A week has passed since Overwatch's Year of the Rooster event commenced and long with it came a new arcade game mode called Capture the Rooster (CTR). It's a capture the flag game mode and the Overwatch community has been asking for this as its one of the classic FPS game modes. After a week of playing CTR, I did not enjoy it as I initially thought and I finally understand why Jeff Kaplan said capture the flag is hard to implement in Overwatch. Here are the problems I faced while playing CTR:
1. Feels more like defend the flag
The classic FPS games like Call of Duty has normal humans with the usual weapons like MP5 or AK47 and everyone in the game will have equal amount of health, creating a fair fight for both teams. Overwatch is a totally different type of FPS game where each champion has their own role to play and unique abilities to use, the outcome of the game depends on what team composition each team runs.
In CTR, most team I faced will set up the ultimate defense around the flag with Torbjorn's and Symmetra's turret, as well as Bastion in sentry form guarding the choke point. There is no way to penetrate this line of defense and if both teams are doing the same thing, the game will eventually end with a draw, which happens very frequently.
2. Game is over after one flag is captured
If you are one point down in CTR, it's basically GG for your team. The entire enemy team will camp and defend around their flag after they have captured one flag, same goes to my own team actually. The only way to capture the flag is to engage the enemy team in a well-coordinated fight and then you'll have a chance. But seeing there's Bastion, Torbjorn and Symmetra, i doubt that it will happen.
3. It takes forever to capture the flag
You will need to stand a whole two seconds in order to capture the enemy flag. The reason why Overwatch implemented the timer is to prevent heroes with high mobility like Tracer to blink in and capture the flag, then recall out and run back to point. But I think that two seconds is a bit too long since two seconds is certainly sufficient for the enemy to kill you. Besides that, the timer to capture the flag resets if any damage is dealt to you when you're on the flag. With Torbjorn's turret placed in range at a further location, don't even dream of capturing it.
4. Ultimates and abilities spoils the game
The use of ultimates and abilities in this game mode is another reason why the game can be stalled out or end in under a minute. Imagine you are trying so hard to take down Torbjorn's turret and suddenly he pops Molten Core to get his turret back to full health and not to mention increasing it hundred fold, or Sombra went invisible, captured your flag and uses her translocator back to point.
5. The map itself is the problem
Specifically Control Center in Lijiang Tower. Unlike Night Market and Garden of Lijiang Tower, there is a shortcut from your flag to your enemy's flag in Control Center. Anyone can capture the flag if they manage to break through the defense, and easily make their way back to score a point without giving the enemy a chance to recapture their flag.
Capture the Rooster has a lot of space for improvement but it is not an easy task to do so. In my opinion, some of the changes that can be made are reducing the capture time to one second, increase heroes' ability cooldown rate, lower ultimate charge rate, and even disabling CERTAIN heroes in the game mode. If capture the flag ever makes its way to the game, i do hope that it will be better than how it is now.