Author Topic: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins  (Read 11997 times)

Offline Wingflier

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Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« on: May 18, 2016, 02:28:03 AM »
Well, when it rains it pours in today's PC gaming world. One would think that a single glorified TF2 sequel (TF3?) would be enough for everybody, but it looks like several companies are looking to cash in on the same formula at once. All 3 games have the same kind whacky cartoony team-based combat, which is based on many unique classes (or characters) all fighting around some objective(s), which once successfully completed, will secure the victory. Usually those objectives are something to the effect of holding a point (or points), escorting a vehicle to a target destination within a time limit (with one team attempting to prevent that from happening), some combination of the two, etc.

What honestly surprised me was the sheer similarity of the games. I mean there isn't even an attempt to hide that they are cloning and attempting to use the best features of one another, it's all done extremely overtly. After having played some of the Overwatch Open Beta, I was shocked to play Paladins and be treated to the same Kill Cam feature (both games show you a several second replay of how you died, from your killer's perspective), the same game modes, and even both having the "hero ultimate" mechanic, which is like a special skill that starts out at 0% and charges throughout the match, unleashing some devastating effect when activated. I honestly felt like I was playing the same game designed by two different companies.

So anyway, if any of you have played one or many of these games, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Here are my impressions:

Overwatch:


If I had to describe this game in a single word, it would be smooth. I've been playing multiplayer shooters since the original Doom (we used to have LAN parties at my dad's office as a kid), and never have I experienced a game which, online, felt so crisp and responsive. The controls and netcoding reacts so quickly to your commands that it almost feels as if it's happening before you press the button, as if the game is reading your mind. 

In any kind of shooter, both the feel of the game in terms of its responsiveness and in terms of its design are extremely important. Blizzard seems to have a mastery over both angles. Even though the style is cartoony, the weapons feel real and involving. The screen shakes when you shoot, the sounds and atmosphere pull you into the game. It reminds me of the first time I played Unreal Tournament 2004. It's the perfect hybrid between surreal/ridiculous feel and hardcore/lifelike shooter.

In terms of the gameplay...Let's be honest they're all the same damn game. So take your pick in this regard. Some people are going to like the hero designs in one game over another, that all probably comes down to personal preference. The game itself is $40, so not cheap, and Forbes magazine seems to think players are being ripped off (Overcharged? :P).

However, one massive benefit of this pricing scheme is that all relevant content comes unlocked forever once you purchase the game, so you don't have to spend weeks or months grinding in-game currency to unlock your favorite characters, weapons, perks, etc. Which brings me to:

Paladins:

The good: This game is free.
The bad: You pay for the unlockable parts with either time or money.

Some people may like this model more since technically the game is free, however there are some real downsides. Paladins, in addition to having a plethora of characters (classes) to choose from also has a "card system". These cards are selected before the battle begins and upgrade or complement your hero in some way. The problem is that acquisition of these cards is completely random. You get a chest for leveling up or completing a quest, and opening these chests gives you 5 random cards. But it may not be the cards you want, or for classes that you even use (or own); and in fact you may never get the cards you want. You can purchase more chests from the shop (for real money), but once again, there's an insane amount of luck involved here. If some players have cards which are better than yours well, tough luck and better fortune next time.

In spite of that, like I said...free. One could argue that the "card system" adds an extra layer of depth to the game giving players the ability to customize their hero that is not available in Overwatch or Battleborn, and I would potentially accept this argument, except for the fact that the player can't choose which cards they get. So maybe it still does, but in a potentially unfair way.

In terms of the games feel, it's fine, but compared to Overwatch it's meh. This is like the difference between McDonald's hamburgers and Five Guys and Fries hamburgers. There's nothing wrong with McDonald's hamburgers, in fact I read somewhere recently that the average American person eats there 1 out of every 7 meals, but they're not Five Guys burgers.

The game just doesn't have the same cerebral impact. It's not as responsive, the weapons don't feel as hardcore and visceral, the sound quality is only passable. In other words, all the concepts are there, but the execution just isn't on par with what Blizzard has done, and to be honest, I don't think anybody expects it to be. Hi-Rez is a great pseudo-indie company, Blizzard is well, Blizzard.

But once again, it's free, and if you were to never play Overwatch, you'd probably never worry about what you were missing because the game stands well enough on its own and is a great upgrade to Team Fortress 2.

Battleborn:

I'll be honest, I haven't played this one. At $60 it's the most expensive of the three, and the top reviews on Steam declare this game to be in an almost unplayable state. Apparently the matchmaking system is very broken, pitting people who have sometimes only played the game for a few hours up against those who have potentially hundreds of hours of experience. This is a complaint that I saw again and again in the reviews, and is currently being address by the developers.

Speaking of the developers, it's Gearbox, the same people who brought you Borderlands, and apparently it has all the same zany and over-the-top humor that you've come to expect from these guys. Unfortunately, from everything I'm reading the playerbase is criminally low, partly having to do with the price tag, the matchmaking system, and a third problem I haven't brought up which are the massive frame rate drops people are having.

Many say that even with powerful machines they are getting 40 fps or lower in battle, and that sometimes the quality of the game makes it near-unplayable.

These 3 problems (price, matchmaking, and technical issues) seem to be working in unison to keep the playerbase low, which makes new players less likely to stay, which creates an infinite feedback loop of self-destruction for an online-only multiplayer game. I believe this title will be the first casualty of the war between games of this genre, and probably not the last.

But I'd love to hear from somebody who has actually played it. If anyone has played any of these (or know someone who does) please share your thoughts about them!

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Offline Misery

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2016, 04:42:56 AM »
One thing I can say is that these are NOT all essentially the same game.  The main standout being Overwatch.

Battleborn, during any given match, has all sorts of STUFF going on.  You have NPC monsters/whatever to interact with, turrets to buy/attack/defend, a variety of things going on with and on the map itself.  It is not a MOBA, but it appears to have many elements inspired by one.

Overwatch.... doesn't have ANY of that.  You're *just* shooting at and dealing with other players, in the usual very typical game modes.   It seems MUCH less interesting to me (in the same way that TF2 is not very interesting to me).  Blizzard has kinda been like that in recent times, going down the simpler route... I don't mind that for Hearthstone but for Overwatch, it just makes it seem a bit uninteresting.


Of course, those are just my own thoughts on them based on what I've seen, but Overwatch really does seem to have simplified things a bit too much.  TF2 with new characters that have some special abilities to fire off at times.   Hell, even the game modes look the same...

I, personally, have not played any of these yet; I've been watching a whole bunch of videos on each, in an attempt to decide on one of them (because trying to play too many multiplayer-focused games at once isn't usually good) but have not done so yet.  Battleborn though looks the more interesting of them, but for those that want a more "pure" experience, Overwatch might be the way to go.


But.... the derpy publishers behind Battleborn had the bloody BRILLIANT idea of releasing it around the same time as Overwatch.   Real smart there, dudes.  REAL smart.  And then as you said, the matchmaking issues (which I hear are by far the biggest problem with the game right now), and other thinsg, and so.... it's hard to say if the game will stick around.  I'm tired of buying into multiplayer games and then finding out that because they aren't The Big One (which is always apparently the ONLY one) they die off.   Such a waste.   I'm ALSO tired of buying multiplayer games where finding a match takes 10000 years.

But I'm not interested enough yet in Overwatch to buy that, and frankly, I'm thinking I"d be so fantastically awful at it that there might not be a POINT in buying it (it was the same with TF2, where I couldn't possibly be worse at it).   My accuracy with a mouse is just too godawful for that game.  Or much of that genre.   I can play Doom.  In singleplayer.  That's... about it. 

So at this moment... not buying into either of those (Paladins I'm not even aware of).  Too many problems with each one, despite the fact that they still manage to look fun.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2016, 05:46:22 AM »
Battleborn, wasn't that the one with matchmaking based on Steam download region? Do you know how many there are just for Germany? (5)

I played Overwatch beta and hated it
I played TF2 and hated it
I watched Battleborns and am still kinda interested, but the art style looks REALLY meh... maybe if we could play SP only with bots...
I watched Paladins and.. honestly can't tell what the point of that game is when there is already TF2?

So yeah, when it rains it pours... the joke is you even forgot one of these clones. Paragon

So there are actually 4 of em... and all with kinda the same art-style too... :(
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 06:13:21 AM »
Couldn't help react when you said Paladins copied Overwatch. You do know that Paladins is a fair bit older than Overwatch,yes? And that killcams is a staple in MP shooters?
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 06:40:54 AM »
Couldn't help react when you said Paladins copied Overwatch. You do know that Paladins is a fair bit older than Overwatch,yes? And that killcams is a staple in MP shooters?
If you read my comment closely, I never accused Paladins of copying Overwatch. I said all the games seem to be copying each other, and that I happened to try Overwatch before Paladins so I was surprised to see such an incredible number of similarities. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm not sure who copied who but it's clear the game designs are similar from the game objectives, hero design mechanics, even down to the art style. As I said, I feel like I'm playing the same game developed by two different companies. They seem even more similar than say LoL and DotA which at least had different graphics design and hero design mechanics.

I've played a lot of multi-player shooters in my life and I've never experienced the active replay kill cam. It may be popular on console games but it's not in CS 1.6, not in CS:GO, not in TF2, not in Dirty Bomb, not in Planetside 2, not in Natural Selection 2, not in Rising Storm, not in Battlefield BC2, not in Red Orchestra 2, not in Battlezone 2, not in Quake Live, not in Half Life 1 or 2 mulitiplayer, not in Nuclear Dawn, etc. etc.

As in, I've played dozens of FPS online shooters in my life and these were the first two games I ever experienced an instant replay kill cam with, in succession. And the way it was implemented was chillingly similar, even with the ability to skip it and watch your allies instead while you wait to respawn.

I checked out Paragon but apparently that's a true MOBA with the lanes, creep, towers, hero leveling, etc. In my mind that separates it from these games quite significantly. It also is going for a more realistic / fantasy type art style as opposed to the extremely similar TF2 style these 3 games share.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 06:50:50 AM by Wingflier »
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 07:43:19 AM »
Oh yeah, I definitely agree that they're similar to the point of confusion, but people who play them claim that they're unique. I'm just not at all interested in multiplayer shooters anymore. I had my fill with Section 8 and then the natural stepping stone Tribes: Ascend. There are very few really engaging shooters these days. They're all just horribly bland.

It feels like the shooter genre reached its apex about a decade ago and then it just sat on its arse.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2016, 07:44:40 AM »
Also the kill cam was popularized in the MMS genre, primarily CoD.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 10:52:26 AM »
The Kill Cam probably dates all the way back to the Cool Cam for a flight-sim that would move the camera about showing off Interesting Stuff while hiding all the horrible game-ending bugs off screen so that the developers could get more money.

http://thedailywtf.com/articles/The-Cool-Cam

Anyway, I've heard good things about Overwatch, hadn't heard of the other two.  I'll sit back and let things play out for a while and see which one becomes TF2's successor.  Ideally without a bunch of microTX bullshit (now, good TX, sure that's cool).

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 02:22:16 PM »
personally if I were ever inclined to play a multiplayer shooter it would be from what has been shown of it so far(if I remember correctly its not meant to be finished yet) it would be law breakers it has the art style of sort of realism with some very light science ficitiony es for good measure the weaponry looks meaty and it had an interesting looking anti gravity mechanic going on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n_Db7FzpGE this is pax footage from total biscuit who haven't seen this game before.
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 03:42:23 PM »
personally if I were ever inclined to play a multiplayer shooter it would be from what has been shown of it so far(if I remember correctly its not meant to be finished yet) it would be law breakers it has the art style of sort of realism with some very light science ficitiony es for good measure the weaponry looks meaty and it had an interesting looking anti gravity mechanic going on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n_Db7FzpGE this is pax footage from total biscuit who haven't seen this game before.
Ah, thanks for mentioning Lawbreakers, should definitely add it to the list.

Even though it seems to have the same art style and elements, it looks like it's trying to separate itself from the pack by including some kind of bizarre anti-gravity or pseudo-gravity mechanics, allowing the players a much more 3 dimensional playing field than traditional shooters allow.

Will be neat to see how that one turns out.
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Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 04:39:54 PM »
I have only played Overwatch, and even then my workload made it so I was only able to play for the last day of the beta. I did enjoy it though. The only multiplayer shooter I ever really played was TF2, and I stopped playing that one as it started to get downright insane with the number of weapons and items. It's not like they were particularly complicated, but it had begun to feel bloated. Also several of my favorite servers stopped being run, which was unfortunate.

What Misery said about it being a more "pure" experience (even if he finds it less interesting), I agree with, and that's the main appeal to me. I don't have to worry about build orders, farming gold/creeps/whatever, economy, or things that like you see in MOBAs and games inspired by them like SMNC or, from what I'm hearing, Battleborn. I can focus on a good, straight up fight with other players where your skill is entirely based on your ability to effectively use your characters as a team rather than landing last hits on creeps, building workers, or other tasks that I find tedious in online multiplayer games. Also, since everybody has all characters and gear unlocked from the start, it's a lot more fair for a newbie to drop in and play. You have the exact same stuff as a veteran player, the only difference being that they can use it to better effect than you can. I can just drop a lump sum of money and not have to worry about a contrived progression system.

The one thing I do want would be a little more weapon variety, like alternate loadouts available for characters or Unreal Tournament style pickups in the map. Still, there are enough characters that if I want to try something different I feel like I have enough options.

I don't usually like shooters, but this is very similar to the one that I did sink a lot of time into, so I'm looking forward to it and will probably pick it up shortly after release.
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline Misery

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 06:20:18 PM »
Oh yeah, I definitely agree that they're similar to the point of confusion, but people who play them claim that they're unique. I'm just not at all interested in multiplayer shooters anymore. I had my fill with Section 8 and then the natural stepping stone Tribes: Ascend. There are very few really engaging shooters these days. They're all just horribly bland.

It feels like the shooter genre reached its apex about a decade ago and then it just sat on its arse.

Yeah, I agree with this.

Doom is the first shooter I've taken a real interest in, in..... er..... some undefined length of time.  Ever since Call of Halos took control and spread it's damn influence and trends, the genre just.... well, it went to total crap, as far as I'm concerned.

The only one that seemed fun, maybe, was TF2, but I suddenly remember that skill wasn't the only thing that killed my interest, but also that I just outright hated nearly every class.  Couldn't stand the weapons they had.  Not that it would have mattered in the end.

Other than that, I cant think of anything interesting in that genre in the last decade.


Battleborn here looks more interesting the more I see of it, but if the playerbase is going to fall apart because the people in charge are derps, there's no point in getting it.   Overwatch looks less interesting the more I see of it.  And that's really the extent of the choices, it seems.... feh.    I suppose I've got Doom's singleplayer stuff at least.

Quote
I don't have to worry about build orders, farming gold/creeps/whatever, economy, or things that like you see in MOBAs and games inspired by them like SMNC or, from what I'm hearing, Battleborn. I can focus on a good, straight up fight with other players where your skill is entirely based on your ability to effectively use your characters as a team rather than landing last hits on creeps, building workers, or other tasks that I find tedious in online multiplayer games.

I don't think you actually do any of those things in that game.   If they took things THAT directly from Dota, particularly the goddamn last-hitting idea (uuugh) I personally wouldn't go anywhere near it.   No, from what Iv'e seen, it's... very different than that.  I'm not going to waste time explaining it though, there's tons of videos out there that do it better.

Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2016, 06:31:55 PM »
Hmm, I'll look into it. I just heard people saying it was a sort of FPS MOBA which turned me off, but I'll go see if I can find a good video about it. As long as the resemblance is relatively minimal then it should be okay.

I mean I didn't actually think there would be last-hitting or that sort of mechanic, literally speaking; at that point I was comparing OW to multiplayer games in general to stress what I liked about its mechanical simplicity.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 06:38:24 PM by Coppermantis »
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2016, 01:30:16 AM »
FWIW, I liked the simplicity of TF2's original design.  There were some classes that I was just outright bad at (cough, spy, cough), but there were classes that I was at least passable at (heavy, engineer) that didn't require that I look at the enemy team's composition and item selection (lovably demo knights).

The added complexity that was the current item system (plus the over reliance on hats as new content instead of, I don't know, MAPS) really turned me off.  Probably also contributed heavily to my dislike/poor skills at League of Legends.  Heroes of the Storm simplified things down to "pick a guy to play as, pew pew the other guys, don't try not to die (towards the late game)."

That said, a TF-like shooter that had a little more in the way of options, but not excessively so (e.g. Overwatch's HotS style "four abilities" for each character) would probably be perfect.

Oh, a friend informs me that Battleborn will be very "pay to win"-y.  He described it thus:
Quote
You played Borderlands right? Know how the weapons were random and kind of fell on a sliding scale of "terrible to awesome"?  Take that, expand the range on both ends by 10, and then make it so that if you spend money you get extra drops.  So it's not even "pay to win" it's "pay to lottery."  You could spend no money and get a god-tier weapon, or you could pay $4000 and get nothing but shit, but you'd be more likely to get the lucky roll (due to law of large numbers).

And having a good weapon is important: if you're playing a class and someone on the other team is playing the exact same class, but has a better weapon, he'll mop the floor with you every time.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2016, 02:09:26 AM »
^^^And given that the game is already $60, making it the most expensive of the bunch, that's practically criminal.

Quote
What Misery said about it being a more "pure" experience (even if he finds it less interesting), I agree with, and that's the main appeal to me. I don't have to worry about build orders, farming gold/creeps/whatever, economy, or things that like you see in MOBAs and games inspired by them like SMNC or, from what I'm hearing, Battleborn. I can focus on a good, straight up fight with other players where your skill is entirely based on your ability to effectively use your characters as a team rather than landing last hits on creeps, building workers, or other tasks that I find tedious in online multiplayer games. Also, since everybody has all characters and gear unlocked from the start, it's a lot more fair for a newbie to drop in and play. You have the exact same stuff as a veteran player, the only difference being that they can use it to better effect than you can. I can just drop a lump sum of money and not have to worry about a contrived progression system.
Aye, I feel the same way as this.

Extra complexity is always nice, but if I wanted to play a team-based game with a crapload of complexity I'd just play DotA. If I wanted to play a first-person shooter style with a ton of complexity I'd just play Smite. Even the added complexity of all the 8 bajillion weapons and items that the classes received after TF2 went F2P was a huge turn off for me. Now it was no longer 7 classes with defined strengths and weaknesses anymore, it was 7 classes each with a wide variety of playstyles and potential upgrades. It wasn't uncommon at all for me to die to a weapon that I had never heard of before and had no idea how it worked.

What I loved about Overwatch was just the pure simplicity of it. It was multiplayer team mayhem at its finest. I never felt at an unfair disadvantage to anybody else. If a class seemed OP I could just play it. And most the time if I died, I immediately knew what I had done wrong. That's what I also love about DotA (and Smite). Once you "buy" the game, it's bought forever. Nobody can ever have an unfair advantage over you again. It's unfortunate that they didn't repeat this design decision with Paladins.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 02:46:41 AM by Wingflier »
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