Enjoying the game so far after my first day of beta. It was quite hard to get my bearings at first haha, since just yesterday I replayed all of Halo Wars 1 before jumping into this beta. Here is my feedback thus far, broken up into bullet points across three categories: positive feedback, suggested features, and negative criticism.
-The turrets are awesome. Both with the first base starting with them, and how there are all new types. It adds another layer of depth to defense and I really love the concept.
-The change from generators granting technology levels to giving power as a resource is interesting and I like it.
-Adding a menu to build troops without specifically selecting the particular building they get built at would be nice. Sometimes it's important and tactical to train units at a certain location, but other times you just need to build a unit from any old place and send it to the gathering point. Just now I played a game where I was partially handicapped by not remembering what darn base I build my garage at to make vehicles. I understand this would be a hefty bit of coding work, but ideally a system that chooses a location closest to the global rally point, that doesn't have any research occurring there?
-If the allied team leaves the game early, instead of destroying all their bases transfer it to control of the remaining player, or give some kind of boost at least. It's enough of a handicap that one player suddenly has to micromanage his army to counter two, don't force them to expend even more resources gaining back the position they had before just because their randomly assigned partner was a -Yoink- who left early.
-Sometimes circumstances have it that we have an excess of one resource (supplies or power) and a deficiency of the other. Having the ability to sell power for supplies or supplies for power would be very nice.
Constructive Negative Criticism:
-I have no idea how to assign armies to specific hotkeys. The tutorial video said that was possible, but never said how. Similarly, I do not believe it was made clear how to use leader powers--I had to figure that out through experimentation (I had to "buy" the powers in the menu before being able to press left bumper to bring up the wheel).
-Minor issue, I kept setting a global rally point instead of bringing up the leader power wheel because D-pad Up was the button for that last game. That will probably cease to be an issue as I play.
-The "select local units" function seems finicky, not working all the time. Sometimes I tap the right bumper and it doesn't do anything. For some reason I feel it would be more natural to double tap the right bumper to select local, hold to select all.
-I'm going to reiterate again how important it is to be able to group specific units into specific armies which are easy to select via hotkey. That's a critical element of my ability to strategically play RTS games--otherwise it just devolves into what I did in the first Halo Wars, which is "select all units and swarm."
-I do not like the new design of the human bases. The previous game's bases looked badass and solid, like they were a serious military installation that both anticipated and was prepared for being under attack. I do like how the additional buildings are dropped from the sky instead of risen from underground, simply because it doesn't make any sense for a base that was just dropped from orbit to have underground facilities. But the squat, boxy look of the new base looks more like a civilian colony prefab building than a military one. No, just realized, what they look like are garages. Like, it would be perfectly natural for me to pull up in my Camry and park right in there. The back half of the base is fine, but the front half is not. I also was very fond of how in the previous game, the base was air-dropped in two separate sections that unfolded and combined together into one larger structure. That was really cool to watch.
-When directing units into an area covered by the fog of war, I do not see any visual or hear an audible confirmation that the command went through. Make the targeting icon flash to communicate that the order is received and being carried out. [NOTE on further inspection I might just be dumb. I see the cursor flare when ordering units to take supplies or garrison something, but I'm not sure about simply ordering them to move.]
-Alerts such as enemy contact and bases coming under attack are too soft-spoken and easy to miss. If there isn't already, an obvious marker on the minimap would be appreciated.
Cycling through bases doesn't seem to have any order to it. I say that hitting the "go to base" button takes you to base one, then to base two, ect. The specific ordering would start with your initial base, but after that it could either be determined by distance from initial base or order in which it was founded. And perhaps taking into account the difference between full bases and minibases too?
-Having to upgrade the main headquarters twice before even being capable of building Scorpions feels excessive and a heavy burden.
-I'm not particularly clear how upgrading technology levels works. I know upgrading my main base increases tech levels, but what about other bases? Does turning a firebase into a (whatever the upgrade of that is) increase tech? Or does it have to be the main base? I would like upgrading any base to contribute to that. Time and resources are tight in these games, devoting a heavy price just to increase tech with no other benefit so I can then go build my tank for another significant cost is a difficult thing to justify when I have twenty other tasks I need to be doing before the enemy attacks. At the same time, I could understand that being a balancing mechanic.