Hello, Firstly I played Halo Wars a lot back in the day, our clan played competitive, and played countless hours of RTS's games such as StarCraft 1 & 2
I want to point out the things which made this game good for casual and competitive gamers, which I hope to see in Halo Wars 2
KEEP THE SAME
RANKED - Matchmaking was excellent, not only did it keep the game alive for years, it allowed for a very even game most of the time.
BADGES - built on XP no skill required, similar to prestige progression system in COD, was purely cosmetic, but allowed for all players to show what they had earned and was displayed in all game types.
RANKED LEVEL - displayed for each game type for each load screen.
PLAYLISTS - Separating arranged teams vs non arranged teams, someone on the development team obviously played competitive team RTS games and new the importance of separating these. This made for far fairer matches and obviously resulted in a much better experience for every player.
PLAYER GAZE- Being able to see where your team is looking on the screen on the mini map, simply awesome.
PINGING MINI MAP - once again amazing
UNIT QUEUE COMMANDS - Being able to queue commands on units to harvest the minerals, patrol and attack all very useful in a RTS
Now the list of changes which I would like to see.
PATH FINDING - possibly the worst path finding I have ever seen in a RTS. Microing units back and forth with a controller was painful to say at the very least, then to have the dreadful path finding on top of that, left me with nightmares of my wraiths stuttering back and forth, while I looked helplessly at my screen as spartans jacked my units. No amount of clicking could save them from the game breaking path finding. It was as if the circumference of each unit was made to be 3 times bigger then it was.
RACES - More distinct differences in each race. My suggestion is to make 3 to 4 races UNSC / Covenant/FLOOD / Forerunners and possibly then you can pick your leader for each race eg prophet, brute, anders
MOUSE/KEYBOARD - Support for this would be a welcomed addition
TRUESKILL- Personally really like this and would welcome this back, however the trend is LEAGUES and would probably suggest this, as it makes everyone feel special
BASE HEALTH - This should be normalised. Someone had this great idea/SARCASM to make covenant bases far weaker then UNSC and to give them a shield building, which took up a vital slot of your base. A base where you could only have very limited amount of structures, attached to your base. So not only did this cost money, but also took up a slot which could of been used to produce money or units. THIS IS JUST PLAIN BAD GAME DESIGN, this is not StarCraft where I can simply make as many building as i feel like and be unaffected by this. Here's a link of the fragile bases of covenant, easily exploited by good players. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0-QlltFubg
GAME BALANCE - Covenant vs UNSC this was flawed covenant had an advantage early game, then no hope in hell late game. (vs good players) The game should be more balanced through ALL stages. A game should be measured who is purely better in money management, unit management and game knowledge. Not decided by i withstood your early game harassment now i win with my far superior units.
MAP BALANCE - Don't get me wrong, they looked great, but in terms of map fairness, they left a lot to be desired, some maps had distinct advantages for races and spawns. eg closer to objectives, which raised level cap and money, and once taken were easier to hold then others, due to choke points.
RANDOM - picking random, your opponent was instantly shown the race you had rolled on loading screen and losing any advantage you would have received by going random. Normally in other RTS games on loading screen a random icon is shown, detailing that the opponent has chosen random and you must scout to see their race.
Pretty sure I've covered the most important aspects of the game, all I can do now is hope
Quick note - hopefully you learn't from the Ensemble Studios/ROBOT past flaws and looked over their patch notes. XP should not be allowed in private games as people leave their game on all night and reap all the free XP.