Once Again, Overwatch 2 Launches a Pay-To-Lose Hero Skin
With great cosmetics comes great disadvantage.
Overwatch 2’s Season three launched with a Japanese mythology theme, bringing some beautiful and unique hero skins and cosmetics to the Battle Pass, such as Amaterasu Kiriko, Demon Queen Moira, and Hong Hai Er Junkrat. Alongside the Battle Pass skins, some additional Japanese Mythology skins have been available for purchase in the Overwatch 2 store throughout the season for a limited time of just a few days.
The previous store-only addition added Divine Monkey Genji, while the most recent addition available for grabs featured the highly-anticipated Raijin Ashe. This concept takes beloved DPS Deadlock Gang leader Ashe and reimagines her with a new look inspired by the god of lightning, thunder, and storms in Japanese Mythology. B.O.B.’s flashy new design also references Fujin, the god of wind. Raijin and Fujin are always depicted together in artworks, so this was a perfect fit for the Deadlock Rebel duo that excited many fans.
The skin is available only through Overwatch 2 Coins in the Raijin & Fujin Bundle, unlocking the skin, a spray, and a voice line for 1900 Coins. This means that the only way to unlock this cosmetic is to fork out actual money for the Overwatch 2 Coins needed, but that didn’t stop Ashe mains and Japanese mythology fans from jumping at the opportunity to snag this Legendary Hero Skin.
Unfortunately for those who chose to spend their hard-earned money on the bundle, the Ashe Raijin skin has been discovered by players to have a significant disadvantage in-game. When scoping in to aim with Raijin Ashe’s gun, the weapon’s design blocks a considerable chunk of her sights compared to her default weapons. This makes it harder to see enemies and important details in team fights and is quite a distracting obstruction when trying to hit crucial shots on opponents.
Overwatch 2’s Executive Producer, Jared Neuss, was quick to reply and state that this issue was being discussed and looked into by the team. Despite this, many fans can’t help but feel frustrated that significant problems such as these are overlooked in the first place, especially when the issues occur on skins that are purchase-only.
Plenty of Overwatch 2 players have already started to label Raijin Ashe as a ‘Pay-To-Lose’ skin due to the disadvantage the paid cosmetic brings to the player while equipped. However, this isn’t the first occurrence of a paid Hero Skin causing severe penalties for a player.
In fact, in Season 2’s Battle For Olympus theme, Widomaker’s Medusa skin was notoriously labeled as Pay-To-Lose, due to the continuous hissing sound it creates. While it is an excellent feature to include, considering the snake hair, it was a massive problem in giving away the positioning of Widowmaker, making her an easy target, or revealing her location when attempting to hide.
Something like this could have been easily remedied by making the sounds play for the player team only and not the enemy, such as Cassidy’s unique footsteps in his Lifeguard skin. It’s hard not to feel like the Overwatch team is dropping the ball when considering both function and form / visual aesthetics, as this has been a recurring issue in the paid Hero Skins since the launch of Overwatch 2.
For anyone that’s already jumped the gun and purchased Raijin Ashe, all you can do for now is sit and wait to see if the devs roll out a fix or design tweak. For anyone else who had been considering adding this one to their collection, perhaps you’d be better off saving your Overwatch Coins and spending them elsewhere.
Here’s hoping that from now on, there’s more attention to detail from the Overwatch team considering the player experience when wearing a cosmetic instead of the design itself. After all, most of these mistakes shouldn’t have been that hard to catch, so if they continue to make it through in future Overwatch Shop additions, Blizzard Entertainment won’t be doing themselves any favors against the heavily-criticized monetization of the game.
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