Forums / Games / Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 Game Feedback! August 1st

OP ske7ch

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Hey folks - With the Serina DLC and latest update out the door I wanted to attempt to focus a conversation and gather current feedback about Halo Wars 2. I know this forum is filled with hundreds upon hundreds of threads - which we try to continuously skim and keep track of - but there's so much duplication and churn it can be very inefficient.

To help matters I'm creating a fresh thread to consolidate current feedback on the game. If you have something to share, please do! Please be as constructive and detailed as possible.

1. What are your biggest concerns with the current meta? How are the other leaders? How's unit balance?
2. What's at the top of your wish list for future updates?
3. Do you have any questions to ask of the development team?

UPDATE: Please read HERE for a preview of a few high priority changes already in the works for the next patch (Serina, Forge & Reavers)

Thanks in advance for sharing feedback and my apologies if this makes some folks have to re-type feedback they've already recently provided. Truth is the Waypoint forums are unwieldy and messy and aren't always the best conduit for ongoing player dialog.

thanks!
1. This game is turning into Hero Wars. Everyone racing to build an armory and pump out a leader and rush a base. I'm fine with hero's being used, but not to point they are so easy and cheap to make and yet so dominant. You have leaders who are not even used, Johnson, Kinsano, and Isabel come to mind. Kinsano was nerfed into the ground for no reason. Flamehogs were her unique unit and they were made garbage. Inferno isn't strong anymore. Why are some leaders barely touched when they remain at the top? Atriox comes to mind. Has a ton of offensive powers, powers that make troops invulernable to damage, live beyond death, and a power that wipes out every troop. Then looks Johnson. Besides EMP blast, zero useful powers. Compare Johnson hero vs Atriox, it's a joke. You want to make all leaders viable but why would anyone choose Johnson over Cutter or Atriox. Speaking of Cutter, why nerf him instead of bringing other UNSC leaders more in line? The gap between banished leaders and UNSC is getting wider. As for unit balancing, why are infantry wrecking air? They are cheap. They should not wreck anything. I'm building planes which are significant investment and you're building cheap grunts and marines. Why on earth are they destroying air? If you're going to make infantry so strong then the only thing that can win vs them is mass snipers or tanks and mass snipers are useless vs vehicles, buildings, air. Infantry are the best all around troop and cheapest. That doesn't make sense. Last I checked a plane would dominate a group of infantry.

2. Top of my wish list? A) Remove shipmaster teleport without vision. That is ridiculous. Actually, no leader should have that ability. Line of sight should be needed for everything. B) Remove the stupid diminishing returns. Why penalize someine for having mote generstors and supply pads than opponent? Expanding should be emphasized. C) Balance updates! Instead of releasing 1 every month and making giant changes, why not more frequent patches or smaller changes? Small tweaks will stop things like everyone using Forge now because of over buff. D) Make kodiaks useful and stronger. They are anti infantry. They should wreck infantry. And mauraders, for the cost they are useless. E) Snipers should be able to shoot buildings, vehicles, and air just like Elites just do very little damage. Why can't they shoot them? Makes no sense.

3) Why can't you guys provide more frequent information? Why wait until last minute to say what's coming or what you're thinking? Leaving everyone in dark isn't good.
I'll be the first to say it, FIX FORGE. Who's idea was it to up to by 300%??? Why not try raising it 150% first? It just seems dumb. My friend said it best, it's not even a hero power now it's a leader power!

fix it please.
Can't wait for it
Minus the forge hog and Serena. Balance is pretty good in the game right now. However I have noticed a glitch when I was playing as colony. I don't know how often it occurs but when I grabbed hunters brand level 2 while the ability was on cool down. The meter jumped up significantly and was ready for use much sooner than it should have been. I've also noticed a different problem where their is a larger delay between when a support power comes off of cooldown and when the power is actually ready to be used. I think the worst delay I've seen was about 10 seconds after its cooldown had finished before I could actually use the power.
I feel like the story in Halo Wars 2 was a huge step in the right direction for 343. But, like most things in life, there is always room for improvement. One thing I've noticed that holds back 343's storytelling is the constant focus on a singular enemy. In Halo Wars 2, we are introduced very early to Atriox and are reminded constantly throughout the game that the Banished belong to him. In Halo 4, we are introduced to The Didact, and reminded constantly that the Prometheans belong to him. In Halo 5, Cortana is made to be the new villain and it is made abundantly clear that she is the leader of the created.

That's one area where I feel like Bungie's storytelling was superior. In the Bungie games, we knew that Truth was the leader of the Covenant and the Gravemind was the leader of the Flood(except for in Halo CE because those characters weren't invented yet). But, the focus throughout the games were on fighting those factions as a whole. It was less about stopping Truth and more about stopping the Covenant. It was less about stopping Gravemind and more about stopping the Flood. With the 343 games, it feels more like the main goal is to stop one guy and his/her plans while the armies are nothing more than cannon fodder. In the Bungie games, the armies you faced felt like they had a unified goal that each and every troop was fighting for.

As I said, Halo Wars 2's story is a huge step in the right direction in that it doesn't rely on external media for the player to know what's going on. But, I wanted to throw out my two cents on how I would like to see the storytelling improved for future Halo games. I would like to see less emphasis on singular, named villains and more emphasis on the abstract whole of the enemy factions.
Also the top of my wishlist is that YapYap has a leader power that rains down suicide grunts like Forge's scatter bomb.
I do wish that Kinsano was actually viable as a leader. Poor lass was nerfed into oblivion. I can't even tell the last time I saw ANYONE play as her.
Johnson is useless, it would be amazing if his Mantises were buffed. Colossus is still useless even after the buff. Again, I haven't come across ONE player as him. And it's too bad, because of HW2 bringing in Mantises, they're my favourite drivable UNSC vehicle, yet are vulnerable to everything. I do like how people are using Anders again, though

Only Banished leader I come across now is Atriox and his armies of invulnerability, there's no variety.

Not even going to speak about Serina since I'm pretty sure everyone knows she's gonna be useless sometime soon, which brings me on to a huge point. We need more frequent balance updates, instead of one HUGE one a month. This way, we aren't stuck with something we don't want like a 300% buffed forgehog.

Everything else? Life is good. It's just that there's no Banished variety, Kinsano & Johnson need buffing, and more frequent updates are direly needed.
I'd also be REALLY happy if one of the upcoming Banished DLC leaders had a Lich as a super unit :')
  1. Reavers are terrible and banished scouts lose to rabbits currently. Banished can't beat a unsc that masses hornets, it just won't happen and it is because the reaver is bad and lacks dps. I will make a more detailed post about balance and changes in about a week similar to my last post about "high level issues."
  2. Controls adjustments, I would like to see right on the d-pad jump to my teammates flares. I would like to see left bumper be all units and up on the d-pad be my leader power wheel and global rally point would be double tap left thumbstick. I would like to see control groups removed or made secondary so that my right trigger works smoothly and quickly to cycle through my units. The RT+Y is an improvement but it was just a bandaid and doesn't really fix the problem as telling units to do things quickly can cause it to accidentally cycle to the next unit. I would like setting waypoints to be possible by holding x and when way-pointing supply pick up it should pick up all of the supplies in the group instead of just one pile. When I push all units and cycle through my units and I reach the end of my units it should cycle back to the first unit and not to all units because if I wanted all units, I would just push all units again.
  3. Do you have any questions for me? I don't mind helping you balance your game, just message me.
1- I noticed that the Blisterback has problems when healing once more. Though more than related to the vehicle, it might be due to Skitterers or Serina's Cryobomb since it has been working fine on Blitz but didn't heal beyond half bar on matches that it's exposed to such effects. I can't tell which might be causing it, since the only games I built Blisterbacks with Skitterers was while facing a Serina.

2- AA has improved since the patch, but they still kind of suck vs mass Sentinels, there are still ways to counter them but AA doesn't seem to be the best option rigth now, more than a buff, I think that AA needs some work on pop and cost.
Ok im really glad u moved this onto waypoint as well. My biggest concern is heroes. I like that they are central to the game but they need to be balanced.
1: Jerome, Alice and Douglas need to start with their weapons. Otherwise they will continue to lose to all banished and unsc early game. This imo is the best way to help isabel early
2. Banished are not viable atm bc of hornets. Dont know how to fix but it need it
3. Kinsano, hero is garbage eithet buff hp or dramatically increase damage
4. FlameHogs need to actually do dmg
5. Fix boundless siphon
6. Johnson here you have a chance to counter forge hog he says hes anti vehicle but he isnt really
7. Reavers need to take 4 pop
8. Go read Metaloids post on Raid where it works on marines-do that
1- I noticed that the Blisterback has problems when healing once more. Though more than related to the vehicle, it might be due to Skitterers or Serina's Cryobomb since it has been working fine on Blitz but didn't heal beyond half bar on matches that it's exposed to such effects. I can't tell which might be causing it, since the only games I built Blisterbacks with Skitterers was while facing a Serina.

2- AA has improved since the patch, but they still kind of suck vs mass Sentinels, there are still ways to counter them but AA doesn't seem to be the best option rigth now, more than a buff, I think that AA needs some work on pop and cost.
Agreed. Wolves are very weak for what their job is.
Johnson has useless powers except for EMP

Serenas okay, but the ice thing makes it almost impossible to break a base with kodiaks around it, by then again that's just being smart.

operation spearbreaker... oh boy let's get started, not worth a dime, I only played the first mission and I was disappointed two minutes in, no real cutscene, just some scenes showing the base and that's it, no character development we learn NOTHING about them in the intro, and only two characters are voiced? Really? And one of theme recycle. The first mission is a 30 minute grind of the same garbage, im just glad I didn't buy this full price and got it on sale

icons of war feels useless against Serena now.
VENOM ACR wrote:
1. This game is turning into Hero Wars. Everyone racing to build an armory and pump out a leader and rush a base. I'm fine with hero's being used, but not to point they are so easy and cheap to make and yet so dominant. You have leaders who are not even used, Johnson, Kinsano, and Isabel come to mind. Kinsano was nerfed into the ground for no reason. Flamehogs were her unique unit and they were made garbage. Inferno isn't strong anymore. Why are some leaders barely touched when they remain at the top? Atriox comes to mind. Has a ton of offensive powers, powers that make troops invulernable to damage, live beyond death, and a power that wipes out every troop. Then looks Johnson. Besides EMP blast, zero useful powers. Compare Johnson hero vs Atriox, it's a joke. You want to make all leaders viable but why would anyone choose Johnson over Cutter or Atriox. Speaking of Cutter, why nerf him instead of bringing other UNSC leaders more in line? The gap between banished leaders and UNSC is getting wider. As for unit balancing, why are infantry wrecking air? They are cheap. They should not wreck anything. I'm building planes which are significant investment and you're building cheap grunts and marines. Why on earth are they destroying air? If you're going to make infantry so strong then the only thing that can win vs them is mass snipers or tanks and mass snipers are useless vs vehicles, buildings, air. Infantry are the best all around troop and cheapest. That doesn't make sense. Last I checked a plane would dominate a group of infantry.

2. Top of my wish list? A) Remove shipmaster teleport without vision. That is ridiculous. Actually, no leader should have that ability. Line of sight should be needed for everything. B) Remove the stupid diminishing returns. Why penalize someine for having mote generstors and supply pads than opponent? Expanding should be emphasized. C) Balance updates! Instead of releasing 1 every month and making giant changes, why not more frequent patches or smaller changes? Small tweaks will stop things like everyone using Forge now because of over buff. D) Make kodiaks useful and stronger. They are anti infantry. They should wreck infantry. And mauraders, for the cost they are useless. E) Snipers should be able to shoot buildings, vehicles, and air just like Elites just do very little damage. Why can't they shoot them? Makes no sense.

3) Why can't you guys provide more frequent information? Why wait until last minute to say what's coming or what you're thinking? Leaving everyone in dark isn't good.
Thanks for this Ste7ch

First of all, love the new hero play, makes the game interesting and more strategic. Just need to balance them which as you said you are fully aware of.

The infantry v air at the is great...keeps basic infantry variable and means you have a soft counter in the early game if someone rushes to air and gives you time while you start your AA pump.

I like the fact the snipers only kill infantry is great, it keeps them focused on what they do best...with delay between shots that first salvo is so important i don't want to have a shot wasted on a building with infantry show up and the snipers now have to reload.

I main Johnson and i think he is in a good spot.
Only feed back for him would be to make another adjustment to the digging in 4th power on the wheel that effects turrets...maybe add in the it also makes base turret upgrades cheaper. Just feel atm moment that I would never pick that power until late game when options start to run out. This will make it more useful as a turtling power.

Keep the fixes to monthly unless something is totally broken....love the way it adds a dynamic to the game that you would take away if you consistently put out patches. Plus that way we get overcome strats by learning and shifting the meta.
This patch is truly a step in the right direction. I believe the future goal would be to make any opening viable so that it's not leader dominant. It would be good that with proper micro all early units will be competitive. I'm not saying to nerf the leaders so no one uses them again, minor balancing.

Forge is a tad strong, a SLIGHT nerf would make it more along the lines of others. Serina seems fine where she is, for now. Not sure why Cutter needed a nerf. He was a joy to use. Anders, Isabelle, and Jerome are heading in the right direction, maybe some small tweaks. Colony may need to be reassessed, haven't used him enough after patch to clearly identify the exact issues, but it just doesn't have the correct "feel". Arbiter and Decimus seems "lost" in this meta. I highly agree with the earlier post by Venon ACR about Kinsano. Why take so much away from her? All her strengths are now underwhelming. She's not fun to use anymore and that is the key word that no one talks about. FUN.

This game should be fun! It's a small community, don't let it get to the point where loyal supporters stops playing because of drastic changes to the meta and constant resetting of the leaderboards. Let's make small adjustments till it's ultimately balanced. And finally, let's not bash 343 but rather help them make the game as good as it can be! Afterall, for us RTS fans, it's all we have on the XBOX ONE!

Oh, I forgot to touch on the controls. Also heading in the right direction but more tweaks would certainly be welcomed. I will try to post more details on controls in a different thread.
This patch is truly a step in the right direction. I believe the future goal would be to make any opening viable so that it's not leader dominant. It would be good that with proper micro all early units will be competitive. I'm not saying to nerf the leaders so no one uses them again, minor balancing.

Forge is a tad strong, a SLIGHT nerf would make it more along the lines of others. Serina seems fine where she is at for now. Not sure why Cutter needed a nerf. He was a joy to use. Anders, Isabelle, and Jerome are heading in the right direction, maybe some small tweaks. Colony may need to be reassessed, haven't used him enough after patch to clearly identify the exact issues, but it just doesn't have the correct "feel". Arbiter and Decimus seems "lost" in this meta. I highly agree with the earlier post by Venon ACR about Kinsano. Why take so much away from her? All her strengths are now underwhelming. She's not fun to use anymore and that is the key word that no one talks about. FUN.

This game should be fun! It's a small community, don't let it get to the point where loyal supporters stops playing because of drastic changes to the meta and constant resetting of the leaderboards. Let's make small adjustments till it's ultimately balanced. And finally, let's not bash 343 but rather help them make the game as good as it can be! Afterall, for us RTS fans, it's all we have on the XBOX!
Preach it!!

BUT, I don't know about Serina being fine, her early game is a little too strong for a support Hero. (I think, at least).
VENOM ACR wrote:
1. This game is turning into Hero Wars. Everyone racing to build an armory and pump out a leader and rush a base. I'm fine with hero's being used, but not to point they are so easy and cheap to make and yet so dominant. You have leaders who are not even used, Johnson, Kinsano, and Isabel come to mind. Kinsano was nerfed into the ground for no reason. Flamehogs were her unique unit and they were made garbage. Inferno isn't strong anymore. Why are some leaders barely touched when they remain at the top? Atriox comes to mind. Has a ton of offensive powers, powers that make troops invulernable to damage, live beyond death, and a power that wipes out every troop. Then looks Johnson. Besides EMP blast, zero useful powers. Compare Johnson hero vs Atriox, it's a joke. You want to make all leaders viable but why would anyone choose Johnson over Cutter or Atriox. Speaking of Cutter, why nerf him instead of bringing other UNSC leaders more in line? The gap between banished leaders and UNSC is getting wider. As for unit balancing, why are infantry wrecking air? They are cheap. They should not wreck anything. I'm building planes which are significant investment and you're building cheap grunts and marines. Why on earth are they destroying air? If you're going to make infantry so strong then the only thing that can win vs them is mass snipers or tanks and mass snipers are useless vs vehicles, buildings, air. Infantry are the best all around troop and cheapest. That doesn't make sense. Last I checked a plane would dominate a group of infantry.

2. Top of my wish list? A) Remove shipmaster teleport without vision. That is ridiculous. Actually, no leader should have that ability. Line of sight should be needed for everything. B) Remove the stupid diminishing returns. Why penalize someine for having mote generstors and supply pads than opponent? Expanding should be emphasized. C) Balance updates! Instead of releasing 1 every month and making giant changes, why not more frequent patches or smaller changes? Small tweaks will stop things like everyone using Forge now because of over buff. D) Make kodiaks useful and stronger. They are anti infantry. They should wreck infantry. And mauraders, for the cost they are useless. E) Snipers should be able to shoot buildings, vehicles, and air just like Elites just do very little damage. Why can't they shoot them? Makes no sense.

3) Why can't you guys provide more frequent information? Why wait until last minute to say what's coming or what you're thinking? Leaving everyone in dark isn't good.
2. Shipmaster isn't the only leader with teleport. Shipmaster is the only leader that can upgrade the teleport power. It's one of the main reasons he's a viable leader, as he lacks brute force powers like eradication beam, and without teleport, he has no viable leader powers at the first few minutes. Teleport doesn't need to be addressed. Displacement is debatable. 2B) Diminishing returns doesn't need to be addressed. There should be a punishment for spam pumping units in the late game. You can use some of those spots on base to build other buildings and upgrade those units. Which you probably should be doing going into late game. 2C) Agreed, more incremental, small patches would be nice. 2D) Kodiaks are already very influential. Mobile siege turrets. 2E) Marauders IMO should get a fire rate increase like what was given to the Reavers. I think this would solve that issue. 2F) Snipers have much longer range and DPS compared to elite rangers. They also have research-able upgrades, and elite rangers do not.
Can something be done about Johnsons 10th leader power? Many any the community do not find it useful because late game you likely already have two full bases.

its only useful in very specific situations, like if your base is destroyed, but most of the time if you lose a base the game is almost over. Sometimes you can make a comeback sure, but usually if bases are falling your teammates start quitting.

its obviously useful for making buildings for free, but is really that useful? I mean you still have to wait for the base to be made, the buildings to be made, the base to upgrade, etc etc. it's not really THAT easy to remake a base even if the building are free.

which brings us to the last way it's useful, building a 3rd base and making it a money base to feed your team money. While some people say this is kind of lazy because it's essentially "free money" I think it's a good idea. However, there's very few maps that have enough base slots to where someone can get a third base.

If more ore maps had extra base slots like in halo wars 1 this wouldn't fix the problem.

lastly, while we're on the topics of maps, the new maps should have more character. I hope the flood return to multiplayer maps and more maps get things like neutral healing beacon etc.
I've seen a couple of things that I think 343 should address. 1) I think Serina is actually pretty balanced and the only thing I can see about changing is her leader power that gives cryo troopers shields, an aura, ice around power nodes, turrets, and gives Kodiaks ice blasts. It's just too much in one passive leader power and it should be spread out to 2. Rushing with the cryo trooper sure while also taking map control with the ice power nodes is a little too powerful early game. 2) IMO shattering enemy units should do way less damage. You're already letting Serina's troops completely freeze an enemy army and there's nothing they can do about it, the damage from the shatter is basically just free damage without providing any available counter play. 3) im not sure if this is working as intended or not but if warthogs get into any ice on the ground at all, whether it be from the power nodes, turrets, kodiaks, or blizzard. They can't move, literally they get touched with ice and they're stuck in place not frozen solid but can't move. 4) The forgehog is just too strong rn, he can take out like 6 marine squads with one hit if they're stacked on each other. 5) This is just a personal preference that Shipmaster gets a new unit to replace jet pack brutes that fit more in line with him as an elite. I would love it to just be a reskin of the brutes with jump pack elites like we saw in halo 2's first mission when going out the airlock and give them plasma rifles, they don't even have to be anti building because the jump pack brutes are basically useless after tech 1. 6) Colony's Goliaths need their anti vehicle upgrade at tech 1. They are useless beyond tech 1 as they can't attack air and we already have hunters as actual anti vehicle units. 7) Snipers need to be moved to tech 2, giving the unsc a ranged anti infantry counter at tech 1 is completely unbalanced to banished players who get the elite rangers at tech 2 and they suck anyone so no one even makes them. 8) Jerome's Mantis is a little too underpowered compared to other leader units at tech 1 now. Either drop the power cost for his upgrade or make it have a little bit more health. Because it gets demolished at tech 1. 9) Shipmasters displacement needs a longer cooldown. 10) Cutter needs a new hero unit. Seeing Jerome lose to a better Jerome just makes me sad whenever I see it. 11) Leader units should cost 40 population just like an uber unit. They do basically the same damage and have the same health once upgraded plus a shield and this would make a dent in forces trying to rush with a hero early on. The way they are balanced right now is they are basically a free ultimate unit and some of them like forge and jerome even give bonuses to troops around them! 12) Keep up all the good work, I really love this game and want it to be even more awesome and I'm trying to help in the only way I can by giving hopefully some helpful feedback!
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