7 WEAPONS That Got REMOVED From Overwatch


Hello, everybody! Disciple here with Overwatch Curios! One of the most important components of any
first person shooter is the weapons that players use. For Overwatch, the weapons for every hero
are as diverse and powerful as the heroes themselves are in the game world. It’s important for designers to put just
as much emphasis on the weapons and how they play in the game world, as it is to flesh
out the story of any given character. So much like the heroes, the weapons they
use in combat often go through a ton of different changes and iterations before the design team
is satisfied with the end result of the character. We’ve discussed at length the changes that
heroes have gone through during development and even heroes that have been cancelled,
so for this video we thought it’d be cool to take a look at some of Overwatch’s cancelled
weapons, and discuss from concept to gameplay how exactly they could have changed some of
our favorite heroes had they been added to the game. Bastion is a character that thematically saw
a wide array of changes in the early stages of his development cycle. Early concepts varied drastically, and the
team sought to find a weapon that seemed suitable for the character outside of his turret mode,
which is something the team had been working towards since the original concepts. Several weapons were presented in concept,
ranging from a complete lack of a recon weapon, to a large blaster pistol which would allow
Bastion to fight outside of his turret mode, however the most interesting of these has
to be an early version of Bastion with a flamethrower. Flamethrowers as a whole are extremely powerful
weapons capable of putting out large area damage at a short range, so it’s kind of
crazy to think of recon bastion having one today. The ability to shift from a long-ranged turret
of melting into a… short ranged, mobile turret of melting is absolutely terrifying. Early concepts showed him with a pilot light
underneath the barrel of his gun which lead to a large ammunition drum, so maybe instead
of an actual flamethrower, he physically set his bullets on fire while in recon form. Whichever it may have been, it’s probably
a good thing today that we don’t have to worry about a flame-wielding bastion terrorizing
people on the move. However, it wasn’t just Bastion’s Recon
mode that saw changes from the early days of original design. Some initial concepts of Bastion portray his
sentry mode not as a mini-gun, but instead as a single fire cannon tank mode, which bears
pretty heavy resemblance to some Starcraft tanks. And this all makes sense because we know originally,
Bastion went through several ultimate abilities before the developers finally added in the
tank mode that he has today. He started with a barrage of bouncing grenades,
then transitioned to a remotely deployed mine that would deal huge damage all before ending
up with the cannon today. So it seems pretty likely that the earliest
form of Bastion’s sentry mode, the cannon, was instead transitioned to his ultimate and
instead he was given the chain gun that he wields today. From one tank to another, we get to take a
look at Reinhardt, one of the earliest designed characters in all of Overwatch. And for the development team, it was clear
from the start that they wanted him to physically carry a protective shield on the battlefront,
as he waded through enemies and carved a protective zone for his allies. However in some of his early forms, Reinhardt’s
shield was a physical piece of armor, and instead of his trusty two-handed hammer that
he has today, he instead wielded a flail. Now the flail would probably function just
as Reinhardt’s hammer does today, with him swinging it in wide arcs to deal area damage,
however one of the most curious things here is how a physical shield would have functioned
when not raised. If Reinhardt’s shield was always in the
game world, even when not raised, how exactly would enemies deal with it, and how would
bullets interact with it? Would the shield break from damage, only to
reappear seconds later, or is it possible that at one point in time his shield was simply
smaller, but had an unlimited health pool? Given all of the early concept art we’ve
been able to look at, it’s clear that Blizzard really wanted to bring the flail to life in
Overwatch, which would have fit perfectly with the crusader theme of Reinhardt. However logistically it was just too hard
to plan out the functionality of his shield with these early models, so instead the team
would end up with the two-handed hammer and the generated shield that Reinhardt rushes
into battle with today. Many of Overwatch’s heroes are influenced
by fantasy archetypes and characters, and much like Reinhardt, Mercy is one of those. Blizzard felt that the staff was a core concept
of Mercy’s visual design and appeal, however they originally looked for ways to combine
her blaster pistol with the staff into one singular weapon. The pistol was a secondary addition, as a
means of allowing Mercy to fight back when she really needed to, so original prototypes
for the weapon featured the barrel of the pistol located inside of her staff. Still yet, other original concepts for the
pistol including a weapon that would physically extend or collapse from staff mode to pistol
mode and vice versa, as a means of conveying how important her weapon was to her. However the actual design and implementation
of this blaster staff became troublesome and bulky for the team, and instead Mercy would
become the first hero in the game to be designed around using multiple weapons with the same
hero. When it comes to multiple weapons though,
we’d remisced not to talk about Overwatch’s favorite, and well only, climatologist, Mei. In original concepts, Mei was much more badass
and less approachable than the Mei we know today. Originally depicted as a much more intimidating
character, Mei went through several iterations of weapons before ending up with her endothermic
blaster. Some of these included a two handed cannon,
which ultimately looked too much like Zarya’s particle cannon to make it into development,
and even a more traditional rifle. However the concept that won the designers
over and almost ended up in the game featured Mei a one-handed cryogenic weapon and an ice
pick. While maybe farfetched at this point, it’s
really cool to think of Mei having the option to deal tremendous damage in melee range after
freezing her enemies with an ice pick, or possibly even having the ability to use said
ice pick to climb walls, maybe at a slower rate than Genji or Hanzo. The concept of a mobile Mei who could suddenly
climb walls and flank enemies extremely effectively, only to axe them down seconds later with that
pickaxe is terrifying, albeit fun, however in the end the designers decided that with
the heavy focus on intimidating characters in the game already, it was important to create
a much more tame and approachable hero with a lighter tone than some of the others in
the dark story of the Overwatch world. However if you want to look at some of the
most drastic differences in weapon design for any character, you’d have to take a
look at Genji. Originally codenamed the assassin, it’s
no secret that Genji and Hanzo were originally concepted as the same hero. However, in early concepts, there was an absolute
wealth of weapon options explored for the assassin trope of the game. While some of these are fairly tame, such
as Genji wielding a sniper rifle, there were definitely some oddball concepts thrown around
by the development team. Two of these in particular feature Genji wielding
a saw blade, and another in which he wields a whip. Now the saw blade conceptually could have
functioned as a boomerang, which would be a really interesting mechanic to see added
to the game at a later date. A weapon that once fired travels in a line,
dealing damage to everyone it hits, only to return and deal damage again on that return
fire. However this character would need to have
an option for dealing damage during this downtime, so the saw blade Genji happens to have wolverine
like claws on his opposite hand. This form of Genji would probably thrown weapons
from afar, while clawing people in melee range as he waited for the return of his saw blade. Meanwhile, the whip model of Genji embraces
the original goal of Genji. Blizzard wanted to develop a melee only character. This design of Genji sees him with a whip
deployed from one arm, while his other arm is embedded with a three pronged sword. It’s easy to imagine this character whipping,
slowing or even stunning enemies with his whip at a short range, while allowing him
to close the gap with the blades protruding from his arms. However as design and testing progressed,
Blizzard came to the conclusion that a melee-only character didn’t exactly fit the world of
Overwatch. There’s a very defined line of balance between
trying to appropriate for the vulnerability of a melee character, while still allowing
them to perform effectively and competitively in the game. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that we’ll
ever see a character completely focused on melee combat because of this difficult point
of balance, but it’s still awesome to have the opportunity to look back at the concepts
and progress of the Shimada ninja himself, and how Blizzard decided to incorporate melee
combat into his kit. The art of character balance and design is
tricky. Developers are often tasked with compromising
their original visions for the sake of striking a balance in gameplay and design. On top of that, decisions have to be made
on the aesthetic of heroes in the game and how the team wants certain heroes to be portrayed
in the world in accordance with their personal story as well as the overarching story of
the world of Overwatch itself. And while not every design will make it to
completion, it’s really great to have the opportunity to look back at the different
forms and the development cycle of heroes and their weapons in general. Now if you’re new around here, do yourself
a favor and subscribe to our channel so you can keep up to date with all of our newest
content, and until next time, peace!

35 thoughts on “7 WEAPONS That Got REMOVED From Overwatch

  1. I really want a skin set to come out, based around everyone's early concept art.

    I need 'Badass Mei', 'Starcraft Bastion', and 'Anime Hair Mercy'…

  2. "we will never get a melee only hero" had to double check date, at least they didn't forget Doom Fist existed, they just didn't know he would exist.

  3. As for the character concepts, I can totally see a flame thrower character as well as a Whip character being fun additions to the game.

  4. Watch this in 2018 and look back and say " oh overwatch curios, how wrong you were when you said that melee heroes have to be tanks. We now have an all melee healer."

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