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According to a recent report, the beta for Halo Wars 2 is leading to some pretty significant changes in the final build of the game based off of player feedback. In other words, this was an actual beta for the game, not a glorified stress test.
These latest Halo Wars 2 details come to us from Dan Ayoub, Studio Head of Strategy Games for 343 Industries. He says his team, along with the folks at Creative Assembly, were pretty happy with the results they got from the Halo Wars 2 beta in June but, unlike most betas these days, the information they pulled from the experience will have a direct impact on the game.
Halo Wars 2 enjoyed a warm reception during the Microsoft press conference at E3 2016, where a new trailer gave folks an idea of the types of epic encounters they can expect out of the game when it finally launches early next year. The beta was held in June, giving the developers loads of time to actually finish up work on the game before launching on Feb. 21, 2017.
According to the announcement over on Xbox Wire, community feedback, comments on forums, user research tests, and info pulled from 343's own experiences during the beta have all been taken into account. This lead to a series of improvements the team plans to make over the course of the next several months. Dan Ayoub said that the biggest gripes were actually with connectivity and de-synchs, which have apparently already been addressed. It's a nice sign that, out of all the things folks could have found issues with, the easier to fix technical stuff was the biggest reported problem.
However, on top of nailing that stuff down in this latest side story from the Halo universe, the team is working to improve five key areas of Halo Wars 2, including controls, leader abilities, bases, resources and population.
In the area of controls, the team is working on adjustments to button mapping in an effort to make the process of playing the game faster and smoother. Additional controller configurations are also being toyed with in the hopes of finding some fan-favorite options.
Leader Powers, one of the in-game abilities players can invest in and use in the midst of battle, were deemed a bit vague. As a result, 343 is working on a way to make it clear how Leader Powers work and how they evolve.
A similar gripe was had for bases in the beta. Apparently it wasn't made too clear why/how the bases were evolving in Halo Wars 2, so the team is tightening up everything from UI feedback to changes in the appearance of individual structures and more.
And when it comes to making those upgrades, apparently players felt the costs of powering up were too high. As a result, the Halo squad is hard at work rebalancing resources and power to give in-game progression a steadier curve.
Finally, the population of battlefields was made a high priority after the beta concluded. Apparently the unit population count was purposefully lower in this early build, and the team has already upped it for the final game.