Here is the answer to your first question:
In game theory, a focal point (also called Schelling point) is a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication.
We will now turn the time over to Caveman Calm, the lesser-known, second author of this blog:
Calm: Caveman Calm, what are your thoughts on hero selection?
Caveman Calm: EASY. DOOMFIST AND REINHARDT BEST HEROES. BECAUSE SMASH.
Calm: Truly, a man after my own heart. How do you coordinate those picks with your team?
Caveman Calm: CO-CO-OR-DI-NATE? HA! NO. TALK HARD. TALK AND AGREE HARDER. NO LIKE TALK. CHOOSE!
Calm: Don’t ever change, man.
If you are reading this post, boy are you indulging me. Schelling points? Start bringin’ that fancy-schmancy talk into solo queue voice comms, reader, and despair:
What’s the chief advantage of the 2-2-2? In a word, approachability. You can explain it to someone easily, even if it doesn’t actually work in-game: “Tanks take damage, ‘DPS’ deal damage, and healers heal.”
For a rival meme to compete in the current environment, it has to be in about that ballpark of simplicity.
Fortunately, simplicity is what you want with uncoordinated teams. To understand why, let’s take a second and talk about specialization and fragility.
Imagine you have an assembly line making widgets. There are seven steps to the assembly process, and each is necessary. But sometimes the workers make mistakes. At every step in the process, there’s a 5% chance a worker makes a mistake. Question: what is the proportion of widgets that have a mistake?
It’s not 5%. It’s 30%. If there are seven chances for a mistake to happen…
Now change it so there’s only one step. Still a 5% chance. And what is that overall? …5%.
The fewer pieces your composition has, the less like a Rube Goldberg machine it is, the more resistant it is to failing because it lost a key hero.
These are some less-talked-about strengths of both Dive and GOATS. In Dive, once you’re in, all your characters are basically interchangeable: they all attack whoever the focused target is. In GOATS, everyone can either heal the team or protect the team somehow.
In both cases, the composition is easy to comprehend (“What does it do?”) and robust against losing a “critical piece.”
That robustness is crucial. One reason there’s so much confusion around Overwatch is that there are so many moving parts. Your Genji plays overly aggressive, dies, and skunks the push, and your team concludes that they needed more healing, or whatever else confirms their biases.
And then there’s a final requirement: it has to be actually, you know, viable. Players have to be able to win with it. Winning is its own reinforcement loop.
So what comps could serve as replacement Schelling points? W
In this composition, damage, self-healing, and mobility are the goals.
: Pharah, 76, Moira, Hog, Reaper, Mei
The great thing about this composition for teaching/coaching purposes is that everyone feels like they have agency. It also does not promise to heal a lot (even though if you look at it, it actually has a lot of healing), so it stops players from blaming others and gets them to start taking damage avoidance seriously. Getting players to realize how powerful it is to avoid damage is half the battle, so that’s a major win.
If using this as a teaching composition, you might even want to enforce a rule: Moira is not allowed to use the yellow orb if she can see an enemy.
“Self-healing DPS + Moira +Pharah” is the quickest way to describe this.
GOATS is not my favorite composition, but it’s not my least favorite either. Its very existence poses the question: “If we have no “DPS,” but we’re doing dps…maybe we need to think about the game differently.” “How it works” is clear: you stay clumped, and get in the enemy’s faces. It’s also not fragile—the heroes involved are mostly interchangeable.
I often hear people ask what the counter to Reaper is. There is no counter, especially with Brigitte deleted from the game. Instead, you don’t let Reaper counter you.
Pharah, Moira, Brigitte, McCree, Hog, Mei.
I think the first comp is probably my favorite right now for a teaching composition. There are so many wrong ideas floating around that people have neglected the basics of playing shooters. That one strips away a lot of the things that trip people up.