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Tips and Tricks (or Beginner's Guide take 2!)

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Okay, our last thread got a bit derailed (sorry K!). Let's keep this thread just about more basic Overwatch tips and tricks. And then let's make a new one a bit later for comp. strategies, meta discussion, hero roles and functions on the different map types, etc. Ideally, that later discussion will be the more important one. But its good to get us on the same page first with the simpler stuff.

Off the top of my head, here are some of the most important things in my opinion (most of you probably know them by now): #1, 2, and 4 are most important.

1) In the controls menu, each hero has a separate control menu. Many of the heros have special toggles within that menu. For instance, if you play soldier or Zarya, turn on the "make friendly teammates health visible." This is huge, otherwise you're simply guessing when people need your healing (I have no idea why these are turned off by default). Lucio has a super important and valuable toggle option as well, so check it out if you play him.

2) When you spawn, wait for your teammates to spawn with you. I know it feels like a waste of time waiting at spawn to get your group of 5-6 together, but its a bigger waste of time to trickle into the point in 1s and 2s and get easily picked off. Just wait. There's plenty of time most of the time to wait for an effective coordinated push.

3) When you get your ultimate ready, don't use it in a panic when you're about to die. Its almost always better to save it for the respawn when you can coordinate it with a push by your entire team.

4) We need to do better about calling out our ultimates and using them in tandem with other people's ultimates. Do you have Zarya on your team? Hanzo, Pharah, Reinhardt and many others should be using their combo in coordination with her. Every time. Soldier's and McCree's, Reapers should be using theirs together with Lucio or Zenyatta. Call it out when you use it so your team can follow you in. Call it out when you're Winston and going berserk so your team can follow you in and cover your back and make the most of the confusion, etc.

5) Stop NOT shooting at Reinhardt's shield. It goes down fast. You have unlimited ammo. Always be firing.

6) If you are a flanking class, let your team know when you're about to chase down a defensive target like Widowmaker or Bastion. Let us know when you could use distraction. 

7) If you are Mercy, give us 1-2 seconds notice if you are going to use Rez. We often aren't expecting it and don't have our hands on the keyboard.

8) Don't expect kills (or lack of kills) to be an accurate indicator if you are helping your team. I think the percentage of the game you are "on fire" is probably the best indicator we have so far.

9) If you are using low power or scatter-shot guns (Reaper, Soldier, Tracer), don't fire too soon. Just like scouts in TF2, close the distance first to get the meat shots. You'll do much better.

10) Melee is powerful. Use it more.

11) You can shoot enemy traps. You can shoot Junkrat's wheel bomb before it reaches you. Symmetra's turrets have 1 HP, so shoot them! Don't just run away.

12) Do not ever get into close range fight with McCree. Shoot from a distance.

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1.) Play every role. Take turns throughout the team on who is going to play what. Even if you don't feel like you fit the role at least you'll get a sense of what each role does, what's it's strength are and what it's weaknesses are.

2.) Play the objective. Most of us in TF2 are so use to being able to not play the objective and spawn suppress or other shenanigans. In Overwatch the team that stays relatively closer together and on the objective or at a choke point is most likely going to win.

3.) Numbers matter. There's only 6 of you. Each person's role on the team is important. And support matters the most. Push when you have numbers and get together and coordinate when you're even or down in numbers.

4.) Focus fire on targets especially support targets. 

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My understanding of the flank roles goes kinda like this: you want to be advancing or holding areas that the main combo (generally Reinhardt, a support class, and an offensive class, with maybe an occasional 4th) isn't actively looking at. This doesn't have to mean that you should be super far away from the combo either; you can have eyes on the flank while supplementing the combo's damage. You don't want to eat the same spam damage that the combo is getting hit with, but try not to be so far away that you can't swing over and lend a hand.The name of the game here isn't necessarily to have crazy high kill counts or damage, but to prevent the enemy flank players from coming at us from the sides or the back. Offensively, don't try to take on full health targets unless you're confident you can win the fight (you can get close and out DM them, they're distracted, etc), and generally going for picks on injured targets will be very effective (think about getting jumped on by a Winston when you only have 100 health left. You lose).

If you're playing a flank class and you hear that one of your main offense classes is going to push with an ult or that the combo is about to go crazy offensive into the other team, that's your automatic cue that you should be moving in on the enemy flank to distract OR to get picks on the players that are distracted by your combo. This is one of the things Frost and Sabey were trying to get at in the other thread: ideally it'll become an unspoken understanding that this is how effective pushes work. Combo in front of you? No problem, spam some damage at them with help from your flank. Flank pushing in? Focus them down, it'll only be one or two players. Combo pushing in with one or both flanks attacking as well? Better hope they can't aim.

Another super important flank player aspect is knowing when to RUN AWAY. If you're going to die, back out and let everyone know that you're no longer on that flank. This allows the combo to readjust their priorities while you dip out and get some healing and maybe your flank buddy can swoop in and save you. Learn health pack locations. Take enemy health packs so they can't have them. Get in their heads so much that they don't even want to be on the flank when you're there.

Finally, know that flank players are typically the most flexible. If you've been patrolling your section of the map and you know their flank players are dead or otherwise occupied, and you hear your combo asking for help, go help. You probably move very quickly and either provide a big distraction (Winston) or a lot of damage (McCree, Tracer, 76, Pharah, etc) that can quickly turn the tide of a combo vs combo fight. This doesn't mean give up the flank if you're in the middle of a fight; if someone asks for help and you can't come, say so. If you ask for help and nobody can give it, maybe it's time to fall back.

I might be missing some elements with this post since I'm new to Overwatch too, this is just general flank stuff I picked up playing TF2 that I'm trying to apply here. I'd also like to say that Frost is super duper cute. I love the haircut.

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I though of another one today that is easily overlooked.

Periodically use your Tab button. Check on to see what the other team has for a lineup going. How many are dead or alive. Until Blizzard might get a display up in the hud to show this info, it's right there for everyone to view with your Tab button.

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