While I wouldn’t exactly call myself any kind of pro Overwatch player – having only 50 hours or so in total – it’s the one multiplayer game in my entire life I’ve made a conscious effort to learn the tricks of the trade with my chosen character, stick to whatever objective I face and generally play to win whilst always having a good time.
Having about 10 hours on Junkrat (my ‘main’ for all intents and purposes), I’ve been experimenting with some of the other heroes, and have recently been playing a lot of Lucio. He’s crazy fun, has some slick moves and whilst he’s not directly the best healer, his speed boost and Sound Barrier ultimate are most definitely game changers when used at the right moment.
So, before I go on, I just want to run down how I personally use the different game modes in Overwatch:
- Training/AI: I practice new and unfamiliar heroes in a game-like setting and also experiment with new tactics on my favourites
- Quickplay: Actual practice; nothing like actually playing against other people, so I use this as a way of learning how to play properly without the worry about penalties for losing a game or making a bad play
- Competitive: Speaks for itself. Git gud or git out.
- Arcade: Nice to win for loot farming, otherwise I’m fairly casual with it. It’s fun and simple.
I play a few AI games and see that my team has a great pick of characters (tanks, support, defence and offence all in one neat little package), and everyone is glued to the payload, the point or the choke. It’s brilliant and at this point the single most satisfying way for me to play this game at all. Of course AI matches are ridiculously easy, even on ‘Hard’ mode, but it’s a great way to practice teamplay.
I honestly can’t express that some of the best teamwork I’ve personally seen has been in EASY mode AI matches. Not because they die less, but because they position themselves correctly, don’t run off and generally hold whatever objective they’re given.
Imagine my frustration when I switch to Quickplay after ‘warming up’ on a couple of AI games to see the shoddiest bunch of miscreants you’d ever find in a game. Let me give you an example of a game I played just now. This was our team:
- Lucio (me)
- Soldier 76
Uh. What? That’s a poor excuse for a team, even in Quickplay, in my opinion. The moment the match starts each and every one of them spreads out, making my job as an AoE healer utterly useless.
I recently reached out to the Lucio Mains Reddit sub to ask what you do in this situation and I was told to ‘use QP as practice with wall running and Lucio’s gun’.
Okay, but I do that in AI games, what I want to practice in Quickplay is the ‘taxi’ method (rushing important dead teammates back to the point), learning how to flank a Rein so I can boop him away from his team, using the wall-running ability to reach a player quickly for some emergency heals or defensive boops.
I can’t do any of that in a typical Quickplay right now.
Why? Because people go into Quickplay with the mantra of every man/woman for themselves.
I’ve had Junkrats spamming ‘I need healing’, but when I reach them to boost my healing AoE, they run off and get killed because their health isn’t topped up yet. I’ve had Hanzos asking for heals, and running up walls where I can’t reach before I can heal (but you’d better believe they keep spamming that heal command).
Anyway, I realise the moment after we leave the spawn room that I am being buffed… by a Mercy? Cool! Lucio is what I’ve recently learned is an ‘off healer’, so having a Mercy means I can focus on speed boost and general defence of my team. So I press Tab, and then I see this:
- Lucio (me)
Uh… What!? More importantly, why!? I went back to the spawn room and switched to D.va so that we’d have someone to ‘push’ with, but even then it was probably pointless since to do a proper push, a tank needs a team behind them. My team? I don’t think I saw them for most of the match, they were off playing PvE.
I think what ruffles my feathers the most about this kind of stuff is that people still have the nerve to blame certain character mains, or write things like ‘this team is crap no wonder we lost’, when you’re sitting on the point with a gold in both objective time and objective kills.
I really feel like I should point out, I’m not actually one of those salty Overwatch players who gets mad at my team during casual games. I’m not at all; this is just something that’s been bugging me lately, and is lowering my overall enjoyment of QP games. Again, I don’t want to get stuck in AI games just to feel like the team is actually working together, and with Quickplay in the state it’s currently in, I feel I’m not learning enough to get good enough for Comp.
I guess the challenge here is to simply ‘work with it’. I’ve got a fair bit of free time today and I’m in a gaming mood, so I’ll do a couple hours of Lucio regardless of team set up and just see if I can work with the mess I’m handed. Any tips or tricks on how to be a good Lucio with a bad team would be greatly appreciated.