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Broken Base / Overwatch

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Overwatch has enough divisive elements and characters to warrant a page of its own.

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    Base Breaking Characters, Story and Lore 
  • Reaper, the game's "grimdark" hero, has several divided camps. There are those who unironically appreciate his edgy design, those who appreciate it from a cheesy-but-effective perspective or an unintentionally-hilarious perspective, and those who find him obnoxious and annoying.
    • Reaper's motivations. The initial Green-Eyed Monster characterization he received feels flat and unbelievable to many fans, and seems to ran counter to some lore releases. Coupled with the devs releasing hints that there's a lot more to Reaper's story than what has been presented and that his motivations may be far more complex, a segment of the fandom — particularly those who ship Reaper with Soldier: 76 — have come to speculate that Reaper is actually working to destroy Talon from within and is putting on an "edgy" act for the benefit of observers, friendly or otherwise, and wish that the devs would just stop mucking about and get on with his story already.
  • While some applauded Zarya for being of a different build than all of the other female characters, others criticized her for being a stereotypical Husky Russkie woman with a far more simple and generic design than all of the other characters. Given the view that she was designed to appease feminist criticism of the game, debates regarding her can get quite heated. Her dodgy accent also doesn't do her any favors for Russian fans.
  • Tracer's dodgy accent combined with her role as a hit-and-run oriented harasser who appears to have been designed specifically to cause as much annoyance for the opposition as possible has earned her the ire of some players, especially those who see her personality as cloying and one-note. Others find her frantic style of play to be exciting, fun, and rewarding and regard her capacity to remain so hopeful, kind, and upbeat in the face of such overwhelming darkness and adversity to make her one of the cast's most charming and likable characters.
    • Being the Series Mascot also naturally opens her up to fire from some corners. Some think her unique combination of design, personality, and playstyle makes her a good choice that captures the game's spirit and stands out compared to the traditional shooter mascot, others wish her position was at least shared with other characters given the roster’s size and variety, and others go so far as to say that she "doesn’t deserve" such a status.
    • As the face of the series, she's been afforded a lot of attention in the story, leaving some to feel that she's overexposed or "has enough" compared to other characters. But others take the opposite view and think her appearances have poorly represented her by rendering nearly all of her actions moot and by having her be little more than a speed bump to her opponent every time she goes one-on-one. You'll likely see this as either a necessary evil to maintain tension and prevent her from being seen as the "favorite"note  or a frustrating disservice that's undermined her credibility as both one of the marquis heroes and as a character whose whole identity is built on taking the initiative to make a differencenote . Particularly irritated fans are quick to point out that Steven Spielberg portrayed her more constructively with a few small cameos than her own creators have in ages. And despite her screentime, she's been afforded nearly no comment regarding some of her most grievous hardships, which has led to some additional concern over whether the writers are neglecting her development or — like so many other things — if they're just taking their time. Blizzard's own history with writing their heroines hasn't helped, as some of her more alarmist fans have gone as far to start doomsaying she's already on her way to becoming the next Jaina or Leah, while others try to stay hopeful and see no reason in jumping to conclusions while the narrative is still in its formative stagesnote .
    • The reveal in Reflections that she's a lesbian adds one last layer to this regarding those who support the decision (whether because they appreciate it as representation in a medium that traditionally caters to heterosexual males, because they simply find it endearing, or for… other reasons) and those who do not (whether because they see it as needless pandering to the social awareness crowd, because it contradicts their preferred ship, or because they think her being young and physically attractive makes her a "safe" choice).
      • While some find Tracer being a "safe" choice to make LGBT representation (being both thin and white, which are very popular traits for mainstream gay characters), others found it a bold move because Tracer is essentially the face of the game. She's on the cover of every game, is prominent on much of the merchandise, and is the go-to representative for Overwatch on other mediums and thus can't be ignored or brushed under the rug.
  • D.Va:
    • Her personality is something fans have been split on liking, mostly depending on whether you find her competitive Gamer Chick persona bratty and obnoxious or endearing and cute. Or both. Even those who do like her personality are split on exactly what that personality is. Is she an ultra-cute and sexy Moe anime "waifu", or is she a foul-mouthed, Dorito-munching, Mountain Dew-drinking gamer? What we see of her in-game personality supports both interpretations; she's definitely cute and conventionally attractive, but she also has massive egotistical, immature, and competitive streaks as well. And then there are those who otherwise don't mind her, but think her entire "trash-talking gamer girl" gimmick combined with her largely being divorced from the main Overwatch/Talon conflict makes her a walking tonal inconsistency. Then Shooting Star was released and threw enough of a wrench into the popular perception of the character to warrant its own section below.
    • She is also pretty easily the character who gets the most attention from fan artists, which naturally attracts a degree of Hype Backlash within the fandom from those who don't particularly care for her but find her impossible to avoid. Even people who otherwise don't mind her at all can get tired of how content relating to her saturates the community. Accusations of her being "otaku bait" designed to appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator with a generic "cutesy anime girl" design and gamer girl personality are not unheard of, but others take a more positive view of these same qualities and think she serves an important role as a consistent source of levity in a series where even other "cute and cheerful" characters like Tracer and Mei come with some disheartening baggage; essentially, a Breather Episode incarnated as a character.
    • Her characterization in Shooting Star contradicts much of what was believed about her personality, with predictable results. Rather than the cocky, egocentric celebrity gamer she had been portrayed as up until that point, she is shown to be a hard-working, selfless, and focused heroine who takes her duties very seriously and whose public persona is just that: a facade. Depending on who you ask, this either ruins her appeal by making her just like all the other heroic characters while also diluting the aspects that distinguished her, or makes her more interesting by adding depth and layers that were only hinted at before. That she's shown to sometimes view her facade with contempt also struck some of her fans as a swipe against them from Blizzard for liking the character the way they themselves had been presenting her for years. Another group can appreciate both interpretations, but cry foul at the decision to portray her as one after depicting her as the other for so long with little foreshadowing. Further, the contrast between her in-game mechanics and how her MEKA canonically works also met with contention, especially the way its self-destruct is portrayed as a desperate, last-ditch tactic prompted by shooting its malfunctioning core at a distance instead of as a built-in function of the machine.
  • Mei gets a lot of both love and hate for a list of reasons. Before she was even released, she was criticized by fans (particularly Chinese ones) for not being sufficiently "Chinese", with some fans disliking her for possibly being the only "pudgy" girl in the game. On the other hand, Japanese fans love her cuteness, and "body-posi" fans enjoy the idea of a heavyset heroine. This got even worse when she was actually released (see below).
  • Emily, Tracer's girlfriend, who was first revealed in the Reflections comic. People either love her for confirming that Tracer is a lesbian or hate her because she's already established as Tracer's girlfriend, and thus gets in the way of a lot of pairings, with Widowtracer shippers in particular being miffed.
  • Symmetra's position in the lore makes her into an example of this. One camp considers her a sympathetic woobie who was deceived by Vishkar since childhood and a compelling Noble Top Enforcer with autism. Another camp believes that merely serving Vishkar (considered an evil hypocritical Mega-Corp) and going along with or justifying their ideals (combined with a smug attitude) makes her one-dimensional, delusional, unsympathetic, and annoying. Since she can be given both Draco in Leather Pants and Ron the Death Eater treatments, it's hard to find a middle ground for her.
  • Pharah is sometimes considered to have one of the least-defined personalities in the game, and doesn't interact a lot with other characters outside of inquiring about what Overwatch was like (when speaking to former Overwatch members) or talking about her mother. While she usually isn't hated to the point of being The Scrappy, her detractors often don't find a lot interesting about her character or place in the world of Overwatch (especially compared to her mother, Ana), and though she has her own comic, characters with less story attention (D.Va, Zarya, and Lúcio are usually cited) can seem to stand out more. On the other hand, among certain circles, she's wildly popular.
  • Hanzo is in a similar camp as Pharah, being that he is considered to have a less-defined story and personality, and is overshadowed by a relative. He's often overlooked (when he doesn't have a Memetic Loser status for the derogatory insult "Hanzo mains"), and tends to get overshadowed by his younger brother Genji. Partially, this is because Genji's Cyber Ninja design helps him stand out more compared to Hanzo looking mundane by contrast, but also the fact that Genji is much more active and involved with the current story of Overwatch. He's a former Overwatch/Blackwatch agent with all sorts of adventures, has a more developed character arc with more connections to other characters such as Zenyatta, Mercy, Winston, Tracer, McCree, Reaper, and Doomfist, and was part of the Overwatch recall when the organization was reinstated, giving him even more potential for future stories. In comparison, Hanzo hasn't really done much after "killing" Genji besides leaving his clan, and canonically Genji is the only main character he's interacted with thus far. All of this is despite the fact that he is technically the main focus of Dragons, considered one of the best shorts. But again, Genji completely stole the show in the short that Hanzo was supposed to be the star in, and the fact that said short doesn't paint him in the most sympathetic light doesn't help (see his entry in Unintentionally Unsympathetic). However, as with Pharah, he is wildly popular in certain ships. The reveal that he was literally used to be the same character as Genji in development and was split in half explained a lot of his lack of backstory and development compared to Genji.
  • Widowmaker tends to be a character who is appreciated more for story than for gameplay, where her reception has been less-than-stellar, particularly for bad players who insta-lock her. That said, even in that regard there is some contention. Her backstory is generally seen to be the saddest of the entire cast, due to how she was ripped away from her life as the loving wife of an Overwatch agent to be molded into a living weapon by no choice of her own, ultimately killing the one she loved most for her first mission. Unarguably tragic. However, she is also responsible and gleefully unapologetic for some severely consequential misdeeds, sometimes directly to the detriment of other characters, and this unique blend of tragedy and villainy has divided people over how much leniency she should be granted. Some fans love her for having such a haughty, composed demeanor while proving herself to be lethally efficient and find her aforementioned backstory to offer her a great degree of sympathy in spite of her actions that makes her a tragically compelling figure. Others can't stand her for more or less the same reasons, seeing her instead as an infuriatingly smug Karma Houdini whose victories have all come at the expense of less-nebulously sympathetic characters and whose humanizing qualities are no excuse for her otherwise loathsome behavior. In short, she has both pitiable and repulsive qualities, and your opinion of her will likely depend on how much you think one counteracts the other, as well as whether or not you've become fond of any character she has wronged and how willing you are to sympathize with someone who has hurt them with neither regret nor consequence.
    • The million-dollar question that follows her around wherever she goes: can she be redeemed, should she be redeemed, and does she deserve it? Just about everyone has a different answer, but there are a few prevailing opinions. Her origins and grief for her husband earn her a lot of sympathy, and a contingent of the community pities her as a tragic victim of circumstance who's been forced into her role as a killer and wants to see her forgiven for her actions and reformed. Her critics, however, are quick to point out her behavior in nearly every other scenario suggests she has more control over herself than her apologists say, that she appears to enjoy her new role and has voiced no desire to change, and that she has other atrocities to her credit for which she doesn't seem remorseful, which leads them to feel she doesn't deserve forgiveness if she's not going to make any effort to earn it and would rather gloat than apologize. Blurring the line are those who know this isn't Blizzard's first rodeo with a character like her and are concerned they'll stay the course and either have her become even worse or let her off with nary a concession, potentially trivializing the hardships others — particularly Tracer and Ana — have endured directly because of her by denying them any justice or closure for their own grievances. Although, the naysayers in this case don't necessarily oppose the concept itself, just the very real risk of it being rushed and contrived while neglecting the issues and development of their own preferred characters. There's no easy answer, and there are a lot of mixed feelings in this debate. You know the issue is contentious when some of its most vocal supporters are her biggest detractors… because they hope it will get rid of her and replace her with something "better". And if you want to get meta about it, some fans just feel she's cooler as a villain and think having Talon lose one of its most effective members too early in the game's run would be a bad idea.
    • Even within her own fanbase, the issue is not entirely cut and dry due to a divide as to how they appreciate her. Many believe she should break free from the brainwashing and pull an about-face to help bring down Talon as a member of Overwatch while dealing with the guilt of the many atrocities she committed as Widowmaker. However, there's also a vocal portion of her fanbase who appreciate her because her remorseless nature is a core part of her identity as the game's iconic villainess, and believe that having her regret her actions and become redeemed is an overdone cliché that would make no sense, undermine her appeal, and introduce a slew of new problems (as detailed above). The few — but meaningful — glimpses we see of her humanity resurfacing, with the implication that her former identity still exerts some measure of influence and emotional connection from deep inside, has allowed the pro-redemption side to gain an increasing amount of traction, but the odds of the community at large reaching a consensus are so long that upon the day an answer is given regarding her fate, whatever it might be, it's unlikely to make the whole fanbase universally happy.
  • Sombra: a fun and amusing addition to the roster who made all of her build-up worthwhile with a unique playstyle that rewards quick thinking and creativity and an introduction that carries intriguing implications for future story developments… or a smarmy, unlikable jerk who was not worth the hype with a maddeningly convoluted moveset, an introduction that diverted resources away from longer-established and less-contentious characters, and an awful haircut? Bring her up anywhere the game is discussed, and you'll likely find responses ranging from one to the other to every possible variation in between. Time and separation from the ordeal of her introduction has allowed her to be viewed more objectively and accrue some goodwill, but some antipathy remains, especially among those who found other reasons to dislike her.
    • Masquerade and Searching threw some more fuel onto the fire by diluting several of her accomplishmentsnote  and revealing her to be guilty of some shockingly questionable decisions for someone of her credentialsnote . Not unlike Tracer mentioned above (which is rather appropriate), this has led to some concern within her fanbase over whether Blizzard even cares about writing her effectively anymore or whether it's just the logical consequences of a small-time criminal barging her way into something much bigger.
  • Doomfist was added to escalate the threat and stakes of the main conflict, and while few question that he did, whether he should have and whether he helps or hurts the overall narrative is far more contentious. Some admire his prowess and see him as either an effectively intimidating figure whose performance, actions, and ambitions make him highly credible as a menace substantial enough to warrant Overwatch's return. Others see him instead as a flashy "threat-over-substance" villain who exists to generate conflict literally for its own sake due to his straightforward motivation to instigate a war because he views conflict as its own end, which for some just doesn't measure up to the emotionally complex standard set by his colleagues and severely limits his potential for interesting developments beyond just being an obstacle. And others outright loathe him for invalidating one of the series' earliest, most iconic moments and for being portrayed as hardly needing to try when going one-on-three against ostensibly credible opponents and dispatching two of them in seconds and literally singlehandedlynote . In conjunction with his other feats (such as breaking through a concrete wall without his gauntlet), the primary divide rests on whether they are impressive and befitting of his stature as one of Talon's leaders or absurd, even by the lax standards of this setting, and indicative of the writers being too willing to show off the villains' capabilities at the expense of the heroes to foster as much confidence in the latter's own.
    • Not helping matters is how, ultimately, none of the implications of his return have come to any fruition despite over a year's time, and both parties to the main conflict remain largely unchanged since the day he arrived. Much of the hype surrounding him has consequently subsided, as increasingly more fans have become skeptical of whether there was ever any greater plan at all. Some think the potential for the stakes he set will be worth waiting to see pay off and that the nature of his introduction was a harsh necessity to set them up and establish the threat he presents, but others are tired of waiting and think all his inclusion really accomplished — at least for now — was making the already-struggling good guys look like pushovers and the story as a whole more difficult to care about by actively withdrawing reasons to be hopeful.
    • The nature of his introduction, which inherently negates the the events of the cinematic trailer, is another point of contention seen by some as an effective attempt to ratchet up the tension and keep the villains threatening and by others as a cynical move that undermines what little progress the heroes have made in a conflict that was already leaning heavily in the villains' favor. No one questions the need for Talon to be presented as a competent and credible threat, but some have grown concerned that the heroes' side of the conflict, which even before and since has been plagued by setbacks and a lack of progression in favor of backstory, has become comparatively unimpressive and underwhelming as a corollarynote . It’s worth noting that, while Rise and Shine eventually confirmed Mei as the first agent other than Tracer to acknowledge the recall, at the time of Doomfist's unveiling, there was still no confirmation of anyone else responding, leading some to declare Overwatch's return had become and remains a footnote in its own story. Some fans think his reveal would have been more meaningful and warranted as an escalation if Blizzard had just waited until the conflict was more even-handed, and that instead we got an inflation of the status quo that grants the villains another advantage at the expense of one of the only things worth cheering for and resetting the heroes' progress back to zero. Depending on your perspective, his introduction was either the point where the story finally got interesting by setting the stakes and shaking things up, or the point where it rebuked its own messaging and trampled on any reason you had to care.
    • Regardless of your thoughts on the matter, most agree on one issue it, along with Masquerade and preceding materials, raised: Blizzard have done a lot to stack the odds against the heroes and set a very high bar for them to reach, so when the time eventually comes for them to step up, the lack of progress they have seen has fostered no small amount of doubt over Blizzard's ability to pull it off.
  • Moira debuted to a mixed reception, being either liked for rounding out Talon as their fifth member and having an interesting gimmick as an explicitly evil healer, or disliked for having almost no foreshadowing, an outlandish design even by Overwatch standards, and a bland origin story that gives her a stock motivation. Even as time has passed and people have had the chance to acclimate to her, things haven't really changed, especially regarding her characterization. Some find her to be engaging in a dark and eerie way while others find her to just be distastefully sneering and cruel. Granted, she is one of the bad guys, and her colleagues have all exhibited similar behavior. The problem is that she is still portrayed with the same cold and vicious demeanor as a Blackwatch operative well before her turn, which to some fans just makes her a shallow, unpleasant character who also reflects poorly on Overwatch itself by inviting the question of why the ostensible good guys kept such a blatantly ruthless individual around for so long.
  • Reinhardt is probably one of the game's least divisive characters thanks to his age, infectiously boisterous, genuinely heroic personality, and image as a cyberpunk knight-errant complete with some quixotic qualities earning him near-universal appreciation. His younger self from Honor and Glory, on the other hand, is another story. About 90% of the short focuses on Reinhardt during the Omnic Crisis, who both looks and behaves completely differently from his present-day self, and while some appreciate the look into his past as a chance to offer some perspective on where he has come from and how his ideals came into shape through his experience at Eichenwalde, others came away from their viewing feeling like they had been cheated into watching a short about someone else, that his commander Balderich von Alder completely stole his thunder with an awesome Last Stand, and that the whole short is emblematic of the lore's problem with prioritizing backstory over advancement.
  • Wrecking Ball's entire concept pretty much invites this: he's a weaponized hamster ball mech piloted by an intelligent hamster, which you're likely to think is either the most hilariously awesome thing to appear in the game yet or something so profoundly stupid, even by the standards of a cast chock-full of over-the-top characters, that it's broken the tone and preemptively tarnished any future chance of seriousness. Apparently, it was even a base breaker within the development team itself, with a big chunk of developers feeling that adding a hamster to the spherical robot would be too much.
    • Not helping is that, not too long before Hammond's introduction, Blizzard revealed that one of the original characters was a cat in a jetpack, which was cut for not fitting the tone the team wanted for Overwatch. Fans almost immediately began requesting that "Jetpack Cat" be brought back (some more jokingly than others). And then Hammond happened. Whether Hammond is evidence that Blizzard is receptive to its fans, or that they have no clue what they really want Overwatch to be and have lost control of their fictional world, and whether or not fans who joked about Jetpack Cat got exactly what they asked for, is a matter of debate.
  • Genji's role in the story has attracted its share of fan criticism. Some fans regard him as an interesting and enjoyable character in his own right thanks to his cool design and his personal journey to make peace with himself and become a better person, but others see him as just a few steps away from being a standardized, angsty Shōnen hero designed to lure in otaku or as a shameless self-insert for head writer Michael Chu, who has been accused of forcing other characters to revolve around Genji. For instance, Zenyatta's main connection to the game's plot is his role as Genji's mentornote , and his own brother Hanzo's identity revolves almost exclusively around his guilt for nearly killing him, with his few connections to other characters restricted to in-game interactions. Chu has also gotten flak for supposedly "forcing" the Genji-Mercy ship into canon with a few sporadic hints that carry some not-so-platonic subtext between them; on the other hand, many others see this as just an excuse for fans of the popular Pharah-Mercy ship to be outraged over how the latter pairing has no canon evidence. The confirmation that Genji's "pelvic equipment" is intact, on the other hand, was generally well-received after some initial skepticism as to its importance.
  • Hours after the introduction of Ashe, people have been divisive. Many believe that she looks and acts too similar to other heroes and adds nothing unique gameplay- or lore-wise, while others think her design is still quite entertaining and fits with the New Old West aesthetic of Deadlock and McCree. There's also her backstory as a filthy rich teen who became a villain for fun, which either frustrates fans for how boring and shallow her motivations are compared to Reaper, Widowmaker, or Sombra, or is a breath of fresh air for those who think not every backstory/character has to be complicated/tied into the larger plot or be extremely competent. That being said, Ashe's partner B.O.B. was very well-received by everyone.
    • Extending that, many were upset that her original concept design (who was a brown-skinned, possibly Latina, woman) was changed to a white woman. Some say that Concept!Ashe looked better and would have added more diversity into the game roster, while others say it's for the best since that would make yet another dark-skinned hero a villain.note 
    • Another division that became apparent after Ashe's announcement was the new Ship-to-Ship Combat between McCree/Hanzo and McCree/Ashe. The fact that both Michael Chu and Matthew Mercer confirmed that Ashe and McCree had never dated in the past provoked some debate. Were they giving in to pressure from angry McCree/Hanzo fans, or did they really never intend for McCree to have a romantic history with Ashe? Whatever the truth, it hasn't stopped people from shipping them together.
  • Similar to Tracer, Soldier: 76 has been confirmed to be gay in the short story Bastet, leading to a very divisive fanbase. Some are happy that another main character has been established as gay, and Soldier: 76 is right behind Tracer in terms of facetime for the game, plus he lacks the "safe" choice elements, as he's a grizzled old military guy, not typically where you find the gay representation in media. Others feel this is "virtue signalling" and some even claim that it was done deliberately to try to distract from the negative press surrounding Blizzard Entertainment's other titles and controversies. Some people are claiming that this was being forced on the fans without any warning, despite others praising them for putting subtle hints and clues to 76's sexual orientation in previous media.
  • Sigma's feet has ignited an entire feud. Debates abound about whether or not it looks silly, whether it's kinda neat, whether it's silly but kinda endearing, whether it's offensive to mental health patients or relatable to mental health patients, whether or not the feet look too big or too small relative to his body… and on and on and on.
    • Specifically, people are focused on how he is barefoot to "sell the asylum look", which sparked a slew of questions asking whether it made sense or if it's offensive. Not helping that one of Sigma's legendary skins is named "Asylum" and changes his jumpsuit into a straitjacket and he is now sporting a Hannibal Lecter face mask. Is it horribly offensive and ignoring the backlash or just a nice Shout-Out?

    Broken Base, Story and Lore 
  • The quality of the story in general has divided people into camps. Plenty of fans appreciate the effort put into the world and the characters as unique, captivating, and a lot of fun thanks to the vibrant presentation and colorful cast, and they're excited to see where all of this potential will lead. Others see it as just that: potential strung together with unkept promises and awful pacing that prioritizes flashbacks, irrelevancies, and setbacks over progression toward anything the fans actually want to seenote . A third disregards the story entirely as hokey comic book nonsense and sees no reason to care for it, especially when it moves so slowly and rarely intersects with gameplay. A fourth camp tries to reconcile the previous three by saying the story is enjoyable on its own merits while simultaneously admitting that most of the appeal lies in the potential for what could happen and that more could definitely be done to move the narrative along.
  • Are the more Omnic-phobic characters (such as Zarya, Torbjörn, and Roadhog) justified in their Fantastic Racism because of the fear that Omnics will cause another crisis, or are they just overreacting and being unnecessarily harsh on the likes of Bastion and Zenyatta?
    • Spinning off from this, Torbjörn's Character Development in the "Binary" comic. On the one hand, there are definitely fans who are happy Torb didn't let his distrust of Omnics blind him to Bastion's true nature, and like the Odd Friendship that seems to be forming between the two. But there are also fans who feel it's way too early in the story for Torb to be getting over his major character flaw, and that having him form a bond with Bastion this soon robs us of a more interesting conflict between the two down the line. Still others agree with the general premise of the comic, but feel Torbjörn changed his mind about Bastion way too quickly for it to be believable.
  • Is Overwatch returning a good thing? Sure, the game is named after them, and they're unambiguously the good guys, but how far does that justify how badly it failed last time? Winston, Reinhardt, and Mei are all excited by the prospect of Overwatch returning, while Mercy and Soldier: 76 are skeptical. Was Overwatch a good idea that only failed because of one bad egg (Reyes) or was their downfall inevitable for a group only held in check by the ethics of its members?
  • The Sombra ARG. It's either a fun and exciting way to slowly introduce the character into the game, as well as continue the idea of Overwatch being a cross-media franchise, or a frustratingly long and needlessly complex process to introduce what is, in effect, just one more character to an already large roster, and one that could potentially backfire by creating too much hype for the character to live up to.
  • Mei's waistline. There's been a lot of fanart of Mei without her jacket. Some artists make her fat while others make her not much wider than most of the girls, but also sporting large breasts and wide hips. Which one's more in canon is up for debate, as all of her in-game models feature her wearing very heavy coats obscuring her figure and the only art of her without her jacket is an early concept piece which may not fully apply to how her final version is supposed to be. However, during the Summer Games, one of the new sprays includes Mei without her jacket, and (in that art, at least), she's pretty slim.
    • Fast-forward to the Lunar New Year event where Mei is given 2 new skins that shows she's on the slim side, but now the question becomes how slim is too slim? One base is upset that Blizzard is trying to stealthily make the character who's perceived to be fat more sexy for the general audience, while the other side say it's not far-fetched due to her heavy winter clothing and that there are already several images of the character without her coat (sprays and player icons) that show her as fairly slender. Turns out, Blizzard says Mei's skins are bugged, which causes her to appear slimmer than usualnote , which just brought out another group claiming it's all a lie so Blizzard doesn't take flak for crumbling to demands a la the Tracer incident.
    • Mei's Uprising Event spray seems to further confirm that she's relatively slim. The shorts Rise and Shine seems to finally put this to rest.
  • In a similar vein to Mei, Brigitte's body shape has drawn up a lot of debate and controversy within the fanbase, namely with how it's changed over time between comics, cinematics, and her in-game appearance. Is her more muscular appearance from the "Dragons" comic to Honor and Glory and her in-game model preferable to her earlier scrawnier appearance? Does her in-game model alter her design too much from her pre-rendered Honor and Glory appearance, and if so, to what extent? Does she look more generic with Power Armor? Is it “pandering”? If so, to whom? The list goes on.
  • Sombra's Older Than She Looks design has sparked a big debate in the fandom with varying degrees of reception and reaction. Some are adamant about this, citing a similar situation with Mercy. Some think that the first group is overreacting and point out that it isn't that far-fetched for her to be 30 years old. Others believe that the profile is just misleading, considering Sombra's history of hiding from a powerful organization and hacking skills.
  • The reveal that Tracer is a lesbian has led to a few broken bases: Before the reveal, Blizzard had confirmed that at least one playable character was gay for quite some time. The fact that it turned out to be Tracer has led to a few major camps: those that are ecstatic that the fact that the face of the franchise (rather than a relatively minor one) is the character in question, making a huge point for representation; those that are disappointed that the reveal is that the character is the young, attractive woman, claiming that it's a relatively "safe" choice and it can be pandering to those that think Girl-on-Girl Is Hot rather than actual representation; and those that are upset for the opposite reason as the first group, and believe that the reveal is pandering to "social justice." Overlapping with all three groups are shippers who have mixed feelings about Emily herself, making her a Base-Breaking Character. Depending on where you are, the reveal has been received very differently. The US forums were lit aflame, with dozens of topics created to discuss it, argue for/against, etc. The EU's forum reaction? "Cool, and what about gameplay updates?"
  • Much like with Tracer being revealed to be a lesbian, Symmetra being confirmed to be autistic by Jeff Kaplan himself (it was implied in lore but not outright stated). Some don't see how it's important and accuse Blizzard of Pandering to the Base rather than working her autism smoothly into her character and the overall picture. Others are happy to see the autistic community see representation, something that is rarely done effectively in media, all the while arguing that her gameplay is reflected of symptoms of autism. Others still are happy, but concerned that players who dislike her could use it as license to mistreat autistic players, already seen as Acceptable Targets within gaming communities.
  • As with any work with Loads and Loads of Characters, you'll have fans arguing with each other about whether or not a character receives too much focus, not enough, or a balanced amount of attention. Of further debate is whether or not any of these outcomes are a problem. The characters that have been accused of taking too much focus so far include Tracernote , Genjinote , Ananote  and Reapernote . Those that have been cited as having too little focus so far include Lúcionote , D.Vanote , and Zarya note . Funnily enough, most of these characters have received equal focus... in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Sahr Ngaujah as Doomfist. While few have any problems with his performance on its own merits, there's a divide in the fanbase due to the fact that Doomfist isn't played by Terry Crews, the guy that had a gigantic internet campaign to voice Doomfist, and he himself said he would love to play the character. Some say that Sahr's voice acting fits Doomfist better, giving him an applicable accent and a stone-cold yet bombastic performance, compared to Crews' mock audition, which was very hammy, but lacked the accent. They also argue that it avoids turning Doomfist into another "meme character" like D.Va and Mei, given that his characterization is as one of Talon's leaders, it would be hard for him to be taken seriously if played by Crews. Also, Overwatch had primarily cast lesser-knowns, with even the best-known actors in the cast being nowhere near as famous as Crews, and having a Celebrity Voice Actor would be too distracting. However, Crews was such a big fan of Overwatch and was so passionate about the idea, that many feel it was a missed opportunity, not to mention that the campaign to get Crews to voice Doomfist was what elevated him to becoming playable to begin withnote . Also, Crews is proven as an actor and it's argued he would be likely be able to capture Doomfist's character. In any case, Crews congratulated Sahr for his performance on the role, so it evidently doesn't bother him.
    • Likewise, despite the rest of its casting being seen as stellar, his French voice actor has been criticized on-off for giving the character too much of a "thug" voice.
  • Masquerade in general caused a bit of a rift between fans who enjoyed it as a cool Villain Episode with some good set pieces that also helped reestablish Talon's menace and those who saw it as a directionless mess that tried to do too much in ten pages and felt like it was spiting anyone who cares about the heroes by effectively leaving them with no victories. In its wake, some have even gone so far to question if the story is even worth caring about at all anymore, since Blizzard has effectively set a precedent that one side of the conflict can now retroactively claim victory and undo the accomplishments of the other at any time.
    • On that note, the main conflict itself. So far, Talon has either worked around or met no setbacks with enacting their agenda and have ultimately come out on top in each encounter they've had with Overwatch, who have spent years in-story and out being either swatted aside by their enemies or succeeding in ways that we can't fully appreciate, and their main goal of rebuilding has barely been touched upon. Either you think Blizzard is laying the necessary foundation of stakes and rivalries to ensure a compelling conflict against a credible threat that will pay off later, or you think they've had more than enough time to move past the basics and have instead allowed the main heroes to come across as ineffective and the narrative to deteriorate into something antithetical to what was initially promised. Regardless of opinion, most agree that it is not the uplifting story of heroes reuniting it was billed as, and that if the writers even still want people to stay invested, they need to start offering more than a hypothetical scenario as an incentive.
  • The lore's distribution model, which is spread across multiple platforms. Some are fine with it, as they find the game itself very fun and appreciate not feeling pressured to follow its narrative while knowing it's there for them to experience at their own pace should they feel so inclined. But, considering how much emphasis the game itself places on the characters, others prefer to stay caught up and find it tedious to search and sift through multiple websites, blogs, videos, tweets, et cetera, and wish the lore was more centralized. Further compounding the issue is the game's large and growing roster. The lore already has trouble juggling everyone, especially with its frequent droughts of content, and representation varies wildly among the cast. Even at a rate of one new character every four months, many fans think the cast is expanding at a faster rate than the lore can keep pace without risking allowing some characters to fall by the wayside. Even years into the game's lifespan with its current cast, some characters have still received no attention (most notably Lúcio and Zenyatta, both playable since launch; D.Va also went years with no attention, and when she finally got some with Shooting Star, it still kept her isolated from the main plot and rest of the cast), and the narrative remains in its nascent stages with Talon's plan becoming only incipiently clear and Overwatch having only gathered a handful of its former members in response.
  • The Blizzard World map is either liked for being a fun concept, colorful, and not taking itself as seriously as the rest of the game, or it is seen as the pinnacle of self-indulgence from Blizzard and taking resources that could have been used to develop potentially more interesting, lore-related maps.
  • Regarding the tectonic speed of new lore releases, there are two camps: The optimists and the pessimists. For the former, it's speculated that Blizzard has planned something huge, all-encompassing, filled with lore goodness and storytelling, and potentially momentous in nature, and are taking their time to prepare and ensure the reveal is done proper justice, which means that smaller things like 10-page comics and the rare animated short are focused on less in the meantime. For the latter, they believe that Blizzard has lost interest, given up, or just plain forgotten about the lore as a whole and have regressed to only releasing new content when necessary (such as for the Archives event or new character introductions), relying on Overwatch League to promote the series. The latter feeling has intensified through 2017 and 2018, which even together have seen only a relative handful of lore materials released compared to the dozen or so individual pieces issued in 2016. However, the former got a boost when it was announced that award-winning Speculative Fiction writer Alyssa Wong was joining the team as a permanent member, with the ad that got her hired specifying the ability to develop the story and universe, among other very promising details.
  • And as time goes on with little progression made, the amount of attention the lore invests into backstory has increasingly become more divisive. On one hand, the history of Overwatch, its agents and its world is integral to the narrative's foundation, and a lot of fans appreciate the scrutiny this period has received for providing context for the characters and their actions in ways the present can't easily accommodate. On the other hand, the main premise of seeing the organization rebuilt is inherently rooted in its future, not its past; and the issue has barely progressed since Recall, with only four agents total confirmed to be onboard and the few strides they've since made severely diminished by external factors. Many have come to find the theme of new beginnings to be undercut by a fixation on the past, which has offered the bulk of development to the old guard of the original strike team while the younger generation drifts aimlesslynote . Fans of Lúcio and Zenyatta are particularly frustrated, because neither of them has received any focus despite being available since launchnote , and even fans of more prominently-featured characters like Tracer, Ana, and Winston are annoyed because they think the writers' reluctance to move things along has kept them stuck in a rut of futility and loss for far too long. The flashbacks are still appreciated for the development and world-building they offer, but many have come to feel they've taken a disproportionate amount of attention compared to more pressing issues that have long gone unaddressed.
  • Sigma's design, especially his going barefoot, became hugely controversial after the designer artist stated that he is barefoot to "sell the asylum look". Horribly stereotypical and offensive or Truth in Television? Another group doesn't really care and want people to focus on the rest of his design.

    Base Breaking Characters, Gameplay 
  • Soldier: 76 has received a mixed response in term of gameplay, which has been deried due to its similarity to common FPS games such as Call of Duty and Halo. Next to the extremely colourful cast with their varied and interesting abilities, Soldier: 76 is extremely plain with his standard assault rifle and mundane sprint. Furthermore, his ultimate ability is essentially an in-game aimbot, which removes the necessity of aiming and got worse the better you play as him, further damning his status among fans. This has split the fanbase, as some accept the character as a gateway for newer players to make Overwatch more accessible, while others condemn him for the same reasons.
  • Mei. In gameplay, she's seen as simultaneously a nuisance and a benefit to both teams. If she catches an enemy unaware with her freeze ray, they'll usually be frozen before they can escape (even the ninja brothers have their wall-climbing disabled while being frozen). Her icicles can snipe almost as well as (and in some cases better than) Hanzo's arrows or Widowmaker's sniper rifle. And her Blizzard is one of the better team-killing attacks, doing a similar job to Graviton Surge, except enemies can't attack while affected by it. And finally, her Ice Wall gets hate from both sides, because it not only hinders the enemy, but allies as well. Her ambushes in particular are so infuriating that a subreddit specifically dedicated to videos of her being killed garnered 5000 subscribers.
  • Bastion. A team entirely of Bastions can halt a game to a nigh-crawl, and its style of combat is considered to be lazy and a way to farm Plays of the Game. The existence of strategies to deal with it only make matters worse, since they create a divide between players who think Bastion needs to be nerfed and players who think Bastion is fine and that those struggling against it just need to learn how to counter it.
  • Lúcio. He is either a character with a fun and unique playstyle that doesn't rely on aiming and dealing damage but on positioning, escaping, and cooldown management, or a boring low-impact aurabot that is only considered a must-pick since launch because of his speed boost. Of further debate is whether or not his rework has removed, alleviated, worsened, or done nothing to this problem to the people who hates him or alienated his original fanbase.
  • Junkrat became this after the Orisa Patch buffed him so that he no longer takes damage from his own explosions. Prior to this, his detractors might have considered him annoying but relatively balanced. But after the buff, he is now either a fun character with a kit that allows him to deny area very well, or an overpowered mess of a character who had one of his main balancing factors taken away and deals way too much damage for the amount of skill required.
  • Pharah. After her flight got a buff, allowing her to stay in the air longer, the fanbase has been fairly divided about her. Some say she's impossible to hit due to her aerial mobility limiting what attacks can reach her, rendering some characters almost entirely ineffective against her. Some say the complainers are just whining because they can't aim, that her pickrates at higher ranks do not support the argument that she's overpowered, and that her ultimatenote , overall damage per second when compared to other characters, and inability to inflict headshots balances out her advantages. Some say she's fine until a Mercy comes into playnote , and some say that she doesn't fit in Overwatch at all. The amount of threads on the official forums about her number in the hundreds.
  • Doomfist's build-up made him highly anticipated among one section of the player base and dreaded among another for being, at the time, yet another offense-oriented character who would potentially further make tank and defense-oriented characters irrelevant. Once he debuted, his kit took some flak for being uninspired (a popular sticking point is how the ostensible melee character has a shotgun, apparently because Blizzard got cold feet about making a pure melee character), and his playstyle proved to live up to his hype a bit too well for a lot of the base; considered fair by some, by others as insufficiently balanced by his low range, and by nearly everyone as misleading due to some striking Hitbox Dissonance. Then, practically overnight, the dynamic flipped: patches reduced his hitboxes to a debilitating extent, bugs were rampant with his design, and players just gradually figured out how to counter him, sending him from the top to the bottom practically as soon as he'd arrived. Later patches have helped rebalance him to an extent, but players remain torn as to whether he is effective or easily countered; balanced or cheap; and memorable or now just another face in the gallery who made a chaotic first impression.
  • Following massive damage nerfs to Roadhog in June 2017, just about everybody agreed that it was too much and he needs to be fixed, but there's been a heated discussion about how to go about it in regards to his unusual design philosophy and place in the metanote . What abilities should be buffed in compensation? Were his nerfs ever necessary and should they be reverted? Or should he just be overhauled altogether?
  • D.Va's also in a questionable place, since her kit seems caught between two worlds; one of being a rocket-boosting, close-range diving brawler, and one of being a mobile tank with an extremely powerful shield in Defense Matrix. Blizzard can't quite seem to find a definitive identity and niche for her to fill, and she's been all over the place as a result, having been an imperative Jack-of-All-Trades, at least dominant and making other tanks/DPS heroes superfluous, and a Master of Nonenote . As a result, players have been strongly debating what exactly she's supposed to be and how to properly tweak her, and also whether Blizzard is making the right decisions with her, either simply reacting to the new problematic contexts she's ending up in, or just flat-out contradicting themselves and making themselves prone to making more balancing mistakes.
  • Just about everything regarding Mercy's Season 6 reworkexplanation  is wildly contentious. Fair, considering she could undo a pentakill with just the press of a button in her old playstyle? Or highly hypocritical, considering most offense heroes' ultimate similarly amounted to "press a button for potential team kill"? Is her new ultimate a fair compromise that makes her gameplay more interesting but remains stable, or is it just making her pander more to players that just want to play DPS and makes other heroes (like Zenyatta or Orisa) redundant? As well, expect any further changes (mostly nerfs) to be a point of contention.
  • Brigitte has broken the base like never before, with players either believing she's completely balanced or the most overpowered character ever introduced; thinking she's the most unfun character (boring to play as and frustrating to play against) or an extremely fun, high-impact Support; frustrated that a character with such easy execution is so powerful or satisfied with the amount of strategy and cooldown management that goes into playing her… and so on and so on.
    Most of the debates come from her status as Anti-Metagame Character and whether she should be a hard counter (picking the characters she counters makes you useless) or a soft one (picking the characters she counters puts you at a disadvantage, but you can still play around her). The former camp argues that it's about time Tracer and Genji finally get a reliable counter to them, that Brigitte isn't different from Pharah, Widowmaker, Reaper, or Bastion, and that the only reason the latter camp is protesting is that they want supports to be free kills and/or that she happens to counter Tracer and Genji, two of the most popular characters in high-level and professional play, which means that the complaints about her are unwarranted. The latter camp argues that the amount of zone and hero control she brings is too much and achieved with less effort than most other characters or compositions, that compositions built around her are more difficult to take down than most other compositions, and that even for a hard counter, her kit is overloaded, and the problem lies in the fact that while she does counter Tracer and Genji, she also counters a great deal of other characters in her doing so, notably sustained-damage characters like Soldier: 76.
  • What sort of Tank is Wrecking Ball, and what factors (team/enemy composition, map, etc.) make him viable? In large part, the answer relies on how the person classifies the types of Tanks. (See the Main/Off debate below.) In the first year of his release, most high-level players came to see him as a Main Tank, because the job of a Main Tank is to "make space" and provide a way for their team to get into a valued position with minimal risk. For Tanks like Reinhardt and Orisa, their shields make it obvious how to accomplish that. But for Wrecking Ball (and, to a lesser extent, Winston), this is primarily done by being an annoyance and a distraction; it's hard for a team to shoot at enemies when a giant space animal is knocking them around and attacking their back lines. Other players, particularly those in the lower or middle tiers of the online ranks, scoff at the idea that Wrecking Ball is a "Main Tank" at all and will always ask for a Reinhardt or another "Shield Tank".
  • Many have expressed disappointment that Echo is yet another Damage character, a role of which the game is already saturated with. Many had expected that she would be a support character, and upon her release some would have preferred if she was one to steadily even out the amount of characters in each role (and reduce queue times for Dps).

    Broken Base, Gameplay 
  • As is usual for any multiplayer exclusive title, the friction between casual fans who play for fun and competitive fans who play to win is just as intense here as you would find in any other similar community. Casual fans think Competitive mode is a pit of losers who take playing a video game too seriously and get inordinately angry at what should be considered entertainment. Competitive fans think Quick Play mode is a cesspool of morons who don’t even try to win and would happily form a team of six Meis just to amuse themselves.
  • The fact that the game itself has no story mode beyond three weeks of the Archives event every year. Some are fine with that since they can play the game consequence-free, while also enjoying the comics, books, and videos for the lore. Others who prefer games to have a story mode state that the game isn't worth the price if it's just an online playground. Some people are just upset the game doesn't have a single-player mode at all, meaning you not only have to play with and rely on others, but you also have to be connected to the Internet in order to simply boot up the game (alongside a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription if playing on consoles).
  • Not unlike Touhou, a significant portion of the community consists of "secondaries": people who neither own nor play the game, but consider themselves fans through the appeal of the characters, lore, and fan art. How well secondaries get along with "primaries" can vary drastically depending on the venue, with relations generally escalating from acceptance to tolerance to outright hostility as the level of competitiveness increases.
  • The lootbox system has proven somewhat divisive. Some players are content with the lootboxes being purchasable with real money, arguing the game gives them away every level up and in arcade wins. While other players feel that the inclusion of such an element tarnishes the game's business model, and that the system can be extremely frustrating when good things refuse to drop, nonetheless, the drops being cosmetic in nature does help soften the blow a little, as does the fact that duplicate items (later made to be much rarer to get) give credits that can be used to acquire specific or desired items. Another argument against the system is the system, while cosmetic in nature, does not take away from the fact that it's still tapping into players' urge to dress up their character.
    • Magnified with the first Summer Games event, where new event cosmetics could only be acquired through lootboxes. Combined with the limited time, a few people didn't mind the stronger rarity making those cosmetics more special, but other players took issue that the system clearly targets getting people to buy boxes with cash because there's no way to increase your chances otherwise (coins were blocked off and duplicates are still present, so only straight RNG is in play), and the limited window means that taking your time with free boxes isn't optimal. This was slightly dampened with future events where cosmetics were made available using in-game coins (albeit at triple the price), but players who don't have enough coins to get anything (which is more common that you would think) are still peeved by the system.
    • The Uprising and Anniversary cosmetics also suffer from this problem as the events were also limited in time, and has been a sore spot for those complaining about how many things are restricted to events, even lore events not tied to any real-world date, or anniversaries intended to celebrate the game's existence.
    • Following several controversies of major releases in 2017 which have implemented similar lootbox systems (including Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), the latter of which ended up bringing the mechanics to greater mainstream infamy), there grew a major surge in reassessing the mechanic in Overwatch and other games, and what to do about Lootboxes when they're being scrutinsed for potentially violating local gambling laws. Now that many governments are deliberating as to whether lootboxes should be classified as gambling (China and Belguim have banned them, and the UK is pushing for stronger regulations), it's certainly an awkward spot for the game to be in.
  • Some players are upset at Torbjörn's turret nerf being exclusive to consoles, believing that Blizzard is catering to console players at the expense of PC players. Others feel that Torb's turret is just fine in the PC version and that the nerf being console-exclusive is necessary due to console FPSes inherently lacking the aiming precision and speed of a mouse. Regardless of their feelings on Torbjörn's turret nerf, most agree that the similar nerf made to Symmetra's turrets was unjustified, due to said turrets being incredibly frail and rather weak unless all six are placed in the same general area.
  • Due to the variety of playable characters with unique playstyles, many players often disagree on a few characters' places under Overwatch's Offense/Defense/Tank/Support labelling system, which is a problem especially for competitive players due to the importance of team composition. Is Symmetra a Support or a Defense hero? Is Mei a Defense or an off-tank? Is Zenyatta a Support or an Offense with a healing ability like Soldier: 76? Is Sombra really an Offense with her low damage or an aggressive and unique Support? Conflicts like this can be troubling when forming proper team compositions, due to equal parts of players who try to form teams on individual attributes to players who follow the game's recommendation system to a T. Blizzard simplified the classifications into Damage, Tank, and Support to simplify things and make the recommendation system a little more spot-on, but there's still some debate (like the aforementioned Zenyatta and Soldier 76's role between Damage and Support).
  • Auto-aim weapons such as Winston's primary fire and Symmetra's previous primary fire (since changed). Players either have little problem with this mechanic or widely despise it; either it is an appropriate and balanced choice given the characters that have it (Winston has low DPS, needs to stick to targets to get his damage off, and is very vulnerable to focus-fire), or reduces those characters to mindless attackers for whom the best strategy is to rush directly at the enemy.
  • The Lúcio rework at March 2017Explanation  on the PTR has caused some debate. Some argue that it was a long time coming, and that Lúcio was way too dominant at higher levels of play and needed to be brought back into balance, and also argue that he was a very boring character to play (see Base-Breaking Character above). Others argue that this will severely hurt Lúcio's ability to do his job as a healer/speed booster, and that the solution wasn't a rework, it was to either create a hero who could also fill his niche or create a hero who more effectively countered his speed, and some are also worried that the much-reviled Triple-Tank Meta could be brought back with the changes to his healing.
  • A common approach to team composition is to sub-divide the three categories (Damage/Tank/Support) into "Main" and "Off" roles. note  This causes a lot of controversy and disagreements, such as when two players pick two "Off" roles, creating what many perceive to be weaknesses in the team.
    • This is most prominent in the Tank role, with many players having competing views of what "Main" and "Off" means — high-level players define a "Main" Tank as one that "creates space" for their team by either making an area safe to use or by forcing an enemy to retreat, but low-level players tend to define "Main Tank" by how capable a character is of shielding their team. Calling Wrecking Ball (or to a lesser degree, Winston) a Main Tank will often cause mockery from players who hold the latter perception, because Winston's barrier is not capable of withstanding enemy fire for very long, and Wrecking Ball has no type of barrier at all. This is also partially the result of most players not knowing how to effectively utilize either character, whether playing as them or with them on their team. D.Va is also somewhat affected by this issue, as many people use her the same way Winston and Wrecking Ball are (diving and eliminating a single target), while in high-level play she's largely used to protect the "Main Tank" and other key teammates.
    • The Support problem is somewhat less contentious, if only because the roles are far more straightforward and the definition of "main" and "off" Healer is more universally understood — a Main Support provides the bulk of the team's healing while the Off Support is more useful for utility and clutch defense. This simple definition, however, was tested by a nerf to Mercy's healing (down to 50 per second from 60) and the introduction of Baptiste. Since her rework, Mercy offers lessened, though consistent, healing, and it is often seen as limited compared to "main" healers such as Ana or Moiranote , and, unlike Moira, she offers utility with her Resurrection ability and Damage Boost ability; this has resulted in some confusion as to what her role on a team is meant to be, compared with before, when she was clearly a main healer. While Baptiste offers lots of healing note , it's also much more situational. He also has one of the best clutch defense abilities in the game (Immortality Field), which debatably fits more into the Off Support role despite his consistent healing ability. Later still, Brigitte received a major rework to her kit that reduced her tankiness and increased her healing to (as the developers put it) make her function as a "primary healer". While her overall healing potential is much better, how well this rework succeeded is controversial for a number of reasons — for example, most of Brigitte's healing relies brawling with opponents and the reduced tankiness not only makes her less capable of that, but it also forces the other healer on her team to pocket her, which raises the issue of why anyone would use her when most other healers can take care of themselves and provide more overall healing. Thus, the sub-categorization of those three characters is constantly under debate, while there's usually consensus about the rest.
  • Mobility versus Crowd Control versus Barriers. During Dive Meta, players claimed to notice a building "mobility creep" in Overwatch, with many characters receiving buffs to their mobility (Winston, Widowmaker, Hanzo, Mercy, and Symmetra, just to name a few) and new, highly mobile characters being introduced (Sombra, Doomfist, and Wrecking Ball, in particular). This came to a head when, for more than a year, a "Dive Meta" featuring extremely mobile heroes (Tracer, D.Va, Winston, and Genji) was nigh-unbeatable at high levels. Blizzard made several attempts to reign these characters in, culminating in the release of Brigitte, a character that excels in AOE damage, stuns, and knockback to thwart the mobile heroes. But this shifted complaints to the abundance of "crowd control" introduced to the game since launch (stuns, knockback, disabling, etc.). Case in point, of the ten new characters introduced, EIGHT of them have at least one type of CC, while most have multiple types. This has sparked a debate over which is more overpowered: too much mobility or too much crowd control. Naturally, some players don't care what's more broken and would like to see both reduced so that characters who rely solely on aim or single-point defense could finally be viable again. ...And then, [{Be Careful What You Wish For they got their wish after Sigma was released]]. Sigma became the third Tank after Reinhardt and Orisa to produce an exceptionally powerful barrier and, when partnered with one of the aforementioned Tanks, made it nigh-impossible for enemy teams to deal damage. Naturally, this led to complaints about barrier creep, which was seen as even worse than mobility creep or CC creep, because at least with the former two, things can still die.
  • Healing Creep versus Damage Creep. Since the introduction of Moira, there have been complaints about "healing creep" — an accusation that healing is way too strong and, thus, DPS characters are undervalued. Moira's introduction led to teams experimenting with a "Slambulance" comp note  which could outlast any form of damage. It wasn't seen as very viable at the time because it lacked too much damage as a trade-off for more tankiness. When Brigitte was released, however, she provided the perfect blend of tankiness, damage, and healing that allowed Slambulance to evolve into GOATS note  which was argued as "proof" that healing had become far too strong. This perception continued even after GOATS was rendered impossible by Role Queuenote , due to the release of Baptiste — another exceptionally strong Healer. However, the counterargument has always been that these strong Healer characters were specifically introduced into the game to counter dominant Damage heroes (Genji for Moira, Tracer for Brigitte, and snipers in general for Baptiste). Slambulance and GOATS, likewise, came into being because professional teams were looking for solutions to being one-shot by Widowmaker, and settled on adding more Tanks whom it was impossible for her to kill with one shot.

    Skins, Community, and other issues 
  • A patch released in August causes "gg ez" chat messages, often used by Trolls and Griefers, to be filtered and replaced with some comedically childish phrases. This feature has split the fandom into four factions. One part of the fandom thinks it's comedy gold. Another part thinks that it's pointless and that Blizzard should focus on patching "more serious issues". The third part argues that it's outright censorship, while the fourth argues that Blizzard should make it stricter, changing the filter from "gg ez" to just "ez", among other things.
  • Vampire Symmetra: Whitewashing? Or sensible considering vampires are usually depicted to be pale and the first group is overreacting? A few members of the latter camp often point out that it's just a Halloween costume and that Symmetra is likely just wearing makeup, but those who argue the former claim there is no good reason for Blizzard to give the darkest-skinned character in the game such a light skin, and that they should have gone for a darker greyscale.
  • Zarya's skins, Legendary skins in particular, have been very contentious among the playerbase, simply on whether they're just okay to just plain ugly and gaudy. Zarya's "Cyberian" legendary released during the 1st Anniversary event is one of the most impressively divisive skins, with half the fanbase seeing it as Zarya being once-again cheated in the skin department, and the other half saying "Finally, Zarya's got a good legendary skin!"
    • This is even true within Blizzard's ranks. Word of God states there was a very heated argument in the development team over whether her "Totally 80s" skin was the best skin ever or the worst.
  • Tracer's abundance of skins, especially Legendary skins: Perfectly acceptable since she's the Series Mascot and her skins tend to be seen as high-quality, or a waste of time since she already has so many skins already while other heroes could use some attention?
  • Some skins require playing Heroes of the Storm on the same Blizzard account to unlock. This is pretty much a non-issue for those who play both games, and there are those who like that it encourages people to play Heroes, especially since the game is free to start, but others dislike the notion of having to play a dramatically different game just to unlock skins. Then it was announced that the Oni Genji and Officer D.Va skins would be coming to normal loot boxes less than a month after the release of the latter. Some were happy that they didn't have to play Heroes, others were pissed feeling that their hard work went to waste.
  • The beach-themed skins from the 2017 Summer Games event: fun and light-hearted, or lazy and unimaginative? It doesn't really help that Blizzard tried to go for a "fun in the sun"-styled event in mid-to-late August, right when summer in the continental United Statesnote  starts getting muggy and stormy while most players in the target demographic have to start back at school, as well as right at the outset of one of the most devastating hurricane seasons to strike the country in years. Not exactly the sort of thing to put you in a beachy mood.
  • The validity of the Public Testing Region (PTR) has been a major point of contention among players. While the function of letting players beta-test features and balance changes before they go live has been looked at favorably, a major complaint is that their feedback is typically disregarded, and the new changes almost always make it live untouched, with the dev team's reasoning being that PTR games tend to be too poor-quality to be useful for balance, and as well, they'd probably get flack for doing just about anything. Some players think the PTR is a dead cause since their feedback usually ends up moot (especially regarding the Season 4 Bastion rework), but others think it could work (some arguing that that mindset is self-defeating), but it needs more incentive for players to participate and give more accurate samplings. There's also a group of people who simply see it not as a place for balance feedback, but for catching and fixing bugs, but the validity of that sentiment is also frequently questioned.
  • Competitive Mode. Is it more enjoyable than Quick Play due to encouraging players to take the game more seriously and work together, as well as giving incentives for players to do well and bringing the game into the Professional Gaming spotlight? Or does it bring out the worst in players, encouraging Sore Loser mentality and hurling abuse at players perceived as The Load, as well as being effectively luck-based for players who don't have friends they can group up with (let alone a full six-person group) and thus have to go through the dreaded "solo queue" and pray that they get good teammates?
    • Players are split on the changes made to Competitive Mode's ranking and Matchmaking systems. One of the biggest complaints in Season 1 was that ranking down resulted in being matched with increasingly incompetent teammates in solo queue, even if an individual player was doing well. Blizzard is trying to fix this with a new "tier" system whereas players who are "Silver", "Gold" or "Diamond" won't feel frustrated because their tier will fluctuate very little, and players can't be matched up, or form groups with, players who are 500 ranksnote  above or below them. These changes have created tons of debate on whether they're just right, too much, not enough, or completely ignoring what the real problems of the ranking system are.
    • Overwatch has such a huge skill gap between optimal play and casual play that a character can be either loved or hated based on the skill of the person using them. For example, Ana was widely considered to be one of the best characters in the game shortly after her release...if the player knew what they were doing and had good aim. And that's a big "if". In online competitive, Ana players can have all sorts of hate leveled at them just for picking the character, and if their team is losing, their team will certainly blame them even if the player using them is a professional and one of the best Ana's in the business. This problem also extends to the Meta: what makes a "good" counter pick or a "good" strategy completely depends on what a player is good at. Someone may know what a "good" composition or strategy is, but not realize that their team (and possibly themselves) don't have the execution or awareness to pull it off.
    • On the forums, there are two sides: people who believe in "Elo Hell", and those who don't. Elo Hell, a term carried over from League of Legends matchmaking, has a variety of meanings, but can be summed up as frustration with Competitive ranking due to being matched up with bad teammates. On the side that believes in it, players share horror stories of being matched up with five or six leavers in a row and dropping in rank because of it or being matched up with someone who only "mained" a single Hero that contributed nothing to their match. On the other side, the non-believers call the former group a bunch of whiners who think they're better than they are and share stories about themselves or people they know who've climbed from lower ranks to higher ones, "proving" that there's nothing holding players back. Of note, a Top 500-ranked player and pro-match commentator named "Ster" deliberately threw his placement matches to be placed in the lowest rank and then climbed to the upper ranks in a single day to "prove" that Elo Hell doesn't exist. This threw gasoline on the already existing debate, with "Believer" camps arguing that he's a bad example that proves nothing and "Non-believer" camps mocking them as being totally in denial.
    • Related to above sentiments, many players are judging the quality of SR calculations, especially with many reports in Season 4 that support players get less SR than tanks or DPS. Whether it's fair or not is difficult to debate since the exact calculation methods are made secret for security/abuse reasons, but it's evidently based off a lot of different factors (how much the player sticks to one hero, how many "on fire" points they get, how often they use their ults, what is the average performance of other players with the same hero like, etc.note ), and just about every single thing about the vague system is actively argued over.
    • The Skill Rating (SR) Decay system. If you have a Competitive SR above 3000 note , then unless you play seven competitive games a week, your SR will decay down until it reaches 3000. Some like this system, claiming that it will make maintaining multiple high-level accounts more difficult, and that it makes those high SR scores more meaningful. They also argue that seven games a week isn't a big deal, as it basically averages out to one game a day. It is also argued that it really isn't that big of a deal, as only your displayed SR changes, but your hidden MMRnote  doesn't actually change, so even if your SR decays, you won't be matched with or against different players than you otherwise would. Others claim that they system punishes people who have life obligations such as school and/or work who may not have time for one game a day, pointing out that some people like to play one or two warm-up games of quick play before jumping into Competitive play, thus inflating the amount of games they need to play. That crowd also points out that if someone has the time to get multiple accounts into diamond and above, then playing seven games a week on each of those accounts isn't really much of an obstacle. Changes to the system have been proposed by the playerbase, such as allowing players to bank games, making the SR decay less aggressive, changing the threshold so it only kicks in at 3500 instead of 3000, making it a tiered system where lower ranked players only have to play one to three games a week, and that the amount of games needed to keep your SR increases as your rank does.
    • The lack of an SR/MMR reset with each new competitive season is a big one. Some argue that every season is supposed to be a fresh start, and that it could allow players stuck in lower ranks an opportunity to climb out of them. Others argue that a complete MMR reset would do nothing but create incredibly unbalanced teams, as you could have bronze and silver players matched with/against Grandmaster and Top 500 players, creating a situation where unskilled players could get carried to higher ranks than they deserve while dragging down high-skill players to ranks where they would Curb Stomp everyone they played.
    • The Season 5 placement calculations, which tended to rank players much lower than where they ended Season 4note . Horror stories of massive rank drops abound, such as players who ended season 4 in upper Platinum being placed in mid Bronze in Season 5, despite winning most of their placement matches. Bizarrely, though, not everyone was affected, with many players getting placed right around where they left off. This, of course, has led those who experienced the massive dropoff to accuse the ranking system of being even more broken.
    • One-trickingnote  is considered a hot-button topic especially in competitive circles, with many arguments revolving around whether or not it should be punishable. Many decry it as an annoying and selfish practice that hurts a game that specifically emphasizes proper hero picks, counters, and adaptation, and say that it makes teamwork difficult, if not impossible. But it also has its defenders, citing the potential for off-meta strategies and compositions without being disruptive, stating that the only way to practice characters is to use them repeatedly, and arguing that the threat of being banned for not following in the meta makes the game restrictive and boring. Blizzard has gone on record multiple times saying that one-tricking isn't inherently bannable, but poor teamwork and disruptive play iswhich hasn't done much to quell the many arguments.
    • The discussions of a banning system is an oft-debated subject which gained traction following the introduction of Hero Pools to competitive and the Overwatch League in March 2020, and even past their removal in June. Ban systems are widely recognized in PVP games with as large a playable cast as this one (from League of Legends to Rainbow Six Siege) and seen as a way to add an external, strategic macrogame to matches and breaking up potentially-monotonous metagames (something fans can get impatient for given the game's history with it), but the actual specifics of implementation for this game have been hotly contested.
      • Hero Pools were a contentious first major stab as rather than being chosen by players (either by the whole team or by a single captain), bans were dictated weekly and semi-randomlynote . The argument in favor of them is that the inconsistency was good for shaking up metas and keeping players on their toes while still skewing towards player interest, and that for a game as fast-paced as Overwatch, it avoids flow problems in ways a lengthy pre-game ban phase wouldn't. The argument against them is that a randomized, week-long ban on certain heroes in practice is too strenuous for players with main preferences (this was reported to have affected pro players too), and that any "new metas" that came every other week were still dictated by the popularity of unbanned heroes, in turn dictated by their balancing, not bans. After months of tweaking, experimentation, and gathering feedback, Blizzard eventually sided with the latter and removed the system, and debates surrounding whether this was a good call and where to go from there have resurfaced.
  • How much is the community to blame for the game's faults, and how much of them are the developers' fault? Jeff Kaplan has stated that attempting to resolve toxicity is pulling resources away from other content, and also that responding to general feedback can be scary as devs due to the risk of extreme backlash, meaning they have to be very careful with their words. Considering Blizzard is such a big and successful company, there's been a lot of debate as to whether this is unfortunate, but sensible in face of a huge, hard-to-universally-please fanbase, or that Blizzard is completely capable of shifting resources among departments to solve issues the fanbase has with the game, but doesn't in favor for other priorities (their pride about changing things their way, not wanting to admit mistakes, their focus on the League (see below for more on that one), et cetera…), and that Jeff is attempting to shift the blame from the rightful culprits onto the playerbase.
  • Almost everything with the Overwatch League, although it had a better reception than initially assumed, is contentious:
    • Is it too soon for the League to exist? The game had been out for barely a year and half when the first League games started. Compare that to League of Legends, which had almost four years between its launch and the first league games. Some argue that blizzard has experience in balancing multiplayer games and that they can handle it, others think a year and half is too short of a time, especially since Overwatch's balance patches are relatively few and far between and widely change characters (i.e. the Mercy rework, which hit two months before the League started)
    • Should Blizzard be "Forcing" the league? Other games' competitive scenes emerged from grassroots local/fan tournaments, which slowly gained more and more traction up to official developer support. Is it better to allow Overwatch to follow the same path, or is Blizzard in the right of supporting competitive tournaments like many other Triple-A developers are doing currently?
    • Should the League even exist? On one hand, Overwatch is the first Hero Shooter for many, and there are many mechanics present that don't point the game as being oriented toward professional play. On the other hand, the wide cast of playable characters create an interesting Meta Game, and while Overwatch can be less skill-intensive than other team-based, competitive-oriented shooters like TF2 and CS;GO, it has far more emphasis on team coordination, which is arguably more important than individual skill in those aforementioned shooters.
    • Is it taking too much focus away from developers to the depends of the rest of the game? In September 2017, jeff Kaplan stated that the slowing down of content was due to them shifting focus to prepare the Overwatch League (create a better spectator mode, etc.…). Should the game still be for a casual audience, or toward professionals?
    • Should the teams be representative of their namesakes?note  On one hand, this is supposed to be a professional league, so it's logical for team owners to hire the most skilled players they can find, no matter where they're from, and it is something normal sports team do all the time. On the other, those same normal sports team often have at least a player or two from the area they're based in, not having a team member from that area does not encourage people to root for their team, and why even give them a name from real-world locations if they have nothing from that area?
    • The release of the Overwatch League skins kicked up a few arguments of its own. Do the skins look good, or are they just lazy recolors? Is it bad that they can only be purchased with special currency from spending real money (rather than in-game gold from loot boxes), or understandable? Should the skins have been sold as a group, since Overwatch encourages people to switch characters frequently and players may be frequently blocked or discouraged from playing the hero they purchased a skin for, or does it make sense to buy them individually since many players focus on a smaller subset of heroes. And then there are the price points. Some argue that it makes sense that a set of team skins for every character costs $100, since other sports jerseys sometimes get that expensive. Others point out that there are real differences between jerseys and in-game skins that make them hard to compare, and that actual, real-world Overwatch League jerseys don't even cost that much. And at $5 per skin (and 12 team skins for 26 heroes) and no in-game method to purchase more than one or two skins, many players who had hoped to complete their collection found themselves disappointed at the high cost for such an endeavor, although there's even further disagreement over what a fair price would be, exactly, with the question of whether the skins look good or are just lazy again entering into the conversation.
  • Blizzard has traditionally been one of the few major game developers to cater to Mac users by ensuring multi-OS development as far back as the early Warcraft and Starcraft titles. The fact that Overwatch broke the trend by launching without a Mac port and how there's no sign of one coming has predictably left large portions of Blizzard's Mac user fanbase feeling left out in the cold.

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