StarCraft

On how difficulty settings and mutation achievements work

Since ascension levels and weekly mutation wins seem like the most grind-y achievements for Co-Op, I looked a bit more into how the mutation achievements work.

What I discovered first is that completing the same weekly mutation on Brutal for the second time will not count towards the achievement. (edit: Apparently this is not true. I don't know why I thought it is.) However, if you complete the mutation on Brutal for the first time, it will count as Casual, Normal and Hard win even if you've already completed it on lower difficulty.

Which means, at least from achievement grinding perspective, the most efficient way is to play in increasing difficulty order: win in Casual counts towards C achievement, then win in Normal counts towards both C and N achievements, then win in Hard counts towards C, N and H achievements, and finally win in Brutal counts towards C, N, H and B achievements. Effectively, achievement system will count a total of 4 Casual, 3 Normal, 2 Hard and 1 Brutal win for a single weekly mutation.

If you played in reverse order (Brutal first), it would only count as 1 win for each difficulty, as far as I can tell (i.e. you wouldn't get any benefit after winning first Brutal game).

But then I started noticing something else. Sometimes, after I win on Casual, the weekly mutation card shows two or even three stars, as if I just won on Normal/Hard, and it also counts towards Normal/Hard mutation achievement. I first thought it is a bug but then I noticed that when you hover on your teammate's building, it shows their difficulty level and it might be different than yours.

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What I think is happening is that if there is no player in the random queue on your difficulty level, you might get paired with a different difficulty one. As far as I can tell, you then play on a higher of the two difficulties (I'm not totally sure about that) and your win is counted as higher difficulty win. What's interesting is that it is not counted as your first win on that difficulty. When you play at higher difficulty later, it still gets counted towards achievements.

An example from this week: when I played on Casual, I got matched with a Hard player. Then I played on Normal, again matched with a Hard player. Then I played on Hard, matched with a Brutal player. Finally, I played on Brutal. It got counted as 4 Hard and 2 Brutal wins (presumably also 4 Casual and 4 Normal but I already maxed them).

So, my questions are:

  • What difficulty level are you really playing on when matched with a different difficulty teammate? Since it counts as higher difficulty of the two, that's what I assumed. On the other hand, I sometimes get a feeling Hard+Brutal is easier than Brutal+Brutal, so I'm not really sure.
  • Are there any other ways to speed up the grind? At the current rate, it will take like two more years for me to get the 150 Brutal mutation wins achievement.
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Edit: Thank you all for replies! As already noted in the text, I was mistaken about multiple wins per week counting only as one. Every win counts towards C/N/H/B achievements (still only max 4 for bounty achievements). If you are going for all achievements, it doesn't make much sense to play mutations on difficulties other than Brutal.

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