Saturday, September 23, 2017

Overwatch Clip Show 46 - Big Iron.

This week's clip show is made up almost entirely from games last night.  Alex and I had plans to play, you see, but he then advised that he had found himself quite ill, in no small part due to the alcohol-based gifts he'd received for his birthday (happy birthday, Alex!).  I relented and suffered through some solo que, but an hour or so later Chamberlain emails me to let me know that he's "unspeakably bad" at Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite.  I emailed him and Alex and suggest that we could all be unspeakably bad at Overwatch together.

We dove into the 4v4 deathmatches that Alex and I had so much fun with last week.  Were better than bad, and I spent almost every match on Mercy, supporting Alex's Orisa (a new love he's discovered) and Chamberlain's Bastion.

Here's a YouTube mirror if you prefer.

Of note -

1:33 - 2:13 : This is my best example of what can be accomplished with Mercy's new ult.  I very rarely draw the pistol during it - as effective as that can definitely be - but instead use it to score the most rezzes I can, and support a successful push or stop an enemy's from being successful.

So this is how you get 4 rezzes with Valkyrie.  Pop rez, start Valkyrie (which resets the cooldown on rez, and changes its cooldown to 10 seconds for Valkyrie's 20-second duration)), pop rez again and keep yourself and your team safe.  If an ally dies within the next 10 seconds? Rez.  Repeat.  Rez.

Note that I don't even pull the pistol during this Valkyrie - I pull it after, when I have a good angle on D.Va and Soldier.

3:00 - 3:20 : This clip is the impetus for this entire video.  I've had it, in the middle of a "variety show" of funny stuff happening with different heroes, since last weekend - it's from before the Valkyrie patch - but I love it so much.  This entire clip show began as nothing more than this clip, featuring this precise point of the song.

The rest of it only exists because last night went so well with the boys.

And that's our show!  Also worth noting, Alex scored an Orisa PotG...

And Chamberlain scored his first PotG!  It is, suitably, a very humble one in which he saves my ass and I'd never even noticed.

It actually reminds me very much of my first PotG, last year.  Those were some sweet-ass games last night, gentlemen.  Some sweet-ass games!

Oh, and also - if it's not evident from the gameplay, my feelings on the Valkyrie patch have become somewhat more robust since this week's podcast.  Gone are the days of the Huge Rez, never to return (I trust).

In its place is the ability to score almost as many rezzes as The Huge Rez across 20 seconds, in addition to better mobility and greater flexibility, the ability to hit tempo rezzes at crucial moments mid-push, and a teensy dose of greater offensive ability.

I fucking love this.  It's a buff to pretty much everything - most of all her fun factor.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 90 : Don't Be Afraid.

Wiiithout Alex this week because he likes going outside and being with people.  Weirdo. Anywho... Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - Don't be afraid

  • Chamberlain comes to the end of Victor Vran and actually feels pretty positive about it! 
  • Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite is fugly as heck, but offers some new tweaks to its genre! 
  • Chance feels bad about Undertale!
  • And what do the boys think of the Tomb Raider trailer?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Oh also here's that Tomb Raider trailer. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Mercy & D.Va changes and Junkertown are now live!

Here's the patch notes and here's the deets!

New Escort Map: Junkertown 
Junkertown is located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback. Constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it's now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen. When they aren’t pillaging the omnium's skeleton for anything of value, the Junkers blow off steam in the Scrapyard—a massive gladiatorial arena whose combatants fight for glory, riches... and to survive.

User Interface Updates 
The skull icons that indicate where teammates were killed throughout the map have been replaced with hero portrait icons

Micro Missiles (New Ability)
  • D.Va fires a barrage of small rockets that detonate on impact, dealing damage in a limited radius around each explosion. These can be fired while D.Va is using any other ability or firing her Fusion Cannons
Defense Matrix
  • Defense Matrix's resource meter will now deplete twice as quickly
  • Energy regeneration per second has been increased to 12.5% (formerly 10%)
  • Fusion Cannons can now be fired while flying
Developer Comments: D.Va’s Defense Matrix uptime has proven to be too strong, but simply reducing it without making other changes would make her too weak (and far less interesting to play). Instead, we’re adding a new ability and giving her the ability to fire while flying. These changes give D.Va new options while maintaining Defense Matrix’s ability to shut down big enemy attacks.
CHANCE SAYS: I wonder if the nerf to DM isn't a bit much, but if you've seen videos of D.Va's killing potential from the PTR... she's a lot more dangerous than she used to be.  I'm really going to have to get used to dodging these new missiles of hers - and my brother's gonna' need to get used to being simultaneously less survivable and far more scary.  Or he'll just quit the game - he's thrown that idea around a lot, too.

Resurrect (Formerly Mercy's Ultimate ability)
  • Ability now targets a single player, instead of every player within a radius
  • Radius reduced to 5 meters
  • Ability cooldown is 30 seconds
  • Mercy is no longer granted invulnerability while Resurrect is active 
Valkyrie (New Ultimate Ability)
  • Valkyrie unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie suit, enhancing her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds
  • Caduceus Staff: Mercy's healing and damage boosts beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff's effective range has been extended
  • Caduceus Blaster: Now has infinite ammo and increased projectile speed
  • Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed
  • Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast
  • Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed
  • Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage
Developer Comments: While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems. It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.
CHANCE SAYS: I can dig it.  First of all, note that the Caduceus Blaster during Valkyrie has been slightly buffed from its previous iteration.  I wish it was a faster fire rate or increased damage per shot, but I'll take it.  I wonder if the range on rez isn't a bit low - but I'll have to wait to find out.

Terribly hyped to, for the record.

And finally...

Barrier Field
  • Holding primary fire while your shield is active now allows you to rotate the camera 
Developer Comments: This change gives Reinhardt more situational awareness while using his shield, allowing him to keep an eye on the battlefield while still protecting his team.
A new “Movement Relative to Camera During Barrier Free Look” option can be found under Settings > Controls. Simply select “Reinhardt” from the dropdown menu. This allows players to change the way Reinhardt moves when Barrier Shield is active and players are controlling the third-person camera movement
CHANCE SAYS: This actually lets Rein be holding his shield in one direction before he instantly Earthshatters, for example, behind him, or to the side or whatever - potentially catching targets very off-guard.  Interesting.

Annnd I have to go make dinner.  G'night everybody!



It's sooo preeetty and wow that's a ton of character models in a single scene for a Vanillaware game...

...and oh my God it's launching in 2018 but we still don't know anything about its western localization (beyond the fact that it's happening at all) and... I'll be honest this trailer made me very curious to know more, but...

What is this game's genre?!  Also, they have to be naked when they're piloting the mechs?

Oh Vanillaware.  You's so Japan.   But more importantly, what is this game's genre?!  Is this gameplay?!

What the hell is even happening here?

I complain, but you know I'm just happy to see an actual, factual new trailer for a game we haven't heard boo from since its announcement trailer in 2015.

Wooo I love you TGS wooo!

Steamworld Dig 2's launch trailer.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Overwatch Match Highlights 12 - 25 Miles (The Gibraltar Reaper).

On Saturday night, my insomnia was taking its toll.  I'd gotten probably ten hours over the last two nights, and it was already late - midnight or closer to 1AM.  My brother had played with me for a few hours, but my aim was shitty.  I was just not landing my shots.  Was it the late hour?  The lack of sleep?  Did I just suddenly suck?  Or suck more?

I couldn't say, but I knew I wasn't getting to sleep any time soon, so I fired an email at Alex - who I could see was enjoying his time in Destiny 2 - and asked if he was up for some Overwatch.

"Yeah, 1 round," he wrote back.

And I don't know what the fuck I was thinkin'.  I have no idea what I was thinkin', but - for our one game together after I'd sucked out loud left and right in quickplay for the last two hours, operating on way-too-little sleep - I suggested competitive mode.

I haven't touched competitive since I did my placements with my brother, weeks ago.  I have my phobias, what can I say?  Alex has only done one of his placement matches - he just hit level 25 (which you have to reach before you can play comp) a week or two ago.

Alex agreed.  We wound up on Gibraltar, and he instalocked Lucio.  I hovered over Tracer, for a moment, and went Mercy - confident that Alex's excellent Lucio and my pretty-darned-good Mercy could more than support a capable team to victory, while sidestepping the evening's issue of my newly-terrible aim.

Then, I met Trash_Reaper.

0:00 - 0:34 : I get nothing done.  Nothing.  Every time I show up, this fucking Reaper just wrecks my shit.  I know I mumble so it may be hard to make out in the video, but that's me talkin' - and what I say is...

1st kill : Nothing.  I just ran right into his guns.  Like a sleep-deprived moron.

2nd kill : "Gold guns, too..."  (Again, my positioning was terrible.)

3rd kill : "I feel like I'm not gettin' much done, here."  (I was stalling a payload by myself - idiot.)

4th kill : "Okay, well I'm not goin' Mercy for these guys on attack." (I have now decided that my idiotic positioning is not the problem - the problem is my team's complete inability to get picks.)

I remember telling Alex, halfway through the round, that "this just happens sometimes."  That sometimes, you're put up against a team that you couldn't possibly beat - they're just simply better than you - and "it's a complete blowout."  To his credit, Alex never got salty or negative about the experience, and we forged ahead.

Please note, at this point, that I have zero eliminations.

I switch to Tracer.

0:35 - 0:58 : This is twenty or more seconds into the round - my team was dying as I went on a big flank around the back of the reds, and I drop in to start beating on the Orisa.  I change my mind at the last minute and go for the more-meaningful flank on the Hanzo while Orisa chips me up from behind, and rewind into a reverse blink back through her shield, where the red Genji is trying to take cover.

I get the killing blow on him, fill up Orisa with so much damage that my team easily finishes her off, and then it's a perfect clip into Ana to finish the teamfight.

I have my rewind.  I coulda' used it, but I was so confident in the fight being essentially over that I figure I'll get to the payload and Alex to fill up on health.

Then, Trash_Reaper picks me from behind as I leap off the high ground.  He's gone Tracer.

1:17 - 1:24 : Look, it was a really nice pick (I blinked into a corner instead of through the door - my fault), but you're gonna' teabag me?  ORLY?  Well then I'm gonna' teabag you!

1:24 - 1:31 : Not yet.  But soon.

1:31 - 1:36 : Ohhh that mega health pack was so clooose you were sooo cloooose yeahhh that must stiiiing yeahhhh teabaggin' ya yeahhhh how's that feel?  Yeahhhhh eat it, motherfucker.  I hope it tastes salty as fuck.

I felt super-shitty about it, but don't teabag me.  It's shitty.  And you made me shitty.

1:36 - 1:44 : Aaaaahahahahahahahahaaaaah.

1:44 - 1:59 : Trash_Reaper is the first pick of the first push after the second checkpoint, and once he's out of the picture we roll up his team like a carpet.

1:59 - 2:07 : Are you sick of gettin' killed by me yet?  Mmmm yumyum so salty, so salty...

2:07 - ... So - after an absolutely one-sided first round - Alex, our team and I managed to get the payload all the way to the end on our attack round.

What does the enemy team do?

Well, two of them bail.  They just leave. 

And it feels shitty.  I didn't want to be handed the win against the epic and salty Reaper, but now?  Now he's got no chance and for us?  Well damn, for us it's a goddamned holiday.  We're fuckin' around and taking our time - ignoring the fact that Trash_Reaper remains, and is now more determined than ever.  He goes Bastion on their defense round, and we..?

We don't get handed anything.

It's tooth-and-nail, but we're still not taking it seriously enough.  We abandon the payload just after the first checkpoint - because we're all idiots, I imagine - and move on to our defense round.

He comes out with his gold guns Reaper again (and knocks my teeth in), but quickly switches back to Bastion.  His meager four-player team assembles the tightest, cheesiest comp they can - Rein, Bastion, Mercy and a pretty darned excellent Hanzo - very hard to dislodge if they're positioned well, but me on Tracer, our Pharah and our Hanzo keep him shut down every time he pokes his head out.

I only get the killing blow on him, when he's Bastion, once - at 3:17 - and he kills me after my dive before I can rewind - but I will happily trade with your Bastion, Trash_Reaper.  Your team not having you is a much bigger deal than my team not having me.

At the end, this team of four got it to within ten yards of where my team pushed it on our holiday attack phase.  We were all on the point, going absolutely crazy, and when the victory splash went up there was a great sigh of relief.

I realized I had to tell Trash_Reaper what an incredible job he'd done.  To make us fight so hard for it while two players down?  I've never seen anything like it.

Aw, you're welcome, buddy.  You salty teabaggin' terror, you.  Luck of the Irish, what can I say?  And better luck to you, next time.

And next time, hopefully, you'll be on my team.

Oh, and remember how I pointed out that I got zero elims in the first round?


I have the best games when I'm playing with Alex.

Oop, and I forgot to mention...

...this little cutie showed up!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Overwatch Clip Show 45 - Unsound (Friday Night 4v4 With Alex)

Alex and I had plans all week to play Overwatch together on Friday night.  We didn't discuss if we wanted to do quickplay or comp or arcade, and our first few matches were just some QP jazz (where we did quite well, thank you very much).  I believe my skill has drastically improved to the point that I'm pretty much back to where I was when I made Believer - I'm winning more games, I'm getting more medals and elims and less deaths on Tracer - but this weirdly seems to have translated into a massive reduction in my ability to score PotGs.

Oh, and before we begin, I wanna' say that I usually tinker and work on a video over the course of like a week, and this one was thrown together in a little over an hour this afternoon because (1) I didn't have a traditional Clip Show in the chamber for this weekend and (2) I was really excited at the thought of putting together a Clip Show of Alex and I kicking ass in deathmatch.

Clip Show 45 - Unsound (Friday Night 4v4 With Alex) from David Ferber on Vimeo.

0:00 - 0:35 : The only PotG I've scored lately is the Mercy one that starts our show.  Our Sym's teleporter had just gone down, and I emoted that my ult was ready - but I wasn't prepared to blow it on a solo rez, even for the D.Va (our only tank).  The D.Va was doing fine work!  But we were being carried by the combination of the Symmetra (who got her ult insanely fast), the Widow and Alex on Soldier, and the important thing was keeping the whole team up and running while Sym got her tele back.

This was a very hard rez to score.  I had mere frames of time in which my Guardian Angel had me perfectly between dead Alex on the high ground and dead Sym on the payload, and instead of pulling my pistol to go for elims (as is my custom!) I had to get back to the Widow to top her health off.  I love playing with a good Widow, as Mercy.  She favors the high ground, so she functions as a Pharah, for me - a high point I can reliably flit away to to stay out of the team fight while keeping my eyes on everyone below - more reliable than a Pharah, really, 'cause you never know where they are.

From the Widow's perspective, I get the sense (from how often they emote their appreciation) that they aren't often healed and buffed by Mercys, and the blue beam turns a Widow's already sizable damage output into something approaching OP.

She sent me a friend request after the match.  Feels good.

0:35 - 0:56 : The great majority of our evening want spent in pursuit of loot boxes - which can be most-quickly obtained by winning Arcade matches.  Lately the most interesting thing in the Arcade is Deathmatch - free-for-all or team - and Alex and I did like eight or nine rounds of 4v4 team deathmatch.  He was usually on Soldier, but this first round finds him on Lucio - and it was an incredible round, but we'll get to that later.

I had just finished bailing for a health pack when I walked past a newly-spawned enemy Bastion who... completely ignores me as I grab the health pack, come up behind him and empty my guns into his big glowing weak point.  I hang back while Doomfist lands his ult and just barely manages to pick Alex, but he was perfectly positioned for me to fly in and stick him with the bomb.  Hiya!

0:56 - 1:10 : This was one of only two losses we suffered in 4v4 last night.  I remarked to Alex that I couldn't believe the reds were employing such a cheesy comp - Pharah + Mercy + Bastion - and that I further couldn't believe that it was fucking working, but I got my licks in.  More on this particular Bastion later.

1:10 - 1:27 : The Hanzo is the carry, here, but he's a lot less threatening without the Mercy - so she's my priority.  Getting the killing blow on a Junk as he flies through the air?  Well that's just delicious.

1:33 - 1:40 : Back on that incredible Hanamura game, one of the best counters to Tracer is another Tracer, who can chase me down once I've burned my rewind and am at my most vulnerable.  When the reds pull out a Tracer in response to mine, I've found the best response to that is to aim very, very carefully, and leave her very, very intimidated.

This one immediately switched off.

2:01 - 2:06 : Once again, Mercy is the priority to weaken the Hanzo, and this is one of my lovelier Mercy picks, thank you very much.

2:11 - 2:39 : Unsound has been a favorite of mine since I was yay high, so I've always wanted to use it - but it doesn't have many long, slower sections I could fit a nice streak in to.  This run on Ecopoint Antarctica?  Very nice.  Picking a Hanzo twice is, ever, a pleasure.

2:39 - 2:50 : God, I love Mei ults so much.

2:54 - 3:06 : Alex scores a decisive PotG on Castillo!  I had to include it.

3:20 - 3:26 : Hahahahaha right out of the aiiiir, Junkrat!  Right out of the air!

3:26 - 3:53 : Back on that match we lose on Castillo.  Between the Pharah suppressing me from above, the oneshot potential of their Doomfist and the constant threat of the Bastion, I couldn't score enough quick picks to push us to victory - but you'll note I do do a fine job of keeping that Bastion shut the fuck down as the match approaches its end.

He musta' been so frustrated.  Honestly we're doing so well here I don't know why we didn't take it.

3:53 - 4:29 : The end of a spectacular match on Hanamura.  At this point, I've pulse bombed the Doomfist twice, his entire team has left at least once (and been backfilled), and he's had enough.  He's not even gonna' try any more.  He's just gonna' stand there, passively, while I melee him in the face over and over.

This was our most decisive victory of the evening, and one with perhaps the most unorthodox 4v4 team comp.  Two tanks, one support, one DPS.  We had an excellent Roadhog, a solid D.Va, Alex on Lucio and yours truly on Tracer.  Alex spent most of our matches last night on Soldier, but he's Lucio in the video thumbnail because he's also Lucio in my head.

Alex, I want you to know, you're a really good Lucio.  (I mean, you're good on Soldier too, but...) there were probably a half-dozen times last night where I remarked to myself that "man, this Lucio is just a rock, he's always there when I need him and - oh wait that's Alex!"

Playing team deathmatch is as much about killing the enemy team as it is not being killed yourself - as every death of yours is a point for the other team.  In this match, between playing almost-excessively conservatively and retreating for health packs constantly, the incredible killing ability of our Roadhog and Alex's constant support, I didn't die.  I went 18 and 0 in a deathmatch.

Feels good. I was The Tracer Who Wouldn't Die.

4:29 - 4:53 : Finally, the last push of this Gibraltar attack from earlier in the evening was enitrely won by Alex's perfectly-timed Transendence. While our DPS duke it out off the point, Alex on Zen and I on Mercy move on the payload.  In a desperate bid to sweep us off, the red Soldier pops his Visor - we're fucked - until Alex experiences tranquility, and saves the day.

It was a really, really good evening of Overwatch.  Except that deathmatch on Volskaya where we could never counter that fucking Torb, that was deeply embarrassing to me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 89 : It's A Cult.

Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - It's a cult

  • Chamberlain is seduced by the heady flavor of Overwatch, much to his chagrin!
  • Chance watched even more movies!
  • Alex has far more in common with an animated horse than you'd think!
  • And what the fuck is Victor Vran?
You'll have to tune in to find out!


A major topic of this week's conversation is the two hours Chamberlain, Alex and I spent playing Overwatch this past Monday.  I hit the share button a bunch of times throughout the evening, and over the past few days I went through the footage, cut out (what I considered to be) the shitty stuff and left the rest in.  The end result is almost twenty minutes of footage (entirely from my POV, unfortunately).  The first half is from a skirmish and the highlights of some proper matches, and the second half is almost-the-entirety of a nice, close King of the Hill match on Oasis.

So let's break it down.

0:00 - 1:49 : A skirmish while we wait for my first game.  Also, oh my God how many clips is it gonna' take me to hit this fucking Soldier?

1:49 - 3:44 : Mercy backin' up a team of DPS on King's Row attack.  The enemy Zarya was absolutely that team's carry, and she did a spectacular job.  Worth noting - we didn't get close to taking the point until our Zarya switched to Mei - and then we shoved our way in and got it done.

It's also a pretty good example of how I play Mercy - 60-70% heals and buffs, 30-40% Caduceus Blaster.

3:44 - 4:35 : We had been repeatedly shoved back by the reds on Route 66 defense, and only turned it around after the last checkpoint.  Alex went Lucio and I went Rein, and with Chamberlain on Bastion we kept the sniper-heavy enemy team at bay for the crucial final minutes of the match.

4:35 - 5:20 : A nice run on the point on Nepal.  A Pulse Bomb definitely can't kill an Orisa who's been Fortified and Nana Boosted, but a tenacious little Tracer definitely can.  Also, I love that Reaper kill.

5:20 - 6:02 : After a pretty rough go of taking point A, the reds have pushed too far forward, and Reaper and I are able to bat every defender off the point as they return to swat us - with a little help form our Hanzo's Dragons.

6:02 - 18:19 : And finally, the entirety of a nice, evenly-matched King of the Hill match on Nepal.  Notice how we start losing once our tanks switch off.  I don't care if you're not gold on elims, Orisa/Hog!  We'were winning and you were helping!

Oh well.  I had a great time.

Dragon's Crown is coming to PS4!!! (Probably!)

The Tokyo Game Show isn't until September 21st, but a delicious vanilla-flavored leak has already appeared courtesy of an ad banner on some sites in Japan.  Specifically, this one:

The enthusiast press is saying it translates to “PS4 Dragon’s Crown Pro” and “Pre-Orders For Limited Edition Version Begin!” so my only question is, naturally, is it coming west?

I sure hope so - if only for the sake of taking 1080P screenshots of it on my PS4.  If you've only started following this (hallowed, revered and respected but most of all humble) blog in the last few years, you may not be familiar with my position on the subject of Vanillaware and Dragon's Crown.  Please know that Dragon's Crown is one of my favorite games of all time, and an absolutely stellar celebration of the sidescrolling brawlers of olde.

Between this and yesterday's Okami news, I'm very happy with TGS 2017 so far.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Okami for PS4 is real and coming west Dec 12 for $20!

That's really all you need to know.  I mean, it's also coming to Xbox One and PC - that's cool!  And it'll have 4K support - neat!  But twenty bucks, that is sexy!  And look at this glorious box art!

Niiice.  And if you want a colossal 2893x4092 version of the above art, it's right here.  And if you want a trailer, it's right here:

It is perhaps worth noting, at this point, that Okami - a Zelda-like from legendary director Hideki Kamiya (director of Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe and Bayonetta) which launched on the PS2 in 2006 and was ported to the Wii in 2008 and has already had an HD up-port to the PS3 in 2012 - is one of the greatest video games of all time, and a beautiful celebration of life and joy and if you haven't played it you have to fucking play it.

As for me, I'll happily purchase my umpteenth copy.  Honestly, for $20, I'm probably gonna' double-dip.

Monday, September 11, 2017

I woke screaming.

At 5AM, on the nose.

I have insomnia issues, and manage it by just brute-forcing my way through my work day.  Slowly, over the course of a week, the exhaustion will build up until I finally collapse and fall asleep at a reasonable time and perhaps score a luxurious seven hours of rest (this is usually Thursday, sometimes Wednesday if it's really bad or Friday if it's not).  I usually wake still feeling emotionally exhausted, but physically refreshed at least.

Last night I was really worried about it - falling asleep at a reasonable time, I mean.  I was in bed by 9:30, and very conscious of the fact that I had to be up extra early today in order to be at work extra early for this thing (which will occur again tomorrow).

I did not get to sleep by 9:30.  Or 10:00.  Or 11:00.  I tossed and turned 'till at least midnight or 12:30, but finally my mind stopped buzzing and I was able to slip away.

There was a great, smashing crash and a booming, room-filling roar.  I bolted upright with this (deep, manly) scream right from the bottom of me - like that dude in The Professional - and was met with silence.  I heard it well before I realized I was making it.  My throat was raw - bruised by it.

I glanced, still half-asleep, at the clock.  05:00.  What the fuck was that.  Just as quickly as I'd been terrified to my very core, I instantly became bored and irritated. Of. Fucking. Course some bullshit would interrupt what little sleep I was able to score.

I grabbed my cell phone, turned on the screen and pointed it at my closet.  Something had fallen, in there.  Or maybe a lot.

My head smacked back into the pillow, but I was vibrating with adrenaline.  I wouldn't fall asleep again until just before my alarm went off at 6.

It was my old consoles and PVC figures.  We've recently done some rewiring in the house to facilitate some new, state-of-the-art smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and everything had been taken out of the closet as work was done, and then replaced.

I guess it wasn't replaced properly.  Thousands of dollars in artfully-formed plastic.  The crash was the metal shelving coming down.  The roar was a booming torrent of boxes.  I hope my Dragon's Crown figs are safe, and unbent (they've remained in their boxes for nearly two years), but honestly I haven't found myself caring enough to check.

Point being, I'm exhausted.  Life has enjoyed kicking me in the balls, lately (last night was merely the latest in a series of unfortunate events), so I dragged myself in to work where I found myself involved in an email chain with Chamberlain and Alex - first about IT (I saw IT yesterday - it's good!), but it was soon revealed that Chamberlain had purchased a headset for himself and was prepared to play Overwatch with me tonight, and Alex is also prepared to play Overwatch with me tonight and we three - the three of us - are going to play Overwatch together.

And I was beside myself with glee.

Then my negativity kicks in - of course I finally get to play my current favoritest game in the world with my gaming buds on a day when I maybe have four and a half hours of real sleep under my belt! I'm going to be useless!

But I'm so hyped for it.  I'm so hyped for it.  Dis gon' be gud.  I don't care if we have shitty team comps, I don't care if we lose every round - dis gon' be guuuud I am gonna' heal the fuck outta' them unless Alex goes Lucio in which case I'll go Tracer if she's available.

[update] It was super fun! [/update] 

Also - about the last Overwatch vid - Match Highlights 11.  The reason I love doing Match Highlights are because they permit the creation of a real narrative - to me, at least.  Because these are my vids and I'd rather not display my missteps to the world, that narrative tends to be "things are looking down, but with a canny hero pick, some technical skill and a bit of swagger, the underdog can triumph."  That's a story I can enjoy ad infinitum.

With Match Highlights 11, I tried something a little new - fucking a bit with the structure of the narrative.  Instead of showing the establishment of the threat (an excellent enemy Widow) and what happens after in chronological order, I establish the threat and then show three separate approaches to the Widow, but not the actual kills.  This (in my mind) builds tension along with the increasing energy of the song, until the Widowmaker ults just past the second checkpoint, and I take advantage of her ability to see me through walls by treating her to a saucy Charleston.  Then, as the song hits its peak "'Cause I'm the Big Bad Wolf," we zip backwards in time to see the payoff of each of those approaches.

When I posted it here and on YouTube, I wrote "The deferred-payoff-to-all-the-approaches thing I do in the video here, with all the kills coming in swift succession later, is something I've been toying with, in my head, for a while. Does it work? Please let me know if it works (and if it doesn't, of course!)"

No one got back to me on that.  Which isn't... unexpected, but I was genuinely curious if it worked for anyone else or if it was just me.

Today, some kind soul on NeoGAF brought it up.
"This is a terrific video. Deferring the payoffs builds a nice narrative - well done."
Which is... exactly what I was hoping for.  And someone gets it.  Someone out there gets it and likes it!

I'm aware that compared to... well, people who play on PC (and indeed everyone at higher ranks on PS4), I'm not actually very good at Overwatch.  I'm aware that my videos and my editing are amateurish and probably more than a bit boring to others, but I also feel like I don't give a shit about any of that.

My Overwatch vids are simply a creative enterprise that I enjoy, lately.  It's like I'm... self-teaching myself pottery.  Each video is a little bowl, a little ash tray, a little wonky, lopsided and uneven mug I molded with my bare hands and painted with ratty old brushes and set out in front of the world with a weak, tight smile and wide eyes and a hopeful "I made this."

I'll never make a dime off them, they don't even begin to compare to the performances of pro players or the excellently-edited vids of professional YouTubers, but they are mine.  I made this.

And when you set a crude, lopsided and uneven mug in front of the world and out of that deafening silence comes... "nice job!"

It... goes a long way.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Overwatch Match Highlights 11 - Big Bad Wolf 2 (Widow & Tracer's Guide to Internet Etiquette)

Before we begin, I feel it's important to say that whenever I trip over a Widow's mine or hear her ult - and it's a Widow I'm scared of - I'm either fighting the urge to wave and dance from behind a wall, or I'm waving and dancing from behind a wall.

This was last night! The Zenyatta and Winston were carrying, for the record - but I had a lot of fun. Every time I came back to the team fight after dealing with the Widow, it would be half-done and there'd only be one or two reds that needed some attention.

Good times.

I've received PSN messages before about Overwatch - generally hate mail - but every so often someone will reach out and be nice.  I try to reach out and be nice when someone really impresses me, but for The Widow Who Really Made That Last Match Fun to do it..?  Oh man that's delicious.

The deferred-payoff-to-all-the-approaches thing I do in the video here, with all the kills coming in swift succession later, is something I've been toying with, in my head, for a while.  Does it work?  Please let me know if it works (and if it doesn't, of course!)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Overwatch Clip Show 44 - Last Resort & Spa.

I hope you like it ^.^

0:00 - 0:36 : Excellent situational awareness on the part of yours truly!  If you listen closely, you can hear why I bail on my Hanzo and leap over the boxes - Doomfist charging up his punch behind me.  It hits Hanzo instead, and sends him flying away.   I can't get to him in time, and Reaper, Doomfist and Hanzo have all descended upon him and Symmetra.

The Reaper comes for me, thinking he's got himself a sweet Mercy pick but I use Hanzo's corpse to zip away.  They've killed Sym and, as Reaper turns around to come back for me, he suddenly sees a Mercy unloading her pistol at him with a Hanzo and Sym backing her up.

The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.

0:36 - 0:56 : A helluva Soldier pick to begin a defensive push on Hanamura.  I'm not a fan of being the solo support on a defense, but this sequence nicely illustrates what Mercy can do in the right situation - zip in where no one expects, pop off a few shots to finish off a low-health enemy, and zip back out.  Double kill.

0:56 - 1:05 : It's not that funny, I've been that Tracer - and Mercy's a small target to stick!  But it's definitely still funny.

1:05 - 1:28 : This is when I decided to make a Mercy clip show.  It's also an interesting demonstration of what I might be able to pull off once the Valkyrie update happens.

I think it's pretty funny when I turn slowly to my side as I soar up off the bounce pad, and note the Golden Gun McCree - and equally funny when he starts looking around him on the ground for whatever the heck is hundred-percenting him.  And the Tracer!  Double kill.

1:50 - 2:08 : When playing Mercy, you end up with a sixth sense for when a push is about to fail and everyone's gonna' die.  My brother, on Bastion, dying is a good first step towards that conclusion - the D.Va letting herself get chewed up and spit out doesn't hurt either, but note that the Soldier is getting serious work done - two picks before he even gets on the point!

But there's no way I'll be able to heal through the damage the Reaper coming in behind him will put out, so I switch to the pistol, put in the damage our D.Va needs to finish the Tracer and hundred percent the Reaper before bailing safely back to my team.

Coulda' been worse..?

2:08 - 2:28 : An overly-aggressive defensive push on Gibraltar, mostly egged on by our very-aggressive Sombra.  Maybe if I'd been paying attention to my McCree instead of trying to heal her up he would've survived, but let's count it off:
  • 64% of the Zenyatta (plus rezzing McCree)
  • 61% of the Mercy and the killing blow. 
  • 19% of the Doomfist, and the killing blow.  

2:46 - 3:06 : From the Anubis defense of my placement matches.  A lucky barrage headshots the Tracer, and further aggression gets 64% of the Mercy.  Genji and I threaten the Zarya back, and that's a solid defensive push. 


3:06 - 3:10 : This remains my favorite Mercy kill of all time - from my first-ever clip show, back before I started adding music to 'em.  Even more than that Soldier on Dorado from the Three Fingers Clip Show - so I like throwing it in every time I make a Mercy Clip Show. 

3:10 - 3:32 : Remember when the Tracer misses me with her Pulse Bomb earlier in the show, and I waved at her, and that wave transitioned into a wave on Oasis before the flying-McCree+Tracer-doublekill.

This is who I was waving at.  I'd gotten the killing blow on this Sombra twice earlier in the match, and this out-and-out duel was the climax of our brief relationship.

In hindsight, I should not have rezzed.  I didn't need to - Sombra was out of ammo and needed to reload, which would have granted me the same protection as the Rez, and I really coulda' used that Rez when the Reaper ulted when I went flying after the McCree.

Live and learn!

I do.  I do want some guns. 

3:32 - 3:50 : Another poor Rez.  Not only do I bring McCree and Hanzo back after the payload hits the checkpoint, McCree is only able to pick the Soldier before their Tracer kills him.  Our Mercy picks the Hanzo (hah!), Sombra finishes off the Zen (that I got half of!) and I get the killing blow and 63% of their Tracer.

Picking a Tracer on Mercy is up there with Genji and - of course - the enemy Mercy.

And that's our show!

But here's a blast from the past I've wanted to repost lately.  Remember when Alex wiped a team on Dorado?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.