Friday, November 20, 2015

Overwatch Stress

So, I got an invitation to the Overwatch stress test this weekend.

I am both excited and appalled.

I'm excited because I really want to like this game. In my distant past, I was a shooter guy. I attended college in the heyday of Quake. I belonged to a clan, when that was a thing. I almost didn't suck.

I have played only a few shooters in the intervening years, most notably Global Agenda.  I am rubbish at console games and very out of practice at it.

These days I am too old, too dumb, and too slow to compete with a generation raised on CS, Modern Warfare, and the rest. So I am appalled that I'll be tossed in the meat grinder for their fodder.

At Blizzcon, there were kiosks set up to log your demo feedback. My write up for them included one topic:  what will make or break this game for me will be the matchmaking engine. If its smart enough to put me into a game with a slew of other terribads, I might stand a chance of having a reasonable time. If its more random, then I will not be in a position to contribute much, and will leave frustrated.

I realize beta/stress testing isn't necessarily intended to demonstrate this one way or another, but I'll certainly be paying attention to how balanced the teams are. Demo lines at blizzcon failed us and we got face stomped both times. I need a redemption or I'll be hard pressed to spend any money on the title.


  1. I am pressed how to see that this is not Blizzard's version of TF/TF2 - why pay when TF2 is free?

    1. I've been skeptical myself. Blizzard? A shooter? Really? Seems like that space is crowded enough, with very few truly new ideas in a decade or two.

      I played Overwatch this weekend. With family travel commitments, I only managed a couple of hours yesterday. I came home today thinking that the event was still going through midnight and was surprised and sad to find that it actually had ended and I was no longer invited to beta.

      A few things:
      - I didn't suck as badly as I feared. My win ratio was about 50%. At one point I got shoved into a waiting-players-queue-from-hell that dumped us into a skirmish team deathmatch mode. This was great for trying a slew of different heroes and tactic as we fought over the chokepoints of the map.

      Worth a box price? I have no idea. Like I said, I'm skeptical. Even if I were good at shooters (I'm not) and even if I had unlimited time (I don't), other free options still might be the way to go. Layer on that my own skill limits and time constraints (I bought the GW2 expac and have logged in once for 30 seconds, and dozens of other to-dos both online and around our 10 acres), and what I really don't need right now is yet another video game.

      But Overwatch is fun. I had a good time. I'd like to play more beta, and I may buy the retail game anyway, because impulsive.


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