Counterwatch

2021.12.01 19:19 Owlgoeswhoo Counterwatch

Hi,
Overwatch used to be my favorite game. Pretty much since launch Ive played it as my main game up until about a year ago. I've been struggling to enjoy overwatch over the past year but managed to actually play over a few days recently without uninstalling.
The key to being able to play again turned out to be not taking the game seriously at all and also muting all communication with every other player in every lobby. This is beside my main point but I think the least talked about problem with overwatch is the toxicity. The community is incredibly toxic. Blaming teammates, flaming less than minutes into a game, and rampant leavers are all examples. It's startling to me when I play rainbow six siege, which is supposed to be one of the most toxic games out there, and experience significantly less toxicity than I do while playing overwatch. But, like I said, this isn't my main point.
The biggest problem with overwatch is the mechanic of counterpicking. There is no doubt that in overwatch currently you need to counterpick or you're essentially soft throwing. It's such a fundamental aspect of the game and it's absolutely required as the game is balanced currently. Why do I say it's required? Because without the power of counter picking, we often experience an extreme sense of powerlessness as players. Here's an example.
I'm sure most overwatch players have experienced the power of counterpicking and even more noticeable, the complete lack of power you feel when you're playing against a counter without adjusting your hero pick to counter your counter. When you're playing tank against pharmercy and your dps pick heroes like junkrat and doom or genji and sym. When your supports are mercy and moira and the pharah is playing too far back to easily hook or dive on them as dva. This game experience sucks. It feels like there's nothing you can do to deal with the pharah and if you're team isn't doing anything about it you're naturally likely to blame them. This is a game design issue rather than a toxicity issue imo and the problem is simply that counterpicking is way too strong. There's no doubt that without counters, as the game is currently balanced, there would be innumerable problems like the sense of powerlessness against certain heroes like tracer or doomfist. But, balancing the game around counters leads to a very unfun experience that actually punishes skill.
Let's say you spend thousands of hours practicing doomfist and you get really good with him. You master the hero and rise the ranks until you hit your skill level. Then, the enemy team starts countering you with their hero picks. You might run into hog, sombra, mei, cassidy, ana, zen, and you'll reach a point where you literally cannot get value with your favorite and most practiced hero at your current rank. I think this also adds to the smurfing problem; people put thousands of hours into practicing a hero only for their skill to be completely invalidated by counterpicking. They want to use their skill but they literally can't at their rank. So they smurf several ranks below their current level in order to flex their muscles so to speak. This is a massive problem. Overwatch rewards counterpicking so much more than it rewards skill.
Having counterpicking be such a powerful mechanic leads to a rock-paper-scissors dynamic that essentially ruins the game imo. I'm a flex player and I'm proud that I can play any hero in the roster. That said, I still have my favorites and one of them is tracer. I've studied how to play tracer by watching the best. I've put a dumb amount of time into learning her and I believe she's my best hero personally. That said, this is usually how playing tracer plays outs as a flex player.
Start game as tracer and do well. If they have no counters I can usually run rampant. However, that's not what I am arguing for. The game needs to be rebalanced so that heroes can't just destroy the entire enemy team with skill or be completely invalidated by counter picks while others are pretty much always useless...ahem bastion.
Then the enemy team might swap. Maybe they switch in just cassidy and I'm fine. But if they swap brig, hog, reaper, cassidy, rein, and zen, it's entirely possible that I can't get any value with tracer. The problem isn't actually counter picking itself but how impactful it is. A hero should be able to get value in a middle ground between completely dominating and being utterly useless. Currently, it feels too often like one or the other.
So I swap off tracer and switch to reaper. I'm now effective against most of that comp but then more swaps come in. They switch from reaper to ashe and cassidy to hanzo or something and now I'm utterly useless again. I swap to genji to counter their long range heroes and then they swap to sombra doom and it just goes on and on and on.
This mechanic is incredibly unfun. If I spent thousands of hours learning a hero, I should be able to play that hero. But there's times in the current balance where that is impossible and continuing to play a favorite hero against counters is throwing.
The other major problem with counterwatch is it's very limiting. Take pharah for example. If I'm playing DPS against Pharah there's like four heroes I can go to who actually counter her. Ashe, widow, soldier, and cassidy. There's almost no tanks who can actually put direct pressure on pharah if she's playing smart (far away and behind cover).
A major appeal of overwatch is it's diverse hero roster and widely different gameplay experiences. That goes out the window with counterwatch because we're actually playing rock paper scissors. So despite the illusion of choice there's actually only a few viable counters to any given problem. Forcing players to pick heroes based on counterwatch is extremely unfun. It takes this amazing FPS with so much complexity and interesting mechanics and reduces it to boring simplicity. What are they playing? Oh they're playing widow? I need to swap. Oh they're playing rush? I need to swap. Oh, theyre playing dive now? I need to swap. Oh, they're doing pirate ship? Swap.
Instead of allowing creative solutions to compositional problems based on skill and strategy, overwatch in it's current state demands solutions to these problems be found on the hero select screen.
To cap off my rant, I just want to clarify what I think a solution looks like. I think we need to balance skill so that it's not immediately invalidated by counterpicking. We also need to balance oppressive heroes who demand counterpicks so they're not so damn oppressive. Counterpicking should help you but it shouldn't automatically win you the game or fight which it currently does.
My ideal overwatch would be a game where every hero pick is viable on every map. We're so far from this and I'm not sure it's really a realistic expectation but I think we can do a lot better.
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Hello, I am looking to sell my Lily58 Pro LP with choc hot swap sockets in a 3D printed case with extra Blue & Red switches & a couple of MDK Choc Blanks. [Shipping CONUS only]
Timestamp
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