Part of the excitement around Overwatch’s holiday events is seeing all the new, seasonally appropriate costumes and flourishes. With yesterday’s big Winter Wonderland update, it was clear that the arctic adventurer Mei would receive special attention from both Blizzard Entertainment and fans — but, it turns out, maybe not for the best reason.
Blizzard gave Mei a “legendary”-class skin in time for the holidays, which can be found at random in special event loot boxes. Players who have to own all the skins, however — or just want to see Mei all dolled up for the season — also have the option of purchasing her new legendary skin, but it comes at a big price that many don’t think is worth it.
Like all legendary skins, which give characters full costume changes and new voice lines, Mei’s Winter Wonderland outfit costs 3,000 credits. (Credits are collected by opening loot boxes, which can be won in-game or purchased for $1.99 a pair.) But her holiday look doesn’t seem to differ all that much from her usual one, Overwatch players exclaim: Maybe Mei’s new skin doesn’t deserve to be an expensive legendary at all.
In a thread asking Blizzard if it “hates Mei,” Reddit user Chriscaa112 wrote, “Been waiting for a new legendary mei skin. Was expecting something to come out during Christmas. Turns out all they did was a fucking mei recolor with a hat and they labeled it a fucking legendary.”
This is the first time that Mei has gotten a skin of this order since the game launched, which is disappointing for fans. The price, coupled with the nature of the design, has players in search of answers.
“Honest question about Mei’s holiday skin: Why is it Legendary?” asked Tels315. “The only difference between it and a recolor of the default skin, is the addition of a Santa hat. When you compare it to even other Legendary skins, or even other Rare skins, it's sorely lacking in alterations.”
There is one alteration, although it’s not as obvious. Mei’s Ice Block turns into a snowman when she wears the costume, which is pretty nifty:
It’s also unlike previous legendary skins, which gave characters new things to say alongside their outfits but not much else.
Weighing both the snowman move and the uninspiring outfit, user TehLegendofDuke explained that Mei’s Santa costume is indicative of a shake-up in what skin classes even represent.
“Mei-rry sticks out like a sore thumb, even if it's well done by all accounts,” TehLegendofDuke wrote, comparing it to the simpler Epic skins, which usually just give characters a new color scheme. “If Blizzard wants to make more skins like this, Epic quality character models with Legendary quality flourish, then I absolutely welcome it. That being said, it should not be a Legendary. Or an Epic. Skins like this belong in their own tier, above Epics and below Legendaries.”
There are no other skin tiers in the game, yet, however, so Mei’s costume remains a legendary. Users wonder if Blizzard will heed their feedback and re-class the outfit, but the company told Polygon it doesn’t get fans’ complaints.
“We think Mei’s skin makes for a great Legendary skin with lots of festive detail,” a representative told us. “We always pay close attention to the community and long before the event started they hoped that Mei turned into a snowman when she did Cryo Freeze and that’s indeed what her legendary skin does.”
That’s true; a few months back, a popular thread on Reddit campaigned for Mei to get a special snowman flourish during a hypothetical Overwatch holiday event. That shows that Blizzard is listening to its players on that level, at least.
As for how a legendary skin — or any special outfit — becomes defined as such to begin with, this is what Blizzard had to say:
“The art team is always brainstorming and drawing fun concepts for skins for each seasonal event. The ones that stand out to the team the most eventually go into full production.”
Mei’s winter look is undeniably fun, even if it’s not the most memorable or, well, “legendary.”