I’ve played a lot of Overwatch lately. It’s best with friends and folks who actually communicate. In groups of strangers? I’m experiencing a mixed bag.
I’m on the PC, before we continue. For whatever that’s worth. Maybe PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers are experiencing something totally different. Right now, on the PC platform in Quick Play? We have a problem with people clearly maining heroes and not wanting to switch.
Here’s the rub. There are 21 available heroes currently in Overwatch. Each team has six spots for players. At the start of each round, you pick your hero. You’re supposed to keep an eye on your team’s composition and choose roles that the game actually recommends you fill. You’ll want a tank, a support and, depending on the game type and your task, some good defense characters or folks with super high damage or mobility.
A great team is balanced. Say you’re playing the payload mode where you have to stand on the objective in order to move it through the course. It’d be great to have a Reinhardt to tank, a Mercy or Lucio on support, a Widowmaker hanging back and picking off aggressive opponents and then a Pharah, Junkrat or Genji to deal with annoying enemy characters like Bastion. Instead? Playing with strangers almost always results in a team without tanks or supports and two of multiple characters.
Folks, there are 21 heroes to choose from spread over multiple roles. Consider the objective. If we are attacking a moving payload, don’t pick the stationary Bastion. He is useless, I don’t care how much his gun shreds. We won’t need to control choke points.
I think this all boils down to a chunk of the community’s unwillingness to try something new. These folks pick their four or five heroes, and they roll on. They won’t change heroes in order to trump their opponents or actively pursue the objective. Instead, they’ll pick Widowmaker because they like sniping or, perhaps, Hanzo because they dig his ultimate.
If you play Overwatch, I have a request. Try someone new. There are 21 characters to choose from. There’s no reason any team needs two of the same characters. Blizzard’s done an awesome job developing 21 unique heroes that each have battlefield tilting mechanics working in their favor.
If you roll into a game and see someone else has already picked your main squeeze, be cool and try someone new. Not only will it extend the value of the game by giving you something new to play with, you’ll likely offer a tactical advantage to your team by giving your opponents a more varied attack. If there are three Bastions on one team, it’s really easy to counter them.
Unless you’ve assembled a rag tag team composed entirely of Winstons. That’s fine.