Global Chat: Overwatch’s stalled story

With all of the attention, fandom, e-sports, and development given to Blizzard’s Overwatch, have you ever suspected that the team shooter has a critical weakness in its narrative?

Tyler at Superior Realities unloads with both barrels at what he calls the “failure” of Overwatch’s story: “The thing is, a 10-minute video clip once a year and a 10-page digital comic every six months aren’t a story. They’re marketing […] Nor has there been any forward momentum to the story. We’re still just hovering, frozen in time, at the moment Winston reactivated Overwatch. If this were a movie, we’d still be in the first five minutes.”

Our whirlwind tour through the latest that the MMO blogosphere has to offer continues, with a look at Destiny 2’s PC beta, FFXIV’s nostalgia trip, the perceived value of MMOs, and more!


Aywren Sojourner: FFXIV’s The Rising 2017, a nostalgic trip

“All which goes to remind us… there are people behind the game with thoughts, feelings and hopes. These snippets were meant to be funny, but working in R&D myself, they hit close to home. I really do feel that the FFXIV team is hard-working, passionate about the world it makes, and cares about the players.”

Ravalation: LOTRO’s first character update, humans and Elves

“Although I have been critical in this article about some details, I generally feel the character update is a huge upgrade and a great addition to the game for LOTRO players. If you are like me and have trouble adapting to a new look of your characters, give it some time and fiddle around with things at the barber — the automatic look almost never does it right.”

Ancient Gaming Noob: In search of the thousand-dollar video game

“So whining about people buying lattes instead of your video games is just a self-serving attempt to blame other people, including your customers, for your own problems in a cheap attempt to milk some guilt out of them.”

Tales of the Aggronaut: Destiny 2 PC beta thoughts

“The other big takeaway is that everything just feels more polished. This one isn’t easy to quantify, but everything about this build felt production ready. The other big takeaway is that once I got used to the hotkeys… the PC experience is just flawless and before long I reached a point where it was just as instinctive for me to hit F to activate my super as it is to mash my two shoulder buttons.”

Galactic Antics: Thoughts on SWTOR’s 5.4 (no spoilers)

“As for Umbara, it’s certainly atmospheric once you get beyond the train section. Unfortunately — a side-effect of presumably not wanting a shedton of clutter on-screen — the scenery which is visible from the train is incredibly barebones, which doesn’t make for a very interesting environment at all. Seeing as this train is also going to be the Stronghold, this is especially disappointing, but if it’s the only way this section can run smoothly (even then it’s still fairly laggy) I’m okay with it, I guess.”

Endgame Variable: Getting lost in MMOs

“When I think about my experience playing through the remainder of the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns story, I was lost a lot in the Maguuma Jungle, and it was aggravating. The flat 2D map helped little because the world was extremely 3-D and while the map might show you standing on top of your destination, in reality it might be way above you or below you with no discernable path to reach it.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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18 Comments on "Global Chat: Overwatch’s stalled story"

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Alex Js.

Sure, you can call the story “stalled”, but it’s a very simplistic FPS game which doesn’t even need a story for anything in its current form. Well, except for occasionally reminding people that this game still exists, which is what the comics and “Meet the xxxxx hero” videos are meant to do.

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Daniel Reasor

Not to spoil the surprise, but what passes for story in any multiplayer online game is just marketing for the new maps and skins.

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Joshua Dickerson

It is sad the direction Overwatch went with its lore and story. There originally was a full comic or book that was in the works to flesh out the whole storyline and the characters.

They canned that and just went with Animated shorts and motion comics. And all of these typically are just lead-ins to a new character.

I think people know Blizzard has a deep talent pool of people that can create compelling stories and Overwatch (while a quality product) seemed to communicate Blizzard detaching from their story integration. The random one-off PvE maps that they introduce are cool, but they are always temporary. So the one in-game instances where we feel apart of a story narrative, goes away within a 2 month period.

The kind of sold the initial premise of the game as more story driven. But story is starting to take a back burner to eSPorts. Again it is a quality game and I like it, but I can see how the story part was kind of tuned down. But again, gamers are different nowdays and the company has to market to the newer generations which seem to like more eSports type games and less story driven content.

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Melissa McDonald

Oh please. Overwatch’s “story” is right out of Tiger Beat magazine. Who is dating who, who is gay, blah blah blah.

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Loopy

I would normally agree that story stagnation is an issue. But this is an arena-style shooter. The story serves as flavour, to give some kind of background to the characters, their motivations, their interactions, and to set the world stage. And i think they’ve done a good job there. I really don’t think that not moving the story forward is an issue with Overwatch. Getting bits and pieces of the lore every now and then is plenty.

koolthulu
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koolthulu

Guess the other posters here haven’t actually played much Overwatch. The story and lore is pretty important to a large part of the community.

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kidwithknife

Is it really a large part of the community, though? 0.002% of a community of sixteen bajillion is still only 0.002%.

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BalsBigBrother

I am interested because of what the game was before it became what it is now.

Overwatch as a shooter has always felt like a consolation prize to me one that I do enjoy but still only a consolation prize. I can’t help but feel a little sad about the missed opportunity these story pieces paint in terms of the setting they portray and the potential for a much deeper game play experience.

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Skai R

Personally for me I don’t care about a story in a game that’s a arena shooter. If it was a story driven single player game with a rich universe, then I’d care.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

The three people in the world who play arena shooters for the story thank you for finally shining a light on this glaring issue.

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Baemir

The story in The Simpsons never really moved forward. Didn’t make the first 10 seasons any less brilliant.

Yangers
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Yangers

Well, The Simpsons was much better than Overwatch.

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Mark Brown

Criticism is always there. I’d agree to the point that Blizzard is coming up with different things like these shorts and comics, and yes this is definitely for their marketing purpose, keeping their audience engaged with them. It’s like making people starve and then providing a bit food so that they would love it.

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Tom R

Playing overwatch for the story is like watching porn for the story…

The stories are made to make you like the characters for more than “oh this guy’s outfit is cool so I like him most”. I never thought I’d see the day somebody complained an arena shooter didn’t progress a story fast enough.

Purewitz
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Purewitz

Blizzard either needs to add a story campaign to Overwatch or develop a story-driven MMORPG spinoff for Overwatch with the same combat system.

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Tom R

They tried…it didn’t work.

Well, it wasn’t a fps but it was action combat.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

writers block overwatch.gif
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Wilhelm Arcturus

That may be the first quote from my blog used here that doesn’t reveal I left a glaring typo in my post.

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