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Moving the payload! ‘Overwatch’ gets major change to competitive play

Overwatch is one of the best games of the year, and quite possibly one of the best multiplayer shooters of all time, but when Blizzard introduced competitive play to the mix, the results were a bit lackluster. With a ranking system that seems to make little sense — and tends to leave players feeling like they have no skill — fans were hoping for a change. Thankfully, Season 2 seems like it will deliver.

In a new developer update video posted on the official Overwatch YouTube channel, director Jeff Kaplan expressed his frustration with the current competitive play ranking system. Currently, after playing ten “placement” matches, each player is ranked on a 100-point scale, and this number can rise and fall over time, depending on their continued success. However, this number misrepresented how well players were actually performing. A ranking of 60, for instance, seems like it would be slightly above average; in fact, it means that player is among the top 6 percent in the entire game.

For Season 2, the rankings will now work on a 5,000-point scale, with individual numbers now meaning much less. Instead, players within a large window will be assigned a “tier,” such as gold, platinum, or diamond.

“At certain tiers, we’re not going to let you drop out of that tier,” Kaplan says. “Except for the two highest tiers, which are ‘master’ and ‘grandmaster,’ all of the other tiers … once you achieve that tier for the season, you will remain in that tier for the season.”

This should substantially cut down on the anxiety you might feel if you’re having an off night, and another change coming to competitive play should make the experience less stressful: sudden death has been completely removed. Instead, matches that would previously rely on a coin toss will now simply end in a tie, with both teams receiving a small number of competitive points.

A number of other changes are expected to be announced for Season 2 in the near-future. For more details, as well as to check out Kaplan’s adorable shirt, check out the above video.

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