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[Locked] Design Feedback : Multiplayer

OP ske7ch

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From a competitive standpoint for teams deathmatch. I'm not going to go into everything, just a summary of priority needs. Overall, map design is pretty good and I don't play against the AI, so no opinion there. I'd be happy to be more detailed or expand on thoughts/reasoning if asked. Thanks for taking in any and all considerations.

2. Unit Balance (and leaders)
-Anders sentinels need nerfed in a crucial way. In 3s specifically, you get your 2nd leader point for the abilitiy to build sentinels at around the 2:10 to 2:30 mark. This is a mid-game unit in its current state that you get in the early game before tech 2 is really a viable counter. Below is an abundance of options to balance the sentinels, and any 1 or 2 of options would be a good solution:
  • Make the ability to build a sentinel out of your main base your 3rd leader point, not your 2nd.
  • Make the sentinel build out of the Air Pad, not your main base. The power of the unit in its current state does not accurately reflect the timing that you get it. This would add the tech 2 requirement and more accurately reflect the power of the unit. This is similar to forge building grizzleys out of the Garage.
  • Make the sentinel slower. It currently does massive building damage and has the speed of a banshee (roughly). It can out run almost any viable soft or hard counter to it in the early game. If you want to keep the current damage level, make it the speed of a Super Sentinel from the middle on Repository from Halo Wars 1 (i.e. much slower).
  • Make the sentinel have less health. If you want to keep the current speed level, make it have minuscule health such as the Offensive Protector from the sides on Labyrinth (i.e. basically instantly die to a shot from anything).
  • Make the sentinel shoot a shot, instead of a constant damaging beam.
  • Reduce the damage done by the sentinel to buildings.
  • Make the sentinels cost more resources (270 to 300), energy (30 to 75), or a combination.
-Tanks are not viable units. They are slow, expensive, and require tech 3. They need to be a tech 2 unit and have increased damage against infantry and an overall health buff.
-Covenant leaders are not currently viable in competitive play because they are too expensive, require a war council to be built, and do not output enough damage. They either need to be cheaper, faster, or do more damage (or a combination of those).
-Wolverines need the ability to get an upgrade, such as Volley so that it can do some damage to ground units in short spurts. They could also be improved by a small health increase.

5. Overall Mechanics: (I don't know if this is exactly what you're looking for in this category, but I feel like it's needs to be stated somewhere.)
-Make queing units/buildings/upgrades smoother. On halo wars 1 you could que up units/buildings/upgrades and instantly go back to the fight without even thinking about it. You have to put in a conscious effort to make sure the game registered that you qued something up on or within your base if you want to do it quickly. Scrolling through all units is also somewhat slow when you have multiple units.
-Scroll speed needs to be increased. Scrolling across the map still feels slow, even at 100 speed while holding down the left trigger.
-Units sometimes struggle to pick up crates around the map, no matter how many times you try to get them to.
-Make team colors more easily visible. It it is difficult to tell who is who at times. Even if it means making it Green/Purple/Teal vs. Yellow/Red/X (it used to be black.. but please no black :D.. too hard to see it).
-Make it so you can see your allys curosors on the mini map. Make pings more visible.
-Add the ability to remove a mini-base from your base cycle from left clicking on the d-pad. I don't really care how it is done button wise, as it doesn't need to be done very often. Cycling to your mini bases is very useful early game, but are more often than not a nuisance to scroll through at a certain point in the game when you no longer want to build mini-base units.
-Based around the controls: The option to switch left trigger/lb is a great improvement from the beta. Thank you. Please give more options to retain the halo wars 1 controls with options for the following or make below a Halo Wars 1 Classic button layout.
  • Switching UP on the d-pad from all unit base rally point to double tap in the right toggle.
  • Switch Left Bumper from the leader point circle to UP on the d-pad.
  • Move the all units button from Right Bumper to Left Bumper.
  • Waypointing units (i.e. to pick up 1 crate then the other) by holding down the X button instead of holding down the right trigger and then slowly moving to the next crate you want to pick up to waypoint.
As an aside, separating the Teams Deathmatch playlist to Teams Deathmatch 2v2 and Teams Deathmatch 3v3 would be great.
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.
Perfectly said
Multiplayer except Blitz is basically unplayable on PC. It lags and constantly drops players in 3v3, and 2v2 isnt much better.
Also, add the option to pick 2v2 or 3v3 for some game types.

343, if you dont fix this soon the PC population will die fairly quickly.
I play mainly 1v1 solo matches (i.e. deathmatches) on PC. From the games I've played, the only real design balance issue i feel needs addressed is besieging a turtled opponent.
Main issue concerning this is two-fold:
i) Players don't lose out by not controlling the map (except in the case of resource crates in the beginning). What I mean by this is, even if one is forced into one base, he doesn't actually lose out in anything directly and doesn't affect his outcome of winning or losing the game directly. True, he loses out on resources; either from nodes or bases, but there is no diminishing returns from those resources. The nodes never run out, hence, taking the nodes way later in the game is just as viable as the start. The main issue this brings in is the game never actually progresses on naturally; It's completely reliant on players grinding it out till one loses out resource-wise. While this is expected in the natural flow in a RTS (I'm fine with this portion), the main concern comes down to a situation where a player with the stronger offense forces the other back into his bases. Unless the one of the players goes into offense, the game stalls out. Both players don't lose out by not doing anything. In most cases, with the way defenses work as a whole, it's up to the player on offense to break the defending player in order to simply finish the game.

ii) The only major imbalance I'm really seeing right now (personal opinion) is the difference in anti-structure capabilities of both factions. The Locusts on the Banished in general do their job well in decent numbers; 5-7 Locusts can rip a base to shreds easily. As the UNSC, their effective anti-base unit lies in the HellBringer. While effective in large numbers in the early game, they struggle to perform such a role in the mid, late game against a fully turretted base. This results in a hole in UNSC tech. The most effective anti-building I've found is mass Hornets or a Condor. Add actual units defending that base (and the shield/stealth generator against Banished) and the attrition is astronomical on the attacking UNSC.

Effectively, solving issue i) would help to resolve issue ii) and vice versa; if winning the game relies on being outside on the map, then it relieves the pressure on the attacker to end the game and adds more on the defender to take action but if UNSC anti-building is improved, sieges won't become such a major issue.
Personally, I was hoping that Halo Wars 2 would had have domination as the main game mode (at least for 1v1) when I heard that such a mode was introduced to the game. But with Deathmatch as the main game mode, I feel like some looking needs to be done into UNSC anti-building to alleviate the late game issues.
(Just my 2c tho :3)
I would like to say I have been a great halo fan from the very beginning and was looking forward to halo wars 2 a very great amount
So you can imagine it's difficult for me to say that this game has been very disappointing thus far
Every one only rushes with marines and it's total garbage
Then you re-released a game we already had! (Halo wars 1) with a new (cartoony) skin on it
Then to make things worse you took away great units
Where's the elephants? Hawks? And that tech van (can't remember the name of it)
I was looking forward to at least see a mantis guess it'll be in a dlc...
I understand there's enough mini bases to where there is no need for the elephants ability to train infantry but you could have made it to where when it locks down its ant-everything and when on the move it has no purpose
And I'm very shocked that they did not give every unit a second about lack of creativity!
I know that bungie has created an immersive halo world and it's a big shoe for the next of kin to fill... but come on I feel you guys gave no effort into a very long awaited game...
You had blitz packs for sale even before the pre-release version for people who over paid for the highest tier edition of the game kind of shows your just looking for a cash crop and not customer satisfaction in my eyes
You created blitz for people looking to rush alot but instead created a normal multi-player experience which enables you to get bent over and just railed by marines... you can't have a nice long battle with friends because everyone has exploited this easy strategy
I feel that you are killing the halo experience for long term fans from the beginning and selling a complete new franchise to the new younger generations that have no idea of what is going on (had this thought after playing halo 5, you jumped on the cod band wagon)
I guess it was too hard to at least create a promethian leader considering you literally already have all the types of units for them introduced into the halo world...
It's sickening that game companies pump as little as they can into the original game and sell it for way over price
A little more creativity would be nice is all I'm saying
I work hard for my money and I grew up in a generation where gamers would get their money worth
I guess times have changed and it may be time to quit wasting money on your poorly thought out cash generating garbage
One pissed off gamer
Also, give us a Flood Faction, I'd pay full game price for it, I don't care.
How about a game mode that does not allow rushing and gives all players a predetermined amount of time to prepare and build up an army.
So far I've play through the campaign and a lot of skirmish and here's my thoughts

The campaign apart from ending suddenly and being kinda short was great

Now for the main part

OK so ai difficulty
I tried it with multiple leaders bother unsc and banished and so far the normal difficulty seems really weak I play hour or more long matches and they hardly attack and they only really make bigger units like hunters or tanks when I get bored and start destroying their base

Heroic and legendary seems fine although it's a little annoying how many healing units they make

Unit balancing

Healing units
OK so the biggest thing I find to be a problem is that the healing units are super op and the ai don't tend to target them every single game I play on heroic or legendary they spam 10 or more healing units with a decent army even with 3 scarabs I can't make a dent

Ultimate units
Second biggest issue the condor and retriever sentinel seems all dandy but if a scarab goes up against one it's largely out classed I think it's because the scarab not unlike the first game has problems getting stuck on units and positioning itself to fire and on top of this it dies incredibly quick does little damage and occasionally doesn't listen to me or stops firing and just sits there getting shot at

I think the scarab should be slightly more powerful than the condor and sentinel simply because of these problems

Leader powers

I think the unsc powers far overpower the banished their unit drops are better and their airstrikes/orbital strikes are more powerful they even have deployable turrets the only thing close the banished have are atriox's eradicator and invulnerability and decimus himself
I wouldn't mind the one sided leader powers as it was kinda like that in halo wars but the banished have a inferior ultimate unit as well

Maps and bases

I think there should be more map variety and more infantry towers in the the existing maps

As for base related stuff I think bases could have a little more health on top of that the banished not having any equivalent to the seige towers puts them at quite a disadvantage when paired with their already poor artillery capabilities
I don't think it would feel so disadvantageous if the shield generators weren't so weak
Even with all 4 shield generators it still barely even stalls a small army

Overall I think it's awesome that the banished and unsc have different strengths weaknesses and abilities but the problem is if the unsc are stronger in base turrets ultimate units and leader powers what does that leave for the banished?

My thoughts on the more important fixes

Debuff the heal rate for healing units
Buff the scarab in health and possibly damage too but definitely health and fix the buggy positioning and random ceasefires
Buff the shield generators
Buff the banished's leader powers maybe classing beam could do more damage or maybe add something entirely new?

And a question many people are asking where did all of the unit upgrades go? Now there's hardly any unit upgrading to be done and it makes it super easy to just get late game and be done with it.. Really disappointing to say the leastleast

Saw someone else mention this but a tech level 4 especially made for ultimate units and high level hero upgrades seems like a excellent idea another idea could be to leave ultimate units at tech 3 but add ultimate unit upgrades in tech 4 as well as high level hero upgrades

Side note I know a flood faction is probably not going to happen as they haven't really been present since around halo 2 or 3 but it would be really awesome to play as them and see what kind of units heros leader powers and ultimate units they have Ii know I've always wanted to since the first halo wars
On the same topic the forerunners/Prometheans would also be awesome
Only having two factions is a bottleneck for a rts and it's not like there's a lack of factions in the halo universe to pick from if more time was put into halo wars 2 and it's extra content it could be a fantastic rts game
KYLEx117 wrote:
How about a game mode that does not allow rushing and gives all players a predetermined amount of time to prepare and build up an army.
I would like that for a change. I get it: RTS = rush, but tbh it gets boring. Could also be done as a Blitz variant where you build your army deck before the game, but get no reinforcements - resources colleccted would instead go to healing/offensive leader powers.

My big bug bear: give us a matchmaking option if you only want (or would prefer) teammates who communicate. I am sick and tired of games where I get nothing from my teammates so you spend the game second guessing what your own team is doing.

I would also like more variation between leader tactics with the AI: currently they all just seem to rush, whereas it would bring something different to the table if they sometimes didn't.... just offers a different challenge.
I just wanted to say that I really like the fact that new maps are going to be released to every player, as opposed to gears or CoD where players get divided by whether or not they can play the new maps. Just wanted to say thanks to 343, etc.!
-Upgrading Marines to ODST for Cutter.
-Control over AI versus game modes. Lottery game modes suck when you just want to play deathmatch against the AI.
-Grunts/Elite rangers are too weak, more health, or more damage for them.
-Suicide Grunts need to be more powerful/faster. From the first halo wars where they were awesome especially with their acid effect, to #2 where no one cares about them anymore.
-Exp rewards for firefight, and also matchmaking for firefight. Halo 5 has matchmaking firefight right?
-Disconnecting/out of sync issue needs to be solved VERY SOON. Easy way to disappoint litterally everybody.
-Join in progress for the first 3-5 minutes option or something in that category. Losing/quiting/disconnecting teammates is litterally the most annoying thing ever in this RTS.
-Super unit movement is glitchy in certain areas.
-Neutral bases are needed with AI defending them.
-Being able to see where your teammates are looking on the mini map.
Other than that, Halo Wars 2 is so amazing :) thank you for caring about what the people think 343. P.S people who complain about rushing just suck. Learn how to defend yourself/counter attack their base.
Anders Sentinels are super strong and most games are decided by who has them.

Make the leader power spawn a bunch of these sentinels instead. That way they can't be spammed from bases and minibases and are on a long cool down.This leader power can be upgraded to give the sentinels the abilities and upgrades that you can buy in the base.

Anders would still have access to these super strong units with high mobility, damage output, and effectiveness all across without having them nerfed at all! And at the same time prevent the spamming.
3v3s are unplayable without DC's.

show Win/Loss stat on career page, not Win/Total.

increase cooldown on Glassing Beam.

seperate 2v2, 3v3 playlists.

more blitz maps... quite redundant. The maps in general are good, but lack variety of color/terrain/mechanics. More map texture would be really nice. Maybe a higher presence of neutral units or have some ground units around capturble nodes.
The covenant leader power are extremely powerful. The unsc leader powers are like firing wads of wet toilet paper at the enemy. Also, it seems like the AI's glassing beam lasts twice as long as a player's glassing beam. Also also, the shipmaster's enemy teleport power is just broken.
Overall I don't think a lot of changes need to be made but here is my feedback

small buff to anti-air

-I think anti-air are in a decent place but a full squad of banshees vs full squad of wolverines the banshees will win, and I don't think banshees need a nerf. Additionally reavers are really weak, probably need a little more health or damage but not a lot of either

Sentinel's don't need to change much, but still need a nerf

-I like how they add a new dimension to the game but they are just a tad too strong at the moment. My suggestion would be to either nerf their speed or increase the cost because at the moment if you don't start preparing for sentinel's as soon as you see anders you are toast.

Don't change super units

-No matter what I see people saying on these forums about scarabs and condors I don't think they need to be nerfed. I've played multiple games against 3 covenant heroes that build 6-8 scarabs and come at us at the same time and I have never lost. I played a game earlier where my team killed 10+ scarabs and 5+ condors to win. Super units are in a good place because I believe they are only useful when placed within a good army composition. Also would like to complement the design of the scarab it looks amazing

Tanks are somewhat useless

-I have had minimal success with tanks so far which I think is good and bad. Good because they are not the nearly unstoppable meta unit they were in HW1 but bad because they are practically useless at times. They attack slow and their canister feels like it takes an hour to cool down and they feel very squishy. Would like to see tanks go in a direction where they are either very high on health and lower on damage or vice versa. Also, anyone else having a problem where tanks will only canister if you select each one individually?

That's really all I have, I think this is a great game and the more people learn how to play and counter the less cries for nerfs there will be.
Enough is enough with these flood leaders diiba daaba talking.
Just kidding! :D
I personally do not like the idea.
can we PLEASE get a game mode wheres there NO leader powers , just units like the original , powers u cant counter and make the game less fun the original in my opinion
can we PLEASE get a game mode wheres there NO leader powers , just units like the original , powers u cant counter and make the game less fun the original in my opinion
The original game had leader powers
I want to say that I was a big fan of Halo Wars and played it quite a bit, including returning to it recently and logging dozens of hours just before the launch of HW2. I, do, however think that currently HW2 does a better job of having players constantly battle each other. There are very few lulls between action, whereas HW seemed to be spam tanks, attack, lose fighting force, wait for tanks to repopulate, attack, rinse, repeat. (Obviously, it was much more nuanced than that, and the higher level of play was less likely to be that way). Although the constant battling in HW2 is quite fun, it can be a bit frustrating when you have the exact counter to the other player, yet are unable to properly defend due to some balance issues. So, here is my list of things that I believe will help, some of them I have already alluded to.

1) Anti-air must be better against it's prey, especially end-game units. Either do this by buffing offense AND defense vs. air units, or adding unique upgrades to them.
2) Maybe institute a scout unit population cap? Scout vehicles are very important, but currently they are important in a way that I don't believe was intended. With the ability to make marines/grunts out of the base, scout vehicles shouldn't be used as a viable offensive weapon, other than to maybe take a few hooks or stop your opponents from doing so. Or, just make them true scout units, very cheap, very fast, and very weak offensively.
3) I like the idea of power hooks on the map, but PLEASE add neutral bases that belong to A.I. That was an endearing feature of HW and adds risk/reward to expansion.
4) I like the idea of Covenant (Banished) leaders not automatically appearing with temple, but I think the 1st one built should still require waiting time, just reduce the price, every subsequent leader built should cost roughly what it costs now.
5) While the blanket air/infantry/vehicle upgrade is an ok addition, I would much rather individual upgrades for units, most with multiple (2-3) upgrades. It will make each game session more unique as you or opponent may decide to specialize, which should be a risk/reward situation. As of now, if your fighting force is upgraded, so too is your counter units... doesn't make much sense for a strategic game.
6) Please, please, please, rework the maps, at least slightly, to make them feel different. Playing 3v3s in HW each map was drastically different than the others. HW2 all feel the same.
7) I am a bit indifferent to the "scroll wheel" leader powers, no real solutions, just complaining.
8) Both Nightingales and Engineers need to be much slower movement speed at tech 1. They shouldn't be able to just follow along with your force, healing as you traverse the map.
9) ODST spam should be a thing again. Even if it comes at the price of nerfing the individual unit, because they should be used in large numbers and surgically placed.
10) Maybe add a little bit of a buff to the offensive capabilities of base turrets, even if it means increasing initial cost.
11) Elite rangers need an offensive buff vs infantry.
12) Scorpions need a defensive buff vs basically everything except its counter. Also, the Wraith will be forgotten again in HW2 much like it was in HW, unless it is buffed dramatically.
13) Almost all offensive leader powers are a bit OP. I would nerf them a bit, but reduce the price and increase the cooldown.
14) Finally, there should always be a way to counter/stop any new META as they arise. In a P-R-S game, you SHOULD have the ability to effectively counter any rush/boom/turtle (etc.) strategy, without just mirroring your opponent.
HWM Chaos wrote:
Multiplayer except Blitz is basically unplayable on PC. It lags and constantly drops players in 3v3, and 2v2 isnt much better.
Also, add the option to pick 2v2 or 3v3 for some game types.

343, if you dont fix this soon the PC population will die fairly quickly.
343 Industries, you need fix it
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