Forums / Games / Halo Wars Series

[Locked] Design Feedback : Multiplayer

OP ske7ch

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ghostbuddy wrote:
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 stark enough 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.
Yeah I miss those interactive elements. They were really fun and added more depth to gameplay. They should definitely add that later.
As an avid player of the first Halo Wars, spending over 1,000 hours in the game playing either solo or private games with my friends, I got to rank one on 3 different leader boards, after moving to PC and hearing about Halo Wars 2 being added to PC and not just an Xbox exclusive I was incredibly happy and looking forward to the game, and I am not disappointed. Although I feel there are many improvements which could be added, here are some;

I really like the maps and the layouts, but I feel they could be a bit more interactive, on the first one there were way more garrison places and some, like the bridges, would alter the environment. On Fort Deen for example, you could put units in the middle and on both sides to add a barrier blocking people from getting to the other side unless they went through the teleporter and when they did they had watch towers there for you to cover. I really enjoyed this intractability and it kept the maps diverse. With the being said I do feel that the health buffed gained from garrisoning units is a little absurd and should be reduced slightly.

The added units I think were needed and you have done a good job and including them as to me, they seem to fit into the halo universe, my only problem is that there are very little upgrades for all units, and HW1 almost all units had 2 upgrades. For examples, the jackals feel underwhelming and unusable. On the first one they had multiple upgrades, one to give a shield and one to give them snipers, this inclusion would be beneficial to these units actually being useful. But not just the Jackals, I feel the hunters could get an upgrade on their armour thing they have on their arm, Reapers and Blisterbacks should get upgrades increasing the amount rocket pods they have etc. The shrouds should have one to increase their ability range maybe. Just to add a sense of progression, upgrading the units for example 'infantry level 2' is all good but you don't see or feel much of an impact on the game play of the units. So all in all I feel this would add some extra depth and thinking about if some upgrades were expensive.
Just to add, the ability of most units feel really clunky, I can't tell if i'm meant to press r then right click or just press r so a bit of clarity in this would be great, also i'm not sure if there is or isn't but as far as I can tell there isn't, could it be possible to cycle through units in your army so I can specifically use the engineers ability rather than all of theirs.

The lagginess I believe is down to the server? And all the small little errors where you can't always move units etc should be fixed soon (?)
Adding a specific '2v2' option would be great as well, adding actual ranks like the first one where 5 Star General was the highest rather than level and not gaining 800 a win every time unlike the first one where it was based on units killed etc.
Adding destructible bases rather than empty ones would be better as me and my friend just rush the second and sometimes third base and constantly build units to defend people who don't do this get beaten quite easily. The powers seem a little too strong as well, I enjoy them but you can wipe an entire army with 1 sometimes 2 powers, they should cost more or have to be researched (The higher tier powers).
I feel some units shouldn't cost the amount of unit space that they do, 120 pop seems like a lot but it isn't, 1 blisterback is 7 space!
Adding units specific to commanders, ODST not on Cutter? Hawks?! Forge's carpet bomb, makes them lose their uniqueness and makes them all feel 'samey'.
Unit Veterency seems difficult to gain unless you destroy some sentinels, I rarely, if ever, see my units get past 1 star and that's only after I clear the reactor points.
Might just be me, but as the covenant, my hero's don't feel special, they are just another unit, lack of an actual ability on Atriox for example, compared to the hero's on the first one where the brute chieftain could pull tanks to him and stun them or the prophet could pest people with his beam or the Arbiter clearing out armies with his ability if the enemy didn't use a disruption bomb.

Overall the maps feel bland and uninteractive but the actual maps I enjoy and I love the concept that you've added about fighting over production points in the early game.
I don't really like the idea that someone suggested above of limiting super units to one per player at a time. Even if you dedicate your entire pop to super units you can only get three out, and that is without building any other units other then the super units and with both pop expansions. Super units are expensive and take a long time to build, so you are vulnerable for a long time. Really if someone is rushing three super units they are vulnerable for a long period of time, and then they have their entire pop locked to a single unit type making them vulnerable to counters. The counter is to consistently scout, build counters ( Cyclop / Hunters and air for scarab, or Wolverines/ Marauders or infantry spam for Condor and engage them before they get to your base, or ideally hit their base while they are vulnerable.

Perhaps they should be nerfed, I will have to wait until I play some more to decide, but I don't like the idea of limiting how many of them can be created.
I'm happy flamethrowers finally have a better place in the game as anti-infantry and anti-building units, but they are a bit too poweful in that role as they can rush and kill a (undefended) base in no time. I don't think the majority of players realize their strength yet because I've only seen AI do this in the PvE mode (which has happened in most of my games). Maybe weaken them against buildings and add an upgrade that returns them to the current state?

People here have said some good ideas for additions such as choices for color (at least out of matchmaking). And we need maps. Personally I want a few snow maps, and want to see some map(s) from HW1 return, especially Beasley's Plateau, The Docks, and/or one the 3v3 maps like Fort Deen or Glacial Ravine.
Hi Guys,

Yes, I agree, Elite Rangers, Wolverine, Reavers, all need to be buffed because it's not even worth building them when the unit I'm countering still does a lot to my squad. Also, these units suck at everything else so why not make them stronger at the one thing they are supposed to do. That is my biggest point I would like to see changed.

I think leader powers could use a cooldown, it's just too much so fast. I don't think they are overpowered but its really annoying people use them so much. I use my teleport to dodge UNSC powers but in 2v2 and 3v3 the powers are spammed everywhere constantly.
lxRIVExl wrote:
Hi Guys,

Yes, I agree, Elite Rangers, Wolverine, Reavers, all need to be buffed because it's not even worth building them when the unit I'm countering still does a lot to my squad. Also, these units suck at everything else so why not make them stronger at the one thing they are supposed to do. That is my biggest point I would like to see changed.

I think leader powers could use a cooldown, it's just too much so fast. I don't think they are overpowered but its really annoying people use them so much. I use my teleport to dodge UNSC powers but in 2v2 and 3v3 the powers are spammed everywhere constantly.
I don't understand why people think Reavers are under powered tho, earlier I got hornet rushed but a full pop and built like 6-8 reapers and killed all hornets easily, just gotta micro them far away cause they have immense range

The Vulture's special attack needs to be changed to what it was in the first beta, the first Halo Wars used a missile barrage and in the beta it looked like a nuclear explosion when you hit something with it which looked fantastic, now it's just one random missile with a small impact? I assumed an upgrade would be present that would lead to this and the use of the silo doors but disappointed to find no upgrade available. Change it back to what it was originally like in the video below, the video even looks like it shows that the use of silo doors and full missile barrage was planned but the animation was incomplete.


Seems to be a distinct lack of an upgrade tree, 1 upgrade for some units and none for many such as the Wolverine etc. More diverse upgrade tree would be better.


Better map mechanics, I think someone covered this already, but the first Halo Wars multiplayer maps had certain things that made them interesting or shook up gameplay for example the Fort Deen map and shield walls that could be controlled by whoever garrisoned them, another map where you could release flood based units at your enemy if controlled etc.


Leader powers seem to take precedent over unit usage, they are being spammed far too often. The 1st game had 4-5 powers with only 1 being offensive and unique to each leader, maybe make the powers have a longer cooling off period. Oh and make the MAC blast unique to Captain Cutter again.

In short, change the Vulture to a proper missile barrage and what it was in the 1st beta, better and more diverse upgrade tree, increase cool down times on leader powers add maps with unique elements to them.
I think the jackrabbit/marine rush is fine. That being said i would like to see turret prices lowered.
One of my favorite things about hw1 was the ranking system general, commander ie. Level 10 means nothing to me.
The UNSC need a power for decloak enemy base or unit
My feedback is to make it actually WORK! 75% of all games at least 2 people disconnect in a 3v3(if it even starts as a 3v3 as it gives up most of the time and goes straight for a 2v2). The lag is unbearable too. Game is impossible to play. 2 games in a row I started off as a 1v3. Seems they still haven't implemented any way to fix a match when someone disconnects early on. Just sad overall. Game nearly froze up just trying to spawn a grunt squad lol wtf??? My specs are definitely up to par with a gtx 1070 and an i7 6700k. I should not be having these massive fps drops with little to no units on screen! The optimization of this game is extremely poor. Why was it even released in this state??? Games shouldn't take 10 minutes to load in and should have a percentage indicator for how close you are to getting into the game. I'd love to surf the web waiting, but I'm too afraid I'll miss the start as I have no way to tell how close to loading in I am(or the rest of the players). I can't offer any feedback on how the game plays as I can't even play it... Single player runs perfectly smooth. Hopefully it is all fixed for the actual release or this game will die just as fast as the first one did. Allow me to choose if I want a 2v2 or a 3v3, don't force a 2v2 on me. Also, if you're the last man standing, you SHOULD NOT be punished for resigning in a 1v3, nor should you get a loss if you start out as a 1v3. Little to no thought came from the developers it seems and I can only say I'm embarrassed to see this.
I think the jackrabbit/marine rush is fine. That being said i would like to see turret prices lowered.
One of my favorite things about hw1 was the ranking system general, commander ie. Level 10 means nothing to me.
Your right dude
Leader powers feel very imbalanced due to distinctions between the active/passive powers. In its current state, active powers determine the outcome of a fight between two even armies. I believe that leader points should be limited to active powers while passive powers should instead be moved to research options in the foundry/war council/central base structure. General support leader powers such as turret drop, teleport, pelican transport, etc... should be available to all faction leaders.

Some units see almost no play because other units fulfill their role just as well or have fewer direct weaknesses. Examples of this would be cyclopes/suicide grunts. In general, upgraded warthogs or scorpion tanks will do better than cyclopes while suicide grunts are almost never worth their cost. The 'rock-paper-scissors' system is a little too pronounced since a lot of units are completely useless outside of their intended function.

As a general complaint, unit progression in Halo Wars 2 feels much weaker in comparison to the original Halo Wars. This is largely due to general infantry/vehicle/air upgrades displacing unique unit-specific upgrades.
UNIT/VEHICLE SUGGESTION - Drone scout for all leaders/factions.
Rushing is and has been a tactic used since the dawn of RTS games.

What ive found is there are different units in this game that can be used as a rush.
Even tho the map or mini-map at the bottom is a good way of showing you the layout
of the area, it doesn't help you see any incoming enemy rushes unless you scatter infantry
about the map or you see a rush coming or have a chance to defend against it unless your
infantry are grouped and then you might stand a chance.

I think it would be fair if all leaders had the power option for a lvl one choice of giving you a
one drop map reveal with a drone/scout vehicle which would just fly in a tiny circle that
reveals the map so you can see what units/rushes are coming and try create a counter to it.

Now this drone can obviously be for all leaders as it just a tiny flying scout. also it can be easily
shot down with infantry anyway and give it the same health as a sentinel that protects the power

Giving the player the option to skip any leader power upgrade at the start and go for a tactical
scout power for surveying so he/she can defend against whatever type of rush is about to bombard
you 3 mins in the game.

i have tried to defend against multiple rushes and it usually results in me trying my hardest to spend
as little as i can just to try and see what uinit was spammed because if i didnt prepare for a vehicle
rush or an infantry rush then i was screw'd.

Jack rabbits are good but cost far to much for what they do.

A leader power with a weak tiny drone that reveals 1 area and can easily be shot down might just give the
non rusher a chance to retaliate.
As many people have mentioned above I think it is VERY VERY IMPORTANT that the upgrade tree gets implemented in this game, upgrading units is fun and gives the game more complexity and depth.

Some examples:
-The Hunter had a BOND ability that increased the effectiveness of the unit when both hunters in the squad were alive.
-The Wolverine had a Volley ability that could make it able to shoot a missile volley into ground units/buildings.
I really tried to resit doing this, as why should i do the work for them, they're the ones who get paid and are incompetent.


Multiplayer -Death Match

  1. Leader Abilities
Many leader abilities are to strong and the cool downs are far too short

  • 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 [edit] Far to cheap for how strong it is, double the price.
  • invunarbility and healing aura, cd too short and too cheap this is a very strong spell!
  • Close Air support: Cool down too short
  • Ghost in the machine: cool down too short
  • Combat salvage too strong change from 8 to 6 & increase cool down
  • Sentinel Network: Cool down too short
  • Retriever Sentinel: unit speed is too fast and cool down to short.
  • Decimus drop - cool down too short
  • Glassing beam: Cool down too short and moves too quickly (you can't out run it.)
  • Glassing beam: Cool down too short and moves too quickly (you can't out run it.)
  • Grizzly battalion - Cooldown too short
  • Combat salvage too strong change from 8 to 6 & increase cool down

  • To early to comment on leaders, I have thoughts as to what leaders are significantly stronger than others, but time will tell.
Forge is undeniably overpowered
  • ACC ASSEMBLY: Either needs cheaper vehicles or faster vehicles removed, cant be both, far too strong!
  • ACC ASSEMBLY SHOULD NOT APPLY TO SCOUTING UNITS I.E JACKRABBITS!!! should be restricting to garage units only!
  • Atriox leader late game with all upgrades is actually ridiculous, his damage is quite high, but its his extremely large health pool that is the problem, this is broken and not close to same range of other leaders.
  • Sentinel passive, can get out of control and extremely hard to break. It seems as though Kodiak splash damage can actually spawn more than one sentinel, if it hits more than one unit... this is where it becomes absurd, need to reduce it so only will spawn per shot, as some player will make 8 kodiaks then when you factor in splash damage the amount of sentinels from ONE volley is insane.

Unit Balance
yes I made numerous posts in beta, yes i was ignored, is any one listening? probably not.

Brute choppers, Jack Rabbits & Brute Choppers
There is a clear imbalance between starting units. i.e. Jack rabbits, ghosts & Brute choppers
From weakest (1) to most powerful (3)
  1. Jack R
  2. Ghosts
  3. Brute C
Ghosts i feel are balanced and the other 2 should be brought inline to this.

Jack R have no ram ability, yet they are the weakest! Makes no sense If anything they should be the strongest as they have no super ability i.e ram
Some might argue that they have the heal ability and that is why but that still makes no sense as ghost have a rechargeable shield so if anything ghost should be the weakest as they have both!

Choppers are the clear winners of the 3, they have health and damage and an insane AOE(area of effect) ram

How to balance?
Jack rabbits: - increase damage by 10 %
Ghost: - leave as is - take away aoe ram and make it single target
Choppers: - leave as is - take away aoe ram and make it single target

Leaving choppers the clear winner in engagements, but has no way of healing (in a sense nothing has changed, just takes away the over dominating advantage, they once had)
Which leaves Jack rabbit and ghost somewhere in between .

Flamethrowers [Edit]
  • Over nerfed, increase damage by 20%, I feel you should revert them to exactly to how they were in first beta, but lower thier building damage, if thats possible.
Elite rangers
  • These are under powered, they either need an upgrade option or a flat 10% damage increase
Engineers [Edit]
  • Are too cheap for how effective their heal is, increase by 100 supplies = 340 supplies
  • Cap the heal, so upgrading air upgrades don't affect heal rates, the heal becomes far too strong! upgrades increase health only

  • Cap the heal, so upgrading air upgrades don't affect heal rates, the heal becomes far too strong! upgrades increase health only
  • Currently only effective vs air need significant damage buff vs ground increase damage 15%
  • Useless currently they lose to ghost and choppers.....starting units! This is tech 2 unit and it requires a factory! Anyway, increase damage by 15%
  • Sentinels have counters however There building damage is slightly high though, 5% decrease in building damage.
[Edit]: Remove the damage buff vs building from Sentinel Synergy! possibly a speed decrease too for this buff, it really puts them over the edge of complete op

Super units:

This thing is completely overpowered its range its damage its health, in no way is thing even close to balanced and honestly CA should be ashamed.

I would start with
  • 20% decrease in range
  • 10 % decrease in health
  • 10% decrease in damage
and it would still be a monster!

  • 15% decrease in health

Now on to the AI

The Ai is fairly bad, even on legendary, but this doesn't bother me, as I don't vs the AI often. Only thing i can add to this, is that the AI seems to stop making units once you beat it first or 2 attacks...

Map Design
Unlike all the other negatives, I quite like the map design and i feel you got some one with a strong RTS background here. Well thought out nothing over powered, which halo wars 1 suffered from. Big thumbs up!
Wait i thought of a negative, I wish there was more :)
[edit] it would be nice to have some more consistency in minerals and hooks. one hook has only 1 defender yet the other player has to kill 3....

Game mechanics

This is hard one to answer on pc the mechanic are terrible!! On xbox it's not so bad, who would of thought! I'm not going to even go into the pc version, as its never ending issues to talk about. So I'll move on to the xbox

Way points: When collecting resources they only collect the first node and ignore the rest and go to the next way point this needs to be fixed.

Building structures: I'm constantly met with commands not registering. i.e. I build a supply pad come back not built... I build it again, come back not built! I build it again come back not built! this is no exaggeration, this happens often!

Siege turrets: once again, shoot far too long.(decrease range by 40%)

Banished turrets: Anti vehicle upgrade is far to weak, needs to do more damage. Increase base damage by 10%

[edit] Hunters & cyclops need to moved down tier 1, their needs to be viable counter to mass rabbit, chopper & ghosts

Well that was a waste of my time, literally went and checked over every unit, once again to be 100% sure. Yes all this still stands

Side note suicide grunts and Brute hammers don't seem to need a nerf, im seeing just recently alot of highly ranked player use those exact units and its extremely hard to stop!

Games crashes/freezing are consistent

[edited] 11/march/2017

I feel like the sentinal ability for anders is going to really become spammed across the halo wars 2 multiplayer and they seem to be slighty over powered against other leaders to a point where the only person players will pick is anders and no balance of other leaders
  • Leaders & abilities
  • Unit balance (too weak? too powerful? too expensive? etc...)
Jackrabbit rush is kinda too strong. It is hard to scout (and prepare against it) since they are so fast). first 5 jackrabbits are ate your base few minutes and there really aren't any good countering against them. If you don't expand anywhere and make turrets and try to hold your base you might hold that attack for a while but opponent can hold you in your base next 10 minutes. Jackrabbit heal bot should be tier 2 upgrade. i kinda would like to see some counter unit you get before tier 2 so there would be something you can do against and self healing jackrabbits.

Basic turrets should be cheaper and/or stronger so you could use em to hold early aggression

It kinda is too large leap from tier 1 to tier 2 to get any other units than those few basic units you mostly build from headquarters.

grunts seems too weak considered against marines.
  • AI difficulty / effectiveness
I played some games against normal AI and it seemed fine to me. Tho in game mode where you need to hold towers to gain points (not blitz) it didn't even try to cap any towers. I think it would be good if it would send even marine or two at towers looking if they can be capped.
  • Map design'
I would like more garrisons in some maps. so that map design would effect more of what kind of build you should do. Like 2x 2slot garrisons around your front expansion would make rushing way harder and economy oriented playing easier. I also would like to have more than just garrisoning units. Like anti vehicle gun or anti air gun, detector tower, vision tower etc etc buildings that you can garrison with infantry.
  • Overall game mode mechanics
I have played like 50-60 1v1 online games and have some sort of idea what could be changed.
1. Atm on higher lvl 1v1 it seems to be that rabbit rush is almost the only playable build. Time and meta evolving could fix this but for now i feel like some nerf should be done to rabbits like move second upgarde that gives healing to Tier 2 or increase building time 5-10 sec.
2. Many units feel like they are just bad like marauder (seems to be counter to nothing for 400 minerals lol), all anti air units are just too expensive and aren't that usefull. Some weird prices on units like hunter and snipers etc cost heavy amount of energy and i think some of these are way too expensive.
3. Leader powers could have slower cooldown atm they dominate macthes too much and can easily wipe ur full army. I know we can dodge them but being in base at the wrokng time macroing could end up losing army to one pretty cheap spell.
4. This could be just me but i found hard to end game at 15-25min when both have stabilize and run 2-3+ bases. It's hard to break any base even if u win the fight and game seems to drag till other player have ultimate units. Maybe tier 2 units should be better vs buildins. U really don't want to build locust etc because they just don't win 120 vs 120 limit fights.
5. Maps need more idea and variation. Like we should have maps that allow fast expansion in some way (maybe good garrison in range of expansion that could be captured with marines and help holding fast expansion) or just some maps that have bridge or stuff like that so u could protect ur expansions. Also we need maps that just work differently and make gameplay and plan change because of map and things if favor.
Some feature that need to be added are replays and obersever mode.
I'm sure there is lots of other stuff but i like to just sit and wait for game and meta to evolve instead if whining about every detail :)
I agree with most of what is said above but my primary concerns are:

  1. I think there should be another faction, even if I have to pay for it I think a third faction would add a lot to this game (like it does in starcraft)
  2. Global chat
  3. In-game 'All' chat - I don't understand why this isn't already in it? (also there seems to be a bug where speaking to team sometimes makes a black box appear on my screen - fix that)
  4. Better/more maps
  5. PC servers need to be fixed and quickly
  6. 3v3 separate match making for multiplayer
  7. Limit ultimate units to 1
  8. Add ranked play asap :)
Those are probably my biggest requests, but having said that I also love the game. I am really enjoying it and is exactly the type of RTS I have been looking for!
Please add in ally vision and pings into Halo Wars 2. It improves the game to no end when playing online with randoms, otherwise there is no kind of communication whatsoever.
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