What lore would you like to change, if you could?

a different topic than usual: if you had the power to change details of Overwatch’s narrative, what would you change? obviously, without being offensive with the choices that have instead been made official by the developers. :open_hands:

here are mine, personally:

1 - New Blood

I’ve already talked about it here, but to be brief… I find that this meeting of heroes in Toronto PVE took away a lot of narrative potential from the story for the recruitment of the various characters. Winston went from having only recruited 2 heroes in a year since the Recalling to having people change their minds (zero hour)… and further adding people with Cassidy. for me it lacks the pleasure of discovering the lore through a journey, just as was done for the recruitment of Lucio in which we intervened to help him in Rio. I would have liked a “I go to Egypt, I recruit Pharah. I go to Russia, I recruit Zarya. etc.” approach. From new Blood I only save the small trace left on the relationship between Ana and Pharah and the meeting with Baptiste, but for D.Va and Zarya I didn’t like the approach similar to a “shortcut” so as not to give them a PVE on one of their recruitment.

2 - The finale of London Calling

For me it was a very good start to fix the info of OW1… but they wasted the events of King’s Row with Iggy very badly, making Tracer a martyr that no one was really interested in delving into. There are too many plot holes about the fate of the underworld with Kace’s escape, and Iggy is completely ignored in her re-established friendship with Tracer, perhaps giving too much space to Lizzy with her (not even visible) technological solution.

3 - Joel and Logann

even I found more harmful to have eliminated a now iconic tag in the world of video games, Jesse McCree’s name could at least use a better replacement, already mentioned in the community for some time previously: why not Joel? or Logann, who was among the other the original name with which McCree’s concept art was born in a StarCraft project?

4- Senseless graphics upgrades.

I would have gladly done without the graphic upgrades of many heroes of the OW1 generation. especially for those characters who never really had a narrative space with their OW1 outfits, like Moira, Brigitte, Wrecking Ball… or even Sigma. And paradoxically… I would have accepted an upgrade on Echo instead, if we really pushed ourselves so much on heroes who didn’t need it while Echo was technically a model that had remained stagnant for years with Dr. Liao’s technology.

5- Reaper anger management

Code of Violence isn’t badly written… but it makes Reaper seem extremely inconsistent as to why he decided to accept the alliance with Doomfist. I would have preferred a greater resentment towards his duty rather than pressing too much on the memory of his wife which, even if it makes him human… softens him too much in the context of describing his change of faction. I would have delved a little deeper into the relationship that finally pushed him to accept becoming a villain.

Extra: obviously I don’t mention the obvious mistake about Kiriko’s biographical age, that needs to be resolved.


Illari. I’ve made a “How id write” long ago but i would take anything over her being a DnD Mary Sue edgelord stereotype.


I think I’ve already written about it several times in other threads, but my idea of how I would handle the whole thing would be far more radical.

I would first completely wipe away the entire lore in order to rebuild the lore from scratch.
As a foundation, I would first build a fixed and, above all, precisely dated timeline (at least down to the month but in some cases also days or hours). It does cost flexibility (probably the reason why Team 4 doesn’t have timeline) but 1. it prevents absolutely unnecessary errors such as the whole age debacle and 2. it gives the whole lore a certain stability.
All the cinematics would be a central point in the structure and all the comics should also be taken into account.

However, after Reunion I would basically start over completely. This means OW2, OW2 PvE and New Blood are not included in the lore. This would have put an end to the whole skin issue and gave the opportunity to take the story in a more comprehensible direction. The whole null sector stuff is way too big for the story and Overwatch to be believable. The heroes of Overwatch are not superheroes like Thor, Hulk etc (and should never be) and it is also completely unrealistic that the armies of the world don’t care about or are powerless against null sector, but then a handful of heroes can do the armies’ job in no time, like wtf is this story telling.

In terms of story, Overwatch is far better suited to an agent thriller ala James Bond, Mission Impossible, etc. than an MCUlike we save the world. The OW2 story could be done if Overwatch were to get back to its old strength and was essentially an independent army with thousands of people again and not just a dozen random people thrown together.

I would also set clear boundaries for the game. In general, I would explain that all of the game’s maps are simply inspired by the locations in the story, but are not the real locations. (If a map is to be credible as a story location, then it has to function as more than an FPS environment. (Chateau Guillard is the best example. The map does not function as a castle and living space or workplace or even as a historical site)

Those boundaries woudl also apply to the heros, like No Magic and everything must have atleast a rough idea on how it works. I liked Overwatch because it had that certain credibility that it could be are future version of our World with a slight touch of fantasy while still having that scientific aspect. Like with Tracers Chronol accelerator, Mercys Healing, Ai and Omincs. But Overwatch losses this aspect I found so interesting.

I’m also critical of all the new heroes. Not only for the gameplay and balance that it becomes overloaded at some point. Also for the lore. We have already reached such a point. Illiari is a wonderful example of this, it has absolutely no connection to the actual lore and stands completely separate. The kits are also becoming more and more incredible (and not in a positive direction). With Kiriko and Iliari we have defacto magic in the Overwatch universe. With Spaceranger we get Mars, which stretches the whole scope even further.

I’ve never really liked giving specific dates like “2077”, but I understand what you mean: we want a reference “timeline” of events in order to make the course of events quite precise rather than creating confusion like “6 months before, a week before” etc. Usually we have always had Recall and Zero Hour as “reference zero years”, but in reality their coexistence has generated confusion, and the codex has not helped on this.

The problem is that from zero hour / new blood onwards the story accelerates too unnaturally on the formation of the task force. It makes the help given to Winston after only a year not believable, it makes it not believable that so many heroes from different factions rush to help without any problems just because a cowboy asked them to… and the null sector has a rather asymmetrical and uncoordinated invasion with all the lore of Talon. Ideally we needed a narrative approach much more similar to Starcraft 2: it’s about invasion (instead of the zerg, the null sector), it’s about mercenaries and it’s about characters who progressively join the people who started the recruitment.

I always thought that Zero Hour only worked for what concerns the intervention of Mercy (who decided after the events of the short story) and Echo (recently freed by Cassidy)… but they didn’t convince me enough about the delay of Genji and Reinhardt, whose shorts highlighted almost immediately that they would answer the call as soon as possible, not after a year. Well, perhaps I would have changed their intervention to a more gradual evolution. And with a gameplay vision with optional rather than necessary PVE (I talk about it here), in order to have a classic narrative formula that is absolutely valid in selling money to users (like F2P a pve can never really live for free).

for Cassidy I would have sincerely created a “search for the wandering bandit” dynamic, perhaps right after a suggestion from Genji who was an ex-Blackwatch teammate of his. perhaps through gameplay rather than with the short sagas which so far have failed greatly in managing the closure of their storyboards (especially London Calling). For Ana… some cinematic would have been ideal for her relationship with Pharah, if they really wanted to give so much protagonism to this hero instead of doing it through alleged mercy ships and too many battle pass skins.

Baptiste is the only one who convinced me in recruiting him through Cassidy. the recruitment of Sojourn through Cassidy’s intuition after Rio is a little less so. I would have seen it more appropriate on Echo’s part, given that we even have a book that describes Doctor Liao being particularly involved in getting to know Sojourn.

For Zarya and D.Va… media coverage: two national heroines with winston reaching out to them to help them, or vice versa at least from D.Va’s point of view, who in my opinion has a better narrative in wanting to seek help from Overwatch compared to Zarya. Treating a hypothetical PVE mission with the same incipit as lucio trying Overwatch to save Rio (but this time with D.Va looking for help for Busan, perhaps violating Captain Myung’s orders) would have been more engaging in my opinion. And from there D.Va’s intuition about which country is specializing in heavy vehicles to defeat the omnics: Russia (a similar thing also happens in the narrative of StarCraft 2 for the Thor terrans).

I would still have kept Brigitte as a character already automatically recruited through Reinhardt, without having to reinvent her armor. I like that some heroes had their restyling, but obviously for those who had experienced OW1 adventures or golden age of the task force (like storm rising). Characters like Mei, Baptiste or even Pharah who haven’t had real OW1 experiences… I would have gladly done without redesigning their outfit, preferring to give up this need only as they had experiences in the task force. or I would have given Pharah this upgrade, just for a hypothetical “join us and you will have more support in Raptora equipment”.

Yes this would make world building easier. I think we can have a better example with Toronto: the PVE map is fantastic from many points of view, but it undoubtedly remains the same Toronto as the Push Map. Or again, the Adlersbrunn of Wrath of the Bride: its labyrinthine path works better when it has to talk about a story rather than necessarily about an immutable castle of Adlersbrunn. for cinematics it’s fantastic to take maps as a starting point, and in my opinion the Busan one (not exactly precise in the cinematic but still functional) works well. In short, we need to make a bit of a sacrifice of imagination between when we play PVE and when we play PVP. With archives we succeeded quite well when we were offered king’s row invaded by the null sector. with Rialto a bit partially… and with Havana unfortunately it was too much of a “standard PVP” experience as a trip around the map.

But sorry I’m digressing into something more functional rather than narrative.

I agree with this too. We could partially say that the Shiamada used animism/faith combined with some kind of made-in-Shiamada nano-technology imbued in the sword or tattoo… but Kiriko and most of Zenyatta’s voicelines broke the sci-limit fi that Overwatch had to have. And it seems to me that Illari also goes a little further when it comes to the warriors without some kind of scientific origin, it seems too treated as “a mysterious tribe” rather than as a congregation of people who had developed a source of energy that was delicate to manipulate. And she makes her perhaps too indigenous for the vision of the Overwatch world.

However, I want to be honest on two points for Kiriko and Illari:

  • Kiriko, in addition to “magic”, also has terrible management of relationships with pre-existing heroes. That she could be a girl who lived in Kanezaka and knew the Shiamada well could work. And indeed, precisely because she is a bit of a hooligan, a narrative could very well have worked in which Genji loitered with her in the neighborhoods, not fulfilling his duties as heir of the Shimada, rather than making her a student who trained within the Hanamura house. Kiriko can afford to be older, or if you really wanted to make her young… erase all the narrative according to which she knew the Shimada since childhood and make her a little girl who was fascinated by the Shimada and who knew them by sight because their mother had given them lessons. In this way, a lore could be established for Kiriko in which she wanted to save her village when the dragon heroes were no longer there to protect her village. Or an adventure in which she pledged to track them down, and in the meantime defend her village from the yokai. In any case, her “friend mysteriously appeared out of nowhere” narrative is no different from that of Symmetra’s lifeweaver. But that’s exactly the point: it works for lifeweaver and it’s plausible that Symmetra found a classmate who was “tolerated” in her frankness rather than truly united with her. on the contrary, Kiriko doesn’t work because she seems very close to the Shiamada even though her lore is inconsistent biographically.
  • For me, Illari has the exact same crisis as Sigma at the beginning about “but where did this one come from?”, with an aggravating circumstance about the previous non-existence of her faction. In reality, looking back, D.VA and Lucio also had this identical type of “out of context OW / talon” narrative. She simply needs time and narrative that builds a direction towards her faction (do you remember the short story for Baptiste how much helped him?), a bit like what was done for lifeweaver who has continued to mention archology as a faction of scientists of which Lifeweaver would be part of for some time. ideally both he and Illari would have worked better if they had come out directly with maps in Peru and archology, and not with 2.0 maps of Nepal, Antarctica and Junkertown.
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roadhog killed off before the game starts