If you've played through Halo 5: Guardians, especially on the higher difficulty levels, then you know what a pain in the ass the Warden boss fight can be. Steve even said so. If you haven't thrown your controller against the wall in frustration, your restrain is to be admired. Apparently, developer 343 Industries has seen the light and determined that the Warden AI is just a little too brutal and decided to scale it back.
According to the latest community update over at Halo Waypoint, numerous changes have been made to the campaign to help balance it a bit more evenly, senior system designer Chris Proctor said, and the Warden fight was at the top of the list. "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."
To compensate, the following chages were made. Be advised that fight mechanics are noted here, so consider this a spoiler alert. Now, the Warden attacks are a bit easier to dodge, especially on lower difficulty settings, which includes nerfs to face beam tracking, gravity bomb homing and melee attack range. Also, instead of having to do all your damage from behind, the Warden is a little easier to kill from the front.
Other balance issues addressed (and fixed) in the campaign include:
- Two-player co-op play is slightly more difficult than intended, but single player is a little too easy. (Fix: Reduced two-player difficulty slightly, while increasing single-player difficulty slighty)
- 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. (Fix: Effectiveness of various weapons was raised or lowered accordingly, Elites can now swing swords while moving).
- 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. (Fix: Reduced soldier bamf frequency; killing crawlers now caused AoE damage).
Check out the full range of fixes, updates and changes for the campaign and multiplayer at Halo Waypoint.
John Keefer posted a new article, Halo 5 Warden boss fight gets nerfed
So it wasn't just me. I never said anything, but I thought those things were frustrating as hell, often relying on pure blind luck as to when it would expose its back.