Another Halo Wars 2 Beta Coming Next Year; Here's What Changed After the First

Adjustments to the controls, population cap, and more.


Halo Wars 2

With a second Halo Wars 2 beta set to take place next year, 343 Industries and The Creative Assembly today revealed some of the areas that have changed following the conclusion of the first test.

The list of changes was not comprehensive, and those included were discussed in broad strokes. For instance, the population cap--which was "purposely lower" in the beta than what was planned for launch--has been raised and may be "increase[d] further for the final game." That's good news, but we don't know exactly how much it's gone up.

Also tweaked are the controls, with "a number of adjustments" being made to "make it faster and easier to engage the actions players want to take." Additionally, the developers are "investigating multiple controller configurations," though nothing is being promised on that front yet.

Leader Powers are being improved to make them "more straightforward, easier to use, and understandable as to how the powers are evolving." Bases will now better display what state they're in, making it easier to determine how much damage they've taken, how developed they are, and what they're working on.

Finally, changes are being made to resources. 343 strategy game boss Dan Ayoub said in a blog post that the reason for having two separate resources is to provide players with a strategic decision to make, as each of the two is used for different things. But 343 and The Creative Assembly are aware many players didn't like the way things played out in the beta.

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"[W]e 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," he said. "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."

Ayoub describes all of this as "just a subset of the high level changes" being made based on player feedback. He also indicated that the two modes in the beta weren't indicative of everything Halo Wars 2 has to offer; there will also be "modes that run from hours of play [and] modes you can play in as little as 5 minutes."

He also reiterated that another beta is on the way in "early 2017." Unlike the first test, which was only available on Xbox One, this one will be for both Xbox One and Windows 10. The latter may prove to be key in winning over PC strategy game fans like myself who felt restricted by playing with a controller.

Halo Wars 2 launches on February 21, 2017. It's an Xbox Play Anywhere game, allowing you to buy a digital copy on Xbox One or PC and receive access on both platforms.

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