Idea for Halo Wars 2 (units and leaders)

  • If this is the wrong forum, I apologize, and the mods are welcome to remove it.

Halo Wars 2 is not in the works, hasn’t been confirmed, etc etc etc. This is just one fan of the game thinking about what the 2nd title could bring to the table.

First, instead of the 3 leaders for UNSC and 3 for Covenant, you could have six seperate factions… I would base Halo Wars 2 during the events of the original halo 3. This way, you don’t have to worry about making new storylines, but rather exploring different angles of the already told story.

How about

Leader one (UNSC command)

Leader unit: Master Chief
default weapon: assault rifle
passive upgrade one: shield enhancement (going from CE’s shield to Halo 2/3 shield. Faster recharge time)
passive upgrade two: DMR upgrade (more damage and longer range)
passive upgrade three: Battle Rifle upgrade (even more damage and health)

active upgrade one: grenade throw (allows Chief to throw two powerful grenades at up to two targets)
active upgrade two: Rocket launcher (allows Chief to fire two rockets at two targets)
active upgrade three: Spartan Laser (allows Chief to laser up to four targets for a ton of damage)

Scout unit: Mongoose (why this wasn’t the case in the original Halo Wars I will never know)
upgrade one: passenger (provides a passenger on the back of your mongoose that shoots an assault rifle)
upgrade two: rocket passenger (gives the mongoose a rocket launcher passenger)

Barracks units
Flamethrower (as in original HW)
Marines (as in original HW, but no ODST upgrade)

ODSTs (can’t be hot-dropped, used instead as anti-vehicle)
primary weapon: Reach grenade launcher
upgrade one: power drain ability added (Y ability)
upgrade two: rocket launcher weapons

Vehicle Depot:
Scorpion
Cobra
Warthog (redefined to take role of Wolverine, starts with “Gunner” upgrade)
upgrade one: Gauss Cannon upgrade
Upgrade two: Rocket Hog upgrade (reach)

Air Pad
Hornet
Falcon (takes place of vulture, not as slow and powerful, but faster and occupies less population)
upgrade one: transport ability (uses the role of the pelican from original HW)

Leader 2 (Sanghelli)
Leader unit: Arbiter (slight tweeks to original HW ARBY)
-instead of two energy swords…
original weapon: Plasma pistol
passive upgrade one: Plasma Rifle
Passive upgrade two: Carbine
Passive upgrade three: cloak

-While in rage mode, the Arby uses the sword.

Scout unit: Ghost

Hall units:
Elite Warrior (similar to original HW elite honor guard)

Elite Sniper (takes the role of jackals)
upgrade one: Carbines
upgrade two: needle rifle (increased damage)
upgrade three: Beam Rifle (increased range)

Elite Anti-vehicle unit (uses plasma launchers)
upgrade one: plasma overcharge (stuns vehicle with a plasma pistol for a short period)
upgrade two: Hijack destroy ability

  • allows them to use the original HW Spartan ability to hijack vehicle; however, instead of occupying the vehicle if the animation is complete, they plant plasma grenades on the vehicle)

Summit as in HW 1
Factory as in HW 1

Leader
Prophet of Truth
-pretty much a carbon copy of the prophet of regret, with the exception of no elite Honor Guards

Hall Units
Grunt Squad
upgrade one: peons
upgrade two: needler
upgrade three: decon (also adds suicide ability)

Jackals (no change)

Hunters (no change)

Brute Chieftan Tarturas
-pretty much a carbon copy of the original HW Brute, with small proposed change
-third upgrade gives the brute a Plasma turret, allowing him to attack air units
-electric shock upgrade replaced by brute armor upgrade (as seen in Halo 3)

Hall Units
Brutes
Jackals (no change from HW)
Hunters (no change from HW)

For the final two spots you could implement the flood (not an original suggestion, I know), the Forerunner machines… etc.

I know that was a long post, and it was just one loser fan hoping for a sequel to a fun game, but thanks for reading.

A couple things.

  1. I don’t think Master Chief will ever be a Halo Wars leader.

  2. I agree about the mongoose, but the reason warthogs were the op scout in Halo Wars is because they help to counterbalance the covenant leaders.

  3. I don’t think more leaders is quite the answer. It would really just create more balance difficulties. Instead, I would find a way for players to specialize their units.

I suggest a system of branching unit specialization. In addition to general upgrades to units that improve overall combat efficiency (e.g. for marines the new blood, medic and ODST upgrades, but not the RPG upgrade), I also suggest that additional branching weapon upgrades be available so that units can be given nuanced advantages towards certain enemies (i.e. slight anti-air, anti-infantry, anti-vehicle boosts). I suggest this be done through a new building: the ‘Armory’. The old ‘Field Armory’ should have its name changed to the more appropriate ‘Research Facility.’ Unlike all other upgrades, the upgrades researched in the armory can be undone and re-researched in order to allow players to adapt their strategies. These upgrades would not only cost set amounts of resources to research, but would also increase the amount of resources that each unit they modify costs. There would also be some single upgrades that affect primary weapons for some units. While these just upgrade the unit as a whole without offering the player a choice, the still make the unit cost more, and can thus be un-researched in order to pump out more units faster if needed. The tech req. for the upgrades can obviously be tweaked for balance. I think this would give the game a lot more depth without having to find ways to make the leaders unique, but at the same time balanced. It would also mean that there could be a lot of variation between relatively few types of units, and would be easier for the developers because they would just have to modify existing unit models.

As long as the “tech tree” is manageable in a consolve environment I would have no problem with branching tech trees ; either-or choices ; etc. On PCs this isn’t much of a problem but in a console RTS I never want to have to look “too hard” to set what I want to set or find what I want to find.

In terms of your idea I think “Marines” would be a great opportunity to use that. I could see adding a Flame Thrower guy, or a Sniper, or a Medic, or a Rocket Guy, or just whatever to the existing Group to augment its power and make it a little more useful vs. certain types of targets.

As far as the number of units go all of the units that you see in virtually every Halo game should be represented … Marines, Spartans, Wart Hogs, Hunters, Jackals, … After we have all the must-haves then add whatever else is needed for balance and go from there.

As for the Flood I’m not really sure we’ve seen enough different types of Flood to make it viable without “making stuff up”. The Flood certainly has a great variety of devestating Infantry and can grow their numbers like crazy when fighting Infantry. However I haven’t seen much in the games that leads me to believe that they’d have anything BUT infantry. I don’t recall that they ever built their own machines or used captured Tanks, Ghosts, Banshees, etc. I guess you could let them 'jack machines like a Spartan but that’s not a solution that I really love.

Well, I had a couple of ideas for the tech trees, but it also involves my ideas for a base scheme. My general idea for that was to still have a socketed scheme, but inside a walled base more similar to the E3 2007 models. There would be more sockets, but buildings would take up different amounts. A supply pad is one, a heavy supply pad is two, a barracks is two, vehicle depot and air pad are three, you get the idea. The armory building would be a building that attaches to the unit training building, much like a reactor in Star Craft. Once attached you could just have the research que accessible from the armory attachment. It makes sense, and it would be easy to manage.

I agree with you on the flood though. Halo Wars invented a lot of units in order to make them more of a threat, but it would still be really difficult to balance them out. The same goes for sentinels. You could maybe give them vehicles, but I just don’t see how they could have infantry.

The base building scheme sounds fairly solid to me. You would likely design a lot of the game around the building-scheme as you’ve already suggested.

In general I like your proposal. I would just want to make sure that it is easily workable on a console. Picking which sockets to build something in [without making mistakes], correcting mistakes, rotating buildings, etc. would need to be handled well. Potential issues of having to “recycle buildings for something else” would need to be handled well if certain game play elements were in HW2.


Something that I’d like to see on both sides are better “scouting” forces. Whether they are “snipers” or just cameras that can be set up or “satellite intel” I’d like to see more effective models for keeping tabs on what the “other guy” is doing. For a game with the tech level of Halo Wars I think the Fog of War is a little too strong. Of course these things would need to be paid for ; built ; placed ; etc. Either way I’d like to have the option.


Being able to place units like UNSC Snipers ; Covvy Jackals etc. at key points would also be something that I would like to see. They could serve as scouting forces that could also take pot-shots at Infantry, Leaders, etc. and could prove handy if done right.

  1. spartans need to be more powerful (also, make it so we can choose which weapons our spartans use)

  2. Have UNSC sniper class, unsc flamethrowers were good but Jakals would own them before they even come close.

  3. be abol to put units in scarabs.

  4. A MUST, have “free base” expansion, build anywhere we want, be abol to build walls and defences across large areas.

Those are a few of my suggestions, Halo wars should have a sequel…

As far as the base scheme goes, I’d have a central building and the surrounding area behind and to the sides of it be open. Yeah, it would mean that people would have to plan ahead more on how they build, (i.e. reserving three spaces for the vehicle depot they’re going to build) but I think that just comes down to experience, and wouldn’t be that hard to pick up. I would have the rotation be automatic just like it is now (i.e. the buildings face towards the center building.

Another idea I had was more unit specific abilities. I COMPLETELY agree about the scouts. There should be a sniper class for the UNSC, and I think the Spartans should be moved to a special building. My general idea was that the scouts (jackals and snipers) would have a ‘recon’ ability that made them stationary but only visible when an enemy unit passes very close to them. They wouldn’t engage the enemy, but would just stay there and clear the fog of war. Obviously there would be other nuances, e.g. other scouts can spot them more easily etc., but I think it would give people a lot more reason to build infantry. This obviously isn’t a very original idea in fact, I think it’s kind of obvious and would have been in the game if they had the time to include it.

Your thoughts about Scouts / Snipers mirror my own. The only thing that you didn’t mention is I think they should be able to shoot but would lose their “stealth” ability for a while. Snipers should do real good damage vs. Spartans, Leaders, Medics embedded in infantry, etc. …

In your base building system would you ever need to rotate parts around [I.E. play Tetris] to get things to fit?? For example if a heavy supply pad is a 1x2 structure it may make a difference if you build side to side vs. up & down.

> Your thoughts about Scouts / Snipers mirror my own. The only thing that you didn’t mention is I think they should be able to shoot but would lose their “stealth” ability for a while. Snipers should do real good damage vs. Spartans, Leaders, Medics embedded in infantry, etc. …
>
>
> In your base building system would you ever need to rotate parts around [I.E. play Tetris] to get things to fit?? For example if a heavy supply pad is a 1x2 structure it may make a difference if you build side to side vs. up & down.

Well, the idea about the scouts was that it would just be an ability for them to go into recon mode, and if you want them to attack you have to take them out of it. Otherwise they would give away their position. There could also be covenant units (like the elite honor guard) that could go invisible for a time, but that’s really a separate thing. The idea I had was that you could get a scout there and then just have him watch the area without having to worry about him. The other added bonus against special units is another good idea.

As far as the base building scheme, I don’t know. Adding dimensions makes it a little more complicated; it’s really something you would have to play with a little on graph paper to figure it out. It would be preferable to have it as simple as possible so avoiding rotation would be best. If one did, it should just be one button for a 90 degree shift, having it automatically face the proper way so that there are only two options, sideways or lengthways, which really wouldn’t make it that much more complicated.

Another issue would be where the units come out from. A larger base could mean that barracks, vehicle depots etc could produce their own units, but I think it also makes sense to have an implicit underground system where they all come out of the large central building. It could look something like this:

WWWWGGWWWW
WSS SSW
WSS CC SSW
WSS CC SSW
WSS SSW
WSSSSSSSSSSW
WSSSSSSSSSSW
WWWWWWWWW

Where ‘W’ are the walls, ‘G’ is the gate, ‘C’ is the center building, and ‘S’ are building sockets. That’s just a rough sketch of the general idea though.

I see what you’re talking about much better now. I was initially thinking that everything inside the walls would be nothing but “socket space” with one or more gates so troops could get out. If you build a bigger base I was thinking that the walls just got moved back some to give you more socket space to work with.

No, I think the base upgrades could just open up more sockets. Obviously this is just a starting idea, you’d have to fool around with it for a while before you find something that works. I like the idea of walls because all the battles are really small at the higher levels, and most games come down to who harasses better, I think adding more depth and bonuses to the maps and units would allow for a bit more variety and larger battles. I’m also kind of tied on the covenant leaders, they make UNSC and Covenant so different, you would just have to see how they affect gameplay under the new system.

I like the idea of adding a mongoose; if they do have one you should be able to have a Spartan jump on and do brute shot jumping.

I agree with your base building suggestion that it would just take playing around with it to see what worked right or didn’t work quite right.


The more I think about things maybe some sort of hybrid of what we have now [limited sockets with “big” buildings] combined with some sort of “base points” to give you something to consider would be interesting.

The reason I say this would be [for example] if we have a large number of sockets and some buildings only take one socket then those buildings will be small and will be hard / annoying to select or glance at if you’re doing a quick scouting run.

You could consider the “base points” to perform a similar function to sockets … I.E. to somewhat restrict what can and can’t be built at one base.

Well, I think it might be best if there were no 1x1 buildings. The supply pads would start of as 1x2 and can be upgraded in basically the same way that they are now. Thus you would be wasting space not to upgrade them.

I actually had another idea about ‘base population’. The idea was that you could send for reinforcements from the main building that would increase the population of the base. The units you train would then come out of that number, (there of course being a total pop cap as well). It may seem unnecessary but it has two benefits, 1) it is more realistic because you aren’t just creating men out of nothing, and 2) the base count would affect the repair rate of the base’s walls, and each turret would require 1 population in order to operate, making the player choose between having a better defense and producing units.

This is just an idea to toy with, and I think the general scheme would work without it, but here’s the idea that I had:

In addition to the general max pop count (that I’ll abbreviate MPC) (which I would increase to match the increase in map size) there would also be a base pop count (BPC). Instead of units having training times, I suggest giving the player units in waves. How it would work is that there would be a presumed underground structure to bases just like the current firebase, even though the buildings are farther apart. The main building in the center of the base would have a landing pad on the top of it, and the player would select an option from the main building called “Reinforcements” (different from the current upgrade by that name of course). This menu then asks how many reinforcements the player wants. For every 100 resources the player gets +1 to the BPC, which they could press the X button to increase by 100 resources until they are satisfied, or the Y button to quickly use all available resources, and then press the A button again to complete the order. A fast moving and invulnerable transport would then come down and drop the troops off in the main building. There would then be the added population in the BPC, which could be trained immediately as infantry, or in a delay as vehicles. Obviously one would have to tinker with the training times and the transport times in order to balance out the game. At the start of the game the player would automatically start off with a certain amount in the BPC (the exact number would likewise be determined by balance tinkering).

Another thing the BPC would effect is the defensive capacity of the base itself. There would be a certain number of turrets on the base’s walls to start off with. Each turret would require 1 BPC in order to function. Thus if a player completely empties their BPC in order to build offensive units, they would leave their base defenseless. The turrets would still be automated of course, but if one had a BPC below the total number of turrets then one could switch individual turrets on and off. The BPC would also affect how quickly the buildings in the base auto-repair and if the BPC is zero the bases can’t repair at all (of course bases cannot repair while they are being damaged). An additional possibility would be to add repair options that speed up the process exponentially, but also cost resources.

In addition to the four or however many starting turrets (the numbers aren’t really important at this point) there would be additional slots for new turrets to be built. In addition to this the starting turrets would be standard machine guns, but could be upgraded just like in the current system. However the flame mortar (anti infantry), the missile pod (anti-air) and gauss (anti-vehicle) would cost an additional BPC unit to operate, but would do quite a bit of damage.

I’ve pondered many things that would make Halo Wars 2 better than its older brother. First and foremost, I would gladly take a graphics cut for 4v4 or even 5v5 gameplay. Secondly, space battles would be a must (or at least ideal). The space battles would offer the complete opposite of ground combat in that the UNSC would now have weaker units, must rely on both sheer numbers and their leader unit. Space leaders for the UNSC are numerous and could be for the developer to decide.

Also, a campaign with more replay value would be nice. Halo Wars had a good campaign in terms of storyline, but fell short because it never really took the training wheels off until the last mission. And seeing how RTS games emphasize “thinking outside the box” that is not necessarily a good thing.

A map editor would be nice. But like the idea of Halo Wars 2 itself it’s more wishful thinking than anything else.

great minds think alike sir, I was thinking about a branch unit upgrade as well
There would be a defensive upgrade and an offensive upgrade. like marines would have New Blood and Medic for defense and RPG and Infantry Sniper (Single anti infantry addition to the squad) for offensive. you would be able to get ODST by just going through one of the branches, but if you miss an upgrade, it won’t be with the ODST.

> great minds think alike sir, I was thinking about a branch unit upgrade as well
> There would be a defensive upgrade and an offensive upgrade. like marines would have New Blood and Medic for defense and RPG and Infantry Sniper (Single anti infantry addition to the squad) for offensive. you would be able to get ODST by just going through one of the branches, but if you miss an upgrade, it won’t be with the ODST.

Mmm… I feel like defense/offense branching wouldn’t offer as much choice or depth to the gameplay. First off, you’d have to make sure that one wasn’t just better than the other, and then you’d have to think of why someone would choose defense over offense. I think the anti upgrades offer a clearer choice for what you want to do, and would make more sense for combos.

that answer would be simple really, an offensive upgrade is if you’re planning to be offensive with the unit. say the sniper to help fend off the defensive anti infantry they might have, or even the leader. and defensive, such as medic, for playing defensive, such as holding a hook or waiting for the opponent to strike first.

> that answer would be simple really, an offensive upgrade is if you’re planning to be offensive with the unit. say the sniper to help fend off the defensive anti infantry they might have, or even the leader. and defensive, such as medic, for playing defensive, such as holding a hook or waiting for the opponent to strike first.

Yeah, but my point is that then you’ll have to take all the mechanics of the game into account to make sure the overall advantage isn’t with one and not the other. It’s still a numbers game isn’t it? Your units’ HP vs. the enemy units’ HP. If you increased your defense, while they increased their offense, wouldn’t the result be the same? And if you both increased your defense, the battle would just take longer; with offense it would be shorter. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m just saying it would be tricky. The thing that would make it work is map features. If you built a bunker and placed a unit with an offensive upgrade in it, the unit would still be protected, and would deal out more damage. But say that units also have the ability to charge bunkers and throw explosives inside (as a special ability) then it would make more sense for those units to have the defensive upgrade, because all they have to do is run the gauntlet and make it to the bunker. That’s just an example, so it could work. My point is just that choosing different anti-upgrades makes more sense. Say that you know the enemy is building cobras and hornets. What you decide to do is build infantry with an anti-air upgrade, and an anti vehicle upgrade on your hornets, which would turn the tide of battle in your favor.

I could see that point, but what would happen to anti units per say? it would be counter productive to give marines an anti vehicle upgrade or Hornets an anti air upgrade. I think that they simply perform there anti functions fine, or nothing that a patch can’t fix up currently. Innovations for Halo Wars 2 (If it ever comes out) would probably be to fix the system currently in play, or introduce new units, not beef up the old. and all that while remaining canon would be hard indeed.