Crowd Control May Ruin Overwatch
Though I can be frustrated with it at times, Overwatch is probably my favorite game to play with a group of friends at this moment in time, and it has held this spot in my list of games for months now. When you squad up, come up with team comps, try to figure out what’s working and what’s not, and work with your friends to overcome the enemy team, Overwatch can really shine. Are there problems with toxicity when you solo queue? Yeah, but such is the nature of competitive gaming at the moment. But when I have a group of friends I can play with, Overwatch is my go-to game.
I noticed a few weeks back, right alongside the release of the newest champion, Brigitte, that when playing with my friends, I was getting as frustrated with the game as I sometimes get when I’m playing alone. And that’s because I realized that while playing the game, I was actually being forced by enemy teams to be unable to play the game. Why? Because of Brigitte (and Sombra to a degree, and Doomfist to a lesser degree). Brigitte’s shield bash ability is, in my opinion, a demonstration of what poorly executed “CC” (or “Crowd Control”) can do to a game. There is nothing more frustrating than casting off your ultimate, which you’ve had to charge over the course of a few minutes of gameplay, just to have it disappear because of a shield bash from Brigitte, a skill which is on a 5 second cooldown (recently changed to a 6 second cooldown). It's just absurd.
Now, I’m not fully against Crowd Control, I’m fully against the abuse of Crowd Control. And to me, Brigitte is an abuse of Crowd Control. One might ask, well what about all of the other CC in Overwatch? Why aren’t you targeting Mei's freeze or Ana’s sleep dart, or Rein’s ultimate? Well, because those are fair examples of CC. Mei has to spend time up close to you (where she’s vulnerable to damage) and target you with her freeze to CC you. Ana has to hit a skill shot (a hard one at that) to sleep you. Rein has to charge his entire ultimate and then hit it barring enemy shielding to CC enemies. Even Sombra (who I also have a particular distaste for) has to target you for a hack or at least combo her ultimate with another team member’s. All Brigitte has to do is wait 6 seconds, right and left click in front of her and boom, your ultimate is gone. It’s actually absurd. It truly is.
Now are there ways to take out a Brigitte? Yes, of course there are. Her number one enemy, namely, is distance. If you are far away from her, you have the best chance at survival against her. But far too often have I been in games where an enemy Brigitte just charges forwards and the entire team must focus her to kill her. Just move her over to the tank column Blizzard, she’s doing better than most of them, anyway.
If Overwatch turns into a game of stuns, freezes, disables, etc., the spirit of the game will die. There’s nothing worse than loading up a game and feeling like you can’t actually play the game because you’re stuck in CC all the time. Here’s a great example. I don’t want Brigitte to be nerfed into oblivion either, but her kit needs some serious work for Overwatch to be enjoyable, and I hope hard CC is not the direction that Jeff Kaplan and the team are taking the game, or else they're going to lose quite a few players. But, judging by their last few character releases it does seem that CC is going to become the name of the game.
Now all we need is a point and click hard stun like League of Legend’s Malazahar ult and we’ll be gucci.