Blizzard Making A Bunch Of Changes To Overwatch's Competitive Mode

Overwatch's fifth competitive season was not the game's finest hour. Doom and gloom dominated the proceedings, and no, those aren't the names of Reaper's dual shotguns.

For season six, Blizzard is changing things up, albeit with a series of tweaks, as opposed to a total overhaul. The biggest news is that competitive seasons will be shorter from now on, lasting only two months instead of three. In a new video, Jeff "Why Watch TedTalks When You Can Watch JeffTalks" Kaplan explained that this will emphasise the exciting weeks of competitive seasons over the sloggier parts. He added that, despite shortened seasons, people should continue to earn "roughly" the same amount of competitive points per year when it's all said and done.

There'll be a slew of other changes to Overwatch's next competitive season, including:

  • Changes to skill rating decay. In order to avoid decay, you'll only need to play five matches per week at Diamond and above. Also, if you do suffer decay, you'll only lose 25 SR instead of 50.
  • Control maps are changing. "We've noticed that an inordinate number of these matches are going into overtime... this is resulting in very long match times," said Kaplan. To solve this problem, control maps will be best out of three from now on. Due to the lower time investment, Kaplan thinks this will also make losing a control map "sting less".
  • Placement matches will work differently. In seasons four and five, Blizzard experimented with placing people lower than where their SR should have been so they could climb more. This, however, left a lot of people feeling bummed out. "It felt wrong deflating you on purpose just so you would have a sense of progression later." Placements in season six, then, will more accurately reflect your actual skill level right off the bat.
  • Higher tiered matches should now be more balanced. Players won't be put in as many matches where they stomp the other team and barely gain any SR, but queues might take longer. "Hopefully it's not super noticeable for most of us... despite the fact that you might have to wait for a long time," said Kaplan. If times are out of control, however, Blizzard will change it.

So that's Blizzard's plan for season six. Kaplan added, however, that the Overwatch team is already mapping out plans for more changes during seasons seven and eight.

"The competitive play mode is an ongoing process," he said. "We will never just let it stagnate. We will always keep trying changes and trying to make it better."


    cant wait actually.. I took a break in the 5th season because of the previous changes.

    How about you allow players to force lower ranked players and players with a lower level into a character you know would be better for the match instead of letting a level 30 Widowmaker shoot nobody?

      That sounds actually horrible.

      As much as I agree that we ALL hate those players that lock in a character like Widow when the rest of the team has already picked all their characters and another tank or another healer would be preferable, I do no believe that essentially forcing other players to play a character that you pick for them would be a good thing.
      That would result in a lot of people dropping out of matches very quickly.

      I'd be pretty pissed if I got forced into a character that I didn't want to play, and was potentially not very good with. It would effect my entire match.

      If someone picks a character that you do not agree with, I usually find that either talking with them works well (try bargaining, like, "If you go a healer on the attack phase, I'll switch with you on Defence so that you can play DPS and I'll go healer), or simply switch your character if you're in a position to (maybe don't if you're the only healer or the only tank) to someone more beneficial to the new team dynamic. As annoying as that last option can be, it usually works more to the teams favour.

    placing people lower than where their SR should have been so they could climb more.

    that doesn't make any sense, and it's just stupid. climbing can be difficult sometimes, especially at lower SR, because overwatch is ultimately a team game. carrying your team is not always possible.

    furthermore, if everyone is placed at a lower SR than their actual skill, then wouldn't you match up against a team with people in the same boat as you? players with an SR that is lower than their actual skill? this would make the matchings even, and you should get a 50/50 winrate - it's just the SR is now offset.

    It still won't stop the AFK'ers, the quitters, the trolls and the throwers.

    That's what plagued season 5 for me and saw me take a month off from the game for the 1st time since launch.

    Here's hoping that we get the reporting system on console prior to the commencement of the new comp season (and that they sever the connection to Xbox's reputation system as well) that will, hopefully, see some action taken against those who seek to ruin the game for everyone else.

    Doom and gloom dominated the proceedings, and no, those aren't the names of Reaper's dual shotguns.

    but Dammit! they should be!

    If this means that my team of 6 moderately skilled/inebriated mates aren't put up against quite so many well organised, high-end competitive teams, I'm all for waiting a little longer.

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