Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chamberlain & Chance 105 - Undocumented Nerfs

Wiiith Alex! Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play!

Chamberlain and Chance - Undocumented nerfs

  • Alex takes us back to the halcyon days of 2014 with loving memories of Dungeon of the Endless! 
  • Chamberlain cannot resist the siren song of a freemium phone game! 
  • Chance's guilt at talking about nothing but Overwatch leads him to blow $50 on a meh indie!
  • And what undocumented nerf does our title refer to?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Or, theoretically - and don't do this, obviously - you could just scroll down. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tracer hit with massive, undocumented nerf in latest patch.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill.  The most recent patch - the patch that brought in Overwatch League skins and items, and some quality-of-life improvements for Zenyatta and Ana - has proven to be a crippling blow to an incredibly important aspect of the game's cover hero. 

Tracer has been horrifically kneecapped. 

I am, of course, talking about her (unique) ability to use Blink while in the middle of an emote animation.  Use the Sit emote on a point, start taking it, and then Blink behind cover when the reds show up!  Wait until the enemy Widowmaker uses her ult and is able to see you through walls, and start dancing the Charleston!  Use Blink to dodge when she takes aim at you!

Make friends!  Make enemies!  Enrage the enemy team with your cheerful evasion of what should have been an easy headshot! 

...gone.  Lost, in time.  Like the original release of the Star Wars trilogy, these joys will never be experienced in their original form again.  Now, if you want to back-cap, you'll be obliged to just stand there like a chump instead of using your sit emote. 

The change feels like I've been chained.  I've been rolled up in a fucking carpet, my arms and legs cinched down to keep me passive and pliant.  Now when I emote, I'm locked in to the animation as if I were a Sombra!  Da noive ah deez people!

The fact that this massive and brutal nerf comes without so much as a mention in the latest patch notes makes it doubly hateful, triply egregious.  The ability to start dancing on the point and blinking to safety, rubbing my good humor in the noses of the enemy team, is central to my playstyle and Tracer's character as a whole!

For shame, Blizzard.  For shame

Artist's name is "yajuu5".

Friday, January 12, 2018

It's 2018. Get hyped.

The boys and I covered this in the podcast this week, but I felt compelled to do a post about it.  I don't know why!  So heeeere we go...

Darkest Dungeon on Switch - January 18th!

Darkest Dungeon is nothing less than one of my favorite games of the past decade.  A deliciously deep turn-based, tactical RPG with Roguelike elements – a bit like XCOM – where the heroes you fall in love with will die and there’s nothing you can do about it.  It centers around the basic conceit that if you sent a party of stalwart knights, pious battle nuns and murderous rogues into a deep, dark dungeon full of monsters – if they survived – the best-case scenario is they would emerge vibrating with post-traumatic stress disorder. 
It’s a game about managing the stress of your team as much as their health bars, and slowly learning the secrets of a world of procedurally-generated dungeons filled to the brim with the cruellest of enemies and the most tempting of traps, all ready to seize your heroes by the psyche and deliver a crippling knuckle sandwich.  It bursts at the seams with style –  beautiful, Mike Mignola-esque low-fantasy art direction and a creepy-but-kinda’-rockin’ soundtrack that has, after hundreds upon hundreds of hours, failed to wear on me – but that style is merely the beautiful wrapper of one of the deepest, most satisfying, most perfectly-designed gaming experiences I have ever had in my fucking life
And it’ll be out next week, so yes, I’m buying it a third time.  Happily.  Proudly.  Still on a handheld, now with a bigger screen!
Iconoclasts - January 23rd - PS4, Vita, PC, Mac, Linux

A gorgeous 2D action-platformer, Iconoclasts is a story-driven tech/fantasy adventure with lovely sprite animation and a color palette that looks at the rainbow and says “yes, all of that, please.”  Being a good-looking 2D sprite-based action-platformer is generally all I need to know to be sold on a game, and knowing that this one boasts over 20 huge boss fights and a big focus on narrative makes it a day-one.  That, and the fact that it’s launching on Vita. 
Celeste - January 25 - PS4, Switch, One, PC, Mac

Celeste is a pixel-art pure 2D platformer from the dev team behind celebrated multiplayer indie TowerFall.  What it lacks in resolution it makes up in lovely animation, and the promise of hundreds of stages of cruelly demanding, razor-sharp platforming.  Will it be a pleasurable Rayman Legends or a punishing Super Meat Boy?  I’ll find out soon.
Bayonetta, and also Bayonetta 2! - February 16th - Switch

Bayonetta is one of the best brawlers of the last decade, full stop – and I say this having only played the first game’s sub-par PS3 port back in the day.  In my gamer heart its only competition for the genre’s throne is Ninja Theory’s underrated DmC: Devil May Cry, but it’s easy to lean towards Bayonetta when you consider its insanely vibrant, weird art direction, silly tone and frame-perfect, insanely deep combat system.  I – like many – never played the critically-acclaimed Wii-U exclusive Bayonetta 2, and both will be running on my Switch in a liiitle over a month. 
God, yes.  This one’s at the very pinnacle of my hype list.
Far Cry 5 - March 27 - PS4, One, PC

Ubisoft have consistency problems, it’s true (Assassin’s Creed, Rayman), but their Far Cry franchise hasn’t let me down since they gave it a new coat of paint and a bunch of satisfying RPG mechanics and combat abilities with Far Cry 3 in 2012.  Far Cry 4 was pleasurably more of the same, and they’ve stretched the name out of its comfort zone with the zany 90s love letter Far Cry: Blood Dragon and the satisfyingly polished and gorgeous Far Cry Primal, which moved the series’ basic structure to caveman days, gave you a bow and a spear and said “go nuts.”
I’ve yet to find myself disappointed in a Far Cry title and muscle memory in Overwatch be damned, I’m gonna’ have to check this out. 
Dark Souls Remastered - May 25th - PS4, One, PC and Switch

Dark Souls remains the most-perfect title in the Souls series, in competition only with Bloodborne for the very pinnacle of From Software’s now-legendary subgenre of hardcore action RPGs, and in four short months, I will be able to play this thing on a handheld I am freaking out
God of War - Q1 2018 - PS4
Chamberlain and I both cited God of War as hypeworthy on the podcast this week, but if I’m being honest, it’s fairly low on my list.  I kind of begrudge Sony’s recent spate of story-and-presentation-over-gameplay that we see in the pretty-darn-good Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy, and the shitty narratives of David Cage games – and I fear that will be applied to literally the only western franchise that could compete with Devil May Cry or Bayonetta for the brawler throne
What little gameplay we’ve seen has a bit of promise to it, but I won’t know how good it feels to kill monsters in 2018’s God of War until I go hands-on with it.  Worth noting – this is the first game Sony’s legendary Santa Monica studio has produced for the current gen.  The studio’s been mostly-silent since the middling God of War: Ascension on PS3, acting instead as an incubator for pretentious indies like The Hidden Swan or whatever that stupid game was.  In the Good News category, though, this year’s God of War is helmed by Corly Barlog – the creator of the best God of War stories in the series (2, Ghost of Sparta) – so that, at least, is very promising. 

...and I've gotta' say, I have a real soft spot in my heart for Kratos.  
Red Dead Redemption 2 - 2018 - PS4, One, PC

Every time we talk about Rockstar on the podcast, the company’s hellacious working conditions tend to hang heavy over the conversation – and it’s true, Rockstar are awful to their employees, by all accounts – but it’s also true that Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Bully, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V are standard-setting games that no other development studio in the industry can even begin to compete with.  They’re too huge, too grand, too beautiful, too ambitious and generally too well-executed for any other studio to compete with, and you can bet your ass I’ll be playing RDR2 day-one like everyone else.   If nothing less, the last game absolutely nailed the romance of the spaghetti western, and I anticipate this one will, too. 
The studio’s weakness has always been its action, relying more on context and visual style than pleasurable mechanics, and in the wake of absolutely excellent-feeling open-world action games like Dying Light and Horizon: Zero Dawn, I imagine that’ll be harder to ignore, this time around – but what if they’ve actually risen to the occasion…?
Hollow Knight on Switch - 2018

Alex was first to this particular party and his love for it has no end.  My cheap laptop can’t quite do the game justice, so I’ve been waiting patiently for Hollow Knight’s console debut on the Switch, which is absolutely my ideal place for it. 
A cute-yet-mournful cartoony aesthetic, somewhere between Studio Ghibli and an old Tim Burton cartoon, belies Hollow Knight’s towering challenge and the razor-sharpness of its controls, platforming and combat.  It’s a 2D sprite-based game with luscious hand-drawn animation (!), it’s a platformer (!), it’s got a heavy emphasis on combat (!), it’s an action-RPG (!), a Metroidvania (!), and whenever anyone talks about it, they bring up Dark Souls (!!!).  If any game in 2018 is in competition with Bayonetta on Switch for the highest heights of personal hype, it’s Hollow Knight on Switch.
Can’t bloody wait. 
Darksiders 3 - 2018 (apparently) - PS4, One

There are very few modern riffs on Zelda that I genuinely love – Okami is the only other name that belongs in the same sentence with Darksiders, in my opinion.    I strongly doubt Darksiders 3 will actually drop in 2018, but if it does, I remain absolutely ravenous for a dark, bloody pulp-90s-fantasy-comics take on the Zelda formula of action and adventure. 
Indivisible - 2018 - PS4, One, Switch, PC

I was unable to fall in love with the by-all-accounts-excellent fighter Skullgirls from Lab Zero, but the studio’s ambitious single-player follow-up Indivisible is precisely my cup of tea.  A 2D hand-drawn RPG with a combat system pulled from Valkyrie Profile and modernized with floats and aerial combos, I was sold on Indivisible mere moments after booting up the PS4 demo that appeared halfway through the game’s crowdfunding campaign.  I’ll be a little surprised if this gorgeous adventure actually appears this calendar year, but if it does I and my Switch will be all up in its biz. 
Children of Morta - 2018, they say - PC, PS4, Vita... but probably not Vita...

A top-down action-RPG Rougelike with pixel-art sprites, Children of Morta follows the exploits of a single family tasked with keeping the peace on an evil mountain infested with creatures of the night.  Its Kickstarter campaign hit its Vita stretch goal, but the dev has been silent the last few years on whether or not the game will actually come to Sony’s handheld.  If it doesn’t?  Screw it.  If it does – or if it ends up on Switch?  Day one.  This looks awesome. 
Guacamelee 2 - 2018 - PS4, PC

Toronto’s  Drinkbox Studios have kind of become luminaries of the Canadian Indie scene, worthy of standing alongside studios like Capybara Games and Tribute, and perhaps one day even the venerable Klei Entertainment.  Their games have always been good (Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!!) when they’re not absolutely excellent (Guacamelee, Severed).  After striking out into left field with last year’s incredible-but-not-quite-successful Severed, Drinkbox is returning to what is undoubtedly the most uniformly pleasurable name in its library with Guacamelee 2.  Guacamelee remains one of the best, funnest, most beautiful and enjoyable Metroidvanias in years, shaming modern contemporaries like Shadow Complex and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet with how consistently delightful and rewarding a game can be. 
I anticipate Guacamelee 2 to simply be more of the same, and if it merely manages that it’ll be one of the best games of 2018.
Days Gone - 2018, apparently - PS4

We’ve seen two fairly large gameplay demos that were mostly about how the zombies in the modern-survival-post-apocalypse world of Days Goneare an (un)living force of nature, with hundreds of dashing freaks flowing over the landscape like crashing waves of flesh in pursuit of our heroes or led into our foes – Chamberlain called it “a tech demo” for the World War Z style zombie flood – but what always interested me, more, was the fact that it seemed like a story-driven action-adventure with survival and crafting aspects in a triple-A open world with, yes, zombies. 
I wanna’ see more gameplay, but the last time Sony invested heavily in triple-A open-world games (Gravity Rush 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn), it worked out very, very well, thank you very much. 
Dragon Quest 11 - 2018 - PS4, 3DS, Switch

Full disclosure: I’ve never played a Dragon Quest game in my life.  I don’t count Dragon Quest Builders
Full disclosure: Look at this screenshot.  Look at it.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 - 2018 - PS4, One, Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4 largely reeks of too little, too late for me after the universally-panned Valkyria Revolution last year that I didn’t even deign to taste.  This, I imagine, it what Sonic fans experience on an annual basis – I am currently in the “hope” phase of the cycle, imagining all the ways Valkyria Chronicles 4 could be awesome (an actually-mature plot!  A thoughtful meditation on cost of war, not just to humans, but to our humanity itself!  Gorgeous manga-lookin’ presentation!  A deep, satisfying mix of turn-based action and military tactics!  A richly-drawn squad of interesting characters!  Heartwarming comedy!).  But this is Sega, and if Sega is best at anything, it’s disappointing its fans. 
…but I want to believe.  I want to believe. 
Metro Exodus - 2018 - PS4, One, PC

I abandoned Metro 2033 at the infamous “Big Mama fight,” where the game autosaved right before an absolutely brutal bossfight with no way to source the necessary ammo for the punishing encounter ahead.  Then, after snarling and snapping at Big Mama for an entire evening, finally defeating her, and moving on to the next section, I shut my PS4 down for the night, satisfied.
The next day I booted it up again, and discovered my save put me… right in front of that goddamned fight, again, with the same pittance of ammunition I’d suffered the night before.
Uninstalled it.  F that noise. 
But Metro remains a very rich and interesting post-apocalyptic world.  But it’s so gorgeous.  But its weapons are these weighty, physical, barely-held-together homemade monsters, with hand-pressed bullets and wax-sealed shotgun shells that are always in far-too-short supply.  It’s on the list, but I’ll… probably wait for reviews of this one. 

And finally, an honorable mention...
Anthem - Q4 2018, apparently - PS4, One, PC

After BioWare Montreal offered the tepid Mass Effect: Andromeda, we learned what the original BioWare studio (Mass Effect 1-3) was actually up to – Anthem, an open-world co-op third-person sci-fi shooter action-RPG.  At first blush, Anthem looks like the game Bungie insisted Destiny would be, and while Chamberlain would rightfully point out that BioWare’s shooting couldn’t possibly find itself on par with Bungie’s, I think I’m also correct in suggesting that if anyone is going to nail the romance and fantasy of a colossal space opera, it’s gonna’ be BioWare.
Fingers crossed. 
* * *

Disclaimer: I'm sure there's tons I forgot but Bayonetta on Switch oh my gorsh!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Chamberlain & Chance 104 - Hype List 2018

Wiiith Alex! Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play!

Chamberlain and Chance - Hype List 2018

  • The rabbit warren of Titan Quest is much deeper than Alex anticipated. 
  • Chamberlain is lukewarm on a variety of mediocre games!
  • Chance talks about Overwatch, just like you imagine in your weird fantasies!
  • And what upcoming games are the boys hyped for?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Oh. My. God. Dark Souls is coming to Switch.

Nintendo teased today's "Mini Direct" yesterday with a flaming Chibi Robo Tweet that took the gamersphere by storm, and this morning it appeared - a sweet little fifteen-minute video that gave us a release date for Celeste (January 25th) and footage of Kirby, along with five new ports-coming-to-Switch announcements.

The ports are...

  • The World Ends With You: Final Remix
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze with the addition of Funky Kong as a playable character 
  • Dark Souls Remastered, which includes the Artorias of the Abyss DLC. 


So let's take a step back.  Did you know I used to play games that aren't Overwatch?  It's true!  I would play these games, and then write reviews of them!  Let's see what I wrote about From Software's Dark Souls, wayyy back in 2011...

"There are far fewer answers than questions, and this lightest narrative touch sparks the imagination like no game I've played in recent memory. There is something deeply affecting and romantic about the wise, sharply-drawn and dimly-defined fantasy Dark Souls presents. It recalls not just the fantasy stories we wallowed in as children, but the intangible weight and substance they carried in our young minds. The huge, sprawling, intricate, gorgeous world of Lordran haunts me, still - and the true story that begins to form is not the game's, but the player's, and their triumph over this impossible place.


This game is pure inspiring fantasy, adventure and thrills. More than that, its finely-tuned design, presentation and mechanics do a better job of absorbing the player in its reality than any title in recent memory, and practically defines what a "role-playing" game can truly be. It offers an exceptional experience, and infinitely crueler than its myriad murderers would be the disservice you do yourself, should you overlook it.

Dark Souls is nothing less than a modern masterpiece."
-a review I wrote like six years ago-
...and this thing - this gorgeous, beautiful, genre-defining soaring epic of action and dark fantasy - will be on a handheld I am flipping out

So hype.  So hype.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Long Cut 16 - Unbelievable (I'll Have What She's Having)

It's a fine Hanamura defense, things are goin' well, I'm just flowin' around, a Pulse Bomb for Pharah here, a clip for Doomfist there - things are good! So when I go after this McCree in a tight space, I'm fairly confident and... if I'd've been able to finish that clip on him, I like to think I'd've killed him - but he didn't give me the one second it takes Tracer to empty her guns.

I've been on the receiving end of a lot of solo ults lately, and this one felt absolutely goddamned incredible. You wanna' see who's the fastest, McCree? Draw! Also how many health packs am I gonna' need? All them health packs nom nom nom! That McCree went on to switch to Doomfist and score PotG! He was badaaaass.


Oh also, check for an update - the Overwatch League skins and a new patch are now live!  I still haven't looked at the skins, but after the-first-one-is-free that they give you, each skin for each character is five dollars each.  Apparently it'll cost like $1,200 if you want to buy every skin for every hero lawls

Monday, January 8, 2018

Overwatch Clip Show 53 - Blue Suede Shoes.


0:00 - 0:31 : This defense of Hollywood was doomed from the beginning - a 6-DPS team on my side (because when you join a game with 5 DPS, you join in), but I wasn't about to let it go without having fun.  I spent the entire match hunting down this gold gun Widow and having a ball.  I got a lot of great picks on her, but this is by far the funniest - and the jumps line up too perfectly with the song, which is... the whole reason I used the song, to be honest.

I am violently compelled to dance and emote whenever an enemy Widowmaker uses her ult. Because it's hilarious.

I also love how I completely ignore the McCree who misses his flashbang and then his shots on me. I don't have time for you, Cowboy, I'm here for the her. (Oh also, worth noting, she was at half health when I killed her because this duel actually began with me flying out off the high ground over the mega health pack, landing some shots on her as I fell and blinking over to the small health pack - I'm looking up at the roof when the vid starts because I'm assuming she's up there. 'Cause she knows I'm comin' for her.)

0:31 - 0:41 : This McCree was at like five percent health when he backpedaled into his Moira and she heals him up in two shakes. I'm like, fine, y'know what? Heal this.


0:52 - 1:07 : I'd gotten a lot of killing blows on this Zarya earlier in the match, and she wasn't about to let me get away. I think this is the first time a Zarya's ever solo-ulted me. ...feels kinda' nice, actually.

That second we both spend reloading before the kill was one of the longest seconds of my life.

1:07 - 1:20 : Another weird one. This is the first PotG I've ever had on a DPS hero where I didn't land a single killing blow. Our Reaper musta' been piiissed.

1:38 - 2:00 : It's absolutely not about burning off a few Blinks to give myself a handicap going in to a duel. It is entirely about the comedy.

I found this at borealisowl.tumblr, but there's no way that's the original artist. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Game Diary - Well This Can't Last

In times of happiness, it's important not to become accustomed to it, I've found.  Appreciating the good times is, in me at least, a result of being mindful of the inevitability of the alternative.  That being said...

My placement matches are going so good you guys! I'm like squeeee!


When competitive mode was introduced to the game, I was still very much a Mercy main - a low-barrier-to-entry character who could contribute and help her team without requiring serious mechanical skill.  I'd instalock Mercy every game, unless she was already taken, and if she's wasn't, I'd flex to a tank or - in the rarest of situations - a DPS that I thought might counter whatever was carrying the enemy team, or making it impossible for my team to break through.

In later seasons, I flexed exclusively during placement.  I'd let anyone else pick who they were confident with, and I'd pick the hero I thought filled in the gaps in our team the best.  Sym, tanks, supports - whatever you need, I can do it.  I'm not very good on any tank or support who's not named Mercy, but I'll do my best and try my hardest. 

And I'm not down on my competitive rank at all.  Gold or platinum is very much where I belong, and I'm frankly a little proud to be able to compete with anyone in the middle of the Overwatch pack.  I remember, over a year ago, being conscious of the fact that I tended to win more when I was playin' Mercy - I'm a pretty solid Mercy! - and wasn't prepared to "throw" games by insisting on my shitty Tracer play. 

Whenever I played comp games post-placement (see: never in 2018), it was the same - just flexing, doing my best to do whatever I can to balance my team's composition, and maybe... maybe taking some pressure off me.  I'm not the reason the enemy team isn't dying, after all - I'm just your Rein or Zen!

But my Tracer play's gotten a little better.


At this point, if I've played 100 hours of Mercy, I've played 150 of Tracer - and way, way more Tracer in the last year than Mercy, I'd say.  I've grown more confident in my Tracer than my Mercy.  I've gotten to the point that I've noticed... I'll win more often on Tracer than I do on Mercy.  Tracer has, somehow, become the most meaningful way to help my team.  And she's considered a pretty hard character to get value out of. 

I'm sure this doesn't need to be said, but I love Tracer.  She's ridiculously fun.  Soaring out over main street on Dorado, dropping down behind a Reinhardt and scratching him up before slapping him with the Pulse Bomb, blinking away and not looking back as he and Moira go boom - feels incredible - and being able to have that much fun while also winning games is... luxurious. 

But again, I don't want to force my shitty Tracer on teams!  I don't want to soft throw by not letting our carry DPS instalock their DPS mains and get to work!

But, then again... I win more games when I play Tracer.  Maybe... maybe the best way to help my teams is to just play Tracer.  Not Mercy.

And y'know what?  What if my Tracer sucks?  So what?  What if I just play Tracer in comp and it puts me in fucking Bronze or Silver (never been that low!) - so what?  So then I play against other shitty players who are as shitty as I am and, hopefully, I'd end up having more fun 'cause I wouldn't be getting my ass beat by Diamond McCrees. 

This is one of my fall-time favorite Tracer fan arts. 

And I wanna' know, I guess.  I wanna' know how good or bad my Tracer actually is.  I know that wherever I get placed this season is largely dependent on how I ended or how I played (my ten placements and nothing more) last season. 

And when push comes to shove, if you want me to help you win this game to the absolute best of my ability... I'm gonna' need to be on Tracer.  So last night my brother and I are warming up in Quick Play, finally ready to begin our placements for Season 8. 

"Oh by the way," I tell him, "I'm only going to play Tracer in placements.  If she's taken I'll flex, but I'm instalocking Tracer every game I can."

"Good," he says. 

I didn't need to flex.  I was the arrogant DPS main who instalocked their shitty DPS every game and I have never had better comp games in my life. 


We didn't get all our placements done last night - only seven of the required ten.  Chris is a proponent of team chat - and I'll usually mute my mic and join when I'm soloing quickplay - but it got a little weird, a couple times.  One goober was riding me all match after, during setup, he noted that I had the Graffiti skin and the gold guns and all he emotes and was like "you're a pro Tracer," and I'm trying to keep it light and joke around and I go "yeah yeah I got a League contract and everything," and then he just keeps riding me on that the whole game, like he's trying to tilt me. 

That'll learn me to engage with people.  We won, but he was very happy when I didn't get an elims or medals card at the victory screen.  My fault.  Never should've joked around with... anyone.  Ever. 

Our only loss was a game with three twelve-year-old-soundin' kids who were screaming at each other all game.  They were in a three-stack and were clearly real-life friends, but they were just screetching and swearing at the top of their lungs, it threw me off hard, and the Genji was just complaining about the enemy Hanzo and Doomfist all match.  I did my best to counter the Doom, at least, but I advised my brother I would not be joining team chat any more, and he agreed. 

All I've got is the artist's name is 'Wye.'

I ended up with something pretty close to a personal record on Hanamura - 47 elims!  It was incredible!  We never took point B on attack, but the reds never took point A.  I just thought I had a decent match until a PSN message popped up from someone on the enemy team.  And I quote,
And yes, that is actually the username.  This made me feel bad.

I didn't respond, reported it and SIE moderation deleted the message within an hour, but I also went back into the footage to see if I remembered this guy in particular, because I didn't specifically remember building a relationship of any sort with any of the reds that game. 

I opened up my capture of the match.  Ah - he was Hanzo at the beginning of our attack round - I don't remember killing him at all.  I went on the PSN forums to vent about it - I have no idea why this guy got so bent out of shape!  But later, after we'd finished playing, I went through the footage again.  He played Bastion when we took point B.  I stuck him with the Pulse Bomb like three times. I mean, I can see you being displeased about that, but you know you're target #1 for Pulse Bombs, man. 

Then I saw that he went Soldier on attack and it was like ohhhh. 

I never waved to anyone, this match.  Never used a voice line, never emoted - I was pefectly professional - but I also kicked this Soldier's ass up and down the street with relative indifference.  Every time he got on or near the point - blink - I'm right there, emptying a clip into his face while he stands passively on top of his healing station. 

And yeah, really, 47 elims is a lot (for me, at least). 

The other thing Chris said when I told him I was only playing Tracer, was to inform me he was only going to play D.Va (he played 1 on Torb and 1 on Soldier when D.Va was taken).  My response was the same as his - "Good."

I certainly didn't carry every game, but somewhere around a third of the time, that's exactly what I was doing - and the rest, I pulled my weight.  Our final match of the night was an achingly long six-round affair on Volskaya that we finally won mostly by having more time in our bank than the enemy's. 

When all was said and done last night, my Tracer was sitting at an 85.71% win rate.  If we count games were I just refused to go into team chat, we're at 100%.  I never imagined my selfish little experiment would be this successful. 

Either way - this can't last.  I am kickin' ass and takin' names and getting PotGs and enjoying Overwatch more than I have in months.  Maybe it's all the Tracer time I was able to put in over Christmas - maybe it's just the tweaks I made to my aim sensitivities - but I'm havin' a ball

How will it end? 

Tune in in a week.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Blizzard Has A Message for Mercy Mains.

And here it is:

These are the changes that went up on the PTR late last night.  Junkrat got a little nerf that has frankly been a long time coming:
Concussion Mine
  • Will now deal less damage to targets farwther away from the explosion’s center
Developer Comments: Junkrat has been enjoying the flexibility his double-charge Concussion Mine provides, but it has now become a bit too easy to throw out huge bursts damage in a large area. With this change he can still dish out similar damage but he must now be more accurate with his tosses. 
This is good.  Basically, Conc Mine will still deal its max damage if you blow it right in someone's face, but the farther away they are from it, the less damage they'll take, down to a minimum of 40 at four yards.

Junkrat has been overpowered for months, to the point that famous streamer and pro Seagull has been practically maining the guy.  He dishes out far too much damage in teamfights, and thus earns his ult far too quickly - an ult that can easily get a six-kill, and has like ten times the radius of Tracer's humble little Pulse Bomb.

As I main a hero who is horribly troubled by Junkrat's traps in particular and Junkrat in general, this is fantastic news - I want this to go live as soon as possible.

But then there's the Mercy news...


(Deep breath.)  Here we go...
  • No longer makes Resurrect instant
  • No longer grants a bonus charge of Resurrect
  • The speed boost that Guardian Angel receives has been decreased by 50%
  • Duration reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds
Developer Comments: Mercy’s recent Resurrect changes have helped in allowing enemies to have more counter play in dealing with her, but she was able to use Resurrect through Valkyrie enough to largely mitigate the impact of the previous changes. Additionally, we’re toning back the amount of mobility Valkyrie provides through Guardian Angel and reducing its duration to overall reduce the power of this ability. 
We will likely be iterating on these changes in the coming weeks.
There are two perspectives on this, in the community.  Some say "good, Rez and Mercy ruin the game - reversing picks goes against the rest of the game's design!"  The others say

I don't... quite say that.  I say it is time to scrap Valkyrie.  With this change, its greatest value is absolutely fucking gone.  Its ability to guarantee safe rezzes was the reason to use the ult - now, without it, it is just a shittier Zen ult or a shittier Moira ult.  If it goes live like this, Valkyrie will just become something you pop to nudge a teamfight - heal your allies up when too many are hurt for you to quickly heal, maybe pop it to help your team clean up in a Grav or Blizzard or Earthshatter - it's... fucking boring, is what it is.

I say leave Rez as-is, but just get the fuck rid of Valkyrie and give Mercy an ult with some actual impact.  Make firing off Mercy's ult feel as cool as Hanzo's or Zen's or Lucio's.  Let there be moments when your team would say "awesome ult, Mercy" again.

That literally hasn't happened to me since before the Valkyrie patch happened.

The utility of Rez can't be overstated - reversing a pick is huge, but no one can say it is as constantly-effective and valuable as Ana's sleep dart or Bionade, Lucio's boop or Zen's discord.  If Ana misses the dart, she won't fucking die.  When Mercy fails the Rez - which is already on a cooldown more than twice as long as any other cooldown in the game - it's because she died when she tried to use the skill that now has a nearly two-second cast time.

Valkyrie, meanwhile, no longer achieves its original purpose.  It doesn't make Mercy feel cool and powerful any more.  It doesn't let you feel like your awesome Mercy play swung that last teamfight - it will feel like playing Mercy always does - that you're hanging back from your team, hooking up a beam to them.

Because that's seriously all it does, now.  It branches the beams, and I guess means you don't have to reload if you decide your team doesn't need healing.  Give her something cool.  Give her something where a Mercy can see a problem that's about to fuck her whole team, and with clever ult use, stop it.

I still like the idea of like a two-second invincibility for Mercy and her allies in a certain radius.  Lets her skillfully counter D.Va bombs, Pulse Bombs, Reaper ults, Pharah ults... Let it be something where you let your ult off the chain and it's like BWAMMMM! "...that was fucking awesome."

I wanna' feel that way about Mercy again.

What the fuck, Blizz.  What the fuck.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Chamberlain & Chance 103 - The Spark of Hope

Wiiith Alex! Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play, podcast on Soundcloud! 

Chamberlain and Chance - The spark of hope

  • Chamberlain is nourished by Mario Odyssey and a little offended by South Park: The Fractured But Whole!
  • Alex sells you on Titan Quest!
  • Chance has broken with all norms, and investigated multiplayer FPS Overwatch!
  • And what did the boys think of Star Wars: The Last Jedi?
You'll have to tune in to find out!