Thursday, 1 June 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - June 2017 - D.Va - Overwatch

Video Game Character of the Month
June 2017

Hana Song (AKA D.Va) has had no shortage of success in her 19 years of life. At 16 she became the number 1 StarCraft 2 player in the world and held that title for the following three years. She's starred in a movie, 'Hero of my Storm' and become a world class MEKA pilot with a worldwide, online following, sponsorship and an Overwatch membership. And we would expect no less from someone who's signature quote is 'I play to win'. But I think that the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month award tops them all. Congratulations D.Va and 'GG'.
And now for some information on D.Va:

She is actually called Hana Song.,.
... But is known by her call sign 'D.Va'
She is South Korean and is based in Busan
She is 19 years old
She became world number one at StarCraft 2 at aged 16
She held onto this title for three years
She is now a MEKA (Mobile Exo-Force of the Korean Army) pilot...
...But keeps her fans happy by live streaming her exploits
This has led to sponsorship deals that allow her to customise her MEKA
She has also starred in the film 'Hero of my Storm'
She is a fan of Lúcio's music...
While Lúcio (and Reinhardt) are fans of her
She is also a fan of 'Mei's Adventures'
The highest APM (actions per minute) that she can achieve in game is 87500 (by blocking ten 'Whole Hog' Ultimates at once using 'Defense Matrix') while, in contrast, the highest APM achieved in real life is 818. She therefore has ridiculously good reflexes
She wields close-range twin 'Fusion Cannons' (that fire 11 bullets per shot and spread out), 'Boosters', a 'Defense Matrix' and a 'Self-Destruct' Ultimate
When she uses 'Self-Destruct' or her MEKA is destroyed, she ejects and wields the 'Light Gun' which she is extremely proficient at
She can then call down another MEKA when her ultimate is filled
She doesn't have to reload her 'Fusion Cannons' but they do slow her down
She has 400 health and 200 armour when using her MEKA and 150 health when by herself
She is a mobile Tank character

She has a critical hit point on her cockpit and, so, takes more damage from hits there
In Summer Games, her signature sport was cycling
She learned how to shoot by playing '16-Bit Hero'
Winston reminds her of Donkey Kong
Charlet Chung provides both her English speaking voice and Korean dialogue
She has become a popular internet meme known as 'Gremlin D.Va'
She has since joined Heroes of the Storm
In Heroes of the Storm she has three different levels of MEKA, namely Original, Pro and Goliath
She also features as an Announcer and Player Portrait in StarCraft 2
Her Announcer lines appear to suggest that her father also played StarCraft 2

Origin of D.Va:
In the Blizzard universe, Hana Song became world number one at StarCraft 2 at age 16 and held onto this title for three years. However, after the Omnic that continuously attacked South Korea disrupted the MEKA drone-control networks, the military was forced to replace the drones with piloted MEKA. They chose these pilots from their professional gamers, due to their superior reflexes. Hana, seeing this new mission as a game and a way to further her career, left the StarCraft 2 professional gaming scene and signed up. But she was not one to disappoint her fans and has begun to live stream her missions. At some point, she also starred in the movie, 'Hero of my Storm'.
D.Va was released in October 2015 and was one of the last characters released in the original Overwatch game, along with Mei and Genji, Soon after the game was released, it was noticed that D.Va had a low damage output, and this was confirmed by the game's principal designer Geoff Goodman. She was also noted to take more damage than other Tank characters when facing multiple enemies due to her lack of a wide shield. Goodman has stated that this is because her main focus point is meant to be her mobility rather than her power or defence. In fact, Goodman revealed that, early in her development, D.Va had a much higher damage output which gave her the ability to boost her way into an enemy's face, kill them and then boost away again without giving the enemy a chance to react.
In terms of design, D.Va appears to be based on the anime mech genre while her name is a play on the word 'diva' (meaning a female celebrity and someone who is difficult to please), eSport call signs (as her name has the prefix D.) and Korean pop idols (who often adopt pseudonyms). 

Evolution of D.Va:
Over time, however, D.Va has evolved to become a much larger threat, with her Ultimate being buffed (the cost and explosion delay was reduced and it became impossible for the player to be killed by their own ultimate ability). In addition, her Defense Matrix ability was also buffed by changing it from a single-use ability with a cooldown to a resource-meter based ability with the capability to be turned on and off at will. 
In Overwatch, D.Va has gained four new skins, three new emotes, three new victory poses, seven new emotes, eight new sprays, one new highlight intro and one new weapon.
In addition, she joined Heroes of the Storm (PTR) on the 8th May, 2017 where she uses many of her Overwatch moves but with some additions (such as Big Shot and Bunny Hop as well as various Talents). In Heroes of the Storm, D.Va's K-Pop influences become even more apparent with her dance and taunt animation being very similar to choreography by South Korean girl group 'Twice'.
Finally, D.Va has gained the second highest award that the internet has to offer, next to the VGCOTM award of course, that of becoming a meme, This meme involves showing a chibi version of D.Va (nicknamed Gremlin D.Va) eating Doritos and drinking Mountain Dew and was apparently popular enough for Blizzard to take notice, resulting in the 'Game On' emote. 
Finally, D.Va has become a symbol for the National D.Va Association, a progressive feminist movement composed of Overwatch fans.

Overwatch: released (World Wide) on May 24th, 2016 on Playstation 4/Xbox One/PC
Heroes of the Storm: released (World Wide) on June 2nd, 2015 on PC/Mac - D.Va was released as a character on 8th May, 2016
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty: released (World Wide) on July 27th, 2012 on PC/Mac - D.Va was released as a portrait and announcer for those who purchased a ticket for Blizzcon 2016

That's all on D.Va for now as inspired by her work ethics, I feel the need to get back to gaming. As always if I've missed anything, or made a mistake, or if you want to suggest a character to win the next prestigious Video Game Character of the Month Award, then please don't hesitate to comment!

Goodbye for now, Harry


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