It was mere nanoseconds following acknowledgement that I would be breaking my self-imposed exile from Blizzard that question of my willingness to play WoW Dragonflight came up.
Fair. The situation certainly changed from an absolute rock solid ‘no’, to a slightly softer one. I just… Don’t know that I want to, even so. I stopped playing after we completed Heroic Sire Denathrius last year and I just… haven’t missed it. Not the game at least, certainly there are guildies I do miss and if I did change my mind and go back, it’d be largely to play with them.
Outside of any reasons to do with who is or isn’t playing or even the game itself — one of the larger reasons I’m not exactly jumping over myself to return to my usual pre-xpac launch frenzy (to prepare for the immediately post-xpac launch frenzy) is because I’ve been putting in some time and effort to regain some of my mouse aim and dexterity skills by way over Overwatch’s latest update.
Now, I’m never going to be the twitchy, hyper-reactive, clanned-up FPS gamer1 I was in my youth. Age aside, I simply don’t have the patience for the hours and hours of practice it requires.
There was a time when I was happy to spend my gaming time for a day — or heck, even a weekend — just refining one technique or another. Case in point; in QuakeWorld Team Fortress, my role in clan games was attack scout. Scouts as a class had Concussion Grenades. The typical use was an offensive weapon. Exploding them on an enemy caused their vision to go wonky and aim difficult to control.
But… They also packed quite a knock back.
You could use them to get up places you weren’t meant to. Simple example? On the classic map 2fort5r, you could jump up the enemy elevator shaft. The lift itself wouldn’t work for you, but who cares when you can launch yourself up it anyway?
The basics of the move weren’t too difficult to get. Throw the conc grenade, jump over it just as it goes off. You did have to jump at the right time or else you weren’t going very far, but getting that timing down isn’t too bad. The mastery of this simple jump comes in making it smooth, running and moving nonstop so that the angry defense engineer and soldier don’t eat your squishy scout for lunch while you stand at the bottom of the elevator shaft like a moron, bunny hopping on the spot waiting for the grenade to go off.
Where the hours and weekends of practice went for just that one particular move was using it to soar from one base to another in a map like 2fort5r. Finding a quality picture of this map is surprisingly difficult now, so if you’re unfamiliar — picture two opposing enemy forts, facing off directly to one another where in the middle are small patches of grass and a bridge over a body of water.
There are things going on below water too, but for this story, only the above ground matters.
These forts each have sniper nests. Scouts aren’t the only ones that can get up there uninvited, sure, Soldiers can also rocket jump up.
What Soldier’s can’t do, however, is fly all the way from one nest to the other, never touching the ground.
To do it, the scout most throw a concussion grenade at the edge of the nest, and almost immediately start cooking another one. While still holding the second conc grenade, you run and jump over the first one you dropped. You need to be positioned such that your momentum and the blast sends you more forwards than upward.
While sailing across the map from that first blast, you turn and drop the cooked conc below you, such that it goes off midair and positioned such that it propels you the rest of the way.
Do this move while escaping with the enemy flag and you can be a gosh darned hero.
Overwatch has brought out something akin to that old desire for improvement though. A willingness to practice, and research, and do better.
Hard to say if it’ll last — already some of the main friends I had been playing with have jumped ship. Stupid CoD coming out, and ruining things. :P
But while it does last, my major concern going back to WoW would be that it’d start to undo the aim practice, the reflexes and even the more knowledge based learnings such as map power spots and hero counters will start to fade. Not to say WoW doesn’t require certain skills of its own, but they’re not these skills.
Inform: (As this post mentions or talks about an Activision Blizzard product, or the company)
While I have chosen to break my self-imposed exile from Activision-Blizzard titles, I still feel it important to acknowledge the troubled status of the company, so you can make your own decision.
Activision Blizzard has become subject to multiple sexual-harassment lawsuits. Of note, in particular, is that it has been alleged that Bobby Kotick (current CEO) has not only been aware of, but also attempted to suppress word of, such incidents — even going so far as to intervene to keep a perpetrator hired with the company.
Even so, support for a long-term boycott was never clear cut, even amongst those affected.