I’m curious why they didn’t just balance the single player separately from the multiplayer. If they were concerned about keeping things balanced for the multiplayer, then SP balancing seems like an acceptable fix (like starcraft). I think the more likely argument is that porting HW1 into the HW2 engine complicated things. Now we have to deal with HW2 unit system, build system, research system, fleet system, selection system… Frankly, I don’t mind (I do wish the campaign had a tad fewer resources… Probably balancing because of the research costs now). The single player isn’t so complicated that the fact that my ships can’t figure out sphere formation doesn’t really bother me. Same with the derpy support frigates and the like. It’s annoying, but I’m here for the bigger picture experience and to relive the glory days.
In terms of what’s next, I think there’s a lot of progress that can be made in the short term. I expect Gearbox will make some quality of life changes in the coming weeks. And if all else fails, we have the modding to community! I’m sure if we give them a few weeks, they’ll come up with single-player specific rebalances and fixes to make it a bit more playable. And then if we’re lucky, Gearbox will follow suit.
Should gearbox have addressed these things in the first place? Maybe. But they got it this far already. The fact that the originals are right there and packaged for use in windows 7 and above means that I can go back to the true roots if I really feel so compelled. I admit it feels a little unfinished, but I think maybe they just wanted to get it out to the community so we could critique it and give them a larger scale of feedback on what to do next. If the alternative was several more months of development, then I’m okay with this.
I do want the world to know that I am making an exception for this collection because I’m a die hard fan of the series. If EA pulled this crap with something, I would be much less cordial…