Overwatch 101: Its Noob Friendly! (Or Trying to be) [Poker Unrelated]

 photo Puyan: I blog at http://thep-log.blogspot.co.uk/ I tweet at https://twitter.com/TheRealP_YAN
Review of Blizzard's new FPS game out tomorrow!

Trying to do a weekly post now, lets try and keep this up!

Tomorrow Blizzard's new game Overwatch is coming out and I have to say that I'm pretty excited about it. They had an open beta which let anyone download and play it for free for 5 days a week ago and since trying it out I'm sold.

It officially announced closed beta for popular streamers last November during Blizzcon with this trailer;

Overwatch for Dummies

Lets be clear. I don't really like FPS games because I suck at it. I'm so bad at them. I still enjoyed Goldeneye on the N64 with friends but I'd never do well at it. On top of this, I'm extremely particular about my games. As of this moment I play Hearthstone only, even Starcraft has taken a back foot now as my PS4 sits in the corner collecting dust for the last few months.

Overwatch is a first person shooter team game, of which you have to complete objectives to win the game. These objectives depend on the map and are chosen randomly. There are 2 different tasks;

  1. Defend or attack two areas of a map within the allotted time. 
  2. Assault/Escort a payload.

The main difference in this FPS is that you are able to change your hero in the middle of the game when you die, or go back to the spawn location. There are 22 heroes currently and they are split into four types;

  • Offensive - These are mobile, fast shooting damage dealing characters with lower health.
  • Tanks - These are beefy high health, high damage but slow characters.
  • Snipers - Long range shooters that are mobile.
  • Support - These characters support the others through healing and/or buff their damage up
The idea is to be constantly changing and adapting to your opponent's team composition of characters, and then completing the objective.

The Appeal to Noobs

Because of my lack of success within FPS' other games such as CS:Go and Call of Duty never appealed to me. Its realism makes it more "hardcore" and therefore appeals to that audience. When a new player enters those games, things are confusing and existing players may have better weapons collected by playing a lot.

They get completely destroyed, and it doesn't become a good experience. Add that to the toxic environment in chat and its easy to see how after a few games a new player would probably never want to play that game ever again.

It seems that Blizzard has done a great job trying to make it as appealing as possible to new players.

It has a great tutorial which helps new players, and the controls are very simple where each character has 2 special abilities on top of their normal shooting one, and an ultimate power ability that you build up towards. Enjoy an example of a tutorial of one of the characters, a British one, Tracer!

The cartoonish style and voice acting of each character is less "hardcore". How many more newbie players would play an FPS if Pixar did the stylistic branding? That's what this feels like. Also at the end of each game it shows an [seemingly sometimes arbitrary] "Play of the Game" which is always fun to get on there and watch that moment again.

Blizzard Marketing Like a Pro!

With the introduction of Twitch, Blizzard really had used this platform well in promoting this game by selecting certain popular streamers to have access to the closed beta. The audience all love watching those gamers, and in watching them play Overwatch would want to play the game itself, so its perfect cheap marketing towards a specific audience.

Blizzard has also created some amazing animated movies for the game, releasing them periodically, as well as creating an online comic to explain some of its story. It is an unconventional position to make a game without a single player campaign, but I think by not having one adds to the appeal and mystery of the backgrounds of each character.

The open beta was May 5th - 9th and it was widely successful. Over 9.7 million players participated according to released statistics and I'm sure that it swayed many people into buying the game.

The Blizzard Reputation

One big appeal to me and a lot of others will be Blizzard's reputation for keeping a game fresh after a long time, and not just be done with it and work on a sequel. This means their games have a lot more value in its reputation for longevity then others.

Existing games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo has lasted a long time by constantly introducing new things into the game, be it add ons like new maps or tweaking things that are too strong or weak.

Hearthstone is the biggest example at the moment where it is as popular as ever and kept its longevity by constantly introducing new cards into the metagame and more recently taking some old ones out.

They have skilfully managed to balance out the game where each hero is just as popular as each other, and from my experience in the open beta, this is true of Overwatch as well. When a strategy or a character is too powerful that everyone uses it and nothing is done, that game dies soon enough.

It also has a way for players to collect various skins to customise characters. CS;GO has shown how much money can be made from just their skins, but its unclear at this point whether micro transactions will be added into the game.

Blizzard has also now gotten a much better reputation with its community. There are open forums, social media, events, and an active YouTube page. They really understand the importance of building a fanbase, and in doing this well, how loyal they can become.

Here enjoy a clip from one of my games where my team all decide to play the same character for a laugh!

Well their release probably means less time for Poker and studying, but its gonna be fun! I hope you guys enjoy the game and feel free to message me to add me on battle.net! GLHF at the tables guys!

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