Is New Blood a shortcut on narrative work?

I mentioned this feeling very often with New Blood. but I want to make it a specific topic: Has Nen Blood CUT the need to do PVE missions for the introduction of new Overwatch members?

It goes without saying that the original PVE plans were the classic formula of 4 characters specially balanced for a story mission, and in the specific case of Rio it was canon that there would be Lucio (new Overwatch recruit), Mei, Rein and Tracer. Even the incipit at the beginning of the mission is clearly based on the four of them. From blizzcon 2019 the final cutscenes are the ones that had the most extras including Genji and Winston in the escape from the shuttle (which makes no sense, if you think about it).

The comparison I want to make specifically is StarCraft II, whose chapter narrative makes a nice evolution in introducing more and more units and factions. In particular Legacy of the VOid, where more and more protoss members are introduced into the adventure to form a team. Well, in OVerwatch all this is particularly neutered right from the start with Zero hour, but New BLood shortens even further the range of missions designed to introduce in a more narrative way the various heroes unrelated to Overwatch (Pharah, Zarya, Baptiste and D .IT GOES).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that New BLood is badly written (well, it depends on your point of view), but I am saying that it cut out potential missions that could have been set in Egypt by introducing pharah, in Busan by introducing, etc. . these characters, especially those who have left their original organizations such as MEKA or Helix… are far too hasty in abandoning their faction for what is in effect an “illegal team”. Ok pharah for her dream since she was little… but Zarya? D.VA? I’m sorry, but just justifying it with “it’s the war that convinced them” isn’t enough for me, their organizations were just as involved in the same war.

And we arrive in Toronto, where the crowd of agents is… terribly distracting for being only the second narrative section of the game. And I’m a bit sorry because it literally seems to be made to give PVE a difference that doesn’t exist with archives, and that the similarity with the lack of the talent tree has actually been highlighted. I think they will still propose missions that cover the stuff to be done in Russia, South Korea, etc… but it is really unnatural in my opinion this abandonment of the best national heroes of the various factions of the world. I don’t expect the developers to delete and rewrite New Blood as a form of PVE gaming, that would be crazy… but I would like to know your opinion as readers. The most direct feeling I had about it was the awkward haste in recruiting Zarya and D.Va as they faced the Omnic threats. And I didn’t like this rush. or literally the crowd of characters available in Toronto mission. :neutral_face:


It’s just a typical gameplay vs story problem.
But I have to say, yes it’s a shortcut, but that doesn’t bother me at all. My problem is that it doesn’t really make sense with the time skip of two years and the new skins don’t make sense, etc.

Wall of text incoming!

A quick timeline:

  • Route 66 (probably quite shortly after the recall) is the start, right after the Reunion Cinematic.
  • About a week or two later we met Ana in Cairo.
  • A few days later meeting with Pharah. (Last page #1)
  • an hour or two later we meet Ana/Pharah.
  • Cassidy leaves Cairo, but Baptiste is already tailing him (Last Page #2)
  • A few hours later in Bucharest there was the confrontation between Cass and Bap.
  • After the skirmish with Talon, both board the train that takes Cass to Russia (last pages #3)
  • Then the battles with Nullsector in Russia.
  • The last page is interesting again. A news report is shown showing the current attack in Paris.
  • In the next issue the Paris attack will also be in the news as “Today the Null Sector Assault in Paris” That means there are just a few hours between Russia and the appearance of the orca in Busan.
  • After the skirmish in Busan we go straight to Gibraltar.

In summary, the whole story of New Blood probably takes around two weeks. The biggest time jump during the story is from Route 66 to Cairo. So far so good, but now comes the skin problem (another argument/proof that the new skins are just a marketing tool and should not be canon)

Firstly Cass, who not only got a completely new armor in OW2 but also a new revolver and cybernetic arm. At the beginning he has his original equipment, even during the whole thing with Ana and Talon. And then a few days later when he meets with Pharah he suddenly has his OW2 equipment. Why? You don’t change a cybernetic arm so easily and thoughtlessly (e.g. Cyberpunk 2077) and Cass wouldn’t just part with his revolver. In the skirmish with Talon, it looked as if both would come through completely unscathed. Hence no need for a new arm. The hypothesis that Cass got into an attack in the meantime and needed his equipment replaced is quite unbelievable, especially something like that could have been included in the comic.

Then Pharah, she can initially be seen in her original Raptorion but then in Busan (which is only a few days later) she suddenly has the new suit. Well, you could say she got the new suit just before she left Cairo.

In the third comic, Baptiste still has his original equipment (recognizable by the blue visor) and even his original hair and he goes to Russia, even if he doesn’t appear in #4. As he’s watching in the Orca, he suddenly has his new equipment. From where? and above all, he also has a new haircut. Before he had an undercut with a zigzag pattern and then suddenly it was an undercut with straight lines. Hair doesn’t work like that, it doesn’t grow that quickly and it’s also unbelievable that you would go to the hairdresser for such a small thing in this time situation.

Zarya works, as she’s already using her new equipment from the first page. You would think that thanks to her hair, but no, upon closer inspection she is using her original Particle Cannon. Well, you could say she got the new weapon just before she left Russlang. Wait what, we just had that.

And now for D-Va in the comic itself there is nothing with a new skin because she uses the original suit and mech all the time. On page 21 she has a ponytail, but that’s completely realistic. She is definitely wearing her original suit, which can be clearly seen in the pink area under her neck. On the same page you can also see how her original (Overwatch 1) mech (which is quite new, as the very first one was destroyed in the cinematic) is loaded into the Orca. Probably a few hours later we see the five in Gibraltar after the Rio mission and D.Va suddenly has her OW2 suit and mech. What, when? Did Zarya, Pharah and Baptiste find new equipment in the Orca? Somehow the Orca has to collect everyone first before heading to Busan. For D.Va everything was in Gibraltar, or what?
If that is the case, Overwatch must first have planned the whole thing, contacted the individual people in order to understand the equipment and build new versions (without knowing whether they are even necessary). With Meka, it’s unlikely that they’ll just give out the data for the 'Mechs like that.

Winston and Mercy both sounded very surprised to see Cass´s group in Gibralar. Where did Cassidy get the Orca from? Why doesn’t Cass use the Orca from the start? Why is there seemingly no contact between Cassidy and Winston? Shouldn’t Athena know that an Orca is moving? Shouldn’t Athena know that Cass is on his way to Gibraltar with his group and would inform Winston of their arrival? Winston shouldn’t be so surprised then to see them.

New Blood has several logic gaps, most of which are caused by the unnecessary skins, but it also shows that there is no real plan behind the whole narrative, that no attention is paid to details. Hell even for marketing purposes they are unnecessary. Fristly the upcoming OW2 Funko pop of Sigma uses his Orginal Skin and not his OW2 Skin. Secondly the Gentle Monster collab. Gentle monster used D.Vas original skin as the basis for the glasses instead of the OW2 Skin. I am sertain, that those are not the only ones or the last. Hell even the OWL uses only the Overwatch Logo on the team jerseys instead of the OW2 one. The .exe is still called “overwatch.exe” almost as if Blizzard them self say, that OW2 is just Overwatch.

Fun fact, PvE currently doesn’t have a canon version. I had a short conversation with the cinematic director on Twitter/X a while ago. When I asked what the 4 canonical heroes are who, for example, fight the boss fight in Rio, he replied: “Whatever 4 person team you choose for the mission is he story. The others have things to do too.” For me, this is quite worrying because it shows once again that the story/lore is only a means to an end and that it is not the goal to build a good/functioning lore.

PS: your point of why do Zarya, Pharah and D.Va leave their friend and country behind, dispite being already involved in Conflitcts there themselves was something i didn´t think about until now.

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Well yes, in reality almost all the Overwatch characters make no sense in the reskin role apart from obviously the ex-Overwatch agents who acted with an outfit already recognized in the last years of Overwatch’s legal activity (like Tracer, finally an evolution dle her dress from the times of Storm rising). But this logic could actually apply to ALL characters who never actually had their ow1 outfit appear in the lore with a story around how they acted. I’m going to be a little OT:

Who didn't need restyling
  • Mei hypothetically reached Winston right after Tracer. But we never had a real trace of her “adventures” that canonized her OW1 dress;
    -Moira has no real history with her OW1 outfit. An appearance of Masquerade is not enough to define a restyling as necessary;
    -Brigitte had no need for a restyling, having recently left her apprenticeship with Reinhardt. Her ow1 skin has no canonization in the lore to merit a further update;
    -Wrecking ball: champion of Junkertown hce renovated her look for… what? Indeed, it seems to me that she had a simply alternative skin to his transition as Junkewrs and ex-experiment of the lunar colony;
    -Sigma is the most unjustifiable: he remained hidden in the lore, and has a restyle exclusively for marketing. what you say about his Funkjo is marketing anyway: reselling that character twice even if they already got rid of his OW1 skin in the lore;

The characters I don’t mention are the ones who mostly had enough lore to imagine a plausible restyling. Ironically not Echo, not modified simply because she has too good and particular a design to imagine an even more super version.

Of the characters of New Blood, on their restyling… this is also part of a missed opportunity on Blizzard’s part to increase the impatience of the next PVE chapters. imagine if for example with a mission in Egypt in which Pharah was recruited, upon entering Overwatch she had had a restyle by Overtwatch members. Or recruit DVA after helping her in Busan by convincing her that the return of Overwatch is necessary (and not a gunslinger who recruits a valid MEKA member out of nowhere), and consequently by joining forces she would have a new mech with the collaboration of Winston and Brigitte. the same could actually also work with Lucio immediately after the Rio mission: why give him a new outfit immediately when it could be an unlockable element for subsequent missions?

this is precisely the sense of artistic/narrative progression that I miss in PVE: it’s all artificially already available just because Overwatch seems ashamed of not having given enough to deserve that “2” on the title (which I’m now increasingly convinced is a subterfuge legal to justify the total change in monetization)

And… yes, the whole New Blood is terribly rushed just to immediately make more variety available to PVE. and this does not make the development team worthy, but rather makes me ill suspect that they had planned long before the eventuality that they would not be able to give a talent tree to 4 predefined heroes per mission and therefore have “at least a wide selection of your favorite heroes” was plan B. along with voicelines, of course. if you notice, it’s the first thing they proudly spammed when describing the merits of PVE. The problem therefore is the early overcrowding of styles and characters without a real evolution of how we ended up at that point.

it is stated in the comic that he stole it from Talon. But unfortunately the comic artist used an Orca as a reference instead of a Talon shuttle. :man_facepalming:

This seems like the exact answer of someone who is thinking “if I say so, then the marketing people have less chance of advertising the game with more spam”. and this is very wrong: OW2 was supposed to be a carefully followed lore, not the 5v5 machine that they pretend is the content we wanted.

More than anything because I imagine that they consider themselves Overwatch “reinforcements” while Cassidy is a talent scout. and this makes the “governmental repercussions” of the Petras Act even more ridiculous. Russia, Helix and MEKA have literally given up their best soldiers… for ONE guy who passed through those parts, not even a small squad of rebels at the Petras act as happened with Zero Hour, Rio or Toronto. Their recruitment belittles and ridicules all of Torbjorn and Sojourn’s words within the PVE about why the task force should not return, which has now done “irreparable damage.” Damn it, it’s a patch of a narrative that has been pasted onto a collage that has already undergone changes.

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im currently searching for that but i dont find it. But i found something really ridiculous.
We all know how big an Orca Shuttle is. We also know what the Meka base looks like from the inside and now take a look at page 18 in comic 5. I didn’t know that the Orcas now also had the shrinking ability from Antman. You can see how the Orca lands at the control point on the meka base, the only thing missing is the small health pack on top, on the bridge. The Orca is 3 maximum 4 meters wide in the picture. xD
I’m starting to wonder if Blizzard even knows the word quality assurance anymore.

reading this thread only makes me even more angry, i was alreadya ngry for the wasted potential of an actual campaign that was cancelled and then you made me think about even more wasted potential, this game have no future, the story is just no, 20 minutes of cutscenes after 4 years, what a joke