Alex Talbott

Designer | Developer | Worldbuilder

Defense of the Storm

a mod for two games at once

I worked on Defense of the Storm out of the desire to not only impress Blizzard Entertainment, but to present an idea on how PvE would work in Heroes of the Storm. Because Heroes was built using a modified version of the Starcraft 2 editor, I decided to see just how far I could get with the unmodified editor. Despite size issues with Battle.net’s bandwidth, I got pretty far.

Design philosophy

Throughout the mod’s development, it was important to make sure that the gameplay was a near mirror of Heroes of the Storm‘s. Of course, with the game being PvE-centered, some things would to change to accommodate the enemy changing from other players to AI-controlled minions. One huge goal was to capture the tension found in PvP matches but in a PvE setting, such as the adrenaline found in Team Fortress 2‘s Mann vs. Machine mode and World of Warcaft‘s Mythic+ dungeons.

why heroes hasn’t done pvE

As I went along this path, a multitude of reasons had begun popping up as to why Blizzard hasn’t dove into PvE for Heroes of the Storm. While there are several ways to combat these reasons, I feel like these are the biggest thorns associated with the idea.

  • Certain heroes are equipped with abilities that only work in PvP (in their current iteration). See Sylvanas’ Mind Control and Stitches’ Consume.
  • Some talent choices become completely null in a PvE scenario. Why improve a single target root when you can amp up your AoE ability?
  • The Specialist role reigns supreme. Assassins are great during boss waves but feel weak against hordes. Healers feel fun during tense or difficult waves and are rather boring during easier fights.

What was difficult making this list was trying to discern issues with my design and fundamental issues with the concept. There are definitely things I would change about my design and the map overall, but there are obstacles that require changes to the characters themselves.

Aftermath

Overall, the mod seems to have done well as a concept piece (see the Reddit link below). However, one of the biggest surprises was getting the attention of YouTube Red series creator Michele Morrow and former Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games designer Alexander Brazie (Xelnath). My mod was considered to be used as a base for the ‘game’ that the story would revolve around in Morrow’s series Good Game.

Where to find it

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