Being annoying in a game can drive players to distraction. We’ve all been there, playing a game we enjoy but just being bugged by small things which eventually either put us on the back foot mentally, being on tilt so to speak, or we just stop playing overall. This is why Murky’s design shined; he was supposed to do this. Murky was not going to be winning any large fights or making strong plays by himself, he was created to annoy and that’s what he did. Rarely will you see games create features which set out to disrupt player experience. This is due to the very real fear that you will turn players away from your game out of frustration or cause negative feedback, but when it is done well it can be rewarding from both sides of fence.
On the one hand, players rejoice when using Murky to make some silly play or irritate. On the other, players will feel a sizable satisfaction when dealing with the Murky player or making his life hard in return; it was a nice balance. However, as mentioned, games change and grow over time and none do this more than MOBA’s. After every new character’s addition, Murky steadily became less and less annoying. In fact, after a while, Murky became a joke. He was unable to even function; stealth characters would dispatch him with laughable ease, highly offensive characters killed him in a split second (some even could farm him for buffs!) and healers and tanks started to gain abilities to reduce Murky’s effect on them.
This is where Murky’s design failed. By bending the established structure of character design in Heroes of the Storm, they created an interesting character which was placed outside the realms of gameplay norms. Unless monitored, this position could easily become a problem and, perhaps inevitably, it did.
The question then becomes, how do you fix this? Murky was a Hero categories by his ability to annoy and to die a lot; two things that Blizzard could not control. For the longest time, Murky lay in a MODA limbo, unable to be used realistically and for his original purpose. That is until November of 2016. Blizzard announced that Murky was receiving a rework and it would be released in the new year. This caused some concern, both sides of the camp were dreading what was to come.