Friday, May 27, 2016

Overwatch for Beginners, Part III: Harder Heroes

Part I | Part II | Part III

Tricky Heroes: These are intermediate heroes with slightly more complicated skillsets that take a little practice to use effectively.

  • D.Va: Like Winston, D.Va is a secondary tank, good for disrupting the enemy but not as good for protecting your team. The trickiest part of her kit is combining her mobility skill with her self-destruct ultimate to maximize damages. It's best to think of Self-Destruct as a way to clear the enemy out of a particular area, rather than something that will kill lots of enemies.

  • Hanzo: Hanzo appears to be a sniper, but is actually more useful at mid-range rather than far away. Take some time in the Practice Range to figure out how his arrows fly at different charge-ups and make sure you're denying the enemy from claiming an objective rather than just looking for easy kills.

  • Mei: Mei is my most-played character, simply because she's ridiculously annoying and you can employ ice-themed puns when you get the Play of the Game. Her skillset isn't very difficult but you need to maintain awareness of your team to ensure that your Ice Walls don't interfere with their skills. Although she's categorized as a Defense hero, you will be much more effective if you play as offensively as possible. In some cases, she's even a decent flanker, as her freezing skills will let her win a lot of 1 vs. 1 duels easily.

  • Roadhog: Roadhog's ability to hook enemies and drag them into melee range for a quick kill shot is the only thing that makes him scary -- otherwise he's just a really easy-to-hit fatty lumbering around the map. There is a chain of skills you can queue up sequentially (hook, shoot, melee) to maximize your kills, and you'll definitely want some time in the Practice Range to work on this combo as well as your hook accuracy.

  • Zarya: Zarya is a support tank that shields teammates and uses any attacks against them to charge up her laser cannon. Don't play her as a traditional tank -- instead, hang back slightly and focus on shielding until your cannon is charged up enough to be noticeably dangerous. Step back and let your shields recharge as often as possible. This approach will make her much more threatening.

  • Zenyatta: Zenyatta feels a little weak at the moment (he was much stronger in beta). He can heal a single player over time or debuff enemies, but is constrained by the need to maintain line-of-sight with whomever he's thrown his balls at. Definitely don't use him as a primary healer.

Advanced Heroes: These heroes (in my opinion) have the widest variability in effectiveness, depending on how good you are with them. An expert who can juggle their skills and understand how to apply them towards game objectives is deadly, but in a beginner's hands, your team might as well be down by 1 team member.

  • Genji: Genji fills the cliched ninja role and balances low survivability with high mobility. Because Genji is a flanker that sneaks around to disrupt the enemy's support and back line, it's difficult to tell whether the Genji on your team is doing his job effectively or is just dicking around uselessly. Focus on making high-value assassinations that support the objective.

  • Tracer: Tracer's ability to blink and rewind time by 3 seconds give her a surprisingly high survivability. Remembering where you were 3 seconds ago is a critical skill to practice, as is knowing how many blinks you need to keep in reserve to stay alive. Also, remember that you always blink in the direction you're traveling, which doesn't have to be forward.

  • Widowmaker: Everyone sees themselves as a badass sniper, so everyone will pick Widowmaker. The problem is that Widowmaker has no on-objective presence, and denying the objective will only get your team so far. The best Widowmakers have a steady string of kills, move around constantly, and push forward with their team rather than standing as far away as possible. Widowmaker is generally a bad idea to pick on the Attacking team, unless you really know what you're doing.

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