It's that time again, open your ears and broaden your horizons for this week's Weekly Update.
Lets start off in the miniature world with Halo Wars 2, which received a patch/update on the 7th of March, bringing with it a whole host of patches and fixes for both versions of the game on Windows 10 and Xbox One. The patch also served as a preparation update for the future ranked multiplayer game modes. As well as a host of bug fixes and performance improvements, some small balance changes were made based on designer and initial player feedback.
Here's a list of some of the highlights for the balance changes:
- Ramming Vehicles now take increased reflect damage
- Bloodfuel Locust card cost increased from 60 to 80
- Marine grenade secondary area of effect damage increased from 30% to 50%
- Scout Vehicles deal reduced damage against Non-scout vehicles
- Scout Vehicle cost changes: (100/50 = 100 Supply & 50 Power)
- Banished Brute Chopper – 270/0 to 280/20
- Banished Ghost – 250/0 to 265/20
- UNSC Jackrabbit – 210/0 to 220/15
- Scout Vehicle build time changes:
- Banished Brute Chopper - 23 to 25 seconds
- Banished Ghost- 23 to 25 seconds
- UNSC Jackrabbit – 21 to 24 seconds
The dev team will also be keeping an eye on a few other units and abilities in the game and they are looking to implement some nerfs and buffs to other units further down the line. To see the full list of patch notes, click here.
The Proving Grounds playlist was also released this week, with a some changes to the way the radar behaves being first on the list to go under the microscope, with some big changes to what's shown to players as they navigate around the map. Only unsilenced weapons and Spartan Abilites will show up on the radar, so if you like to sprint everywhere you'll be showing up, but if you like to be tactical and sneak in then you'll only pop up to your oponents when you unleash a hail of hot lead in their general direction. I played two games with it so far and I'll have to say it's a fresh take on the radar system, I feel like I can play a little more stealthy and still walk at normal speed, but you also have to be much more aware of your environment and where your teammates are as you can't rely on the radar to show you everyone around you. The radar range has been increased to 25m from 18m to allow for a bit more visibility owing to the reduced functionality.
Give the game mode a try if you feel like via the hopper in the ranked game modes Arena listing and if you've got any feedback make sure to go onto the Halo Waypoint forums and leave your constructive feedback if you've got any.
Another month means another new season in the Arena and some tweaks to the game Sandbox, which we covered in the last Weekly Update. Get out your strafing thumbs and work on your no-scopes as you battle to see who can get to the coveted Champion ranks over the next two months. Team Snipers has been removed for this season and Proving Grounds (mentioned above) has been added, but do not fret younglings. Snipers isn't going away for long as 343i have plans to bring it back, in either it's current state or after making some changes. Watch that space.
PAX was this weekend as well, and 343i held a panel at PAX East on Halo Wars 2 titled: Halo Wars 2: Creating the Story, Art, and content yet to come. They hosted an entertaining discussion the story, art and upcoming content for the game including announcing a new leader for the game, Kinsano. She's a Hellbringer from the UNSC stationed on the Spirit of Fire and has a unique unit based on the Cyclops, but it has flamethrowers. She speicalizes on bringing out units quickly and for a minimal resource cost and has a love for pyrotechnics. Here's a link to the PAX presentation slides, check out the last one for a sneak peak at the next new leader, possibly a Lekgolo based leader. Also, check out those flamethrower warthogs, 343pls. #bringBackTheFlamethrowerToHalo5
Games with gold again, and this time there are some good ones and some not-so-good ones. First up there's Layers of Fear, which I assume is another horror game by the looks of it, if you're into shitting yourself and jump scares, sure why not. Borderlands 2 is also available (until the 15th of March, get it quick!) and what is one of the best alternatives to the FPS genre mixing crazy enemies and characters from some LSD fuelled drug trip around a crazy environment shooting everything in sight and using some crazy abilities, this is a great game. It's on Xbox 360 but it works on Xbox One too. Next up, 2015's biggest swing-and-a-miss game, Evolve. Boasting some potentially exciting gameplay ruined by a ridiculous release DLC and some large issues on release, what could have been a good game fell flat on it's face but as it's free, why not give it a blast? It'll be available from 16th to the 31st of March. Finally, we've got Heavy Load. Innuendo references aside this is also an Xbox 360 and works on Xbox One too, a side scroller where you're in a tank facing up against an onslaught of firepower from above, shooting down giant helicopters and sinking battleships in two colourful dimensions.
In the community spotlight this week, we have two very pretty maps from Sgt x Slaphead and Karby, Abyss and Majestic. They're not just pretty either, they're actually very good maps to play on.
Abyss is set on the Fathom forge canvas and is inspired by Citadel from Halo 3 and Longest from Halo:CE and sports long hallways and snipers, making for some intense gameplay navigating around the map.
Majestic is a Forerunner themed map for 2-8 players using a simple layout to create some intense gameplay that has a lot of verticallity to it, with the map favouring agressive playstyles.
That's all from me this week, I won't be around next week as I'm of to Birmingham MCM so I won't have much time to do any writing. Please be gentle to whomever writes next week's update. *skips away to the land of anime girls and hens wearing ties*
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