I see a lot of people complain about the etiquette of the Overwatch community. Rage quitters, bad losers, those who send abuse — all types of things that have no place anywhere in society, let alone in an online game. I've experienced it firsthand — perhaps not in #Overwatch but definitely in other games — and it isn't pretty. Once upon a time, one kind soul playing Need for Speed decided to message me and advise me to "go get some skills, you suck," but in a less-polite way. What a helpful chap. It's horrible behavior that is unfortunately likely to continue.
But even with all the hating, name calling and major overreactions, the community is in a good place. In my experience, anyway. So much so that sometimes it can still make you smile, even when you're not getting the rub of the green.
Overwatch Season 4 placement matches began on February 28 and immediately I was into them. After a long and hard-fought game on Volskaya, I came away with a draw. This was swiftly followed by a relatively close loss in Hollywood. Not the greatest of starts, so I turned in for the night.
The following day I picked up my controller after work and got back into it, the first match, Lijiang Tower, being one of my favorites. It was a match like very few I'd had before, and I'm level 126, with well over 100 hours of playtime. It was one of those matches where everything just goes your way; eliminations aplenty, masses of damage caused, even deciding to get a bit cocky with a few #Junkrat trick shots. A 3–0 shutout was the result. I've been on the end of plenty of these drubbings many times before, but when it goes in your favor, you have to enjoy it. Me and four others decided it went so well that we stuck as a team.
And the result was epic. The next three matches were control points and once again they were 3–0 shutouts. Everything seemed to be going my way again and, hoping to continue this rarest of winning streaks, we went into another match. This was going to be my last match of the night as I had work the next morning and it was way past a suitable bedtime to feel anything near awake the next day.
- The 'Overwatch' Community Is Going Crazy Over One Man's Search For the Tracer of His Dreams
- 'Overwatch' Director Begs Community To Not Abuse Custom Games, Or Else
- 'Overwatch's D.Va is a Feminist Icon in Korea And That's Totally Awesome
Alone In The Dark
It didn't go well. The kills were going in and the damage was being done, but ultimately there was little progress being made. Most #gamers will be familiar with that feeling of doing your absolute best to try to get a shred of hope, but no. We were 2–0 down in Nepal and heading for a 3–0 loss. It was a shame, but never mind — we had a good run. I thought I'd thank my new team for some good games and tell them my hope to play together again sometime. But alas, they were not there. All five of them had left, with still about a minute on the clock. The cold world of Nepal felt very lonely all of a sudden. This is the sight I was greeted with:
I mean, really? Really?! Yes, we were going to lose and I suppose in placement matches a loss is a loss, but am I the only one who likes to see it out until the bitter end? I didn't sit back. I went in and tried to get a few more eliminations, but to no avail. The match, and indeed my team, was dead. What a shame, especially after such a good run, for everybody to disappear; we had a really good combination of players. That familiar feeling and "Defeat" flashed itself across the TV screen, and another loss notched into my placement matches.
Then something surprised me and quite took me aback. The cards were shown and I got one (and the only one) for our team for my four gold medals. A little annoyed at the situation, I up-voted myself. I rarely ever do this, preferring to show appreciation for the really skillful players in a match. To my surprise, the opposition agreed with me. All of them. Whether I had done the best job or they applauded me for staying on or simply just felt sorry for me, it was a nice moment. That one red card would have sat there for them, but they all pressed the button, which said mine went beyond epic. The other cards were for decent jobs, too:
It was a small gesture, but to me a very nice one. Given that for the last minute it was six players on one and pretty much a rollicking throughout the whole game, that little moment at the end said to me that Blizzard's Overwatch community, on #PS4 anyway, is still a good place to be. It's one of the main reasons I continue playing and it makes the gameplay a better experience. And this is why Overwatch will remain strong, hopefully, for a long time to come.
Tell me about your experiences with the Overwatch community in the comments section below.