Many people have been asking me about the single player campaign and what choices I made for the Zerg and Protoss research when attempting to beat the game on brutal. First off i must say that taking on Brutal mode in Starcraft 2 is no easy task to say the least. I’m going to show you what is in my opinion the best research path to take when attempting to conquer brutal difficulty.
Tier 1: The first choice is between Shrike Turrets which puts an automated turret on every Bunker (which basically does the damage of an extra Marine) or Fortified Bunkers which is an extra +150 health on every Bunker. I personally went with Shrike Turrets simply because the best defense is a good offense and i generally keep extra SCV’s around my defensive wall for quick repairs and once you have the Dual-Fusion Welders upgrade it renders the extra hit points a complete waste in tech. Having 2 Bunkers (upgraded with the Neosteel Bunker) with Shrike Turrets puts up the damage of 14 marines which is roughly 84 DPS or damage per second. Now that’s good defense versus Bunkers being able to take a beating for longer.
Winner: Shrike Turrets
Tier 2: The second choice is between the Perdition Turret and the Planetary Fortress which outfits a Command Center with Twin Ibiks Cannons which pump out 40 splash damage at a decent range and increases the armor by 3 which actually is a larger amount than 3 sounds. To me the Perdition Turret, which does indeed do massive area damage, is a total and utter gimmick. The defense provided by these turrets is completely shadowed by the damage of fully upgraded Bunkers with a few Siege Tanks behind them. It’s the same tactic i used in Starcraft 1 and I used the same exact tactic in Starcraft 2. If’s somethings not broken why fix it? The Planetary Fortress is a great addition to any defensive wall and in particular I found this most useful on the final mission All In as well as others.
Winner: Planetary Fortress
Tier 3: The third choice is between the Hercules class cargo ship and the Predator. I had a difficult time making up my mind here because with the techniques I use they are both close to useless, but since you have to pick one I’d go with the Hercules. I honestly have no idea how they expected you to use the Predator because by the time you research it you’re generally using Air units for the majority of what’s left in the campaign. At least with the Hercules it makes missions like The Moebius Factor 10 times easier and also is perfect for dropping your medic / marauder / marine squads behind enemy lines without risking losing any units if and when it is destroyed.
Tier 4: The fourth choice is between Cellular Reactor which makes specialist units start with +100 energy and receive +100 additional energy when they spawn and Regenerative Bio-Steel which allows your Ships and Vehicles to slowly regain life. While Cellular Reactor does seem like an awesome choice most of the levels have no time constraints and if you have any amount patience (which obviously you do or you wouldn’t even dream of taking this game down on brutal) it becomes not that useful. Regenerative Bio-Steel keeps your units in the battle longer and gets you back in faster especially when coupled with Science Vessels.
Winner: Regenerative Bio-Steel
Tier 5: The final choice between Psi-Disrupter (which constantly slows all nearby Zerg down by 50% within its radius) and the Hive Mind Emulator (which lets you permanently Mind Control any Zerg Unit) is a matter of personal preference. However I found the Psi-Disrupter to be the greater asset slowing the zerg down to take an extreme beating by my super Bunkers and Siege Tanks and stopping them before they even really reach me is in my opinion far greater than controlling a single Ultralisk or Broodlord or whatever you’d like minus Kerrigan of course. The Hive Mind Emulator requires additional micro abilities that I wasn’t willing to spare when dealing with the toughness and speed of brutal difficulty.