Forums / Games / Halo Wars 2

Balance Priorities v2.0

OP Nakamura RTS

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Let's continue the balance discussion and issue sorting here as the original thread's OP is no longer editable.
PS: This repost has Viper Skills' approval.

Critical, Game Breaking Priority - recommend to fix next patch
  • Tech Tier 2 comes online too quickly (~2min45s) with Generator 1st builds and power crate pickups. We need this to take around 30 more seconds to be able to react and do something about it. Recommend +10s research time for the base upgrade, slightly reduced power crate gather rates across the board, and ~5-6 seconds more time added to generator upgrades.
  • Warthogs do too much building DPS. Damage vs buildings should be reduced by 10%. Gauss can be left as is.
  • Warthogs and Marauders should be 4 and 5 population respectively (so +1 each) to reduce the max pop army size.
  • AA buffs need to be reverted. Hornets and Banshees have been rendered unusable outside of Decimus' Siphon. The problems with mass air are about Protector Sentinels, Phantoms, as pointed out below, rather than all air.
  • Tank Y abilities do too well vs AV units. Recommend a slight reduction in that area.
  • All 4 scout vehicles don't counter special/rush infantry hard enough. They should wreck things like Hellbringer rushes, but currently don't. Recommend a 25% increase in multiplier vs rush infantry, and a small cost decrease (-10 supplies for Ghosts, Choppers and Jackrabbits). Furthermore, the Ghost, Chopper and Jackrabbit upgrades are far too expensive for what they do - each should be reduced by 100 power. The Skitterer upgrade can be reduced by 150 power as it gets always skipped. All scouts should do around 5% more building damage as prior nerfs were too extensive.
  • Anders' Retriever Sentinel is too dominant particularly when combined with vehicle builds as those force AV, leaving little room for AA. Cost should be increased to 2000/2000 and pop cost should be increased from 24 to 30 to slightly delay it and to weaken the full pop Anders army.
  • Yapyap has no counter to Flamers/Cryo Troopers. Methane Wagon should also get a multiplier increase vs rush infantry on both their gun and explosion.
  • Voridus Infusion effects still last too long. None of the effects should last over 20 seconds.
  • Voridus Infusion Mine detonation is too powerful especially at lvl2 considering the AoE it leaves behind. Should be heavily reduced.
  • Cataclysm is too strong against everything. Recommend a 15% DPS decrease, but making it last longer to maintain overall damage dealt. This will make healing more usable to mitigate damage.
  • Ultra Mines trigger too quickly and so can be thrown onto armies, particularly when the army is slowed. Arm time should be doubled, and detonation damage should be reduced by 20%. Cooldown should be increased by 25%.
  • Rain of Fire cooldown should be increased by 25%. Damage vs buildings should be reduced by 35%.
  • Pavium Hero weapon AoE should be reduced by 25%. Y ability slow needs to be a 20% slow maximum as it gets armies to essentially not move.
  • Serina Ice slow effect(turrets, energy points, Bison) should be reduced by 50%.
  • Cryotech Kodiak shell slow effect should be reduced by 50%. It stops units dead in their tracks, you can't get to the Kodiaks.
  • Cryo Trooper's aura and normal attack chill effect vs vehicles (including scouts) should be reduced by 50%. Aura Chill vs buildings should be reduced by 50%.
  • Conduit of Rage effects should be less of an upgrade at lvl 2 and 3. Currently it's nearly impossible to beat Phantoms.
  • Maelstrom's telegraph is so short that it can't be avoided. This is a huge issue especially in team games. As many leaders have no counterplay once caught, this should have a 2s warning.
  • UNSC Anti Infantry turrets are far too strong. Recommend a 15% reduction to damage vs Infantry.
Tier 2 Priority - recommend to fix in next patch if time allows, but we can live with these one more patch:
  • Stomp is too expensive and should be reverted to 500 power. Also, it sometimes doesn't get used on command.
  • Colossus is too slow to be a viable unit. Recommend +1 speed.
  • T3 vehicle damage vs buildings should be increased by ~15% to provide an additional base cracking tool for everyone.
  • AV multiplier vs buildings should be at least partially reverted - these are immobile units that lose to everything not vehicles.
  • Support units (Nightingales, Engineers, Shrouds, Frostravens) are nearly unusable due to AA strength and are often entirely avoided in high level play. Recommend giving them their own armor type and reducing AA vehicle damage vs them by 25%. A big cloud of Nightingales however is hard to take out due to the healing scaling w/ global upgrades. Nightingales should receive 15% less healing to keep this change in check late game.
  • Forge Hog aura mitigation buff should be halved.
  • Flamehogs underperform when compared to regular ones. Rework dmg vs Infantry and Buildings to be 25% better, and everything else to be 15% worse. Careful with dmg vs AV!
  • Make Serina's cryo tech upgrades a 2 point power. It gives too much utility for one point (compared to Anders' 2 sentinel passives). Freezing aura for nodes/cryo troopers and shields in the first point, then siege turret/Kodiak ice shells and freezing aura turrets in the second point.
  • Protector Sentinels are a bit too strong in the late game. Return them to 4 pop, but increase base HP/DPS by 5% to make them usable in the early game.
  • Arbiter Hero should have 10% less HP, as he is too strong in tier 1 with Conduit of Rage.
  • Pavium's Burnout and Enduring Will should be switched. his early eco or fast tech are too powerful due to this being a first point.
  • Voridus' Combat Spoils should return 50% less from main bases. Currently these provide far higher a resource rate than any other building and results in a crazy eco boost.
  • Warlord and Decimus should not be able to pull Scarabs, seeing as they can't pull the Retriever and Condor.
  • Armory/War Council power cost should be slightly reduced to compensate for the slowed early game power income.
  • Jump Pack Brutes with Atriox's Countermeasures power stun units before they land on them. This is only the case with this leader power picked. This shouldn't happen because when combined with Plasma Mines dropped onto the stunned units, there is no escape - the jump without Countermeasures provides enough counterplay, though.
Tier 3 Priority - Good to have, but no immediate concern:
  • Eradication is inconsistent- it can do nothing, or kill everything. Recommend adding a telegraph area with a 1.5s warning, increasing the DPS and speed of the 8 beams significantly, and reducing the explosion damage slightly. This way the beams do guaranteed damage, but the explosion can be avoided still. Currently the beams do almost no damage and the explosion can be avoided easily.
  • Core air does too little damage to T2 core vehicles (not AA). This multiplier should be increased as none of the air units hard counter anything. Recommend +20%.
  • Core air takes too much damage from T2 core vehicles (not AA). This multiplier should be slightly decreased to actually force vehicle players to make a few more AA units. Recommend -10%.
  • Scarabs are underwhelming in DPS. Recommend a 10% increase.
  • Fast expand builds have not been viable throughout the game's lifetime, minus Atriox when Fortifications was a good power. Bases take too long to make and the initial base upgrade (3->5 slots) is too slow. These should be each reduced by 10-15 seconds.
  • Fortifications (Atriox power) base costs and Stronghold upgrade cost should get reduced by it by 25% per level, making for a final base cost of 250-100 and Stronghold cost of 200 power. Stronghold upgrade time should also be reduced by 25% per level.
  • Jerome Mantis is slightly too slow. Recommend to match the speed of Marines. This way it won't slow down a mixed army.
  • Allow to drop in Grunt Dome on top of units and units to clip through the object. This will allow reactive casting to defend vs leader powers to be easier.
  • Siphon power is too strong. This is the main source of complaints about air. Reduce the siphoning rate by 15%.
  • Lich Vanguard damage should be increased by ~25%.
  • Frostraven power cost makes the unit unusable in tier 1. Recommend reduction to 75 (from 100). Speed is too slow for effective use. Increase by 1.
  • Mega Turret Cost escalation should be slightly harsher. Recommend adding another 100 supplies and 50 power to it. Projectiles should be slighlty slowed down to allow easier dodging.
  • UNSC Siege Turret raw damage should be reduced by 10%. Too oppressive currently en masse.
  • Kodiak health should be reduced by 10% to make them a bit more glass cannony. Damage should be reduced by 10% to allow a high amount to be approached.
  • Assault Beam is currently a hard-to-afford, low value upgrade. It should increase the range of Hunters by 15%.
  • Brute Grenadiers are underwhelming. They should be faster by 1 speed, and do 10% more raw damage. They need to do a lot more damage against Infantry Heroes. Recommend +20%.
  • Grunt Riders should cost 65 power instead of 75 - too difficult to rush with currently.
  • Cannon Fodder pickup rate should be increased by another 10%.
  • Goblin power cost should be reduced to 100. This will allow early Hero builds to be more successful with YapYap. Currently Goblins only are viable post Shardstorm Launchers. To complement this, the starting HP should be increased by 20%, but the T2 and T3 upgrades can be reduced in the HP aspect to compensate.
  • Upgrades to Snipers, Jump Brutes, Suicide Grunts, Hellbringers, Enforcers, Brute Riders, Brute Grenadiers should get a 100 power cost reduction. It's generally too difficult to get value from them. Note: only make the change to dispersion nozzles if scouts are buffed vs rush infantry.
Tier 4 Priority: Changes for diversity and fun factor
  • Protector Sentinels and the Retriever should earn veterancy.
  • Vultures are not really working out when fighting against ground armies that well considering their cost. A small buff to the cannon attack would be great - recommend 15%.
  • Please consider letting units in APCs attack the target the APC is attacking.
  • UNSC AV turrets and all Banished AI, AV could use a buff - very underwhelming currently. Recommend to go about this in small steps.
  • The damage dealt by core infantry to Hellbringers and Cryo Troopers should be very slightly increased. Currently units like grunts barely tickle these. Recommend +5%.
  • Rage should result in less HP loss. Recommend to reduce to 30% HP lost (from 50%).
  • Digging In should give Turrets more lifesteal. Currently hard to notice. Recommend increasing by 50%.
  • Shipmaster's Raid should be a 2 point power, with the vehicle speed boosts as the second level. It's currently not viable throwing 3 points into it.
  • Slightly increase the effect radius of Vehicle Symbiotes. Currently only a few units get the buff.
  • Reduce cost of Siege Turret Drop powers by 300 each.
  • Mastadon upgrade cost should be reduced from 700 to 500 power.
  • Arbiter's Plasma Bolt should do 20% more damage. Very underwhelming power.
  • Blisterback artillery mode range is too short at 75% of the Kodiak's currently. Recommend it to be at 85% of the Kodiak's. Reduce cost by 75 supply to make mass production slightly easier.
  • Slightly improve the fire pool damage in Kinsano's drops. It currently has no gameplay impact.
  • Bunker Drop cost should be reduced from 350 to 325 supply.
Important gameplay bugs\issues:

  • Cloak Towers make bases extremely hard to detect. Units have to go point blank to reveal the base's center. This makes lategame turtle banished very hard to take out.
  • When using teleport, pelican or dispacement there is a chance that after choosing the units you cant teleport them into ANY location. Details:
  • Decimus' Boundless Siphon often stays active outside of combat. If this is fixed, the Warlord can be affected by Boundless Siphon again.
  • Pavium's attack/Y ability debuff doesn't work on Shield Generators or units under it.
  • Warlord and Decimus can't pull units that are under a Shield Generator, and get into a looping pull animation when attempting it.
  • Nightingale smoke doesn't work on enemies protected by a Shield Generator.
  • On PC, shift speeds up the camera. Using shift to queue orders is very imprecise. We need to be able to remap or disable this functionality in options.
  • Sometimes spectator games start with a black screen and the game client needs to be restarted to fix it.
  • AMD GPU users on PC go into online games with a ~15 second long black screen that delays gameplay for only the AMD user.
  • Enduring Salvo and Scatter bomb occasionally cause units to be unresponsive as the power telegraphs.
  • On PC, shift-queued move commands can't be used on the minimap.
Feature Requests:

  • Spectator mode leader power wheels. We currently can't see what powers are being picked. This is especially tough when it comes to some passives. Consider letting the spectator open any of the usual radials of the player they view.
  • Display global unit upgrades on unit icons. When I select a marine (my own or enemy, doesn't matter), I need to see how highly upgraded it is (e.g. a small rectangle with text in it that says +1, +2 or +3). This will help players of all levels judge the strength of an army, and will provide valuable scouting information.
Reserved. Surely i will not need this, right?!
Good to be thorough 👌

This is the best, most all-inclusive balance thread by far. Great stuff Nakamura. I'll try to add the flamehog videos later tonight.

This thread will be dedicated to discussion of current game balance. Naka and the community have put a lot of work into these proposed changes, any further suggestions should be brought and discussed here.
Warlord has been quite buggy lately.
He shouldn't be able to stun or pull in Scarab's anymore, renders them useless.
He can't pull in Goliaths at all, nor units under shield (Not sure if the shield was implemented or just bugged)
Your trying to do to many things. You cant reduce hog and marauder damage by 10% to AV AND buff AV DAMAGE and increase population. I strongly suggest only 1 of those things then see how it is and adjust.

Also... the Siege turrets. So siege turrets used to cost 900 supply and the damage was not very good. So we increased damage and velocity and range I believe and made them cheaper.
I think Siege turrets are fine where they currently stand. The cost of Siege turrets doesn’t need to increase per turret. If anything increase the cost of The fortifications upgrades slightly.

I also disagree with the shield cost increasing for each generator. It should only increase for each shield generator on 1 base
why should a generator on a separate base cost more. But I can live with it like it is if Cloaking stays the same.

i Also disagree with the Arbitor Leader nerf on health

I don’t know how they can fix the conduit of rage and phantom interactions but I feel like it’s a great late game strategy that shouldn’t be nerfed into the dirt.

Jerome Mantis Cooldown needs to be fixed. They nerfed the Mantis so hard because of its initial OPness. I feel like at the Mantis current state the cooldown can go back to 45 seconds.

Everything else looks great.

i just suggest small adjustments over large ones
you can’t buff one unit and nerf another and expect them to be equal. Leave one unit the same. Example hogs. And buff only AV. You only always change 1 variable. And leave the other variables constant.
You can't push on a base with x3 Siege Turrets with Fortify, espically if it's a Serina or Anders good luck lmao.

Have you tried to kill Arbiter without Warlord T1? It's very difficult and if the player knows what to do down right impossible if he gets Vet 2 mid game.
Edit: I agree with reverting the Jerome Mantis cool down nerf, it's to devastating now and since it isn't OP anymore it'd be fine to change it back.
This is beyond beautiful. I appreciate this and I'm sure a lot of people appreciate your hard, caring work for a game we really care about, Thanks Naka.
Referring back to my suggestions in the last thread, I realize it's a bit much to ask for, but it might be a good long-term project to look into. I know DICE LA has a lot more resources, but seeing how BF4 is much different now compared to how it was at launch is rather impressive. It just seems like having a dozen different modifiers and stats for every unit interaction is going to be more difficult and not make sense it certain cases. How do Marines beat Hunters in HW2 when it's the exact opposite in every FPS Halo? If 343 needs a design/balance team for Halo Wars 3, they know where to look ;)
With scout buffs, will this make cutter inviable in the early game...again? Cyclops also need a bit of a health buff/reduced damage from charge. Hogs and scout units wreck them with charge, whereas hunters only get tickled.
I think paviums burnout needs to be moved to the 2nd leader point tier. switch burnout with paviums heal idk what its called.
Currently if pavium needs money or power he gets it at 0 consequence. increase the cost to start at 100/100, 200/200, 300/300?
What do ya think?
Voridus mine needs a massive nerf. Watch this clip, it's ridiculous 😂
Voridus mine needs a massive nerf. Watch this clip, it's ridiculous 😂
That's beyond ridiculous. Another reason why I think it's fine if they just burn Voridus to the ground before slowly buffing him back up. His kit is just so overwhelming. A mine and engineers can take care of any infantry force.
Where in the balance requests did you mention nerfing Voridus into the ground? Because you should highlight those parts. The game's health would improve if people simply don't play him at this point xD
Voridus mine needs a massive nerf. Watch this clip, it's ridiculous 😂
Disgusting, and people say Voridus isn't broken....
Voridus mine needs a massive nerf. Watch this clip, it's ridiculous 😂
Disgusting, and people say Voridus isn't broken....
I can do the same thing with unsc mines the only difference is with unsc you can't move out of them because you're going to be stunned by a spartan.

My advice. Don't sit in the mine that i'm sure had two leader points put into it.
So here is my take on the changes to the game.

1. I don't think AV needs to be buffed, warthog and marauder population nerf and Vehicle damaged reduced in the same patch. AV Has to be buffed and then they should take the damage nerf or the population nerf. (I'm in favour of the population increase)

2. Vordius is nerfed in the wrong ways. This is personal preference but after using the leader extensively he's not that broken aside from two ways his leader and when he gets infusion from his wraiths and blisterbacks.
His hero's "y" ability should be reduced to nothing more than 8 seconds and all infusion should last less by about 5 seconds. Blisterbacks and Wraiths lose their ability to produce goo.
So the point is to nerf his ability to produce goo rather than making it ineffectual, and make it less choking in it's production. At least then you have ways to counter it.
Maelstorm change is good. Far to broken in teamgames.
Grenadiers need the buff.
Combat spoils could also use like a 50% nerf.

But with these changes he should still be able to keep cataclysm the same and the infusion damage, because it's important for his zoning capabilities since he doesn't have the same 40% shield that regular engineers provide mean his army is actually quite fragile.

3. With Kodiaks I don't think that nerfing that damage is quite the way to go either. They will still be annoying but more counter play should be created for going against Kodiaks instead of removing their damage. A health reduction by all damage sources by 30% will heavily punish kodiaks caught out of position and make it so that you can strike at them in some fashion. Making them more into a glass cannon type of unit. (I like the seige turret change)

Most of the problems come not from normal Kodiaks but rather the special variants like Serina's or Anders.

4. I'm not sure if this is initial or not but Nighting gales smoke bomb doesn't effect units underneath a shield and I believe that it should to give Unsc a slightly better way to try and engage and crack bases. This is especially problematic when you are displaced infront of a base and you can't even use the smokes to try and cover your army to escape. If they are hiding out under the shield and you can't stop them from sniping your detection as well as not giving you a chance to disable mega turrets which unlike shrouds for Banished have nearly zero counter play by unsc.

5. With all the nerfs that are going to hit Serina in the sense of her cryotroopers and everything I have to point out that she has nearly no dps output from them so in exchange for reducing their supportive role they should be given slightly more combat efficiency.

6. I think that Phantoms should be made slightly faster but also more fragile to promote more hit and run tactics with them rather than straight up engagements. Like 15% speed increase for a 20% decrease in hit points.

On the subject I also think the unit increase on Mastdons (haven't tried Phantoms) cost 700 power to increase the amount of units they carry. I have also tested out that this doesn't increase their stats in anyway. 700 power cost for something that requires tier 3 and only increases the Garrison by 1? Could easily be reduced to 500 power.

7. On another note it'd be nice if ODST drop was reduced to a 700 cost since they aren't nearly as efficient as before in their role and his air support ult hp increased by about 25% each.

8. I also like the suggestion for slightly increased aoe for AA but also slightly reducing their dps because air units are pretty hard countered in lower numbers but snowball in really high numbers.

9. Personal preference of mine but the core unsc turret should get something like 10% damage increase since they are near worthless unless they are upgraded. (Only asking for non-upgrade turrets with improved viability.)
Mr BluDawn wrote:
You can't push on a base with x3 Siege Turrets with Fortify, espically if it's a Serina or Anders good luck lmao.

Have you tried to kill Arbiter without Warlord T1? It's very difficult and if the player knows what to do down right impossible if he gets Vet 2 mid game.
Edit: I agree with reverting the Jerome Mantis cool down nerf, it's to devastating now and since it isn't OP anymore it'd be fine to change it back.
Shrouds shoot everyone of those siege turrets down. Now if your UNSC then yeah you have a problem. You gotta smoke the turrets with Nightengales.
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