Overwatch launched and immediately became super popular, but I wasn’t sure I would like it. I’d never gotten into Team Fortress 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive frustrated me, and my time playing DotA 2 and League of Legends was short-lived. Somehow, despite Overwatch being likened to all of these games, I love Overwatch alone.
I originally bought Overwatch because my friend Summer got it and really enjoyed it, and I figured it’d be a way to stay in touch with her. I actually wasn’t concerned much about liking the game, thinking I’d use it to voice chat with Summer and simply tolerate the actual gameplay.
I’m not the best at aiming, which may have been why I never got the hang of CS: GO. As soon as I’d stick my head out of spawn, I’d be dead because a sniper got me. Despite my bad aim, I feel like I’m helping my team in Overwatch. There are a variety of different play styles across all the characters. I can latch onto an ally as Mercy or to an enemy as Symmetra, and aiming is no longer a concern. Even with characters that use traditional guns, like D.Va or Mei, I feel effective because of D.Va’s large bullet spray and Mei’s giant ice projectiles.
I like how each character has a different attitude about them, and how that translates into how I play them. I feel like a saucy bully as D.Va, chasing enemies off the payload and blasting them continuously. I feel above the petty concerns of the world as Symmetra, setting up my turrets in relative peace until an enemy dares to bother me, then I microwave them. When I’m Mercy, it’s painful watching my allies take damage or die, and I flutter amongst all of them, prioritizing those with the least health so I can keep everyone alive. I’ll also sacrifice myself as Mercy to get a good rez off and bring back multiple teammates, which seems to fit her personality.
Overwatch on the PC has been an overall friendly community. I’ve met several complete strangers who have been lovely to play with. Even when I don’t friend someone and repeatedly group up with them, I still frequently get grouped up with people who are helpful, friendly, and pleasant in chat.
Sometimes you get pacifists on the enemy team who like to greet you and emote, then you have to remember “don’t shoot that Reaper, he’s the friendly one,” which adds a hilarious and challenging twist to an otherwise typical round of quick play. I feel like a jerk if I kill the guy who only wanted to wave at me and make quips.
I’ve also been very appreciative of Blizzard’s interactions with the community. Jeff Kaplan has been very responsive to fan requests, such as when someone asked for the Halloween event’s Junkrat voice lines to replace the standard lines when you equipped Junkrat’s Halloween skin. Kaplan’s response was a simple “ok,” then shortly after the update was made that granted the request. They’ve also been super generous with the free updates to the game that add new skins, sprays, victory poses, and emotes. Each event, I’ve been excited to earn a couple particular skins, and it gives me more reason to play the game.
Overwatch has become my go-to game. It’s a great change of pace from my usual story-driven singleplayer games like Dragon Age, and each match feels different because you’re playing with other people. I enjoyed Diablo III when it came out and occasionally pick it up again, but it never felt as exciting as Overwatch. Even when I grouped with others in Diablo, it was never as social as Overwatch because there wasn’t built-in voice chat. It’s great to be able to shout out “Reaper behind” and see my team respond, or to strike up a conversation in text chat while you’re waiting to respawn.
I recommend Overwatch to everyone that I find out is a gamer. The fact that I don’t enjoy competitive shooters and yet I still feel effective and have fun playing Overwatch is a great selling point. I think it was well worth the base price of $40 even before they started adding new content, but they keep adding new modes and iterating on the gameplay, fine-tuning the characters, so it’s an even better deal now.
upgrading to Jekyll 3 · Apr 10, 2016
I went down a 🐇 hole yesterday when I decided I wanted to try a new CSS framework. It started innocently enough, I found Siimple and figured I’d give it a try here. Siimple has SCSS files so I wanted to import them directly rather than used their minified distribution CSS. However, I got an error running Jekyll 2 when importing their SCSS. Though I filed an issue on their repo, I figured maybe it was a problem that would go away if I updated my Jekyll version. I used Chase’s handy gems-cli tool to grab the latest version of Jekyll to put in my Gemfile and, while I was at it, I updated nokogiri, kramdown, coderay, mini_magick, rake, and mechanize, too. I figure if you’re going to upgrade a gem, go big or go home, right?
Stardew Valley is wonderful · Apr 2, 2016
I kept hearing about Stardew Valley on Reddit as well as seeing friends on Steam playing it. It was priced at $15 with an extra $5 to get the soundtrack. I very rarely dislike video game soundtracks so of course I had to get the soundtrack, too. I wasn’t sure how well I’d like the actual game, but /r/girlgamers was talking about it and it sounded cute, with $15 being cheap enough that I was willing to give it a shot, especially to support an indie game. The few screenshots I’d seen put Minecraft in mind because of the item bar across the bottom of the screen, and there was a pickaxe. So whatever, I figured I’d try it.
making a Philips Hue home · Feb 14, 2016
Jon has done a great job getting our house wired up with Philips Hue lights. I’ve really enjoyed having them and with the right devices, they’re very convenient. I love the bits of color and how much control we have over brightness compared with regular bulbs that don’t have dimmer switches. I wouldn’t have known where to get started, so I wanted to write up the products we’ve bought and our experience with lights and devices.
Candyfair app · Nov 6, 2015
Halloween season came around and with it came big bags of candy at the office. Some candies disappeared faster than others, leading exclamations like “aww all the Twix are gone!” or “there’s nothing but stupid 3 Musketeers left” to be heard around the office. Summer remarked that we needed an app to tell us how best to divide the candy so that no one who didn’t want stupid 3 Musketeers would be forced to eat them, and the weirdos who actually like 3 Musketeers could revel in their abundance. Enter my next pet project.
Apple Music so far · Sep 6, 2015
my Windows 10 upgrade experience · Aug 4, 2015
I saw the little Windows 10 logo show up in my taskbar some few weeks ago, telling me I could reserve a copy of Windows 10 for free. Cool! I did so and waited with excitement for July 29 to come around. It came and went, and my reserved upgrade still wasn’t ready. I saw articles, privacy concerns, Tweets, and a whole subreddit come about, and I felt like the last person who wanted to upgrade but hadn’t yet.