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    Brutal TOO Hard?

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    Starke

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    Location : San Diego, California, United States

    Brutal TOO Hard?

    Post  Starke on Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:14 am

    Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to replicate my lone Brutal victory. (EDITS: Three wins now, my original, one due to three Fusion Cores and great teammates, the other with a Beacon rush.) I am beginning to think it is too difficult. I have played a number of organized four-player Brutal runs. We all are well-versed in the game and Brutal mode, and have a strategy set out.

    There are three main problems confronting players:

    Basing: It is extremely hard to clear an area and set up a base. Because you have no other base to start with, you have to budget time taken by running from the ship to the location and back. Once there, it is hard to set up turrets because even if you are a tad too close, you must waste 30 seconds running. You much slowly crawl through the area, setting up turrets, and repairing whenever you draw in the Zerg. Once you finally clear the area, there will be no time to set up a viable defense, and so you run back. The primary problem is how much time is wasted running from Zerg, and how long it takes to set up defenses at a new location. You often have to dedicate an entire day. Between this and mining, there is a huge premium on time. Another irk is that is takes a LONG time to empty a Vespene Geyser. With the time taken traveling there and building the Refinery, it often takes the entire day and even part of the next day to drain it. I don't think that much could be done to change the basing cycle - it's simply what is required to set up a base. Solutions: -shorten Tesla Coil build time? -slightly longer days?

    Fusion Cores: Victory or defeat literally depends on finding a Fusion Core. Fusion Core or bust, period. But they are extremely rare. WE generally get to scout 85% of the map with Resource Stockpiles but the time we lose, yet we rarely see a Core. Without Big Berthas/Minigun-Turrets, the Ultralisk wave spells defeat. With four skilled players, money is hardly ever a problem, with each of us amassing up to 1k/1k each (plus defenses) by the Roach wave. But we cannot efficiently turn that money into defenses. Tesla Coils are far too time-consuming to mass long-term, Siege Tanks do friendly fire damage, and Auto-Turrets have short range, meaning that they must be put at the very front, but their large footprint prohibits massing. Photon Cannons waste projectiles on the same target and have an unforgivably long reload time. The Fusion Core offers the ONLY solution. (note: I have yet to try Zerg tech. Do they offer a solution? Otherwise: -make Fusion Cores slightly more common? -upgrades that enhance our turrets? (coming soon?)

    KO Wave: As stated in the last section, the Ultra wave=GG. Because each wave focuses on the new, most powerful unit, the later waves are absurdly powerful. In one game, we failed to find a Core and a couple of us died. The remaining players simply massed Tesla Coils at the ship until the area inside the preset Barricades was virtually full and their supply was maxed. I estimate we had about 60-70 Teslas. Even with the healing power of the ship, the defenses were overrun by Ultralisks with a full minute to spare. Simply put: the new focused wave idea makes the later waves insanely powerful. I doubt the Ultralisk wave could be beaten with less than a wall of Bunkers, 30-50 Teslas, 5-7 Big Berthas, and an insane battery of Restorers. Although this also affects normal, this spawn rate is so much lower the effect is marginal. The new mechanic is cool, but either needs to be stripped out or toned down.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Conclusions:
    The first problem I see as simply one of the innate challenges of Brutal. Bases are extremely hard to set up. This can be really fun to overcome, but also a drag. Shortening Tesla Coil build time would help make basing more reasonable without taking away the challenge. Siege Tanks cannot always be counted upon because they require a Factory.

    With the resource buffs (way more minerals and gas around), money is not an obstacle, but spending it is. In particular, there are tons of Rich Mineral Fields. Could you replace some of the Rich Mineral Fields with Fusion Cores? Or lower the overall amount of resources and bump up Fusion Cores. Considering all the Zerg we would have to clear to reach it, plus the fact that it cannot Liftoff, I think making them a bit more common is reasonable. I liked your comment on the SC2 forum thread about having an infinite tech tree, but right now getting a Fusion Core is a must, not something optional.

    This one is the new, big problem. The new wave mechanic is amplifies the later waves far too much. The late-game units are individually so powerful that they are unstoppable when massed. I like the new wave mechanic conceptually, but it needs to either be greatly toned down (at least during the later waves) or eliminated.

    NOTE: I have not tried Zerg Tech. I have MC'd a Drone, but I noticed that I cannot build normal buildings on my own Creep, so I abandoned my Zerg stuff.


    Last edited by Starke on Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Starke

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    Join date : 2010-12-12
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    Re: Brutal TOO Hard?

    Post  Starke on Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:53 am

    Adding onto the above. I am finding that on Brutal it can be impossible to construct enough defenses in one day to survive the following night. Literally, even avoiding Teslas, it is impossible to travel to a (pre-cleared) area and set up enough structures during the day to survive. On Brutal, vastly more defenses are needed, and often the main constraining factor is now build time, (and sometimes supply) rather than resources. After the Hydra wave, you are effectively "locked into" your current base. After that, rebasing requires a Fusion Core, Raven, around 1k/1k, and ties up your Survivor for the day. I have even resorted to constructing a batch of Teslas and Restorers at a new site, returning to my base, the finishing it the next day. Something needs to change. My thoughts:

    Cut build times across the board, by 1/4 to 1/2. <-kinda drastic
    OR
    Allow Mules to ASSIST SCVs when constructing, like SCVs can in the campaign. <- my favorite Smile
    ---
    AND
    ---
    Slightly increase quantity of supply buildings/pods. <-will get crowded with upgrade buildings coming
    OR
    Increase supply granted by supply pods to 5. <- strong and sensible solution
    OR
    Give all players an initial batch of 8-16 supply. <-helps noobs, otherwise not the best
    OR
    Split the Weaponized Bunker upgrade. One upgrade can grant just the turret, and the other can grant just (four?) supply for a similar price. The upgrades are mutually exclusive, like the Orbital Command and Planetary Fortress. The supply upgrade can use the Neosteel Frame model to make it distinct. <- cool, but tied to a building
    (Last idea from this thread.)

    These are solely Brutal concerns. Depending on how you feel about it, some of these changes could only be applied to Brutal.

    I am sending a replay that accurately shows my concerns, and can provide more if needed.

    P.S. - Make supply transferrable. Please! See above link for discussion.
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    Nagnazul
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    Re: Brutal TOO Hard?

    Post  Nagnazul on Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:37 pm

    There's a major bug right now with the later waves - starting with the roach waves, the game spawns far more units than is intended. this will be getting fixed in the next patch.
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    Starke

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    Join date : 2010-12-12
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    Re: Brutal TOO Hard?

    Post  Starke on Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:48 pm

    This explains a lot. Right now the difficulty progression is Normal=Zerg, Brutal=Zerg Rush, v10.3 Brutal=ZERG RAPE! Mad Thanks for finding this.

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