Giving up on Homeworld 2 - Awful gameplay

It’s great that they improved the graphics and everything, but Gameplay is every bit as frustrating as I remember from the first time. Homeworld 1 was challenging and epic and fun. Homeworld 2 basically ruined all of that and replaced it with a trolling AI that cheats to win.

  • Marine frigates are useless. Basically, you cannot capture ships in
    the single player game. No more salvage tactics. Marine frigates are
    reduced to one shot plot devices. But while they are useless to you,
    they are of course very very useful to the AI, which can capture
    your own ships easily.

  • Ships will basically ignore your orders. The control mechanics are

  • Ships are butt slow…resource collectors are almost useless for
    repairs because by the time they turn their fat asses around, the
    ship they were going to repair has been destroyed. And they are made
    of paper apparently, because it takes almost no time to kill them. They cannot repair from a distance anymore…they need physical contact, which adds even more time to start repairs.

  • The level immediately ends when you destroy the last bad guy…no
    option to hyperspace when you feel like it as in Homeworld 1. Which
    means no way to repair losses to your fleet. This is an ongoing
    issue where the “story” is more important than the game itself, and
    it is incredibly annoying. The game is all about that stupid
    dreadnaught, which is basically on autopilot (You cannot build them
    and cannot advance with them faster than the game wants you too).

These are not Homeworld issues…these are Homeworld 2 issues. Homeworld 1 had a few annoyances, but overall it was a very fun game. It was challenging without having the AI cheat or have critical tools rendered useless. It did not try to railroad you along the storyline. It gave you multiple ways to solve problems and beat the levels. 2 is nothing like that.

I was hoping it would be different with the remastered version, but it’s not. It’s the same crappy game they released the first time around, but with a new coat of paint. Oh well. Maybe it’s sequel will be better.


Whilst this game still bugs me, I’m honestly glad they didn’t change the way it plays. Not if the intent of this release was for it to be considered a remastering. Selling it as a Remake however would have been a different story as at least then you would know what you were getting.

I remember hearing (and voicing ) similar complaints when the game was first released so your not alone. The game is not bad as a stand alone title. Its more about the baggage we all brought from the first game :frowning:

You need to accept if you can, that your ships are now all essentially cannon fodder.

Then except that the method of maximising your fleet at the end of each level and restocking your R.U’s at the beginning of the next would cause the games auto scaling feature to punish you severely.
(which is probably why the Auto harvest works the way it does) As the game wants you to start each level weak then overwhelm the enemy with a new force tailored to what it sends at you, using the fleets advantage of research and production to respond retroactively rather than proactively to any attack.

If you can manage both of those you will have a much higher level of enjoyment …Hopefully :smile:

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What I have accepted is that I basically just paid for a remastering of the original homeworld. Which is still well worth $35. Thats why I am not screaming for a refund or anything.

But Homeworld 2 is so aggravating to play, both because of bugs and design flaws, that it is essentially worthless. I’ve accepted that for whatever reason, Gearbox is not going to fix these flaws. So I just have to pretend I paid for one game instead of two.


HW2 whilst good, could have been an epic game. but a forced rush job in getting it to market stopped that happening. Another 6 months of development could have made a massive difference to the way it was received.

The steps Gearbox are implementing with their Mod support may ultimately change your view of HW2. with a bit of time and the focus of some talented people out there. you may yet see the game become something you can embrace…no guarantees but not a forlorn hope either :slight_smile:

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I’m not blaming Gearbox for ruining HW2…I am just disappointed that these things were not fixed. The original designers are at fault. I remember having all these same problems the first time around, but I played it anyway because I wanted Homeworld with better graphics.

Thats not an issue now, since the original Homeworld has the same graphics upgrades. I’m sad that I won’t get to play the storyline, but the only alternative is the aggravation the game will cause me in the process…and I remember from the first time around that it’s just not worth it.

Yeah, that might apply to some of the game mechanics, but not everything. The useless Marine Frigates, for example, are not objectively better than the salvage corvettes. When you attempt to use them in Single Player, even under ideal conditions, they will just detatch. They are a Placebo. I felt like I was being trolled by the designers.

Immediately Hyperspacing after every level is obnoxious and unnecessary. There is no way it is better than giving us a choice, as HW1 did. It is a hideous design flaw and I can’t imagine why it was implemented. I can’t see how it would enhance the game in any way.

Ship controls were objectively better in HW1. It was clear what ships were told to do…“flee”, “stand your ground” or “attack at will”. The current control method doesn’t do that. I tell ships to stand their ground and they still follow enemies…often into hazards that are suicidal. On level 7 it is infuriating because they will happily chase enemies into those stupid radiation clouds like lemmings off a cliff and get burned up.

As a player, it should not be my job to engineer strategies to counter these design flaws. The designer should have fixed them. None of these things enhance the game and make it more fun. They do the exact opposite.

So I’d have to disagree with you. As a standalone title, HW1 was a much more functional and enjoyable game than HW2 was. Even if we ignore the fact that the storyline was better in HW1 as well.


Marine Frigates were useless in the Classic Version, so nothing changed. They are only there for basically a couple of specific objectives/missions (Gehenna and Thaddis Sabbah). Other than that, don’t bother with them.

That’s sorta the point. HW2 uses a scaler, so obviously if you don’t have much of a fleet, your next mission will be easier to complete in turn. You can usually drag out the hyperspace jump on several missions:

  • On Mission 4, simply take a long time to destroy the command station, gives you time to build ships.
  • On Mission 7, destroy all enemy Vaygr Forces and just leave some derelicts around. Or you can do it the other way around, but you have to keep the shipyard alive if you choose the alternative method.
  • On Mission 8, the Keeper will hyperspace out when the objective to find trigger devices appears. This gives some time to rebuild.
  • On Mission 11, destroy the Vaygr forces and ignore the cores, this will allow you to build up a fleet
  • On Mission 12, destroy all the enemy forces (which will take a really long time) and ignore Captain Soban. This gives time to rebuild the fleet.

Yeah, I agree with you that you can mitigate the design flaws. My point is that they should not have been there in the first place. Having to mitigate them at all is part of the annoyance.

@jim1 - IMO it was the fact that Homeworld 2 stopped then started development. I think Dust Wars looked infinitely better than what we got.

Yeah… the behind the scenes kerfuffle really put a crimp on the production of that sequel.
Frankly its a glowing testament to the commitment and tenacity of the crew involved that we got the game we did. It could have quite easily been a total disaster. God knows how many late nights it took to get it ready for release.

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Strange, I had none of the problems you describe. Maybe it’s just your opinion?

If anything I felt HW2R campaign was easier than the original, even without breathers to build up the fleet. I only felt it missing in the last few missions. Opposition wasn’t strong enough to prevent me from hunting spawning shipyards in the campaign to take them out too.

I’d rather have HW2 over HW1/Cata. I’ve been playing Cata since completing the Remastered campaigns and dear lord, right-click for movement and camera panning are so integral to Homeworld UI now that it’s irksome that they aren’t present in the older games.

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Do you have video of your marine frigates capturing something in the single player game? Are you saying you do not immediately hyperspace after the end of a level?

I actually didn’t mind Cataclysm except for the awful voice acting and weird-for-weirds-sake storyline.

I’ve captured destroyers in SP campaign with marine frigates. Heck even before I had destroyers of my own.

Oh and I’ve captures tons of frigates as well.

This isn’t something I’m making up…it’s not just me.

I sort of agree with the OP though to be fair Gear Box is not really at fault because all they did was try to remaster the games to bring them up to todays standards for graphics and higher resolutions. Not to mention they are working on fixes and they seem to be paying attention to complaints that we are providing on these forums.

You can not fix things by snapping your fingers, it is not magic to fix software and game software is notoriously difficult to fix some types of bugs and problems. So I would suggest we keep on providing the devs with as much feedback as we can and keep it constructive in the hope that they will fix things.

My complaints with HW1 are:

Battle Cruisers seem to be OP and need to be toned down a bit an possibly even the cost of them increased

The speed of resource collectors could be increased a bit to be more in line with the speed of resource collectors in HW2

When I assign support frigates to a group they should auto repair without me having to target individual ships to get them on their repair tasks.

My complaints for HW2 are:

Marine frigates need better armor/hitpoints they go down way to easy.

The pace in HW2 is to fast and it would be nice if after the map is clear of enemy forces if the auto hyperspace was changed to a hyperspace button so the choice to go to the next mission is up to the player.

The problem is that enemy ships prioritize marine frigates almost over any other kinds of targets. So a more practical way to use them is as fire magnets for the rest of your forces, because the AI is compelled to shoot at them. FWIW, I didn’t use marine frigates as much as I did Salvettes… but for the replay campaign I was more focused on using ships to destroy other ships than capturing.

It also doesn’t help that most of the stuff you’d like to capture with Marine frigates, is either designed to hard-counter frigates directly (destroyers, Cruisers) or is escorted by those very capitals (shipyards, carriers, flagships). I just accept it as a limitation of using the marine frigates in HW2. After all if you were the enemy commander Marine ships would be your top targets also.

The most successes you should expect to have are either capturing lone destroyers (as I do often in AI skirmish) or grabbing enemy frigates.

One good place to use your marine frigates is to capture the infiltration frigates trying to board the shipyard in Mission 3. In a strange twist of fluff you can then use these to capture more infiltration frigates, and then take on the carriers.


Ah, the carriers. Yea I don’t think you’re supposed to capture them. I have captured marine frigates, assault frigates, heavy missile frigates, destroyers and hyperspace gates. Might be that the campaign considers vaygr carriers as different from Hiig carriers (they are quite different) so you don’t have ‘popcap’ for them. I do know the enemy stops building units from them so it’s not completely uselesll. And since you can’t build vaygr units anyways even if you did cap one of them I don’t see the big loss here.

Also regarding the instant hyperspace, I feel that it fits very well with the theme of HW2, considering your homeworld is under siege. You can’t dilly dally for hours, your people are dieing, etc. But I think theres a mod that implements optional hyper spacing.

Also lol at those two links, they have some excellent arguments for why HW2 salvaging mechanic is better than HW1.

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I think the biggest problem with Homeworld 2 is frigate fragility. These are supposed to be your bread-and-butter for your capital forces (especially for the Hiigarans) but any time a lone destroyer appears you can pretty much expect to exchange your entire frigate force for that one destroyer.

One of the reasons I prefer playing Vaygr is because they focus more on fighters and corvettes. Laser corvettes also single-handedly counter the entire Hiigaran frigate diversity, from there all you need are lancers (for killing pulsars), interceptors (killing bombers) and bombers (amputating capitals) and you’re all set in terms of strike forces. They’re harder to hit and can tie down enemy forces until your destroyers show up. No need at all to use Vaygr frigates.


HW2 design really has too many problems to reasonably list.

All the hidden numbers in the balance that makes things feel so inconsistent and random.

All the randomness in unit behavior and flight modeling.

The tech trees have some really god awful things in them, and even more inconsistencies. Just like there is a lot of randomness in the game, it seems like numbers were often decidedly randomly for tech.

The one good thing it added over HW1, the subsystems and modules, could have been done better as well.

I’m still hoping for HW2.5.