Halo Wars 2 Changes Have Already Been Made Based on Beta Feedback

By Kelly Packard, 2 months ago
This summer's Halo Wars 2 open beta caused mixed emotions in the Xbox One community. Some players loved it; some couldn't even get into a game due to matchmaking and connectivity issues. According to Dan Ayoub, Studio Head of Strategy Games at 343 Industries, the developers have already made big changes based on user feedback received during the beta.

"The Halo Wars team, across 343 Industries and Creative Assembly, felt it important to share with you our key takeaways, and how we will be adapting the game based on your feedback," Ayoub said in a blog post.

Another Halo Wars 2 beta is coming in early 2017Another Halo Wars 2 beta is coming in early 2017

Due to the early nature of the beta, there will be almost uncountable changes and improvements made to Halo Wars 2 before launch. After confirming the connectivity issues have already been resolved, Ayoub addressed the main differences regarding controls, leader abilities, bases, resources and energy as well as unit population.

  • Controls: We received a great deal of varied feedback around the control scheme in the beta, and based on this feedback, we’ve already made a number of adjustments to the controller layout to make it faster and easier to engage the actions players want to take. In addition to the layout changes we’ve already completed, we are investigating multiple controller configurations. It’s still to be determined what we can get done in time for launch, but we’re hopeful to add more choice when it comes to control schemes.
  • Leader Powers: While the Leader Powers were popular among those players that invested time in them, many players found their use unclear, and that the evolution trees were confusing, or not distinct enough. We are currently working at ways to make the Leader Powers usage more straightforward, easier to use, and understandable as to how the powers are evolving. Basically, we are tuning Leader Powers to better balance cost versus impact.
  • Bases: Arguably the biggest point of feedback regarding bases was that it wasn’t clear enough how buildings were evolving, or the amount of damage they had sustained – both for the attacker as well as the defender. As a result, we’re working to change the appearance of individual structures within the base to better reflect their current state. This will help players eyeball their base, or that of their opponent, to quickly assess its stage of development. We’ve also already added UI feedback so that players will know when their own structures are working on upgrading or creating units.
  • Resources and Power: Power collection was highly discussed topic; we heard loud and clear that costs seem too high, and players were forced to have Supply Depots and Reactors occupy a high number of build slots. As a result, we are changing the costs to scale with the stage of the game. For example, in the early stages, with lower power units, you will mostly focus on Supplies. As you progress to the more advanced stages, Power will become more of a factor, and you’ll need to start planning an approach to resource buildings. The goal here is to facilitate management of resources early in the game while giving the players choice about how to grow their armies. In general, the benefit of having a two resource economy is that it gives players greater depth and control in defining their own strategies. Supply and Power are used for different things (i.e. buildings and units vs. technology upgrades and Leader Powers) and focusing on one over the other is an important strategic decision during each match.
  • Population: Without a doubt, it was clear that you want a higher unit population count. You got it! While the unit cap for the Beta was purposely lower than what we’ll launch with, we’ve already raised the population and are working to possibly increase further for the final game.
Though this is just a taste of what's to come, the team at 343 and Creative Assembly wanted to make sure players knew their voices were heard. You'll have another chance to give the developers feedback when there is a second beta in early 2017, this time on both Xbox One and Windows 10.

Halo Wars 2 is scheduled for a full launch on February 21st, 2017.
Kelly Packard
Written by Kelly Packard
College student, longtime gamer, writer and Sour Patch Watermelon enthusiast.