Brutal vs Brutal+

So a recent thread showed us some stats that revealed a stark contrast between Brutal and Brutal+ games played which, if I’m honest, annoyed me a bit as don’t like feeling like I’m in a “minority” player group.

If I remember right there was only 10 or 20k B+ games compared to 200k+ Brutal games.

However, some things occurred to me:

  • do weekly mutations count as Brutal games (as they are queued at Brutal difficulty).
  • do the stats date back to before B+ was introduced.
  • do custom mutation games count as Brutal games (as the difficulty is set to Brutal).

All of these questions probably can’t be answered or might not changed the conclusion all that much (that many more Brutal games are played than Brutal+).

An argument could similarly be made that SC2 Coop is Favoured by casual gamers who just want to play a game that they can win easily and aren’t interested in being challenged or made to feel uncomfortable. Again, this is subjective.

The reason I made this thread is, however, for another reason. Today on Reddit there is a poll checking the prestige completion rate of respondents and only 1/8th of respondents have finished prestiging all commanders and I realised that even as a Brutal++ player (as in, I play Brutal+ or greater, not saying anything about if I play it well!) I’ve recently played some vast amount of Brutal games (and even a few hard and 1 casual) just to finish prestiges which would heavily influence even my stats let alone what it must do for anyone else who doesn’t play B+ as enthusiastically as I do.

So for the 7/8th of Sc2 coop players (Or greater considering reddit readers are probably keener gamers than than average) is it more likely that they’ll play Brutal to level their commander and if they had finished prestiging would they be more likely to play B+?

Another subjective point is that while leveling I was always amazed that I seemed to be usually matched with someone a similar level as I.

So team, what do we think, is there anyway to figure out this answer? Can any game by a sub level 15 commander be removed from the stats? Or mutations and custom mutations games (if they are included)? Would it matter?

I find myself caring neither for how many of any mode is played, nor for what reason, nor whats counted in the stats or not. What purpose does knowing these answer serve? What’s the purpose of altering the stats? What do you feel annoyed about something so inconsequential in life?

Weekly mutation and custom mutation games count as brutal, games date to whenever coop started saving replays if a player felt like dumping their entire folder to the site, but I suppose the majority of replays are those uploaded automatically by maguro stats program.

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sad mutation noises :smiling_face_with_tear:

I can say that after maxing everything except my loading screen level, I’d prefer not to play anything more difficult than a brutal game and an occasional mutation once a week. I want to play for fun, not to see how high is my max APM while trying to dodge mag-mines and kill propagators all throughout the map.

Rarely see magmines (if ever?) And no poops in B+1. B+1 really isn’t hard even with “average” apm. Mainly just having a basic strategy and being prepared to make minor adjustments to accommodate the mutations and choosing “stronger” commanders/prestiges if you don’t want to work too hard. Tychus P3 and Zaratul P3 are great and easy choices for instance.

Brutal+ suffers from having some really bad random mutators that make the game unenjoyable & unfun.
Which results in a lot of players instant leaving the game when they see which random mutators rolled.
Which eventually resulted in no one playing Brutal+.

Blizz should have made brutal+ contain only the mutators that are “universally” tolerated, and skipped on the ones that are problematic or downright reviled.

The purpose of Brutal+ was supposed to offer a harder than Brutal difficulty for random match making.
Instead blizz made it a russian roulette of all available mutators which results in genuinely unenjoyable matches because a solid third of the mutators are just miserable garbage.


The community:

“Man, i sure kinda wish there was something that’d offer fun, diverse, enjoyable experiences a bit over brutal, like mini boss fights or longer maps that rewarded you for playing them and had lots of fun options for playing them! Maybe even mechanics like a boss with a weak spot who you could target for more damage and crit like a arcade, or a mode inspired by arcade where the mobs could even drop power ups and you could still have a challenging game balanced around the use of them, and just really fun content like what even some of the fans have made in arcade.”

“Surely a big, AAA company like blizz with billions of profits a year could invest in making a fun game format, and not siphoning all money from development for a quarterly stock bonus and firing all WoW/Hearthstone Q/A teams and sc2 developers could make a good game, right?”

Sc2: So anyways, we made a random mutator for this week for brutal+.

It’s called Epiletic Seizures. The screen is upside down with microtransactions, propagators, double edged, mineral shields, and your ally can now kill you by misplaying while the Stettman stukov Fatal attraction combo can make your cpu fan light on fire.

Every 15 seconds, the game will flash obnoxious lights and will also begin to rotate upside down.

We believe this will make the gameplay more exciting by making players lose their will to live and exist. We will also design some mutators that might completely crap over some 200/200 to 24/200 commanders.

We believe that fun combos. Like Epileptic seizures Polarity Nuke Fearing your ally Raynor are fun and exciting. By adding mutations where your ally can have a epileptic seizure while having their screen turned upside down, vomit, be sucked into a nuke vortex, lose their entire army and simultaneously be unable to mine because their 10 apm isn’t high enough to support clearing the mineral shields at their base or even parking a bunker, we hope to add higher gameplay experiences. Thank you for playing starcraft 2. We will now be life supporting it to give the stockholders a higher quarterly bonus and stopping all development, kthnxbye give us more money too plz. :smiley:

I just wish there was a properly tuned Heros of the storm available, fighting the heros would be so much fun if they just didn’t freakishly overtune them so much that Vorazun time warping and praying to god you have enough dps to kill them in a 0 dps time vortex before a 3 minute nova Nukes your base with 5 reviving 1000 hp karaxes was a thing. So much potential, yet so much.

I wish there was at least a “no bs, army mutators only” mutation mode that let you play combat mutators without the microtransactions, mineral shields, propagators, double edged, your expansion is in a nuke zone, kinda mutations zone. Some of them could be fun, they did wow Mythic+ right, but… Sc2 just… aren’t that enjoyable imo.

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Mutation’s problem is and has always been that each individual mutator isn’t fine tuned (quite often over-scaled). This created no-duh scenarios of “improperly scaled mutator compounding each other”.

Even before Brutal+, custom mutation (was its predecessor) has shown this very issue. When the player base reflect this problem, they were largely ignored (with few exceptions).

It was stupid then as it is now. It’s just players are more used to them. Even within the B+ player base, only a small portion can consistently do B+6. And that isn’t even the end of the scale, 10 mutators generally annihilate 99.9% of the players. Fact is (and remains true to this day) that if they scaled mutators down a bit, they would make for much more challenging yet fun…. for everyone.

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My issue with it, especially on higher + levels is how it punishes people, in a way, for choosing certain commanders.

Weekly mutations on the other hand, since it shows what it is ahead of time it’s more of a puzzle to be solved. So there isn’t any bad commanders in the same way.


An upside to this is: you could pause the game at start and discuss some basic strategies with your partner even if you got a bad roll. Since this is not one of those Chinese coop tournaments, there is no shame in doing that. I’m sure the partner don’t mind it either since they picked brutal+ and should be serious about winning the game. Also they should be decent playing the CO they picked.

But I agree with the majority of the community, brutal + is not fun. Often times when I play mutations, it is either the weekly mutations or I select my own mutators because I may want to practice against them (for self improvement purposes).

The fact that your partner chooses to do the clear stupid thing against some mutators (in most cases) is exactly what turned me away. Based on weekly (a known mutator combo) alone, it happens far too often. Maybe it’s me but I’d rather not waste 2-3 tries cuz my partner don’t even understand what the mutators do.

I just don’t get the appeal of it. If I wanted to push B+, then it’s always with a friend who’s skills are on par. So no random shenanigans like:

  • Oh let me run a mass of lings or infested into propagator, and now the wave + a bunch of :poop: is at the temple.
  • Allow me to go clear a base now but take 20min to do it, so we can hard stop killbots. Meanwhile, I’m just solo’ing the mission… I’d rather solo without the liability over there trying to be Rambo.
  • I’ll just go kill invulnerable polarity units with my obviously underwhelming army. Cuz moving together is impossible apparently.
  • Worse yet, sit in a Nuke or any totally avoidable weather mutator.

Even then, without these obvious errors, at the end of it is nothing. Achieving a win or multiple wins on B+6 doesn’t mean you will on another. Consistently win only happens with those who have similar level of experience and skill. Ultimately, it is still restricted to Brutal flow. The mutators only add to how many curve balls there are. You either know how to catch it or you don’t.

Sub 15 games are 90% locked to B. The rest 10% have a friend or manage to find an ally in COOP in-game chat lobby to carry in B+.

Man I’m sorry you’re had these tough experienced in B+.

Some points:

  • the list of random mutators in B+1 is definitely only a subset of the total. No particularly tough ones and a lot of the most annoying are not in it (vertigo etc).
  • I have no problem finding a game when I queue for B+. However, the Brutal community is larger of course but a recent poll suggests that could be from as simple a reason as 7/8th of players or more still leveling their commander prestiges. I was particularly surprised to find that wait times for B+ was <1 second when playing in North America (instead of just on the North America server)
  • almost all B+1 mutator combinations are manageable for all commanders. As a random player I find myself quitting maybe 2-3 in 100 games because of an unplayable combination (and can always retry with another commander). Many more players quit because of Cradle than because of the mutations.
  • some higher mutations are only playable by a certain subset of commanders and honestly I think this is okay. Playing B+2-6 implies that you’re in a party and sometimes you need to bring the right tool for the job, so to speak.
  • if anything I think the B+ community is growing as more people finish prestiging. B+ is a bit rough when you start but it is not so hard to adapt and then it can be very fun and rewarding.

Thanks for your thoughts on this though!

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I think it would be nice to see the mutators before selecting commanders but since commanders aren’t balanced, if you’re picking the best commander for the mutation this would quickly turn into picking zera/stet/dehaka/tychus/p3karax every time, and you can already pick those commanders and most likely have someone good in b+. I would still prefer to go random commander and try to make whatever I get work. Actually I wish you could also randomize prestige selection, each one with a mastery loadout.

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Agreed ++. Both on the randomized prestige, as well as going random CO to tackle mutations. I think the only feasible solution is to scale down the mutator values.

Things like reduce silence duration, frequency of enemy boss-like unit (poop, animator, boom, etc.), number of spawned mutators (mines, weather, nukes, etc.). All of these will translate into more playable CO/prestige in B+. And thereafter more players playing in it.

The next step could be to re-assign value to mutators to better represent B+1 to B+6, instead of how it is scaled. Perhaps even adding specific clause to exclude certain ones from B1-2, kind of idea anyway.

Also wanted to add, often the mutation becomes difficult as a result of unable to ‘handle the brutal flow’, due to mutators’ nature to delay certain timings. I don’t think the issue is ever that the player (even inexperienced) can’t handle a void rift here or a killbot there. It’s the fact while they are preoccupied doing x thing, the y thing gets them.

As such, scaling things down slows that pace. Yet, it has the benefit of adding more mutators (to increase both variety and frequency as a whole). For example, if both Propagator and Void Reanimator came at ~hypothetical half frequency. The compounded frequency would still be similarly difficult to achieve that same experience (with the added variety of both mutators in). We can extrapolate that with additional mutators like Killbot, Boombot, etc. The way these scale logarithmically as individual mutator is just not fine tuned.

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Brutal+ difficulty varies too widely. Some mutator combos are negligible while others are borderline impossible, and I would rather have 1-2 difficult mutators at a time instead of having 3 of the more boring ones. It would have been nice to practice against Void Rifts and Heroes of the Storm, but as it stands, B+ is like Brutal but with longer matchmaking and dragged out matches.

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If I have the wrong prestige for the combo of mutators I get, the amount of difficulty skyrockets to a point where I don’t feel like I can comfortably queue with certain CO’s in Random Brutal+ games.

But, as you said, weekly mutations are nice because I know ahead of time what I’m going to be facing and I can plan and prepare for it.

I find B+ to be extremely unenjoyable. Not just because of how the pool of mutators is, but because of how various combos can just delete a commander someone may main from the entire game. The amount of punishment and punishing combos is… Nothing short of ludicrous and frustrating. If I want to be frustrated, I’ll just play Pokemon Showdown instead. SC2 Co-Op is generally my “mechanical wake-up” and chill game. If I want to really go more try-hard, I’ll actually play DotA 2 instead.

I mean they’re doable but not very enjoyable. I do a couple on occasion, i pass them fine just i never find myself enjoying them nor am i a exp farmer past 90 or someone who wants to subject someone to a lvl 3 brutation zagara i don’t play for me.

If i had to describe a analogy, Base brutal would probably be like a untimed Rubik cube. It can be hard at first, but once you find a way to solve it, you can likely beat it again every single time after that just by memorizing a couple strategies to solve it that work most of the time.

  • Polarity, is like trying to solve a rubik cube while you can only put one hand on the puzzle and the other Person is sleeping.

  • Mineral shields, is like you’re trying to solve a rubik cube while every 20 seconds your hand is coated in super glue that needs to be chipped off. You can still work with it, but you don’t know HOW this enhances the experience of solving a rubik cube.

  • Speed freaks zerglings is kind of a experience where you have 2-7 day shipping and unless your package arrives in under 2 days, either nothing happens or you have a speak freaked squad of zerglings just devour a base 20 seconds before your hero unit spawns without much counterplay. While other times, you might just place a couple nydus worms and not have it matter anyways.

  • Fatal Attraction + swarmy zerglings + stukov/Stetlag is like you are trying to solve a rubik cube, but every half second you only have 0.01 to interact before you spend 5 seconds flying around while viewing the screen through a 1 frame per 3 second slideshow camera while your character flies through Nantucky while having exploding banelings in stunlock greet you since your ally commander won’t stop a move kidnapping you into a stunlocked 200-1000 damage baneling explosion Forcing you to use medivacs to just GET away from your ally trying to kill you or use you as a Meat shield Like luffy did to buggy XD (GUM GUM HUMAN SHIELD!!!)
    Buggy VS Mihawk English Dubbed - YouTube

(We lived i just probably was forced to facetank like 300 baneling explosions to the face at 1 frame slideshow presentation speeds while the computer fan was starting to overheat and getting 100 degrees lmao).

Most mutations are still workable, but it’s more or less, they’re beatable, but not very enjoyable. And sometimes you get really unfun mutations that make the game feel like it’s playing the game with syrup or crashing the game with lag. (Like stukov/Mass Laglings Stettman + fatal attraction Diffiusion/Double edged/fear, etc. )

Other mutators you sometimes can ignore easily, like a stealth mutator with a commander like nova who can get detection easily or a post research one / Nydus spammer kerrigan.

  • Double edged is like trying to solve a rubik cube. Except it’s covered in thumbtacks.

  • Killbots is like trying to solve a rubik cube that requires 150 blood sacrifice rituals to complete. Except stukov gets to sacrifice 150 ants, Nova and tychus/toss might have to sacrifice workers, zerg might just sacrifice zerglings, etc. It doesn’t really offer gameplay in random que, but it makes stukov and Zagara much better at suiciding units for them.

  • Random nukes/aoe fears are just like trying to solve a Rubik cube while someone randomly sets your house on fire and sets the AC down. NONE of it is like, trying to make a tuned miniboss or making a more fun game. some of them do expand gameplay, but most of the brutal+ affix are just anti qol mutations that while beatable, make the game feel like a rubik cube dunked in syrup that a cheese beats or anyone else slogs.

While since it’s mostly 30% more xp, but often 20-50% longer maps, you can just play whatever mode you prefer, and that’s pretty fair. Brutal+ does teach unconventional ways to play commanders, but i’d rather wish i was fighting minibosses or solving new rubik cube puzzles…
Not trying to learn how to do the same thing while drenched in syrup… Or the mutations where no matter if you could carry, your ally has the ability to just flat out kill you, supply block, or be more harmful than a empty spot are just… bleh.

Others will do nothing to one commander, while completely disabling another. They were made for weekly mutations to sell commanders, not really as much for random que, and i feel like it kinda shows. In