Why You’re Trash at Overwatch and How to Fix It

Pre-Reading Disclosure: This is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Mostly because I have a fuckton of those to go round. Also skip to the end to see me counter basically all of the statements.

Overwatch. The latest game to sweep the world, arguably capturing more players than even Orgasm Girl did back in the day. It’s the bastard child of a MOBA and an FPS; specifically it’s like TF2 and Heroes of the Storm got busy. Many call it a ‘class based FPS’ and I’d like to agree. The only issue with it so far is that seemingly no one can properly fucking play it, so here I am explaining how to not be shit. But before going into it I shall sum everything up in a little tl;dr of points that I’ll probably repeat in more depth at the end of this:

1. Swallow your goddamn pride.

2.Your k/d ratio is almost always useless, literally.

3.The most important feature in the game is the ability to switch heroes mid-game. See point 1.

Now that those are out of the way I’ll elaborate, and also touch on more specific things. Let’s start with point 2.

A lot of people are used to other kinds of FPS. Games like CoD, Halo, Battlefield, or even TF2. The former trio are different because usually kills are what matters or what pushes the game forward. In Battlefield you run down tickets (in certain modes); in CoD and Halo there’s a number of kills to reach, or see who can rack up the most in a match. In TF2 there’s between 16 and roughly a million people on a team all jumping around creating chaos, sans competitive matches; getting kills there isn’t as important, but still counts more than Overwatch, in my opinion. And my opinion, for the purposes of this write-up, is right.

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Overwatch isn’t meant to be played necessarily like an FPS. Sure on a basic level, you’re in a first person perspective, and you’re going nuts shooting things, and causing explosions, and calling the level 1 Widowmaker on your team a “fucking pile of trash”. You might be thinking, “Well shit, that sounds just like an FPS though, bro.” Sure, except the win-con isn’t kills. Or deaths. Or damage or running down tickets. It’s that objective. Currently, that means holding a point in a King of the Hill style match, (And I ain’t talking propane.), or capturing a point then escorting a payload to its destination. TF2 players will have been intimately familiar with this, more than likely.

So I just wasted a paragraph explaining the game types. “What’s that mean? What’s it have to do with k/d? I still need to kill people to keep the objective!” Yes, true. But the main thing I’ve seen is this worry that ‘me doing X will get me killed’. It turns out in this game that’s not a bad thing. This is supported by the game itself in that your stats are shown to no one. Your kills, deaths, damage, healing, blocking, and so on are only visible to yourself. Hell, if you haven’t noticed, you’ll technically get a kill for doing something like 6 points of damage. I’ve had scored of eliminations that I didn’t actually finish myself, or that I ‘stole’. So why does the game hand out kills like this only to never show them? Because they aren’t a measure of success. As it turns out the status of the objective is the measure. So what does this entail? It entails you sacrificing your entire fucking being to the objective; body, mind, and soul. You should be on that objective, pressing that objective, getting downright nasty with it. Never let it stop moving, and always make sure you know how it’s doing because someday you may get a chance to bang it. And when that overtime hits? There is only one purpose to pin on your miserable existence within this game: keeping that overtime bar filled until you push through to victory.

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So many people shy away from this. Maybe they’re ‘just a healer’ or ‘already sniping’. What these lines of thought boil down to is: “I don’t want to die because I directly associate that with how I’m doing.” The thing here is that no one is going to see your k/d ratio after the game. If we lose, no one will care about your play of the game (PotG), and you having 4 medals doesn’t mean we won. However, if you get your ass on that objective, that overtime bar will reset. Then the team might trickle in. We might chain it long enough for Zenyatta to bust his ult.  Then we have a solid charge, we wipe the opposing team, and hey look we’ve won. Will it happen every time? No. Will it happen most times? In the beginning, probably not. But look at it this way: you can stay away and certainly lose, or you can dive in there and maybe win. Maybe you die, but if your solo charge and death leads to victory the team will know that, even if the game doesn’t.

And along with this, dying in general should be welcomed, if it serves a purpose. Maybe you’re not going to win the game by diving into the enemy team on the payload. Maybe you’ll get just wrecked in a more ordinary fashion. But what did you do with that death? Were you stupidly chasing a single enemy for your own small gain? Or were you a Winston, leaping into the thick of their team, scattering some and getting them to focus you while your team gets a break to charge and overcome them? Maybe you’re a healer, and sure you’ve ate it 11 times as Mercy, but you’re doing those sweet, sweet heals and damage buffs. And eventually, you’ll get that ultimate charged and suddenly you’re several steps above Christ himself. Maybe you went 0-7 that game. Maybe you didn’t get a card after the match. But in your heart you’ll know that your seemingly lackluster performance helped in ways the team might never know. And you should be fucking proud.

It does take a certain mindset to play like this. And even more so to do one of the most important things in the game: switch your hero. Pride needs to be thrown aside to get yourself heroically killed. It takes, in my mind, much more resolve to say, “Yep. I suck. I’m not helping the team in any way right now, so I’ll try something else.” I’ve had the dick-hardening self-satisfaction of switching from Mercy to Winston because I knew I was currently doing nothing, and watching as the tides turned and our team pushed on to victory. It feels good. Dammit it feels sexual. Now the problem here might be “well I’m only good with one hero, so I’m better to stay”. As it turns out that’s not entirely true. I’d rather have a kind of alright Lucio than a second Hanzo that isn’t helping the team at all.

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Hey look, right into the next little issue. How clever of me. If there’s a Hanzo on the team, there’s subtle information being conveyed. This information is usually along the lines of “for fuck’s sake we don’t need a Widowmaker, and two Hanzos”. Sure stacking is a powerful tool. But I’m willing to bet you and/or your teammates aren’t good enough to warrant stacking snipers, or having three Genjis. Usually the versatility offered by different heroes is far more beneficial than the occasional wall hacks and dragon arrow. This is only amplified when one of the aforementioned scumbags refuses to switch even though we’ve been down a healer the entire game and the payload hasn’t moved.

The obvious problem here is what should you switch to? Well that’s the thing: every hero in the game, every single one of them, has a counter. An obvious example might be Widowmaker. Let’s say the other team has just a straight up fantastic Widowmaker. What this means for you and yours is that you can’t step foot out of the spawn without getting face-fucked by a fully charged shot, because she’s had that wall hack going every time she can. You and your team are frustrated. For some reason, your Widow, Hanzo, Bastion, Junkrat, Mercy, and second Hanzo just aren’t cutting it. What hero should you hit up to take care of this issue? Probably fucking Winston, man. Toss a shield, hope her first shot misses, leap up to her with your GODDAMN JETPACK and start shoving an electric current down her throat. Then beat your chest and have a banana after she’s taken care of while your team finally can push forward. Not every hero has an obvious counter, mind you, and I don’t know them all. Some are common sense, like Genji to Bastion. If you dig a little there’s at least two guides for such things floating around. Go read them if you need to.

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So there’s the rant. The guide. The hand delivered salt, straight from my tears to your screen. Instead of a conclusion or official wrap-up though, I’m going to contradict basically this entire work of art to a degree.

Kills do matter, but the ratio is a lot higher than other games. A Widowmaker going maybe 7-10 is probably not good enough to be a huge help. Probably. A Hanzo going 24-3 is more than likely doing enough work to warrant the dick stroke he’ll have after the match when he inevitably gets PotG with that ult.

I won’t go against anything said about the objective. Literally, actually, truly, you should be throwing yourself on that objective in overtime no matter what class you are or what killstreak you’re on.

There are times when it’s ok to be doing shitty with a hero and not switch. Namely if a win is OBJECTIVELY GUARANTEED, or if you’re practicing. However the polite thing to do in the latter is announce this. Hopefully random teammates will be understanding, and friends should be fine with it and they might take that match to practice as well. The difference between me tossing out a “fuck off u trash Hanzo” and a “Hey helpful tip if you want:…” is whether that person clarifies whether they’re practicing, or new, or if they just silently keep being shit. But really, I get it, people need to learn. I do too. Just once more swallow your pride and admit it.

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Generally stacking heroes is bad. Genji and Genji is usually never needed. Hanzo and Hanzo is ugh. Widowmaker and Hanzo is more ugh. However sometimes it’s absolutely fantastic! IN competitive you’ll see many classes or heroes stacked. Odds are you can’t use those strategies to their full extent but some hot tips are that multiple Bastions can be nuts. Same for builders. Also having both a Lucio and a Mercy on your team can be absolutely heavenly, assuming the other 4 aren’t snipers and Genjis.

So let’s do another set of bullet points, mostly because it was fun and I like them:

 

 

  • Your kills don’t matter. But your deaths can make a difference if you’re smart.
  • Your kills don’t matter. Worry about the objective instead.
  • Your kills don’t matter. Chaining the overtime bar until you team can ult into a victory does.
  • Get over your pride. If you’re doing poorly, then switch heroes.
  • If you see the team flailing then switch to a hero you think might help more.
  • Learn different roles. Learn them all if you can. If you can play it, you can defeat it, too.
  • Announce when you’re learning a character, or use an AI match instead.
  • Having a Widow and Hanzo is usually trash. Having a Mercy and Lucio is usually godly.
  • Have fun. If getting kills is your fun, then pick up a different game to stroke your dick with.
  • For fuck’s sake, don’t ever think your kills matter.

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Ben Burnett

Ben received a GameBoy Color for Christmas one year and his life has been in a downward spiral ever since. Now he begs for hits on YouTube and Twitter just to scrape by.

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