Friday, October 30, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: Overwatch Hype

So, Blizzard started the Closed Beta for their First-Person Shooter, Overwatch. As of this post, I do not have access to the Beta, but I know people who have and I watch plenty of streamers who did. I like what I see so far, but I am disappointed that those playing the game have been slow to comprehend one fundamental fact: that you can change your Hero whenever you're in the Spawn Room, without any limit to numbers per side or numbers per game. (You can have multiples of the same Hero on both sides at the same time.)

Instead, I see a lot of people thinking that they have to fulfill a specific role throughout a match as if this were Heroes of the Storm (or some other MOBA) or speak of "main" and "alt" Heroes as if this were World of Warcraft. That's not the correct approach to Overwatch.

You are expected to swap Heroes to meet the tactical demands at hand.

Heroes have distinct suites of abilities. Accurately reading the tactical situation, and then swapping to the Hero that best meets that situation, is something that players are expected to do to win consistently.

Starting with one team composition and stubbornly insisting upon it will lose to a team composition that flexes along with the evolving gameplay state. That is why this Beta has a native voice chat client (ala Destiny), so groups can coordinate in real-time using the most efficient means (voice) at hand.

You are expected to coordinate actions, including Hero swaps, to win the match.

As the Beta goes forward, and successive waves of players join the fun, I expect this to become the best practice that the community promotes once the idea achieves critical mass and becomes widely accepted.

(Note: This was meant to be posted on this date, but due to an unforseen access outage, it was not posted until the 3rd of November, 2015.)

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