Overwatch, the team-based shooter from Blizzard, that recently crossed the 15 million player mark, is about to get some huge changes. Blizzard wants the start of Season 2 of Overwatch to feel like “a new beginning”, so the entire Competitive Play system is being overhauled.
Overwatch officially launched earlier this year, but since then both the community and Blizzard have been keeping busy. On one hand the game, Blizzard’s only new IP in 15 years, became a huge sensation overnight, with millions of players logging hundreds of millions of hours of gameplay. On the other hand, Blizzard’s team has remained very focused on the title, pushing out new game modes like Competitive Play, new heroes, new skins, and recently content that celebrates the Rio Olympics.
But Blizzard is by no means done improving its best-selling title, and the company has just announced that Season 2, expected to start in the coming months, will bring massive changes to the Competitive Play system.
According to the game’s director, Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch is taking some cues from other titles, including the company’s own Heroes of the Storm, and abandoning the 1 to 100 rating scale that it had used until now. Instead Overwatch players will now be ranked on a scale up to 5000, in several different divisions like Bronze, Silver, Gold etc.
Once players reach a certain division during a season, they won’t be demoted out of it even if their rank decreases. This is a big change and deals with loss aversion, or the negative feeling that players got when losing important ranks. It should also encourage more players to try out competitive mode, especially as season rewards will be based on your division at the end of the season.
Other big changes are related to the way matches are scored based on duration, achieved objectives and so on. Sudden death is no longer present, with ties now being a possible, albeit very unlikely occurrence. Even if matches end in ties, players will still be rewarded, though less so then for a win.
A number of other changes are coming as part of Season 2, alongside the regular bug fixes and improvements expected with every patch, and you can check them out in the video above. Blizzard is also working on new content for the game, though the team did not disclose if any new heroes, maps or skins will be part of this upcoming patch.
The Season 2 patch alongside the overhauled Competitive Play system will be making its way to the “public test realm (PTR)” server soon, so players will get to try it out and give feedback. Blizzard said they’re very much open to changing things based on user feedback, so make sure express your opinion once the test goes public.