Tag Archives: Rant

Be More Aware in Overwatch

Hello again! Yesterday I posted about some really annoying things you should avoid doing in the team game Overwatch. Today I have tips for things that you should do, and gameplay options you should use in order to be more aware of what’s going on. Awareness of your surroundings is important! Not just your own situation and where your enemies are, but also what’s going on with the rest of your team.

Use the Scoreboard

Blizzard never actually tells you this in the tutorial – why would they want to teach you anything aside from basic moving and shooting controls?! – but you can bring up the Scoreboard in game by pressing the Tab key (unless you’ve unbound it).

The Scoreboard isn’t just about your ego and seeing how many gold medals you have, it also tells you a lot about what’s going on in the game.

  • You can see who is dead, on your own team and the enemy team (they have an X through their portrait)
  • You can see if people on your team have their ult ready (see the blue checkmark under Pharah)
  • You can see who, on either team, is on fire (another thing Blizz never explains to new players)
  • You can quickly see team comps and be aware of when someone has switched heroes (or tell when the only support on your team has switched to Hanzo)

The Scoreboard is transparent, so you can still see what’s going on. I find myself pressing Tab a lot during games.

Kill Feed Display

The Kill Feed Display is in the top right of your screen. If it’s not go into Options > Gameplay and turn it on. I find a lot of people either don’t have this on, or just don’t pay attention to it. Like the people who yell “Where are my heals?!” when the healer has just died. Or the people who yell “Tracer’s low!” and go off to chase her when someone else has already finished her off in a hallway somewhere. Knowing who has just been killed is important for deciding how aggressive or defensive to be.

Allied Health Bars

Healers and a couple other characters (I think) can always see the health bars of their allies, but this is a good thing for anyone to see. Go to Options > Controls and turn on Allied Health Bars. Knowing more about the status of everyone on your team can only help. You can help someone getting low with an enemy is harassing them, tanks can put some form of shield on/in front of them, Solider can put down a heal, Roadhog can take care of his own health when others are low and need the heals. Health bars  – they’re not just for healers!

Keep an Eye on the Clock

Overwatch is a lot like football – clock management can win you games. Different kinds of play are better at the (possible) end of a match than at the beginning. In a point capture match, as the clock is running down the most important thing is to either keep the point in your possession by keeping the other team off it, or get your butt on the other team’s point to prevent the match from ending. You know someone has no awareness of the clock when they yell at Mei for walling a lone hero approaching your point when there’s only a couple seconds left. Yeah, they may have cost you an elim, but that wall let the clock run out.

It’s also very important to watch that Overtime countdown. The point/payload is always the most important thing, but being on it in Overtime is especially necessary.

Be on Voice Chat

I know not everyone will like this one but, at least in Comp, you should always be in voice chat. Even if you’re not going to talk, listening is important. Generally the more constructive communication and sharing of information there is in a game, the better the chances of winning.

Don’t be ‘That Guy’ in Overwatch

Overwatch, besides being the home of super cute characters and half the shipping on the Internet, is also a team game. But not everyone seems to understand that. Here are some things to avoid doing if you want to win and don’t want your team to hate you.

Charge/leap into the middle of the entire enemy team. This is a thing that Reinhardt and Winston are most guilty of. Charge is a great thing, but not when the end result is you surrounded by 6 enemy heroes who want to kill you and out of range of the rest of your team. You won’t get healed and you’ll die fast. And don’t yell at the healers for not healing you – Neither Lucio or Mercy’s heals will reach you (and don’t be mad Mercy didn’t fly in after you because she’d just die immediately as well), Ana probably won’t have line of sight to you, and Zen’s orb won’t keep you up through 6 people shooting you in the back. Charge more strategically.

Immediately complain when someone picks a character you don’t think will work. Now there are some comps that are probably bad ideas (a lack of tanks and support is an obvious one, 3 snipers, attack Torbjorn does seem rather trolly), but give people a shot. Don’t immediately complain that you don’t want even one sniper, or that Mei’s damage is too low, or that you want a Lucio over a Mercy.

Stubbornly stick to your original hero pick no matter how badly it’s going. Comp is important. If your team’s comp isn’t working, try something new.

Yell at your healers for not healing you, while otherwise ignoring them. This one’s pretty simple. If you ignore the D.Va or Tracer constantly harassing your healers don’t expect amazing healing.

Ignore the payload. In payload maps, the payload is the most important thing. Pushing the payload to the end (or stopping the other team from doing it) is what wins the match. Your 52 eliminations don’t matter if you can’t complete the objective. Also, if you’re on offence the payload heals you!

Yell at Mei for defending a point by putting up a wall to block enemy heroes. Mei is a defense character. She excels at defending a point. Keeping the enemy off it is just as important as killing, especially as the matching is coming to an end.

Be the Mei who uses walls to troll her own team. Seriously, you’re why people hate us.

Be the sniper who is so unaware of the status of the point that they won’t put a toe on it to save it from being captured even though they’re the only one alive. Oh yes, this happens. Even in competitive.

Be the player who runs right up outside the enemy team’s spawn at the beginning of a match, only to die immediately and leave your team to defend 5 on 6. Maps have choke points for a reason.

Be the person who’s constantly emoting or asking for heals in voice chat. Healers can see your health bar. Unless you’re nowhere near them, in which case, get near them for heals.

Be the player who’s only comfortable playing one character, or only Offence/Defense Characters. You don’t have to be able to play everything, but should be able to do one of Tank or Support.

Be one of those people who says “we don’t need 3 supports” when one of them is Symmetra. Symmetra can take down most tanks 1 v 1 right now so don’t you worry about lack of damage.

Be the developer that puts Symmetra into the Support category instead of the Defense category, breaking people’s brains, and causing fights.

Later this week I’m going to be writing about improving your awareness in Overwatch. Much of it will be snark, but there also might be some things to learn as Blizzard does not do a good job of telling people the fine details of playing the game.

What are the things people do in Overwatch that annoy you most?

Good and Bad Ways to Share on Social Media

A lot of people use social media in order to plug their stuff – videos, podcasts, articles… that’s one of the things it’s good for. However there are good and bad ways to go about doing this. Here are some things that are annoying as fuck and will get more people to ignore you and your content than help you with your self promotion, as well as some tips on good things to do to get your work in front of more eyeballs.

Don’t DM people asking them to check out your channel. This will get you unfollowed pretty much immediately. I’m not the only one who will do this. I know you want to get your name out there, but doing the equivalent of putting a flyer under someone’s windshield wiper blade isn’t a great way to go about it.

Further to this, don’t put people on the spot and ask them directly to watch your video or share it. This is just really bad manners. It depends on the personality of the person you’re approaching but this will make many people extremely uncomfortable. I’d love if more people gave my podcast a review, but imagine if I started DMing people who had never given me an indication they had listened to it and asking them to do it. It would put them in an awkward position where they’d have to: tell me they don’t listen to my podcast, lie, or just ignore me. So it’s awkward and shitty all around. Don’t put people in this position.

Don’t tag people in your images/links to your content. This is spam. Unless the person is involved in the content or has asked you to notify them when you release something new, it’s a bad thing to do. Any interactions others have with that tweet (favourites, retweets, reply-alls) will send anyone you’ve tagged a notification. Also, don’t try to get around the fact that someone has disabled the ability for you to tag them in pictures by tagging them in a follow-up tweet. Bad, bad, bad.

People are generally more likely to share the work of their friends, so making friends on social media is great (for many reasons). However, don’t try to force a friendship. Have some chill. I get a lot of people that will send me a private message for something that should really be a public comment (like “what’s your favourite game?”). Imagine being at a party and asking to talk to a relative stranger alone in another room just so you could make small talk with them. Weird, right? Don’t do this. Similarly, if you’re constantly replying to someone’s tweets and they don’t seem to be replying back or interacting in any way, maybe give it a rest. You can’t force a friendship.

But Pam! How will I get people to watch my stuff? Here are some good things to do.

Share links to your work on multiple platforms, multiple times. Share links to your stuff on Twitter at different times of the day so you have the most chance of catching all your followers. Use hashtags that will make them more likely to be seen by people who don’t follow you (eg. #retrogaming #gamersunite). Share on Facebook, Instagram, and whatever new apps the kids are using these days. Don’t overdo it – no one needs to see you share your video 20 times in 2 days, but get it out there a few times.

Be topical with your shares and don’t be afraid to share older content. If a new game in a series is announced and you’ve written or made a video about another game in that series in the past – share it again! It doesn’t matter that it’s older, people will have renewed interest in that game/topic and it could be a good introduction to your work.

Comment on other people’s work. I’ve subscribed to a lot of YouTube channels after seeing someone leave a well thought out comment on a video of mine. If someone’s video inspires you to make a video of your own in response, let them know. If you’ve done a video on a similar topic before, mention it. BUT! Don’t just drop links to your video/channel in comments without any context.

Turn on ad revenue (if you’re on YouTube). Even if you don’t care about money, Google definitely does. Want your videos to be recommended to people? Put on monitization – why would YouTube recommend or place them high in search results them if they’re not getting anything out of it?

Above all, just recognize that you’re not entitled to anyone’s time or attention, so don’t act like it. People only have so much capacity for discovering new content and plugging other people’s work.

Appropriating Project Management Culture

I’ve always loved project management. Planning, execution, control, these are all things I’m very passionate about. I remember when I was just a wee lass, sitting on my father’s knee, working on Gantt charts together. I’d plan out everything from the building of Lego structures to breaking down how I’d spend my time at the park each weekend. Such good memories.

As I grew up, my passion for project management only grew. I read the PM body of knowledge guide yearly, tracked down all the articles I could as the Internet became a source of information. I wasn’t just a fan of one particular methodology – waterfall, agile, process-based… I did them all. I took all the PM-related business courses, got all the certifications I could. Now I stand here, a proud, lifelong project manager, working among people just like myself.

But something’s been happening. Something terrible. Outsiders are infiltrating my field.

The other day I met a woman at a project management conference. I only had to glance at her to know that she was new to this, she didn’t grow up immersed in the culture like I did. When I asked she couldn’t even tell me the date the first project management software was released. Maybe she should spend less time perfecting her winged eye-liner and overall presentation and more time learning important facts like these. I walked away then, as she clearly had nothing of use to say and wasn’t worth my time.

The next week, after meticulously researching her background, finding her on professional networks and asking other project managers about her, my worst fears were confirmed. She was new to this. She didn’t go to school for project management – she had a psychology degree! She also had other interests – reading, cooking, rock climbing, video games. How she has the nerve to call herself a project manager when she spends so much time on other, less schedule-driven, pursuits is beyond me.

How did she get here? From talking to people who know her, it seems she had started at an inferior position, then because people “enjoyed working with her” and “found her to be very competent and organized” some people started calling her a PM. I can only assume these phrases are euphemisms. Yeah, she “communicates well,” I’m sure. Hmph.

The thought of this woman, this FAKER, calling herself a project manager was bad enough, but I soon found out it was even worse than I expected. Over the last couple years she had managed (if you can call it that) a number of projects, for which she received financial compensation. She was paid! She doesn’t love project management, she isn’t a fan, she’s doing this for money! My stomach churns at the thought of hapless corporations handing over their hard-earned money to this phony, being taken advantage of, dazzled by her smart business suits and exceptional cheekbones. I don’t care if the project stakeholders are satisfied, if people are choosing to work with this wretched woman. She’s no project manager, and I’m sick of people like her using this thing that I love for their own personal gain.

This can’t be allowed to stand. I’m going to tell the world.

Top 5 Gaming Pet Peeves

I’ve got a new video up about my top 5 gaming pet peeves. Who doesn’t like talking about things that bug them in games?

If you’re not a video watcher, my pet peeves (right now) are:

  1. Games that don’t let me invert the Y-axis.
  2. Episodic games.
  3. Durability and gear repair.
  4. People who constantly correct you about minor details, or try to “teach” you about a game that you clearly already know a lot about.
  5. Quibbling about review scores.

Feel free to share your pet peeves!

 

Ranked

This is for day 22 of Blaugust.

Let’s talk about Heroes of the Storm. Again. I was happy for the season reset that just happened. I was experiencing a bit of a pattern in ranked games that was getting really annoying. I’d win my way up to Rank 20 or so, and then lose. And lose. And lose. I’d win maybe 1 in 8 games during my long plummet from rank 20 all the way down to rank 28-30. This happened twice. If rank 20 is my skill-cap right now, that’s fine. I can accept that. But I can think of less soul-sucking ways to keep me out of the 19+ bracket.

Now, this is all just anecdotal. I have no idea how MMR works. Maybe it’s meant to make reaching your skill cap a miserable experience, maybe it’s not. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky. The worst part about the huge losing streaks is that I didn’t feel I was losing because the opposing team was really good. It felt like I was losing because my team was terrible. Now, I’m not amazing. I sometimes chase a little too far and die, or think I need to finish of a merc camp instead of doing something more useful. But my teams were full of people so bad I often questioned whether they were trolls. It started right from the draft. No one thought about comp at all. Malf and Li Li? Sure! Double tank? Okay! All melee? Sounds like fun! Then once we were off to a limping start, it got even worse. There were the people who wanted to team fight at level 2 and collected no XP (plus yelled at the people who didn’t join the fights). There were tanks off doing their own thing, smacking away at towers while the rest of the team went 4-5 against the enemy. The people who ignored objectives. The people who exclaimed “gg” and went afk if we were 2 levels down. The people who gave me the impression they had never played their hero before. It was pretty disheartening to run into some variation of this in every single match.

I feel like this is kinda backwards. I should be facing the challenge of better players as I rank up, not the challenge of being grouped with a bunch of potatoes.

I’m wondering what other people’s ranked experiences have been like?

Breaking News: Women Play Video Games

This is day 15 of Blaugust.

Today I was out game hunting with my boyfriend and a couple other (male) friends. We had been to number of places, and I was getting kind of bored since I have no games on my wanted list right now and generally just don’t enjoy shopping or flea markets. We went to a little place we had been to a couple times, and the guy behind the counter was someone I hadn’t seen before.

“You look a little lost, dear. Let me guess, you’re a non-gamer surrounded by gamers?”

I looked at him as his stupid comment took a second to process.

“I’m a gamer,” I replied. “I’m just not much of a shopper.”

He went on asking if people just handed me games to play, as I walked deeper into the shop, away from him.

“That guy’s an idiot,” said my boyfriend once we were out of earshot. “I’m surprised you didn’t go off on him.”

It wasn’t the first time I had gotten a comment along those lines, I doubt any woman is a stranger to the old “Are you buying this for yourself?” question at certain video game chains stores.

I wasn’t looking to buy anything (especially not now), so I took out my phone and started browsing Twitter.

“Oh, I see. You’re not much of a shopper because you’re on eBay.” Apparently the store clerk hadn’t run his mouth enough yet. I wasn’t sure if he was insinuating that I do my game shopping on eBay or that I was price-checking things in his store but it doesn’t really matter.

“No, I just own every single video game I want right now,” I tell him.

“How’d you mange that? Digital?”

“No.”

“Oh, don’t tell me the only video games you want are Sing Star and Dance Dance Revolution.”

Fuck. He clearly wasn’t stopping so I engaged full-on ignore mode, and went back to my phone.

“Don’t tell me I touched a nerve.”

And then we left. My boyfriend was astonished that the man just wouldn’t stop talking. As we walked away, even another guy that had been in the store commented on what a jackass the clerk had been.

I was so mad, I don’t understand how people can be so stupid. If you’re that clueless, at least do everyone a favor and shut up. Besides being horribly sexist and out of touch with reality, it’s a very bad sales tactic to question the “gamerness” people who come in your store.

I’ve always had it pretty good as a woman who plays video games. I’ve really never experienced harassment beyond the very occasional troll-y blog comment, a few “you’re a girl? really?” comments in WoW, or above-mentioned questions about if I’m buying games for myself. I try to surround myself with people who aren’t morons, so this kind of stuff doesn’t come up too often. But it’s pretty shitty when it does, and it’s been building up.

However, these kinds of things don’t make me want to withdraw from public gaming spaces, it’s actually the opposite. Now I feel this urge to make myself as visible as possible. Where I would have ordered a new game online, I now feel like I have to do my buying in person, so people see women buying games and are maybe less inclined to make a stupid comment to the next woman who comes in. When a teammate in HotS exclaims “Good job, fellas” after a successful team fight, I feel the need to obnoxiously proclaim “I’m no fella!”

Of course, then I’ll probably be accused of attention seeking.

If you feel like commiserating, feel free to share your shitty gaming gender discrimination stories.