The title is pretty self-explanatory for this one.
1. Everyone Wants To Be a Leader
Sometimes I wonder if Overwatch is an actual video game or an extremely well-funded psych study on men and their collaborative skills.**
You’d think the small amount of preparation time would allow players to relax, let roles fall naturally amongst the players, and that they would simply play to the best of their abilities and work together.
Instead, what I find happens most often is you get 3-5 of your teammates dubbing themselves the unspoken leader, doling out commands to all other players, that are almost always in conflict with the other “leaders” instructions.
It’s also really unlikely that any of these players will realize this, and will continue to press on as the leader, making it harder to attack or defend as a unified force. You can only expect a win in this situation if the other team has even worse problems on their end (and in reality they probably do).
**Side note: I know women do play Overwatch (myself included), but in my experience, they tend to be a lot more collaborative and many of these issues actually don’t end up applying. Still searching for an all-girl Overwatch server, btw.
2. The Constant Uptalk
This point goes hand in hand with the first. Upspeak, also known as High Rising Terminal, is saying your declarative sentences like they are questions: raising your voice in pitch near the end of the sentence as if there was a question mark. Now I actually find uptalk to be a very useful speech pattern, especially in real life and when you don’t want to pressure someone into answering the “right way” to a question. It gives the other person in the conversation a little leeway to answer honestly.
In Overwatch, I feel like uptalk is used the complete opposite way. Many team “leaders” will use uptalk to not seem so overbearing and not to force their strategy onto other teammates. However, there is no actual leeway given. It’s still a command, but it’s thinly veiled with politeness. It’s also an opportunity to deflect blame if the commands given out ended up not working. I find it passive-aggressive and frankly extremely annoying when you hear it every other transmission.
3. Getting Asked, “How Are You Doing?”
I know I sound like a crazy person at this point but hear me out!
Typically, when someone asks how everyone is doing before a competitive match, they aren’t actually asking how you are. What they are doing is sussing out how many wins you’ve had that night. I don’t think that’s completely unfair on its own, but people have bad luck and they have losing streaks and it doesn’t feel right to judge your next play on that. It brings down any hype or positive vibes and makes the game simply less fun.
Further, whoever asks that question is typically beaming with positive energy so thick you can hear them smiling on the other end. IME, this positivity goes all out the window as soon as your team falls behind expectations. At best, you can expect this person to go silent the rest of the match and at worst they are the most vocally abusive.
I’ve found that the people who are most genuinely positive throughout the match never ask this kind of question to begin with.
4. Abuse is Part of the Fun For Some Players
There’s a lot of debate on whether trash talk should be accepted as a normal part of gaming, and where the line exists between it and full on toxicity (if there even is one). My personal opinion is that it can be fun, as long as you:
- keep it light-hearted (ya know, don’t say anything you wouldn’t say during couch co-op)
- don’t make things personal like mentioning race, religion, gender, etc
- don’t go after people who clearly aren’t enjoying it
- direct it towards the opposing team
There is a small percentage of players in Overwatch who believe that berating your own teammates is just as fun as trash talking the other team, and even beneficial. But this is such asinine concept that inevitably leads to tilting. Shitting on someone’s gameplay might make them play harder in the future, but it sure as hell isn’t gonna help you during the match.
Overall I really like Overwatch, but these things have really made me stay away from competitive for a few seasons. But I want to take the time and hear from everyone else. Do you guys like competitive mode? Do you play with everyone muted? Let me know in the comments!