Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post entitled “I’m not meant to play Overwatch“, based on my experience during a free weekend in which I tried the game and wound up losing 19 out of 20 matches. I felt that this was a pretty good indication that it wasn’t for me.
I desperately WANTED to play it, because it has an amazingly appealing and energetic art style and is just chock-full of grade-A waifus (and, I suppose, husbandos) to suit every taste, but there is not a lot of fun in being beaten down constantly.
Then they introduced a character that was a hamster piloting a giant death ball. And I really liked the idea of playing as a hamster piloting a giant death ball, but I still didn’t buy it, because I was still pretty sure that it wasn’t for me.
On the other hand, I had someone give me a spare key that they had gotten as part of a Humble Monthly Bundle. And, you know, free is a good price to try out a game again, even if you’re pretty sure it isn’t for you. So, I downloaded it, and picked the hamster, and ran around in the tutorial a bit to get the hang of the controls. I still wasn’t 100% feeling it, though, so I closed the game to give it some thought.
When you close Overwatch, it takes you back to the game launcher, and there was an advertisement on that saying that I’d get a free loot box for linking my Blizzard account to my Twitch Prime account. Since I have Amazon Prime, I also have Twitch Prime, and free loot is always good… so I went through the process, and this is what came out of the loot box when I opened it:
Er. Mah. Gahd.
IT’S A KITTY CAT MECH.
IT HAS A PINK RIBBON ON ITS TAIL.
Anyway. Given the opportunity of playing as a Korean former esports champion piloting a kitty cat mech, I naturally retired the hamster and gave this new character a try. It turns out that Ms. D.Va here is a character designed to basically harass snipers and annoying flying characters and… well, in general make life annoying for squishy DPS types, which just meshes wonderfully with my personality. My wife will attest to the amount of cackling she hears coming from the general direction of my gaming PC while I am doing this.
When I can’t play as D.Va, I have been playing Mercy. Several months of playing a priest in WoW battlegrounds prepared me for the experience of having the direct attention of every opposing team member, so it hasn’t been too bad of an time and people seem to like having someone around to heal them. I do occasionally wonder whether the default skin shouldn’t just have a bullseye on the chest.
My only really embarrassing moment thus far came during a match where I was playing as Mercy, got cut off from the rest of my team, and decided to switch to her sidearm and try to take a few of the opposing team with me. I got three kills in a row, basically by accident, and the game decided to highlight this as the “Play of the Game” to make it look like the healer was just running around shooting people.
Also, I got a cool Mercy skin out of a Halloween box. I mean, you don’t actually see these skins while you’re playing but at least you can play dress-up on the character selection screen and that matters.
Anyway, my opinion of the game has radically improved. Naturally, the next step was to buy some MERCH to show my newfound appreciation, and this lead me to the “Overwatch” section of my local Hot Topic, where I found a D.Va and Meka Funko Pop, and a T-shirt, and even a mug…
…and then I put them all back on the shelf, walked out, and ordered myself an unlicensed and work-inappropriate mousepad from Amazon.
I’d feel bad about that, but… well, I am not an especially deep or complex person and I find enjoyment in having a wrist support shaped like a butt.
Good. Good. This is how to enjoy Overwatch properly: playing dress-up and purchasing unlicensed lewd merchandise. Screw that Competitive nonsense!
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Yup. The few times I’ve read discussions about the competitive scene it has been pretty cringeworthy. I like the quick play model of “maybe we’ll get crushed this match, but it will only last like 10 minutes and then there will be a new match.”
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Competitive is cringeworthy, just because there are so many tryhards who think they’re going to be esports pros in there… who then promptly leave the match and screw things over for their team as soon as things start looking like they might lose.
People don’t like to lose, despite the very nature of a competitive game meaning SOMEONE has to lose!
The unfortunate thing about people behaving like this in Competitive, however, is the fact that the game structure doesn’t refill the player roster until the next game starts. I don’t know if this gets better at higher tiers but I just gave up on it in the end as it was more frustrating than fun! The more casual modes are where it’s at.
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