What Happened to Overwatch?

I was going to write about the Maple Leafs and their playoff push this week but something far more important needs to be discussed. I… I think i don’t like Overwatch anymore…(Shut up, this is a big revelation for me)

I got Overwatch when it first came out because I wanted a new FPS I could play with my friends on Xbox. I’m generally opposed to shelling out $80 bucks for half a game (which Overwatch is, since its only multiplayer) but god damn they nailed multiplayer. Every character was useful, fun to play and unique. That last one is probably the most important, uniqueness to a character/class shows that you didn’t just get lazy and start re-making classes using abilities you already developed. Yes, generally tanks all have the same job but Winston plays very differently to D.va. (For those of you who have no clue what i’m talking about, come back next week?) I played Overwatch for hours, competitively, with friends, it didn’t matter I just loved pushing dat payload. Lately however, I find myself shutting games off before they’re done, jumping on twitter to complain, I mercilessly beat my animated Jeff Kaplan robot and I really need to just vent about it. The game has just become such a chore.

I can sum up my discontent with this game in two parts: Lazy New Characters and Tailoring games to “METAs” and pro level play.

Unbalanced Characters Suck

Basically this is a giant rant about the new Character Orisa. I could handle some of the issues with Overwatch before but once she came along the game became so much more of a chore. The best part about the tanks in Overwatch is that as beefy as they are, I never felt like the solution to a tank was to plop myself down and just chew through shields. Orisa changed that, her abilities are all off cool-down so often that in order to beat her it feels like you’re just bashing your head against a door trying to break it down, except the door recharges, and sometimes the door has a repairman that’s healing the door and…OK I guess the metaphor is losing something here but you get the idea.

Other tanks all have interesting ways to counter them, usually requiring you to flank them (D.va)  or force them to blow cool-downs (Roadhog). Orisa is un-flankable thanks to fortify skill and that warp-thing-that-acts-like-a-mini-black-hole and a shield she can throw in front of her just for good measure. The other way you can deal with tanks in Overwatch? Just don’t go near them, every tank has a short range weapon with a small opportunity to get up in someone’s grill (Hook, Charge. Leap) In general, if you stay away from them you can melt ’em down. Orisa, once again changes this by having a long range mini-gun. Lemme re-phrase that, a long-range mini gun which is WAYYY to accurate and has WAYYY too much ammo.

There’s very easy ways they could fix this which is why I’m surprised they didn’t adjust any of this when they were play-testing her.

  1. Get rid of the shield. Enough characters have shields, just stop.
  2. Mini-Gun has to be short range or have a smaller ammo clip. Seems simple to me that you shouldn’t be able to sit there behind a shield spewing more shots than a hungover frat boy.
  3. Just fuck off with the shields already, I can’t stress this enough
Orisa

Not Pictured: A Shield, which is really incredible when you think about it

The Problem with Meta-gaming

“Thats the Meta” has become about as annoying a phrase to me as “It was 4-1” and “Lock her up”. A game’s Meta refers to the general way people play the game against each other, what characters generally get played, how do people optimise them as a team, etc. This wasn’t a huge issue when you were growing up and only one friend new about that spot in Goldeneye where you can hide as Oddjob, but with the Internet came a whole new form of doucebaggery or what’s now called “the Meta”. It basically means everyone has an opinion on how you should play and generally everyone starts playing that way because it leads better results. To combat this stale gameplay, developers release patches to spice things up, except they inevitably are geared towards whatever “professional” players are doing.

The problem with this is simple, you are never going to make a balanced game. So releasing constant updates to deal with the Meta because you see certain characters not get picked is STUPID. It’s like if you have 4 holes in a boat but only 3 corks, sure you can rotate which corks go to what holes but inevitably you’re gonna get wet. To give you a specific Overwatch example, the new Meta is “get Tanky”.

It’s obvious why, Choosing a team of 4 Tanks is an easy way to force the other team to adapt to you. They can’t play whatever characters they want because now they need people who can tear through those FUCKING SHIELDS (Okay sorry last time I mention the shields I promise.) Anyway this wouldn’t even be the worst thing because at least you can choose characters to counter them unless of course you’re like me and enjoyed playing the “all random” mode because it added a different challenge to the game. This challenge has now morphed into how many tanks the other team can luck into getting. It’s become increasingly evident that whatever team lucks out on “all random” and gets 4-5 tanks while the other team has 1-or-less is going to win. There’s no tactics to it, there’s no fun, it’s just sit there and watch as 4 Mac Trucks walk up to you and you get to shoot them with a pee-shooter, and then enjoy next game when that team gets 4 tanks again and you get to play offence with 4 snipers. It’s just a really frustrating system and the mode itself is hampered so much by the Meta, they’re almost better off getting rid of it.

Meta.png

See kids look how much FUN this looks. It’s got math!

Again Super Smart Guy Me Has Solutions

1.On modes like All Random you have to decrease the odds that people will get the same character. Yes, that means no 5 man Roadhog teams but boo-freaking-hoo.

2. Stop acting like everyone is a pro. You want to release an update? Fine but don’t change the game because of how your MLG players are playing, those people’s LIVES are playing this game. No one came to the rules in your elementary school soccer games because Messi is too good.

3. If a character is bad at Launch maybe just leave them that way? I mean does the NHL come out and change the rules because the Avalanche were terrible this year? No I don’t think they did. People will adapt or not select that character and that’s okay, you have 15 other ones.

 

That’s my rant for this week, I’m trying to find a new game to play in the meantime because honestly if I see another Orisa on my TV I might throw something in frustration. Leafs play Saturday and can possibly clinch a *gasp* Playoff spot so if that happens expect next week to be my Playoff Predictions!!

 

Appendix:

Kotaku had this link up and my god I can’t disagree more: http://kotaku.com/overwatchs-orisa-isnt-living-up-to-expectations-1793908863

 

 

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2 thoughts on “What Happened to Overwatch?

  1. The only thing this game can do to save my interest is focus on PvE modes or create a single player campaign that plays to the game’s strengths. The meta is detrimental to the desire to learn different characters because every iteration still requires the same core abilities to win games (Reinhardt + 1-2 additional tanks, Lucio (Ana also in previous states of comp play), and high DPS like McCree or Soldier). The intention was always to adapt gameplay on the fly for situations where the team composition wasn’t working, but with this tank meta, viable counters are few and far between or require significant experience to pull off (Blizzard’s matchmaking system makes this near impossible).

    Barrierwatch/Overshield is utterly ridiculous now, I feel as if 3-4 shields need to be melted now in order to even get body shots.

    Like

    • That’s exactly it. Playing Mcree isn’t fun anymore because your ultimate is guaranteed to hit 3 shields and just be a non-factor.

      The PvE stuff is really fun and IMO should be the focus, if they could string it together I’d pay another $20 for a small campaign.

      Like

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