Why Mei’s Heroes of the Storm ice-skating ability isn’t in Overwatch

Blizzard Entertainment

With Overwatch’s Mei finally coming to Blizzard’s MOBA Heroes of the Storm, she has a slew of new abilities that some fans have wanted to see in Overwatch for some time. Sadly, her skating trick looks like it’ll be a HoTS exclusive for now.

After a series of teases, Mei was officially revealed on June 15 as the next character in Heroes of the Storm, and like many of the Blizzard icons to cross over, she has some moves that are quite different than her Overwatch counterpart.

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For instance, with “Snow Blind” she will fire a snowball at an opponent that will damage, slow, and bind them for a short time.

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The big one players want added to Overwatch, however, is her new “Icing” ability. With this, Mei can skate across the battleground with frost exploding towards foes when she’s finished her movement.

Players have wanted Mei to have some sort of skating ability in her kit, but as it turns out, the developers tested it out internally and ultimately decided against it.

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In a post on the official forums from back in 2018, Geoff Goodman commented on a post suggesting that Mei should be able to skate on surfaces she freezes.

“The main issue with it for us was that it meant that you were basically always staring at the ground as you moved around. We then thought about it as an ability where snowball would fly out in front of you and lay a path that you could slide on, but ultimately decided to try to avoiding giving her extra mobility,” Goodman explained.

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“From a game design standpoint, she’s a hero that is more about slowing enemies and stopping them, rather than herself being fast. In general, we often find ourselves trying to resist putting tons of mobility on every hero, to make sure we keep every hero feeling unique.”

Blizzard Entertainment
Mei won’t be skating in Overwatch according to Geoff Goodman.

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While it doesn’t appear that Mei will be getting some skates to play hockey with Lucio, at least one of her HoTS abilities is coming to Overwatch 2 in the form of Avalanche.

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With this, Mei can send a massive snowball into enemies. An Overwatch 2 version of this ability showed off at BlizzCon 2019 is called “Snowball Effect” and is a talent upgrade to Cryo-Freeze.

Perhaps more HOTS tricks will be making their way to the FPS with its upcoming sequel, but don’t expect to them in the standard game anytime soon.