It is time we talk, Overwatch 2

Written on July 2, 2023

(Gamer rant. You may not understand all the terms, but that’s okay. You will get the gist)

I have been playing Overwatch for quite some time. Over Two Thousand Hours, literally - in over half a decade. Then, I decided that finally, it is time to give it up.

I played this game more than any other game, starting in 2016. It has compelling lore, the mechanics are awesome, and the developers are passionate. Or at least they used to be.

It kept changing and grew, for better or for worse, in half a decade. “Balances” kept rolling out that fundamentally changed mechanics. Sometimes that meant you needed to learn all those pixel-precise muscle memories. Again. My main, favorite choice was Hanzo - a midrange offensive unit that has to balance between sniping abilities with slow, arc-like projectiles (basically, arrows). That means not only do you have to be good at aiming, but you need to be good at predicting too! And his lore. I really liked his lore.

I decided to play comp for a very short time a couple of seasons ago in OW2 and then got busy - only to find that I was ranked Diamond in the Offense role. That equates to a top 10 percentile amongst all OW2 players. That’s great, especially when I am teaming up with entirely unknown people solo queuing.

But then Hanzo got more mechanical changes that reduced his offensive capabilities (nerfed). Sure, why not - dude is overpowered in the right hands. But here is the issue: playing him right requires skills and predictions.

I decided to play Zenyatta, a support role, this season. While being a “support” unit, his attack is projectile based, and more importantly, he can be an “extra” offensive unit if played right. Once again, I reached Diamond rank (mainly) using him. If I were only gaming, I’d not settle for anything below at least Masters rank (top 5 percentile), but I am not only gaming in life now. Gotta balance between my family, PhD, and everything else. I decided to take a pause and consider a few things.

Zen is getting a Nerf soon. That is understandable, really. He can also be overpowered (when played right). But this change is primarily due to the weird transition from 6v6 to 5v5 format. OW2 from OW was abrupt, unplanned, and full of broken promises developers made that they confirmed they are not going to honor. They provided valid reasons. But those reasons only means they did not need to move from OW to OW2 in the first place.

Which made me think.

Why bother?

Deep inside, I know that I am a gamer and can be competitive. But why bother re-learning all those things when games like these are “balanced” by developers every few months, often at their own flawed whims? Changes that require players to re-learn fundamental things from all over, again and again?

More importantly, I won’t be able to invest much time and energy in this game, improving my aim when I get bigger fish to fry. Because even if I gain theoretically perfect muscle memory, there is no guarantee that the relevant mechanics won’t be changed in future. Sure, OW2 is at the sweetspot of lore, competitive FPS, super-powers and strategic gameplay. I’d even say it offers the best type of fun in a competitive, fantasy-based FPS game where every second counts. You need to strategize and counter-strategize against people who are probably just as good as you or even better. But am I enjoying this learning and relearning process that’s entirely out of my hand?

I am not.

Should I move to another competitive FPS game instead? Well, I will again have to invest at least hundreds of hours to “get good”. Time, that I simply won’t have in near future.

So maybe it is time for me to give up the mantle of competitive FPS and focus on … enjoying games as they are.

Just games.

p.s.: I took long breaks from Overwatch about 5 times now. This is the first time I am writing a post specifically about taking a perma-break. While I will miss all those fun moments,

First, click on "Comments" below to view/post comments.
To comment as guest, click on the field "Name". The option to do so will become visible.
লগইন ছাড়াই কমেন্ট করতে নাম এ ক্লিক করুন, দেখবেন তার নিচেই আছে অতিথি হিসাবে কমেন্ট করার অপশন।