This article outlines the Hero Perks for speedrunning, as of Version 14.8. This is a very brief outline of speedrunning, and given that Doomsday now has Electrostatic fallout as a given Talent, only Dune will benefit from it in speedruns since he has a 4th perk that is 'available'. For other heroes, there are still more important perks to pick for speedruns.
Oldschool Hero Line-up
- Dune is an essential hero for an early general trigger and massive AoE damage with his overload and self-nuking all through out the game.
- Anvil is essential to scan and nuke the omegalisk and leviathan bases to death.
- Pyro is essential for lag management, to melt zerglings and broodlings, primal mutalisks, that cause the most lag. Only him can allow Dune to move out without lagging and perform his functions in a speedrun game. Pyro is the lag manager of OS speedruns.
- Exclude Nova, Tassadar, Aquila, Predator. Remaining good heroes would be Tychus, Swann, Fury, Atlas and Messiah for a total of 5 viable heroes. Further research can be to look into which of those 5 heroes is the most optimal. Possibly Atlas(to buff Dune) >> Swann >> the other 3.
Hellwalker Hero Line-up
At the time of writing, the current 4-player Hellwaker record is 48m57s. Given that it is possible for a team to beat the 43 minute mark, there is still a massive amount of improvement to be made.
Given that my solo record for Hellwalker is 43:53 with a potential for <43:00 with good RNG, I predict that a team of world-class players can finish 4-player Hellwalker before 43 minutes. Since 3 heroes would be nuking (Dune, Nova and Anvil), the risk of having bad RNG for nuke talents would be spread out, and less impactful than having only 1 or 2 nukers.
When I compare a solo Dune Hellwalker to a 4-player Hellwalker run, a 4-player Hellwalker run can be much faster, at every single point of the game, except during the General trigger, which happens at 03m01s for solo and between 03m05s to 03m10s for 4-player runs.
The line-up required would be:
- Dune remains essential
- Nova becomes essential because high HP targets have much higher HP on Hellwalker compared to Oldschool. Her 15% mark debuff is excellent. Her armageddon mastery is finally put to good use to eliminate other targets on the map twice with mass general nukes. Because of much more drops on Hellwalker, she will unlock her score by the 18th minute, and melt the brain bug by the 21st minute. With cheaper nukes, she can more efficiently nuke important spots in the map.
- Predator becomes essential because of its ability to reduce spell damage from nukebacks, ravager shots and his necessity to engage the general twice with the mass general nukes.
- The other 7 heroes that can perform decently as the 4th hero in a good hellwalker speedrun would be Tychus, Swann, Anvil, Fury, Pyro, Messiah and Atlas. To reduce the difficulty and number of remakes to the game, Anvil can be picked to prevent an inexperienced Dune from taking risky paths to trigger bosses.
The only heroes that should be eliminated for a speedrun should be Tassadar and Aquila. Tassadar's massive pushing power is no longer needed when heroes can nuke themselves in the bubble with Predator's buff. And given that Tassadar struggles against high HP targets without an accompanying empowered army, he can be eliminated from consideration too since he will rarely have helldivers that remain alive when moving out.
Game Mechanics of Multiplayer Hellwalker
Although there are some mechanics that make 4 player Hellwalker games slightly more difficult, the overall combination of 4 heroes can more than make up for this slight handicap. Lets take a look at certain mechanics of multiplayer Hellwalker games:
- The elder hive guardian that exists on multiplayer Hellwalker games can easily be dealt with if Dune sets his Conservator Prism at the right place. There will be no more than 2 elder hive guardians in a 43 minute speedrun, therefore, never requiring any hero to step back in base to defend the odins, even if the prism is wrongly set.
- The fact that each hero has nukebacks on himself is a massive advantage, especially with the general chain nukes that occur twice.
- The fact that the firepower of 4 heroes combined is much greater than solo Dune more than compensates for the double HP of enemies and structures in 4-player Hellwalker.
- There is no handicap because of additional hybrids. Dune, Predator and Nova do not need to worry about hybrids when the elite brutalisks are killed. The fourth hero, especially if not Anvil, can stay safely with the odins during that time. Alternatively, the escape can be timed at exactly 12 seconds after the hybrid text warnings, which is exactly when the hybrids appear around a player.
- Comparing 4-player to 2-player games, there is considerable mitigation of poor nuke talents in 4-player games, since it is expected that 3 heroes pick global nukes. The vast majority of nukes will be against the general base, and later, against the brain bug base. That is easily done with 2 or 3 heroes, even without double silos.
I have stopped playing this game, but I do hope that one day, some players fill up my shoes and complete <43 minute 4-player Hellwalker game.
Table for Hero Perks for Hellwalker Speedrun Games
For Hellwalker speedruns, the above table simply needs to be slightly modified according to 4 rules:
- Replace all Helldivers with Mercenary
- If there are no Helldivers, replace the 4th Perk with Mercenary
- For Anvil, Weaponsmith is made the 3rd Perk, and Air Support is eliminated in favor of Mercenary
- For Dune, with Doomsday now including the Electrostatic Fallout talent, he should pick it as the Hellwalker Perk 4.
Mercenary over Helldivers for Hellwalker Speedrun
In Speedrun games, we swap Helldivers for Mercenary. Helldivers upgrade for each major boss kills, starting from the Brutalisk, the Omegalisk, the Leviathan, the Brain Bug, and the General. There are 5 levels of upgrades.
A. In Speedrun games, the General is the first boss that is triggered. The epic odin+hero fights start from the third minute. Maximum pushing power and coordination is required to fight off the general waves until about the 20th minute mark for Hellwalker. And helldivers are relatively weak when not upgraded. Therefore, in a time when maximum pushing power is needed, if helldivers are weakest at that point, the odin battle is not the right time to have them.
B. Once you start to move out, Helldivers unfocused fire, irritating ability to aggro enemies, their frequent deaths, etc are more of a liability than a benefit. Therefore, replacing Helldivers for Mercenary is a logical choice.
C. Picking Mercenary boosts nuke damage and most importantly provide minerals for the heroes that will be nuking non-stop such as Dune.
Given that A. and B. and C. exist, Helldivers in speedrun multiplayer games become the weakest perk. It is swapped for Mercenary in Speedruns.
Mercenary provides 5000 minerals for each boss kills, and in Hellwalker, there are far more bosses than on Oldschool. For example, the extra brutalisks spawned by the General are all bosses, and give each player 5000 minerals for each one dead. If there are 5 brutalisks spawned, its 4(5*5000) = 100,000 minerals in a 4-player team, which makes Mercenary one of the most important perks for Hellwalker speedruns.
Links to the guides
- Introduction to GhostDragon's Guide
- Guide to all Hero Perks for Normal Games (GhostDragon) (Applies to OLDSCHOOL and HELLWALKER until Version 14.8 (October 2020). Solo runs excluded.)
- Guide to all Hero Mastery Orders (GhostDragon) (Applies to OLDSCHOOL and HELLWALKER until Version 14.8 (October 2020). Solo runs excluded.)