I think, just as long as they’re capable of doing the bare minimum of completing a brutal alone, even if challenging but in a fun and unique way, i don’t mind.
Sure offering fresh and unique playstyles, or something different like a Karax or a Mengsk where they perhaps don’t get the most face shreddable army but things like unique cannon defenses and nukes and super death cheese and unique comps, that’s great.
Like sure, sometimes when i get a Karax on a Temple of the past, great! When i get a Karax on a quick attack map or say a Void thrasher map where the only thing they were able to do the whole game was spear of Adun the stuff while their probes got destroyed on the way. Ehhh… I’m glad they’re in game, but i have no idea why with a already weak army they just made it more expensive. Lock and load clueless Karaxes can sometimes be terrifying, they just don’t build any units the whole game and put cannons but no units to cap for 20-40 minutes straight and you try to tell them to put a unit to cap and they won’t do anything but slow carriers… at the 35 minute mark.
When the map got cleared 20 minutes ago. If you’re doing expensive units, why not just raise say, a +30% more expensive zealot to have +30% more attack power too? It’s not like a same cost effectiveness zealot is gonna break a mode with 6x 100 mineral 1500 health brutalisks with 100% life leech.
Imo the commander just has to be fun. Sure some commanders are powerful and it’s good to have one grinding commander. But being fun and enjoyable to play while effective matters. No one wants to play a commander that feels bad to play without rewards. Imo gameplay wise, i like commanders like Mengsk, Tychus and Stetman (before the lagfest). While i know i tried out Zeratul and found he was already pretty capable of clearing the whole entire waves of brutal at lvl 1 without much interaction. IMO Zeratul is a example of boring OP, in that he takes away all upgrades and even the gas, which while sounding neat replacing it with a pointless scavenger hunt doesn’t really make stuff better. Meanwhile i think you really have to try hard to fail with him. His units are all extremely sturdy, but boring. Only Zeratul has any abilities, but he tends to just one shot everything. Which sounds… exciting at first the first few slashes, but i think there’s a point when you look forward to a fight that just ends with them vanishing into mist it’s just emm… I kinda wish there were more meatshieldy kinda minibosses. Like not “delete entire army in 0.02 second” bosses, but, “alive for 10 seconds” kinda bosses. Maybe say with weak points or interactivity.
Like say, a giant death robot with a lightbulb and fusion core you could hard target to stun it and deal double damage to it for 5 seconds, armored with cages. or say on a battlefield with explosive buckets, gas turrets that you could shoot to leak gas and interact with the opponent. I mean i like Sc2 but i just feel like, most of the strat in a coop is just knowing what comp and build orders to use. And then once you know it once it tends to work every other time. But while there’s micro on some, it just is… just moving your units for a better shot or moving units into say a concave to get better exposure or something while the other person just gets bored and nukes it. Imo i want to see A: New and Fun playstyles or B: Loved and successful playstyles like say, Zerg/Protoss Nova/Tychuses. I would absolutely love like a Tosh added in as say a Dark mirror to Nova, having both a merc compound with Campaign Merc Marine models (with knifes and guns and the war pig model, which would just fit tosh so well in black! ), maybe spectres to snipe and a Tosh hero unit who could ambush. Maybe a few broken things from arcade like say, a Power Overwhelming buff as his big 4-5 minute cooldown, giving him a 66 damage rifle with a 1 second attack interval, going into a 20x faster attacking 0.05 attack interval with 66 damage shooting everything in sight to gib it into ashes over a nuke while rapidly regenerating energy for all his abilities for 5-10 seconds. Before collapsing and losing all his energy at the end. That could be a really fun ability.
Or maybe something like. Revisiting the Parasitic Broodmother Niadra concept. Who in the HoTS, played with her as the spawner of a endless brood with a endless 6-40 supply of zerglings, roaches, and hydralisks that increased as you killed more units. It’s something so simple, yet, actually kinda fun having a endless stream of disposible units. I guess Zagara did part of it. But you could give Niadra like the Parasitic Roachlings strain from HoTS that swarms 2 roaches on each death, and maybe set her apart by making her spawn as a parasitic Larva with a protoss holding chamber with the animals to possess. While the other units have traditional hero units. You could play around with Niadra having her be a mind control focused hero focused on stealing units and mind controlling them until they died. Maybe with Niadra as a spawner hero unit like H&H galleon with two supply resources. 1: The normal 1-200 supply for permanant units (increased by overlords), and 2: a 2nd 10-80 supply for her spawned / Mind controlled units. She could gain biomass from killing enemies like abathur, but instead of using it for Ultimate evolutions, the more she killed, the more she could regenerate a endless suicidial swarm to rush in while protecting her more expensive units. Maybe getting zerglings/roaches and hydralisks for free with lair/hive upgrades, but expensive units like Defilers and vipers and infestors and Sc1 Brood queens with spawn broodlings and maybe 1-3 parasitic larva, a charge respawning every 20 seconds to mind control a unit for 600 seconds. Kinda like Tychus’s Vega, mind controlling can be fun, but who suits it better than a parasitic commander?