Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Overwatch Match Highlights 9 - Sleepwalker. Also Overwatch news!

Ohmygosh I actually kept the source for an image.

The incredible Ilios game I had the other day, as promised, has been immortalized in YouTube video form.  Why not Vimeo, you ask?  Because 500MB per week is all the storage I get with a free Vimeo account, and I intend to keep that space free for the upcoming Three Fingers clip show.

Now, rest assured, I know how excited the mention of the next, mysterious clip show has gotten you, but I beg you, contain your enthusiasm!  CONTAIN IT!




Well done!

You, my friend, have shown heroic restraint, and thus earned an adorable Mercy GIF.

I'm proud of you!

Our show begins with... well actually it begins with Tracer searching for a game... and a friend.

But before some genuine affection can be forged, we're swept away to the sunny shores of Ilios!  What have we here?  A tank, a healer and three DPS?  Well a second support will surely help this team to victory!

It does not go well.  It was... traumatic.  After the second, equally-decisive death, I know supporting my team will have no effect.  I can't gently encourage them towards success - what happened to that Soldier... and Roadhog... and Widow were proof enough of that.

No.  This team doesn't need a support.  It needs a carry.

It needs a hero that can get right up in that Sombra's overconfident face, and fill it with lead.  It needs a DPS that can put the fear of God into the enemy team.   It needs... Tracer.

I want to say, for the record, that the Sombra on the enemy team was not over-confident.  She was precisely as confident as she should have been, because she was absolutely monstrous.  She picked me no less than three times during the second round (once with her ult, once because I was in a stupid position and once because I did a real stupid dive on half her team), and I sent her a PSN message after the match telling her she was excellent - I suddenly hope she didn't think I was being sarcastic.

This match has, perhaps, less exciting moments than you'd hope - there's not really an example of me taking on half an enemy team, solo, and winning (okay, well, there is in round 3) - but what's most... incredible about this match, to me, is how I just keep nailing my shots

Round One : The Failure

They never killed my Tracer in the first round, but too much damage had been done to my team's morale to actually get the point back from them.  That said, once I land on that point, the entire thing shifts.  My team actually starts making it to the point, and taking advantage of my plays.

I pick the Lucio, nice and smooth - with one rocket's splash worth of damage from my Pharah.  The McCree's too big of a threat, so he's next - and he is shamed by what This Tracer does to him - two perfect clips.  Pharah wants to retreat to a health pack, but I'm perfectly positioned to take advantage of it - didn't even need to burn a blink - and Zarya was already low on health when I zipped in to nab her.

Their Lucio Drops the Beat to save her, but it's too late - and I'm already gone.

Really, my favorite pick of round 1 is The Monstrous Sombra.  In one slick move, I zip behind a column to break line of sight on McCree's High Noon, and I leap past Sombra, nailing a clip's worth of headshots on her as I fly through the air. 

It was fucking gorgeous.

The incomparable Monori Rogue.

Round Two : Tooth and Nail

Sombra remains, far and away, my greatest threat on the enemy team.  She keeps crucial health packs locked down and, again, picks me three times.  I never fail to go for her when she's in my sights, but my focus is more on absolutely subjugating her team to the point that they can't support her, making her more vulnerable.  And it works!

But again - I can't seem to not nail my shots, here.  McCree thinks he's going to catch me unaware, but I let him get the health pack and then burn his lifebar out in two easy clips.  A phenomenal sweep of headshots deletes Lucio, and then I just kept calm and got the Zarya pick.

And oh my God that Pharah pick before I dive onto the point - beeyootiful. McCree's low on health and dies instantly, and once again I manage to get a perfect bead on Lucio's head... at the third clip - but still!

Round 3 : Domination

In Round 3, I become an unkillable force of nature.

My team has begun working together and focus-firing (thank God), and together we swat Sombra off the back of the point before she can get that health pack hacked.  My second-favorite pick of this entire game - second to that beautiful Sombra pick in the first round - is Pharah, here.  I turn around expecting to see Mei, and past her ice block I instead find Pharah, hovering by the health pack.

One clip - as I leap over Mei's ice block - makes her very thirsty for that health pack, but I blink across it, nab it and put a short burst into her to finish her off.  Spectacular.

But here's where I go from helping a lot to carrying - starting at 4:51.

The McCree has, by this point, resigned himself to just saying "hello!" to me, instead of bothering with trying to kill me.  I burn him down, say "hi!" and my Hanzo finishes the job.

I dive into the mega health pack room to get a nice position on D.Va and block off a potential retreat when I notice an arrow zip past my head.  I turn, and there's a goddamned Hanzo there!  It turns out, this is The Monstrous Sombra.  She, like me on Mercy earlier, decided to switch it up in the name of victory - and her reward is a brutal two-clip from the Tracer who was so scared of her.

Really, I'm grateful she switched off - health packs are hugely important to me, and getting hacked wrecks my shit hard.

Then it's back into the room to challenge Lucio, who kindly boops me right into the health pack I'd been waiting for.  Mei and D.Va arrive to help, but Lucio's already dead and D.Va's mech is weak enough for me to burn it out with a single clip.  You'll note, her mech isn't breaking when I throw the pulse bomb on her.  What kills her mech isn't the detonation of my pulse bomb, but its impact (5 health points) with her mech.  When she pops out precisely one second later, she's positioned perfectly to be killed by the explosion of the bomb - and I leave Mei to let her think things over.

Then, I go back and kill her.

(Jazzy hands!)  TRACER!

So yeah.  Missing out on the first push or two of round 1, going Mercy (and getting instagibbed) for the first two-thirds of the round before finally going Tracer and leading my team to victory, earning quad golds and the elims card?

Holy shit that is one of the best Tracer rounds I've ever had.

Elsewhere, Jeff Kaplan did a new Developer Update today!

The short version is...

  • Competitive seasons will be two months instead of three months, starting with Season 6 (August 31st).  This will result in less CP rewards per season, but more CP per win.  
  • They're tweaking the skill rank decay - you'll have to play 5 games a week instead of 7, and each decay burn will be 25 instead of 50. 
  • King of the Hill matches in competitive mode will become best of 3 instead of the current best of 5. Nice. 
  • Placements will be changed to "place you more accurately where you belong," instead of placing you lower than your actual skill rating.  THANK GOD.  This is part of the reason I never did my placements this season.  
  • High-skill players will have longer wait times for matches, now, as they're going to push for better matches, instead of simply quickly matching a Grandmaster against some platinums.  As someone who will never reach Grandmaster, I'm quite comfortable with this. 

Also Seagull had a conversation with a designer on Twitch and there's a lot of info, there - most notably that Mercy is getting a rework (which both excites and terrifies), but I'll recap that on the podcast tomorrow.

G'night everybody!

Our Mei was a big help!

Children of Morta is now coming 2018.

This "announcement" trailer notes Steam, PS4 and Xbox.  Xbox, you say?  The platform whose stretch goal notably wasn't reached during the game's Kickstarter campaign?  Indeed, Xbox

Pixel-art action-RPG Roguelike YOU KNOW I'M ALL ABOUT THIS, but... y'know what platform was reached during the Kickstarter campaign?  The fucking Vita, a name notably absent from the above trailer.

Naturally, people took (dev) Dead Mage to task on Twitter for this kooky anomaly.


To which I can only reply

But soft!  What light through yonder window breaks?  It is the east, and delicious hope is the Sun.



But here's my take...

Years of cancelled Vita ports - Vita ports promised on the assumption that the game will easily work on the handheld - have left my heart scarred, and cynical.  Some might suggest less cynical than realistic, and to my experienced eye, supplying platitudes like this to your fans and Kickstarter backers, who gave you their hard-earned money on the promise of a Vita port, is the first step down a path that ends in you saying
"oops turns out we made a game that will in no way work on that platform we promised you and happily took your money for.  It's certainly not our fault that we gave no thought to this during development - what?  No, no, we won't be giving you your money back.  K thnx byeeee!"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Huh. That's one of my best Play of the Games ever.

So I'm playin' Mercy, defending on Volskaya, and it's not going well.  For some insane reason I spent the first push on top of the truck at the main choke, which gave me a perfect vantage to heal dudes on both this side and that other side of the truck - and made it dead simple for a McCree to body me from the attacker's side of the choke.

We're almost-instantly shoved off point A, and we huddle up on point B.  Our DPS (3 DPS, 1 tank) constantly pushed too far forward, but spawn advantage ensured we held on okay - but our Ana was growing sick of sitting on the point while I dallied with our damage, and getting jumped by the red McCree that was repeatedly flanking us.

Our show begins just before the final straw for Ana - I zip back to the point to answer her calls, just in time to not notice where the McCree was.  He takes me out (again), and then he takes her - and now the reds are pouring on to the point.  They're taking it.

Ana switches to McCree, and I'm dashing back.  D.Va jumps, solo, on to the point to contest it - one versus five - and is almost-instantly popped out of her mech.  I can't save her, but I can use the trajectory of her mech to Guardian Angel up to the high ground overlooking the point... where I can see that goddamned red McCree chilling up on the high ground across from me.  I know what he's doing - I know he's salivating at the thought of wrecking us all with High Noon, now that there's no Defense Matrix (D.Va's mech) to stop him.

But our Bastion is down.  D.Va is down, and I want to get our only tank back up.

But that McCree's got his ult, I'm sure of it...

Fuck it, I'm goin' for it.

I saw a clip the other day where a Mercy on Numbani used Guardian Angel to fly right into an ulting McCree's face, and solo-ulted to gain the Resurrect invincibility for just long enough to block the McCree's shots from impacting her team.

Never imagined I'd do it - and it's worth noting I don't actually stop any of my team from getting hit by the High Noon (I think), but timing my ult so perfectly as to survive his High Noon, and then killing him, and then pushing my team on to a team kill?

Proud Mercy.JPG.   Got 7 votes at the card screen!

While we're on the Game Diary subject... 

Last night, I joined a game on Ilios.  My team had a Roadhog, a Lucio and three DPS, so I went Mercy. 

I popped into the game and realized I was a backfill - the reds had already claimed the point, and whoever was in my slot had bailed on the game.  Or maybe they were just AFK, turning that first team fight into a 5v6, and got kicked for inactivity.  Either way, I was heading in to a weakened position - but that's okay!  We got a Lucio, we got a Mercy and Hog can do a lot of hilarious work on Ilios's Well... 

I am almost-instantly double-teamed and killed by a Sombra and Pharah who've pushed halfway up to our spawn. 

But that's okay!  I'm with our Roadhog, now, and together we will oh God no Mei's walled me off from him - I try to run - I flee to our Widow, coming up from Spawn, but Pharah blows her into a thousand pieces and I'm deking round buildings, desperate for my health regen to kick in and I'm almost back to our spawn and oh fuck God the Sombra's on me and I'm dead.  

I switch to Tracer.  

I blitz back in, land on the point and pick their Lucio.  Then I grab McCree.  I snap up a health pack, and help my team finish off Zarya.  Their McCree is back and he High Noons, but I zip behind a column and in one smooth, sweeping spray obliterate that monstrous Sombra.  I chase McCree off the point and I'm about to finish him off... but the overtime timer runs out, and we lose the first round.  

But that's okay.  I got some good work done, there.  

I can do this.  

Died 4 times in Round 2, twice as a result of that terrifying Sombra, once as a result of pure stupidity on my part, and once as a result of pure stupidity and The Sombra - but it was seriously one of the best games of my life.  I was just nailing my shots, and we took the round.  In round 3?  I just never died. 

Gold elims, gold objective kills, gold objective time, gold damage.  Fuck yeah.  I have no idea what I'm gonna' do with the footage, but as a first guess I'd say a lot

Junkertown revealed - called it!

We're still due a new digital short this week, as I recall, but the important news of the day is that the next proper map for Overwatch has been revealed - and introduced in a weird Garry's Mod-lookin' sketch starring Junkrat and Roadhog, as they plan to either get back into the good graces of the Queen of Junkertown, or explode her.

But they also showed a lot of the map properly, and it looks really cool.  It looks like it's got a lot of tight rooms like Horizon, but also a big, tall main drag like King's Row, and I love that rotating platform thing - mobile heroes are gonna' have a lot of fun on that.

Worth noting, of course, is that Wise Chance correctly predicted that Junkertown would be a pure payload map, a'la Watchpoint Gibraltar or Route 66, via brilliant deduction - as we've already received a new hyrbid map (Eichenwald), a new king of the hill map (Oasis) and a new two capture point map (Horizon).

I'm a genius, is what it is.

BioMutant's prerendered reveal trailer.

You may have noticed a leaked magazine ad for BioMutant making the rounds the last few days:

We've heard about THQ Nordic's "post-apocalyptic kung-fu RPG" before, but the image of the one-eyed sword-wielding cat-dude is pretty compelling.  I'd love to see some gameplay of this, but until we get that, the words "kung-fu RPG" will keep me interested - 'cause this reveal trailer sure ain't doin' it.

I mean, it's still got a one-eyed cat-thing with an electro sword, and that's pretty cool and all...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 85 : Universal Disdain.

Wiiithout Alex, sadly.  That being said, Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - Universal disdain

  • Chamberlain voices some, shall we say, controversial opinions on Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice! 
  • Chance, ever the romantic, offers his own soothing verbal balm on the subject! 
  • The "ending" of Prey is discussed, much to Prey's chagrin!
  • And has a new map leaked for Overwatch?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Overwatch Match Highlights 8 - 2 Bit Sym.

Ohmigosh, it's a Chance Overwatch vid with zero Tracer or Mercy action!

I was laughing my ass off when I did this to McCree - I never imagined it'd end up being the PotG.

Also, about the Genji...

Earlier that same evening, I was attacking Route 66 on Tracer.  I circled around to come up the left flank, where the enemy's Mercy was boosting and healing a Bastion.  That Mercy wrecked me with headshots in like a half second - it was incredible - so I gave her a lot of respect after that.  I took her solo just before we took the first checkpoint, and stuck her with a pulse bomb after the second - respectable!

Well this Mercy sends me a PSN message after the match, basically telling me what a cowardly, pathetic Tracer I am for attacking a Mercy.  Which is insane on a number of levels, and not the type of message I'm prepared to respond to - so I didn't - though come to think of it, it reminds me of a book about a dragon I had when I was a kid.
"Sticks and stones can't break my bones
For I am far too scaly
But ugly things said to me
Hurt my feelings daily
-some book I had when I was five
That's one bad Mercy.

It was the second hate message I've received thanks to Overwatch play, and it made me feel sad.

Anyway, point being, after the Genji in the video solo-Dragonblade'd me before I could set up my second TP, just going in to overtime, I had to send him a message to let him know that it was a gorgeous move, with a sticker of Ellie from The Last of Us giving a thumbs up.  He didn't reply, but I hope he knows it was meant honestly.  Take lemons, make lemonade.

Elsewhere, the community has had the time to run Doomfist through some testing paces and... turns out the hitbox on his Rocket Punch is... really somethin'.