Blizzard’s latest release Overwatch has open to the masses for over a week at this point. One of the most consistent accolades bestowed upon Overwatch is the rather low learning curve players can expect. Despite how simple it may be to pickup and hit the ground running, half of the players in the each game will be losers and I hate losers. Below is a list of the top 5 reasons you are most likely on the losing side of Overwatch and tips on how to be a better teammate.
1) Teamwork Makes The Dream Work: No one likes being told what to do. We play video games to pass the time, have fun, and ruin people’s days by mercilessly killing their character as if it were the sole reason you were put on this planet. If I have described your general experience playing Overwatch, congratulations, you are a detriment to your team and everyone wants your ISP to terminate your service. Overwatch does not offer the standard ‘Team Deathmatch’ most first person shooters have grown accustomed to. Similar to every other Blizzard release, the key to success in Overwatch is strategy and sticking together with your teammates to collectively obliterate your opponents. By aligning yourself with your party in all engagements, you will drastically increase your likelihood of combat advantages and inevitable victory. Some of you might find breaking old lone cowboy habits difficult (I’m looking at you McCree!) but once you do, you will undoubtedly become a more reliable and favorable teammate.
2) Objectives, You’re missing the Point: Once you have come to terms with the fact that you are not special and cannot single-handedly win, we can discuss objectives. Luckily for you, Blizzard has made understanding objectives rather easy. Regardless of the type of game, the objective/payload will be directly in front of your face in bold transparent letters. No real secrets here, If it says defend, kill everyone in and around that designated area. If you are attacking, first remember what we learned above (teamwork makes the dream work), and get your team inside that lovely box that says attack. Getting inside the designated area is crucial for success for the attacking and defending team. When attacking, the more attackers inside the objective the quicker the point will be captured. While defending, as long as you are within the designated area, the point will be contested and will not progress further.
3) Team Composition – What condition my composition was in: As it stands today, there are 21 unique heroes within Overwatch. The characters are broken up into four main classes: Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. As you play more and more, you will quickly be able to identify a handful (hopefully) of heroes that you excel with. Picking a competitive composition is one of the most crucial aspects of distinguishing between a victorious team and a defeated team. Let’s first discuss what is 100% necessary for a good composition.
Tanks: You need at least one. The tank is the hero who will be leading the charge and soaking up the brunt of the damage. If your team has not selected a tank, take one for the team and be the meatshield. You might not get play of the game and you might not have the most kills but nevertheless, you will be a critical piece of the team’s composition.
Support: Killing opponents is awesome and we all want to feel the glory of the kill. But, if you can’t stay alive long enough to do some killing yourself, well where is the fun in that? Someone has to heal and in many team compositions, two people are stepping up to the plate to play support.
Once you have your Tanks and Support covered, mix and match with Offense/Defense. When all else fails, remember what the Greeks said, everything in moderation. Within the context of Overwatch, that simply means maybe we don’t need three snipers this round.
4) Adaptability: In Overwatch, you have to roll with the punches or get accustomed to losing. Blizzard has given the player the ability to change your hero midgame to put a fresh coat of paint on the dump that is your team. Let’s say you are playing as Reaper and you keep getting slaughtered before you can get in the range Reaper is most effective. Rather than spending most of your time waiting for Reaper to respawn, next time you fail miserably as Reaper, throw in the towel and pick a hero with better range. Once again, the previous tips are critically important and you do not want to jeopardize the team composition. However, keep in mind that every character has a counter hero(s) that should be leveraged to tilt the team’s composition in your favor.
5) Ultimates – Useful vs Wasteful: Once you have proven yourself worthy for long enough, you will be handsomely rewarded with your crown jewel, your crème de la crème, your ultimate ability. Chances are, if you have played other games with ultimate abilities, you have trained yourself to wait until the most opportune moment to unleash hell. It is my pleasure to inform you that by doing so in Overwatch, you are a detriment to your teammates and we hate you for it. In Overwatch it is not uncommon to obtain you’re ultimate half a dozen times in a given match assuming you are contributing to the misfortune of your opponents. Because ultimate abilities are easier to come by in Overwatch, it serves both you and your teammates to utilize your ultimate at the first opportune moment. Do not mistake this advice for ‘smash Q the second you earn your ultimate’. Rather use your ultimate when it will turn the tides of battle in the favor of your team.