With Overwatch 2 around the corner, Blizzard has decided to revamp the competitive experience. The developer has outlined how it plans to go about this in a recent blog.
Blizzard is hoping to shake up competitive play in hopes of making it more engaging, rewarding, and positive. Overwatch 2 is eliminating portrait levels and match experience, and will instead go towards leveling up the player’s Battle Pass. If you haven’t played the original Overwatch, you will go through a guided First-Time user Experience upon creating an Overwatch 2 account. Fifty Quick Play matches must be completed before Competitive is unlocked.
“This gives new players time to prepare for the higher expectations that come with Competitive, while veteran players don’t feel discouraged by teammates who have less experience. In the process of unlocking Competitive, we analyze new player skill levels to optimize matchmaking in a way that feels good to everyone,” developers explained.
SR is being replaced by Skill Tier Divisions in Overwatch 2 to eliminate numeric values and stop players from feeling “stuck at a certain rank.” Overwatch players often felt stressed seeing their SR going up and down after each match, creating a lot of pressure. It also wasn’t an accurate representation of their overall performance, developers added.
Overwatch 2 will still have tiers, however: Bronze through Grand Master. There will be five divisions within each tier. Top 500 will not have tier divisions. This will give players a higher-up level view of where they’re placed in Competitive, according to developers.
Each division represents a 100 SR range. Players will receive a competitive update every seven wins or 20 losses instead of after every single game.
“Looking at the past seven or 20 games as a collective helps you better understand how you’re performing in Competitive rather than putting a ton of pressure on each individual game. We want you to feel like you’re improving and being rewarded for advancing from the first day you start playing Competitive in Overwatch 2,” the update stated.
Remember being angry at that Moira getting gold kills? Blizzard remembers.
The Competitive feedback will be different in Overwatch 2. Firstly, portrait borders that symbolize a player’s level are no more. Competitive skill tiers will also be hidden before each match.
A new scoreboard will let players identify their team’s needs to adjust their strategy whenever needed. There won’t be medals on the scoreboard, with Blizzard calling them “too arbitrary to paint an accurate picture of a player’s contributions to their team.” The new scoreboard will be more transparent. Skill Decay, Competitive Rewards, and more
Blizzard has been contemplating what to do about players who haven’t been active recently. These are players that are less likely to maintain their actual prior skill output in a match. To help account for this, developers explained, these players will have their internal matchmaking rating lowered. Their internal matchmaking rating will also adjust quickly as they play matches after returning so they can get back to their appropriate skill tier and division as they continue to play.
The Competitive season will align with the seasonal schedule, including the new Battle Pass system. They are introducing new limited Competitive titles for players’ name cards that can be earned as they climb up the ranks.
“These titles will be a way to show off to other players how high you climbed in a season. You can only earn these titles at the end of the current Competitive season and only use them in the season following,” developers said.
Competitive Points will continue to be the reward currency for winning Competitive matches. It’s 15 points for a win and five for a draw. Earning 3,000 points will unlock a Golden Weapon.
These changes are just the beginning, developers said. Upcoming features include a skill progression report.