With Season 1 of Overwatch Competitive Play ending on August 17, 2016, Blizzard is looking forward to determine how the next season will play out. In a video, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan explained that there would be changes to Competitive Play Season 2, notably in the ranking system.
In Season 1, players who finish all of their placement matches receive a Skill Rating from 1-100. As they continue to play, that ranking goes up or down accordingly.
"What we learned with Season 1 is not every aspect of Skill Rating felt really good to most players," said Kaplan. "One thing we think we got wrong is we chose a scale of 1-100 to represent skill rating."
"This was wrong for a couple of reasons. When you went up or down, sometimes you went up or down a fraction of an amount. It wasn't always clear to you how much or why. That felt off to people," he explained. "In our system, a person with a 60 skill rating is actually an amazing Overwatch player. You were actually in the top 6 percent of all Overwatch players, but it didn't feel like that. With 60, a lot of us go back to our old school days and think 'What, did I get a D on this?'"
Season 2 is switching to a 1-5000 scale for skill rating. When players move up and down, they'll move in whole numbers. Even further, players at various skill rating ranges will be grouped into seven different tiers, six of which were mentioned by Kaplan in the video: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster.
"We're trying to take the focus a little bit away from skill rating. We want skill rating to be a gauge of where you're at as a player on any given play session, but we don't want that number to be what you associate with you as a competitive player," he said. "What we want to do with the new system is try to focus you more on 'I'm a Gold player,' or "I'm, on average, playing at a Gold skill level.'"
Even if players fall below the numerical rating of a specific tier, players won't lose that tier ranking, unless they're in the highest two tiers. If you're up there in Master and Grandmaster territory, there will also be skill rating decay if you're not playing on a regular basis, to the tune of 50 skill rating points lost every 24 hours. In addition, to retain your spot on the Top 500 players in a season, you'll need a minimum of 50 competitive matches in a season. Blizzard wants those at the top to earn their keep.
Kaplan also outlined some other changes. Sudden Death and the Coin Toss will be going away and players will get a solid number of competitive points for a tie. Competitive points overall are being multiplied by ten, but that also includes the cost of Gold Weapons.
"We want season two to feel kind of like a new beginning," Kaplan explained.
The new Competitive Play system will be launching of the Public Test Realms soon.
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