5 features Overwatch 2 needs to rebuild its playerbase - Dexerto
Overwatch

5 features Overwatch 2 needs to rebuild its playerbase

Published: 8/Dec/2020 16:31 Updated: 8/Dec/2020 16:32

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch 2 was officially announced at BlizzCon 2019. While plenty is already known about Blizzard’s hero shooter sequel, there are still requested features yet to be revealed. These inclusions will be paramount for the title to reach new heights.

Alongside the addition of several new heroes and a campaign at launch, the sequel will also debut with the franchise’s first new game mode in four years: Push. This mode sees teams work to take control of an enemy robot, moving it towards the enemy base as they attempt to push back.

However, will all the new content be enough to save the game once the initial appeal has worn off? Here’s our top 5 suggestions for how Blizzard could improve the Overwatch experience.

Tracer and McCree push the objective in Overwatch 2
Blizzard Entertainment
Push will be Overwatch’s fifth main game mode.

5. Tournaments

To start things off, weekly tournaments that reward unique prizes could possibly incentivize players to form their own team.

One of the FPS’s biggest problems as an esport are how drastically different the rules of Overwatch League and Contenders are. Currently, it’s unfair that you’re able to formulate a team composition for every map. It allows the teams to play to each player’s different strengths, whereas in actuality, teams should have one set roster.

By introducing tournaments, and perhaps even pushing the Open Division to have in-client registration, the concept of “Path To Pro” will be presented on a silver platter to users.

This, in turn, could help generate more interest in the Overwatch League and organized play as a whole, because the game itself will have a similar structure.

4. Hero bans

Hero bans could be the most controversial feature on this list. There have been many third-party tournaments to try out the idea, but the topic remains somewhat taboo.

In Overwatch, there normally comes a point after major balance patches wherein a dominant must-play hero composition emerges, destroying anything it comes up against. Hero bans would, in theory, prevent said meta from being the only thing that gets played.

A common concern is that Overwatch does not have enough heroes to justify bans, but with Overwatch 2 launching with a sizable roster increase, there may be enough to finally put that argument to rest.

Hero bans would be a welcome addition to ranked, with an important emphasis on having it be a group decision on one healer, one tank, and one dps. Without this implementation, everyone banning a hero would result in there being none left to play.

Sigma smiles as he grips his spheres
Blizzard Entertainment
Are hero bans the only way to kill double barrier?

Preferably, hero bans would have some form of in-client system where team captains could manually select which heroes their team wants to be removed from play for a particular map.

The ins and outs of the system would need to be tried and tested to determine the best way to implement such a feature (such as a protect phase or limiting bans on a per role basis). Banning the dominant meta heroes opens up entirely new avenues for how to approach each game, breathing new life into play.

3. Team Queue

Overwatch was originally designed to be played by teams consisting of two premade groups of six. Instead, Blizzard’s current ranked experience is plagued by miscommunication and an environment where matches feel won and lost at spawn points.

Overwatch roles tank, damage and support
Blizzard Entertainment
A team queue can completely change the ranked experience.

The addition of role queue and the group finder did attempt a fix. However, it still lacks what people are requiring from these tools. For instance, despite teams now consisting of two tanks at all times, there is no guarantee that either of said tank players has a shield in their repertoire (a must-have in many of the game’s meta.)

‘Find a Group’ does help incentivize forming teams, also aiding in finding allies to play the shield tank role. However, Blizzard hasn’t done themselves any favors by preventing friends of differing skills from playing together in ranked.

Special team queues, potentially with and without SR thresholds, could open new doors and provide unique new rulesets that make the ranked experience miles ahead of where it is today.

2. Detailed and advanced statistics

Currently, it’s hard to tell how well you’re performing in-game. Overwatch’s “medal system” makes everyone feel like a winner. It does this by counting what would be “assists” in other FPS titles as “eliminations”. This makes it statistically rare for a player to have a kill/death ratio below 2 with almost any hero.

Genji is ready to blade in Overwatch 2
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch 2 needs to be more than a visual upgrade with PvE.

Not only should the medal system be reworked in-game, but so, too, should the Replay Viewer. This will, in the end, allow for much more detailed stat-tracking throughout.

Currently, being able to know how many times Zenyatta died to Tracer can only be determined by watching the kill feed. The only other way is by deliberately rewatching a game from their perspectives and manually counting. It makes it difficult for players to revise their plays and, in turn, get better at the game considering they don’t know how well they’re actually doing.

1. Cross-platform play

It’s been known for a while now that Blizzard are exploring the prospect of cross-platform play in Overwatch. The actual implementation of it would undoubtedly inspire new life in the shooter.

Allowing PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC users to play with and against each other would help bridge the communities. In term, this would work to unify the differing player bases.

The Xbox and Playstation logos
Microsoft / Sony
Crossplay will help bridge the Overwatch community.

Additionally, cross-platform play could also mean things such as cross-progression with skins, sprays, emotes, and levels carrying over between systems.

Precautions to ensure a fair playing field are vital. Separating keyboard and controller users, would perhaps work in a similar manner to what Infinity Ward did with Modern Warfare’s cross-play.

Given the fact Game Director Jeff Kaplan said the title “isn’t just DLC or expansion,” we can hope that Blizzard is willing to step up and monumentally improve the experience in drastic ways that can only be found in a true sequel.

Pokemon

10 best Electric Pokemon of all time: Pikachu, Toxtricity, more

Published: 22/Jan/2021 4:37 Updated: 22/Jan/2021 5:27

by Isaac McIntyre

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Thunder, paralyze, even the Pokemon franchise star: Electric really does boast some of the most iconic moves and monsters in the 25-year-old series. But who are the best Pokemon from the ‘shocking’ type? Here’s who makes the list.

There’s plenty of reasons to have a favorite type. Maybe you like strategy, and pick Flying and Poison. Maybe you enjoy total control, and pick Bug and Physic. Maybe you just want pure power, and lean towards Fire and Rock.

Or, maybe, you love the flashy stuff: then, Electric is perfect for you.

There aren’t many Pokemon types more iconic than Electric. Monsters like Pikachu, Zapdos, and Voltorb immediately spring to players’ minds when they’re thinking about early creatures, and Toxtricity, Thundurus, and Zekrom have dominated competitive play since their debuts.

But the question is, which of the lightning lovers are the best? Which ones are the strongest, funnest, and “most flashy?” Which fits Electric down to the wires and shocks?

Here’s our top 10 from the game’s most ‘shocking’ type.

Pikachu

The original and best; how could we leave out Pikachu?
The Pokemon Company
The original and best; how could we leave out Pikachu?

Come on, we were never going to start with anyone else, were we?

Pikachu has done more than define electric type Pokemon ⁠— though the loveable little mouse has certainly had a heavy hand in that. Ash’s iconic starter has reigned supreme over the entire franchise since its debut back in the ’90s and isn’t going anywhere.

In both the anime series, and the mainline games, Pikachu is a perfect example of what trainers love about electric types: dynamic, exciting, and wild. A powerful “Lightning Bolt” could turn the tide of any Pokemon battle, and “Paralyze” is an iconic status effect.

And, at the end of the day, it’s Pikachu. The lil’ yellow fella has been the face of all things Pokemon for 25 years, and that isn’t changing any time soon.

Voltorb

Voltorb's charm come its iconic "Poke Ball" look.
The Pokemon Company
Voltorb’s charm comes from its iconic “Poke Ball” look.

If Pikachu is iconic for being the face of the franchise, then Voltorb has stayed iconic for another simple reason: the first-gen Pokemon looks like a Poké Ball.

There’s something fun about the idea of a living ball battling it out across nearly ten generations of Pokemon, and even back in the late ‘90s trainers were eager to add a Voltorb to their collection for the simple amusement of the monster.

Voltorb ⁠— and its evolution Electrode ⁠— also introduced the world to “Explosion” and the volatile nature of electricity. Truly a frontrunner in exciting electric ‘mons.

Zekrom

Zekrom may well be the most powerful Electric Pokemon in the series.
The Pokemon Company
Zekrom may well be the most powerful Electric Pokemon in the series.

Now, we know that Zekrom is technically Dragon first Electric second, but considering the sheek-black fifth-generation game mascot is the only other Electric-type to appear on a title’s box art outside of Pikachu, we believe he well and truly deserves a spot.

On top of that, which other ‘mon can “scorch the world with lightning”? Not many, that’s for sure. Zekrom is powerful, in the lore, and in-action as well. The cover star boasts a whopping 680 stats, 150 of which are slotted into his Attack. It also is one of the only Pokemon that can learn “Bolt Strike,” a 130-power Electric move.

Zekrom spent much of its life reigning over competitive too ⁠— when it wasn’t banned from play. Pokemon #644 is arguably the strongest Electric monster ever.

Toxtricity

Toxtricity has shot to cult status since its arrival in Sword & Shield.
The Pokemon Company
Toxtricity has shot to cult status since its arrival in Sword & Shield.

Speaking of competitive battles, here’s a Pokemon that has slotted right into ranked from release in Sword and Shield. The multi-formed Toxtricity ⁠— the “punk” Pokemon ⁠— has been a breakout favorite since its debut in Generation VIII.

Part of its charm is its versatility. You can collect the “Amped” form with certain natures, or keep it “Low Key” with the more quiet natures. Toxtricity also has a Gigantamax form.

Pokemon #849 also breaks the mould somewhat with its typing. While many electric Pokemon stick to just the one typing, Toxtricity is actually Electric/Poison, an extremely rare combo through every generation. In fact, its line is the only one.

That means you can combo “Thunder Shock,” “Sludge,” and “Overdrive,” all on the same monster. Pretty crazy, and once you add its ability, Punk Rock (boosts sound-based moves by 30%) any Toxtricity becomes a pretty special Pokemon.

Thundurus

Thundurus is a real "force of nature" among Electric Pokemon.
The Pokemon Company
Thundurus is a real “force of nature” among Electric Pokemon.

Another Electric powerhouse. Thundurus rivals Zekrom for pure strength, especially once it transcends to its Therian Forme. It’s a real ‘force of nature’ (wink).

Thundurus doesn’t have a huge move pool ⁠— Thunder, Discharge, and Volt Switch are the main moves in its arsenal ⁠— but its 580 stats in-game make sure they pack a punch. In the lore it’s powerful too; it “flies around Unova firing off bolts.”

Manectric

Manectric was a standout Electric Pokemon in Generation III.
The Pokemon Company
Manectric was a standout Electric Pokemon in Generation III.

Loyal lightning canine Manectric may be one of the last “pure” Electric Pokemon since the earliest generations. The Manectric line stars as the third gym aces in Ruby and Sapphire, and comes with a raft of powerful moves: Shock Wave, Thunder Fang, Discharge, Wild Charge, and Thunder.

Manectric was also another early Pokemon to be given a mega evolution late on in the series. While it never had an impact in ranked or competitive, Manectric found its way to trainer’s hearts with its dog-styling and strong playstyle.

Ampharos

Ampharos packs a mean Electric punch throughout the generations.
The Pokemon Company
Ampharos packs a mean Electric punch throughout the generations.

There weren’t many Electric Pokemon added to the first Pokemon sequel, Gold and Silver, but the Ampharos line ⁠— starting with Mareep and going through Fluffy ⁠— was a great one.

As an aside, Ampharos is this writer’s all-time favorite Pokemon, and has been since their first playthrough in Pokemon Gold back in 1999, but that isn’t going to bias #181’s inclusion in the list; Ampharos is absolutely in here on its own merit.

At just 55 Speed, it is a bit of a lumbering fighter, but what it lacks in quickness it more than makes up for with the punch it delivers once it gets there.

Ampharos has an incredible 115 Special Attack, boosted to 165 when in “Mega” form, which can make its powerful Electric moves (Zap Cannon, Thunder Punch, Thunder) and its special moves like Dragon Pulse, all the more lethal.

Zapdos

Zapdos has been one of the most powerful Electric picks since 1996.
The Pokemon Company
Zapdos has been one of the most powerful Electric picks since 1996.

The original ‘powerhouse’ Electric Pokemon. Zapdos first appeared in the dazzling Power Plant all the way back in Kanto in 1996, surrounded by Voltorbs, Pikachus, and Electabuzz. The lighting bird even debuted at level 50, and ran rampant with “Thunder.”

There’s not many Electric Pokemon ⁠— outside of Pikachu ⁠— that have had the same long-lasting effect of Zapdos. Because the shocking bird could add “Fly” to its arsenal, many young trainers quickly added it to their party and fell in love.

The Legendary Bird also had a starring role in Pokémon The Movie 2000, showing off its thunderous power. Movie star, Elite Four veteran, ranked champion ⁠— what can’t Zapdos do?

Electivire

Electivire brings every element to the battlefield: truly a versatile Electric battler.
The Pokemon Company
Electivire brings every element to the battlefield: truly a versatile Electric battler.

Electivire’s strengths come from its versatility. The Electabuzz evolution felt like it never really made the ripples its younger cousin did from Generation 1, and with how much it has in its back pocket, it’s a bit of a surprise.

The Electric ‘mon comes armed with Thunderbolt, of course, but can use “Flamethrower,” “Focus Blast,” “Earthquake,” and even “Ice Punch” as well. Talk about varied!

Alolan Golem

Alolan Golem was one of the best 'variant' Pokemon in Sun and Moon.
The Pokemon Company
Alolan Golem was one of the best ‘variant’ Pokemon in Sun and Moon.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Golem. Or, more specifically, Alolan Golem. Where the original “Megaton” Pokemon was an iconic Rock type, its variant in Alola splash in Electricity too, and it’s a perfect match!

Alolan Golem can be the perfect brick wall for your team, with that counter-attack on command without even having to switch. Throw up a “Defense Curl” and get your strength up, before dishing out a finishing blow with “Discharge” or “Stone Edge.”

Plus, anyone saying they don’t love the mustache is lying.