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Halo Wars 2 - August Balance Update (PREVIEW)

OP ske7ch

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Here's a preview of the balance changes coming to Halo Wars 2 with the August update. These changes are currently targeted for release the week of August 14th (but will depend on final testing and certification). Stay tuned for the final release date details!

For the full list of fixes and tweaks in the game patch, please check out the August Patch Notes Preview HERE.

High Priority Changes:
Forge’s Anvil Round
    • Fixed bug where air units caught in the splash zone would be damaged
    • Splash damage drops off much more rapidly, making it much less damaging against groups of units
Forge’s Anvil Round still does the same single-target damage, but the splash damage drops off much more quickly, greatly reduced the impact on groups of infantry for example. The splash damage was clearly too much and skewing lots of matchups, so we’ve adjusted this accordingly.
Reaver
    • Major weaponry bug fix (this was causing it to do 50%-60% of the intended DPS, and vastly less effective than intended)
    • Build time decreased from 20s -> 18s (more consistent with the Wolverine’s build time, relative to cost)
A bug was discovered with Reavers that greatly reduced their damage, causing incorrect interactions, such as their inability to beat Hornets (which is clearly not intended). This is now fixed, so Reavers should be a valid anti-air unit.


Serina
Ice Barrier
    • No longer chills or freezes structures
This was a serious bug that was allowing Ice Barrier level 2 to shut down bases by chilling them, which was not the intention of the power and a major exploit.
Tundra Bison
    • Upgraded Cryo Mortar splash radius decreased by 33%
Cryo Blast
    • Reduced residual damage by 20% / 30% / 33%
    • Radius decreased by 13% / 8% / 6%
    • Cost 150, 220, 300 increased to 200, 300, 400
Seismic Charge
    • Shatter radius decreased by 25% / 23%
In the late game, the maxed-out Cryo Blast and Seismic Charge combo was very strong, and was allowing Serina too much dominance once she built up that combination of leader powers, and was making late game repetitive when playing against her. These changes increase the cost of Cryo Blast and slightly reduces the number of units it can freeze, but – more importantly – reduces the number of units you can shatter once they are frozen, meaning much more of your army is left alive even if the combo succeeds.

Important Changes:
  • Banished Shield Generators now escalate in cost by 100 Supply and 100 Power for each Generator built (similar to how Power Extractors escalate in cost).
The Banished have a significant advantage over the UNSC in terms of protecting their bases, which was largely due to the strength of Shield Generators. This change escalates their cost the more you build, encouraging players to try more diverse defensive set ups, and stunting Banished players’ ability to rapidly and strong protect expansions.
AntiVehicle units (Cyclops and Hunters) damage multiplier changes:
    • Multiplier against Medium units (tier 2 vehicles – Warthogs, Flamehogs, Mantises and Marauders) greatly reduced by 31%
    • Multiplier against Heavy units (tier 3 vehicles – Scorpions, Wraiths, Colossuses, Grizzlies) increased by 7%
Warthog population 4 -> 3 (does not affect Flamehog)
Tier 2 vehicles continue to lack viability despite the changes in earlier updates, and are still not seeing high usage or win rates. It’s important to us that core units are viable and have a place in unit compositions. This change specifically targets Cyclops and Hunters, which were too strong at countering the tier 2 vehicles, pushing them out of the meta. The Warthog itself had a population cost that didn’t match its cost in comparison with the other tier 2 units, and as a result it was pop inefficient. This rectifies that. Finally, situationally the tier 3 heavy tanks – in large numbers – could defeat similar armies of anti-vehicle units. This small change brings that interaction closer to how it’s intended.
Economy
    • Adjusted the diminishing returns curve on Supply Pads. The result is that income from your 3rd and 4th bases is noticeably higher, whilst income from one or two bases is very similar.
    • Income from on-map Energy Capture Points slightly reduced from 2/s to 1.5/s
Supply income was dropping off too sharply at high Supply Pad counts. This making it too easy for a player on two bases to be able to hold their own against a player on three or four bases, making map control matter less than intended, and making it too difficult for a heavily advantaged player to shut down a weaker player, especially in the late game, and artificially elongating games. We want map control to matter, and the taking and holding of bases in the late game to be more important. Energy income, on the other hand, often demonstrated the opposite problem – a player who lost map control in the early or mid game would be significantly behind in energy income, which would snowball too quickly.

Isabel’s Holo Decoy
    • Cooldown 130 -> 110
    • Tier 1 Cost 200/50 -> 100/30
    • Tier 1 max holograms 6 -> 7
    • Tier 1 duration 40 -> 50
    • Tier 2 350/75 -> 200/50
    • Tier 2 max holograms 10 -> 11
    • Tier 2 duration 60 -> 70
Isabel has low usage rates, and is considered a low-tier leader, especially in the early game. Holo Decoy is one of her signature abilities, and is available with the first leader point. This heavily reduces the cost of Holo Decoy, as well as slightly reducing cooldown and slightly increasing the number of holograms and their duration. The intent her is to give Isabel a powerful and unique early game option, and give her more of a chance to reach her strong late game powers.

Atriox
    • Dying Breath cost 250/20 -> 300/80
    • Unbreakable cost 2000/1000 -> 1200/800
Kinsano’s Hellcharge
    • Buff AoE radius increased by 33% / 83% / 100%
Kinsano’s Hellcharge buffed an extremely small number of units, making it not worth the cost, and making Heat of Battle clearly the superior choice.
Classic Spartans (Jerome/Alice/Douglas):
    • Ground Pound damage 1250 -> 2200
    • The impact fall off/radius for max AOE damage has been reduced by 70%
    • Speed 13 -> 15
The classic Spartans still lag behind other heroes in terms of usefulness, this is step towards allowing them to compete with more powerful heroes.

Glassing Beam
    • Tier 1 damage +9%
    • Tier 2 damage +5%
  • Decimus’ Boundless Siphon lifesteal increased by 250%
  • Decimus’ Vortex Lightning
Tier 1 damage -10%Tier 2 damage -10%
  • Shroud cost 550 -> 450
  • Siege Turret
    • Cost 900 -> 750
    • Projectile Velocity increased by approx. 128%
  • Hunter Captain lifesteal increased by approx. 32%
  • Arbiter’s Enforcer Drop now spawns three squads instead of four (cost and pop adapted accordingly)
  • Wolverine reduced AOE splash damage against ground targets by 70%
  • Johnson’s Bunker Drop no longer has a pop requirement
  • Anders’ Beacon Sentinels no longer provide LoS
  • Kodiak artillery damage to non-infantry targets increased by 20%
  • Blisterback
Pop 8 -> 7 Supply cost 700 -> 600
Huzzah for these changes!
Thanks for the patch notes and the stream! Huzzah is correct!
Decimus' Boundless Siphon might actually do something noticeable now. I always found it weird how it seemed flat out worse than Colony's Combat Repair. Nice changes!

Edit: And Bunker Drop no longer costs population, another awesome change!
Huzzah
Omg these changes are very nice
Very much looking forward to Bunker Drop changes, as well as Kodiak buffs!
Why nerf Dying Breath? You're tearing me apart 343!

Although I guess I'll be able to use Unbreakable again.
Didn't notice anything about forgehog
These are great! I can't not wait
Didn't notice anything about forgehog
It's literally the first thing in there, lol. Same damage, but the splash radius has been greatly reduced and no longer can damage air caught in the splash.
Didn't notice anything about forgehog
It's literally the first thing in there, lol. Same damage, but the splash radius has been greatly reduced and no longer can damage air caught in the splash.
Gotcha. I didn't see the drop down and clicked over to the patch note preview.
Why nerf Dying Breath? You're tearing me apart 343!

Although I guess I'll be able to use Unbreakable again.
I think the huge price reduction on Unbreakable more than makes up for it. Dying Breath is way too effective for its original cost.

Very much looking forward to Bunker Drop changes, as well as Kodiak buffs!
Both are great changes! Kodiaks should finally have their place as useful artillery.

The changes I'm most excited about (besides Forge nerf of course) are Decimus' Siphon being much more effective, Spartan Slam as a more brutal (but hopefully not OP!!!) Y ability, and Isabel's Holo Decoy buff. I feel like that could really beef up her early game potential. Combined with Alice's buff it should give her a fighting chance in T1. Oh and T2 vehicle buffs FTW!!!
Didn't notice anything about forgehog
It's literally the first paragraph... Your joking right
I'm with Breezy. Huzzah indeed!

literally can't wait for this to go into effect.
Spartan Slam as a more brutal (but hopefully not OP!!!)
I won't lie, the thought of having another Y ability buffed almost had me in panic. But this is roughly a 70-80% increase. Very far from the number that shall not be spoken ever again.
Spartan Slam as a more brutal (but hopefully not OP!!!)
I won't lie, the thought of having another Y ability buffed almost had me in panic. But this is roughly a 70-80% increase. Very far from the number that shall not be spoken ever again.
Exactly haha. This should help the Spartans fight off other leaders like Colony and Chosen better. Plus the damage radius was proportionally decreased to prevent it from becoming another nuke, something the devs regretfully forgot to do last time.
I always wondered why Johnson's Bunker Drop cost population, glad it was resolved! Also pretty happy about the Warthog and Holo Decoy changes, they might actually be useful!
did you ever fix the tundra bisons buggy unit model?
Limeshake wrote:
I always wondered why Johnson's Bunker Drop cost population, glad it was resolved! Also pretty happy about the Warthog and Holo Decoy changes, they might actually be useful!
Probably to prevent the whole map to be covered in bunkers. I wonder if there is still some sort of cap on them, that isn't related to population.
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