Character ages make no sense.

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So I've been looking at the official lore recently, and I've found that character ages matching up with accomplishments make absolutely no sense. To set the stage, Winston says in this video: https://youtu.be/pwFu8kEsUW4?t=31s that the Omnic Crisis and formation of Overwatch was 30 years ago.

Then you look at the ages of the characters that were members of Overwatch:

Genji - 35...so he was 5 years old when Overwatch was formed...and yet was still a master ninja who was turned into a cyborg...and the trend continues:

McCree - 37
Pharah - 32
Tracer - 26
Mei - 31
Winston - 29
Mercy - 37

While the storylines for these characters offer some contrivances (Tracer having a weird relationship with time, Pharah and Mercy joining Overwatch later, etc.) All of the indications in cinematics and accompanying materials indicate that at least Winston was a founding member of Overwatch...at -1 years old. Not only that, but we're told the Omnic Crisis lasted roughly 5 years which makes the medal ceremony picture in the video (which is referenced as saving the world from the omnic crisis) either completely wrong or very misleading because everyone involved was a kid/teen at the time.

Even apart from the Overwatch guys, D.va's story contends that an Omnic monstrosity attacked South Korea 20 years ago for which MEKA pilots were drafted and she's 19 years old...

I mean there's some indication that the monstrosity adapted after some period of time before pilots were required, but it'd have to be at least ~16 years or so for that to make sense with her age and it doesn't seem plausible.

The only contrivance I can think of is that the iterations of the heroes that we played were as they were in their prime rather than in the current day, which makes some kind of sense from a gameplay perspective, but really screws with the story IMO.

EDIT: Clarifications on some stuff I got wrong,

1) Genji joined after Mercy so he couldn't have been there at the start.
2) Winston wasn't a founding member, but he was still 0-4 years old when he did join because he fought in the initial Omnic Crisis.
3) To address Mei: Cryofreeze would make her look younger by stopping physical aging, but doesn't affect her actual age. (Same goes for Mei's comment about Mercy not aging a day).
Highly Rated
Well.. !@#$ son.....
Highly Rated
Maybe they didn't join Overwatch on day 1?

We specifically know this to be the case for McCree, who was recruited while Overwatch was already well-established.

Also, for example, read D.Va's entry more closely.

"Twenty years ago, South Korea was attacked by a colossal omnic monstrosity that rose from the depths of the East China Sea. The massive, lumbering construct caused catastrophic damage to coastal cities before it was driven back beneath the waves. In response, the South Korean government developed a mechanized armored drone unit, called MEKA, to protect urban environments in future engagements with the omnic threat.

As the omnic continued to adapt, it eventually disrupted MEKA's drone-control networks, forcing the military to place pilots in the mechs."

It's clear that time passed between the creation of the MEKA program (which originally used unmanned drones) and the current practice of using piloted mechs. It's likely the case that D.Va was only recruited in the last year or so.
Mei has been around for something like 80 years as I recall, and uses cryo-sleep to stay young.
The timeline does seem fairly screwed up honestly. It feels at times like there are multiple separate timelines that do not run in parallel.
06/01/2016 12:54 PMPosted by Terotrous
Maybe they didn't join Overwatch on day 1?

We specifically know this to be the case for McCree, who was recruited while Overwatch was already well-established.

Also, for example, read D.Va's entry more closely.

"Twenty years ago, South Korea was attacked by a colossal omnic monstrosity that rose from the depths of the East China Sea. The massive, lumbering construct caused catastrophic damage to coastal cities before it was driven back beneath the waves. In response, the South Korean government developed a mechanized armored drone unit, called MEKA, to protect urban environments in future engagements with the omnic threat.

As the omnic continued to adapt, it eventually disrupted MEKA's drone-control networks, forcing the military to place pilots in the mechs."

It's clear that time passed between the creation of the MEKA program (which originally used unmanned drones) and the current practice of using piloted mechs. It's likely the case that D.Va was only recruited in the last year or so.


True, some were recruited later (Mercy, Genji (because it says he was recruited after Mercy, McCree, and Pharah specifically), but the medal ceremony in the video, which again was heavily indicated to be the end of the Omnic Crisis, clearly has McCree, Tracer, Winston, and Mercy in it, all of whom would be way too young to be there.
iirc the founding Overwatch strike team was Morrison (Soldier 76), Reyes (Reaper), Amari, Liao, Wilhelm (Reinhardt), and Lindholm (Torbjorn).
Not every playable character is/was actually a part of overwatch. Genji's backstory doesn't claim him to be a member of overwatch at all. Nor does it say that overwatch was founded immediately following the omnics declaring war on humanity. It could be that war ravaged for a couple of years before overwatch was formed. Mei we know was in cryogenic freeze.

I understand the game is called overwatch so it is easy to assume the characters are members, but very few have been confirmed members of original overwatch. We are looking at Reaper, Soldier, WInston, Tracer, Mei, Torbjorn, Mercy, & Reinhardt. They didn't all have to be founding members of the group to join either, necessarily. I think the main thing is you are just jumping to conclusions about who actually is / isn't an original overwatch member, and their importance to the current narrative. Also, I don't know if there is anything that confirmed the length of the omnic crisis itself. Did it last 5 years? 10? 15? 20 years?

Hell, Zenyatta is only 20 as an omnic and is considered a mentor to the 35 year old Genji helping him to reconcile with his cyborg body. What does he have to do with overwatch at all? There will be more lore to come. Just wait and we'll see how it plays out as they release more maps & heroes.
Lore master death2monkies 2016. The new red shirt guy
They'll just send Garrosh back in time with the help of a bronze tracer to redo it all so it makes sense, don't worry.
06/01/2016 01:03 PMPosted by obsidian
iirc the founding Overwatch strike team was Morrison (Soldier 76), Reyes (Reaper), Amari, Liao, Wilhelm (Reinhardt), and Lindholm (Torbjorn).


pretty much that.

AFTER the omnic crisis they continued on as a sort of international police force. At one point they supposedly had hundreds of members.

It was only a few years ago (in game time) that the whole organization got demonized and outlawed.

Now, theres a new crop that is coming along as well (like D.Va) who worked for various governments etc. and are coalescing under the new overwatch banner.

I think the youngest member of the "old" overwatch at this point is tracer. She is 26 and was a prodigy pilot before the accident that started her whole story. She was probably only a member for a few years before it got canned (also, he whole schtick is that she's outside of time without her harness that winston made so... lord knows how long she was phasing in and out as "26").
06/01/2016 01:05 PMPosted by MOARPAIN
Not every playable character is/was actually a part of overwatch. Genji's backstory doesn't claim him to be a member of overwatch at all.

In Genji's story tab in the heroes section, it lists his affiliation as being formerly Overwatch. Specifically, he was turned into a cyborg by Mercy (to save his life) in exchange for lending his services to OW.
Mercy and Morrison are the ones that catches my eye on age.

She is 37 now and was present in the end of Overwatch.
However, she was present during an Medal Award ceremony, most possibly after the end of the first Omini Crisis.

It is noted that Morrison (Soldier: 76) here has his natural hair color and looks younger. Now he looks like he is in his 50's. Either he dyed his hair or used medicine to look older (in order to fake his death), it must have been decades after this picture.

Now, looking to the point that it would take years to climb the ladder to be head of a research division, I would think it would take at least 10 years for any normal person to achieve a high position. However, taking the account that she is a genius in medicine might jump her progress.

There is a time gap, between Overwatch's fall and the 2nd Omini Crisis, that I can't find. But the time since the founding of Overwatch and now is 30 years.

Now it can be 5-10 years for the agents of Overwatch to scatter and the world's problems start to rise again.

So Mercy might have been 27 since Overwatch has fell and was recruited at a young age of 17? Given her abilities, this might be possible for recruitment. Plus she had a close bond with Morrison and Reyes (even though she sometimes fought with Morrison on authority).

But her official bio makes it sound she was already prominent in her field before being recruited in Overwatch.

Tracer (26) is a hard one. You can say her age is a result of the time imbalance on her body with the Slipstream engine. But Winston was around at the time when Tracer had her accident and is now 29 so maybe his age was around 19 or so when he joined Overwatch when it was already founded. But since he is genetically modified, then he might have a different life span that humans.

I think if that time gap is filled, all the other ages will make sense.
06/01/2016 01:05 PMPosted by MOARPAIN
Not every playable character is/was actually a part of overwatch. Genji's backstory doesn't claim him to be a member of overwatch at all. Nor does it say that overwatch was founded immediately following the omnics declaring war on humanity. It could be that war ravaged for a couple of years before overwatch was formed. Mei we know was in cryogenic freeze.

1) Genji absolutely was a part of Overwatch, go read his backstory again.
2) Yes, it was, shortly after the crisis started, may have a year or two of leeway, but not much.
3) That would explain why she looks young, but would not affect her actual age.

Also, I don't know if there is anything that confirmed the length of the omnic crisis itself. Did it last 5 years? 10? 15? 20 years?
Source on that was from the timeline on Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/Overwatch/comments/3gd8w9/overwatch_lore_timeline/

There's a more detailed timeline in the top comment, but it doesn't conflict.

Hell, Zenyatta is only 20 as an omnic and is considered a mentor to the 35 year old Genji helping him to reconcile with his cyborg body. What does he have to do with overwatch at all? There will be more lore to come. Just wait and we'll see how it plays out as they release more maps & heroes.


Zen isn't a member of Overwatch, nor was he ever. Neither is Zarya, Symmetra, Widowmaker, Bastion, Junkrat, Roadhog, Lucio, or Dva.
As far as I could tell only the "old" guys are founders. 76, Rein, Torb, and Reaper (and some that appear to be gone for now). The rest were probably late recruits.
06/01/2016 12:50 PMPosted by deth2munkies
indicate that at least Winston was a founding member of Overwatch...at -1 years old.


Obviously Gorilla years are like the reverse dog years.

Random Science Fact : Gorillas actually live to 245 - 280 human years, but that's only like 35-40 in Gorilla years. BTW this is totally real, no need to fact check it or anything.
06/01/2016 12:50 PMPosted by deth2munkies
Even apart from the Overwatch guys, D.va's story contends that an Omnic monstrosity attacked South Korea 20 years ago for which MEKA pilots were drafted and she's 19 years old...

I mean there's some indication that the monstrosity adapted after some period of time before pilots were required, but it'd have to be at least ~16 years or so for that to make sense with her age and it doesn't seem plausible.


I can see a one year difference for D.Va. In other cultures when you are born you are 1 year old, instead of going by months.

It could have taken a couple of years for the S. Korea government to come up with the mecha plan.
Tachyons did it; they are always doing stuff like that.

Or perhaps the people in Overwatch do not celebrate birthdays as we do, because medical/technological advancements have blurred the lines of a strictly chronological age. Instead the denizens of this world only recognize the age of the heart, or the effective age that they are health-wise.

In such an advanced world, would one truly be only as old as they look?

....nah, that's pretty stupid, now that I think about it. "I ate a cart fulla Dunkun's donuts and now I'm a year older!!" But it is pretentious enough to solve our little age problem.

Other bad answers:
-they are all clones
-their names are generational titles
-they get resurrected when they die
-in the future it is considered polite to lie about your age
-the omnics changed the rotation of the earth.
-All our given history is just propaganda and intentionally misleading
-Blizzard didn't think a 45 year old tracer in spandex would sell quite as well.
A good way to consider Tracer and Mei is Chronological age vs biological age.

Neither of them have aged in a 1:1 scale with the Date on Earth.

Tracer could conceivably live practically forever outside of dying to an accident or in combat.

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