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.
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.
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.
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.
Lvl 16 Pikachu
Lvl 17 Nidorino
Lvl 13 Mankey
Lvl 12 Geodude
Lvl 16 Butterfree
Lvl 7 Pidgey
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:
Thanks again, and good luck!