CTF is an excellent game mode

General Discussion
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I think this game mode is excellent and has the potential to be in the competitive game mode rotation, however some people struggle with it and find it boring because it often ends in draws where neither team scores.

Different from any other mode
I played some matches yesterday and the first 4 were amazing while the ones after were not. This was to no fault of the game mode itself but the way people approach it. CTF in Overwatch is so different to any other game mode because there are two objectives to focus on at the same time. What we as a community are used to is only having to deal with one objective at a time and the objective only comes second to the team fight. Why? Because to get progress on the objective, it has to be uncontested by the defending/enemy team. Therefore focusing on the team fight first and winning that is the first priority as you can easily take the objective when no one is there to try to stop you.

We love playing defensively
The general community has found a way to play this game which is very different to how the pros approach it even when we try to copy their "Meta". Defenders ball up on the choke and try their best to keep people out with lots of spam, Sym turrets, Torb, Bastion, Mei to put up meaningless walls and what not. While the attackers play defensively at the choke trying to poke the enemies from a position that doesn't favor them. It's so much easier to just get a lot of tanks and a lot of spammy heroes to blast at the choke because it requires the enemy team to play a lot better to counter something that requires less skill to do, hence the tripple and sometimes even quad tank Meta.

We suck at playing offensively
Initiation is something that people across ranks struggle with a lot. How often as an attacker (and DPS) do you initiate because your tanks don't want to and manage to get at least 1 kill or more but your team is still hanging around the choke either oblivious to the huge advantage that you just gave them or still scared to simply walk past the choke and push up? How often do you lose a team fight where your team is basically 4v2 but they still manage to get wiped because they are playing passively rather than getting in the face of the remaining two to kill them quickly?
We are awful at playing offensively! 2CP and the amount of draws it gets is basically the proof to that. That's not to say that 2CP doesn't have glaring flaws but to take point B it requires the team to do 1 thing and that 1 thing is something that we as a community are awful at which is grouping up and going in together.

Balancing offense and defense
One of the main differences between OW's CTF mode and other shooter games with CTF is that you don't need to have control over your own flag to attack the enemy team's flag. The second one is that it takes a bit of time to steal a flag and any damage you take will stop that progress.

This is what I mentioned before with having two objectives to focus on at the same time. Because we generally suck at playing offensively and prefer a defensive approach overall, what teams often choose to do is play incredibly defensive by turning their base into a fortress. And just like the tripple & quad tank Meta this best and easiest thing to do is to mirror those comps so both teams bases are incredibly fortified however neither of them can attack because basically at least 50% of each team would rather sit at their base and defend and when anyone tries to attack they'll basically have to go 3v6.

We basically play CTF like trench warfare. Sitting pretty at our own base and taking turns to attack, and the attacking team will get moved down. No progress made and each game turns into a stalemate because both teams can't balance out focusing on two objectives. The Tank meta and overly defensive play exists because "it's the best thing to do" however it becomes really obvious that it's not when it comes to CTF if every game ends in a draw with no scores.

A brutal mode
CTF can also be very brutal as once someone has taken a flag, it can basically feel impossible to chase them down and retake it. Also if teams choose to play very offensively they can end up spawn camping the other team and just completely roll them.

Flag bearers being hard to chase down makes sense because of how mobile certain heroes are in OW but I also think that if you manage to walk into the enemy team's camp and steal it, you have basically deserved what seems to be a confirmed score unless the enemy team does an amazing play.

As for being spawn camped, doesn't that just mean that your team got really outplayed and kept trickeling in rather than maybe grouping up and defending together at the cost of maybe losing another point?

I still think this game mode has a lot of potential even in competitive but the community isn't ready for it as of now as there is a bit of a learning curve to it. That being said, I'm personally against not having certain modes that actually work but not implemented because the community doesn't want to learn how to play it.
Totally agreed. The reason people say this mode sucks, is because they keep losing and don't understand exactly HOW to play the game mode. Suddenly they have to do two things at once, both defend and attack at the same time, and that seems to really be difficult, as both team mostly play really defensively in most matches at the moment. And that indeed sucks, because that's boring.

Take 3 people, a Tracer, Winston and a Symmetra, and go attack.
Take 3 other people, a McCree, Torbjorn and D.Va for instance, to defend

(these are in no way the "meta" way to play this game mode, I'm just giving examples of one that works)

Symmetra puts her turrets around the defensive point. So does Torbjorn. McCree can kill any Genji, Tracer, Sombra etc that comes around easily with his flashbang, hence he's really good for defending. D.Va can eat up projectiles as well as do decent damage, which is great since the Capture timer resets the moment you receive damage. Turrets in place around the point make for a difficult capture for any flanker.

On the attacking side, Tracer is one of the best to take the flag, but Winston as well, since both have great mobility. The reason you bring Symmetra is because she does a lot of damage close by, especially if there are 3 or more people defending the point. Next to that she has her shield so if she captures the flag she can use the shield to ward of any damage from a certain direction while she takes the flag.

Again, this is a "make believe" scenario. It's one that was successful for me yesterday, but it's very much possible this is easily countered. I'm not a pro, so take this strategy as such. There's probably way better strategies out there.

Play this game mode with 5 other people, play it with an actual strategy to counter the other team, and you'll see it's an even better game mode than 2CP and very much viable for competitive.
The only thing that sucks about the mode is the amount of draws. It becomes really stale after a while.

Still the funnest event mode so far IMO.
01/25/2017 03:21 AMPosted by Valkrona
The only thing that sucks about the mode is the amount of draws. It becomes really stale after a while.

Still the funnest event mode so far IMO.

Yeah, are the draws you have had because of the reasons I mentioned in the OP?
01/25/2017 03:21 AMPosted by Valkrona
The only thing that sucks about the mode is the amount of draws. It becomes really stale after a while.

Still the funnest event mode so far IMO.


Yes exactly. See my comment above it for the reason why, people play it too defensively without an actual strategy other than just "going in" one at a time to try and be the hero and get that flag.

This is a gamemode that requires a LOT of teamwork, unfortunately people don't play it as such.
Best event mode by far; so different; many new tactics, loads of fun with a group. Just get rid of draws.
01/25/2017 03:21 AMPosted by Valkrona

Still the funnest event mode so far IMO.


Imo that was Halloween. I love a little bit PvE after all the PvP. Too bad the last two events were PvP again.
My 10 draws in a row before getting 1 win for the chest has me never wanting to play it again. Draws just feel like a huge waste of time, I'd even prefer a loss over a draw.
Considering OW is an objective-based game, a new CTF map would actually be perfect.

Right now it's just a map repurposed into CTF, but what if there was one designed specifically for CTF? Could be amazing and fix the many issues that exist with this current repurposed one.
01/25/2017 03:03 AMPosted by Avian
We basically play CTF like trench warfare.


There's a reason military doctrine moved away from trench warfare, and it's the same reason why this game mode's popularity will sharply decrease.
I'm really loving ctf and I hope blizzard gives this mode a permanent spot in the arcade. Change ctf so that the enemy cannot cap if their home flag is missing, and we'll be in a pretty good spot.

I'm kinda yearning for some 12v12 2fort with overwatch characters now. Please make it happen blizzard!
Excellent my butt.

Good god they weren't that stupid to make it official.
The thing I like about this is it's a new mode. The reason the meta is stale is because it's one team with two mini teams of two. The characters that are great for regular comp, aren't so great here because it's not a stale inching upon objectives or standing upon objectives. It's fast paced and you have to have new characters play to their strengths since the objective is different. All of blizzards current modes have been the same objective, over and over again presented like new modes just because the map is different. This challenges the current meta.

It's the same thing with everyone saying oasis is a bad map because of the design. It's not bad, it's different. Notice how that map is great for characters with vertical mobility (not the current meta).

If people want to see more viability within the current roster, they need to let go of the expectations of how the game should go based on past experiences. Obviously, the same thing over and over again isn't working, or there wouldn't be tons and tons of posts about stale metas.
01/25/2017 03:47 AMPosted by Jsleezy
The thing I like about this is it's a new mode. The reason the meta is stale is because it's one team with two mini teams of two. The characters that are great for regular comp, aren't so great here because it's not a stale inching upon objectives or standing upon objectives. It's fast paced and you have to have new characters play to their strengths since the objective is different. All of blizzards current modes have been the same objective, over and over again presented like new modes just because the map is different. This challenges the current meta.

It's the same thing with everyone saying oasis is a bad map because of the design. It's not bad, it's different. Notice how that map is great for characters with vertical mobility (not the current meta).

If people want to see more viability within the current roster, they need to let go of the expectations of how the game should go based on past experiences. Obviously, the same thing over and over again isn't working, or there wouldn't be tons and tons of posts about stale metas.


Exactly, great post, people need to realize this. Oasis and CTF are both extremely good additions. Because u need other heroes for this, its fresh and good, people are just stubborn. Not same meta like on every other map.
Another thing I love about this mode is that the Defense heroes are actually viable, except for maybe Hanzo and Widow.

Junkrat, Torb and Bastion are must picks for defense. Mei is god tier as well.
Played 24 rounds over the course of the evening.

4 wins, 4 losses and 16 draws.

It seems hastily put together without regard for how mandatory certain heroes are. There's not really a reason to not run symmetra + torb, since they're obscenely powerful when paired together. Just the same as there's not really a reason to not pick a Winston for offense.
This mode is not fun. It could be. But in it's current state, it just isn't.

I had high hopes for this new mode, but it needs some work.

1. The game should not revolve around getting one flag then turtling the clock for a win.

2. Players should not be able to Ult then grab the flag nor Ult while having the flag.

3. The maps are so short, it makes it nearly impossible to recover the flag once it's been taken.

4. Players should not be able to use or be buffed by movement enhancements such as flying, teleporting, speed boost, etc.

5. Players should not be able to be invulnerable while having the flag (ice block, etc.).

This is even worse than all the damned bunny hopping (feels like playing on a trampoline).
I had quite a bit of fun yesterday, trying to find out which characters and strategies would work for me. Sure, there were a lot of losses and draws, but that's the nature of the learning curve, right?

We'll get there.

(I settled on Mercy being a good pick for me on this mode, btw.)

I think this mode won't actually drop in popularity as much, especially once people figure out how to break up the Symmetra/Torb tango. Which will happen eventually.

Edit: The one thing I will add however, is that I think this game mode would be better if it had specially designed maps, rather than re-purposed ones. The flag room is generally a bit too easy to defend and needs more sneaky ways to get in. The space between the flag rooms needs to be a bit bigger, so that it takes the flag carrier longer to go back, preferably with some obstacles thrown in to either help or hinder them, and lots of alternative routes to take. I do think that it's a good call not to disable movement abilities. Carrying the flag should not feel like a chore.

Also, I think it might be a good idea to introduce a tie breaker buff. If a game drags on and on, and nobody scores any points, then the time it takes to pick up a flag progressively gets shorter, until it is no longer viable to just turtle up in the flag room and defend all day.
Eh. We really need proper CTF maps, imo.
why not just do 0 abilities, just weapons

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