Overwatch: Overpriced

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First Impressions

This past weekend I was able to try out Blizzards first foray into into FPS Overwatch. There is a forced tutorial  which isn’t too long winded and gets to the point, interestingly it assumes no prior knowledge of computers it seems for example the first instruction informs the player on how to move the mouse around to look.  Afterwards you’re recommended to try out a sandbox training mode area to get a hang of the various characters and their abilities which I found quite nice. Then I just dived into about 4 hours of live play it was overall fun.

Gameplay

Available in this weekend test were 3 modes:

  1. Capture Point – Fight to conquer or hold areas.
  2. King of the Hill – Fight over a single area.
  3. Payload – Escort a cart to the end of a stage.

The modes were exactly the same as from experiences from other games. However one big difference  is that the games can be over quite fast, a game can be over in 5 minutes (rare but it happens).  Also this game seems to be Multiplayer only at the moment.

Characters/Weapons

In Overwatch you don’t pick up weapon powerups or even configure a load out. You pick a character which has a set weapon(s) and set abilities. To make up for this though, there are a lot of characters (21 in the beta). Each character is drastically different and feel very different to play for example Soldier 76 feels like you’re playing Call of Duty but Pharah feels like I’m kind of playing Quake. No-matter what your preferences are you should be able to find at least 1 character suitable to your play-style. You can switch character any time you’re in base or when you’re dead to counter-pick enemies so you’re not stuck.

Comparisons

Whilst playing this game I was immediately reminded of Team Fortress 2 so afterwards I played some TF2 to juxtapose.

Gameplay-wise both games feel kind of similar at the surface level except for 2 things, movement and game length. There are many characters in Overwatch that move very fast and have mobility options like wall-climbing, flying and teleporting which I feel are the main contributors to the faster feel and shorter games. TF2 isn’t necessarily slow-paced, its just that progress feels more deliberate. These two differences make the games very different.

The characters options are samey in my opinion, TF2 has few characters that you customise to change gameplay where as Overwatch has many fixed characters.

Match-making

Content-wise it seems Overwatch doesn’t have many maps at the moment, but I assume that map pool will improve considering the price-tag.

Value

No doubt the game is great fun however at the moment, you get a handful of maps and a few game modes. The developers have promised post-launch content to justify its price tag, but for me tangible results are more important than intentions as we’ve all seen those expensive season passes which eventuate into only a few updates. After currency conversion I paid approximately 55 USD for the base version (other versions just have character skins). Thinking about the enjoyment I’ve gotten from other FPS and their current prices I think a list is important for comparison.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 14.99 USD
  • Team Fortress 2 Free
  • Insurgency 14.99 USD (Goes on sale often)
  • Quake Live 9.99 USD
  • Overwatch 55 USD

To be fair those games are much more mature in their life-cycle than Overwatch and their game-styles aren’t exactly the same  but even at launch the games I’ve listed were not much more expensive than their current price. It is very hard for Overwatch to justify its price as it has less content then any single of those games and is more than 3 times more expensive.

Should you buy?

For the more directly comparable games, you’ve got Quake and Team fortress 2 which are available so much cheaper if you need your arena shooter or team-based fix. However if you want to play the latest shooter which will have a high population of players you may want to get Overwatch for 2 reasons, firstly its new, people like new things and secondly brand name, Blizzard’s name is strong and their titles sell well regardless of quality.

Personal Choice

Overwatch is lacking content and not worth it, I have purchased the game however my decision was motivated mainly by friends playing as well.

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Tree of Savior: Guide Updates

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Updated Monk Guides

With some more experience on live and higher level content I’ve made some change to my suggestions.

Aspersion is less useful than it seems because at higher levels there is a lot of magic damage going around, I previously suggested anywhere from 1-15 points as a skill dump but right now I don’t recommend it at all.

Sacrament is a great skill adding an extra holy attack to your whole parties autos and greatly influential to your killing speeds whilst levelling and not double punching. I’d previously recommended maxing this out, however each subsequent level adds very little damage, this is a 1 point wonder do not max it.

Mass Heal I’d previously advised against getting this skill however, upon playing with it more, I don’t find it hard to use at all and the base % healing when maxed out is 28% HP which is huge. Note care must be used when using and will take a little practice but it is well worth it. Max this out.

The following guide’s have been altered to reflect the changes:

Monk Options Part 2 – In-depth review of all pre-monk options.

Monk Options Part 3 – Example Generalist Monk skill build and explanation

The skill builds listed in Part 3 have also been updated for quick reference.

Tree of Savior: PvP Discussion

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Valis the PvP Arena NPC Found in main city of  Fedimian

PvP Modes: There are basically 2 kinds of PvP in the game at the moment, Arena and Guild vs Guild (GvG).

I have little knowledge on GvG at the moment and there is  new content in relation to it coming up soon so this article will focus on the Arena.

Arena Types: Auto Match Making 2v2 and 5v5. Premade 5v5.

The most popular mode seems to be 5v5 matchmaking.

To get started you need to talk to the NPC I’ve screencapped and simply que up.

The Metagame

The metagame I am describing is a snapshot of Korean Tree of Savior prior to the release of International ToS early access, since then I’ve simply been grinding it out not PvPing.

If you looked at the Korean top 50 PvP rankings in the past for 5v5 you would’ve seen 2 classes dominate the rankings Plague Doctor and Warlock plus a few Musketeers and Dragoons.

To understand why it is so, first you need to understand that this is 5v5 Random Matched up people so there’s less coordination and planning so thinking about all the class abilities, who can help out 4 random people the best? Obviously it’d be a cleric or support of some kind which you can plainly see is the Plague Doctor from the results.

The Plague Doctor

What makes the Plague Doctor so good? They don’t have any killer skills however there are some key abilities in their support kit which can shut down many classes. Firstly Stone Skin gained from Priest 3 increases the teams block rate dramatically, making any shield wielders practically immune to physical damage. The plague doctor itself has a singular star ability Blood-letting this makes your team immune to most status effects. These two buffs provided eliminate the effectiveness of physical based damage and status based damage leaving behind only Magic unmitigated. Apart from these two abilities the Plague Doctor can heal well and provide a myriad of buffs, resurrect the whole team and spread status effects.

Wizards

Now understanding the nature of the Plague Doctor, knowing that magic is the only unmitigated type of attack naturally Wizards are dominant. Initially due to a bug with resetting the Arena Warlocks could kill on respawn, but since this has been fixed the ratings of Warlocks have dropped but are replaced by other sorts of Wizards. Previously the main build consisted of variations of Wiz3/Ele3/Warlock built with Pure CON as the magic skill damage is high and boosted by Wiz3 Magic Amplification attribute by 50% already.

Dragoon and Musketeer

Knowing that Plague Doctor severely limits the effectiveness of physical classes, why do these two prop up? These two classes have block penetration available to them and don’t rely on status effects. The Dragoon has some nice burst and high damaging skills however this is just icing on the cake, the main tools come from the Cataphract, Impale allows you to grab 1 of the enemy team members and move them around. The Musketeer is a nice single target burst damage dealer and one of the few classes with % increased damage rather than flat.

Building your PvP Character

Stat wise building your character knowing the above meta as a reference point becomes much easier.

Defensively you know most damage is magic, you can’t block magic and you can’t evade magic, only certain classes can provide some measure of magic resist. The main defensive stats are CON which provides health and block rate and DEX which applies to evasion. Since you cannot evade magic dex is alot less valuable, with CON yes you can’t block magic however the extra HP will keep you alive from bursts when you’re caught out of position or targeted and provide extra block rating to supplement the huge blockrate gained from a Priests Stone Skin. SPR does provide a little magic resist 0.2/stat its very small so CON is more worthy. Most healing magic from clerics in this game is based on % of your HP which makes higher CON even more valuable. TL;DR CON is the only real defensive stat for PvP

Offensively we know that unless our class has block penetration available it will be difficult to be physical or use status you also know that because you can’t evade magic, knowledgeable players will not depend on this so you don’t need much DEX for accuracy purposes but you still may way some to be able to hit the few that try. Also with the abundance of CON in PvP which contributes to critical resistance, Dex builds are even weaker. Offence wise there isn’t much variety if STR is your damage stat get STR if its INT get INT etc. However keep in mind that the stat contribution is flat, e.g. 1 STR = 1 Extra Damage at the end of the calculation and that most of your skills damage comes from the skill and attribute levels, knowing this alot of people have chosen to not raise their offensive stats at all and just go full CON.

Whats the point of building anything other than Plague Doctor or Wizard?

The meta-game changes depending on two things, what the players choose to do and balance patches. Quite often a meta-game does change more to do with players finding answers to previously dominant elements or strategies when developers allow for time rather than nerf quickly and in heavily competitive environments people like to hoard secrets which allow them to defeat the main strategies that everyone thinks is the best. So before crying for nerfs or mindlessly copying the top players I’d implore you to look at all the class skills and play with skill simulators to find answers as it could be you who sets the new meta. Though there’s nothing wrong with simply picking up the winning strategy and running with it if thats what makes you happy.

Summary

Due to the presence of Plague Doctor support mitigating physical and status offence heavily, magic was the predominant source of damage resulting in Wizards dominating when I last looked at PvP Arena rankings. The only physical classes available to combat were Dragoon and Musketeer due to availability of block penetration along the way and extremely high burst damage. Stat wise you want to stack CON or CON plus one other supporting stat for damage or buff contribution. (Pure CON, CON/Str, CON/INT, CON/SPR)