Yeah I miss those interactive elements. They were really fun and added more depth to gameplay. They should definitely add that later.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.
[Locked] Design Feedback : Multiplayer