Developer Update on Overwatch Competitive Mode

With the competitive mode for Overwatch set to release this month, game director Jeff Kaplan has hopped on YouTube to give us some insight into what changes we can expect. Check it out below!

If you don’t have time to watch it, here are the details:

Firstly, he acknowledges that the length of the seasons were too short. In beta, players were pleading for an extension to the initial one month long competitive season. So now, each season will be roughly two and a half months long.

Additionally, Kaplan acknowledges that the game went into Sudden death too often, approximately 35% of the time. Changes have been implemented that will reduce the number of times this occurs, but when it does, the sudden death will take place on the same map you just played on.

The Assault game mode is receiving some changes in order to make matches last longer, and engender a much more tug-of-war playstyle. Kaplan apologised for not going into the specifics, but stated that they would share more information soon.

The competitive ranking system will also be receiving a tinker. Previously, when you reached a certain tier, you couldn’t drop out of it, which didn’t give enough of an accurate depiction of skill. This is being changed so there are no more tiers, but a skill rating which you will receive from the initial placement matches.

Basically, you will receive a skill rating between 1-100, and when you enter a match, everyone’s number as well as the team’s average skill rating will be shown. This will ensure players feel they are being treated fairly, and are being teamed with players of a similar level. Kaplan noted that sometimes matchmaking just isn’t fair, and if you’re on the less-skilled team, you “stand to gain more if you win and you will lose less if you lose”. It will also show you who is matched up in groups and who is not.

Kaplan went on to state that:

“The downside of a system like this is [your skill rating is] going to go down sometimes […] But this is the sort of competitive system that we think players who are attracted to competitive play really want.”

The Game Director reaffirmed Blizzard’s commitment to change the Competitive Play overtime to make right, and will continue to alter the mode in accordance to appropriate feedback.

But don’t worry, there will be a bunch of new cosmetic rewards to gain by playing the competitive mode. In addition to sprays and player icons to receive from playing each season, there will be a customised golden gun system.

Higher-skilled players will be able to access many of these rewards before anyone else, and there will also be some cosmetics that only the highest skilled players can get.