Forums / Games / Halo Wars 2

Air is balanced - The three branches Arguement

OP TruthSOSeeker

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Before I start my arguement, I would like to make the premise clear that my primary focus is on the diversity of unit composition, and for players to adapt to the enemies strategies. With these two principles in place, let's begin.

Halo Wars two has been built on the foundation that Infantry beats air, air beats vehicles, and that vehicles beat infantry. This is done so through the core units of each branch. (Marines, warthogs, hornets for unsc. Grunts, marauders, banshee's for banished) These units will be addressed as, "soft counters" or ,"core units". There are some units in each branch that break this rule. (Cyclops and Wolverine for unsc. Hunter and Reaver for banished) These units will be addressed as "Hard Counters" as their primary role is to combat the branch that should beat them. It's worth noting while the sniper and ranger are counter units, they do not break the rock paper scissors rule.

To date, Halo wars 2 has had,'meta' compositions of units which are superior to all other compositions. This is a problem, as it breaks the two principles - Unit diversity and player adaptation. Think about why this is happening. Naturally, the answer is that one or multiple units are over or under performing their job. And make no mistake, this is the case. The infantry > Air > Vehicle Triangle has never been fully in effect. Steps have been done to bring it in line. such as the warthog buff vs infantry. And more recently - The air buff to vehicles. I believe there's two main problems right now: Core vs Core unit interactions, and Hard Counter vs Core unit interactions.

Hard counters should lose to the core unit they counter. Yes, you read that right. This is quite an interesting concept, so let me explain it carefully. I find examples to be the best way to explain this. Core units should be the primary composition of an army. Now, imagine you're going warthogs, and you scout that the enemy is going hornets. The solution should be to build wolverines while you transition into marines to counter. NOT to go wolverines and stay on vehicles. The problem with going wolverines is, if wolverines beat air, then that means vehicles beat infantry and air, making the vehicle branch too strong. This creates a, 'meta' composition, which we want to avoid. Back to the example now. So, when you build wolverines, you are not building them to stop your opponents air, but are building them to deter the air, while you build infantry and get their upgrades. This solution is much better, as you avoid the, 'meta composition' and create an interesting circumstance where now your opponent needs to counter you - and so on. This is also reinforced by the fact that hard counter units cost power, where as core units do not cost power - you are meant to produce core units.

Another example now. You are going infantry, and see your opponent is going warthogs. What do you do? If you've understood the concept from above, then the answer is you should go cyclops/hunters to deter your opponent, while you transition into hornets/banshees. It's actually quite a simple concept once you understand the reasoning. Many people are confused by the premise that hard counter units need to beat what they're good against, but don't realize that this creates a,'meta' and damages the overall structure of the game.

Now, let's move on to air vs infantry. Interestingly, even though this patch has made air crazy good, air is probably in the closest place to balanced that it's ever been, aside from building damage, (which needs nerfed 20-30%) Air is completing it's role - Countering vehicles. However, the problem lies with core infantry. Core infantry is not completing it's role in countering core air. This is creating the two branch domination that has happened to vehicles in the past, except now it's with air. Again, air is not the problem, it's that the counter to air, core infantry, are not strong enough to complete their role. Marines need a 10-15% buff to damage vs air, and grunts need a 15-20% damage buff vs air to effectively counter them. It's extremely important that we do not touch wolverines/reavers anymore, as they are not meant to beat air.

To summarize, I think three things need changed to bring the three branches more in-line
1.) Air needs to do 20-30% less damage to structures
2.) Marines need a 10-15% buff to damage vs air, and grunts need a 15-20% damage buff vs air to effectively counter them.
3.) Wolverines and Reavers need to be left alone. They're in a good place.

That concludes my argument. Let me know what you guys think of it. :)
Salty Comments ahoy!
I don't agree with the idea that core units should beat their hard counters.

The only time a "meta" composition has been and issue is when you could spam one unit an win. I'm talking Hog spam, JR rushes, Locust balls, these were all issues because all you needed to do was build one unit to win. By having counter units be very effective against the core counter actually promotes unit diversity while also letting the player focus on one of the three different army units.

Think about it, you could build a roving infantry ball of Marines, Hellbringers, Cyclops, and Snipers. How is this a bad thing? Why should you have to add Hornets to that army when you already have four unit types? There is no reason to make it so anti units get countered by the unit they're supposed to kill.
So Atriox Banshee focussing my base while I had more than 70 pop wolves ( and no core units should never be a hard counter you can see this in every sucessful strategy game which came out the last years. Core units should be affordable and be a little bit viable vs everything while beeing massed and soaking up dmg , meanwhile the hard counter does what their name say ) sniping it in 24 seconds with dying breath and bullwark is legit ? He lost like 10 Banshee while all my wolves died. Hard counter are supposed to "HARD COUNTER " to their counterpart. That's what the name said, and that's what every unit in HW2 does except anti air.
Why not remove Anti air when it shouldn' t do their job ? Let's remove cyclops flamer and so on until we only have core vehicle core infantery and core air ?

*a tip that was sarcastic
I don't agree with the idea that core units should beat their hard counters.

The only time a "meta" composition has been and issue is when you could spam one unit an win. I'm talking Hog spam, JR rushes, Locust balls, these were all issues because all you needed to do was build one unit to win. By having counter units be very effective against the core counter actually promotes unit diversity while also letting the player focus on one of the three different army units.

Think about it, you could build a roving infantry ball of Marines, Hellbringers, Cyclops, and Snipers. How is this a bad thing? Why should you have to add Hornets to that army when you already have four unit types? There is no reason to make it so anti units get countered by the unit they're supposed to kill.
"The only time a "meta" composition has been and issue is when you could spam one unit an win. I'm talking Hog spam, JR rushes, Locust balls, these were all issues because all you needed to do was build one unit to win. " Last season warthog spam by Anders into retriever was an issue. Kodiak spam by Anders/Serina was an issue. Forgehog Grizzly's were an issue. While you could build cyclops/hunters to contest with them, building air is a better, and more natural solution. Also, when I say meta, I don't mean only one unit spam being viable, I mean an instance where you can build a group of units, and they're unbeatable. The instance of tanks/wolves/nightingales was quite strong last season. Again, because air was ineffective. One of the best ways to avoid groups of units being too strong is to have several ways to counter them. I'm not saying hard counters don't fight at all, I think counters are about fine where they are at. (Hunters/cyclops are a bit too effective though atm.) It's core infantry that needs to be improved.

"By having counter units be very effective against the core counter actually promotes unit diversity while also letting the player focus on one of the three different army units.Think about it, you could build a roving infantry ball of Marines, Hellbringers, Cyclops, and Snipers. How is this a bad thing? Why should you have to add Hornets to that army when you already have four unit types? There is no reason to make it so anti units get countered by the unit they're supposed to kill." As for unit diversity, by only building an infantry ball, you're only building 1/3rd of all the units at your disposal, and mixing in counter units if the enemy builds the soft counter to your army. I don't see how that's being diverse at all. Compare building from just a barracks, to also building from an air pad, and maybe even a garage too! That'd be some sick diversity! Also, by having counter units beat another branch, you're creating an overpowered branch, since you're only building from one branch. We don't want that.
As for unit diversity, by only building an infantry ball, you're only building 1/3rd of all the units at your disposal, and mixing in counter units if the enemy builds the soft counter to your army. I don't see how that's being diverse at all. Compare building from just a barracks, to also building from an air pad, and maybe even a garage too! That'd be some sick diversity! Also, by having counter units beat another branch, you're creating an overpowered branch, since you're only building from one branch. We don't want that.
I disagree that optimal unit diversity means you include a unit from every branch is the ideal. If you look at other RTS games they don't necessarily require to build down every branch. That's the case in SC, Age of Empires, and even C&C
So Atriox Banshee focussing my base while I had more than 70 pop wolves ( and no core units should never be a hard counter you can see this in every sucessful strategy game which came out the last years. Core units should be affordable and be a little bit viable vs everything while beeing massed and soaking up dmg , meanwhile the hard counter does what their name say ) sniping it in 24 seconds with dying breath and bullwark is legit ? He lost like 10 Banshee while all my wolves died. Hard counter are supposed to "HARD COUNTER " to their counterpart. That's what the name said, and that's what every unit in HW2 does except anti air.
Why not remove Anti air when it shouldn' t do their job ? Let's remove cyclops flamer and so on until we only have core vehicle core infantery and core air ?

*a tip that was sarcastic
So Atriox Banshee focussing my base while I had more than 70 pop wolves sniping it in 24 seconds with dying breath and bullwark is legit ?That's an entirely separate issue, but it's still connected I guess. You're talking about air damage vs buildings,(which needs nerfed 20-30%) and I totally agree with you. Air's damage vs structures should be lowered, due to their mobility.

( and no core units should never be a hard counter you can see this in every sucessful strategy game which came out the last years. Core units should be affordable and be a little bit viable vs everything while beeing massed and soaking up dmg , meanwhile the hard counter does what their name say )You are correct that core units should be generally tanky, as well as be a little viable against other units. But they should still fill the role of beating their respective branches. If they don't, then certain branches will gain superiority and become meta.

Why not remove Anti air when it shouldn' t do their job ? Let's remove cyclops flamer and so on until we only have core vehicle core infantery and core air ?Because Anti units still have their role of buying time for the transition to the core unit to counter.
While I can see where this argument is coming from, its just too late in the game’s life cycle to attempt any of this. The whole game would have to rebalanced to accommodate this philosophy. For one, counter units would have to be dirt cheap to produce because they would only be interim units and they would basically suck at everything. As it stands, counter units are doing their job very well. They smash the things they’re supposed to counter, but at the cost of loads of power and basically sucking at everything else. If you overcommit on counter units, your opponent has plenty of room to outplay you. The one thing I do agree with you on is infantry’s role in this game. Hunters, Cyclops, Snipers, Suicide Grunts, Brute Grenadiers, Goliaths, and I think Flamers all can’t shoot up. Only Marines and Heroes can shoot air for UNSC, and Grunts, Heroes, and Rangers are your options for Banished. Essentially 80% of infantry can’t even target air. They’ve tried to rectify this in the last patch by increasing Rangers damage to air, but I’d like to see more done to solidify infantry’s role as an air counter
Brute Grenadiers.
They can actually shoot air, but it's more of a tickle
While I can see where this argument is coming from, its just too late in the game’s life cycle to attempt any of this. The whole game would have to rebalanced to accommodate this philosophy. For one, counter units would have to be dirt cheap to produce because they would only be interim units and they would basically suck at everything. As it stands, counter units are doing their job very well. They smash the things they’re supposed to counter, but at the cost of loads of power and basically sucking at everything else. If you overcommit on counter units, your opponent has plenty of room to outplay you. The one thing I do agree with you on is infantry’s role in this game. Hunters, Cyclops, Snipers, Suicide Grunts, Brute Grenadiers, Goliaths, and I think Flamers all can’t shoot up. Only Marines and Heroes can shoot air for UNSC, and Grunts, Heroes, and Rangers are your options for Banished. Essentially 80% of infantry can’t even target air. They’ve tried to rectify this in the last patch by increasing Rangers damage to air, but I’d like to see more done to solidify infantry’s role as an air counter
I'm only asking for three things from this post.
1.) nerf air vs structure damage 20-30%
2.) Marines need a 10-15% buff to damage vs air, and grunts need a 15-20% damage buff vs air to effectively counter them.
3.) Don't touch wolverines/Reavers.

I think that's do-able.
Quote:
Infantry beats air, air beats vehicles, and that vehicles beat infantry
This is more of a suggestion for the game Lol for example Air is suppose to by countered by infantry, but the only UNSC infantry that can even shoot Air are marines/ODSTs.
Vehicles are suppose to lose to air but both reavers and wolverines are AA and they beat Air (at full pop AA) pretty handily.

The rock paper scissors thing was more of a mechanic in HW1, in HW2 it's not really a thing especially with powerful passives like Boundless Fury/siphon and Redline II.

No body wants to admit it but leader powers (as fun as they are to use) make this game impossible to balance.

I think the AA to Air interaction is pretty much perfect as of right now (not considering passives) but Air melts buildings far too quickly. I often find games where I can easily spam Air and flat out ignore their armies and take out there base. All I had to do was have my Kinsano hornets with hellcharge sit in a restoration drones heal circle and they couldn't take me out in time. They had plenty of AA and AA turrets but they simply couldn't stop me in the 11 seconds it takes to melt a base.
nuchey wrote:
Quote:
Infantry beats air, air beats vehicles, and that vehicles beat infantry
This is more of a suggestion for the game Lol for example Air is suppose to by countered by infantry, but the only UNSC infantry that can even shoot Air are marines/ODSTs.
Vehicles are suppose to lose to air but both reavers and wolverines are AA and they beat Air (at full pop AA) pretty handily.

The rock paper scissors thing was more of a mechanic in HW1, in HW2 it's not really a thing especially with powerful passives like Boundless Fury/siphon and Redline II.

No body wants to admit it but leader powers (as fun as they are to use) make this game impossible to balance.

I think the AA to Air interaction is pretty much perfect as of right now (not considering passives) but Air melts buildings far too quickly. I often find games where I can easily spam Air and flat out ignore their armies and take out there base. All I had to do was have my Kinsano hornets with hellcharge sit in a restoration drones heal circle and they couldn't take me out in time. They had plenty of AA and AA turrets but they simply couldn't stop me in the 11 seconds it takes to melt a base.
To be more specific, I should have said that the core units counter each other. As in: Core infantry beats core air, core air beats core vehicles, ect. My bad for not specifying that.

As for Air vs buildings, air's too strong, and as I said in my post, air damage vs buildings needs to be reduced by 20-30%
nuchey wrote:
Quote:
I think the AA to Air interaction is pretty much perfect as of right now (not considering passives).
Finally hearing this made me happy as I know you have not liked the balance between AA and air for quite some time.
Postums wrote:
nuchey wrote:
Quote:
I think the AA to Air interaction is pretty much perfect as of right now (not considering passives).
Finally hearing this made me happy as I know you have not liked the balance between AA and air for quite some time.
Awww shucks group hug everybody!

All in all solid patch probably the best one this games ever had
I just wish they changed it
so Vehicles lose to Infantry
Vehicles Beat air
air beats infantry.
I agree that marines should be slightly better vs aircraft and that grunts need to be a lot better at it. (only issue I could see is that this would make power nodes too easy to take in the early game). Considering how effective vehicles and air are at their core unit role it seems out of place that the infantry aren't performing well.

I disagree with your beliefs that the hard counters shouldn't be enough to handle the things they counter. It is more a question of how efficiently they counter them. If you need too few to do their job well then the composition favoring them will dominate, as we saw with vehicles and AA. If you need too many then there is no room left in your army for anything else and you'll be easily countered yourself and have no offensive presence. You seem to argue that the latter situation is ideal because you should only build them while transitioning, but if they are truly that ineffective then they aren't worth building/won't buy you enough time to survive into counter core unit production. Thankfully it doesn't matter that we disagree because you don't want to enact any radical changes besides buffing the infantry vs air interaction.

Agree that air vs building damage is far too high. But I do think it is mostly hornets that are the issue. Banshees could use a slight toning down, but hornets are pretty disgusting.
I agree that marines should be slightly better vs aircraft and that grunts need to be a lot better at it. (only issue I could see is that this would make power nodes too easy to take in the early game). Considering how effective vehicles and air are at their core unit role it seems out of place that the infantry aren't performing well.

I disagree with your beliefs that the hard counters shouldn't be enough to handle the things they counter. It is more a question of how efficiently they counter them. If you need too few to do their job well then the composition favoring them will dominate, as we saw with vehicles and AA. If you need too many then there is no room left in your army for anything else and you'll be easily countered yourself and have no offensive presence. You seem to argue that the latter situation is ideal because you should only build them while transitioning, but if they are truly that ineffective then they aren't worth building/won't buy you enough time to survive into counter core unit production. Thankfully it doesn't matter that we disagree because you don't want to enact any radical changes besides buffing the infantry vs air interaction.

Agree that air vs building damage is far too high. But I do think it is mostly hornets that are the issue. Banshees could use a slight toning down, but hornets are pretty disgusting.
I disagree with your beliefs that the hard counters shouldn't be enough to handle the things they counter. It is more a question of how efficiently they counter them. If you need too few to do their job well then the composition favoring them will dominate, as we saw with vehicles and AA. If you need too many then there is no room left in your army for anything else and you'll be easily countered yourself and have no offensive presence. You seem to argue that the latter situation is ideal because you should only build them while transitioning, but if they are truly that ineffective then they aren't worth building/won't buy you enough time to survive into counter core unit production.
I agree with your assessment on how the over or under effectiveness of hard counters can swing a dominating composition one way or the other. It's quite a delicate point, which is why I thought the best solution would be to leave things as they were and focus on making infantry more viable. I think most people can get behind the changes I suggested. Thanks for your feedback! :)
As for unit diversity, by only building an infantry ball, you're only building 1/3rd of all the units at your disposal, and mixing in counter units if the enemy builds the soft counter to your army. I don't see how that's being diverse at all. Compare building from just a barracks, to also building from an air pad, and maybe even a garage too! That'd be some sick diversity! Also, by having counter units beat another branch, you're creating an overpowered branch, since you're only building from one branch. We don't want that.
I disagree that optimal unit diversity means you include a unit from every branch is the ideal. If you look at other RTS games they don't necessarily require to build down every branch. That's the case in SC, Age of Empires, and even C&C
But those games are literally not halo wars 2. IM sorry breezy but your just wrong
+1
Very well thought out and I often thought the same thing. What the game teaches you is not how the balance structure actually works currently. "core" units might as well be labeled "start units" because beyond that they really serve no purpose currently. I love spaming warthogs just cause the bullet animation and sfx are cool I dont even go guass lol, but I am surprised how well they do vs air when thats supposed my counter.
As for unit diversity, by only building an infantry ball, you're only building 1/3rd of all the units at your disposal, and mixing in counter units if the enemy builds the soft counter to your army. I don't see how that's being diverse at all. Compare building from just a barracks, to also building from an air pad, and maybe even a garage too! That'd be some sick diversity! Also, by having counter units beat another branch, you're creating an overpowered branch, since you're only building from one branch. We don't want that.
I disagree that optimal unit diversity means you include a unit from every branch is the ideal. If you look at other RTS games they don't necessarily require to build down every branch. That's the case in SC, Age of Empires, and even C&C
But those games are literally not halo wars 2. IM sorry breezy but your just wrong
They aren't different enough that what the OP is proposing makes anymore sense then the system we have right now
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