Blizzard Cracks Down On Overwatch Ties, Polarises Fans

Draws are the bane of competitive Overwatch players' existence. All that work, and instead of the sweet taste of victory or the bitter agony of defeat, you get the sour milk breath of anticlimax. Late last week, Blizzard took the first steps to fix that. Some players, though, think they might have gone too far.

Blizzard's currently testing a new tie-breaking system, which they describe as "very aggressive", on the PTR. Here's how it works, according to principal designer Scott Mercer:

A team no longer has to completely capture one more objective than their opponent to gain a win. If both teams have the same score and run out of time, we now compare the maximum capture% of each team on the last objective they were both trying to complete. The team with the highest capture% on that objective wins. This is not based on the progression points at every 33%, but is on a completely granular scale of 0-100%. The three 'pie pieces' still function as before, so if attackers take 50% of a map but wipe out then the minimum capture% decays down to 33%.

So basically, if both teams make it to the same point on Assault/Hybrid maps, the highest capture percentage wins, even if it decays down to a lower percentage after a failed capture attempt. That is to say, if one team made it to 73 per cent and decayed down to 67 per cent by the time the match ended, the other team would have to make it to 74 per cent or better to win.

On paper, this sounds pretty good. It's extremely difficult to draw under these circumstances, and that's what a lot of players want. However, it can lead to some awfully abrupt resolutions. For instance, this gif of Sombra stealthing in and ending a game in 24 seconds has been making the rounds (via PVP Live):

So, why did this happen? Because in the previous round, Sombra's team prevented their opponents from getting a single percentage point, so the second they put even one precious digit on the board, they won. Still though, feels a little unfair, doesn't it? There's no margin for error, little hope of eking out a comeback.

As you might expect, there's been a pretty broad range of reactions to the change:

Some have argued for scoring via percentage chunks of the capture wheel instead of individual points. That, however, opens the door to Drawsville, USA again, so I doubt Blizzard will go down that road.

It will be interesting to see if Blizzard tweaks the system at all, as well as what'll happen when it goes live. I'm expecting some interesting new team comps in the near future. If nothing else, I imagine Sombra will become a much more popular pick for a week or two!


    Just want to point out that "draws" and "ties" are not exactly the same thing. A "draw" is when there is no result, and a "tie" is when both teams have finished on the same number of points.

    While that may sound like it's the same thing, it's not quite. Look at cricket as a good example...a test match can be drawn if, after the 5 days have ended, that neither team has managed to get the other out in both innings. This is not the same as a tie - a tie is when both teams manage to get each other out twice and they both finish on the same number of runs scored.

    I suppose in the context of a video game like Overwatch, if the servers crashed and the game was lost with no way to resume it, that would be considered a draw. If the game ended and both teams were on the equal points, that would be considered a tie.

    The two terms are used pretty interchangeably these days admittedly, but there is a small difference.

      I'm pretty sure cricket is the only sport that makes that distinction. Everywhere else, tie and draw are synonymous.

      Well theres some UFI if ever there was some.

      No. They have the same meaning. Both mean to finish a competition with identical or inconclusive results.

      Just because cricket makes the distinction between the two doesn't mean it applies everywhere else.

    More Tracers and DVas to gap it around the back and touch the points.

    Some have argued for scoring via percentage chunks of the capture wheel instead of individual points. That, however, opens the door to Drawsville, USA again, so I doubt Blizzard will go down that road.

    I don't really see the problem with this.

    I really don't see draws being an issue? Sometimes when you get into a team that's the best you can hope for and work your arse off to achieve so you don't utterly lose!

    Honestly I very rarely got draws as it was.. and at least you got a little reward for the effort.

    I don't see the problem.

    The Sombra won the game in 24 seconds? Good, the other team deserved to lose. They knew full well that a single percentage point on the board would cause them to lose, yet they still didn't keep someone on the point to stop it from happening.

    It's a basic strategy and they failed.

    Arguments against this move feel like they boil down to "I don't like losing to teams that play better than me and I want a way to catch up and win even if we're the worse team"

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