype of some sort and put some meaning behind the 1-life gametypes that defined the game for the past 5 years.  Creating this new stalemate rule doesn’t solve the problem behind 1-life gametypes being a snore fest at times.  There’s no incentive to “win” and forcing players to move is only going to turn off more people than it’s worth.  I wouldn’t mind taking Cole Train to an Emergence hole and blowing that b*tch up while the Locust attempt to stop me.  I just feel like this rule could have been avoided all together if there was an objective gametype like Search and Destroy.


My other suggestion is to create a Mercenary playlist that allows players without parties to enjoy the game without getting gang-banged by groups of friends.  It would definitely benefit the guys looking to hop online without worrying about communicating, the vast majority don’t communicate anyway, but hey at least this might give them a place to go.  To everyone out there complaining about the rule, man up and give it a chance!







coded by nessus

  • MrEternity1

    and this is why I won’t be buying Gears 3. I can always count on Epic to mess up something when it comes to Gears. Like I seriously don’t understand the reason or point of having this rule? Are they trying to piss the players off?

    • Kids a baby

      Your bad bitch. Don’t buy it so we don’t have to hear you cry.

    • Afroj86

      You’re not buying the game because of this rule?  That seems a little silly to me, especially when you consider the fact that the rule can be changed in an update after release. 

  • http://twitter.com/LegendaryMarvel Mark Foerster

    This was implemented into the beta if I’m not mistaken. I thought it added another element to the already frantic gameplay of being down players. I found that being down to 4 v 1 and coming back to kill 3 of them to secure the “draw” was a nice touch. I don’t think that a single player should be rewarded for hiding when his team clearly should have lost the round because they were getting stomped. I can see though how some teams may abuse this and take the boring way out and just kill a guy and sit back and make teams push them. I personally can’t stand this way of playing, I’ve never been one for camping (in any game) though.

  • Jorothowns

    People will bitch and cry about it like duder down there. Real players will suck it up and adapt. I have to be honest i don’t think if ill be playing those game types any more with TDM coming out.  If you don’t like the rule play TDM I only plan on playing warzone/execution in scrim/clan/custom matches were you can change the setting any way. 

  • Youngg704

    Honestly, I think the new rule will allow for another element of
    strategy. Before in gow 1 it was control power weapon area, elminitate,
    or draw. gow 2 it was get power weapon, then elminate or draw. in gow 3
    it will be control power weapon area, elmintate, or “strategical get the
    most kills” then draw(which is a win). YoungG704

  • Queen Hulk

    People on xbox are so gay. Everyone will get one kill then camp. Face it. It will be a good rule for people with respect, but for the other 80% it will just cause frustration and a reason to camp.

  • http://twitter.com/Subfocus_amber David Vaughan

    To be honest i think Epics just trying out new things, Maybe it will work maybe it wont but they wont know unless they try and fair play for them sticking their neck out a bit on this, If its complete failure then obviously they will most likely patch it, However i hope Gears 3 doesnt end up like Gears 2 in which they end up constantly updating it with patches later into the game cycle, i remember feeling a bit cheated when they randomly added number ranks after i stopped playing it

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