Forums / Games / Halo Wars 2

10 suggestions to 343 for improving RTS games.

OP DangerousRival

Hello all. I been playing rts since I was 8 years old 20 years ago. Its a fun genre of game. It can either be a thrilling battle of wits or just a fun bot stomp with ur friends using your own rules. Halo Wars is good, not great solid 7/10. Definitely a contender if they keep improving but they are not dethroning series like Starcraft anytime soon. Still there some easy fixes that RTS games have been doing for decades that 343 needs to adopt to improve further. Here's 10 suggestions.

1. Allow base assignment at the custom games menu. Allow me to decide which base i spawn at and where my allies do. No one likes random spawns in RTS and it limits team play at the start as it turn out to be a free for all among allies. For fun i wanted to play as anders guarded by two johnsons (haha) on bedrock for some fun. But i had to reset the mode about 10-15 times until it gave me the middle base.

2. Increased "fixed" garrison positions around the map. Infantry are huge disadvantage in HW2. They slow down your army, die easy, and dont counter well. If there were more garrison around the map in key locations infantry would have more use and the boring tank vs air metas will drop drastically if gaining ground means having infantry to lock it down

3. Harder AI - Legendary AI is joke and for a "Halo" game legendary being easy is a smack in the face to the halo genre. The AI has no idea how to use its forces or flank. All it takes is a single super unit going far right or left and you can wipe out all the AI by killing their back bases uncontested.

4. Choose colors - really 343? I can't decide which shade of blue i want to be? *facepalm*

5. Even though there is no "Map Maker" function I notice the levels change in size depending on the number of players. If i can't make my own map can I at least pick which size version I want to play, at least for custom games... please?

6. Drop the "competitive" bull spit with entire matckmaking list of ranked matches and focus on "custom modes" RTS games do not survive because of main game developers want them to play. Honestly anyone reading think back to the last 3 RTS games you played. How many of you remember how fun "ranked" was... anyone? Yeah i see you in the back waving your hand props to you wanting to be the best. the other 80% of players just want to make armies and battle them for fun and could care less about ranked modes. Starcraft was the #1 RTS for the better part of decade not because the of the battle modes, it was their custom modes. In starcraft you can make maps sure, but even without a map maker in Starcraft you could still set up custom scenarios much easier then HW2 which came out 20 years after the first starcraft.

7. Free for all - I'm not a people person, I want to kill everyone thats weaker then me, dont force me to work with my enemies or be doomed to a fate in 1 vs 1. This is a core game mode ALOT of players focus on.

8. Speaking of super units NERF THEM!! - There is not a single good reason why an RTS game should have a single unit that takes 1/3 of my army space. Thats not a strategy element thats a cop out. I absolutely hate all the super units in HW2. I can understand if its a leader skill like Decimus or Anders, but not the whole gosh dang cast. In my honest opinion super units are the #1 thing ruining balance in your game. I love the scarab in halo lore but in HW2 no. Nerf it in half right down the middle. Make it a plausible heavy troop but not a fricken Goliath of health and range for sapping bases. . Based on comments people seem to think Im getting squished by scarabs on the daily so let me iterate more. They use too much army cap and force you to play around your super unit and not your enemy which means your enemy will know likely how to beat your army comp so good players avoid em. Its a unit that just in general sense has no place of belonging, but I love Scarabs so just nerf it outta super unit into, "Better Unit."

9. Up vs Down, Left vs Right... can i get a little more variety here. Its clear you want us to work as a team. ALL of the maps are so plain and boring its not even funny. theres only 1 single map where 1 player from each team spawns away the other and even then its a small map. These maps needs gimmicks and options. the teleport pads are cool but also pretty bogus. No real strategical advantage using them because either A. thats not where you need to be at. B. the other end is usually well defended if it is useful and going through is suicide. These teleport pads needs randomizers. For example in a HW2 map if theres 4 pads you know how it works, teleports you to the teleporter on opposite end of map. But now if those portals changed locations that would add diversity. If the pad connected to me to an enemy I could use that opportunity to attack but say 30 seconds later that pad changes now two things happen. 1. I have lost my escape route 2. there a chance it connected to my enemies to eachother and now reinforcements could spawn in any second vs walking cross map. It seems like alot but really its as simple as having the pads color coded and periodically the positions shift indicated by colors.

10. Allow the placement of new bases anywhere or at least give the mini bases turret slots, if not all at least the two slotted one. Mini bases are not much use other then resource farms. A single airpad in a strategic location is only going to get strategically destroyed. ties in with suggestion #9 most of the maps are bases ALL OVER THE TOP AND BOTTOM and the middle is big open space of nothing but control points... well thats boring. Now if there was stationary mega turrets that could could be taken over that would be a strategic position worth fighting over not the single supply pad sitting out in boonies as leader power bait waiting for your army to go for an easy base wipe and then getting dunked on by an orbital barrage. One solution actually comes from HW1 Elephants. Those units were cool because u could set up base wherever you wanted and build an army there. Add some more of those kind of units or maybe a single unit that can unfold into a single slot mini base where you choose. (place three and you have deent base to work from.)

In conclusion 343. I love your work and I love halo. RTS is my jam when done right and your on the right track. Stop carrying the burden of creating fun for us to enjoy yourselves and just give us some of the tools to make our own fun. Your games will do better in sales and player count and we wont hassle you every other forum requesting new stuff constantly but instead sharing our ideas on stuff we made up ourselves. Think about Forge Mode when it came out, still being used to this day keeping those Halo games alive with warthog races, vehicle only battles, and whatever else the cool kids do after school these days.

If you readers like these ideas and agree let me know. And if I put something up u think is bad say so as well, that a forum for ya.

*Bonus suggestion: Limit your competitive mode. How can i be the best when i need to be the best in 9 different modes?! Makes it 3 main competitive modes and no more then five. For Halo Wars 2 I would have made these the only ranked modes:
3vs3 deathmatch
1vs1 deathmatch
3vs3 Blitz
1vs1 Blits
2 vs 2 strongholds

Team or myself, and to entice players to try strongholds (dont like it) make it the only 2 vs 2 mode for ranked so people who only have that one good friend would consider that the mode for them to try and dominate.
dude at least try to play in the ranked battles, all you do is play the boring AI.
....nerf the super units? Surely you can't be serious? They're awful.
even with the buffs scarabs/condors should be easy enough to nullify, retriever sentinel got nerfed, and decimus drop/omega team are attached to otherwise ehh leaders

super units aren't the problem with the game
I don't mind most of these points, except number 6.

Competitive and ranked modes are the lifeblood of a RTS. This isn't coming from a wanna be pro either. Feel free to look at my service record, you'll find that I'm a washed-up has been that's four seasons past his prime. That doesn't change the fact that the best part of a RTS game. Pulling a random "80% of other players" statistic isn't going to win you any objective arguments. Starcraft and Starcraft 2 have had such long lifespans in part to the custom modes they have and map editors, but the reason they're still around today is because of the competitive game modes and the competitive scene they've created. Take away the competitive game modes and Starcraft AND HW2's populations would hemorrhage into nothing.

Just because you don't like ranked as much as everyone else and enjoy custom games more doesn't mean that's the only thing that attracts people to the RTS genre. Competing with and against other players in a ranked setting is a part of the appeal of RTS games.
Super units work best in an rts game when the "oh -Yoink- they have a super unit," is coupled with, "how did we let them get that out"..

I dont feel either of these statements hold in hw2 for the super units. They should be a gamble, and you should feel that you were playing too passivly when you see one comming your way.
@ Guy above - agreed

dude at least try to play in the ranked battles, all you do is play the boring AI.
Just cause i dont play it constantly doesnt mean i dont have friends who do that i watch from time to time and tell me their thoughts too. And yeah the AI is boring, i mentioned that
....nerf the super units? Surely you can't be serious? They're awful.
Yes and No, but overall a problem, and need serious remodeling. Bad players rely on them and good players dont use them. But 1 super unit being able to kill a base unguarded that took 15 minutes to construct in 30 seconds is not a viable unit for an RTS. It needs the nerf to make it a flexible troop and not a cop out as in "well it has the highest must be good" with it's cost so high over the others you either really want it or really could care less. With the way bases are designed so destroying 1 building can destroy a whole base of 11 sub-structures fully upgraded, the Super Units in HW2 really have no reason to exist, but I love the scarab in lore so rather then take it out nerf it to a more reasonable level where u can add 1 to boost your army, without losing 40 slots.

I don't mind most of these points, except number 6.

Competitive and ranked modes are the lifeblood of a RTS. This isn't coming from a wanna be pro either. Feel free to look at my service record, you'll find that I'm a washed-up has been that's four seasons past his prime. That doesn't change the fact that the best part of a RTS game. Pulling a random "80% of other players" statistic isn't going to win you any objective arguments. Starcraft and Starcraft 2 have had such long lifespans in part to the custom modes they have and map editors, but the reason they're still around today is because of the competitive game modes and the competitive scene they've created. Take away the competitive game modes and Starcraft AND HW2's populations would hemorrhage into nothing.

Just because you don't like ranked as much as everyone else and enjoy custom games more doesn't mean that's the only thing that attracts people to the RTS genre. Competing with and against other players in a ranked setting is a part of the appeal of RTS games.
Starcraft's competitive mode pretty much birthed itself. Blizzard never intended it to become a national sport in Korea it just happened cause the overall quality of the game. In contrast HW2 feels like it's trying to breed the next generation of RTS pro-gamers by force. Even in interviews 343 exclaimed a deep desire to get players to play competitively. Which is good dont get me wrong, but 80% of gamers dont have the actual time to play games on a "competitive level" and the ones that do dont need a push and shoves to convince them to play on ranked game modes at a competitive level if the game is fun enough.

I used to play alot of ranked in various RTS games so I know what you mean, but that wasnt fun for me on a personal level after a point because it was bragging rights and fun was failing so for games I like custom modes with buddies is the best way to go for some fun. I cant tell you how many times I played the Bay of Pigs map on C&C:RA2 just me and my buddies using various rules and setups. I played the hell outta that game but the most fun came from stupid setups in custom modes with people I met playing PvP. If the game is good Ranked will take off and become popular on its own.

My point is everything in this game is subconsciously trying to push you to play ranked, but really I dont have time to "get good" and play at a higher level on a single game like i used to and i dont need a huge loss recorded following me around on my past records so people like him can use as ammunition against my playstyle and how i have fun.
dude at least try to play in the ranked battles, all you do is play the boring AI.
Sorry but I think you made a mistake nerf super units?! Are you ok do you need help cuz last time I played halo wars 2 ( aka today) they were still trash .but for the most part I agree with you also stick to multiplayer as we all know the AI is bad but most people will give you a bigger challenge than the brain dead AI
You know nothing Jon Snow
Some interesting points
its like you guys have tunnel vision reading this

i dont play much hw2 but i know this guys got some nice points here
Judging from all your games and the amount of them you played, I feel like you have no idea what you're talking about really.
Nerf Super Units, really man? They just got a buff because they needed it.
Super Units are meant to be SCARY and very powerful and difficult to deal with. Every RTS that I played has some sort of Super Unit/Experimental Major unit.
I disagree with the place a base anywhere because certain leaders can abuse this easily and put it right beside their main and Super Turtle untill you get bored and rage quit.

Don't say get rid of Competitive when you don't even play it nor have time to "git gud"
Competitive is what keeps games alive, not everyone is a casual that plays AI or Terminus, some of us are very competitive and want to win our games which is fine for everyone.

I like FFAs.

Infantry is good again now.
Judging from all your games and the amount of them you played, I feel like you have no idea what you're talking about really.
Nerf Super Units, really man? They just got a buff because they needed it.
Super Units are meant to be SCARY and very powerful and difficult to deal with. Every RTS that I played has some sort of Super Unit/Experimental Major unit.
I disagree with the place a base anywhere because certain leaders can abuse this easily and put it right beside their main and Super Turtle untill you get bored and rage quit.

Don't say get rid of Competitive when you don't even play it nor have time to "git gud"
Competitive is what keeps games alive, not everyone is a casual that plays AI or Terminus, some of us are very competitive and want to win our games which is fine for everyone.

I like FFAs.

Infantry is good again now.
-_-
If you only looking at my halo record you'd be correct, the last halo i serious grinded on was Halo 4. My xbox gamercore is over 40k and that doesnt include: ps3, ps2, ps1, nes, snes, n64, gamecube, dreamcast, sega, and lastly PC and the games and time I put on them. You know nothing good good sir, I've played and beaten more games then you could even imagine to the point I started buying hard copies of Rom-Hacked games like Zelda: Parallel Worlds (probably the hardest game ever made only at dungeon 3 which is actually good if your familiar with it's history. The original which i have is so hard the maker put out an easier version), Brutal Mario, FF: The dark sorcerer, etc. It's hard for me to get tied down to one game for too long.

So yeah I spread out my time to as many title when I can, but they are a few games I play regularly and HW2 has become one I play pretty regularly but right now "I" have no desire to play ranked. I usually just do the daily missions and trying to finish up campaign on hardest difficulty (I know i said the AI is bad, but that only refers to the multiplayer bots, the campaign was very well put together). When it comes to RTS im a free for all player which I'm sure your well aware we dont have... WHY!! Free for all is a basic RTS mode that ALOT of RTS player focus on, myself included. If there was a ranked free for all I'd be over that, because as I say I'm not a people person I hate using mics so "Teamplay" is not my forte and a main reason I avoid PvP in HW2.

Competitive is only the lifeblood of a series if the series is good. Halo Wars is not a dominating RTS title. Trying to stream line as a competitive RTS is not a good idea. They should focus on the game as a whole and design it specifically for Halo Fans (not just taking units and giving them halo names and skins) and not be pushing so hard to pull RTS players out of other games. Currently i feel Halo Wars tries too hard to be something it wont be and if they focused on a more casual audience there would be more players. Blitz was -ahem- well, a good idea on paper but not the kinda of "casual" gameplay that players want since actually the skill-cap for blitz is quite high to do good. Strongholds is ok but it's more chaos then anything else. The custom modes, really the only thing custom about them is not really much skulls, minimal settings like fog and resources, and well thats about it besides leader. Not to much to customize to create your own fun if PvP is spanking you, so what do you do, play a different game. That is what 343 needs to stop and why I say they need to pay more attention to their custom modes. All 3 of their modes not involving deathmatch need serious hammering out for a casual audience.

I do like your point you made on #10 the anywhere-mini-base idea i had. I just had the terrifying thought of pavium surrounded by 10 turrets at different firing angles. O_O
Maybe in HW2 that is not the best fit or it has to be heavily nitpicked like a max of 3 on the field at time or something. Nice observation. As for your thought on the super unit your right, there usually is one, but that unit often times doesnt rely on brute force and has a gimmick and doesnt restrict your army by taking 40/120 population. If our current unit cap was higher like 200 or even 160 I'd say our super units are in a good place because you can still build full functioning armies but in the current setup they are nothing more then nuisance and throwing off the whole game balance because other units in the game have to be balance around these super unit which themselves do not fit in.

EDIT: on a side note, i agree everyone seems to have tunnel vision on #6 #8. No one else besides this guy really has any thoughts on the rest of the list good or bad?
I think we could use some new maps right about now
Color changing for sure.

Yo, DangerousRival if I were you I wouldn't talk about balancing and the like.
It's a very sensitive subject around here and these really competitive folks don't like other players talking about what should be nerfed and what shouldn't.
A word to the wise, if you'll hear it
its like you guys have tunnel vision reading this

i dont play much hw2 but i know this guys got some nice points here
Well, their just scared that the 'Scarab idea' might influence 343's next patch. So their fear leads them to voice there opinions... quite aggressively
Judging from all your games and the amount of them you played, I feel like you have no idea what you're talking about really.
Nerf Super Units, really man? They just got a buff because they needed it.
Super Units are meant to be SCARY and very powerful and difficult to deal with. Every RTS that I played has some sort of Super Unit/Experimental Major unit.
I disagree with the place a base anywhere because certain leaders can abuse this easily and put it right beside their main and Super Turtle untill you get bored and rage quit.

Don't say get rid of Competitive when you don't even play it nor have time to "git gud"
Competitive is what keeps games alive, not everyone is a casual that plays AI or Terminus, some of us are very competitive and want to win our games which is fine for everyone.

I like FFAs.

Infantry is good again now.
-_-
If you only looking at my halo record you'd be correct, the last halo i serious grinded on was Halo 4. My xbox gamercore is over 40k and that doesnt include: ps3, ps2, ps1, nes, snes, n64, gamecube, dreamcast, sega, and lastly PC and the games and time I put on them. You know nothing good good sir, I've played and beaten more games then you could even imagine to the point I started buying hard copies of Rom-Hacked games like Zelda: Parallel Worlds (probably the hardest game ever made only at dungeon 3 which is actually good if your familiar with it's history. The original which i have is so hard the maker put out an easier version), Brutal Mario, FF: The dark sorcerer, etc. It's hard for me to get tied down to one game for too long.

So yeah I spread out my time to as many title when I can, but they are a few games I play regularly and HW2 has become one I play pretty regularly but right now "I" have no desire to play ranked. I usually just do the daily missions and trying to finish up campaign on hardest difficulty (I know i said the AI is bad, but that only refers to the multiplayer bots, the campaign was very well put together). When it comes to RTS im a free for all player which I'm sure your well aware we dont have... WHY!! Free for all is a basic RTS mode that ALOT of RTS player focus on, myself included. If there was a ranked free for all I'd be over that, because as I say I'm not a people person I hate using mics so "Teamplay" is not my forte and a main reason I avoid PvP in HW2.

Competitive is only the lifeblood of a series if the series is good. Halo Wars is not a dominating RTS title. Trying to stream line as a competitive RTS is not a good idea. They should focus on the game as a whole and design it specifically for Halo Fans (not just taking units and giving them halo names and skins) and not be pushing so hard to pull RTS players out of other games. Currently i feel Halo Wars tries too hard to be something it wont be and if they focused on a more casual audience there would be more players. Blitz was -ahem- well, a good idea on paper but not the kinda of "casual" gameplay that players want since actually the skill-cap for blitz is quite high to do good. Strongholds is ok but it's more chaos then anything else. The custom modes, really the only thing custom about them is not really much skulls, minimal settings like fog and resources, and well thats about it besides leader. Not to much to customize to create your own fun if PvP is spanking you, so what do you do, play a different game. That is what 343 needs to stop and why I say they need to pay more attention to their custom modes. All 3 of their modes not involving deathmatch need serious hammering out for a casual audience.

I do like your point you made on #10 the anywhere-mini-base idea i had. I just had the terrifying thought of pavium surrounded by 10 turrets at different firing angles. O_O
Maybe in HW2 that is not the best fit or it has to be heavily nitpicked like a max of 3 on the field at time or something. Nice observation. As for your thought on the super unit your right, there usually is one, but that unit often times doesnt rely on brute force and has a gimmick and doesnt restrict your army by taking 40/120 population. If our current unit cap was higher like 200 or even 160 I'd say our super units are in a good place because you can still build full functioning armies but in the current setup they are nothing more then nuisance and throwing off the whole game balance because other units in the game have to be balance around these super unit which themselves do not fit in.

EDIT: on a side note, i agree everyone seems to have tunnel vision on #6 #8. No one else besides this guy really has any thoughts on the rest of the list good or bad?
Playing other games has nothing to do with what you know of Halo Wars.
You named games that aren't even a RTS games.
You may be a pro on other games but knowledge in a FPS and Adventures don't transfer over to an RTD, it just doesn't work that way lad.
Playing other games has nothing to do with what you know of Halo Wars.
You named games that aren't even a RTS games.
You may be a pro on other games but knowledge in a FPS and Adventures don't transfer over to an RTD, it just doesn't work that way lad.
Besides the fact i've played halo wars 1 and currently playing halo war 2... time to nerd out.

  • Command and Conquer: original (yup i still have it boxed up with my DOOM on floppy disks)
  • Command and conquer: red alert 2 & yuris revenge
  • Command and Conquer: red alert 3
  • Command and conquer: tiberian sun
  • Civilization 2 & 4
  • Lords of the realm 2
  • Starcraft 1 & brood war (played it on pc and n64)
  • Starcraft 2
  • War Games
  • Age of Mythology
  • Warcraft 1 (first rts i played with my first computer that had nothing but warcraft (RTS), doom (FPS), and heroes of might and magic (Turn based) and Master of Orion)
  • Warcraft 2 & tides of darkness (played it on pc and ps1)
  • Warcraft 3 but not the expansions (i went back to sc1)
  • Total War 2 Rome (looking foreward to three kingdoms coming soon.)
  • Master of Orion (not really rts but probably one of if not the best strategy games ever made so much so it hasn't been successfully copied yet and it came out on MS-DOS. MoO 2 &3 are garbage but the remake of the first game looks good still need to get my hand on it)
Thats just off the top of my head for RTS I've played you probably heard of, not including the small army of mobile rts and the randoms i cant think of.

I was gonna throw out a list of turn based strategy but apparently it dont matter how many different varieties of successful and unsuccessful game i had played not related to RTS so i saved my time typing it out.

I'm not talking out my -Yoink- here I been playing RTS since you could get games on a floppy disk (ancient technology before CDs were used for game) As i said looking at my just my halo career here tells you nothing. I wouldnt go making a list a random idea without having the past experience to back it up. (kinda want to play AoM again now that i mentioned it that game was hella fun and knew how to make a super unit aka god) Alot of what I mentioned in the 1-10 is common stuff most of these games I listed have been using for decades.