Category Archives: Beta
This weekend I was one of the lucky ones that was granted the privilege of participating in the Overwatch stress test. While I didn’t get to play a lot, I played enough to tell that this is a game that I will be purchasing to play in the future. I figured while my play from this weekend was fresh in my mind, I would post my initial impressions and thoughts on the game.
When Overwatch was first announced I very much thought it was going to be a Team Fortress 2 clone. I am very happy to say that it is not. While I do enjoy playing TF2, we don’t need another clone of it out there for play. Overwatch is similar to TF2 in that it is an objective based FPS game, where it differs is in the diversity of the characters you can choose from to play. Overwatch is definitely designed with team/esports game play in mind as you have the capability to swap characters throughout the game as a way to counter what the other team presents.
The characters are all fun and different to play and the ones I tried I didn’t have too much trouble figuring out at least the basics on how to play them. Blizzard appears to be continuing the trend from Heroes of the Storm by trying to make this a game that even a beginner to the genre won’t have any issues picking up. The characters I got to play during the stress test were Lucio, Mercy, Zenyatta, Macree, Winston and Torbjörn. Lucio, Mercy and Zenyatta are all support characters designed to both heal and do damage, Macree is a pure damage dealer, meant to put high levels of damage on the enemy, Winston is a tank, meant to soak as much damage as possible while allowing the other team members to take down the opponent, and Torbjörn is a builder, he uses devices like turrets to put damage on an opponent while staying safe himself. The characters all have different play styles and each was fun in it’s own way. I will admit, I spent the most time playing Lucio, partly because of how easy he was for me to pick up and partly because hardly anyone I played with chose support. He is a blast to play and it was quite fun song dancing between speed and healing to make sure that the team had what they need when they needed it.
Overwatch has voice chat enabled in the game, and I can see why it might be necessary, though I will admit I didn’t use it myself yet. Having it built in makes it easier to be used in solo queues and still have the same team direction as if you were going in with an entire team with team speak or mumble.
Overall the game is a blast to play and fairly easy to learn. It was easy to tell it is still a beta product, but that did not take away from the enjoyment in the least. I look forward to future testing (if given the opportunity) and playing once it has been released.
Just a few quick thoughts I wanted to get out. First was wrong about the new frames. Roll animations for non-Pandarens not out yet. As I’ve gotten further with my Tauren monk, (he’s level 8 now) I notice it more, especially with the kicks. That being said, I’m having fun with it. Though I should probably swap out the default weapons at some point, it would probably improve my damage. Thanks for reading my rambles. Comments and Criticisms are always welcome.
With this newest wave of invites I have finally joined the mass of Annual Pass people who are playing in the MoP Beta. I wanted to do a quick write up about my first impressions with the beta. I do know that it is beta and things are subject to change, and I will keep writing about things I see as the beta progresses.
Say hello to Bearidar, he is my Pandaren Warrior. I decided to use him to test the new starter zone. The zone itself is very saturated on most test servers as everyone who joins wants to play a Panda, but that being said, I managed to complete the zone in about two hours without any real bottlenecks. The first 10 levels through this zone are all about your training and helping to heal the land that has started to rebel. You are mainly fighting different types of Hozun or Varmin, while working to bring the elements to the Temple of the Five winds. You are assisted in this by the fiery Ji Firepaw and the sedate Aysa Cloudsinger. Upon reaching level 10 you accompany the two of them to talk to the turtle that is the island, to find out what ails it. He tells you that he has a thorn in his side and asks you to remove it. You fly over to that area, see the crashed ship and then head back to the Temple before heading down to the contested area. Without getting into what happens down there, I haven’t seen the conflict that is supposed to be the main portion of this yet. You deal with very wounded reps of both factions and honestly you are offered a choice on how to remove the boat from the turtle, but only one faction has even made a suggestion on how it should be done. It may just be me, but I didn’t feel there was enough of a lead up to the choice for it to be anything but a preference and no difference one way or another. After making the selection ( I chose horde, because it’s my prefered side), you are transported to the faction capital to have a talk with the faction leader. Quick note, if Blizzard is trying to make me hate Garrosh more than I already do, his little speech cemented my dislike. This is where I’ve left him at this point, I will probably remake him a couple of times during the beta just to see changes as they are implemented and see if I can find any bugs.
This is Klanu the Tauren monk. I am using him to test the monk class. I have not done much with him yet as was concentrating on other things, but will be leveling him through Mulgore. I chose to go this route rather than the Panda, because I wanted to test the new class with the least amount of lag I could find. Only place that I could think of that might have been less would have been Silvermoon. My initial impression of the class (really initial as I’m only level 5) is that it will be a fun class to play and will definitely present a almost rogue like play style. It does appear Blizzard has done a lot of good with the skeletons as the movement seemed natural and not overly forced, at least to my untrained eye. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this class as I progress through the levels.
The final part of what I started on beta was to start my shaman, Bulidar on his road to 90. At this point they don’t have the beginning quests for Pandaria, just a messenger by Garrosh’s Throne room that will teleport you to one of three locations. I chose the wreck because from what I had seen that is the actual starting area. For questing, it’s a lot like Vash’jir initially in that you are going around and recovering things for the survivors, but these portions move relatively quickly, as you complete more and more quests you begin to work your way up to Hellscream’s Hope which is the first of the questing hubs. So far I have noticed two quests that I see being real bottlenecks when there are a lot of people moving through the area. The first is wet work that requires you to grab orbs spawned by elementals, the issue is the spawn rate is currently very slow and is one at a time. This will cause a back up I think. Luckily that quest is skippable. The second quest I see as an issue is Acid Rain. The quest involves you flying around bombing Hozun with poisoned throwing stars. With about 30 people flying around the area simultaneously tonight the quest took about 25 minutes to complete. I can’t imagine what it will be like if there is more.
Last thing I want to talk about still deals with Bulidar, but is more about the shaman changes. I like the idea that most of our buffs are innate now and don’t require a totem. What I have that I’m missing is the Call spells that let us drop multiple totems at once. The main reason I miss the was that I was able to keymap the single spell to drop all 4 totems, now we are back to the original way it was which means single dropping totems. Luckily with the buff totems mostly gone this allows us to pick and choose what we drop. The exception I see to this is enhancement which always needs to have Searing down and anything else will be an additional drop. I will admit I have only tested enhance so far and still have a lot to try out, but with the exception of totems the gameplay is very similar.
This wraps up my initial impressions. I will write more as I get deeper into the beta and get more play time. As always, questions and comments are appreciated.