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There has been a ton of discussion (and I use the term lightly) about how Paladins is potentially ripping off Overwatch and how so many of the characters are too similar, but the question is: are people over-exaggerating or do some people have a strong point?

I'm just going to knock the ball right out of the water and start off with saying that Paladins has in no way ripped off Overwatch, both games were in development around the same time including their announcements being made, Fernando in paladins was one of the original characters in the game, he wields a flamethrower for close range encounters and has a shield that expands outwards to protect teammates, the way that his shield functions and Reinhardt from Overwatch work very differently.

The paladins steam section for the first 2 days was plagued with the general "overwatch rip-off" threads with people calling out all sorts of nonsense, such as how blizzard should sue Hi-Rez for copyright and stating how each character in the trailer is a exactly the same as a character in Overwatch, the problem with these people is that they don't actually do any research before trying to slander a game with absolutely no knowledge of the game, considering that it's free for anyone to play, you would think that people would give it a try before making comparisons, instead you get the giant turtle known as Makoa in paladins being made into a comparison between him and Roadhog by saying he's a rip-off because he can pull enemies in and then shotgun them, even though Makoa has a cannon, not a shotgun, and he also can not 1-shot anyone much like Roadhog can.

So what I want to do is give off some brief comparisons to explain how the similarities are actually very weak between the majority of the casts between both games.

Makoa and Roadhog both have the ability to pull in an enemy, that is where the things they share in similar stops. They are both tank characters in their own right, even though Makoa does a much better job of it overall as he actually can create a moveable dome shield around him, whereas Roadhogs tank play comes in through self sustain with his heal. Makoa wields an cannon that fires a single shell while roadhog has a shotgun that's capable of 1 shotting players after being pulled in while Makoa takes flat damage at close range, lastly Makoa also has a traversal that can knock players up as he passes through them.

Appearance wise, they also both look completely different, outside of both having a pull, nothing else is shared between them, even their ultimates are completely different with Roadhog pulling out a chain-gun and Makoa restoring his health and increasing it while pulling out an axe.

These are the 2 characters that do have similarities and that's only due to how their gun works, they both have a sniper that charges up to 100% quickly and then fires for massive damage, but in close range they can both use it as a machine gun, Kinessa was a character made quite early into the game, so it would be hard to see if they got inspiration for the machine gun part from Overwatch or not.

Their kit differs largely though, Kinessa has a teleporter that's gone through several re-works to find the right balance with it, originally it used to be a teleporter that you could pre-drop anywhere on the map, so if she got into trouble she would hold down the teleporter key and after 1 second be teleported to its location, though using cards could drastically decrease the cast time and be almost instant which coupling both together created issues in actually killing her at all, so now it's basically something you throw out and it will auto-teleport you within a second to the location to get out of harms way, Widowmaker on the other hand has a grappling hook to use as an escape tool, same premise but different tools.

I've seen people make silly comparisons to their other skill, Kinessa being able to throw out several mines which work as a slow CC and takes very minor damage per tick that's barely worth paying attention to, the slows from each mine can also stack to be a real nuisance and work into Kinessa's favour if you don't shoot the mines, Widowmaker on the other hand has a single poison trap that deals proper dot damage worth worrying about if you're not a tank or just have low health in general with no heals nearby (Widowmakers mine also has the exact same properties as Hi-Rez previous game Global Agenda that snipers could place down, so this really isn't something original to OW).

This is one of the comparisons I just thought was out-right daft from the get go, it's almost like people think that Hanzo is the first archer on any game ever, so even though Cassie from Paladins was one of the original characters from the very beginning along with Fernando, people still managed to scream out "copy" which just blows my mind.

The only similarity between the 2 is the fact that they wield a bow, I should give out claps to each person that managed to make a comparison between the 2, especially considering that one is an Asian male and the other is a female that's most definitely not Asian.

Their bows also work differently, Hanzo has to pull back his bow to get greater distance on his shots along with more damage with the potential to 1 shot a non-tank with a headshot, Cassie fires for flat damage with no charge needed and can not 1 shot. Hanzo has his scatter arrows to shoot at peoples feet or into a room to get a kill with bouncing arrows along the walls, he can track players briefly if they're within the radius of his sonic arrow, and has his wall climb to get higher ground or escape out of harms way if quick enough. Cassie is able to knock people back, fire an arrow with a small aoe radius that deals small damage along with debuffing healing recieved briefly, and has a dodge roll to escape danger. Both characters play so differently with their kits that there is virtually no real comparison you can make between the 2 before you start pulling at straws by saying "but Overwatch released first and Hanzo has a bow!!11!one!!".

I found comparing these 2 to be nothing short of funny, it's almost like the people trying to compare the 2 has never played a shooter before and that having a soldier with a potential scare on his face is something that's never been seen until Soldier 76 appeared in Overwatch.

I can understand why people would make the comparison, but it's also just pulling at hairs at the same time because they're both a fairly generic in their own right army guy, they both wield a machine gun as their primary and have the ability to sprint around the map. Their kit does have some differences though, Viktor from Paladins can actually scope in on his gun to give him that longer range capability that Soldier 76 lacks, he can also throw out a grenade that he can cook for an earlier explosion, while Soldier 76 launches out a Helix rocket from his gun and has a deployable healing field to heal him and any allies nearby.

Their ultimates also play very differently, while Soldier 76 gains aim hacks and a general damage increase in some form, Viktor calls down 3 airstrike targets as he scopes in with his binoculars, so while the characters are familiar for the obvious reasons, they at least play differently due to their kits.

I think these 2 have had the biggest comparisons thrown out for the obvious reasons, their both dwarfs, and to shock everybody...they're dwarfs that have beards! a shocker, I know right? who would of ever heard of a dwarf that has a giant beard and has engineering capabilitys? I've never heard of that before Torbjorn came into Overwatch!

Obvious satire aside, I can see why people would make the comparisons, I mean to begin with their default colour on their gear is red and they can both build turrets, now we could ask why did Paladins have to make it a dwarf that builds turrets? why not a female hobbit or something? well, like I mentioned with the whole dwarfs and engineer stuff, it just kinda fits, and again much like with Cassie and Fernando, Barik from Paladins was also one of the original characters to be introduced with the game when it first appeared in its alpha, so basically there is virtually no chance that Paladins got the idea from Overwatch as both games were in development at roughly the same time.

Their kits and gameplay are also completely different, starting with Torbjorn though, his gameplay revolves around area denial by strategically placing a turret that should be difficult to get to with your team being on the front lines, while anyone that may get past should be eating turret fire, any kills Torb or his team makes will create a scrap drop for him to pick up and create armour packs for allies to pick up, his ultimate buffs up his health with armour along with his turret to make it deal massive damage to help force people to retreat out of its way, fulfilling his role as a defensive area denial.

Barik on the other hand is actually a tank, he can deploy up to 2 turrets that do moderate damage with a slow firing speed, they are there to help Barik hold a front line position and the cards really come into play here if you play him as full tank, such as making it so his turrets slowly heal him over time if he's standing close and he can also slowly regen his turrets health by just being near them, he also deploys a shield in front of him to help stop incoming fire and has a small traversal to help him briefly sprint out of danger, his ultimate is great for position holding as he creates a bubble shield with flamethrower turret in the center that deals great damage while still letting him deploy his 2 turrets inside.

I won't go through each character as that would be insane, but the point I'm making is that while some characters may have some similarity, which really is something you can not avoid as that would be virtually impossible when you consider how many years we are into gaming, the characters still play completely differently in their own right as I've described, the one character that I can safely say has the strongest similarities would be Kinessa to Widowmaker and that's only because of how their sniper behaves.

It would confuse me if people still thinks blizzard can sue for copyright or has any ownership of Paladins characters because they have minor similarities. For copyright to take place, there would have to be very distinct things between the 2 games, going from characters, the way the levels look and so forth.

Just remember that one can not own an idea, you can only own the product of an idea, if an idea could be claimed by someone then we would never advance with anything on this planet, that includes games because companies consistently take inspiration from other games when creating something, Blizzard have said their self how they took inspiration from Team Fortress 2 and there's nothing wrong with that. Think how there would be no LoL or Dota2 without the guy that created the dota mod in the first place, it's a shame that gamers these days are so quick to jump onto the "cloned" bandwagon instead of actually giving the game a try or doing some research onto the game, as opposed to watching a trailer or something and writing it off as a blatant clone.

Finally, I want to drop this quote here by Todd Harris From Hi-Rez to clear up some of the extra air:

"While Overwatch is a fine game, it was not the inspiration for Paladins. Game development is an interactive process with ideas coming from many past projects. For the hero shooter genre, the game that deserves the most credit is Team Fortress 2. We released a TF2 inspired class-based shooter called Global Agenda way back in 2010. Paladins was conceived as a fantasy version of Global Agenda and of the approximately 85 combat abilities currently in Paladins, the vast majority are from the game Global Agenda we made 10 years ago.

Given the marketing of Overwatch many people do not even realize that some of our champions, like the mini-gun mech (Ruckus) and the ice block character (Evie), were available and playable in the Paladins Beta long before similar character abilities were shown in Overwatch. And specific features, such as Chests, were also demonstrated in Paladins ahead of Overwatch. People who are interested can see all this early gameplay footage on YouTube and come to their own conclusions."

P.S, Overwatch also didn't invent point capturing and payload escorting, both those things were in Team Fortress 2 and Global Agenda (GA which also had ultimate abilitys), and of course many things before it.

Also here's a fairly informative history post on Paladins with Global Agenda and Overwatch: https://www.reddit.com/r/Paladins/comments/53qusf/a_brief_history_of_paladins_as_response_to/

Along with some video links showcasing character/classes to past games Similar to Overwatch/Paladins characters:

Female Sniper with poison mines and a wall hack https://youtu.be/4HArgsYPSnA
Male Tank with shield and hammer https://youtu.be/nNq8Alf8xH0
Male Engineer with turret, hammer and shotgun https://youtu.be/EFNLnYzkIOI
Male healer with wave heal, wave heal ultimate, and buffs, and heal over time gun https://youtu.be/6uVCRMSFphE
Female damage dealer with Jetpack, hover, and rocket launcher https://youtu.be/BzPjX4YeRrw
Male damage dealer with Grenade launcher, and explosive KB grenade https://youtu.be/Sfn0mu1Po70
Male damage dealer with huge damage melee sword https://youtu.be/CwIJduzat8Y
Female healer with beam heal, buff beam, flight https://youtu.be/JZ48a0WfXzI

Paladins   Overwatch   clone   copyright   rip-off  

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