A/n- kinda just ranting because daddy Jeff just told me I’m wrong and what I like is never coming back. So I’m hurt and upset and I’m crying at work. Don’t @ me. ~~ I know I’m a mess.~~
I really hate how often the conversation around certain heroes shapes itself into “protect da low rankz” because somehow their mechanics are seen as an unfair advantage to climb. And I hate it because imo… it’s smoke and mirrors.
You don’t care about low ranks. You despise them. You don’t want to play there. And you don’t want them to improve unless it’s done in your form of approved play.
I think I hate it so much because I feel like a lot of the merits of the heroes are dismissed over something like personal preference. And not in favor of building a diverse and open community. Instead, a specific set of people dictate the tastes and likes of the general playerbase arbitrarily and without consideration for the various tastes and therefore play that can come about from the diverse players. And they smokescreen this negative attitude with false virtue that to me- is freaking condescending.
personal rant and my own experience background
So, I’m not really an FPS person. Never really got into it as, well- sorry NERDS but some of us play outside.
it’s really more like I’m the oldest in a poor household so I was busy being socially productive and stuff so “FUN” was never had… WTF is cake? Sounds fake so, I didn’t grow up playing games in general. Moreover, when I did play games, I was more interested in things like, Chess and go, and
Breadwinner and RAINBOW ISLAND. I was interested in strategy and maybe the occasional thing I had a score and could speed run with (allowing a different form of strategy. How fast can I play with a max score?). And this would evolve into something I felt I had more control over in RPGs.
But overwatch came out and I was really happy because I could finally have what World of Warcraft doesn’t allow: Crits in my own hands. Honestly, if Hanzo Symm and Pharah didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have played this game.
So I wasn’t really introduced to the game with soldier like a lot of new players are. I initially started on Hanzo, and then symm. (I know for overwatch symm doesn’t have headshots, but from a MOBA perspective, her mega orbs were like, hitting a crit in lieu of a beam channel). And then I went out of my way to play widow
only to find that…
She’s really freaking easy.
Turn out, my aim isn’t bad at all. Now, I sit in High Diamond mid masters now, but I first placed season 1, in essentially gold. Which, for someone who literally never played competitive shooters before- and the friends they made placed in silver equivalent-, is pretty good.
Ultimately, I’ve actually never on my own merits, have played in silver or bronze.
Strategy, aim, and coordination for me was already something I had. And even tho my aim wasn’t A tier when I started, it wasn’t hard to build up competently.
And so my issues with climbing out of gold wasn’t really any one thing. And I placed in gold on the Trash Tier heroes- DVA, Symm, and hanzo.
I would climb on Rein a bit, but that was because I was filling for friends I played with at that time. They liked DPS, and who tf in gold and silver played perma trash Winston in season 1?
He was the “Bad” tank.
After season 1 is when the Youtube overwatch scene really picked up imo. And that’s when I really started getting smack from my group about my hanzo, symm, and dva picks. And that was that they felt hanzo, symm, and dva were inherently bad.
Don’t get me wrong, they were. But by season 2, I was the highest sr of my group. Sitting at a comfortable almost plat while they tetered on gold and silver.
And I don’t mean it as a rank shaming thing. What I mean is, that the influence of outside factors and people affected the choices of low rank players despite what they were actually experiencing in game.
How dare I choose hanzo or symm? They were bad, and it didn’t matter that I was doing well.
And I think that the big turning point for me was Ana.
Influencing the plebs
Despite the #SupportQueen ‘s current A tier love, Ana did not release well. And I think it’s important to remember that everyone thought she was TRASH.
But I, in my mid-tier gold rank… didn’t. I thought she was freaking amazing. But here’s the thing, Ana launched and all the streamers, and Youtubers and her freaking intro vid…kind of focused on her being a traditional sniper…so she was used…as a dps.
I didn’t do that. I used her as a support. And #guesswhat? A 100% heal nade is freaking amazing.
Ana is what helped me become a solid plat player. It’s what made me realize that I didn’t have trash aim (as hanzo and widow are trash in low tiers).
So here’s my issue: I didn’t have trash aim. I didn’t have bad game sense. And yet I was in gold.
And it’s not until triple tank was coined as an official strat - nearly two or three seasons later-that I was allowed on Ana without harassment from my peers. And that’s because Ana in the eyes of the high tier, was good. Even tho, in lower tiers, she had mostly become kind of worse.
Ana is supposedly balanced for high tier play today. Her 100% heal nade was broken and with lucio made a min trans and triple tank was all her fault etc.
But even today, ana isn’t a bad choice in low rank play. Yet, the hero balanced because of low rank play- symm- is and she isn’t being used…
actual low rank play
I mostly left my prior group, for various reasons, but I still play with a few. And they are even lower now as the game has gotten better players through time. And my Brother who played was initially in bronze. It was once my main account hit plat, that I had to make a second account just to play with them.
But it wasn’t until I was with my brother and walking him through bronze play that I felt like I finally realized my issue with lower tier play. And that’s because for him, I didn’t join him. I just watched him and guided him through. Unlike me, my brother actually does have good aim. And that’s because he grew up with video games.
Damn younger siblings get EVERYTHING. But…he sat in Bronze.
So I walked him through a game initially because he fell to bronze recently and was heartbroken. He was almost gold, and one losing streak smacked him down to bronze.
So I sat with him, he was initially filling on Mercy and just watched…
Early on, I tell him to switch off mercy and go soldier. He nearly dies from panic but…Im the eldest. Submission is in the rules. Punk isn’t about to disobey me lmao
But his team freaks too.
A- This was during mercy’s rein of terror. And he just switched off mercy.
B- He picked soldier… not doom or reaper- someone who can one shot.
C- He left a solo healer- zen.
Yet- Long story short, his team won, with a solo heal zen.
I’ve seen “coaching bronze” vids and such but I never felt like they really brought things home for me. Often, they coach and tailor to specific points in specific play. And even then, they recommend THE META. And ultimately, through my own experiences, and what I have had confirmed for me from the devs… I think that there’s something wrong with how we approach lower rank play.
low rank logic issues
A lot of people say a lot of the same rhetoric about low rank games about certain heroes. Symm, Mei, bastion, etc… but it doesn’t seem very fair or in good faith imo. Ultimately, while annoying…Symm isn’t some domineering choice of low ranks. She isn’t winning games by just existing and never was. Moreover, the high rank choices, are often still fairly valid at lower rank play.
Like, inherently that’s what it is. A 1600 sr widow, is equal to a 1600 sr symm. It just is. Both of these players are 1600 sr. your chances of winning with a widow in silver are the same as with a symm.
And I have to wonder… to what extent is the argument even valid. Mercy can’t be too good because she’s going to dominate lower ranks, but it’s fine for ana to dominate higher ones? How does that make any sense?
People aren’t climbing with torb and symm just for playing them. Otherwise… they wouldn’t be so hated there and they would be picked wayyy more. That is, unlike my brother’s bronze rank game… High rank games FORCE meta picks. No one in the bronze game picked up mercy when my brother let her go. But That would have never been okay in my -at the time- master rank play.
Brig wasn’t seen as good in lower ranks unless she won. Lower ranks ran 222 and 321, and brig was seen as a HUGE liability. Coaching my friend through on brig helped improve their rein play as brig was just constantly harassed in
a 222 setting in silver. this was despite huge Brig narratives of being OP everywhere else. Doing good on her meant she was OP. Bad or just…normal meant she was trash.
Brig wasn’t a plat, gold, silver or bronze issue. She was a diamond, masters, and grandmasters issue.
What I basically hear is, “We like playing ana, and we don’t like playing brig, so we don’t want brig in our high rank viability. “
When people say, “bastion is bad for the game” well… how? In what way? If you aren’t playing him… what’s your damage? What? You never want to see him, so others can’t?
Well… I’m on a diet so you can’t eat pizza.
the high rank hypocrisy
Turrets just…aren’t an issue. Low aim just isn’t an issue. These unliked heroes are just… not liked. And What I get upset at is these gm, top 500 players, commenting on “the meta” and fellow GM bastions and symms and torbs as being broken, while both: not using these heroes, and calling them trash. And then
blaming low rank players for their current being upset.
It’s really no secret that I LOATHE mercy with a passion of a thousand suns.
BUT- I don’t force my teammates off of her. I don’t demand that they too partake in daily hatred of her. They like a thing. It’s fine. What matters is the game. And even when heroes are undertuned or straight underpowered, I try to
make things work.
I’m a diamond- support player. Yet for some reason, I cannot work with a Hammond. I just can’t. He’s so hard for me, and so inconsistent and I have too much to do on Ana or moira or whoever to be worried about him. If there’s a Hammond on my team…I’m on zen. ALWAYS. I forced myself to be better on zen, and learned to deck doomfists faster not because of the enemy glocking me but I have this huge passion to play zen all the time…but because I had NO way of keeping up with Hammond. It was easier for me to git gud at zen to toss hammy a orb than maintain my level on moira. Hammond was just too much for me.
But unless he was getting glocked by enemy meis AND sombras, I don’t yell or complain about my Hammond. I work with him. This seems to not be the case for plenty of other people.
I will NEVER forget the day I truly felt sorry for mercy players. It was around the time of her 50 hps nerf. And there was a stream from two Youtubers I used to like, and had fallen away from. And this stream really put into perspective why I didn’t like them anymore.
I was interested because it was supposed to be a stream about how good and broken mercy still was. And it caught my attention since it was a Youtube collab. And neither really ever played mercy. So I was interested to see them put to
action what I had seen from them constantly tell others. And moreover- in a collab video.
So these two people get in game and get on mercy. And they talk about how “damage boost is sooo good. It’s just a broken ability” and how “her heals are fine. Look at how fast tracer is back up”
And then their rein takes a hit. And they are healing when their reaper dies. And they go to rez and fly away before the rez went off. And then they dmg boost widow who doesn’t hit any shots. And this goes on for about … two minutes…before they switch off of mercy…because they really couldn’t do anything.
Mercy was to them…. So easy… that they had to switch to Ana…
TWO of them. TWO different streamers, in a mercy stream… COULDN’T GET HER TO WORK.
Now, I totally recognize that in that above case… they were just really bad mercys. I don’t like her, I don’t have use for her, But I recognize that I’m not everyone. I have my own style and my own play and therefore value certain things over others.
If you wanna mock mercy players can you at least get on their level?
And I realized the issue wasn’t mercy. It was them. They didn’t like playing her. They don’t like her style. They want more control. They want more direct punch. They want to be the star.
And that’s not mercy.
And the skills that come with the form of play to her….are unintuitive on Ana.
Which is why low gold ana players don’t work the same as low gold mercy players. They aren’t the same.
So why are you designing and balancing mercy around high rank ana players?
And before someone brings in MR… I’m not saying mercy needs a revert or whatever. This isn’t a thread about mercy’s balance or whatever. And if you prefer valk…nifty for you. I don’t care. And that’s the point.
What I’m saying is, why does the merits of a hero and their kit fall dependent on players who don’t like a hero wholesale?
Because cool… ya’ll like mercy. I don’t. At all. I don’t like her personality. I don’t like her face. I don’t like her role. I don’t like her balancing focus. I don’t like her. I actually do really like her Voice actress. I like her in basically every other thing she does… But not mercy. I have a whole spiel about how mercy actually is the root of basically near every single issue in overwatch. I get tinfoil hat about this.
But I’m not here mocking players for doing the opposite. And I’m not insisting that she eliminate her skills, or kit in favor of what I prefer to work with under the guise of saying that the skills she does require aren’t equal to my own.
I have my own preferences. But I make that clear and obvious. I PREFER A DPS MERCY.
Topping off and emphasizing tanks imo isn’t the best place for her. Instead, her enabling should benefit the heroes that emphasize her best assets in my view. While not undermining her current flow and kit.
So am I outside the lines for a lot of mercy players? Sure. But I would never suggest that playing her is inherently a form of identifying oneself to be a lower tier of player based on my preference of play.
And this is just a clarification because I recently had a thread where my literary device ended up being the sole focus of the thread and I’m annoyed about how the m word triggers a thread of ethots clogging up my notifications.
I really kind of got worked up about this because Jeff’s recent activity emphasized how I was totally right and you’ve been tricked into reading this. It’s actually just a self congratulatory thread about how I totally called that the direction of the game has moved to individual play and away from teamwork. I’m right. Always am right. and Jeff owes me royalties for not hiring me when I sent him my resume and a $5 bribe.
Alright, it isn’t all self flatulation. I guess somewhere in this rant of a thread I have a point about lower ranks.
And really what it is is that I feel like there is a misunderstanding of what we need to look at for low rank play because The issue isn’t merely “Aim.” And that the issues for low rank play, tie into high rank play but in a reverse manner.
And no matter the direction of the game, this should be considered when designing heroes and implementing any form of balance.
remember the SR reset?
Low ranks are like any other sport. Last place and therefore losers. And when you’re first place/aka a winner, it’s easy to want to separate yourself from them. And so it’s easy to say to the losers “what they really need to do to improve” but…that’s just not how it works. Team A might be in 7th place because of one reason, and team B might be in 8th for another. When there was a bug that caused a short blip to reset some high rank players, they flipped out.
It’s not even monetary issues. Bronze to GM streams do quite well. And in this case, the reset was not done by throwing. So it isn’t like there was anything of monetary value being lost.
Ultimately, it’s the offense to suggest that you are of lower rung players that really was the issue. It wasn’t seen as a challenge for “who can climb back fastest?” or “Blizzard sponsored Gold to Top 5”
It was an affront.
And none of the issues brought up were about what it meant for actual gold players. The conversation was around the Top 500.
But here’s the thing… we could have. And it wasn’t worth it because nothing changed for gold players.
We didn’t see an influx of Gold symm players trying to deal with Top ranked players as best they can. Because ultimately… symm isn’t some promised win to gold players.
Just picking mei doesn’t just rush you to victory. Bastion isn’t going to get you to diamond and have it smooth sailing to stay in that rank from there.
Because if it was, either those heroes would have influxed in pick during this chaotic time, or the gms would have been memeing by with “how easy” it was to climb on torb… but they didn’t.
I think a major reason I take issue with the balancing of low rank players is in how we see them from a developer and higher rank player perspective.
We demand a certain form of play and make it impossible for certain heroes to act outside of it, and demand a conformity to this idea from lower rank players. Despite how wild west the low rank play is, you’re being punished in a way
for being low rank, by outside factors. And I think this comes from how high ranks have evolved.
High ranks define themselves around “skill” and it just …doesn’t work. Because “skill” varies across heroes and roles. To the point that we ultimately define ourselves around arbitrary concepts of aim merits and efforts really not
equal across the board. And this is where we run into issues of META imo.
I still haven’t been convinced that Meta as in overwatch, is something that is universal to sports. Some people say “no no, for sure. You see this in chess” but… not really.
Chess doesn’t change all that much. Go, doesn’t change all that much. Yet the popular strategies totally do. They grow and evolve from the risks taken that at the time… are wild.
GOATS was a breath of fresh air after a total monopoly of Mercy. But that’s only for high tier play. lower rank players…already had been using mercy. and if they didnt wanna play her…they didn’t.
Silver players didn’t care about brig. And they didn’t bother with her until GOATS dominated higher tiers.
Low ranks aren’t confining themselves to metas. They can’t. Because the issues that they struggle with aren’t about any one thing.
Therefore, in a way, they are immune to metas.
You can switch off mercy…and be fine if you know what to do.
But theres a standard and expectation of conformity that comes with higher rank play that demands personal choice and will to be absolved in favor of a form of play defined by a select few. A hive mind of cohesion that vilifies a difference in play.
Because of this, the issue isn’t turrets or autolock… it’s that specific people have decided that their personal play is more important than the play and acceptance of others. Their own lack of skill is actually the fault of others and not their own bullheaded plays that they insist is the “right way” by…idk… decree by Yaweh himself. And they hide their hatred of it by claiming that if they cannot change, neither can those “more unfortunate, lesser, low skill players.”
While the actual players in those ranks are too busy trying to figure out if lucio can speed boost the payload.
Low ranks don’t care about symm. Or sombra. Or bastion.
And I think it’s a sham to act like they do.
Like… just say you don’t like a thing….
Or don’t. whatever.
Flippin NERDS! go outside.