In a recent developer video released over YouTube, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan revealed a number of changes planned for the sixth competitive season of Overwatch, which will include tweaks to the length of the season as well as some game modes. Check it out:
As Kaplan himself states, the biggest news is the change to the overall competitive season length. Starting with Season 6, Overwatch’s seasons will now last two months, as opposed to the original three. This is actually still higher than the original one month length from Overwatch’s Beta event back in 2016. Kaplan explains the studio’s reasoning in this decision:
“We’ve seen both in feedback and in statistical play from players that engagement is a lot higher than at the beginning of the season and there’s also a perception that the games early on in the season are more competitive. People are trying a lot harder and things feel a lot more fun – you’re trying to earn that rank.”
This is in keeping with a lot of Blizzard’s decisions with regards to Overwatch in prioritizing feelings of “fun” over overwhelming challenges or high tension during competitive play. There’s a definite devotion to inducing positive reactions to the game, which feels like a good direction to take things in light of the community’s frustration lately with Overwatch.
Other announced changes, while not quite so impactful, seem to also follow this mindset. We’ve included a brief summary of them below:
More Competitive Points – Players completing a match will receive higher rewards to their Skill Rating (SR) to compensate for the shorter seasons.
Reduced SR Decline – Inactive players will see their SR start to decline after failing to play at least 5 matches a week, down from 7.
Shorter Control Point Maps – Exactly as it sounds, control point maps have been reduced from best-of-five matches to best-of-three. Kaplan explains that this is to address feelings of frustration over losing longer games.
Season Placement is More Accurate – Higher tiers of players should except to be more accurately sorted into similarly skilled players – though there may be longer queue times as a result of this.
You can find more information about Overwatch by tuning in to the game’s YouTube channel, where regular updates are released regarding upcoming patches, balance updates, and the never- ending tide of new content.