As a starting point for the next Commander, the design team was determined to leverage the awesome fan-favorite Mecha Zerg skins. After a bit of deliberation on which character could possibly command the Mecha Swarm, we settled on the Hyperion’s former chief science advisor, Egon Stetmann, a character the Co-op team already has a very special relationship with. More specifically, we homed in on his maniacal and slightly paranoid Mist Opportunities persona. Creatively, we knew that Stetmann was relatively unexplored, which meant that we had a lot of freedom in terms of gameplay, lore, and character development.
This new Co-op Commander version of Stetmann explores his life after Mist Opportunities, when he spent years as a castaway marooned on a foreign planet, struggling to survive. Quite a while has passed since we last saw him, and not only has Stetmann survived—he’s thrived, having built both an army to defend his beloved Bel’Shir, and a best friend to keep him company with lively conversation.
Stetmann is a macro Commander who’s enhanced the potential of the Swarm with advanced Protoss technology and a healthy dose of Terran ingenuity.
All standard combat units in the Mecha Swarm use a special form of energy called Egonergy. Egonergy does not regenerate on its own; it’s restored primarily via the J.U.I.C.E. Stetzone configuration. Mecha units with Egonergy are more powerful than their standard Co-op counterparts, but without it, they become depleted husks of their former glory.
Stetmann utilizes a repurposed harvesting bot named Gary as his hero unit, who fulfills more of a support role compared to those of his heroic counterparts such as Kerrigan or Nova. While Gary is relatively weak on his own, he can act as a powerful force multiplier for Stetmann’s Mecha Swarm.
Among Stetmann’s other key features are Stetellites, which you can deploy from the top bar panel. Similar to Pylons, Stetellites provide areas of influence called Stetzones, which grant various passive bonuses to your army. You can switch between different Stetellite configurations via the top-bar, which confer different bonuses to allied units. Some keys to succeeding as Stetmann include continuously managing your Stetellite deployment and re-evaluating the optimal Stetellite configuration for the situation.
Once we decided that Stetmann was the next commander, we started to hone some of his core mechanics. We wanted to leverage his penchant for researching and adapting Zerg and Protoss technology for Terran use. One of the first mechanics we decided to adapt was the iconic Zerg creep mechanic.
Stetellites and Stetzones were designed to grant the same satisfaction players receive from spreading creep—and, thereby, their influence—over the map. Stetzones are powerful enough to encourage “Stetellite spread” and the ability to change Stetzone bonuses adds another layer of complexity to the mechanic. Plus, your allies will greatly appreciate your help!
When designing different Stetzone configurations, movement speed and health regeneration immediately jumped out at us. Settling on the third Stetzone configuration was trickier, but we eventually came up with the concept of Egonergy and Egonergy/energy restoration, as it checked a few boxes, like:
Finally, Stetmann’s Mecha Zerg units draw inspiration from either Terran and Protoss technology. It’s only fitting that his Mecha Hydralisks shoot missiles or his Mecha Zerglings have a version of Hardened Shield.
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