"[The command center] had obviously been built for function rather than aesthetics. Some Confederacy technical draftsman back at R&D Division probably had an impassioned affair with this design at one point, but he was alone in his appreciation. The command center was all business."
Command centers, a.k.a. "command posts", are mobile resource processors that can relocate wherever minerals or vespene gas are plentiful. They move via jump-jets, but must shut down all other systems to move.
They also have the ability to manufacture SCVs and serve as the return point for mining vehicles. With pressed metal plates, command centers are heavily armored and sturdy, though are slow moving whilst in flight, where they are at their most vulnerable. They are typically the first terran structure to touch down when an army is deployed.
Structurally, the command center is as wide as it is tall (3 stories), easily identifiable from a distance through its flashing beacons. Massive repulsor landing claws support the main bulk of the structure with external ablative plates reinforcing the main hull. Observation towers, antennae, sensor domes and other similar devices are situated above the center proper. Processors are also maintained to process resources, taking up the bulk of the command center's external space.
After the Brood War, the command center design underwent expansion, including extra bay facilities to carry a number of SCVs while the command center is in transit. This facilitates rapid exploitation of fresh mineral fields or vespene pockets, as well as supplying a handy shelter for the SCVs in case of enemy action. In addition, the increasing use of command centers in combat zones led to the development of standard schematics for upgrading them to a dedicated military role, a change from previous standards where command centers featured minimal staff and defenses. Two such military variants of the command center were the ATVXorbital command, designed for surveillance and asset management, and the Aresplanetary fortress, designed for planetary warfare.
Command centers of the Second Great War were equipped with Atlas boosters. The boosters could not lift the more massive planetary fortress.
The Dominion Special Forces utilize command centers with reinforced repulsor landing claws, which allowed them to gain solid footing even in the harshest environments.
Command centers were designed to be roving resource processors for Confederate prospectors. At some point during the Great War or Brood War, a team of Korhal's finest engineers created a command center covered in gold; an "extra coat of paint befitting its nobility" as a structure of the Terran Dominion. Because of all the gold, the command center weighed several times as much as a normal command center, but its thrusters were upgraded to ensure its lift-off functions remained.
The infirmary is located at one of the command center's lower levels. It is arguably the most well protected section of the command center, encased by the structure proper and set within its exact middle. However, command center infirmaries lack advanced equipment and only really function as a first-aid station, a place to keep an injured soldier alive long enough so that he/she can reach better facilities in time. Water is supplied via a basin and multiple bunks are present, which feature straps should a patient have to be restrained.
The operations room is situated at the very top of a command center. A ring of transteel windows surrounds the entire room, allowing an officer to look in all directions from the structure. The centerpiece is the command island however, a raised circular platform situated in the room's center. From here, command staff monitor activities of a base and the operations room itself. Various consoles are located below the island, specifically monitoring the aspects of a base. It is also from the operations room that general radio traffic can be monitored and answered. Security codes are stored here.
The reactor core provides power to the command center via fusion. This leads to a warm floor and a steamy environment due to the heat generated. It is located in the dark, lower depths of the structure, accessible via service ladders. It has a main bay.
The command center is the most durable base building without upgrading and can lift off, allowing it to fly into better positions. A commonly used tactic is to construct a command center in a defended area, and then fly it to another resource node to begin another base. However, like all other terran buildings, the terran command center will literally burn to the ground when lower than about 35% HP. Another dangerous weakness is the fact that command centers are able to be infested by zergqueens, resulting in an infested command center which creates explosive infested terrans.
ATVX now manufactures a satellite comlink that can reveal unexplored areas on the map. The comlink can also call down a MULE. A MULE gathers much faster than an SCV and can produce a major surge in mineral production. Because it is a prototype, the MULE will come apart after a short period of time, but it is still well worth the cost.
We now have the ability to train two SCVs simultaneously, allowing our early mineral and vespene production to ramp up twice as quickly. This breakthrough, made possibly by recent insights into protoss containment fields, should help us get a stronger foothold early in future missions.
An orbital command summons one MULE via drop pod. If the ability is targeted on a mineral patch the MULE will begin mining automatically, extracting 45 minerals per trip. The ability may be used only on areas uncovered by the fog of war.
We can now outfit the command center with the twin Ibiks cannon and additional structure plating. Please note that this upgrade, nicknamed the planetary fortress, must be triggered after the command center has been built. Also note that a command center that has been upgraded to a planetary fortress can no longer lift off because the added weight is too much for the command center's atlas boosters.
All structures repair themselves to 50% life. All structure fires are automatically put out.
This all-in-one safety system automatically dispatches robotic drones to put out any fires and perform basic repairs on damaged structures. Although these drones are effective at doing basic repairs, they do not have a strong enough AI to perform the more delicate repairs needed to restore a structure past half life.
The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.
The command center was a solid month of work in StarCraft II. Design decisions constantly changed the landscape of the multiplayer art needs in the game, and when the dust settled, the revision was a monster task. Designing its planetary fortress and orbital command variants required even more planning.