Mental Difficulity is listed as being the hardest difficulty of all. In practice however, it can actually be easier than Insane Difficulty, because while it has more elements to add difficulty, the elements are predicable and can be responded to. This means that the real objective of Mental is not just to win, it is to win as quickly as possible; your enemy is the clock, not the EC forces. This page lists the elements unique to Mental Difficulty that make it more difficult, but more manageable.
Time and Death PenaltiesEdit
Unlike Hard and Insane difficulties, Mental Difficulty does not have a limit on players' lives. In stead, Mental Difficulty has an internal variable, the Mental Difficulty Level. Every time a player dies, difficulty increases by 1. Additionally, unlike other difficulties, the game becomes more difficult as time passes. Every 31 minutes, difficulty increases by 1. Every 4 hours, difficulty increases by 1 per minute for 5 minutes. Every 6 hours, difficulty increases by 1 per minute for 100 minutes. (If the games goes for 6 hours and you haven't lost or won yet, you will lose.)
Every time Mental Difficulty increases, it triggers one or more "Something Bad Happens" events, in the form of additional EC units attacking. These attacks come in the form of Zerg Drop Pods containing a variety of units, but as the Difficulty Level rises, additional Something Bad Happens events trigger and other more dangerous threats start to spawn as well. If the Difficulty Level reaches 3, Spine Crawler drops start falling. If the difficulty reaches 5, two Hive Guardians and a Brutalisk are also spawned in the EC base, and attack-move towards the CP Orbital. If the difficulty reaches 6, two Brutalisks and two Omegalisks are spawned. As the difficulty increases beyond that point, additional Brutalisks, Hive Guardians, and Omegalisks are spawned. When multiple Something Bad Happens events trigger, they occur on 5-second intervals. These additional boss-level enemies spawning have another issue with them...
Detector becomes a necessary feature on this difficulty because bosses, hives and some enemies become permanently cloaked. Characters like Nova and Predator might want to take the Air Support Perk because the Battlecruiser has small area detection as well.
Full list of cloaked enemies
- Brood Lord (and broodlings they summon)
- Hive Guardian
Lurkers are cloaked on other difficulties and are unchanged.
Surprise from Protoss ArtifactsEdit
When collecting protoss artifacts beware of enemies that might (or may not) appear.
Following can happen when collecting Artifact:
- Nothing happens
- Hostile Archon (more than one late-game) spawns
- Hostile Hybrid Dominator spawns
The last option is especially dangerous in some locations because his "Void Prison" (aka force-choke) makes you an airborne target for enemy spore crawlers. For some characters that could be lethal. The Hybrid Dominator doesn't spawn in solo games.
I Will End You! Edit
Just like the other difficulties, the "I Will End You!" wave on Mental is extremely lethal if you aren't prepared. This is the wave that spawns when the push into the final base occurs. It spawns the strongest minions in the game over a period of about 3 minutes. You can see it coming when a massive number of blue ultralisks (primal strain) begin attacking. The wave spawns in the following order:
~35 primal ultralisks
~15-20 giant banelings
9 giant roaches
1 giant primal roach
5-7 giant queens
1-4 giant green ultralisks (noxious strain) (equal to the number of players)
20 Hybrid Dominators (arrive in a line)
7 Hive Guardians
Each wave brings either a large number of bouncing blue banelings or 15 guardians.
The real villains are the giant green ultralisks. They have ~60k health (around 2.5 Hive Guardians worth of life) and attack almost twice a second for 1800 damage with splash. They chew through Odins, and they can end the game in a matter of minutes after spawning. Make sure you draw their attention away from the CP base as a first priority. Try to single them out.
- The giant green ultralisks are quick, so a slow or fragile hero will simply get run down.
- Tanking the ultralisks is not straightforward. Even a Predator can falter under their assault―especially if he is lifted into the air by a Hybrid Dominator.
- If you have a Tassadar on your team, giant enemies can be blocked with force fields and killed at your leisure.
- A Nova with cloak can fire freely on the enemy. Just be careful of the Hive Guardians and Hybrid Dominators that follow as they are detectors. If Nova is spotted by a giant green, she will be run down at normal speed.
Make sure you have a plan ready for facing this wave, or they will happily end you.
Extra Timed WavesEdit
In certain time periods extra-powerful waves of enemies will appear.
Time goes as follows:
- 8:20 - A mixture of either pure slow roaches or roach/hydra drops
- 10:30 - Wave of huge (+hp +dmg) Raptors on northern entrance (A large Zerg force is coming)
- 11:35 - Brood Lords
- 13:00 - Small zerglings drop
- 14:00 - Aberration drops
- 20:20 and every 10 min and 10 second afterwards : Jump banelings will roll from the middle (or the final hive) towards the base.
- 31:00 - The mental "bad" counter will increase by one, and drop stuff. the first drop, without deaths, will usually be a mixture of abbers and roach/hydra.
- 32:50 - 3 Spinecrawler drops
- 33:00 - Roaches with eggs drop (may be sooner)
- 41:00 - double pod drop
- 48:00 - Hive guardian spawns from the middle.
All of these events are on the same timer as the first one, so the roaches will drop every 8:20, which means at 8:20, 16:40, 25:00 and so forth. The same counts for all the other events.
While other difficulties have randomized World Events occurring at randomized times, Mental difficulty has World Events occur every 23 +/- 2 minutes, in a fixed order.
- Hybrid Dominators - 23:40
- Eastern Bridge Defensive Structures - ~51m
- Roach Outpost - ~1h20m
- Dark Particle Cloud - ~1h50m
- Personal Battlecruisers
- Omegalisk Final Boss
- Enemy Nukes
- Structure Toxic Auras
- Center Island Defensive Structures
- Player Infestation
- Western Bridge Defensive Structures
- Twin Odins
- Pirate Blockade
- Spine Crawler Drops in CP Base
- Mega Spore Crawler
- Protoss Armada
- Invisible Creature
- Overlord Drops