Bear-ly Making It: Mythic Ursoc and Legion Time Management

I sat out on our first night of attempts two weeks ago. We had a Discipline Priest, Holy Priest (me), Monk, Paladin, and a Shaman available in the lineup. But we deduced that five healers would be too much and we didn’t think we had the DPS or throughput to try with three healers. I was the odd man out and decided to take a seat. It proved fruitful as the team was able to push Ursoc down repeatedly to enrage and just beyond but couldn’t muster the damage to close him out. Sadly, that night ended but we knew we were close. Another weekend of Mythics dungeons and another night of Emerald Nightmare Heroic clears should’ve made up the difference.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday and we had the same issue occur again with five healers available. However, we were stretched thin as many of our starters were away (as many as seven). This time, I brought up that my Ret Paladin was available at a serviceable 864 item level with that delicious Holy Power generating ring! Some opening pulls were conducted and to my delight, the Paladin was competitive and keeping up with everyone else. Now we were getting closer. Ursoc’s health was reaching the single digit percentages.

Sure enough, we bagged ourselves a giant bear (who’d make a great rug for the class hall, by the way, though I imagine you Druids would frown greatly at that). While I was sad I wasn’t able to get that accomplishment on my Priest, I’m happy that I was able to get in on it with my Paladin.

Legion’s Time Management Problem

All of this was partially possible because I managed to invest just the right amount of time in developing my Paladin. Think about all the activities in the game right now which can both contribute to artifact power and a legendary drop chance:

  • Heroic dungeon daily (especially as a healer with the bonus)
  • Mythic dungeons (and keystones)
  • World quests
  • Raid finder
  • Normal raid
  • Heroic raid
  • Mythic raid
  • PvP

My guild has rotated normal raids out of the rotation so now I have to look for those outside our schedule (though I admit, as a healer, it’s quick to find groups for that). I don’t PvP so that’s out of the question. My Priest will knock out as many artifact power quests as possible regardless of which faction emissary is active. I can queue into raid finder whenever. Thankfully, Heroic and Mythic raids are still in the schedule but with the impending release of Trials of Valor, I don’t know how long that will last.

On the other hand, the Paladin is a little harder to upkeep and maintain. On average, it takes me around 8 attempts before I find any Mythic dungeon group that will take her. World quests are reduced to just faction emissaries. Raid finder is on the list for easy Artifact power accumulation. Heroic and Normal raids are a little tougher to break into.

By then, my entire weekend is gone.

Granted, just about all of the activities up there are optional. But if you want your character to remain relevant and competitive, you have to be able to keep up. This is doubly true if you’re attempting to maintain a second character.

I should hope that no one is complaining of boredom and a lack of things to do this expansion. I’ve seen some community feedback on the desire for more single player stuff because of the refusal to do dungeons, raids, group quests, and other content.

“I’m bored because I don’t want to do any of these activities in the game.”

I mean, I guess that’s fair but on the other hand, it is a multiplayer game. A Star Wars: the Old Republic form of quests in the World of Warcraft? We did get a step in that direction with the class halls and the Suramar questline has been expanded. Doesn’t appear to be enough though. Maybe a break from WoW is needed or something because it doesn’t seem to be hitting the spot anymore? Anyway, more on this later.

BlizzCon in just a few short days. Man, this year blew by. I can’t seem to find the awesome Panda badge Cadistra made for me last year. Where did it go?!

Matt’s Razor: Where Second Kills are Harder than the First

It’s been over a year and a half since I last stepped foot into any sort of Mythic raid. Nervous? A little. But jumping back into Mythic raids is like getting back on the bike after shelving it for the winter. You can’t slack off, you can’t coast, and your decision making can’t suffer. We did get manage to get Mythic Nythendra within a day of real attempts and ended with a handful of players alive at the end. Unfortunately, as I always say, the hardest part of any Mythic boss kill is the sophomore kill — That is, killing a boss the second time. I don’t know what it is about bosses, but taking down a boss the following week almost always seems to result in more attempts than the first kill. After that though, it becomes more routine. Is it just pre-game jitters? Is it the expectation to kill a boss not quite on farm is so high that players just get in their own heads? People playing more careless just because they’ve already killed it and gloss over the moves that led to the kill in the first place?!

I call it Matt’s Razor — The second kill is always harder than the first despite having secured it before. You can let me know if your raid can prove or disprove it.

The next move is to challenge Elerethe and she’s going to be a tougher cookie than most. We’re almost at the point where we can consistently play through all of the first platform without casualties. Cooldowns have been timed for the first and second, giant green circle run away ability along with the Ji’Kun flappy wing ability.

You can tell my memory for ability names is lacking.

What’s stalling us right now is the transition and execution over to the second platform. We’ve split the raid into two groups to eat the winds, but we’re still getting shredded. I suspect we just need more looks to get accustomed to it. Sometimes, you just need to pull the boss because you can’t explain it any harder.

Hooray for finally unlocking the third golden trait in T’uure. I kinda went backwards though ever since the game came out as I picked up Light of T’uure last out of all the traits. Whoops.

Double hooray for lucking out and getting my second Legendary with the belt, Al’maiesh, the Cord of Hope. You can all hate me now.

Triple hooray for getting the Shadow artifact appearance off Illy. Now I fully expect to not get drops for the next month.

I should be at a casino. What am I doing playing this game?

Mythic dungeons

Speaking of Mythics, I wanted to touch upon a different set of Mythics. I can easily heal through dungeons at the Mythic 6 or 7 level but I start struggling at anything higher than that. I’m not sure if that’s a me thing or if it’s a Holy thing (or a combination thereof). The perception is that I (or Holy) has to work much harder than some other healing classes for the same result. If I were to put groups together, I’d almost always take a Resto Shaman in largely due to Wind Shear and Capacitor totem. Holy Priest has the option of a stunnable Chastise or an AoE knockback with a slow.

Playing on my Ret Paladin has been tons of fun though! It’s just hard to get into groups as well :(.

Integrity First!

It’s a funny story. Somehow I always end up in positions of responsibility.

I didn’t think I was going to last long in the guild I was in and after the first week, I was immediately going to walk away because I wasn’t satisfied at all with playing Shadow and I wanted to heal. I also wanted some more structure in raids in terms of assignments, strategy, and preparation which I wasn’t receiving. It’s one thing for players to look up the strategy and the plays. It’s another level to have specific key roles given to players like which players are interrupting what Mind Flay tentacle or which healer is negating what roar when. Then I received an offer to help put a new guild together — One where I didn’t have to make executive decisions anymore but I could apply my logistics and administration skills.

What a relief.

In the span of an afternoon, <Integrity> was formed. There is still much ground work to be done, but going 4/7 heroic in the span of a week is a good sign. We’re on the hunt now for DPS players, but we’ll consider every role including tanks and healers.

Personally, I’d love to see the addition of a Warlock, a Shadow Priest, a DPS Warrior, and a Holy Paladin.


This guy’s the current pain point at the moment. We’re directing poisoned players to drop off their pools to the north up on the little ramp and away from the web bridges. Tornado players are instructed to go south away from poison pools. However, when Elenthedre switches to bird form and starts casting her winds ability, we seem to be finding pools forming on our stack point on the boss’s feet.

Now we have two moves to consider:

  • Keep hammering home the point about accurate poison pool and purple tornado dropping, then pray we don’t get hit.
  • Or stack up somewhere first to ensure poison pools hit us and let the winds carry us into a different location before initiating defensive abilities.

I’m not quite sure if there’s an option C. Hoping a solution works itself out next week. We first need to survive the several seconds of pools and tornados together. Then we need to ensure a successful move going from 1st platform to 2nd platform with minimal casualties. If we can do that, we can easily take Elerethe down. But that’s our current challenge right now.

Thoughts on Raiding and the new Mythic+

It’s been a few days since raiding and the new mythic+ dungeon has opened up. My current guild signed me to play Shadow and I agreed to earnestly give it a shot. It was something new after 10+ years of doing nothing but either healing as Holy or Discipline. Our first raid night together was on Tuesday and this is an organization that had only come together recently in the past two months over the summer. How would the group fare?

Pretty well actually! All things considered, it was a 6/7 normal mode on the first night. The raid group’s a little rough around the edges and there’s some potential here.


I didn’t remember much about Nythendra. Though there was some general confusion in terms of positioning and where to stand during the opening minutes. Nevertheless, the boss was defeated and we moved on.

Next order of business was Ill’gynoth. This one took two attempts and there was a little sloppiness with the debuff and where pools were dropping. My initial suspicion is that people didn’t realize they had the debuff on them and pools were constantly being dropped near the eye rendering it difficult for both melee players and kiters to get the slimes in range to pop the eye. Heroic mode though is a whole new ballgame. I joined my friend Elaraiyne’s group for some experience just to get a handle on heroic and it’s not as forgiving.

Anyway, after downing Ill’gynoth, we moved to the Emerald Dragons. It was a cycle of 3 dragons and add management. No issues with this one either although it took just one wipe because tank transition was off. The tanks opted to switch at 7 debuff stacks instead of 8 and that did the trick resulting in a takedown.

We moved to Elerethe after and this was not my finest moment as after the first platform, I subsequently plummeted to my doom. The raid leader called for tanks and healers only to start with the feathers. All DPS players were instructed to cross the webbing. I think this can be further optimized to tanks, most healers, and some DPS but for the first attempt, it made sense due to learning pulls. We ended up stealing this kill. Almost a third of the raid was dead at some point during the first transition but Elerethe managed to get taken out. I’m almost expecting the encounter to be buffed.

Big bad Ursoc was next and this took us 3 attempts to kill it. Looking at the mechanics and abilities of the boss, I figured out that the best way to pull off the encounter was to tank the bear to a side, and have one group stand on Ursoc’s butt to soak Momentum, and a second group off to the side. The person who was the charge target would run behind Ursoc’s butt forcing Ursoc to run through. However, as much as I wanted to chime in, I didn’t say anything. I wanted to watch the raid leaders to see if they’d come to similar conclusions — Which they did, although Ursoc was tanked in the middle instead of the side. The repositioning wasn’t the most consistent but it did the job well enough. I imagine the DPS checks for heroic would be much higher and minimizing movement would be much more relevant.

Last boss of the night was Cenarius. This one’s a technical encounter as you get to determine which set and type of mobs to cleanse. You want to capitalize on the strength of your group. We had a few Death Knights which meant Wisps could be pulled in and AoE’d down immediately, for example. It did get a bit dicey at the end with the large patchy Nightmare pools and such.

Anyway, that was our first night of raid. I felt it was more enjoyable than Highmaul when it first came out. Looking forward to advancing into Emerald Nightmare though.

Shadow though, I’m not sure if I’m cut out to be a Shadow Priest. My damage is acceptable. Except, I’m not having fun playing Shadow in a raid environment and I can’t quite put my finger on why. The rotation’s about placing DoTs, using fillers, and using your artifact weapon while weaving in and out of Void Form. After that, it’s a Surrender to Madness in the final moments of the encounter. It’s an interesting style of play and I’m still getting my timing down — I end up dying a few seconds after the boss dies which means I can burn Surrender a little earlier.


The flip side to this is that I’m playing Shadow in Mythic+ dungeons and I greatly enjoy that more. Our composition is a Demon Hunter tank, a Resto Shaman, a DPS Warrior, Mage, and myself. Our composition brings three sets of stuns and a heroism. Capacitor Totem, Shockwave, and Mind Bomb constantly rotate through trash pulls and it’s an organized symphony of crowd control. The most I’ve done is Maw of Souls at Mythic 5 with Bolster. The Bolster mechanic is when a non-boss mob dies, a non-boss mob gains 20% health and damage.

As Mythic levels go up, everything in the instance has correspondingly more health and deals more damage. As a Shadow Priest, I’m not the greatest in heroics because I don’t have time to build up any DoTs. But now with Mythic+ difficulty, it seems like the harder the instance, the more appealing the Priest. Now I just need to refine the talent selection a little more.

Now the question remains. How can I be delighted with Shadow in a dungeon but resent Shadow in a raid?

First Week of Legion: Progression and Patches

Well, almost. But it might as well be a week. Scouring the internet, I’ve seen mostly universal praise for Legion. From my experiences in the beta, I had a huge suspicion that the expansion would be a massive shot of adrenaline into the game. There’s no numbers in terms of subscriptions (or active accounts), but optimistically, maybe 10 million?

Although, it’s still too early to say. The expansion launch bump always produces a huge number of subscribers and then inevitable drops off overtime before stabilizing. We’re also entering the school year again. Who knows if the numbers and reception will continue to hold for the next half a year?


In terms of character progress, I rocketed to level 110 with a disappointing time of 12 hours, 40 minutes. I was thwarted in the final hour with some PvP shenanigans. That’s okay though, as I was first in guild by a long run. If you’re trying to make a statement about yourself as a player to a new guild, one way to do that is by being the first to 110, jumping into dungeons, and filling the guild activity with achievements on clearing normals and heroics.

Mythic dungeons are brutal for Holy Priests. At least, that was my impression initially just because on everyone’s lack of gear. I think it’s mathematically possible to walk into a Mythic dungeon just shy of 820 ilevel but you need some consumables to help prop your stats up for a bit.

I did get my first legendary: X’anshi, Shroud of Archbishop Benedictus. It’s not exactly the best cloak for raiders as the effect is counterintuitive to strong play. But in mythic dungeons, it’s saved me a few times and provided the group with a second chance to last just long enough to get the encounter down.

Right now I’m sitting at 841 ilevel since Friday. There’s still some trinkets that I need to pursue, but for the most part, my Priest is now raid ready. Unlike other players, I’ve pursued a path of parallel progression between my Holy and Shadow artifacts to allow for flexibility in my roles.

My guild wants me to play Shadow but acknowledged my flexibility in being Holy and Disc. I’m not 100% confident in my DPS play right now. There’s that looming thought in the back of my mind that I might not make that cut or the benchmark. If that happens, I’ll cut myself from the roster and look for a team that can better utilize my abilities. Still, the raid is a few weeks out so I’ve got some time.

How long did it take for you to be in a guild before you went, “Yup, this is the one.” ?

Patch 7.1


At PAX Prime over the weekend, Blizzard developers were on hand to reveal more details on patch 7.1. The big surprise was the new Legion companion app which lets us run missions right out of our phone. Plus it has the side benefit of displaying currently available world quests.

Boy, this app would’ve been handy during Warlords when we had way more missions to do. Right now, we’re capped to 5 followers and most missions take three followers (usually two named followers and one of your recruits).

Regarding the patch, there seems to be a perception that the new Trial of Valor is a new tier of raiding. Actually, it’s not quite the case. The best analogy is that Trial of Valor is similar to the old vanilla raids of Zul’Gurub or Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj. Both were 20 player raids and were meant to complement the major 40 player raids at the time. The last raid that was even close to that was the old Zul’Aman raid back in Burning Crusade (or a case could be made for Halion in Wrath).

Any bets on when 7.1 is expected to drop? My guess would be a little after BlizzCon (or shortly before Christmas).

12 Hours and 20 Minutes from 100 to 110

That’s the time it took for me to level from 100 to 110 on beta. I can do better than that.

Anyway, related to the Legion leveling dilemma of pure quests versus incorporating dungeons, I did a straight run yesterday from 100 to 110 on my Priest. Here’s the times and rough paths:

10:38 AM: Timer starts at Dalaran, selected Stormheim
12:06 PM: 101
13:12: 102, unlocked both artifact weapons for Holy and Disc, moved to Azsuna (which flows nicely with Enchanting and Tailoring profession quests)
14:40: 103
15:58: 104, moved to Val’Sharah, and restock up on Legion level food and water
17:10: 105, back to the Class Hall to start some player XP work orders (2 hours)
18:10: 106, moved to Highmountain
19:13: 107, back to the Class Hall to redeem and start another set of player XP work orders
20:39: 108
21:45: 109, back to Class Hall to advance class mission scenario
23:01: 110

All of that took around 12 hours and 20 minutes. Ended up dying 4 times overall. Embarassingly enough, my first death was during the initial Shadow Artifact weapon quest. Oops.

Oddly enough, the longest part should have ended up being the 100 to 101 area between unlocking class artifact weapons and moving Dalaran over. I suspect this might even take longer on live.

Speaking of artifact weapons, I lost some major time on the Discipline one because I screwed up the encounter with the Fire boss. Didn’t make the connection that Mind Control was supposed to be used (and I’m surprised that spell didn’t get pruned). That’s why ultimately level 102 took way longer than needed.

High Mountain is actually a tricky zone. It can be optimized more and there were a few Hearthstone tricks I didn’t properly do. Not to mention, the main quest area is on top of a freakin’ mountain with lifts. What is it with Tauren and living on top of giant mountains and using elevators anyway?

I literally completed all of the zone storylines in all of the major areas. I think there was one (or maybe two) of those free form quest areas that I missed out on in Azsuna that I’m going to have to incorporate in my live run. But at 49% into 109, I ran out of zone quests. Thankfully, I still had class quests I could accomplish and a few profession ones remaining.

I did end up having Auto Turn In installed but forgot to install an autovendor addon for trash drops. Ended up having to manually sell items on my mammoth during the dialog based cut scenes (which can’t be skipped). Incidentally enough, those are great times to re-buff yourself with food buffs.

Zoopercat has a post on Ask Mr Robot with some additional detail on Artifact Power and the quests. Since I’m raiding as Holy and levelling as Shadow, my run did not incorporate the use of activating Artifact Power or buffing weapons. I went straight to 110 with a naked Artifact weapon. Between Zooper’s post and my experience, you’re better off investing the AP right away even if you plan to raid as a different spec. You don’t lose that much time or progression and between some of the dailies and other wards, you will catch up quickly on the 2nd weapon anyway.

Last piece of advice, fruit platters are awesome for maintaining energy and alertness. I hate blueberries though.

The Legion Leveling Dilemma

There’s going to be some general spoilers about Legion below with zone names. No lore or story spoilers though. So be warned.

I managed to get to level 110 on the beta. Elapsed time was 11.5 hours, but that involved actually reading quest text. There are no cinematics implemented in the game yet. In addition, I didn’t burn as many consumables as I could have. I did keep up my old Draenor Intellect flasks and the Empowered Augment Rune. No sprint potions, no Intellect potions, or anything of that sort. I went through Azsuna first, then Stormheim, Val’Sharah, and then Highmountain.

Each zone has a major storyline quest. All of those quests eventually lead to a dungeon quest which awards massive XP upon completion (like 100k+). As I doubt I’ll have a consistent group to do these dungeons with, queueing into them means I’ll be placing myself at the mercy of the other players in that group.

Do I risk the dungeon queue as I level up or do I scout out and knock out the extra side quests in each zone while forgoing dungeons completely?

I’m going to do a dry run Sunday and see what kind of time I can shave off at full speed.

Incentivizing Player Behaviour?

Thanks to everyone over Twitter and Facebook who were generous enough to provide me with leads. I’ve found a guild to stash myself in. Alas, it’s a guild I found in trade chat (I know, right?), so their requirements on joining weren’t too stringent or anything. As it’s still the offseason, I can see how application processes are relaxed. We’ll see how it works out though. Raid roster is contingent on how quickly players reach max level and are raid ready. Sounds about right.

Anyway, I received an email updated yesterday from Wargaming (the company behind World of Tanks and World of Warships). I played World of Warships for a little while because I’ve always had a fondness for ship-to-ship combat.

Check out their updated player policy:

Effective August 8, 2016, we have an updated Rules and Violations Policy. This policy aims to both reward positive behavior in the community, and deliver meaningful consequences for repeated misconduct.

Players who display consistently good behavior over a three-month period receive a small reward, on top of a chance to win 90 days of Premium account time.

We’ll look at player behavior in three primary areas: chat, forums, and gameplay. Five violations (or “strikes”) in one of these areas will result in permanent restrictions like being banned from the associated chat or forum.

Strikes won’t go away — we will expect players to learn from past mistakes and adjust their behavior accordingly. That’s why we’re encouraging all players to step up, be positive, and don’t strike out.

Now, let’s be real. We know Blizzard’s had issues with player toxicity for a while now especially in both WoW, Heroes of the Storm, and now Overwatch (like that banwave which resulted in errant denial of service attacks on servers recently). But notice how Wargaming’s taking a two-pronged approach here — You’ve got the standard policy of placing restrictions on players with bans on forums or chats, but now you have an incentive focused one where if you’re a productive and positive member, you get a small bonus and a chance at 90 days of premium.

It’s a neat idea though I’m not sure if it would have an effect in any of Blizzard’s games. Though a chance for WoW gametime would be a sweet incentive and bonus. I do think a small amount of currency (like credits in Overwatch or gold in Heroes of the Storm) might be a way to help promote good behaviour though. However, if I feel if someone was going to be a dick, no amount of gold or currency would really stop them. For the rest of us who just stay silent and focus on our own game play, it would be an automatic reward at the end of the season no matter what. I mean really, is 2000 gold enough to stop someone trashtalking mid-game in Heroes of the Storm for playing bad?

Speaking of cheaters, in Counterstrike there are two kinds of servers: VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) enabled servers and non-VAC enabled servers. If you’re caught cheating, you cannot compete on VAC enabled servers. This would result in cheaters all playing together and against each other on non-VAC enabled servers. I had the humorous thought of Overwatch cheaters being sequestered and isolated into their own queue where they would play against other cheaters. This would keep them away from the rest of the legitimate Overwatch population but at least they would be able to play with their own kind.

Think Wargaming is onto something?

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Time to Get Back on the Saddle

That was a nice long break from the world of World of Warcraft. After hanging up the staff and robes in January, I feel much more refreshed and invigorated.

The problem?

Looking for a guild. The last time I really applied for a guild was in Burning Crusade and even then, that was more of a short interview. After Burning Crusade, I left and formed Conquest which I held and ran until the start of this year. My era of being GM is over. Several former players have asked if I was going to get the band back together again and I declined. I don’t have it in me to handle all of the responsibility anymore. It’ll be a nice change of pace to just go back and be a normal player again where I can stick to just keeping the raid alive instead of added responsibilities.

Speaking of changes, the new Discipline Priest is neat! It definitely takes some getting used to though. I’m not sure if they’re going to be a staple of healing teams for Legion or not, but maybe they’ll have a place on guilds looking to brute force their way to victory with tons of damage. I tried it out the other week in a raid and I don’t know if Hellfire was just oddly tuned or if was just that unfamiliar with the new Discipline. To be fair, they did nerf and make further adjustments the following day to Hellfire Citadel.

Holy continues to remain a solid fallback option for classic healing Priests. Not having to mess around with Chakra stances is a huge sigh of relief. I liked the mechanic originally when it came out, but now I’m no longer a fan of needless complexity. Let the encounter be the challenge.

There is one other problem. I can’t seem to find a guild that’s looking for a Priest :(.
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How has Your Overwatch Experience Been?

How has Your Overwatch Experience Been?

It’s been a few weeks since Overwatch came out. I’ve logged something like 50 hours total since release and it’s been a blast. I didn’t go too crazy on it during the beta because I didn’t want to burn myself out. Have to say though, the game is infinitely more fun when playing with friends as opposed to hitting the solo queue on your own. This is especially true if you happen to be playing alongside players willing to switch to heroes that work well in given situations.

Currently, my hero pool is bolstered by Zarya, Pharah, 76, and Symmetra. You might remember that Lucio was my bread and butter during the beta streams on Blizzard Watch, but I’ve switched over to a more offensive, DPS role.

Why Zarya?


Those are my stats on my Master Overwatch profile (which should absolutely be taken with a grain of salt). That being said, I’m sure there’s some similarity between that and my official stats on Overwatch. After almost 200 games, it looks like my matches on Zarya have stabilized to an approximately 55% win rate which is what the devs are aiming for (something between 45 to 55%).

Speaking of winrates, Symmetra’s just a beast on defense with a seemingly unsustainable 78% (27 games total) and Soldier 76 right behind at almost 70% (35 games total).

A note on stats

I love tracking my records as much as the next guy because they can paint a picture about your strengths and weaknesses. Without numbers, you can’t measure yourself improving. While many out there will say your personal stats don’t matter, and it happens to be true to an extent, you can’t win a game without eliminating the opposition. In general, the team that can eliminate the other team more often than not will win the match.

(Take that, Sun Tzu).

But what you have to keep in mind is what the stats don’t say. Much of the information is contextless.

As you win games quickly and early, your damage (on average) per game will go down. The hero win rate is based on the one you played the most games with and it does not reflect any hero changes you’ve made that might have had an impact. Maybe you were rocking it as Widowmaker until the other team adjusted to you and then you switched to Reaper to regain momentum.

Let’s talk about the actual damage. Was it meaningful and effective? Did the damage go straight to removing Mercy from play or was it spent mostly on Roadhog who kept hogging medpacks and chugging his gatorade? What damage is relevant and what’s irrelevant? How much of it was absorbed by a shield?

Accuracy is another thing. People who play Junkrat or Pharah understand the concept of “zoning” where you just fire projectiles in a certain area to deny the opposing team from entering it unless they take damage. Common areas include chokepoints or areas near medpacks. You don’t need to score a direct hit if the splash damage is enough to affect them. My Pharah accuracy is 41% largely because much of it is spent prefiring in areas where I think a player is about to run to.

There is definitely more development and work needed to be done in this area, but the existing information is a start. I’d like to see more individual map stats. Do I play better on King’s Row or Hollywood? Does my character matter at certain phases of the match?

Think about DPS meters and logs in WoW and you’ll get my drift.

Back to the original question of why Zarya? I figure she’s one of the more well rounded heroes in the game and can easily slip into any pub game.


Pub: A public game that any can queue into. Best known as Quick Match.

Not to be confused with …

Pug: Short for pickup game which is a loosely organized match between a pre-determined roster of players who may or may not know each other well at all.

She can sort of tank in a pinch although she’s not the greatest pusher. Her shielding abilities have the ability to save teammates and yourself during key engagements. Her ultimate is a great trigger mechanism and works alongside other heroes who can follow up on it (because by itself it doesn’t do much damage). Think of Zarya as more of a secondary tank. When she gets charged and goes off, she’ll turn into a wrecking ball with both resilience and staying power.

The problem is that you can get really greedy. Once the shield wears off, if you get focused, you’ll be taken out immediately. You have to recognize when to jump in with a full charge and when to back out back to the safety of your team even if you still have like a 60 charge left.

I’ll write up more Zarya tips later, but if you’re interested in more Overwatch pieces, you can check out my columns here:

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