Upcoming Update to Halo 5 Campaign Nerfs the Warden

In an upcoming update 343i will be making a few changes to the Halo 5 campaign after there have been enough complaints about the Warden and his nearly impossible to dodge one hit kills on Legendary difficulty. The Warden Eternal is the bodyguard of Cortana in the game, and the player goes up against this foe several times in the game. Seeing him in the distance sure made several players become prone to rage quit after being killed more often than not. Well Chris Proctor, designer at 343i is feeling your pain.

Having had a few months to digest player feedback, reviews, let’s play videos and internal feedback, I’ve been working on an update to Halo 5’s campaign balance, aiming to address parts of the game that players yelled at us about, or that bugged me and the rest of the team enough to address even without external feedback.

This is the first update 343i have released for the campaign mode, after patching and balancing the Multiplayer mode near constantly since launch.

The new update will fix the following issues and concerns players had with the game:

  • Players and reviews commonly cite the Warden as an unfair difficulty spike on higher difficulty, particularly the triple-Warden fight towards the end of the game. Looking at this in depth, it’s partly because of the Warden himself: his attacks are difficult to avoid, he’s hard to get behind to shoot in the back, his front armor is durable. It’s also because supporting enemies don’t allow any breathing room – having multiple turrets firing continuous, highly damaging beams at you while you’re trying to dodge Warden attacks is pretty rough.
  • Two-player co-op play is slightly more difficult than intended, but single player is a little too easy.
  • Covenant encounters are generally easier than Forerunner. Elites melt a little too fast under squad fire, and Grunts and Jackals are too little threat. However, Storm Rifles are very accurate and fire long bursts, making for an uneven experience if enemies happen to target a stationary player.
  • Players would lose track of enemies in Forerunner encounters and die to an enemy that got behind them. Soldiers are able to bamf frequently to break line of sight, and Crawlers are fairly durable for a fast-moving, close range and lethal enemy that requires aiming down.
  • Certain vehicle sections were much harder than others. Squad AI would often die in a Warthog gunner’s turret, making Warthog sections frustrating in single player, even more so when several enemies with homing weapons could fire on the Warthog at once.
  • In two or three player co-op, Squad AI could get stuck running back and forth between players wildly mashing the “Call for Help” button.

The above issues will be fixed by the following changes: 

  • Reduced two-player difficulty slightly
  • Increased single player difficulty slightly
  • Made Warden attacks a little easier to dodge, particularly on lower difficulties
    • Face Beam tracks moving targets less accurately
    • Gravity Bomb has less homing
    • Melee attack has slightly less range
  • Made the Warden slightly easier to kill from the front
  • Reduced AI Focus Turret damage output
  • Reduced AI Storm Rifle, Suppressor and Light Rifle effectiveness
    • AI Storm Rifle: fires in shorter bursts, projectiles spread out more and move more slowly. Jackals are now less effective than Elites with the Storm Rifle
    • AI Suppressor: fires in longer bursts, projectiles have less homing. Crawlers are now less effective than Soldiers with the Suppressor
    • AI now fire shorter bursts with the Light Rifle
  • Increased AI Plasma Pistol, Needler and Beam Rifle effectiveness
    • AI Plasma Pistol: slightly higher accuracy and damage
    • AI Needler: AI now fire longer bursts (i.e. can now supercombine players on Heroic and above), slightly higher damage
    • AI Beam Rifle: slightly more damage (mostly this will make it a two-shot kill instead of a three-shot kill in Heroic single player, allowing Jackal Snipers to actually kill a player from time to time)
  • Added a “tackle” animation to Sword Elites – shoutout to Pat Gillette for making the sweet sword tackle animation
    • Instead of stopping to swing at a moving target they can swing on the move
  • Increased Elite, Elite Officer and Soldier Officer durability
  • Reduced Soldier bamf frequency
  • Killing a Crawler now deals area-of-effect damage to all nearby enemies, softening them up or killing them outright
  • Reduced frequency of Squad AI getting killed while in a gunner’s turret in a player’s vehicle
  • Made being killed by an attached Plasma Grenade non-revivable, similar to lethal damage from a Binary Rifle
  • Increased AI special ability chance with higher player count in co-op games, e.g. Plasma Pistol overcharge, grenade throw
  • Increased AI promotion chance with player count in co-op games
    • i.e. in cooperative games you will encounter more high-ranked enemies where promotion paths exist (most noticeable with Grunts, Elites, Jackals and Crawlers)
  • The first player to press the “Call for Help” now has priority, other players will have to wait their turn for a revive – shoutout to Mr. Robert Kingsley for the code fix for this

The update will be released soon, with fixes and add ins for the Multiplayer portion of the game as well. You can check out Halo Waypoint for more information on the upcoming update.

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