I’ll be honest, I’m not too big on team PVP games. I don’t know if that’s my inner shyness showing, that fear of pissing people off because I need time to learn before I’m not terrible, but it’s been a constant thing. Sure, I’ve joined things like guild PVP days in my past, playing stuff like WoW, but for the most part, it’s been a giant ‘NOPE’ for me. I generally am terrible at awareness in my own life, nevermind constantly figuring out how to not paint a giant target on my back in a game on purpose as ‘that person that basically is just asking to be sniped’. This is why, at best, I used to only raid – fights in most MMOs fall into patterns that I can memorize. Putting someone behind the seat of my enemies meant chaos.
That being said, Overwatch blindsided me a bit.Not because it existed – honestly, the idea was an unsurprising move for Blizzard, who seemed to recently be putting their hands in a lot of pots to try to broaden out from their two main IPs. What I didn’t expect was to feel much for it when I watched the initial stuff that came out, especially hearing it was a game that generally fell under a category I, as stated above, tended to avoid. But the more I watched, the more I realized something: I was excited.
I think it was the art style that pulled me in at first. Colorful with weird and interesting characters, it was kind of a feast for the eyes. Then I saw some of the game play footage and thought, you know, some of this looked fun. No, scratch that – it looked amazingly fun. Still, my general avoidance of the type of game won over in the end, and soon enough I forgot that initial excitement. I forgot about the game almost entirely, honestly, beyond noting the little battle.net icon once in a while.
I had forgotten I even signed up for beta.
Fast forward to this weekend. I noticed I had a Blizzard e-mail waiting for me and assumed it was an ad. It was, instead, an invitation to play in a stress test over Friday and Saturday, which apparently is to be the final one before launch next month. I considered it for a little while before firing up the installation. I had things to do the rest of the day, so it really wasn’t only until early evening I could give it a try. I was dismayed to find I was rubberbanding all over the place, though my internet is pretty stable and my computer has all that was needed to play. I decided to try later on, when it was quieter, to see how it was. Maybe, for some reason, it was beyond the scope of even my new computer’s abilities.
As it turned out, it had just been lag. It worked like a charm my second try. They must’ve got the kinks out entirely, in fact, because that was the last time I saw that problem. It was 10pm the first night I played, intent on only playing a few games. I ended up staying up until 2am and probably would’ve kept going had I not glanced at my phone’s clock. I was hesitant for a while to join in real games against anyone but AI, but soon enough I threw caution to the wind and decided to just go for it. I was a terrible shot but realized I wasn’t terrible at something very specific – support roles.
I learned later the above character, Zenyatta, is one of the harder ones to master, but for some reason I just felt comfortable playing him. Maybe it hearkens back to my love of hybrid PVE characters, but he could hit things and also heal and also look pretty cool when he does his group AOE where he looks like he’s a shining beacon of healing awesome.
I fully admit it: I was that person who stuck to one character for a while. Eventually, though, someone else had him first and I knew having two of the same support characters wouldn’t be ideal for the team. So I decided to try out Mercy instead, and then I realized I really, really liked Mercy. That was the rest of the time playing, by the way. Me slowly realizing I love literally every support character. I love Lucio the most visually even though he’s probably the least I’m good at, if only because of the music aspect to his healing. More importantly, however, I was having fun doing this. Sometimes I was terrible and I felt terrible because I did terrible. Instead of letting it get to me, I pushed on and told myself the next match would surely be better – and oftentimes I was right. Sometimes I was amazing and I was practically glowing with the praise I got – sometimes actual ‘gjs’ thrown my way, sometimes silent thumbs ups by way of the page of what I assume were the best overall players of the match. While I’m sure playing with an actual team adds a lot more pressure than randos on the internet, I actually began to wonder if I could one day actually become decent in this. I also felt like I learned some things about the game and myself, too, which I will now present to you all in an exciting list format. Without further ado:
STUFF I LEARNED AND THOUGHT ABOUT WHILE PLAYING OVERWATCH
- Support characters are under-appreciated by the game itself.
- Like for real I may be salty it seems like you can never get ‘MVP’ if you’re a support character that’s lame
- One time all of the team but me died and I rezzed them all and it was how we captured the area, we would’ve lost the game in that moment
- THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN MVP MOVE TO ME
- Snipers are the worst
- Playing support characters mean you get sniped in the head a lot
- See: giant target on back
- I constantly found myself amazed at the hiding spots people found though, people are damn creative when it comes to shooting me in the head ya’ll
- I tried other gameplay but I don’t think I’ll ever be good at sniping to be completely honest (gotta know your weak points)
- LEAVIN’ IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS
- I apparently have the ability to be that person who swears out loud at a video game
- (I freaked out my cat when it happened)
- Planning pushes to overtake a group with strangers is hard
- (People didn’t talk much in quick play it seems)
- But it felt so good when shit came together and we did it
- Some of the most epic moments I experienced came from when we all banded together without a single word and messed shit up
- Route 66 is the absolute worst map
- I don’t think I ever won a single game on that map
- Related, turrets are the worst
- Guys please stop ignoring the turrets and the guy who turns into a turret
- Guys stop what are you doing
- Okay I guess we’re just going to keep running into it instead of killing it cool
- (but it is a joy to be that character that turns into a turret, one time I was that robot and so many people died because it was me and a Mercy player)
- I legitimately want to learn about these characters???
- Some of them have the cutest designs oh gosh
- My one true wish is to learn how to play Zarya so I can be a giant badass lady with pink hair
- I’m pretty sure I could easily lose a day with this by just going ‘one more match’ over and over
- (by pretty sure I mean ‘yes definitely’ because I lost the entire day playing this game this way)
- It was worth every insane second, even when I was trying not to tear my hair out at frustrating things
- Shit, I need to order this game, don’t I?