PvP Feedback [TW2 Megathread]



  • burnmeltburnmelt Member

    @Treisk said:
    Asking for perspective, not as some attempt at giving you a soaring rhetoric of revelation: When you play other games (let's take a MOBA for example), and a player blocks you into a high-impact ability or a costly situation, do you feel the same, less bad, or more bad than it felt in these similar instances in our game? I would suspect that it's worse in our game, because of the combination of armies + high-impact abilities, but would love to hear you expand on this particular comparison! Also, for what it's worth: how pathing with allies should work has been one of our biggest oustanding questions for a while, and one we're working to have a strong answer for by the time we go live.

    Theres two parts to this - the why and the how.

    1. The "why." It is my ally's inaction that led to my death in Atlas. I didn't feel like I deserved to lose my troops. I saw the spell, attempted to move out of the way and could not. Similarly it doesn't feel like my opponent "earned" that victory, even if it is just one battle. Its different if they used a spell to hold me still for 5 seconds rather than my ally just not noticing for 3 of those five seconds, not giving me enough time to move out of the way.

    2. The "how."
      Dota - lets talk about terrain blocking abilities first -- fissure, sprout, ice shards, etc. If my ally did something to block me, they were still trying to help, which alleviates some of the frustration. Additionally theres counters such as force staff, blink dagger, etc that you can use to mitigate your ally's incompetance. If an ally body blocks me, which does happen, its usually that they're keeping me from casting spells which have friendly fire. I didn't die, I just didn't get the kill I wanted. If they do body block me to keep me from retreating, I can usually just take another path, change the path by cutting a tree, or use phase boots which removes collision. Heroes in Dota are smaller in relation to the map compared to entire armies in the lanes, ramps or chokepoints in Atlas, so friendly blocks are less common.

    SC2 - I think that force field doesn't belong in SC2, or that it needs to be higher tier. The fact that so many games are decided by whether or not the protoss correctly force fielded his ramp is not fun, and one of the major criticisms of the game. If an ally is in my way in SC2, units actually try to move out of the way after a certain point. You can "push" allies unless they're deliberately on hold position, so its less of an issue. Additionally similarly to in Dota, the units' collision size is smaller relative to the terrain excluding specific choke points/ramps.

    CoH1/2 - If you clump up your units, you lose. Period. You're never really blocked by allies due to how strong AOE is. Theres also a "retreat" button that ignores allied units, so you can never really be blocked.

    DoW 1 the units have barely any collision in relation to hitbox/size, addressing this issue. In DoW2, theres not enough units for it to be much of a problem. They also employ the "pushing" units out of the way, retreating (from CoH) and the terrain is destructible.

    Worth noting that terrain-breaking has been interesting in other games. Hopefully we can make it just as interesting in ours, if it isn't now!

    I openly argue that SC2 handled mobility extremely poorly. Air units in Sc2 drastically detract from the strategy.

    Games that made it interesting (in my opinion) largely make mobility skills/spells have cooldowns. In DoW1, the units with jump backs come crashing down and knock down enemies. In League, the mobility is mostly a 5 minute cooldown (flash) or the ability to go back to your home base. In heroes of the storm, only specific heroes have the ability to bypass terrain or teleport, so its not part of every game.

    I would compare this to a MOBA, in the sense that while what you're doing doesn't differ drastically, how you do it changes.

    I hope you will reconsider this point. In Dota, you can choose between pushing, ganking, having a jungler, etc. In Sc2 theres fast expanding, rushing, or quick teching. Even in a moba as simple as Awesomenaughts, theres aggressive pushing, focus on ganking or more passive strategies depending on your heroes. The more decisions a player has to make, the more they can differentiate themselves in both skill and style. This is probably the single easiest way to make a game "easy to play, difficult to master" -- by making many decisions viable, but that only expert players will decide which one is best in any given situation.

    We love the idea of giving some squads drastically different identities.

    I hope you reconsider this as well and give all squads drastically different identities. The more unique the races are, the more likely people are to have a specific squad/hero they identify with. Once someone identifies with a hero/squad, they start making fan art, cosplaying and paying for cosmetics. Very similar play styles leads to people not caring as much. This is once again a criticism I have of Sc2, and many other modern RTS such as offworld trading company, and sins of a solar empire. Even league is guilty of this. I think Grey goo, heroes of the storm, overwatch and the relic RTS do a good job at differentiating most of the heroes/races.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  • WikkerWikker Member
    edited March 8

    PvP felt great. It was extremely satisfying actually seeing the panic in the enemy player frantically trying to move/split his squad as I successfully land my Pyroblast + Oil Grenade combo. Or when the enemy Vela would get a little too greedy with his harassment and I used my Terrapin Trooper’s Rocket Rush to get behind him to block his exit path and then Grath’s Bestial Rage slows any would-be escapees enough for my Howlers to pick them off. You just don’t get that in a bot game.

    I was able to play 3 games (2 as Vex, 1 as Grath) and each one was unique and intense. I’ll highlight how they went, because I really liked how different they played out to be.

    Game 1:Played as Vex on the 2v2 side, but early on the enemy bottom lane decided to join his allies so it was 3v2 which made it very difficult for us but we held our own. Meanwhile our bottom lane free farmed himself into some early Leviathans and he used them to get our hard titan camps for us (what a pal). But eventually I got some Leviathans too and once we isolated and picked off one of their squads we pushed with the Leviathans for the win.

    Game 2: Played as Grath on the bottom 1v1 side, I bullied the enemy Vela when he over extended and took out his tower with a very early Ion Cannon. Once the tower was out, the enemy Vela played super cautious and basically allowed me to free farm all of bottom lane. Pretty early in the match one of the players left, so top lane was getting overrun slowly but surely. I spent every last gem I earned on five juggernauts and snuck them around the south side of the map, keeping them hidden, until I saw all three enemy squads up top and then went in for the nexus, successfully.

    Game 3: Played as Vex on the 2v2 side, there wasn’t really anything too special about this game other than the fact it demonstrated another winning condition. I felt like my allies and I were doing a pretty good job controlling the map, I didn’t think we were that far ahead, but the opposing team must have thought we were dominating them because they gg’d us and left the game.

    Overall, I had a blast. Squad combat is exciting and sweat inducing, apart from pathing issues (like the Terrapin Trooper’s rocket rush getting stuck on friendlies or trying to navigate your Pyrosaurs to the front line). Getting the titan camps and new expansions is smoother and more manageable with a human ally, easy to go together and kill a mob in between gem spawns. Also, mercenaries feel more useful and tactical in PvP then they are against bots.

    Things that didn’t feel too good. The map size/layout, it felt punishing to wander to the outer edges of the map because it takes so long to respond to anything that might be happening on the map (enemy taking out a tower/expansion or helping an ally in battle). The same goes for the 2v2 and 1v1 map dichotomy, by the time I waltz up from my 1v1 lane to help an ally on the receiving end of a butt kicking, the skirmish is over and now my tower/expansion is unprotected.

    Also, as much as I enjoyed my Juggernaut win in Game 2, it seemed rather unfair. The Juggernauts tanked a mega-node, a nexus, and a sizeable portion of the enemies’ squad for the duration of the winning push, and I think I might have lost one of the five. I feel like there was little the opposing team could have done that would’ve made a difference in that moment.

  • wondiblewondible Member

    @Treisk said:
    Any chance you've got the game ID handy for the game that three total people dropped from?


    "A Wild Draco" had constant connection dialog and eventually dropped. I think TfAv2890 was the second out after a timeout dialog, and the last player surrendered immediately after he dropped.

    The short version is: Killing pretty much anything gives you EXP. Ideally down the road it'd be: Doing anything grants you EXP.

    Okay, so there there just aren't enough titans to really level off of. I can see how driving conflict is good, but once a player has an edge, they can get more kills and more XP from a given encounter. Granted in my case the player was getting ahead because of a big skill gap anyway, but at my skill level I didn't see a way to challenge him again.

  • JiviraJivira Member

    @Treisk said:
    It'll be important to make sure that players feel a bit more agency in the outcomes of their games, as a result of their individual contribution. This also means giving players the proper tools to deal with mismatches (i.e. 1v2s or 1v3s). To be clear: Naturally, bringing 2 armies to a fight gives you a big advantage, but being the 1 should feel like a disadvantage, not a helpless situation. This is a big reason we've dialed up the variance in combat, and a big reason that we'll continue to!
    Thanks for testing, hope to see you for TW3!

    I will certainly be looking for the TW3 invite email :) There is a chance it will arrive a weekend I cannot make it, but if not, I will certainly put in time enough for a few games at least.

    On getting a connection to the team, even a few simple things like being able to donate gems to teammates could provide a sense of interaction. Then announcements to teammates when someone on your team starts attacking the enemy's towers or nexus... small things like that would remind players of their dependence on the team and help break us players out of tunnel vision. (To offset the busy-ness of information being relayed, players didn't really need to hear an announcement for when a worker was created as we knew where they would be if we needed them.) Admittedly, some of this is simply that the player strategies are still developing. Eventually we will "know" or be told through player guides as to what to watch for that says, "Time to go join your team." However, I think a few small reminders that their are other players on the map might be a great start.

  • JiviraJivira Member

    @Wikker said:
    Things that didn’t feel too good. The map size/layout, it felt punishing to wander to the outer edges of the map because it takes so long to respond to anything that might be happening on the map (enemy taking out a tower/expansion or helping an ally in battle). The same goes for the 2v2 and 1v1 map dichotomy, by the time I waltz up from my 1v1 lane to help an ally on the receiving end of a butt kicking, the skirmish is over and now my tower/expansion is unprotected.

    Also, as much as I enjoyed my Juggernaut win in Game 2, it seemed rather unfair. The Juggernauts tanked a mega-node, a nexus, and a sizeable portion of the enemies’ squad for the duration of the winning push, and I think I might have lost one of the five. I feel like there was little the opposing team could have done that would’ve made a difference in that moment.

    As another player, I would say that both these observations feel important. Part of what kept me bottom in my 1v1 game was feeling like I had to fully commit to choosing between getting the resources needed to build mercs and going to try to support my 2v2 allies. It didn't feel like a little of one while I focus on the other, it felt like a choice where you could ONLY do one or the other. Part of that was how hard it was to efficiently share gem collection if you then had three players on your team trying to get the few in an isolated area while pressuring the opponent.

    On the game close out merc units, you have only minimal ability to tell if the enemy has been secretly building one of the two hard to take out end-game closer mercs. Once a player knows the game really well, we might be able to figure out that oh, they build X expansions, we killed y of healer merc units, we saw z wards placed, they took out upper gem camp and had an even split of gems THUS they should have 80 more in gems spent hiding somewhere... so where is that Juggernaut rush? However, even if we figure that out, it can easily be too late to respond successfully unless you had planned for it well ahead of time, due to the way that resource management went and the time it takes to build and position units. It might be interesting if the Juggernaut or similar unit was hard for a tower to kill, but a certain type of squad unit was exceptionally good at it, though still taking some effort.

  • JiviraJivira Member

    @burnmelt said:
    Theres two parts to this - the why and the how.
    ...plus a number of responses with breakdown for how it feels in other games.

    I want to second burnmelt on League and SCII in particular, which are ones I have personally played and watched. burnmelt described my own experience with unit collision and mobility fairly well in a concise manner.

  • JiviraJivira Member

    @obsidiandice said:
    The Atlas map is very complex, with lots of important features and lanes. Several games in, I was still really struggling to figure out the locations of the main expansions and paths between bases.

    Thanks for remarking on something that was tickling the back of my mind throughout my games. While I love the harmonious and smooth use of color in the units and the terrain, the UI consistently felt hard to read. It was not that I was unable to read it, so much as I had trouble quickly spotting the information I was looking for when I needed to check something. A bit part of this comes down to contrast of tone and hue, but what obsidiandice was pointing out about a move toward an iconographic minimap in league and the resulting reduction in the "noise" of the details on shapes... that is also an important factor.

    One note I would like to add, is that a few times I confused works on the map for being stray squad units that I was trying to find. It was nothing major, but it interfered with feeling enabled to achieve what I was trying for.

  • JiviraJivira Member

    One more post, I promise!

    @Treisk Thank you for all your time and effort spent replying to our feedback. Hearing the designers' perspective on why details are as they are and what you are thinking about changing helps draw me into wanting to play next time (I already wanted to, merely moreso now). I imagine it can be a challenge to keep up with the army of playtesters you have enlisted. I am enjoying reading the interactions and commitment to improvement coming from both sides :)

  • TheUlfTheUlf Member
    edited March 9

    PVP MEGAPOST! Woooooo! Had a blast playing all afternoon, took notes as I played, and sat down to compile 'em and flesh out my thoughts on the day.

    First item of note, gotta say I'm a big fan of the matchmaking queue waves. Dunno if that's an innovation specifically for the low-player-count testing pool, but it makes it nice to know when to be ready and when you're safe to go get a glass of water or browse reddit or what-have-you.

    Next up, had some pathing issues when allied armies collided. Seemed awkward at times to pass each other, or to get my mostly melee Grath squad to the front of fights with my usually ranged allies engaged. In a couple instances in particular, Grath himself got pretty entertainingly stuck via the enlargement of his ult or just getting sandwiched in-between arcs of longer-ranged units.

    First Game - Grath in Botlane - Loss

    Replay Gf60795e2a8f34a2ea574225edf1658cb

    Ignoring the warnings I'd heard that melee-centric squads have a rough time in the bottom lane, I chose Grath for my first game since I'd invested the most time into practicing him earlier in the week and his skillset seemed straightforward and like something I felt I could handle myself decently with against real human foes. Had some highlight moments right off the bat, managing to zoom my Terrapin Troopers right into the opposing bot laner's hero and pick them off for an early experience and momentum lead. It felt like I'd successfully turned a would-be-tough situation of a melee into ranged matchup around in my favor through skillful execution and turtle power. Kowabunga.

    As the game went on, I felt like I had control of the bottom lane and could bully my opponent out of engagements and monopolize the gems fairly consistently having taken a couple expansions and snowballing a bit. But, as my 2v2 partners started to struggle and then lose ground against their opposites, I found myself feeling lost. The northern fight seemed too far away to impact without leaving my investments undefended for long enough to be seized or leaving enough of a window for my opponent to climb back into the game. I spent most of the midgame awkwardly posturing around the center of the bottom lane, unsure of what to do. Having taken the very bottom extra gem expansions, it felt like a dangerously far march to assault anywhere but the bottom-most lane, whose turret I took easily, but which doesn't expose a route to the Nexus - only the enemy base/spawn and anti-spawn-camp turret.

    We eventually lost when the 2v2 pushed through and crushed our attempted defense.

    I had a sort of split sense that my early victories in bottom were unimportant, but also maybe that I'd failed to capitalize enough on my lead. I imagined that if I'd expanded more aggressively and pushed more for the enemy Mega Node lane, I could have potentially won.

    Second Game - Grath in Botlane - Loss

    Replay G4f0fe889c0fc48c9a2b360b7c5418e42

    After a brief issue with being matchmade with someone who didn't quite connect to the game, and having to back out and queue up again, I had the honor of playing my second ever PvP match with none other than Marktillery! (And also a cool guy named Burdock)

    I was bottom lane again, and wanted to continue to try out running Grath, to hold one factor constant and try to refine my play and strategy. My opposite was ranged again, this time Vela, and initial engagements were tense and standoffish, but didn't feel helpless. I had several more moments of sending Terrapin Troopers places I had not expected them to be sent (once, early on, in rocketing my squad forward and connecting with some Vipers, one hapless Trooper went a-flyin' right past everyone and landed right in range of an outer turret), but every time it was somehow more endearing and adorable than frustrating.

    During this match, I started to take note of how the hero-centric nature of the game (and the convenience of '~') was encouraging me to keep my army together at all times. Perhaps this was in part born of my somewhat lazy approach to RTS games (4gate2diamond, remember. Press 'W' for win, 1-A to victory, deal with as few activate-able non-passive abilities as possible if you can help it, etc.), but it also felt logical to have all my units around for backup as my hero captured gems, but then that also started to feel inefficient when I'd clear a Titan camp and sit around slowly t-tapping all the loot with no real presence anywhere else on the map.

    What brought on the thought, though, was a moment where I caught the enemy out of position. Vela had moved past the bottom-most double-gem expansion (she'd earlier found out I'd tried to take it, cleared me off it, and I believe was scouting forward to see if she could fight me off the closer expo as well) and I swept in from the central entrance. I got a complete wipe of their whole army, and successfully cleared and secured the double-gem expo for myself. In that moment, I had the realization that I could be entirely confident that I'd wiped out their entire army (for now), because unlike a more traditional RTS in the style of Starcraft, they almost certainly didn't have other attacks planned or in motion. With what I could see of the map, and the knowledge that there were what felt like a much more limited set of expansion build-order possibilities than, again, Starcraft, I knew almost certainly how many bases they had and I knew exactly how much coin value their army could be at this point in the game, so the only variable was maybe a couple of mercenaries.

    That moment felt pretty dang good.

    But, alas, while my battle in the Madagascar of bottom lane was going alright for myself, it turned out the real fight was happening in the Alaskan 2v2. The enemy broke through and was threatening to control nearly the whole top of the map, and for good measure I went and took a bad fight against my opponent once they got a Leviathan and lost my whole army trying to take it out (it wasn't until I think my fifth game that I realized I was in desperate need of remembering that Orions were a thing). We surrendered out, and once again it felt like my contributions to the match weren't important (until I lost the Leviathan fight, so, losing still felt impactful and bad for the team - ouch).

    R.I.P. Mark, I let u dwn.

    Third Game - Grath in Toplane - Loss

    Replay G9354aa5949a54037a60a2b56531badd7

    For my third game, I continued my Grath streak, this time by chance in top. This match got hit pretty hard with some latency issues, couldn't tell if it was just a specific player having a higher ping and slowing the match down or if there were other network problems beyond that. This got compounded in the larger fights with severe frame-rate loss, so the whole match felt painfully slow overall.

    This was worsened by the fact that throughout most of the game, it felt like we were losing hard. An interesting thing happened early on, when both bottom-laners decided to emigrate from Africa and directly join the mid-and-top fight, but the enemy's moved first and so a fight or two swung their way pretty easily. By about the fifteen minute mark, they had taken both of the upper outer turrets. From then on, it felt like I was playing the game in almost total gem starvation. I frequently thought that I had no idea of what to do. As an attempted economic come-back maneuver, I and my toplane partner cleared out the shared lane-titan expansion, but then couldn't build on it because I didn't have the requisite 10 gems.

    Some of the later fights started to feel confusing - I was unable to discern why exactly the battles were going so poorly for us. I guessed that it was largely due to mercenaries swinging the numbers in their favor, but I didn't seem to be noticing their presence or impact in the fights as much as I thought I would have considering how one-sided they felt (once Juggernauts and Leviathans started popping up, they at least were quite clear). While I could check the hero levels at the top readout at any point, I didn't yet know the game well enough to have a sense of how much impact that had and wasn't paying them much attention. I found myself comparing the experience to League of Legends, where I've played so many hours I can generally intuit how far ahead or behind I am. Though, in League, such advantages are more concentrated onto individual units (the champs) and their items and levels and are as such much easier to estimate and read. Comparing it also to DOTA2, where I've played very few hours and don't have nearly so much intuition or experience, I can generally still find a sense of where I stand against the enemies in terms of power (again through levels and items being such clear indicators of strength).

    With a closer-to-traditional RTS in Atlas, I felt I didn't yet have a clear enough understanding of how dangerous an army composition was, or how much to value the power of an expansion, as I had back in Starcraft 2. Then, I always knew that if I could catch sight of their army, or identify how many expansions they had in contrast to mine, I had a clear sense of how buggered I was. To clarify, what I'm trying to say here is that over the course of my preparatory bot-games and day of PvP, I didn't reach a point where I had enough experience or information to clearly identify just how ahead or behind I was in most of my matches.

    As the game went on, it felt like our enemies either didn't know how to push their advantage and win, didn't want to, or didn't know they had an advantage. There came a point where a fight went solidly in their favor and I thought the game would shortly end, but our Nexus stood for another 12 minutes after that. I spent that time thinking about what forces matches to end in other games. Resource atrophy is central to Starcraft, although nothing expressly forces a victory one way or another without the players electing to fight. The minions of DOTA and League will eventually end the game on their own without pesky champion interference (especially since League's season 6 design changes). Titanfall's marquee game-mode, Attrition, will almost always progress itself naturally as the Grunts stumblingly fight each other and force Pilots to react to them or be slowly, adorably killed.

  • TheUlfTheUlf Member
    edited March 9


    Fourth Game - Vela in Botlane - Loss

    Replay G0f446f041f674f6b9be22aee3e27b4ef

    Deciding to shake things up in hopes of breaking my losing streak, I took Vela for game four, whom I'd greatly enjoyed in practice bot games.

    Early on, I had an incredibly exciting moment in discovering my opposite had rushed an early Leviathan and managing to land a Fair-Warning-into-Basic-Snipe combo and knocked it right outta the sky. It felt great.

    From then on, though, things went downhill pretty fast. My opponent dedicated themselves to massing Leviathans, and I found myself trading awkwardly in fights or completely failing to play around their high-damage, long-range, slow-speed menace. I found myself no longer able to pick them off with snipe once there were more than a couple. I was missing frequently, which felt like my fault, so I was quickly frustrated with myself for digging my own grave (but it felt fair - like I'd failed, not been cheated).

    As our engagements went on and I'd eventually reached level 6, I attempted to sneak positional advantages with Diplomatic Measures. I did what initially felt intuitive, or at least tried to replicate the familiar play pattern of stealth assassins from things like League and Warcraft 3, and stealthed up, charged forward towards an enemy flank as they moved out into the middle, and burst out of stealth at close range to ambush. It failed miserably and I felt like an idiot. I'd totally wasted the range advantage of the squad and just got my whole force gunned down.

    From then on, they were able to consistently roll over my force with their Leviathan fleet, and I couldn't seem to ever compose a force able to take trades or pick anything off. As the Nexus fell, it felt like I'd single-handedly lost the game for my team. Oof.

    Fifth Game - Grath in Midlane - Victory

    Replay Gec951b350b5c403995455c5a89593f0b

    So, switching very away from Vela and back to Grath, my fifth went much better. My partner in toplane was calling shots and making aggressive plays, so it felt like we had a clear direction at all times. He also introduced me to the idea of kiting titan camps into the healing radius of outer turrets, which felt dirty, but hey. Kappa.

    Early on, he went for an ion cannon. As Grath, I had a hard time engaging our long-ranged Vela and Celestia opponents, but could zone and act as a bouncer for the engineer and cannon as it built. It felt like I had a cool and important role, and while not dealing damage or directly fighting often, it made for a lot of highly active movement and posturing.

    As he began his second cannon, we'd moved into the stage of the game where Tier 2 units had started to take the field and Celestia had a handful of Purifiers she was attempting to siege line forward towards our position. It felt like a wonderfully tense standoff, with the clock ticking against them, they nearly managed to snipe out the cannon but it managed to take out their turret with a sliver of its own health remaining. With the turret down and its healing aura gone, we charged forward and very nearly routed their forces. Again, it felt like we had clear objectives and signals to follow and like we were executing on a successful strategic plan. It felt powerful, but not without moments when the enemy might have turned the tables.

    Towards the end, they were preparing to counterattack with a trio of Leviathans and a full set of long-range punishment, sieging Purifiers on the cliffs, when my partner made the call to charge the other open lane, away from their threatening force. They had no choice but to chase, and we turned and won the fight, then proceeded to crush through to the Nexus.

    It felt rad.

    Sixth Game - Grath in Toplane - Loss

    Replay G304ca935beab4081a87b63b109b3146e

    Keeping the faith in Grath strong, went into game six riding high off my first PvP win. It wound up being a tense game of back and forth - but with more back than forth, in the end.

    Early on, our fights seemed pretty even, but once the opposing Celestia rushed a set of Purifiers and began to lay siege to the northen middle of the map, it quickly started to feel like I had no options to fight back. She took the high ground, and I found myself choked out of the center. In a couple of engagements, I found myself losing units left and right and, in one clutch catch on their part, my hero, to Ryme's freeze and Celestia Purifier follow-up. Using their control of the map, they managed to take the northernmost double gem expansion and build an ion cannon there, pointing it at both our top turrets as well as the northern cliff-elevated expansion.

    We managed to make a push through their defense and drop the cannon, but not before it had laid waste to everything we'd taken up there. We managed to reclaim some of it, and as my midlane ally went down to assist bottom, in order to push the one area of strength we had, I wound up in an odd game of cat-and-mouse. I managed to build an ion cannon myself in order to take out the static defenses they'd mounted around the double gem expansion, which felt like some nicely earned payback, but by this point they'd managed to muscle up some Leviathans. They used them to constantly pick off our automated workers and tease their way to dropping my ion cannon and eventually breaking the expansion again.

    As Grath, I felt like I couldn't ever get in close enough to engage the Leviathans without being withered by their fire and then shredded by Purifiers. We slowly started to lose ground, but still managed to punch back in a few fights. I realized too late that I had access to Orions and that even one was able to do work against the Leviathans, but just not enough to drop the fleet the enemy had amassed.

    We lost pretty handily, but after a long hard-fought battle that had some interesting flow to it with players shifting focus around the map a greater deal than it had seemed in my other games (I just happened to be the one very stuck in the northern end of the fight).

    Seventh Game - Grath in Midlane - Victory

    Replay Gdd84c147dc5d48adaf8acd083952e105

    After losing to Leviathans again and not producing Orions in time, for my seventh match I made a conscious effort to include them as the primary supplement to my squad. They wound up not being necessary anti-Leviathan defense (as the enemy wound up not being able to front many air units at all), but complimented Grath's short range really well throughout the whole course of the game and came with some unexpected bonuses in easily clearing air wards at distance (as well as the expected bonus of helping clear the flying titans).

    The early game felt like it had a nice back-and-forth, with myself and my toplane partner losing the first couple of engagements, then managing to catch an enemy hero out and win a couple others (hype moment: sniping an enemy hero with Terrapin Troopers pootscoot and surrounding them for the clean kill).

    We managed to take control of the game when we coordinated an ion cannon setup. We both managed to position across from enemy turrets, his in the upper central location poised to take down the top two turrets and northern expansion, which felt like an incredibly strong power play. The enemy had to either respond to our exposing the route to the Nexus and the flank of the center expansion or losing the elevated expansion entirely, we managed to defend both fronts and secured the entire northern part of the map for ourselves.

    This freed us up to lend aid to our struggling bottom lane by clearing their lane-titan expansion and joining in some more central skirmishes. From then on out, we were able to spread out over a large portion of the map and push for pincher moves in engagements, as well as take forward expansions. Even so, after our first concerted push towards the Nexus, we had to turn back and regroup - but by managing to sneak out some of my mercs I felt like it was a successful blow and that I'd managed to dodge the counterattack. We pushed forward one last time to take what had felt like a really good game with some nice ebb and flow. As with my other victory on the day, it seemed like we as a team always had a clear direction and means to capitalize on our successes.

    And then the pvp queue had been deactivated! You know what they say, 2 out of 7 ain't the worst garbage person to ever play a videogame.

    It was a fun day of games, looking forward to doing it again sometime! Can't wait to watch Atlas evolve. <3

    Now, to double down and finish the [Proposal] Death to Box Selection piece I want to do. Stay tuned.

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