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 choice is between Ultra-Capacitors which grants 5% increased attack speed when upgrading weapons (And applies to the Armory as well as the Engineering Bay) and Vanadium Plating which grants 5% health in addition to armor upgrades (also applies to the Armory and Engineering Bay). As I stated before the best defense is a good offense and i found that going with the Ultra-Capacitors proved to be more beneficial. The health upgrade does seem nice but once you’ve upgraded the Stabilizer Medpacks for the Medics and the Advanced Healing AI for the Medivacs I didn’t see the point in additional HP.
Tier 2: The second choice is between Orbital Depots which allows you to instantly drop Supply Depots and Micro-Filtering which allows you to harvest vespene gas 25% quicker and also applies to the Automated Refineries. While the Orbital Depots seem quick and efficient the only serious use I could see is to make a quick wall off with it. Now I would assume that since you’ve made it this far you’ve become accustomed to building Supply Depots as needed and additionally many of the more difficult missions actually max out your supply right off the bat rendering this upgrade near worthless. The Micro-Filtering however I found to be the better choice simply because it allows you to pump out the big guns and get upgrades quicker in the missions.
Tier 3: The third choice is between the Automated Refinery which allows Refineries to no longer require SCV’s to harvest gas and the Command Center Reactor which allows you to train 2 SCV’s at once. I’ve seen people go with both choices but i feel that the Automated Refinery takes the cake. I don’t see the point in training 2 SCV’s at once when you could have the Automated Refinery and be able to build 6 less SCV’s per base. Granted you’d be able to increase your economy at a faster rate but isn’t that what M.U.L.E’s are for once you’ve upgraded the Orbital Command.
Winner: Automated Refinery
Tier 4: The fourth choice is between the Raven and the Science Vessel. Now I’ve seen the power of Ravens versus Zerg and they can be absolutely devastating but I don’t believe that this can even come close to competing with the Science Vessel. The abilities of the Science Vessel greatly outweigh those of the Raven. Being able to heal your Ships and Vehicles as well as gaining access to Irradiate (which is more or less the Terran Version of Fungal Growth) is far greater than being able to throw down Auto-Turrets and Seeker Missiles. The Science Vessel is the serious no brainer choice.
Winner: Science Vessel
Tier 5: The final choice is between Tech Reactor which combines the Tech Lab and Reactor in one simple add-on and Orbital Strike which allows Barracks Units to drop pod down at the Barracks rally point. When it comes to the Orbital Strike there’s one key word you have to pay attention to and that’s Barracks units. If this had applied to Factories and Starports as well I would understand taking it but being able to simply drop 2 Marines or Marauders or Medics at the rally point becomes worthless at this stage of the game when you’re most likely building the majority of your strike force from the Starport. The Tech Reactor simplifies everything and allows you to pump out everything you can build quickly and efficiently.
Winner: Tech Reactor