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[Locked] Design Feedback : Multiplayer

OP ske7ch

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UPDATE: After 99 pages of feedback it's time to retire this thread. Thank you to everyone for sharing feedback over the months and helping the game team get valuable input.
As of today a new thread is created, "Game Feedback! August 1st" - please use this to provide CURRENT feedback on Halo Wars 2. thanks!

Do you have design-related feedback regarding the Halo Wars 2 Multiplayer (Deathmatch, Domination, and Strongholds) ? If so, please share it here!
** PLEASE USE SPOILER TAGS IF NECESSARY. **

The types of multiplayer feedback the team is looking for includes:
  1. Leaders & abilities
  2. Unit balance (too weak? too powerful? too expensive? etc...)
  3. AI difficulty / effectiveness
  4. Map design'
  5. Overall game mode mechanics
Please provide as much detail as possible including which multiplayer mode you're playing and specify AI difficulty if applicable.

Please note this thread is for Deathmatch, Domination, and Strongholds design-related feedback only.

Design feedback on campaign and Blitz can be shared in their respective threads in this forum.

Bugs or issues should be reported in the Support forum.

thank you!
All modes mainly effecting deathmatch:

Elite rangers are too poor as anti infrantry vs marine spam or their unsc counter parts, a solid fix would be reducing power cost to hellbringer level, or significantly buffing dps. They also could be tech 1 instead but have a nerf so they can be built early. I prefer the former suggestions, lower energy cost or increased dps vs infantry.

Kodiaks feel a tad too weak, increasing splash damage or dps vs stationary units would be helpful.

Hornets feel a little too strong early game, increasing cost from 375 to 400 would be a fair adjustment.

Sentinels from anders are strong but only early, I believe increasing energy cost from 30 to 50 will make the user have to invest more on energy over eco making them less spammy, still effective but more balanced.

Jack rabbits are fine unless with Forge cheaper vehicle power bonus, Isabel gets this but forge with cheap eco can triple and quad expand early making the rush hard to counter, I use a lot of forge found it strong, two ways to fix, make the second jackrabbit upgrade slightly more expensive inline with the chopper upgrade or make cheaper vehicles bonus only effect vehicle depot not scout units or make the cheaper effect less so 190, 160 instead. You could also nerf the heal upgrade slightly make it more expensive or make support drone heal slower, self healing is very strong.

Grunts could do with a slight health boost. Also they cost 200 for 2 grunts, marines cost 300 for 2, Atriox, decimus and shipmaster should get 3 grunts at the start as they are weaker than marines, or buff them and increase cost.

Leader powers are too cheap especially cleansing beam, increase cooldown or cost.

If I think of anything else or encounter anything else will edit in.

Edit: Ranking system for deathmatch please do not make it blitz exclusive, separate 2v2 and 3v3 deathmatch and leaderboards please.

Edit: The maps are all the same, some maps should have rebels by expansions, every map the mini bases and regular bases are open to get, some maps need to change to make it fresh.
I'll have more feedback later, but the number one thing I have to see changed is leader power visual queues and tooltips. For example, Atriox uses his invulnerability, and its way to hard to see when it starts and ends in the middle of combat. I have no idea when units are effected by deaths breath, what kind of window do I need to use the ability in, right before something is about to die, or can I set it up early? The tooltips also need to indicate how long something lasts. Like does siphon from Decimus last 5 seconds, 15, 30... It is way to difficult to see these things, and in a strategy game this is vital information. Other leader powers are similar, they need to be more obvious to avoid, and use correctly.
Skulls need to only apply to human players in Skirmish matches/matches vs AI. They way they work now (effecting everyone, both human and AI) defeats their own purpose.

Also, a variety of neutral enemies is needed. Like some ground troops or something, so units that can only attack ground units aren't useless for capping power nodes.

Also, it'd be nice if at least some of the base slots in the maps were controlled by neutral AI, just like in Halo Wars 1. It'd slow expansion down a bit, and would make the maps feel less empty.

Units need more unique upgrades. Halo Wars 1 had at least one upgrade for every unit, other than the Scarab. Most units had 2 upgrades. Too many units in Halo Wars 2 either have no upgrades, or only one upgrade.

Finally, more variety in controllable/neutral nodes would be nice. Like ones that give supplies instead of power, or even ones that give a small population cap boost. Just like in the first Halo Wars.

Edit: Forgot about this one. Let us be able to choose our color. Being stuck with pre-determined colors really isn't fun. Also, only having "Red" and "Blue" is very limiting.

Edit 2: Oh, and let us choose the size of the maps we play. Some of us like to play on the larger maps with 4 or less players.
I love the game thus far. Have played nothing but multiplayer and I really enjoy it.
The game is pretty diverse and there are still more leaders to come.
Leader powers work good for me and (the units) are well balanced in my opinion.
All the rushes are as not 'OP' as everyone says, a good player should be able to stop a group of marines/jackrabbits.
Though the sentinels are a little too strong for the early game. So I'd say increase the cost on those.
The only real issues for me right now are the maps and PC servers.
The maps all feel kind of the same to me. They don't really look special and if you don't pay attention to the surroundings you'd almost say there's only one map.
And the PC servers are kinda bad atm. A lot of DC's and stuff but I think that is made clear by the community now lol.
Oh and I'd also like to see separate playlist like 1v1, 2v2 3v3 etc. Not just team war.
I played a game of dominion where my opponent s just destroyed our bases without going for points at all idk kinda felt like it was defeating the purpose. Maybe make main bases indestructible in dominion?
I'm really loving this game so far. But as the guy above me said, the maps need some more love to them.

Make strategic places like watch towers for vision, choke points, bridges etc. Make some maps with risky expansion spots, right now every expansion is sitting in front of your main.
Only complaint is the PC side of the servers. 3v3 is 100% unplayable. 2v2 is about 25% unplayable. There should be separate playlist for 2v2 and 3v3 team war. But if the server issue is not addressed the PC population is going to come to a quick end on the 22nd. Might I add I have almost 200 games play on PC multiplayer over the weekend so there is not many units that need addressing. There are a few that could use some tweaks and some leader abilities but until the servers and matchmaking is fixed the tweaks to units and abilities means nothing.
Also, give us a Flood Faction, I'd pay full game price for it, I don't care.
units bloodfuel, grunts bloodfuel gain life fight against scorpion, i never see grunts beating scorpion
All changes discussed should affect the three main global gamemodes:
**UPDATED 3/28/17**

My knowledge of halo wars RTS is massive.

Scouts:
Supply/Power
Jackrabbit:
- Increase cost to 270/20
- Increase train time to 27 seconds
- Make "Support Drone" upgrade, Tech 2.
Chopper:
- Increase cost to 290/30
- Increase train time to 29 seconds
Ghost:
- Increase cost to 280/25
- Increase train time to 28 seconds

Anti-Air:

Wolverine:
- Adds Tech 3 upgrade called "Advanced Rockets"
Advanced Rockets:
- Cost: 800 Power
- Increased Damage (20%)
- Adds flame effect to rockets in flight

Reaver:
- Adds Tech 3 upgrade called "Advanced Systems"
Advanced Systems:
- Cost: 900 Power
- Adds 4 additional rockets per attack
- Increased shield recharge rate (15%)
- Increase "recharge" rate for rocket attacks (15%)
- Increase cost to 180/230

Anti-Vehicle:

Hunter:
- Allow Tech 3 beam to be used while moving

Cyclops:
- Increase fire rate by (10%) with "Shock Rounds" upgrade

Core Air Units:
- Increase damage toward core vehicles

Anders Sentinels
- Decrease hitpoints by (5%)

Maurader:
- Increase damage toward vehicles (10%)

Siege Turrets:
- Decrease damage by (5%)
- Decrease hitpoints by (10%)

Banished Upgraded Turrets
- Increase AA damage (25%)

Kinsano INFERNO
- Increase cost to 750/750

Atriox Eradication
- Increase cost to 900/900

To be continued.
Multiplayer
  • The scissors-stone-paper principle works good (in general)
  • In general all units should get more developing options
Ranger Elites need...
Elite Ranger are more or less not really effective. Actually they are way more worse than the sniper.
  • Research 1; Personal Shield - Add a shield to the Elite Ranger Squad
  • Research 2; Warbrother - Add a third Elite to the Elite-Ranger Squad
  • Research 3; Overseer - Active Camo for the Elite-Ranger Squad
Wolverine need...
Why should we build Wolverine against Air-Units when you can produce infantry? It`s sad that the Wolverine is not so strong against Air-Units like in Halo Wars 1.
  • Research 1; Extra Rockets - More Rocket`s for Wolverines
  • Research 2; Better armor - Increase the health of the Wolverine
Gun-turrets
Once you build them, they have a less-damage output (I know you can increase the damage by research). I and a friend tested it and yeah, the turrets are not that good.
  • A higher fire-rate for the towers when they get Special (Anti-Infantry,Anti-Vehicle, Anti-Air)
or
  • Higher Damage when they get Special (Anti-Infantry,Anti-Vehicle, Anti-Air)
I also would like to have more hiding points for infantry like in the old games where you have to put infantry into the powerplant or so and you have to hold it with your infantry group or you didn`t get the ressources...

Map mechanic
  • Forerunner structures instead of empty bases
  • Towers that can be occupied by infantry to build a shield that blocks certain paths
  • Lightbridges should be open for 20 seconds every 30 seconds as in the old Halo Wars map

For the Units [1 Idea]
  • [UNSC] - Ander`s Sentinels, Jackrabbits, Hornets should be nerfed or increase their costs
  • [Banished] - Brute Chopper, Banshees, Ghosts should be nerfed or increase their costs
  • [UNSC] - Scorpion tank need a little buff
  • [Banished] - The Wraith need a big buff because it`s one of the most useless units in the game
  • [UNSC] - Condor should be limited to 1 (It`s a ultimate unit)
  • [Banished] - Scarab should get a small health buff (Actually it`s not really good) and the Scarab should be limited to 1 (It`s a ultimate unit)
  • Ultimate Unit`s shouldn`t be spammed in any way, they should support the normal army and not going for a lone walk on the moon
For the Units [2 Idea]
  • [UNSC] Ander`s Sentinel must cost more Energy and must be nerfed
  • [UNSC] Jackrabbits, Hornets, Marines should cost Energy [50 Energy for Marines, 75 for Jackrabbits, 80 for Hornets]
  • [Banished] Brute Chopper, Ghost, Banshees, Grunts should cost Energy [20 for Grunts, 65 for Chopper, 60 for Ghosts, 75 for Banshees]
Leader Powers
  • The damage of the leader powers is really good
  • Strong leader powers should get a bigger cooldown [2xtime cooldown especially the powers like glass beam or so]
Leader Abilities

Many leader abilities are to strong and the cool downs are far too short

Atroix
  • Glassing beam: Cool down too short and moves too quickly (you can't out run it.)
  • Eradication: Is too strong especially vs buildings & cool down too short
Cutter
  • Close Air support: Cool down too short
Isabel
  • Ghost in the machine: cool down too short
  • Combat salvage too strong change from 8 to 6 & increase cool down
Anders
  • Sentinel Network: Cool down too short
  • Retriever Sentinel: unit speed is too fast and cool down to short.
Decimus
  • Decimus drop - cool down too short
  • Glassing beam: Cool down too short and moves too quickly (you can't out run it.)
Shipmaster
  • Glassing beam: Cool down too short and moves too quickly (you can't out run it.)
Forge
  • Grizzly battalion - Cooldown too short
  • Combat salvage too strong change from 8 to 6 & increase cool down
[I copied Miz izHere so you have everything in one]




Service Record in Halo Wars 2
The service record in-Game is more or less useless and we really need more informations. So here we go, some points.

Global

1. Challenges
It`s better that you can see how many daily/weekly challenges you finished
  • Daily Challenges
  • Weekly Challenges
2. Multiplayer
That for you should be able to press "A" to open a new field where you can see different categories
Skirmish - Strongholds - Domination - Deathmatch
But they should also separate the matches when you fight against the AI.

You should be able to see (for each individual categorie);
  • Killed Enemies/Lost Units
  • Used Leader abilities
  • Win/Lost matches
  • Produced Supply/Energy
  • Preferred leader
Playlists
  • make a silver background for non-ranked playlists
  • make a gold background for ranked playlists
  • change the names of the game lists - the current names are too confusing [Especially in the German version] and sort them
  • Add 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 playlist
  • Create the playlists "Objective" and "Deathmatch" [Stronghold+Domination and Deathmatch on it`s own]
or
  • Create playlists for every gamemode one time ranked and one time ranked
Challenges
The current challenges except "Pro Rush" are just to simpel
  • Add monthly challenges [gold background]
  • Add challenges like "Win seven games without a defeat" - 5.000EXP [Weekly]
  • Add challenges like "Win seven games without defeat in a ranked playlist" - 10.000EXP [Weekly]
  • Change the challenges where you just have to play as a character to challenges, where you have to win with that character and increase the EXP [Daily not 400EXP reward anymore, increase it to 900, same with the weekly challenges, not 800EXP reward anymore, increase it up to 1.800EXP (sounds much, but once you are a high rank, those rewards are just little peanuts]
  • Increase the difficult of the challenges - how I said, just the "Pro Rush" is a real challenge at the moment - give us real challenges!
Activate friendly fire
You have to think now when you use your power when your units or the units of your team are in the near. It suck when your enemy, let`s say Forge, activate his bomb`s and he and his allies can go accross the field while you have to fall back.

Soundtracks in Multiplayer
  • Soundtracks are perfect
  • At the beginning a quiet, very nice melody
  • As soon as the battles start, a heavier soundtrack comes and this really fits the battles
[UPDATED March 04. 2017] - Repost friendly fire
Sorry if this is a little long, but these suggestions seem so simple I don't know how game designers(who are much smarter than I) missed/eliminated them.
Most advice applies to all game types aside from Blitz:

1: All anti air vehicles need buffed, a lot. Wolverines/Reavers do not seem nearly as strong as they once were. A buff would allow more population to go towards building more counter units aside from anti-air.
2: Sentinel Rush is no fun, but fairly balanced. My main complaint is with their flying speed. Slow down their speed so that anti-air can actually do their jobs. At the moment only spammed marines seem to compete with the sentinel rush, and that is only if the sentinel user sucks at microing.
3: Give Cutter the ability to spawn ODSTs at base, via a tech level upgrade similar to HW1. Also, 3 groups of ODSTs just aren't nearly as exciting, useful, or visually appealing as raining hell down from space with 10 ODSTs. They should also recharge much faster.
4: Give Forge the archer missiles since they are basically a new version of the carpet bomb, and return the Mac blast back to Cutter--where it rightfully belongs.
5: All UNSC characters need the ability to Air-transport units. Its a fundamental aspect of playing a human character, and therefore should not be used as game-balancing leverage.
6: Buff Scorpions a little; either slightly more attack or much more defense.
7: The new concept of leveling up units in a little tricky: that is, it is easy to do but the perks of being leveled up don't make sense. The attack strength of a unit seems to increase greatly with each level(a good thing), but their defense doesn't seem as strong in proportion like HW1 was. 14 star spartan grizzlies used to lose only half health from a fully upgraded mac blast, so level 3 units shouldn't die as quickly in HW2. Make them more like bullet sponges at level 3:)
8: ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ADD BACK NEUTRAL BASES AND ENEMIES AT THEM. NOT EVERY BASE SHOULD JUST BE FREE!!!!!!
9: So I have had the game since the 17th when the early release happened. Even at that point, with fewer people on the servers and playing the game, I found it hard to finish a 3v3 game without either one, two, three, or even four players disconnecting and leaving me to finish a 1v1. The thought that this is an issue BEFORE the actual release date is terrifying. So my question is, should I even bother playing today or will the increase in traffic just leave me booting up HW1, because at least those servers can handle a full 3v3 game? Please fix this issue, as I doubt I am the only one with a problem.
10: More accurate matchmaking. HW2 AND For Honor both just released and BOTH have this problem. Make the matchmaking exist please, as I feel it's non-existent.
11: Finally, my personal most favorite fix I would like to happen: BRING BACK THE HAWKS! Hawks and a cryo-bomb >>> sentinels and the large call-in ship (or is it actually just the mother ship from the 1st Independence Day movie?)
Hornets are to powerful in early game causing people to use mass hornets or banshees for the same reason. Anti-air takes power and hornets do not. So people going mass air only need to manage one type of energy correctly. While people countering have to manage two.

also with no leader abilities being designed to combat air like cryo-bomb makes it much harder to combat air. You can spam all your abilities to kill all there anti-air and then be free to destroy everything. Almost every ability on the game is designed to destroy ground troops. Hornets can easily get out of the few ones that can take out air troops.

also wolverines are terrible in this game needs some kind of upgrade of buff.

also I would like to see uber units be moved up into a new tech 4 slot. So they would be more of a end game unit so less people just sit back to go straight for them and build nothing else.
I feel like multiplayer maps could use more variety than they currently have. In Halo Wars 1 there existed many mechanics and interactive elements that helped make each map play differently and feel unique and I think that really helped improve the replay value of that game. This game has some of that, but not nearly to the same extent. In general I feel like multiplayer maps in most RTS games struggle to stand out gameplay wise, but Halo Wars 1 managed to do that better than most.

In Halo Wars 1 the different types of NPC bases (Insurrectionists, Forerunner, Flood), and the strength and quantity of defenses guarding those bases helped mix things up, and on a slight tangent gave you something interesting to do during early eco expansion, and added a additional layer of depth. But more importantly is that many maps had some kind of novel hook which gave the map its own meta or added a wrinkle to the meta.

For example Labyrinth featured two sentinel nodes that allowed you to spawn in three different kinds of support sentinels that could modify your units by binding to them, a healing sentinel, and bubble shield sentinel, and a offensive sentinel that did additional damage, especially to infantry. Two of those sentinels the healing sentinel and offensive sentinel could be used without binding them to a unit, but they had extremely low health, enough that even a rudimentary force could eliminate them with ease. These mechanics had many consequences. For example the offensive sentinels did high damage to structures unbound to other units. So it wasn't uncommon for a player to rush one of the nodes, and try to spawn in an army of them to punish players who hadn't built an army yet. So consequently it was more important to build forces or turrets early. Another is that the healing sentinels meant that the UNSC could heal their units without using a one time restoration ability, and the healing drone cost only 100 credits, less than the 350 needed to use the ability.

Other examples of ways in which some maps stood out in Halo Wars 1:

- Nodes that could be garrisoned to increase the population cap

- A node that could be garrisoned to spawn NPC Flood that would attack nearby units or a nearby base at a cost. With increasingly difficult waves.

- Towers that powered Forerunner shield walls to control some pathways.

- A sentinel node that could spawn in more traditional sentinel units

- A super turret that existed in the center of a map that could be garrisoned and fired every once in a while, which was usually important to fight over and could be used offensively or defensively.

- A varying amount of free bases and free building locations, where as this seems streamlined in Halo Wars 2. Some maps had only npc controlled bases, and no free building locations, some had a few free building locations exclusively in the center of the map which were important to fight over.

- The bridges at the side bases in terminal moraine at the right and left of the center point. The bridges would be activated, starting at the one minute mark for sixty seconds, and remain deactivated for two minutes. Behind the bridge was a npc base, a free reactor and two free building locations. It was extremely common for all four players on the map to rush their respective sides bridge at the one minute mark with the warthog or ghost they started with, as the additional resource capacity early was extremely helpful.

I understand that trade-offs exist, and I understand that dedicating man hours to mechanics, units or npcs that will only be used in a small number of maps is a tough sell. Which is why I appreciate what was done, but I do think giving map designers more tools and resources in order to help maps feel unique, and add replay value to the game is worth the additional investment. As it stands now many maps kind of blur together, and the way games play out and flow on most maps aren't different enough from one another in my opinion.

One idea I have in this regard is to use some of the Blitz exclusive unit variants sparingly. So for example there could be a Forerunner replicator on the map that could spawn a couple of different blitz variants specific to your faction if controlled.

Thank you for reading.
Id like to see the versus ai modes not be random. A deathmatch can take more than an hour while a stronghold match ends at 12 minutes (or maybe 15). If players dont have the time for a potential deathmatch, they will either not play versus or they will bail when its deathmatch. Most likely the latter.
All changes discussed should affect the three main global gamemodes:

- Anders Sentinels:
- Reduced damage to structures slightly (prevent instant death of bases)
Forifty upgrades can be used further to add base health and turret damage.
- Increase power cost to 35
- Increase supply cost to 300
These changes will allow the sentinels to fit more nicely(more equally to hornets)

- Anti Air (Both Factions):

- Slightly increase damage of Anti- Air
This will allow mass spam of air can be countered slightly easier

- Jack Rabbit:
- Increase build time of Jack Rabbit
- Allow all players to start with one / Chopper / Ghost
This will allow jack rabbits to be used more effectively as scouts and not other things.

-Tier 5 Leader powers + Glassing beams:
- Increase cost slightly
- Increase cooldown time before useable again.

Elite Rangers:
- Slightly increase damage to be more counterfull against infantry spam.

Suicide Grunts:
- Increase damage toward infantry (5%)
- Decrease health (5%)
This allows suicide grunts to feel more useful against infantry and could maybe be seen in late games
This will bring them in line to be more feared counter units.

HEROES:
-Massively Decrease health impact of garrisoning heroes.
Good Iuck killing them currently

Turrets:
- Decrease spawn time to 30 seconds
This will allow for easier defensive setups against more powerful incoming attacks

Matchmaking:
- Add 2v2/3v3 separate playlist
I don't agree with making the chopper/ghost/jack rabbit default in the start, it should be a player's choice to scout.
Separate playlists for game modes is a must - a filter by team-size would also be great.

Biggest one is mixing the AI up more: they're so predictable that they will rush hard... and it's too difficult to counter if you don't have a good team backing you up.
Skulls need to only apply to human players in Skirmish matches/matches vs AI. They way they work now (effecting everyone, both human and AI) defeats their own purpose.

Also, a variety of neutral enemies is needed. Like some ground troops or something, so units that can only attack ground units aren't useless for capping power nodes.

Also, it'd be nice if at least some of the base slots in the maps were controlled by neutral AI, just like in Halo Wars 1. It'd slow expansion down a bit, and would make the maps feel less empty.

Units need more unique upgrades. Halo Wars 1 had at least one upgrade for every unit, other than the Scarab. Most units had 2 upgrades. Too many units in Halo Wars 2 either have no upgrades, or only one upgrade.

Finally, more variety in controllable/neutral nodes would be nice. Like ones that give supplies instead of power, or even ones that give a small population cap boost. Just like in the first Halo Wars.

Edit: Forgot about this one. Let us be able to choose our color. Being stuck with pre-determined colors really isn't fun. Also, only having "Red" and "Blue" is very limiting.
If they bring the Created or Flood, there can be more maps with ground enemies along with their respective base types. Right now I like the pace for these maps but the old style would still be welcomed.
Hey just providing Feedback,

USNC:
Hornets, Jackrabbit, Anders sentinel Spam seem way too strong at the moment maybe increase prices or nerf them
Buff Base defenses they feel lackluster for 300 supplies
Scorpion feel so squishy and their power is pretty useless
Cutter can't build ODST's?
Anders can't build aggressor sentinels
Leader powers are on the field too often maybe increase cool-downs to all and nerf damage to some
Limit the Condor to 1 (Its an ultimate unit and should not be spammed)
Add a 4th tech level for ultiimates so theirs more tech 3 play so theirs more incentive to build Vultures and Scorpions

Banished:
Banshees, Brute Chopper and Ghosts spam way too strong early increase prices or nerf them
Buff base defenses feel lackluster for 300 supplies
Wraith feels kinda meh
Reaver feels weak and doesn't do its job well enough
Grunts feel way too weak buff them
Elite Rangers don't fulfill their role as Tier 2 anti-infantry
Leader powers on the field too often increase cool downs and lower power on some of them
Ship-master grunts don't have elites instead of brutes (makes no sense and would be cool as for more elites and some with classic plasma rifle)
Scarab feels lackluster in comparison to the Condor buff to put it on Par
Limit the Scarab to 1 (its an ultimate unit)
Add a 4th tech level for ultimates so their more tech 3 play so theirs more reason to build blisterbacks and Wraiths

Love the game and eager for some new content :)
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