Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Overwatch: How a Tank/Support Main Became a "Genji Main"

I know I haven't posted in a long time.  My WoW guild was going through difficult times and <Despotism> effectively died last November in some drama that still boggles my mind to this day.  Nor do I really want to talk about it right now, to be frank.  I might later for now I'm simply trying to get back into writing some blog stuff, period.

It's not going to be about WoW, either.  I haven't played since my guild broke up and I don't know if I'll ever play Legion (or WoW again, period).  So what will it be about?

Lately I've been playing a lot of Overwatch.  I ended Season 1 at rank 69 and currently am nearly to Diamond in Season 2.  I mostly play Genji though I also play Mercy, Reinhardt, Ana, and some Reaper.  Other games I'm playing include 7 Days to Die, Endless Legend, Civ V, Neverwinter Nights, and Starcraft II.  I might also write about some/all of those.  We'll see.

Today I'm just going to repost a thread I made on the Overwatch forums as I wrote it and then thought "Hey, that actually wouldn't be a bad blog post."  So without further ado...

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Yes, I know there are a lot of awful "Genji mains" out there. People who are weebus (or whatever the hell it's called), Seagull "fanbois," or whatever. People who have never touched a character other than Genji (and maybe Hanzo) in their life.

But we're not all like that (hint: check my player icon).

When the first trailer came out, you know who I was most excited about? Reinhardt. Here, I set this up so you could appreciate his glory: http://www.infinitelooper.com/?v=dushZybUYnM&p=n#/248;266

I also liked Mercy's original inflection for "Heroes never die!" better -- that line alone made me want to at least try her.

When the second trailer came out, you know who I was most excited about? McCree. Sure, Genji was badass when he appeared, but only to the point of "Oh, hey, that's cool. But back to playing CLINT EASTWOOD!"

For a long time my most played heroes were Mercy, Reinhardt, and McCree. Mercy's still my second most played hero with 31 hours in Quick Play alone (and I was getting PotG from day one as her), Reinhardt is third with 29 hours, and McCree is fourth at 9 hours (then Ana at 7 hours and everyone else at 5 hours or below). But you know what happened?

A lot of my friends ALSO liked Mercy, Lucio, Reinhardt, McCree, and S76. We generally had healing covered, tanking covered, and front line DPS covered...but no one played Genji or Tracer (or flanking Reaper). So I decided to learn Genji because Deflect is crazy awesome (I loved the idea of turning the attacks of enemies against them). I never even heard of Seagull until someone complimenting me on my Genji play asked me if I watched him.

When competitive came around, only a few of those friends were seriously interested. And during my placement matches I picked last to fill out our composition. I think I went 4-6 and ranked about 53. But I was constantly frustrated by bad DPS on the team because, y'know, I can only do so much as Reinhardt/Mercy.

During one particularly bad afternoon I was duo queuing with a friend who plays Reinhardt 99% of the time and I was mostly playing Mercy as the second (or sometimes only) healer. After a match with an excruciatingly bad Genji my friend said "Dude, just instalock Genji from now one. You're good with him and it stops idiots like that from picking him." And I said "Fine."

That match was bad enough to get my friend to stop for the day but I kept solo queueing. Each time I insta-locked Genji. I won like half a dozen in a row to get to rank 61. In some of the games I had people praising my play and talking about how they were glad I was on their team. In other games I had teammates claiming I was worthless and constantly insulting me (I just ignored them during the match but it wasn't pleasant). Note that we won every single one of those games.

Finally I "caved" and started swapping off Genji when my team yelled at me for being worthless or even started as other heroes. I immediately started dropping in rank and wound up at 56 in the span of a few hours. The breaking point for me was two games in a row with a terrible Genji in the first and a team that couldn't grasp "stand behind the Reinhardt's shield" in the second. I finally said "Screw this" and went back to instalocking Genji.

Seven wins a row later I was at rank 63. Finished the season at rank 69 with a mix of solo and group queues.

Overall competitive winrates in season 1?

Reinhardt: 31%
Mercy: 32%
Genji: 65%

...so...yeah.

I don't mind playing tanks and healers. Hell, I *like* playing tanks and healers. But I *hate* playing tanks and healers with crappy teams that have awful DPS. Put a good Tracer/Genji player on my team and I'm happy to play Mercy/Reinhardt/Ana (even Reaper). But in my experience good Tracer/Genji players have been rare and it's been much safer to just lock in Genji myself.

In other words, the next time you see a "Genji main" instalock their favorite hero, consider that it might not be because they're an idiot. It might be because they've been scarred from trying to tank/heal for teams in the past. Talk to them, don't insult them. You might be surprised once in a while.

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In conclusion, have a video I posted back in May as a montage:

 

A second video of me doing some commentary on Genji gameplay in June:


And a final video of me testing out the Season 2 Genji nerfs on the PTR in August:


If people are interested in me writing posts or making video about specific things (that offer isn't just limited to just Overwatch either) please leave some feedback in the comment section!

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