StarCraft® II

Brutal Campaign - Research Order

Hey guys. :D
I'm also attempting the brutal campaign (despite my noobieness), but I need to know the best combination for researching. I don't really want to use any credits, though, so please make sure the research picks aren't chosen for armory upgrades. ^^

Here's the research ladder in case you needs it. xD:
Protoss

Ultra-Capacitors (+5% attack speed) / Vanadium Plating (+5% life)
Orbital Depots (instant-build supply depots) / Micro-Filtering (Refineries produce %25 faster)
Automated Refinery (no SVC's needed to collect gas) / Command Center Reactor (build two SVC's at once)
Raven (detector, summon auto-turrents, etc.) / Science Vessel (detector, repair mechanical, etc.)
Tech Reactor (combines Tech Lab and Reactor into one) / Orbital Strike (trained units arrive instantly at rally-point)

Zerg

Shrike Turrets (bunkers have automated turrets) / Fortified Bunkers (bunkers +150 life)
Planetary Fortress (Command Center can be upgraded with cannons) / Perdition Turrets (flame turrets that burrow when not attacking)
Predator (anti-infantry, area attack) / Hercules (large transport ship, instant unload)
Cell Reactor (Specialists get +100 starting energy and +100 max energy) / Regenerative Bio-steel (Mechanical can regenerate life over time)
Hive Mind Emulator (control one Zerg) / Psi Disruptor (slow down zerg)
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Some of the choices are easy, based on the inherent value of one versus the other. Some don't really matter because neither is all that great, but some you should pick based on how you intend to play All In. Whether you intend to play versus air or ground is the big decision, but there are other factors to consider.

Ultra-capcitors versus Vanadium: Pick it. I tend to go with the shooty when it's a choice like that.

Orbital Depots versus Micro-filtering: Orbital depots are sweet, but micro-filtering is the bomb. You can improve your skills with base macro-management, but you can't make SCV's mine gas faster.

Automated refinery versus Command Center Reactor: Automated refinery is spectacularly good. The reactor is okay, but this isn't close.

Raven versus Science Vessel: I have always chosen the Science vessel. It's very useful in a number of missions, although All In is not really one of those.

Tech Reactor versus Orbital Strike: This one is absolutely no contest. Tech Reactors are to die for.

Shrike Turrets versus Fortified Bunkers: This one is a real decision. If you plan to go with the Planetary Fortress later, then Shrike turrets are a good choice. Bunkers don't really make a reliable wall for All In, so the fortified bunkers don't really add much; however, if you want to try that anyway, you'll need the extra hit-points. The Perdition Turrets can take some of the stress off the bunkers.

Planetary Fortress versus Perdition Turrets: Perdition Turrets are very useful, but not required for any mission. The Planetary Fortress has a place in All In, but not necessarily a critical one. This is another real choice.

Cellular Reactor versus Regenerative Bio-steel: I usually pick the steel; it's handy for one's ships and vehicles to get well on their own. On the other hand, science vessels benefit from this upgrade as do all other energy users. It probably comes down to one's predilection for unit selection.

Hive Mind Emulator versus Psi Disruptor: An easy choice; HME for All In versus air, Psi disruptor for All In versus ground.


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Every tech choice is going to be based on your own playstyle. While there are a few "first order optimal strategies" for each mission, they are in no means the only way to play it through, and still win. I'll give my opinion, but it's still up to you to decide.

Protoss

-Ultra-Capacitors (+5% attack speed) / Vanadium Plating (+5% life)
I usually go with Ultra Capacitors simply because i upgrade attack first just about every time. Seriously, just see which one you upgrade first in most situations, and go with that. 5% isn't a whole lot, but it's enough to make a bit of difference when things would normally be too close to call.

-Orbital Depots (instant-build supply depots) / Micro-Filtering (Refineries produce %25 faster)
Orbital Depots may seem good (and they are), but the need for them can easily be avoided by staying on top of your depot production, and Micro-Filtering is ALWAYS going to be helpful. Simply put, if you find yourself constantly supply blocked, get the depots if you don't want to work on it heavily. In just about every other case, go for micro filtering.

Automated Refinery (no SVC's needed to collect gas) / Command Center Reactor (build two SVC's at once)
I always go for automated refinery, simply because in a lot of levels you don't need too many more SCV's. Also, despite costing 25 more minerals, it saves you a lot more money in scvs and supply depots, money you will probably need for more turrets, bunkers, marines, etc.

Raven (detector, summon auto-turrents, etc.) / Science Vessel (detector, repair mechanical, etc.)
This was, sadly, one of the most pointless choices in the game. There are hardly any cloaked units in the game, and the ones that are "cloaked" are usually only burrowed. There are a few ways to do certain missions that center around these, but for the most part you won't really be using either of these much. Vessels are a bit more generally helpful with their mech-heal, but it doesn't really matter.

Tech Reactor (combines Tech Lab and Reactor into one) / Orbital Strike (trained units arrive instantly at rally-point)
Tech Reactor helps in all ways simply by requiring less space in your base, and less money spent on buildings. Plus, it will help you no matter what, while Orbital Strike only helps when you're doing big bio pushes, or dropping units in strategic locations. The way All-In is, Orbital Strike doesn't help at all, meaning Tech Reactor will be your best bet 9 out of 10 times.

Zerg

Shrike Turrets (bunkers have automated turrets) / Fortified Bunkers (bunkers +150 life)
Another toss-up. There are a few "cheese" ways to beat levels like Supernova using shrike turrets, but fortified bunkers help you save resources more than shrike turrets would kill cost-for-cost. Still, it doesn't matter too much, basically depends on if you'll have units in them at all times or not, and even then it doesn't do much.

Planetary Fortress (Command Center can be upgraded with cannons) / Perdition Turrets (flame turrets that burrow when not attacking)
Perdition Turrets fit into more missions, but Planetary Fortresses are VERY powerful in levels such as All-In, if you use them right. Neither of these are necessary, but over time I've come to love PF's more than PT's.

Predator (anti-infantry, area attack) / Hercules (large transport ship, instant unload)
Hercules is a bit more helpful in several missions, because it makes big drops so easy to do, with much less risk. Predators are neat, but they don't do anything too necessary that other units can't do.

Cell Reactor (Specialists get +100 starting energy and +100 max energy) / Regenerative Bio-steel (Mechanical can regenerate life over time)
Cell Reactor is nice when using units like ghosts, vessels, and even BC's and banshees. However, Bio-Steel helps all your mech, from tanks to battlecruisers to vultures. If special abilities aren't your thing, go with bio-steel.

Hive Mind Emulator (control one Zerg) / Psi Disruptor (slow down zerg)
I follow a general rule of thumb: If I'm going for the air version of All-In, I get the HME. If I'm going for the nydus worms, I get the Psi Disruptor. There are plenty of strats that use both of these in both version of the mission, though, so whatever works for you!
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Cellular Reactor is the BOMB, imo. It's not the maximum energy that makes it so awesome, it's the starting energy. Plus the repair rate on Bio-Steel is simply glacial, 36 HP/minute.
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07/11/2011 04:16 PMPosted by TheJackal
Cellular Reactor is the BOMB, imo. It's not the maximum energy that makes it so awesome, it's the starting energy. Plus the repair rate on Bio-Steel is simply glacial, 36 HP/minute.


You may well be right. Banshees and science vessels are about the only magic users I used much and those only in a few missions, but I can see the extra energy being useful.

Still, it was always heartwarming to see yellow ship frames turn green.
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Protoss

Ultra-Capacitors (+5% attack speed) / Vanadium Plating (+5% life)

I go with ultra capacitors. It's not a huge difference but the way I see it, vanadium plating will have no effect on bunkered units or units behind bunkers, while capacitors will. Also, capacitors will ALWAYS be in effect while vanadium plating will only ever affect a unit at the very bottom of their health pool.

Orbital Depots (instant-build supply depots) / Micro-Filtering (Refineries produce %25 faster)

Micro filtering. If you can't handle supply depots you can't handle brutal.

Automated Refinery (no SVC's needed to collect gas) / Command Center Reactor (build two SVC's at once)

I much prefer auto refinery. Two SCVs at a time sounds ok but when you don't have to dedicate any SCVs to gas, you can get a base fully operational just as fast and not waste 6 supply and 300 minerals to harvest it.

Raven (detector, summon auto-turrents, etc.) / Science Vessel (detector, repair mechanical, etc.)

Science vessel, no contest. Raven is only good if you have some specialist idea in mind, sci vessels are good anywhere there's mech, specifically great in Engine of Destruction, Media Blitz, Maw of the Void, Supernova, etc, some of which are pretty hard missions in their own right.

Tech Reactor (combines Tech Lab and Reactor into one) / Orbital Strike (trained units arrive instantly at rally-point)

Tech reactor, by the widest margin of any choice. Tech reactors are god tier, orbital strike is a total gimmick that, at best, permits a few cheesy strats.

Zerg

Shrike Turrets (bunkers have automated turrets) / Fortified Bunkers (bunkers +150 life)

I would go with fortified bunker. I don't use bunkers for All In but the extra health is still extremely helpful for some earlier missions, even ones like The Dig or Outbreak.

Planetary Fortress (Command Center can be upgraded with cannons) / Perdition Turrets (flame turrets that burrow when not attacking)

Depends on desired strategies. Both are good. I prefer planetary fortress, it's the ultimate in impenetrable defense.

Predator (anti-infantry, area attack) / Hercules (large transport ship, instant unload)

Who cares, you will never build either.

Cell Reactor (Specialists get +100 starting energy and +100 max energy) / Regenerative Bio-steel (Mechanical can regenerate life over time)

I prefer cellular reactor, enhances multiple common units like banshees, medics, and science vessels, not to mention allowing two yamatos from a fully charged BC.

Hive Mind Emulator (control one Zerg) / Psi Disruptor (slow down zerg)

Depends on your choice for All In.
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I've only beaten normal, but here's what I have:

Protoss Research

Ultra-Capacitators vs Vanadium Plating: I think either works fine, but Capacitators effect units both in and out of bunkers.

Orbital Depots vs Micro-Filtering: Micro-Filtering is better. You'll need the gas, especially on brutal.

Automated Refinery vs Command Center Reactor: Not only does AutoRefinery free up up to six workers per base, but you can also set them up randomly on empty expansions.

Raven vs Science Vessel: I would go Science Vessel. The Raven requires to much micro to be very effective in intense combat. Even Irradiate is almost fire-and-forget!

Tech Reactors vs Orbital Strike: Tech Reactors win with a huge margin. They are useful especially on All In, as dropping Marauders into the enemy base isn't a very good idea...

Zerg Research

Shrike Turrets vs Fortified Bunker: Shrike Turrets are creative, but Fortified Bunkers give you those few extra seconds to get SCVs in there for a bunker.

Planetary Fortress vs Peredition Turrets: Peridition Turrets are cool, but PFs might be better for brutal. However, I always go PTs, because creating PT walls are epic.

Predator vs Hercules: I recommend Hercules, though neither are THAT great. Hercules, though, can really help you on The Moebius Factor.

Cellular Reactor vs Regenerative Biosteel: Many say Biosteel is better, but I think Science Vessels with Cellular Reactor are too sick. Oh, and Ghosts/Spectres turn enemies to mush with it.

Hive Mind Emulator vs Psi Disruptor: I admit, Psi Disruptor is better. HOWEVER,......mind controlling Brood Lords/Ultralisks and sending them with AA support on Shatter the Sky or All In is just so...rewarding.
Edited by Daniel on 7/12/2011 5:42 PM PDT
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Oh, when you bump into those crossroads throughout the story...

Ariel Hanson vs Selendis: I go with Selendis. Though siding with Hanson might make you feel good, I find that those extra three Protoss research points are pretty sweet.

Gabriel Tosh vs Nova: Once again, I admit that I fall prey to the lesser choice. Ghosts, in my opinion, are more useful than Spectres, especially being able to outrange static defenses. ON THE OTHER HAND, Breakout is much more fun and relaxing. I have an obsession with nukes.

Nydus Worms vs Air Support: It might be better to go vs air, since having your SCVs under common threat is, well, scary. If you don't like to have Banshees running around to kill Nydus Worms, then go blow those Nydus Worms to pieces!
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Protoss Research

5 points - Either one's your pick. However, I would recommend the Vanadium Plating if you want to keep units and not have to constantly rebuild them. On harder difficulties, the extra health is more worthwhile.

10 points - Micro-Filtering, hands down. There are quite a few missions where making Supply Depots is unnecessary, either because you only control a few units or because it's a mission where you already have enough Supply to do what you need to for the mission.

15 points - Automated Refinery. This combos with Micro-Filtering well, and saves you 6 SCVs better off mining minerals.

20 points - Either one's your pick. I'd recommend the Science Vessel, especially for a few missions where mechs are your main unit comp.

25 points - Either one's your pick, but you might find Tech Reactors to be more efficient than Orbital Strike 75% of the time. A few people cheese missions with Orbital, and on Brutal instant marines might be helpful in the last few missions, thus the remaining 25%.

Zerg Research

5 points - Either one's your pick. You're going to be building Bunkers in so few missions that it really doesn't matter.

10 points - Again, either one's your pick. Both are static defenses that either you need or you don't.

15 points - Either one's your pick. Hercules drops are great for later Artifact missions, and Predators eat infantry units and structures for all 3 meals in the day, and also don't need a SV if you get Regenerative Bio-Steel.

20 points - Either one's your pick. Should your Science Vessel heal less, or more? Do you add a lot of mech to your unit comp or do you rely on Spectres to get through most of the missions?

25 points - I recommend the Hive Mind Emulator, regardless of which version of the Final Mission you play. The last three Final Missions are rather comical to play when you've got several HMEs mind-controlling any not-Zergling in sight and using them against the Queen of Blades.
Edited by Etarberec on 7/12/2011 6:16 PM PDT
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Thanks, guys. :D
You just made a noob's day. :]
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i just wish the cellular reactor and regen steel applied to buildings, like the HMEs and the OCs... oh well
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