Stromling Mechs, originally known as Maelstrom Mechs, are former Assembly Defense Robots corrupted and reprogrammed by the Maelstrom into elite enemies.
Assembly Defense Robots were originally designed by Assembly to act as security mechs for the Paradox Research Facility. However, an explosion of Maelstrom energies created by the Spider Queen overwhelmed and corrupted most of the Defense Robots into Stromling Mechs. Only two Defense Robots, PRDX-7 and PRDX-4, are confirmed to have escaped corruption, while their brothers march across the Avant Gardens battlefield.
Stromling Mechs also appeared in The Great Minifig Mission under their original name "Maelstrom Mech". In Mission 12, Maelstrom Mechs are identified based upon their origin and risk level, and then they appear as targets throughout a town modeled after Zorillo Plaza. The Maelstrom Mech's highly dangerous risk level plays a role in Mission 20.
Stromling Mechs are common enemies encountered by players in Avant Gardens as a result of the Spider Queen's escape from Paradox Research Facility. They can be found in the battlefield around Paradox Research Facility and, as of the Power of the Nexus Force update, they can also be found in the first cavern of the Maelstrom Mine. Since they are among the first enemies encountered by players in the game, they are not particularly difficult to battle, as they only have 3 Life. When smashed, a Stromling Mech can be rebuilt into a Stromling Mech Turret that will shoot nearby enemies. Beck Strongheart assigns players with the mission of rebuilding Stromling Mechs into turrets, while Epsilon Starcracker gives Daily Missions to smash Stromling Mechs.
Stromling Mechs also appear in Avant Gardens Survival. These Stromling Mechs are more challenging foes, since their preferred battle tactic is to stand at a distance and snipe players with their laser blasts, which are now enhanced to home in on players. Additionally, these Stromling Mechs have more Life and cannot be rebuilt into turrets.
Stromling Mechs spawned by Maelstrom Generators occupy Avant Grove and Nimbus Isleproperties. They attack players who wish to clear the property, and will endlessly respawn until the Maelstrom Generator is smashed. However, these Stromling Mechs can also be smashed and rebuilt into turrets, distracting other enemies while players smash the Maelstrom Generator and reach the property's Imagination Orb.
Blaster Shot: The Stromling Mech fires a ball of energy from its rifle, doing 1 damage. The bolt slowly travels in a straight line and is fairly easy to avoid, but homes in on players during Avant Gardens Survival and the Battle of Nimbus Station.
Arm Swipe: The Stromling Mech swings at the player with its free arm. This attack does no damage, but instead knocks back the player.
In an early version of Avant Gardens, Stromling Mechs were colored white, like the original Robo Pod set. These early Stromling Mechs also have a variety of unused animations, including firing at enemies at a lower elevation and reloading their rifles while walking in a fashion similar to The Terminator.
In alpha testing and very early beta testing, Stromling Mechs were known as Darkling Mechs. As seen in data extracted from Pod 4 by Bradford Rant Institute of Cosmic Kinesis on 12/28/2009, Darkling Mechs notably lacked many Maelstrom and glow visual effects that were later implemented into their design. Darkling Mechs were renamed Maelstrom Mechs until mid-beta testing. In beta testing, Stromling Mechs had 4 Life, which was later reduced to only 3 Life.
Prior to the Power of the Nexus Force update, Stromling Mechs were not originally Assembly Defense Robots but Paradox Security Mechs, which was reflected through the alpha names of PRDX-4, Paradox Mech, and PRDX-7, Broken Paradox Mech. According to PRDX-4 prior to the same update, Stromling Mechs could only be cleansed of their Maelstrom corruption by smashing and rebuilding them. This story element was not reflected in gameplay, as Stromling Mechs could only be rebuilt into turrets, but may have been a remnant of the Corrupted Mowers that preceded Stromling Mechs.
Stromling Mechs are based on the LEGO Creator set 4416 Robo Pod, which was part of the X-Pods series from 2004 to 2006.
A named Stromling Mech, known simply as NAMED Mech, can be found in the game files in the folder for Avant Gardens. Although it does not appear in the game itself, NAMED Mech could be spawned by a Mythran using a Macro Code, as demonstrated when NAMED Mech was spawned in Nimbus Plaza. NAMED Mech has a different blaster design and more Maelstrom glow effects than the standard Stromling Mech.
During Avant Gardens Survival, Stromling Mechs deal more damage as the game went on, starting at 1 damage, then 3, then 5. However, mechs that were already spawned do not have their damage changed, making it likely that all three mechs were differently-coded variations on the Stromling Mech that would spawn at different intervals.
↑<row description="Avant Gardens quickbuild after a robotonist is smashed, used to turn it back into a good one" id="4021" localize="0" name="AG - Robotanist Quickbuild" nametag="0" placeable="0" type="Rebuildables" />
4416 Robo Pod
Concept art by Richard Tran
Pre-alpha Darkling Mech
Video footage of pre-alpha Darkling Mechs
Early Darkling Mech without Maelstrom glow effects