Bring Halo Wars 2 to Steam, Expand Feature Set & Provide Support
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Halo Wars 2 is without a doubt the most successful new RTS release in the last 5 years. According to Didact.io, a community-made API crawler, 121,000 players have played a multiplayer match in the last 90 days. Compared to Starcraft 2's 90 day 1v1 population in the last season, which was 437,000 accounts (not players!), we can clearly see that Halo Wars 2 is doing very, very well - nearly 28% of Sc2.
Having established that Halo Wars 2 is well liked and popular even when compared to the largest game in the genre, it should be clear why the playerbase is frustrated with the lack of support.
After nearly 2 years of only minor balance tweaks, while bugs and balance are seriously hurting the game's appeal, and much of the game's client is very bare bones compared to other RTS, we decided to start this petition to 343 Industries.
Such an active game simply deserves better support. Please consider our requests and give us a public response.
1 - Steam Release:
- The game has come a long way since its weak launch. Many stayed away due to warnings and the Win10 store.
RTS gamers are primarily PC players, and many will not have heard about the game due to the Xbox-centeric marketing. Steam addresses this problem by itself - popular games get lots of visibility.
- The first game sold up to 500k copies on steam alone, with it having bean on Xbox and Win10 store as well. If we predict 500k sales, with 1 leader DLC per purchase (a very low figure for HW2 considering all DLC), we get a total sales value of 16,000,000-18,000,000 depending on which DLC is chosen.
- The amount of money that could be made with a good Steam release of Halo Wars 2 is clearly incredibly good. This more than warrants forming/hiring a dedicated support development team of 6-15 individuals
2 - New Features:
- We put together a feature request sheet of things we deem to be important for the long term success of the game. We've also listed known bugs and balance problems, all of which we prioritized. The most notable are listed below.
- Replays - we would like to have a watch to re-watch our matches for the purpose of improving, sharing cool moments with friends, and to give content creators more and better means of production. This is also a highly expected feature to have for PC RTS players.
- PC UI Redesign - the PC UI should not feature a single radial menu, ever. The lazy console control porting needs to go, and proper, modern RTS UI and controls need to be followed in order to appeal to the PC RTS audience.
- Leaderboards in Game Client - we currently have to go to Halo Waypoint, navigating through several subsections to reach the leaderboards. Most will never do this. This needs to be in game.
- Keyboard/Mouse Support for Xbox - a very much requested feature that should be quite doable, considering how the PC version already supports both kb/m and controllers.
- Several smaller client features like player color picking and better player profile stats to make the multiplayer and social experience better than it is currently.
3 - New Content:
- New maps - the primary new content we would like to see. Particularly the Firefight and Blitz mode is in dire need of new maps, as each only has a single one, which hurts their logevity.
- Unit skins are highly requested, but other things could be added as well, such as new voice lines. These could be a reward for leveling up in-game.
4 - Bug Fixes and QoL Improvements:
- There are a wide array of gameplay and client bugs in the game, all of which are covered in our spreadsheet. Some key ones below. These are not all of the bugs, but the most noteworthy ones.
- Boundless Siphon is active outside of combat, making Decimus' units heal at all times. This makes Decimus one of the most oppressive leaders in the game, but can't simply be patched out without a code revamp.
- Spectator mode sometimes results in a black screen, forcing the spectator to make the players restart the game. Terrible issue when it comes to tournament broadcasts.
- Veterancy is not gained when units are moving. Most units never get to rank up as a result.
- Scatter Bomb and Enduring Salvo stuns units during telegraphing. It's nearly impossible to dodge these powers, and they delete entire armies that don't have invulnerability or teleport capability.
- Area slow effects make grouped selections highly unresponsive, adding futher to the above issue when combined.
5 - Balancing Support:
- Please provide ongoing balancing support - perhaps 3-4 patches a year to go along with the new Steam community's addition to crossplay. This will help the game stay fresh, and fun to watch and play.
- Please openly share detailed thoughts of the devs on why balance changes were made. We love reading these.
We, the undersigned would like Xbox Studios and 343 Industries to recognize the value of Halo Wars 2, and act on it accordingly to meet the demand of the RTS audiences. Form a dedicated development team to take care of the game going forward. Bring it to Steam, add features, content, fix bugs and release balance patches. Thank you for your consideration.
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