Overwatch Season 2: director talks big changes to skill rating so you’ll feel less frustrated

By Brenna Hillier
16 August 2016 00:19 GMT

Overwatch Competitive Mode is going to get less heartbreaking in Season 2.

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Overwatch is great, but it’s not perfect, and the Competitive Mode in particular is still finding its feet as Blizzard works out the kinks.

One of these is the skill rating system, which Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan once described as a mistake. It’s no surprise to hear the system will see some big changes in Season 2.

In the video above, Kaplan talks over what’s changing in Overwatch’s Competitive Mode. For starters, skill rRating is no longer percentile based; instead of running from 1-100, it stretches from 1-5,000. As a result of this change, you’ll have fewer matches where the needle doesn’t seem to move at all because you haven’t ticked up or down a whole number.

That said, Blizzard is hoping you’ll stop obsessing about the number and focus on the new Overwatch tiers, of which there will be seven. Once you reach a particular skill tier, you won’t drop out immediately if your skill rating goes down – gold Overwatch players are gold Overwatch players, even if they have a bad day.

That said, you will drop down if you continue to under-perform, and players in the top three tiers (diamond, master and grandmaster) will begin to lose skill rating points if they don’t log in for a week at a time.

Finally, players will vastly different skill ratings will not be able group up, and you’ll need to play at least 50 matches in a season to break into the top 500; this is prevent you winning a few lucky matches and then retiring on a perfect win record to squat idly at the top of the rankings.

Overwatch Competitive Mode drops Sudden Death and Coin Toss

So that’s the deal with skill rating, but Overwatch Competitive Mode is changing in other ways, too.

The much derided Sudden Death and Coin Toss systems are getting the boot. Ties are rare enough in Overwatch that Blizzard believes letting them stand is less of a problem than keeping these arguably unfair systems. Playing to a tie will award you more points than a loss, but less than a win.

Speaking of points, everything in Overwatch Competitive Mode is being multiplied by ten: you’ll get ten times the points, but everything costs ten times more.

Finally, the time bank system used on assault maps is being rolled out to Overwatch’s hybrid and payload maps too.

See the video above for more in-depth discussion of the Overwatch news from today.

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