Halo Wars 2 Development Update

Halo Wars 2

Today has seen quite a lot of information released onto the world wide web regarding the development status of Halo Wars 2. The update came from Dan Ayoub, Studio Head of Strategy Games, 343 Industries.

In a post on the official Halo Waypoint website Ayoub stressed that the studio have been working hard to rectify and fine tune some of the issues brought to their attention during the BETA stage a couple of months ago.

One of the biggest problems the game faced during its BETA stage was the plague of connectivity and de-synch issues. The Head of Strategy Games at 343 Industries was quick to alleviate any concerns surrounding that particular issue early in today’s post:

Probably the biggest criticism we heard about the beta was issues with connectivity, de-synchs, etc.  I’m happy to say that, thanks to you, we’ve already addressed these issues in the final game.

He went on in greater detail about other concerns they’d been focusing their attention on. Those were primarily Controls, Leader Abilities, Bases, Resources & Energy and 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.

Obviously fixing issues that players were presented with during their hands on experience with an early build of Halo Wars 2 isn’t going to be the sole focus of the development team. However, it is good to know that there isn’t a “Sweep it under the rug” mentality at 343 and that they are taking player concerns seriously.

The post on Halo Waypoint also went onto state that there will be new game modes, further gameplay advancements and a few surprises that we’re not yet privy to in the final release next year. The statement from Ayoub ended on a high with him reminding fans that there is another BETA to come in early 2017.

Also, keep in mind that we’ll be having another Beta coming in early 2017 that will be on BOTH Windows 10 and Xbox One!

Is Halo Wars 2 a title that you’re excited for? Will you be picking it up even though Halo isn’t your thing purely because it’s a strategy game and they are your genre of choice? Read the full post here and let us know your thoughts on this in the comments!

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