Deathwing: Bad Game Design?

I know it’s easy to throw around “bad game design” at anything you don’t like, but this sticks out to me too much to ignore.

Heroes of the Storm has always been meant as a team-based game. But Deathwing apparently thinks he’s a strong, independent dragon who don’t need no team. He’s a hero who can’t even benefit from his allies’ abilities.

I can’t help but look at that and think “This isn’t just absurd. This is straight-up bad game design.” It completely flies in the face of everything this game was supposed to be.

Thoughts? There’s no way I can be alone in this, right? I mean sure, he seems like he’d be awesome… for the person playing as him. But for both enemies who are being bowled over by him and the team that just feels like an accessory to the destruction, that has got to be an aggravating experience.


There are big downsides to him.
Downsides that can be covered by working with your team.


Well actually Deathwing is a very team dependent hero. While true that he doesn’t benefit from his allies abilities, all of his own abilities have a significant delay and can easily be dodged. You need good setup from your team to do anything. By himself he seems to be extremely weak and characters like Tracer and Valla in particular will be a nightmare for him.

Also as a Healer main, you won’t hear me complain about having one less person on my team that needs healing.


In addition to what’s been said about him needing setup, the reason for his not being targetable by friendly abilities is to balance his perma-unstoppable.

His design is to counter the CC meta. Not to go against working with your team.


Crap, I must have the wrong patch downloaded. Cause I swear I don’t see him in the roster.

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We haven’t even tested him.


Oh I hope not.
Introducing a hero or ability or card or whatever to provide a hard counter for the meta is a terrible design philosphy in my opinion.
It basically says it is ok if something is broken, as long as you can rock-paper-scissors to victory, which makes the game less an emphasis on skill.

I’m ok if they just wanted him to feel like an epic boss character.

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People making complaints about something that is not even released is always funny. Or sad.
I cannot decide which one is the most fitting.


A hero design can do two things…

It’s got the right aesthetic flavor for him regardless, and he’s the only character like that so far. It seems like CC chain and target blow up is meta, and perma-unstoppable shakes that up a bit. With more counterplay, more viable strategies exist. To me, this means greater depth and more flexibility in hero design. Just my opinion.

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You do realize, that DW is bad at 1v1 right?

Also, you’re complaining about something you’ve never played with or against.


But too much focus on counter picks forces the game to be more about draft than about how you play the characters.

It’s also a very artificial shift in my opinion.
If CC is a problem they should address CC.
If instead they introduce a bunch of heroes with unstoppable, they seem like basically mandatory picks, then the CC focused heroes become regarded as bad picks and good picks are the ones who counter the unstoppable heroes, like heroes with % damage perhaps.
When it all settles it becomes very formulaic, like Rock-Paper-Scissors, encouraging players to focus on what is picked (we lost at draft waah) rather than focusing on how they play the composition they chose (avoid objective, split push hard, force responses, ambush them during rotations)

But I do like how he was designed. Certain talents seem to make it so the % damage hard counter people thought he would have might not be as hard a counter after all.

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Of course its bad game design but who cares? It’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t type of situation. If you make him like any normal hero people will complain he isn’t powerful enough to align with his lore. Make him like they are right now and people complain his lack of interaction with his team makes him boring.

Deathwing is unique in that you can’t pull his character from a different point in his history and insert him to the game to make it balanced. They did this with Kerrigan. Obviously Kerrigan in Xel’naga form is super duper OP but rather than try and make that work, they just plucked her from when she first became queen of blades, which puts her on par with everyone else. You can’t really do this with deathwing. Deathwing has no point in his story where he wasn’t all-powerful, with the only exception being when he was the earth-warder but nobody knows him from that point his history unless you read wikis and books.

He actually looks to be a really team dependant hero. Possibly the most team dependant hero there ever is.

He’s too slow and weak to do anything on his own. He’ll need team mates to peel and CC for him. He’ll take massive dmg if he’s alone and gets jumped


I agree. I had a thread about that a while back, and everyone said CC is fine because cleanse exists.

I won’t say that I would be any good at balancing. However, it seems to me that HotS is designed around Draft counters to allow heroes to be very strong. I was just pointing out that DW seemed to be countering the recent trends in design.

I personally play a lot of QM, and never surrender to a “hard-counter.” I wouldn’t mind a design mentality with more emphasis on micro play/talent selection and less about counters.

  1. @Op, you didn’t even test this Hero.
  2. He’s actually team-dependent, just because he cannot be buffed/healed by allies that doesn’t mean he’s a lonewolf who needs no protection.
  1. MOBAs are complex rock-paper-scissors. That’s a fact and a design. Draft is there to be meaningful, BUT! you can counter your counters with skill and there lies the important business to this game.

CC is not problematic as a whole (except Uther, god I love this Hero), but the meta is preferring it currently, and since it’s not unbalanced (not over the top in winrate) just really popular and thus stale, they need to introduce Heroes who can shake that up.
And this is the most exciting thing for the top(?) I guess, or at least to me, ofc, because I like when older Heroes become relevant again (despite them never being bad, just not the desired picks).


Yeah, I know that’s how a lot of people think about it.
I just disagree.
Although I think the problem is high damage output overall rather than CC.
Which I understand is partly a design decision to ensure that people die before both teams run out of mana, because it’s perceived that it would be boring if teams ran out of mana.

MOBAs were influenced heavily by RTS, which has RPS elements but you can adjust your composition mid-match in an RTS and scouting is an important factor for that. So I’d say hard counters are a bit more acceptable in an RTS.
Other MOBAs have items which allow you to shift the stats of your character to deal with what the enemy team is doing. While Heroes has talents, you are more limited in how your hero can shift, and when.
So I would argue Heroes needs to rely on hard counters less than RTS or MOBAs because you have less of an ability to shift how your characters behave.

However, I am not saying Heroes has a problem with this. I think they’ve done a pretty good job avoiding it, which is why I say games aren’t lost at draft. I’m just saying I don’t agree with the design philosophy in general, when I’ve seen it over emphasized in other games.


you all are already dissing him even though no one can play him? you guys need some medical treatment.

Yes, games never lost at draft, jut made more difficult. Be it facing hardcounters, not picking enough hardcounters, not picking meta Heroes, picking low tier Heroes. These things won’t make you lose by default and they might have less of an impact as ppl think.

DW won’t make CC meaningless, won’t make that teamcomp disappear, but he can open new windows and so I think he’s one of the greatest additions we could have now, and that’s why I think the opposite of what this thread was about in the first place.

let me make this clear for everyone. while deathwing is still in the testing phase everything you all saw is subject to change. the dev team made that perfectly clear.

He’s not even bad at 1v1, dude’s got autos that hit nearly as hard as Stukov and more Ehp than Stitches. Even if he casts nothing he’s going to beat a lot of heroes that aren’t dedicated duelists solo.