When winning is not everything
A few weeks ago, I tweeted this here:
(J) Sometimes, when the team is nice & playing well together, supporting & listening to each other, losing doesn’t even matter. #Overwatch
— Gaming Nerd Girls (@gamingnerdgirls) July 20, 2017
The more I play, the more I stand by these words – and I’d like to add that by now I prefer a good team and losing to a bad team and winning. While it gives me some sort of satisfaction to see all those gold medals beneath the “Victory” message in the above picture, it feels hollow and even annoying when I look at the numbers. These should not be gold numbers. I mean, yeah, sure, the match wasn’t long and obviously the enemy team wasn’t very good but the whole match felt like I was the one doing all the work on our side. The team scattered and didn’t listen to anything said or written, there was no coordination and rarely anything done together. Which is really not what Overwatch (or any teambased game) is about.
I play Overwatch for the rush, for the quick satisfaction and fun of a good game that doesn’t take long. I enjoy it when everyone has fun – including complimenting the enemy Genji for being A DAMN PAIN IN THE ASS GODDAMMIT – and can acknowledge the others’ strengths and weaknesses in a good-natured fashion.
The match I played before tweeting that quote was like that. It was a competitive match and we had no groups in our team, so just six strangers playing together. And it worked perfectly. The team combination was good, we supported each other, we grouped up and pushed together. “Unfortunately” the other team was like that as well and thus won with a really close run – BUT. It was a hell of a game. It was fun, it was exciting and nobody was salty at the end. (Okay, I was at the amount of points lost in the ranking which felt way too much for just how GOOD the game was despite losing.) “What a game, well done!” was written more than once in the chat.
And that is what Overwatch should be about.
Or it’s at least what it is for me about. I want to play in a good team. Sure, I like winning, who doesn’t. But I want to win in an exciting match, not while I’m annoyed with my team because they are nowhere to be seen or are busy writing bitchy stuff in the chat instead of focussing on the task at hand. I want to win because not only I but my whole team is good at what we do and because we work together.
A team that works together helps me to play better and also to get better. I can concentrate on my task of healing or protecting or dealing damage instead of trying to do everything at once (as far as possible). And if I can to that, I can try out new things, I can use the whole range of my character’s abilities, I can support the others. Then the game’s possibilities become accessible.
The point of “if the team works well together I can play better” becomes especially relevant when I play Mercy. A while ago I had three HORRIBLE ranked matches with Mercy, we lost painfully. I barely got any healing done, I barely got my ultimate full – because I just kept being killed. The other team really had closed in on me – which is totally fine, of course you try to keep the other team’s healer off the field – but my team just did not protect me. One of my teammates kept saying in the chat “Protect the healers” but they alone weren’t enough to keep me safe. So I spend my time between trying to outrun the enemy Roadhog and Tracer, trying to heal at least a bit and shoot the ones closing in on me before they shot me while my team cried “I need healing” as I tried to get back to them from the base after dying yet again.
In the end, we lost majorly, one of my teammates got really angry in the chat and yelled at me to NEVER PLAY MERCY AGAIN YOU *** and WHY DON’T YOU REZ THE OTHER MERCY REZ’D LIKE 5 TIMES ALREADY?! and I seriously was this close to rage quitting. Protect your healers, guys. Really. They cannot help you if they’re dead.
So, of course a “bad team and winning” beats a “bad team and losing”. It does not beat a “good team and losing”, though. Even though the gold medals help 😉