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For the sake of discussion, do you think the increase in toxicity you've noticed is a result of the rank and pro scene growing and evolving for the game?
Someone else is gonna have to take this and run with it. I stopped playing or paying attention to Overwatch right after Ana was released, and only just dipped my toe in again these last two days... I have no idea what's been happening in OW's world.
Symetra got reworked. Bastion got reworked. Sombra was introduced. Arcade modes were introduced. CTF was introduced. Various buffs causing D.Va to rise highly. Those plus Ana caused a tank meta to form. Both ahve since been nerfed.
Pro Scene-wise: Blizz announced Overwatch League at Blizzcon. Which is basically an infrastructure for the Overwatch esport scene similar to the structure that physical sports use. Area based and owned teams. Could be a Team Detroit or Team Albuquerque for example. They've only announced all this so far, and are still trying to set things up for it.
Otherwise the pro-scene has grown naturally. And like League, the metas the pros use are "enforced" at the regular level of play. I think this is probably the main reason the toxicity has seemed to increase since the couple months after launch. Cause that seems to be the main point of conflict people have stirred up most often in my view. People with the meta on their mind think if you play a certain hero then you're a bad and are just throwing the game. Never mind if you're actually good at the hero, trying to synergize with your team in a different way, trying to counter a certain troublemaker on the opposite team, or just trying to have fun. That stigma is on Junkrat, and was on Symetra, Bastion, and Hanzo before they were changed up.
Fire Emblem: Heroes came out today. It's a Fire Emblem take on the recent collect-a-thon RPG mobile games that have popped up relatively recently (Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius probably being the biggest one I know of at least.) If you're a fan of the series then it's much easier to get behind this game (same for the Final Fantasy one mentioned earlier,) as you'll actually know at least some of the characters you collect and train, and they are the hook for the game.
As far as collect-a-thon RPG goes, think Pokemon, you play the main gameplay loop of the game, during which you'll either collect a unit, or get resources to collect/gamble (usually gamble, makes it easier to monetize) for a unit. Sometimes the units are this resource. In FE: Heroes it's a separate resource called "orbs" you collect as you play or you buy with real world money. So far it orbs are the only thing I can buy for real money but there are a couple things that look to have the potential to be sold for real money as well. I haven't run out of 'em yet so it won't let me buy more just yet.
As far as simplified Fire Emblem gameplay goes; the main simplifications I see are the fixed map sizes (6x8 squares), at most 4 man squads, and no starting position selection. Gear and skill/ability customization is still in. And the transitive battle formula is still in. Clearly designed with quick sessions in mind.
It hasn't impeded my progress yet with bs money-grubbing tactics, nor has it prodded me into trying to buy more orbs (yet.) So its got a positive model in my opinion so far. Verdict is still in the works for the thing as a whole.
If you're a fan of any Fire Emblem game, it's worth a shot. If you like tactics based games then it may also be worth a shot.
I feel the phone app is probably aimed at portable outings with the Switch. On one hand I feel it's a bad idea unless you know for sure whatever wi-fi you're gonna be using is stable/strong enough for good online play on the go, so why even do so in the first place. On the other hand, putting those features on a separate device would help make the wi-fi connection and battery usage of the Switch more efficient.
The wording on the free NES/SNES game a month is bad. It can mean that the game is free to play for the month, or that the offer is only available for that month. They need to clarify that. If it's the latter, and the hinted online features for certian games make it in, then I think that part will work out fine.
No Miiverse on it is indeed a bizarre choice I feel. Though most games never made much more use of it other then a simple social media outlet dedicated to the games, that isn't really a bad thing. Some games made good use of it ingame, like Mario Maker or Smash Bros. And an occasional few games made exceptional use of it, like Splatoon. So much so that Splatoon 2 without Miiverse is a pretty sad prospect.
Also on the topic of phone apps, the next official Nintendo game for smart devices is Fire Emblem Heroes and it will be out Feb 2. It looks like a slightly smaller scope of Fire Emblem with some level of grind progression in some form. Free to Play but you can pay for convenience. How friendly this progression system is, is unclear at the moment.
Something I realized awhile back, but I find interesting from a design aspect and want to share.
Lucio is my main hero in Overwatch. This is because I generally end up as support, and I really like Lucio's kit so it all works out (most of the time.)
The hero I fear/hate to be up against most is Mei. Especially as Lucio. Because Mei actually takes away what I enjoy most about Lucio. The speed and movement. She literally walks up to my fun, freezes it solid, and shatters it to pieces right in front of me. I cry every time.
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