When Overwatch first introduced Competitive Play, Blizzard made it clear players could look forward to refinements to the system with each 2-3 month long season. As focus shifts to Competitive Play Season 2, Blizzard has a lot of changes in mind that will make fans much happier.
As promised early on, the reviled coin flip tiebreaker mechanic will not be returning for Season 2. Throughout Season 1, if a Competitive game ended in a tie, there would then be a sudden-death style final round. However, who would be attacking or defending was left up to a flip of the coin. Instead, as Game Director Jeff Kaplan explains in the video below, “All of sudden-death is going away.”
Season 2 will see the introduction of a time-bank system to the Hybrid and Payload game modes. If both teams complete the objective, both will have a second chance to do so with however much time was left on the clock. If teams have ten minutes to complete an objective for instance, and the first team does it in four, and the second team does it in eight, this system will kick in. The first team will attack again, but now with six minutes on the clock, while the second team will attack again with only two. Whoever manages to do better wins.
Kaplan emphasizes that this does leave the door open for actual ties, no matter how rare. Due to this, Competitive Points, the currency awarded for winning Competitive Play games is all being multiplied by ten. Wins will now grant 10 points instead of only 1, while Golden Guns will now cost 3000 points instead of 300. This is in order for ties to then grant 5 points. Any points players have currently saved up will be multiplied by 10 as well.
On top of all of this, there is then the largest change, a complete overhaul of the Skill Ratings system. “What we learned with Season 1 was that not every aspect of Skill Rating felt really good to most players,” Kaplan says. For Season 2, instead of being on a scale of 1-100, the ratings will now be from 1-5000. In conjunction with Skill Ratings however, Blizzard is also adding tiers to Competitive Overwatch.
With seven tiers total (with names “like bronze, silver, gold, etc.”), most will cover about 500 Still Ratings. Gold goes from 2000 to 2449. Where tiers differentiate themselves however is in the fact that once you reach a certain tier, you can’t fall out of it. Though your Skill Rating may drop below 2000, you will still be a Gold tiered player. The only place this does not hold true is the two highest tiers, Master and Grand Master, which players can drop out from.
And finally, Blizzard is also looking at ways to stop abuse of matchmaking. Players will only be able to group up and find a game together if they are within 500 Skill Rating of each other. That number can, and likely will, change as Blizzard finds the right balance between stopping abuse and still allowing friends to play together.
These changes and more will all soon be available to try out in the Overwatch PTR. For Kaplan’s full walkthrough of the rational behind each of the changes, be sure to check out the video above.