Archive for the ‘Nerdy stuff’ Category
Played five competitive matches tonight: two draws, one loss, two wins. So I moved up very slightly in the ranks. Need to get to 1500 to get out of the bottommost tier.
Tomorrow is a big day. A new hero will be introduced to Overwatch, Orisa, who is a black African female robot, thus adding more diversity to the game and totally destroying the archaic notion that heroes are white male humans.
Orisa will be the third robot hero. We already have the non-talkative nature-loving Bastion, and the Buddhist robot Zenyatta who wanders the world, helping those he meets to overcome their personal struggles and find inner peace.
Zenyatta is the only overtly religious hero. Will Blizzard ever introduce a Christian hero? Don’t count on it.
8 kills with only one death. Take that you snot-nosed teenagers! Fear the middle-aged gamer!
I’ve written about this game before, but I can now say this is the absolute best game I’ve played during the last two years. As an iPad game, I find it much easier to play than PC games. It’s just a lot easier to tap where you want to go than to use a mouse to do that, especially when every fraction of a second delay can get your hero killed.
This game is a “MOBA,” similar to the very popular PC game League of Legends, played in teams of 3v3. You move around the map, you try to capture objectives and/or kill the enemy. Although you do inevitably die, it’s a lot less frustrating form of dying than in Overwatch.
Also it’s free. Yes, if you want to spend money, you can buy “skins” for your heroes, but that’s just a waste of money in my opinion. Skins have nothing to do with the gameplay. You can also pay to unlock heroes, but I have every hero unlocked from the in-game currency I “earned” from playing the game and I never paid a cent. (Of course, people paying money to unlock heroes and buy skins is what keeps the game in existence, so it’s good that many people do that.)
This game would probably be even more fun if I got into a team that used voice chat, but I haven’t done that.
Theoretically, this would be a good game for those who like to think but don’t have quick reflexes, because underneath the fancy graphics and complicated rules (which admittedly would be way too complicated to adjudicate if you were playing this game in person with physical cards and no computer) it’s just a 1v1 card game. You have a bunch of cards in your hand, you play a card, stuff happens, you draw a card into your hand. It doesn’t require any more hand-eye coordination than online poker.
I found this game very fun when I first started playing it, and actually I played the game regularly for a few months. But eventually I came to realize that this game has the same pay-to-win revenue model of mobile games like Clash of Clans. You would have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy the cards that you would need to have a competitive deck. Eventually, this turned me off to the game.
So far, Lucio seems like the easiest hero to play. Lucio has ranged-based (30 virtual meters) healing power that’s always on, so even if you have absolutely no skill in hitting buttons or targeting, by merely being next to your team members and not dying, you are helping the cause.
The best way to avoid dying is to always be moving. Running around in circles, zig-zags, or whatever, makes it hard for anyone to pick you off, and any damage you pick up that doesn’t kill you is quickly healed up by your always-on healing power.
Occasionally there’s an enemy hero in front of you, and clicking the left mouse button here to fire your “sonic” gun will result in a kill. I’ve had a few successful games where I killed more enemy than I was killed myself.
”Mystery Heroes” game mode
I discovered this game mode in which you are randomly assigned a hero, and then randomly assigned a new hero after you inevitably die. This is the best way to learn all of the heroes. Even if you plan to “main” one or two heroes, you have to know what all of the other heroes do in order to be good at the game, because you need to know what your other team members are trying to do, and you need to know what to do when you see an enemy hero. For example, if you see an enemy Reinhardt, you don’t want to get close to that guy if you’re playing Lucio! But there are many wimpier heroes that you can take down as Lucio in a 1v1 duel if you get the drop on them, even if, like me, you suck at aiming your gun.
Otis the Sweaty writes in a comment:
So do you like this game? You didn’t really review it, you just described it.
The concept and the graphics are fascinating, the interface is slick. I find it mildly amusing but sometimes frustrating. There definitely isn’t that addictive feeling in which I can’t wait to play the game and can’t pull myself away from the computer. I could never imagine myself being so immersed in this game that I forget to eat and sleep and eventually die, a story we occasionally hear about from Asia.
Even though Yakov doesn’t like it when I use this excuse, I think that it’s an age thing. I think that when I was 20 years old, I would have found this game a lot more enjoyable. Although I suppose that the tendency to get addicted to playing videogames is one of the things for which I should NOT envy the young. However, I think it’s related to the ability of 20-year-olds to focus on things for longer periods of time, and their greater ability to learn and absorb new experiences, and to give things their 100%. As we get older, we get set in our ways and become resistant to change, and learning new things is a type of change. For example, there are so many old people who refuse to learn how to use a smartphone.
Many other people, mostly all of them younger than me, do find Overwatch very addictive. It’s the biggest hit multiplayer videogame of 2016. Only Counter-Strike GO matches it as a most-played multiplayer first-person shooter, and the Counter-Strike franchise has been around for sixteen years while Overwatch is less than a year old. It takes time for top games to pick up a playerbase (unlike lesser games which peak the month they are released and then die off). Overwatch is still in the expansion phase.
I personally found Vainglory, a “MOBA” for the iPad a much more enjoyable experience. It doesn’t require any precise aiming, you just tap the enemy you want to fire at (or use a stylus, I use a Bamboo stylus) and your character attacks. I find it a lot easier to play than the most popular PC MOBA, League of Legends, because it’s a lot easier to tap the enemy on a touchscreen than it is to find him with your mouse pointer. While I still lack the quick reflexes necessary to make it to the very top of Vainglory rankings, I’m an above average player because the game also involves a lot of strategy and slower tactical thinking.
This game is played from a first-person point of view, so you don’t see your own character, you just see your gun (or other weapon) and a target which is where your bullets (or whatever else) will hit when you fire your weapon by clicking on the left mouse button. I guess that’s why this genre of game is called a “first-person shooter.”
In contrast, role-playing games like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV are commonly played with the camera behind you so that you do see your own character.
Overwatch is played in teams of 6 v 6, and your team wins a match by accomplishing an objective. The objective is basically to stand in some location for a certain period of time, or prevent the other team from doing that. Theoretically you don’t actually have to kill anyone to win a match, but for the most part, the only way to win is to clear the objective area of enemies by killing them.
There are a whole bunch of different playing fields (or maps), and you are randomly assigned to one when you start a match. Multiple maps make the game extra difficult for new players because you need to learn such a large number of maps. At my point in playing, I can’t say that I have a good understanding of any of the maps.
The graphics are pretty, but in keeping with Blizzard’s philosophy of making their games accessible to players with lesser computer hardware, they are not as super-detailed and realistic as some other modern games.
The game has voice chat built into it. So far on the noob levels, no one is using the voice chat, but I am sure that if I ever get good enough at the game to move up in the rankings, the voice chat will make the game a lot more immersive and allow you to coordinate strategies with your team members. I am also sure that the downside of voice chat will be that immature teammates will curse you out for not playing as well as they think you ought to.
There are more than twenty different “heroes” you can play. Each hero has different weapons and abilities.
I have found, so far, that the hardest heroes to play are those with low hit points and special movement abilities. The theory behind these heroes is that they use their movement abilities to sneak up or surprise the enemy. For example, Pharah has a jetpack that has about two seconds of fuel (which recharges pretty quickly when not being used), which allows Pharah to get up on the roofs and fly briefly over the battlefield. While I’ve suffered many deaths from a Pharah hovering over me and gunning me down before I could figure out what was happening, when actually playing Pharah I was not able to pull off anything cool like that.
I’ve found that Bastion is an easy hero to play. Bastion can go into turret mode in which he can’t move but his weapon turns into a super-powerful long-range machine gun that can mow down enemies very quickly if you are able to keep your target on them. Because you can’t move, you don’t have to pay attention to anything besides aiming your machine gun. You also can self-heal, by clicking the right mouse button, which makes you a lot more defensive because any damage that doesn’t finish you off can be quickly repaired. Of course, not being able to move makes it hard to take objectives because you are not moving towards them, and while you will never take anyone by surprise, those mobile enemies will definitely take you by surprise and then you can’t get away because you’re immobile.
After installing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video card into my computer, I was ready to play a modern game, so I chose Overwatch because it’s one the most popular games out there. In fact, at the moment I’m writing this, it’s the second-most watched game at Twitch, behind League of Legends.
Alas, I suck at this game. Bullets flying all over the place, my aim sucks and I can’t kill anyone, enemy players keep sneaking up behind me and wiping me out.
I guess I’m too old to play a game like this.
In FFXIV, I’ve been hunting the rushes I received from Final Fantasy XI, a frustratingly idiosyncratic MMORPG that, at times, felt like a punishing inside joke. Some monsters attack by sight, others by sound, and if players don’t consult their mental Excel spreadsheet of imminent death every few steps, imminent death will soon become inevitable. Often, in FFXI, players are forced to cross huge swaths of a zone saturated with belligerent mobs. Before hitting an outpost, they might die a half dozen times. And this all happens before level 20.
And you can’t go back and play FFXI even if you wanted to, because it no longer exists in it’s original format in 2003 when it was released. Also, if you enjoyed computer games in 2003, you may be too old to still enjoy them in 2016.
Sorry for this extremely nerdy post.
I haven’t played this game yet. Should I bother?