Stormgate Mechanics: Economy, Units, Movement

stormgate mechanics

With Stormgate still a while away from its 2023 beta, all fans can do is wait and see what’s to come. Luckily, we already have a ton of information about what we can expect from the game – let’s take a look at some Stormgate mechanics.

How Will The Stormgate Economy Work?

Before we get into it, it’s important to note that with the game still being in a pre-beta stage, everything could change. With that being said, the Frost Giant did reveal some core details in their 2022 interviews, so it’s unlikely that major Stormgate mechanics like the economy will see a massive overhaul. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see – but we can definitely expect some, if not most, of the information to remain accurate upon launch.

Kicking it off with the economy, there are actually a ton of details. In a Pylon Show interview, Kevin Dong (Lead Gameplay Designer) and Trevor Housten (Head of Esports) revealed how Stormgate’s economy will work. 

There are set to be two types of resources in the game, which take heavy inspiration from the Warcraft and Starcraft series. The primary resource will work similarly to Starcraft’s Minerals, while the secondary resource will be rate-limited, like Vespene gas. 

Kevin Dong explained the reasoning behind this decision: “We like that resources like vespene gas are rate limited. So, if you scout colossi at five minutes, you know that your opponent can’t also be boosting two upgrades at the same time. This gives players additional information and adds a greater degree of skill to the game.”

This means that a secondary rate-limited resource may be all but confirmed, given the fact that Stormgate’s lead gameplay designer consideres it to be a great idea and add an extra layer of skill to the game. 

Meanwhile, the primary resource has a lot of inspiration from the original Starcraft, in terms of diminishing returns. Making more workers on a single base will become less and less effective, encouraging expanding. For example, having 10 workers split between two bases will mine more than having 10 on one base. Utilizing diminishing returns also helps reduce the impact of harassment, for example, if you lose 50% of your workers, you may only lose 30% income, due to the diminishing returns of workers.

Early Stormgate concept art.

To add to this, there is also consideration of worker asymmetry – making workers and their interactions different between races. For example, in Warcraft 3 some workers enter the gold mine and some don’t. This means Human workers are exposed and targeted in harassment, meanwhile Orc workers go in the gold mine and are also able to hide in burrows, so harassing Orc players becomes focused on the burrows. As such, there is an additional aim in Stormgate to make harassment viable for both workers and buildings. 

Units in Stormgate

Moving onto units in Stormgate, there have also been a few mechanics revealed. First of all, Frost Giant’s current aim is to keep the number of units fairly low, similar to Warcraft and Starcraft 1, which had around a dozen units per race. 

When it comes to unit interaction, there is a clear goal of creating hard-counters, in a sense that a player can never build an army that is impossible to beat. Again, Kevin Dong shared an example, where massing air units will be efficiently counterable by making specialized anti-air units. 

Additionally, late game units will be specialized, which means they will have clear strengths and weaknesses. The goal of this is to create an ever shifting battle, where players would essentially be locked in a chess match of building the correct units to counter their opponent, rather than just sticking to one composition. 

stormgate in game
Early Stormgate Alpha footage.

Moving onto the viability of units, there’s a clear goal that no units should feel bad to make at any point in the game. This means late game units will obviously be powerful, while early game units will always be able to perform a specific role, like Zerglings being good at quick counter attacks and harassment, or will have late game upgrades that will move them into specific roles. 

Last but not least, the luck element of build orders will be somewhat controlled. For example, invisible units will drop invisibility after attacking, so they’re still worth making, but players won’t simply lose the game because they missed out scouting the building. 

Stormgate Unit Movement Mechanics

In an early 2021 Pylon Show, the Frost Giant revealed some behind the scenes footage of the engine behind the game. While this told us little about the game itself, it was interesting to see how the game’s unit movement would work. 

We can see that units move smoothly in tightly packed groups, there is a high level of collision, and units know to avoid units holding position, as well as being blocked easily. This tells us we can definitely expect impressive unit movement and utilize mechanics like blocking entrances to bases. 

We also know there will be official maps and later support for community competitive maps, a ladder much like Starcraft 2, proper esports support, years of new content planned, and much much more! 

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