Tag Archives: Tank

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

League of Legends and the Curse of the 90 LP!

Good Morning Readers!

Welcome back! I know I’ve been bad about posting bi-weekly, but willpower is finite (I’m looking at you, Rich). And that’s a conversation for another day. Regardless, I’m still grinding the ladder in Ranked League of Legends, even though I haven’t been streaming as much. While all of my friends have left me in the dust and reached high Silver, I am still stuck in Bronze 1. I did get to actually experience what promos felt like!… after I dropped to Bronze 2 for two whole games, and quickly reattained my Rank of Bronze 1.  (Thank God!)

I’ve been doing a solid job getting 3-4 games in each night after work and around dinner at the sacrifice of going to the gym (RIP, Pecs like Braum).  Last night I hit 90 LP, for the third time, after I won my first match of the night. Like clock work, I proceeded to lose the next 5 in a row, and drop back to nearly 0 LP. Now, while this is soul-crushingly frustrating, I am trying really hard to JUST focus on my goal. That is to get better. Regardless of rank, regardless of stats and KDAs, win-rates; I just want to get better.

The last LoL article I wrote covered a wide variety of high-level ideas I know I need to improve upon.  I still need to keep these things in mind, but in addition, I try to keep a note pad of “post-match thoughts.” Writing these things down while they are fresh in my head allows me to go back over a game and see where things went wrong, or what I did right. It also allows me to notice trends or patterns in my play, one of which is glaring.

1.) I am getting REKT in my secondary role 

This is a brutal truth, but I f***ing SUCK at top lane. I think need to give it up. I think back to Season 2 when I was playing a lot, and I would play Top and Mid. I *feel* like I would do well, I was decent. Dueling felt like something I was good at. Since then, Top lane has changed so drastically, and I do not have the champion knowledge, or flat out practice time put in, to be good at it. Top lane is just so much harder than I remember it being.

The role of top champs has changed as well. Quite often, I’d want to play a carry like Riven or Fiora, but our Jungler would be Ekko or Xin, and our Support would be Sona or Soraka, and we’d have no tank. So I try to go Darius, who is much more of a bruiser or juggernaut, and then I’m against a Malphite or Volibear, who have much higher ability to tank or sustain. It’s not required, but in Solo Queue it’s not uncommon for the top to need to be a tank or you are just at a severe disadvantage. So then you suffer from the issue of NOT being able to carry as a tank.

Secondly, Even when I was playing the “carry” type champs top, I’d find I’d have no lane presence. I am CONSTANTLY being bullied out of lane and unable to stop my lane opponent from farming. I would do my best to keep up in CS, often going toe-to-toe, but unless the Jungler camps top, I struggle to pull ahead or even maintain parity. This leads to a situation where I am constantly under turret, and the opponent is just free farming.

This could be for several reasons. One, I am getting counter picked, and my champion is just at a disadvantage. Two, the Jungler isn’t doing a good enough job facilitating kills while I am under turret all game. Or Three, I really am just bad at the role. Now, I suspect there is some combination of the three. It’s highly unlikely I am being counter picked EVERY GAME. Its equally likely the bronze janglers are just bad. Many games I’ve asked for help over and over and been ignored. Now there’s and argument I SHOULD be able to hold my lane, and I believe that’s true, but when someone is drowning, it IS a team game, and you’ll lose if you don’t use teamwork to help the floundering player. But most likely, it’s just number 3. My lack of knowledge combined with all of the above means I’m going to have a bad time. So what can I do to fix this?

Well, I can go back to Normals, and keep practicing Top. I can reevaluate the champions I play and find ones that CAN carry and are tanky, (like Voli or maybe a Wukong or Shen). Fiora is a bit tanky, but difficult to play. All of this involves me stopping the grind, and going back to practice in Normals again. This may be a necessary evil.

…but then I look at my stats and I get this glimmer of hope:

Darius : 5-2
Riven: 6-8
Gnar: 2-4
Fiora: 0-1

Clearly this is a small sample size, BUT 13-15 isn’t horrible. The problem is those stats alone don’t even begin to tell the whole story. I am carried most of those games or helped until I can stabilize in the mid game and start helping the team. I don’t generally carry like I hoped to. So I think I have to stay the course and give up on Top. I am able to recognize my lack of skill in dueling,  and quite often just bullied out of lane.

The other option is pick a new role, which leaves me with Mid and Jungle. There is zero chance I support because there’s just no way I can do it, I’m really bad at it and I don’t have the patience to do it. I used to play a lot of mid, and I learned how to jungle a LONG time ago. After many talks with many people, these tend to be the two roles that people feel are best for carrying. Junglers can dictate the pace of the game, and many mid champions are very snowball-y with the ability to roam. Both roles I’d have to completely relearn which… forces me BACK into Normals. Soooo…

2.) Who do I play mid?

I used to have a TON of Ahri games under my belt. I’d love to go back to playing Mid. I bought Yasuo in preparation to begin learning him.  I’d learn Zed too but he’s basically perma-banned every game. Fizz is an option, good for snowballing and ganking. I used to love the high risk, high reward champs that came along with mid. They all have very high mobility, the ability to escape ganks and can be very powerful.

Now you may be thinking, “well if you suck at dueling, why go back to Mid, Noob?” My thought process is most of the mid champs are ranged, and involve a lot of poking. Even Yasuo and Fizz play almost like ranged champions. Yas has the whirlwind, and Fizz can dash in and out like it ain’t no thang. Removing the melee aspect of Top lane with Poke just removes so much pressure. Being able to poke, poke, poke, then commit to a fight you KNOW you can win is almost like ADC. The mid champs have the ability to poke while farming, and then execute the opponent.

As much as I like the IDEA of Jungling, I am not sure how good I’d be at it. It’s been a very long time and the jungle has changed multiple times since then. It makes a  certain mindset to be a good Jungler. I’d love to learn Elise, Ekko, Xin, or Lee Sin, but who knows if I could? Only way to know is to try I guess. So when I do play normals, maybe I should force Jungle and see how it goes.

It’d be great if I could just ADC every game. I know my champions, I know the opposing champions and I’m solid at the role. Sadly, that just isn’t one of the options, and even then…

3.) I am having trouble carrying as an ADC.

Many games, with my support, we will win lane, I’ll be consistently up 10-15 CS in lane, we often get a kill or two, or AT WORST we don’t feed, and hold lane. Generally, we can push the tower, avoid ganks, and play well. Unfortunately, most games, my other teammates will feed their lanes, or the Jungler will die while ganking. We do a killer job keeping the opponenet ADC in check, then 20 minutes later, i’ll be like 1/0/3 or 2/1/2, etc and their ADC is magically 10/3/5. Like, wtf happened?

Bot is not a lane where you can really roam, especially playing some ADCs that require huge amounts of farm (I’m looking at you Kog). Mid is the only lane you can really gank. They will see us coming a mile away, and if the roaming doesn’t result in a kill, you could essentially put yourself 10-12 CS down, negating any lead you may have had. So often times, I am focused on farming, harassing the opponents, maintaining vision and Dragon control, and watching the rest of my team fall apart. I have to hope my team can just survive the laning phase, so we can get to team fighting where I really shine as a teammate. Lots of times the game is lost long before the laning phase is even over, even if Bot lane has given up zero deaths.  This falls under “things I cannot control” but my point becomes that it seems more difficult to carry when you aren’t able to roam or affect the game until after the laning phase. It’s harder to carry as an ADC. If someone out there disagrees, please tell me. I love to have conversations about this stuff.

Regardless, I know there are still things I need to work on as ADC. My farming can always improve, my positioning is mediocre, and I die too often:

Kog’ Maw:             9-8 | K: 5.5  | D: 3.5  | A: 6.2   | CS: 172.4
Miss Fortune:  17-18 | K: 6.1  | D: 4.9  | A: 8.1   | CS: 187.1
Lucian:                   3-6 | K: 5.3  | D: 5.3 | A: 8.8    | CS: 210.9
Jinx:                         1-3 | K: 3.0  | D: 3.8  | A: 6.8  | CS: 177.8
Trist:                       0-1 | K: 6.0  | D: 5.0  | A: 3.0   | CS: 231

I die way too much. Again, these are small sample sizes, but Jinx and Kog are close to where I want to be in KDA. For farming, Kog is the worst which should NOT be the case. He’s so item dependent, that I really need to do a better job farming. For one reason or another, my farming is just better on Lucian, Jinx, and the one Trist game I played. I think I need to play more Jinx, even thought they were both losses. She’s among my three most played champs, but she just happen to get nerfed right when I started playing Ranked. Even with the recent Kog changes, he still feels like Kog’ Maw, Void Horror Sprinkler from Hell. The problem is I don’t always have the team to back him up. Working on my positioning will help, but I still need a strong front line.

I think the bottom line is I still just need to get more ranked games under my belt, one way or another. I worry changing my secondary role will severely set me back, but if I don’t start making a change now and ACTUALLY CARRYING games, I’m never going to climb. It’s a rock and hard place. The ultimate goal is still just “get gud.” I need to stay focused on that goal no matter what happens. The ranks and stats and climbing will come along with it. Until then, I may just need to go back to Normals and really start finding a second role I can master, because I don’t think Top is for me.

Thanks for reading, I hope this insight into my frustrating Bronze career is helpful. Learn from my mistakes, and get out of ELO Hell. If I help just ONE person not want to punch their monitor, then I’m doing God’s work.

Tomorrow, me and my teammate Matt are going to GP DC to play in side events, check out the scene and the artists. I may play, or I may report on Matt’s play. Regardless We might have some sweet Modern or EVEN LEGACY 8-man tournaments to report on, even if it’s not me playing. Stay tuned.

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. Stay strong and DON’T TILT!!

-Andy