This is a post a LONG time coming. Paladins vs Overwatch. Considering that I have perspective on both games (I've played over 600 hours of Paladins, and my brother last I heard climbed to Diamond in Overwatch and I've been watching Overwatch pretty closely), I think it's more than appropriate for me to make the comparisons here. Paladins and Overwatch both have their own sort of appeal behind them to me, and honestly I would love to play Overwatch. But I don't think it's nearly as good as Paladins. Why? I have my reasons.
Overwatch, mechanically, is a game flawed on a very fundamental level... Overwatch does have things like stuns and slows, along with shields and armor, but they lack so much. They don't have things like Healing Reduction, Damage Reduction, CC Reduction, Damage Types, or anything remotely like Androxus' Reversal (well, there are similarities to Genji's Deflect, but Zhin's Counter is much closer to it in functionality). This makes the game seem very basic in that regard. Not even to mention that the aforementioned shield and armor mechanics sort of feel redundant, as they accomplish the exact same thing in a way that doesn't really feel that different.. I'll also bring up another couple of things here: switching and the structure of Overwatch's premier game mode. Character switching is BAD for a variety of reasons. First off, it removes the entire strategy of picking a character that does well on the map or the real impact of counter-picking the enemy team (as they can just switch after they die!). Secondly, It actually encourages trolling, because it allows people to pick a full damage comp with almost zero consequence (as they can change it to a 3-0-3 or whatever is meta in OW right now). And lastly, they also FORCE it on you! That really p***es me off. I've literally heard no real arguments why this is a good thing. I've heard "because one-tricks" but they AREN'T A PROBLEM ANYWHERE ELSE! In Paladins, no problem. In League of Legends, it's done by a LOT of people including streamers, and it's been zero issue. As for the structure of the game-mode, that's an absurdly obvious one. The problem is that Attack and Defense are NOT the same! In Paladins Siege, both teams compete for an objective and whoever captures it then pushes a payload. Here, you either push a payload or defend! That creates a lot of issues, because it polarizes characters like Torbjorn (even new Torb is to a degree) that are good at doing one thing (In Torb's case, defense) but not as good at the other. And these issues are furthered by character switching.
I don't mean the skins here. I mean how much you can actually tweak your character (hero, or champion in Paladins) and their stats to best suit a certain playstyle. I'll take Barik and Torbjorn for example. Torbjorn is stuck in an offensive playstyle centered around shredding tanks and taking advantage of chokes, while Barik can literally do ALL KINDS OF THINGS. By picking from Talents and building decks of Cards, you can make Barik either the king of area denial, a flanker, a mid-range DPS, or heck you could even make him a defensive tank if you wanted to (although it's not a not even remotely viable option). He can do any of those things if you build him a certain way. Also, not to mention, there are items in the game that allow you to gain stats that could be vital and game-changing, such as Healing Reduction on weapon shots or you could opt for Cooldown Reduction (which is also not in Overwatch!), or you could make your ultimate charge faster, or you can even increase the healing you get from your healers. Those aren't the only options, but a few examples.
I say this more from a creative standpoint considering that I'm developing my own game (it's a tabletop game, but nonetheless) with it's own characters, Overwatch's characters are a little less creative than Paladins' in design. A good example of this can be made with a comparison between McCree and Androxus. McCree may be a well designed character, but he's really not that creative. He's just a modern-day version of the likes of Wild Bill. Androxus' design was a lot more inspired. He's supposed to be a lawman, that became corrupted with an evil curse that requires him to kill to sate it. I don't even think I've heard of that concept before. Also, not even to mention that the designs of Paladins characters actually make it feel like there are (however much I hate to critique games like this) actual stakes in the real universe. With Overwatch, there doesn't actually seem to be that much of a stake in the actual lore. Maybe a few more places could look like Australia. Not as much as Paladins, where it actually feels like the fate of the Realm rests in your hands.
The balancing in Overwatch at the moment is downright terrible. Literally every tank and support is in the meta right now (after Roadhog got buffed), but only half of the DPSes are (not McCree, not Soldier: 76, not Tracer, not Symmetra...) Doesn't that just seem like bad balancing to you or am I alone on that? Sure, Paladins has had it's issues, but not everyone of a single class is meta. Terminus is pretty weak right now and Ruckus is also on the tank side. On the support end, Jenos has been pretty mediocre lately (Even though I think that will change next patch), Furia's been struggling to compete, and Grohk hasn't been meta since Patch OB48 (in other words1 and a half YEARS). As for Damage champions, Vivian has always been garbage (except on release when she was absurdly overpowered), Tyra's pretty freaking terrible, Kinessa's going to get badly outclassed after nerfs, and now Willo is going to be absolutely miserable since her nerf last patch. And Flanks... Well, I can't argue that most of them (aside from Androxus, Talus, and Evie) are downright unviable in the current competitive metagame. Although Lex may be added to that list next patch because of a slight meta-shift that I see happening in the next patch along with buffs to his sustained output at range.
However, I will note a couple of important things Overwatch has over Paladins. I'm trying to be as objective as I can with this, after all.
I just have to say that the current Paladins lore kind of SUCKS. Most of the lore feels generic, and some of it doesn't even make sense. Mostly it's just about a fight between the Magistrate and the Resistance, which feels like something I recognize from... EVERYWHERE... Overwatch is a far different story. I find Overwatch's lore really interesting to say the least. The whole war between humans and omnics is quite interesting, and I am especially intrigued by the story of Reaper. Considering he used to be the equivalent of an undercover agent working for Overwatch (as the leader of "Blackwatch", and then something slowly snaps in him that Talon (who if you didn't know are terrorist faction that the Overwatch is trying to stop) is better than Overwatch. Sure I left out a lot of details, but even without them. That makes a far more interesting lore story than "This guy knew this guy and they were both cops and then suddenly one of them went raving mad" (that's Androxus' lore in a nutshell...) The old lore of Paladins was better than it is now, as it had a lot of worldbuilding, but it still wasn't good because there were so few strands actually connecting the characters...
As anyone who's actually played Paladins knows, the game has had a HUGE issue with bugs. Terminus has had some game-breaking bugs (at least on PC) for a long time now that haven't been fixed. Pip has bugs that literally affect his VIABILITY in the meta (getting rid of them would buff him a LOT), and Evie has had issues with bugs for the longest time. Not to mention Grover had a bug for MONTHS that could CRASH THE GAME! In Overwatch, on the other hand, I don't notice these when I watch other people play nearly as much. In Paladins, on a bad patch, you may even get a game where you see a game-breaking bug in action once every 10 matches or so... But I'm pretty sure I haven't once heard something like an Overwatch hero having a bug so bad, let alone so prolifically bad from YouTubers like Stylosa, Tyrodin, or Your Overwatch (although I've heard a lot of pointless bickering over dumbness that doesn't even matter...). Sure, I know the game has bugs, but it's nothing like Paladins where I've seen Terminus's shattered body moving around the map, or Barik spontaneously get spaghettified on death, or a movement ability crashing the game...
So there it is. Overwatch is worse than Paladins. Overwatch may be a game with a lot less bugs and lore that's actually interesting, but Paladins isn't mechanically flawed on a fundamental level, it has actual character customization in the sense of adjusting mechanical functionality, the character designs are more interesting, and the meta doesn't literally discourage people from playing an entire role that encompasses HALF OF THE ROSTER... (Competitive meta from what I've seen is 3 tanks and 3 supports, with the occasional DPS before teamfighting starts...). I really have been toying with the idea of buying Overwatch whenever I get a computer of my own (because I haven't had one for a YEAR now) and internet (that's hopefully good enough to play on, because I had a hard time playing Paladins on my old internet with a f***ing 1Mbps download and upload...) nonetheless. It may be worth it.