With Overwatch sweeping the world of gaming fandom, there’s been no shortage of cosplay, fan art and comedic highlights. Like many other games built around an assortment of character skills, Overwatch has also inspired numerous “mythbusters” to take on some of the game’s hidden features, like Tracer’s ability to recall through a destroyed teleporter or Reinhardt’s ability to tackle D.Va’s exploding mech.
But one major mystery still looms over our intrepid heroes, and it’s causing the largest stir in the Overwatch community yet. Yes, even more than paying $20 for randomized graffiti sprays.
The name of this monolithic myth? While Blizzard has yet to officially comment, hushed whispers from the fan community (and angry yelling on my voice chat) have coined it “The Goddamn Objective.”
I first stumbled upon this mysterious “objective” while owning chumps on the Route 66 map as Overwatch’s true mascot and resident badass Reaper. The large hovering vehicle perched outside the starting area seemed like a nuisance at first. How was I supposed to do a sick teleport behind enemy lines with that dumb thing in the way? After a few rounds, I began to notice a strange occurrence. When my other, less badass teammates huddled around the vehicle—probably cowering from Bastion’s turret fire, the dweebs—it actually began to move! I immediately opened up my voice chat to warn the idiots, but they just ignored me, so I resigned myself to carrying the team alone by fighting further down the map. Sure, I died like thirty times, but that’s just how these shooter games work, you know?
But the thirst for new strategies had gotten to me, and I resolved to learn more about this seemingly game-changing myth and if it would help me improve my sick kill/death ratio.
The first thing to consider when exploiting this myth is that it only helps in really indirect ways, which can take away from time better spent acting as your team’s third Widowmaker. Evidently, when standing near the strange hovering vehicle, a bar at the top of the screen begins to fill. I had just assumed any meters, straight or circular, filled up faster when we took out more enemies. While I’d still recommend any players looking to level up bust out that Death Blossom ultimate as often as possible, careful analysis shows that the bar fills faster when you’re killing enemy players while near the hovering vehicle, typically filling up near the enemy’s original spawn point. Filling the bar seems to throw the game’s algorithms for a loop, securing a victory no matter how few enemies your lackluster teammates manage to slay.
Next, I attempted an experiment on the beautiful Greek island of Ilios. With no vehicles to speak of (what do Europeans use? bikes?) I thought for sure that this “objective” would be a one-time fluke. However, while weaving between the narrow alleys and doling out justice, I began to notice that players who stuck near the map’s central tower began to almost involuntarily drift towards it. There weren’t any players using Zarya’s gravity bomb, but still, there they were, inexplicably running towards it like moths to the flame, lemmings to the cliff ledge, Winston to the peanut butter jar. Didn’t anyone tell these idiots how to play lanes? Observant players will notice, however, that a thin blue line seems to surround certain areas in each map. It’s likely that these little pulsating lines are left over artifacts from Blizzard’s development of the game; something that the team just failed to clean up and are now to embarrassed to acknowledge. Well, joke’s on them, as careful research shows that killing more enemies while in this square doesn’t just trigger some cool music, it actually fills up that same overhead bar and can indirectly influence the match’s outcome towards a victory.
So now you know Overwatch’s biggest secret. Though every map is drastically different from each other, each one will have some element of these two kinds of “objectives.” So how do you use them best? Thankfully, you won’t have to go at it alone. Each exploit is actually increased twofold whenever you and at least one other teammate tend to hang around the “objective.” So while it’s always a good strategy to translate those gun-fu instincts you learned during your Call of Duty days, focusing on these particular “objectives” can also work in a pinch. You’ll be able to tell how many of your teammates are in the know by the number next to the overhead bar, likely another embarrassing artifact left over from development. If your main backup option is Bastion (because clearly the race for first dibs is on Reaper), you can make great use of the blue-lined square to mow down enemies since they’ll be unnaturally pulled towards it anyway. Same deal for the “objectives” that move, like the truck in Dorado or the limo in Hollywood. What’s more badass than Bastion’s turret? Well, Reaper’s Death Blossom, duh, but a mobile turret is a close second, son.
The most important thing to remember is that this legendary “objective” myth is still something that most Overwatch players don’t seem to know a damn thing about. It may not stay that way, though, as a select few are already learning how to reverse-engineer these exploits to actively steal your team’s kill points. Spend some time learning the intricacies of these mysteries and you and your team will be well on your way to countless victories. Sure, those of us who know that the real point of the competitive shooters is getting as many kills as possible will suffer, but it’s all for the greater good.
Still got play of the game though.
Joseph Knoop is a freelance writer and critic. He writes his articles while wearing a Tracer T-shirt, accompanied by an oversized Winston Funko toy, and jeopardizing his career by telling editors to “nerf this!” Break it down with him on Twitter @JosephKnoop.