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Introducing The Vermillion Problem

Introducing The Vermillion Problem

We’re turning up the heat on co-op mode in an upcoming patch with our newest map, The Vermillion Problem!

This map will feature UNN news anchor Donny Vermillion as the announcer (who was recently rehabilitated following his peanut butter episode).

In addition to a new announcer, the map will also feature a lava mechanic based on Devil's Playground from Wings of Liberty. Similar to past single-player missions adapted into co-op maps, The Vermillion Problem has also changed in terms of layout and mechanics from the map that inspired it.

We recently chatted with game designer Adam Levy about adapting the original for co-op. Read on for the details.

Q: To start things off, can you give us a basic overview of the map and what makes it unique, Adam?

A: Sure. For starters, this is the first co-op map to feature a gathering-style mechanic, where your workers are collecting something in the world quickly and bringing it back to your base. The second new aspect is the lava, which makes you think on your feet and manage your units as the lava level changes.


Q: What considerations did you make in adapting the original map to co-op missions?

A: For the original map, the focus was on gathering a specific amount of resources before the AI. Since it was a Terran map, there were lots of minerals on the low ground, and you could take your Command Center airborne in order to move your base around when the lava was active.

The protoss and zerg don't work as well with that mechanic, so we adapted the map to have a greater mix of high and low ground, rather than mostly low ground. We still wanted to have workers gathering things, though, because we felt that was part of the fun of the map. We just removed the element of gameplay where you're actually spending time mining resources.

Q: So it has a gathering mechanic, but you’re not spending time mining resources?

A: Right. For this map, your workers will collect xenon crystals while your other units protect them. Unlike minerals, xenon crystals can be mined immediately, without having to wait.

Along with the change to xenon crystals, the new goal for this map is to gather 20 crystals before the planet explodes. The time remaining before the planet explodes increases with each crystal you collect. The bonus objective is to defeat a lava monster which is only available while the lava level is high.


Q: What made you think of using Donny Vermillion as the announcer?

A: It was pretty simple: someone suggested it, we tried rolling with it, and it worked pretty well!

Q: Finally, were there other changes to the map aside from mechanics?

A: The art is also a bit different, since it takes place on a different planet, which we're calling Viridium Prime. It's a more inhabited world which has a completely different layout than the original (we were adapting the original map for an additional player).


Devil's Playground (left image) was the inspiration for The Vermillion Problem (right image)

We'd like to thank Adam for taking the time to discuss the map making process! As mentioned above, we’re currently planning to make this map available to all players for free in an upcoming patch.

Now that you’ve read about the map, what questions do you have? Are you ready for the return of Donny Vermillion? Do you also appreciate peanut butter? What about lava?

Let us know in the comments. Until next time, GLHF in the Koprulu Sector!

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