Game skins may be purely cosmetic, but there's no denying that they're highly coveted - especially when #Overwatch players have a chance at snagging their favorite just by leveling up and opening their next Loot Box. But just because skins are free and just for fun, doesn't mean that players aren't going to let #Blizzard know what they think.
The latest talking point is Mei's new Legendary Winter Wonderland skin: Mei-rry. As players launched Overwatch, excited to see what skins were up for grabs, they were pretty disappointed once they discovered Mei's.
The biggest complaint that Overwatch players have with the Mei-rry skin is simple: it's a Legendary. All other Legendary skins in the game have a slightly different model than their default, but this one is essentially a recolored default with a Santa hat. This means that if you don't end up opening it in a Loot Box, it'll cost you a whopping 3,000 credits (comparable to the usual 1,000 for a non-event Legendary).
"Hi there. Sorry you are disappointed with Mei's winter skin. We don't have a specific rule for what makes something Legendary or Epic. We just sort of make a gut call based off of what we think is cool. Coolness is very subjective, and based off of the community reaction it seems like our gauge was off on this one. Our reasoning for it being Legendary was that we completely redid the visual effects for Cryo-Freeze (we turned the ice block into a snowman). We thought that was pretty special and we had done it specifically based on community suggestions from months ago when people were speculating that we might have a winter event. Apparently, lots of people don't agree with us and that's ok. It's all good feedback and we're learning something for future events."
Mei's new Cyro-Freeze effects may be simple, but gosh dang, you can't say it's not cute. Does that make it worth the Legendary status? That's truly up to each individual to decide. Personally, I think it helps soften the blow quite a bit. Although a different character model would've been pretty sweet, it sounds like we'll have another skin to look forward to in the near future.
In the aforementioned forum post, Kaplan hinted that Mei would be receiving another (potentially Legendary?) skin very soon.
"For people concerned that Mei is not going to get another Legendary for a long time, you need not worry. We have something pretty awesome for her early next year.
Apologies that our "cool meter" was off from yours on this one. We'll try to align better on future content."
I don't think that the Mei-rry skin would've sparked so much hate if it weren't for the fact that it's her first new skin since Overwatch's launch date (May 23, 2016). After all, there were two previous opportunities with the Summer Olympics and Halloween events. And while Winston was once in the same boat, his Winter Wonderland Legendary model featured some nice eye-grabbing touches.
In the end, this whole debacle has turned into a giant conversation on what makes a Legendary skin, well, Legendary. Does the character model need to be different? Do abilities need to be re-skinned? Do they need to have different voice lines? For me, I think I most value different character models, with re-skinned abilities taking second place.
These are all valid questions, and I think they're questions worth asking. What makes a Legendary special to you? Let us know in the comments below.