Dear Blizzard: Don't Make Overwatch's Uprising Permanent Without Changes
Posted on Monday, April 17 @ 14:00:00 PST by James_Kozanitis
Overwatch has really struck gold with its latest event, Uprising, which many are considering the young shooter's best tie-in event. As is tradition with these events, fans are clamoring for Blizzard to make Uprising a permanent fixture in the Overwatch Arcade. I hate to be a naysayer, but that won't work out as well as you might think, at least not without significant changes.
As much as I love to play Uprising, it has a few glaring flaws that will make me not want to play it after this three-week event. While I do think Overwatch needs a permanent PvE, it shouldn't be Uprising in its current form.
Arguably, uprising is the best game mode to accompany an Overwatch event, so keeping it in the game permanently has some intrigue to it, and many compelling arguments to go along with it. The Summer games event was just a slower-paced Rocket League where you could only play Lucio - it stunk of a player-created mod or Arcade game mode. Junkenstein's revenge was limited to only four character types and one location, functioning more like a Tower Defense. Mei's Snowball offensive was fun, but again, you could only play as Mei (for obvious reasons).
Junkenstein's Revenge PvE was hindered by lack of hero options and static environment.
Then you have Capture the Rooster. This was a great game mode, and the only special event game mode to be granted permanent status. But, it had some pretty rampant balance and pacing issues that lead turned many people away from it.
In comparison to those events, yes, Uprising is a great candidate. It has a mode where you can play every hero, making it a varied experience each time. It's PvE, so competitive balance isn't the most important aspect. At that, it's better than Junkenstein's Revenge, because you're not just defending one location forever. Uprising is a mix of capturing points, escorting the payload, and good-old-fashioned target elimination, making it wave defense without feeling like wave defense.
It Won't Hold Up By Itself For Long
The truth of the matter is, though, that you will likely get bored of Uprising very quickly, or at least after the event is over. This is where its flaws come into play.
Uprising is the same map, a modified King's Row, every time you play it. I had an awesome time playing Tower Defense games, such as Orcs Must Die! 2, but I would have bashed my head against my computer desk if I had to play the same map over and over and over and over and over (getting the point yet) and over and over again.
King's Row is the only map for Uprising, and that will get boring.
In that same vein, the Omnic enemies are the same every time and spawn in the same order every time. So, not only does Uprising put you on the same map every time, it makes you strike down the exact same foes in the exact same ways. This will create a stale experience, no matter how many different heroes you can play with.
On that note, not every hero is viable, or even close to it. Many heroes abilities, such Lucio's speedbost, are simply useless, which means that you can't go to this mode for any hero you'd like.
With Some Changes, It Could Work
It would be a huge undertaking by Blizzard, but this sort of Uprising-esque game mode could work as a permanent fixture if the issues examined above were addressed. Right off the bat, make Omnic-PvE modes for every major map in Overwatch. That way, you could pick from a playlist of maps, or pick a random map, varying the experience the same way Quick Play or Competitive works. This would be a good opportunity for Blizzard to create new types of Omnic enemies.
Blizzard would also need to Tweak more hero abilities to make them interact with Omnics in more meaningful ways. For instance, Sombra's Hack ability completely disarms Omnic enemies. This is not how it works in the actual game, of course, so they had to change it to make it more viable. Using Lucio again as an example, his Speed Boost could have a movement or attack slow effect on nearby enemies. There are plenty of ways you can tweak hero abilities for a PvE mode.
They changed Sombra's Hack to work on Omnics. Other heroes could use this treatment.
Then, Blizzard would need to add a bit more RNG into the equation of enemy spawning. Currently in Uprising, the same major enemies spawn at the same time and in the same place. In the last level, there is always a Sentry Bastion camped out immediately to the right in the area. Maybe he could be positioned to the left, or straight ahead in some maps. Maybe one time you play that mode and it's not a Sentries Bastion, but a tank-mode Bastion? Or maybe instead of a Detonator at one point, it's an Eradictor. This sort of mixing and matching will keep us on our toes while playing.
Uprising in its current form would wither and die in the Arcade within a matter of weeks after becoming a permanent fixture. With some changes, though, Overwatch could do well to make it a life-long game mode. Unless those changes are made though, I'll have my fun with Uprising and then never wish to play it again.
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