Tag Archives: Climbing

Overwatch Agent D.Va!

Good Morning Readers!

We’re back, two weeks in a row and we’re keeping this train a-rollin’. As I previously mentioned, I’ve been spending most of my time in Overwatch. I played a ton during the beta, and then decided to buy it when the game was released. It’s a ton of fun, it has a ton of potential, and I really think it will only continue to improve as Blizzard finds what direction they want to take the game in.

When I first started playing, knowing I am absolute garbage at FPS’, I decided to keep it simple and just play some one who wasn’t very mechanically complex like Tracer or Genji. I stuck to Reaper due to his power, bit a bulk, and the ability to heal as you eliminated people. His teleport and temporary invulnerability also give him mobility and a fail safe if you get in a sticky situation. The two biggest problems I encountered with Reaper were his inability to be played in every game type, and the fact that everyone wants to play a damage dealer. Reaper always seems to be great on attack, and not nearly so much for me on defense. Of course he CAN be played every game, but I often felt that he just wasn’t as optimal as other picks.

Which also leads to the second issue of team comp. More often than not I find most teams lack Tanks and Healers. I haven’t followed competitive as much as I would like, but I’ve done seem reading. The general consensus seems to be a balanced team comp of two damage dealers, 2 tanks, and two support are generally a good starting point. More times than I can count we’ll have 1 healer OR Tank, not even both, and a bunch of people trying to be the hero.

Wanting to actually contribute to winning, and find a hero I could play in most situations, lead me to a couple of choices. Mei always seems to be good at whatever she was trying to do. Reinhardt is actually close to being one of the best heroes in the game. Winston and Road Hog both have great advantages as well. After trying a bunch of different heroes, I couldn’t play any of them except for Road Hog. While I enjoy playing Hog, he is a much more offensive tank, with the ability to heal himself, and peel but he can’t block like Reinhardt can.

Finally I settled on D.Va. I had tried her in Beta, didn’t really get her, and decided to give it another go. I very quickly went from Reaper being my most played characters at around 9 hour, to D.Va going from 0 to 15 hours of game time. This was also right around the time of her buffs. I started to learn to play her before the buff, and I only got better once the buffs were in place. Since picking her up, I was able to start climbing a bit in ranked. I quite often feel like i can carry, especially with good heal support keeping me alive. For a tank, it’s not uncommon for me to have the gold medal in damage. She can shield incoming fire and entire ults for your team. Her ultimate can clear or help you objectives. She does it all.

First thing’s first, her auto attack never needs to be reloaded. When not tanking you can constantly pepper the enemies to whittle them down. While the range on the guns is short, you are the tank so you’re going to be mixing it up with the enemies. You will almost always be close enough to rain a constant stream of damage onto the opposing team, especially in choke points like King’s Row.

Her shield will block almost every projectile and ranged auto in the game outside of Zarya’s, Symmetra’s and Winston’s lasers. The shield can be held up for 4 second straight before it needs to recharge. When you aren’t using the shield, it recharges over time. Proper management is key. You don’t want to blow the Defense Matrix when you don’t need  it and not have it for when you do. Timed right, you eat an entire Phara ult, McCree High Noon, 90% of a Whole Hog, or stand between a Reaper ult and your squishies.

These two “attacks” in conjunction with each other allow you to get in the fight, harass and chip down the enemies, weave your shield in between attacking to absorb the heavy blows like Soldier 76’s helix rockets, then go right back to attacking while they are reloading; giving your shield time to recharge. Add a solid healer to the mix, (looking at you Matt, Machine Gun Monk) and you are hard pressed to ever take too much damage.

D.Va’s shift is similar to Solider’s sprint, but in my opinion, much better. Upon activation, D.Va will rocket boost straight ahead for a few seconds or until canceled with your attack button. You have the ability to turn while you are using it, which allows you to charge in or out of combat if you get in a bad spot. The big different between this and Soldier sprint is D.Va’s ability to fly with the boosters. You actually leave the ground when you use it, so you can reach high ledges, or fly over gaps. This makes closing distance on a hard to reach Widowmaker, Hanzo or Phara much easier. When you make contact with someone while boosting, they will actually be knocked back and damaged. That means timed correctly, and in the right direction, you can knock people off the map for an easy kill. Just be careful not to fly off the map yourself. You can also use it to knock people away from your squishies for a little bit of peel. The dealt damage is not insignificant, so I routinely finish off fleeing enemies by running them over.

Lastly you have your Ultimate. D.Va self-destructs her Mech and jumps from the suit. After a 3 second delay, the suit will detonate killing anyone in Line of Sight. It deals enough damage to kill almost every champion in the game in one shot. Even the tankiest characters do not want to stand near when this goes off. Now, while powerful, all your opponents need to do is hide behind a corner. As soon as they are out of LoS, they are safe from the blast. So our job is use this when they are grouped up, least expecting it and do not have time to escape. A well timed self-destruct will easily net 4-6 kills. I have yet to get a solo team kill, but I’ve gotten plenty of Quadra Kills. The key is using the Booster in conjunction with the Ult.

Once your Ultimate is ready, you want to booster your mech in an angled position to fly the Mech off the ground and towards the opposing team. Once flying, pop the ulti, D.Va will jump out and watch her Mech soar through the sky. After reaching maximum distance the Mech will drop out of the sky and onto the opposing team, hopefully not giving them enough time to escape. Good Bye, Enemy Team.

There are tons of really neat tricks you can do, like jump the Mech over walls and starting your boosters far away from the fight. You can try to flank the team after a death and cut off any escape route the may have.  This way, they never see it coming.

It’s also worth noting that because of the Mecha, D.Va essentially has two lives. Once you take enough damage to die, the Mech is destroyed and D.Va jumps out. You don’t immediately die. You then have much less life, no armor, and just a pistol to defend yourself. You are given a second Ulti which calls a new Mech for you to jump in. This ult charges much faster than normal ulti and can be filled faster by dealing damage with the pistol. The damage is not weak either. Don’t be afraid to keep fighting while you are out of the suit to get it back faster and to keep the damage going. You’ve got long range on your pistol, keep the fight up by backing out of direct line of fire.

You just want to avoid being focused while you are out of the suit because you WILL die. You cannot take any hits. If you can stay alive to call back the Mech, you get a second life again and can keep the cycle going. You can chain these “lives” back to back and it makes D.Va a very difficult hero to kill.

All of these things combine make D.Va a great pusher, defender and attacker. I have been able to make her fit and work in all game types and she fills a much needed role in MOST of the games I play.

General Tips:

Again, you are the Tank. You want to get in, soak damage, have faith in you healers and really disrupt the enemy team. On big pushes or ultimates, be sure to have your Defense Matrix ready. Your team can fire on the enemy while you protect them from almost all incoming damage. Since D.Va always does a surprising amount of damage, disruption can be in the form of shooting the enemy and making them move, along side shielding to block their assaults. It’s all about being able to shift gears quickly.

When you’re close to winning the game either by making a final push with the payload or preventing a final push from the enemy team, save your ult! If you need to keep the enemies off the payload, you can ult right on top of it. They will have to run which will either get you the last few feet you need, or they will all die, and you’ll get the last push you need. Same thing goes for defending. They can’t push the payload if they are dead or running away. Don’t be scared to save your ulti for these last second scenarios when you see the game in coming to an end. Don’t fire off your ulti blindly if you may need it a minute later.

When calling back your Mech, try not to do it in front of the enemy team. If you’re taking lots of fire, you’ll pop right back out of the suit when the animation is done. You’re a sitting duck until the animation is over.

If you have Self-Destruct, and are about to lose the Mech, there’s a time frame of roughly 1 second where you can ult while the Mech is being destroyed. This can be good in times where you don’t have time to re-call the suit THEN Self-Destruct . Just press Q as you’re about to eject and then fight like hell.

When you re-call your Mecha, you start with full life again. This can be key if you are down to only 10-20 life outside of the suit. By calling in a new Mecha, you start off fully healed, so just keep surviving and dealing damage and you’ll back to tanking in no time.

Nerfs:

Blizzard just released notes on the PTR about the next round of nerfs. D.Va is on there. The good news is they are just adjusting her shield recharge time. It’s going from 0.5 second to one full second. Meaning when you lower your shields, it takes 1 second to start recharging instead of 0.5 seconds. This is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I believe that what this does is make her shield use more reasonable. As it stands, the up-time on the shield is nuts. It’s very powerful. In addition to being more balanced, it’s going to force us D.Va players to really work on managing the shield more accurately. I think this raises the skill ceiling and rewards the better D.Va players. You just have to be hyper aware of your gauge and know it’s going to take a bit longer to get the recharge going.

Once the full patch notes are official, we’ll go over everything and see where that places all the heroes. There are also changes to the way rankings are going to work, which is nice. Since the season just ended, i’m looking forward to doing my placement matches for season 2. I think I’ve already improved leaps and bounds from when I started playing this game. I will definitely be streaming my placements and ranked games. Ill be sure to give heads up on Twitter and the Facebook page on when streaming is happening. In the mean time, i’m going to keep practicing Tanks so I have several to choose from. Reinhardt is next on the list.

Nuzlocke Update:

Ok, so far, so good. I didn’t start the challenge until I was able to buy pokeballs, so I quickly rushed through the beginning, got my Pikachu, pokedex, and pokeballs. I started by heading back to Route 1, and encountered a lvl 5 Pidgey. Bingo. Pikachu’s Thunderbolt couldn’t knock it out in one shot, luckily, and I had my first pokemon. I ran to Route 22, but was careful not to engage Gary and luckily found a Male Nidoran, which would be key in the future. This was the coolest find and a pokemon I’ve never used before. I am excited to get a Nidoking in the future. I moved onto Route 2 and the Viridian forest, counting them as separate zones. I caught a Rattata and a Caterpie, respectively. Finally pressing through to Pewter City, I made this my base of operations. I could train my guys just outside the city and get their levels up to try and beat Brock. Once my Pikachu was lvl 11, my Nidoran was lvl 12, and my Caterpie (which evolved) was lvl 9, I felt I was ready. Nidoran picked up Double Kick at lvl 12, which makes fighting Rock types a breeze. Brock was no more, and I readied myself to move on Mt. Moon and Misty.

I think the key is going to be having tons and tons of potions to make it through long stretches without a pokecenter. My pre-teen memory served me well, and there’s was pokecenter on Route 3 outside of Mt. Moon. I ended up running into a Mankey on the first shot. I really don’t remember the pokemon being THIS cool early on in RBY, but I’m not complaining. I trained up the team to the mid teens, aimed for lvl 15 each. After fighting tons of Spearow, and even a couple of Sandshrew, I realized how lucky I was to get a Mankey. Having a fighting type will be huge. I’m really only using the Butterfree, Nidoran, Pikachu and Mankey because I don’t want to use a normal type rat, and I’m not sure a flyer is needed right this second. I’m going to keep them as reserves if i get introuble and Trani them up if need be. I decided to step into Mt. Moon to catch my guy, and lo and behold, instead of a crappy Zubat which was almost guaranteed, I found a Geodude. I wish I had a way to stream my Nuzlocke run, because my team so far is almost unbelievable. You’ll just have to trust I will be playing the game with the utmost integrity and documenting everything.

After taking the Mankey and the Geodude back to Route 3 to train, I got them a little higher and decided to go through Mt. Moon. I have Pikachu to kill flyers, Nidoran with normal and fighting moves for a lot of coverage, Butterfree with Confusion to kill fighting and poison types, plus sleep powder for catching and utility, Manky for pure fighting, and Geodude who currently only has tackle will act as a wall until i can get some rock and/or ground moves. I tried to fight as many of the trainers as possible to explore more of Mt. Moon even though I can STILL remember the fast way through the mountain. Funny how memory works.

I had plenty of potions to keep the team healed, I fought the Maniac and took the Dome fossil. I’m pretty sure Kabuto is better than Ominite but I guess we’ll find out after the run is complete. My Nidoran Evolved into a Nidorino, and I made it to Cerulean City after defeating Team Rocket. I went back and caught a Spearow just before the City for another reserve poke. I healed up at the pokecenter, went to fight Gary who was also a breeze since I was ready for it, then called it there for now.

I just have to hope I don’t rush too quickly, keep my guys all topped off, and be ready for those long stretches without access to a pokecenter. So I’m on track to have an absolutely insane run. I think so far with this team I can go the distance. I’d like a fire type and a bulky water type, but other than that, my team isn’t full of useless guys and I’ve already got two poke in reserve.

Recap:
Lvl 16 Pikachu
Lvl 17 Nidorino
Lvl 13 Mankey
Lvl 12 Geodude
Lvl 16 Butterfree
Lvl 7 Pidgey

Reserve:
Lvl 3 Rattata
Lvl 8 Spearow

Brock has been defeated, I am in Cerulean City, and no poke-deaths yet.

Thanks for reading! You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. We also now have a Facebook Page! All blog posts will be pushed live over there:

https://www.facebook.com/ModernGentlemenGaming

Thanks again, and good luck!

Advertisements

What I’ve Learned Playing League of Legends

Good Morning, Everyone!

So the Season 6 Ladder is in full swing for League of Legends. Boy, I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t know it would be THIS difficult. I finished my placement matches in Bronze 1. I figured this would be the case, since I ended last season at Silver 3, and everyone was starting this season about 1 tier down. I have been playing ADC and Top as my preferred lanes. I actually think I’ve been playing well, and I zoomed up to 90 LP very quickly. Unfortunately, I ended up crashing just as fast. Since then, I haven’t really put much time into Ranked. The only option right now is “Dynamic Queue” which mean I could end up in games with 2-4 man pre-mades, and against 2-4 man pre-mades, and get crushed over and over. They are supposed to be implementing a “Solo Queue” which would alleviate the 3-4 man groups. Also as time goes on, I am expecting all the people rushing the Ladder to have reached their goals, and not be stuck in Bronze and Silver. For example, in one of my Bronze games, I was matched against a Silver ADC who was Platinum the previous Season. He absolutely massacred me, it was quite the sight, as he was clearly not a Silver player. I don’t want to catch these people on their way up game after game. So I took a break from ranked.

My ultimate goal is to get better. I want to be a better ADC. Now consequently, I also have to learn another role for ranked, and Top hasn’t been great to me. For climbing the Ladder, I am probably much better off playing Mid or Jungle, but that would require me to completely relearn those roles. It’s not beyond doable, but I’d need to do it in Normals. We also have a ton of Junglers on our “team”, so that would relegate me to mid. Which I don’t hate at all, but the time investment is something to consider.

But as far as ADC goes, I know what I need to do to get better and I know what I should work on. It’s really just putting in the time now. So lets take a look at my game plan so to speak:

Step 1: Stop Caring About Your Rank

This is seriously the most important thing, in my opinion. There is almost nothing I can control in each game. I cannot control who my teammates are, I cannot control who my opponents are, I cannot control what champions are picked or banned, and I cannot control the plays any other player makes, be they good or bad plays. This is going to lead to a lot of losses (and some wins) that I had almost nothing to do with. Due to this, stressing out about these losses will only make me play worse. I can only control what I do. So what does this mean for me? Well I have to learn to let go and not tilt when my opponents are throwing. If I am playing well, I need to be proud of my performance, and be sure to keep that good play rolling into the next game. If I play consistently well enough every game, over the course of enough games I will start to win more often than I lose.

Caring about your rank will only stress you out. You are going to lose games and LP. There is nothing you can do about it. So just play to the best of your ability each game and be proud of your play.

Step Two: Recognize Where YOU Messed Up

The first step is not to make it sound like I am flawless; I am far from it. The key is to avoid always placing blame on your teammates for a loss. You were on that team as well. I guarantee you there is always something you can do BETTER. It may not change the result of the game, but being able to recognize where you made mistakes is key to fixing them and ultimate turning losses into wins. Streaming has helped with this because all of my games are recorded. I can go back and view my mistakes. For me it’s little things like improving my CS, my positioning, mechanics, and my decision making.

1.) For ADCs, “CS-ing” is the most important thing you can be good at. (CS stands for Creep Score, and its what you get for last hitting minions) Farming gets you money and allows you to buy the big items that win you the game. The better you are at farming, the faster you can get those items and become stronger than your opponent. Each kill is worth roughly 12-15 CS, so if you’re head by 45 CS, you essentially have three kills over your lane opponent. THAT’S HUGE! Practice your farm skills, know how much damage your champion deals so you don’t time it incorrectly. Practice farming under turret so when the enemy is pushing, you miss as few CS as possible.

When you are at the 5:45 minute mark, the total possible CS is 50. Make note of what yours is each game. They say you should be hitting 46/50 consistently. 92% is hard to do, especially when the enemies are trying to kill you. This is still a good goal to strive for, the better your farm, the better off you’ll be. Don’t be afraid to take some jungle creeps on your way back to lane, the Frog and Golems give like 100 gold, and if you hit them up each time you come back to lane, that adds up quickly. (Just be sure not to take too much damage from them)

2.) For positioning; don’t get caught! Nothing feels worse than an easily avoidable death because you over extended and didn’t have flash or an escape route. Don’t get too close to the team fights. You can’t make plays if you die because you thought Lucian was a good front line champion. Let your tanks and support peel for you and kill anyone that gets in your way. You won’t always be able to get to their squishies and carries. In these cases you have to kill what you can, even if that means their tanks, who are currently up front. You are no good dead, and you don’t want to die while trying to run through their front line because “I HAVE TO KILL TEH CARRIEZ!! DUH!”

3.) With mechanics we’re talking champion control. Kiting is a very important skill to learn. Normally, when you are JUST auto attacking from max range, you fire your attack, then you need to catch up, then you fire again if/when you get in range. Kiting allows you to stay in range of the enemy and fire off more autos since you don’t need to waste time catching up; you’re just staying in range the whole time.

You do this by moving between each auto, even going so far as to stop your attack early while still dealing damage to the enemy champion. You can find examples and guide of this tactic on YouTube.

This works even better if your attacks apply a slow (like Red Buff). If you’re good enough at kiting, opposing enemy melees may never be able to close enough distance to attack you back, and you can kill them without getting a scratch.

4.) Trading in lane. This is an amalgamation of everything above. You need to get as much farm as possible while preventing your opponent from doing the same. You can attack them to force them to back off from the minion wave and render them unable to last hit. This is called harassing. You have to pick and chose the right moments to harass so you are dealing more damage than you are taking. If you go to harass and end up losing more life than you took, you are now in an unfavorable position and can be forced to back off or be killed. This would be a lost trade.

I like to think of it like this: When playing Lucian, I have to use mana to cast my spells. It’s limited, so when I cast a spell I have to think what I’m getting out of it. If I Q, and I kill 3 minions and then the Passive double shot kills another, that’s about 100 gold for 45 mana. Not bad. If I use an ability and miss all the CS, I wasted mana which is not efficient. You’re essentially trading mana for the chance to make something happen. So if I use mana to dash at the enemy, auto them, Q and then auto to burst them down, they may Flash or Heal, or give me a kill. All three of those outcomes will put me ahead. I trade my mana for their summoner spells which will make them less likely to get away in the future during a gank.

Any trade you come out ahead is a good one. So pick your timing, positioning, and openings carefully so the enemy doesn’t have a chance to turn it around, and cause you to blow your Flash or Heal.

5.) Finally, decision making. You just got done a big team fight, 4 of the enemy champs are dead, do you push towers, kill dragon or kill baron? Well that’s a great question and there is never going to be one right answer. The key is learning which objectives are most important at what parts of the game. Towers give team gold, Dragon doesn’t. Dragon and Baron give important buffs, Towers do not. You need to recognize and improve upon your decision making skills so you aren’t wasting time doing nothing while the enemy waits to re-spawn. Every second you wait is a second closer your opponents are to defending. You don’t want to rush Baron when you have enough time to actually push the nexus and just win. Too many games are thrown away by Baron-ing at the wrong time.

So how do you improve upon these things? When going into a game, I try to repeat them to myself. Be in the mind set to remember all of these little details until they become second nature. For CS, if my lane opponents have too much sustain to harass, I will focus solely on CS and make sure to never miss one. As I am walking to or from lane, I check the jungle quick, and see where my Jungler is, make sure I am not stealing his CS before I kill a jungle mob or two.

As ADC, I am constantly warding the river and trying to keep my eye on Dragon for control of the map. If Dragon is down, I make sure to help my Jungler call out when it will be up by watching the timer. I practice my kiting every chance I get so it becomes second nature. When a team fight is going to erupt I try to put myself in a position where I will be able to deal a lot of damage without getting instantly deleted.

As far as decision making goes, I need to work on that the most. When we play 4 or 5 mans, I let someone else do the shot calling, because I am much better at following directions than giving them. I know it’s something I am not great at, so I let someone who is strong do it. In solo-queue this is different because you are playing with 4 other randoms, so you need to do the best you can. The better you are at recognizing bad calls, will help you avoid terrible situations and warn the group. Just remember you cannot make your teammates do anything, you can only tell them what you think the team should do. Don’t get hung up on it and just make the best decisions you can for you and the team.

Step Three: Emotion and Playing From Behind

This falls under “not tilting,” but I have seen too many people literally give up and rage quit when the score is 0-3, the other team winning. This is obviously an extreme scenario, but even if the score is 12-20, people seem to get easily discouraged and quit when a game is still very much in reach. We all get emotional because of course we care about the game. We wouldn’t play Ranked if we didn’t care and didn’t want to win.

Also, everyone has bad games. If this is you, and you have died 3 times in a row, you have to learn to play from behind aka “learn to get carried”. This involves playing extra safe, getting as much CS as you can, even if that means missing a bunch to avoid dying. You are not going to carry every game. Sometimes you can’t play to win, and you have to play to NOT LOSE. Let someone else carry the team to victory. You do this by not getting in the way and don’t make it more difficult for someone else to carry. It’s hard to be humble and not get frustrated in these situations, but the more relaxed and safe you can play, the better.

As I play more and more, I am continuing to learn these things and cements them in my brain. I want it to become second nature. The less I have to think about the correct plays the more consistently I can execute them. Once this is the case, it just becomes finding the 2-4 champions you want to play and play them to death. Then put in the time and play as many ranked games as possible. As I said early in the article, I am most likely waiting for Solo Queue to be released before I jump back into ranked, but I am using this time to learn some of the top tier ADC and really work on my basics. When Solo Queue finally is released, I’ll be ready to climb.

And always remember the League of Legends Serenity Prayer:

“League of Legends Gods, grant me the serenity to accept my teammates that I cannot change, the courage to kite the opponents I can, and the wisdom to know how to carry. In Infinity Edge’s name we pray, Amen.”

Thanks for reading and, as always, you can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Thanks, everyone!

-Andy