Brink Forum  /  Revising Categories
  AkarionAkarion

Following a discussion involving certain Brink runners, including Yoshii, MakkerDon, Akarion and Logan, we have come to an agreement and propose the following changes:

-Merge the New Game and New Game Plus categories under the ‘Any%’ tag, for all leaderboards

-Remove specification for a new character per run; leave it open for runners to decide

The reasons for this are rather straightforward and, in our eyes, clear. When you start the game for the first time and create a new character, you create two profiles: the ‘global’ profile and the ‘character’ profile. Once you complete the challenges with the first character, the items that you unlock are considered a ‘global’ unlock. This means that you can access these with any given ‘character’ profile. While handy, by technicality, this is New Game Plus. You may create a new character, sure, but this is relatively similar to other games that allow you to unlock various items or options and apply them to new saves or story playthroughs. While debatable, this insinuates that a New Game run is technically impossible from the moment that you complete a challenge, owing to the fact that you now have a perceivable advantage over a player that has not done a challenge. Due to this and other gameplay variables, specifically those involving character level and difficulty (where applicable), it seems that merging New Game and New Game Plus would be the best course of action. In terms of overall flow, this would allow for easier management and less confusion for new runners and a very simple ruleset.

As to why Any% runners should be allowed to choose their own character, it appears to primarily affect the ‘risk vs. reward’ gameplay potential, specifically allowing runners to endlessly experiment and find the ideal character level and perk loadout for their runs. While you could have additional access to perks and body types that potentially make the game easier in certain aspects, you also have a higher enemy difficulty in addition to more variety with enemy loadouts. A new character generally doesn’t see heavy or light body types until the last three levels of the game, but a higher level character could see these types alongside new levels of aggression or tactics in the first level. To compensate for the increased difficulty, you could (in example) capture command posts or hack terminals faster as well as intercept grenades in mid-air or reload on the fly. You increase the risk, but you also increase the potential reward. If allowed, this would also promote creativity for runners in their approach to this game and enable them to think a bit more outside of the box.

One of the most glaring reasons for these changes, aside from increased simplicity and a more inviting ruleset, is the time. While almost nobody has submitted a New Game Plus run, the existing evidence shows that a New Game run is actually faster than New Game Plus. While it may seem confusing, why would you keep New Game and New Game Plus as separate categories when even a stock character can grant runners a better time than using a character that is developed and that possesses more skills at their disposal? Sure, you may have more abilities, but the enemy difficulty also scales to compensate for said advantage. The main difference between a new character and a leveled character appears to be the increased risk vs. reward factor. Because of this, the only variable between the two would be what you can experiment with and can use. The difference between a New Game and New Game Plus character is closed even more by the fact that you do not even have to play the story itself in order to level up your character. Even if you play custom matches and never touch the actual campaign, your current character will still gain experience, allowing them to level up just the same as a character that went through the campaign multiple times.

In the end, the goal remains the same: to beat the campaign as fast as possible. The only true difference is how much you want to risk for your current run through additional options and increased difficulty.

 
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