Overwatch fans rejoice! What was supposed to be a release for next week is now live. The latest update for the game introduces a new map called Eichenwalde as well as kick-off season two’s competitive mode.
The update (Patch 1.3), which was slated for a September 6 release, has overhauled the competitive mode in quite a major way and on top of that, the new Eichenwalde map adds another Assault/Escort map to the fray. Here’s a breakdown of the changes made:
Bye bye sudden death
With sudden death being thrashed for competitive games, the time bank system from the game’s Assault maps are now being implemented into all the Overwatch Escort and Assault/Escort maps. The game will keep track of how much time each team has left on the clock and if a match is tied after both teams have played one round on offence and one on defense, a new attack/defend rotation will be played using the time bank system.
Here’s how it works. The game will keep track of how much time each team has left on the clock and if a match is tied after both teams have played one round on offence and one on defense, a new attack/defend rotation will be played using the time bank system. Whatever time that was left was left on the clock at the end of their previous round, will be the amount of time each team will have for the second round.
New ranking system
Skill ratings are now divided into seven different tiers based on skill level; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster to more concretely denote people’s skill levels. (Image below for skill rating breakdown)
On top of that, the top three tiers, diamond, master, and grandmaster, will also feature ratings decay. This means that players in that level will have to play at least one match every seven days or their competitive skill rating will decrease. Based on the update blog, it’ll be 50 skill points for every 24 hours they don’t play. It’ll only stop once they complete a competitive match and their skill levels don’t drop below the 3000+ point mark.
For skill tiers below Diamond though, there won’t be any tier movement after they’ve been promoted, even if their skill levels drop below the required mark. Only if you’re, Master and Grandmaster level will the tier demotion come into effect.
Competitive play can be pretty sucky, especially if you’re up against people of different skill levels as you. As such Blizzard has implemented grouping restrictions into competitive play. In Bronze to Diamond tiers, players will be unable to group if their skill rating difference is less or more than 1000 skill points than their teammates. The requirements are more restrictive in the Master and Grandmaster level as the points difference has to be within 500 skill points. This is to ensure a fair play environment across all the skill levels.
Revamped competitive point system
Competitive points are also getting a bit of a revamp in season two with players receiving 10 points instead of one in for every match won in competitive play. This new point system was implemented so points can be awarded to participating competitive play players should a match end in a draw.
With the increase in points given, that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting those Golden weapons faster though. Blizzard has also increased the price of Golden weapons by 10 so now it’ll cost 3,000 points for one instead of 300. Also, Blizzard has instituted a points cap, only allowing a maximum of 6,000 competitive points to be accrued through winning games. However, once that cap is reached, players will still be granted their end-of-season rewards.
A more refined top 500
To get ranked in the top 500 now will take a little more effort than before. Players will have to win more games and more importantly, be consistent. To be eligible, players will have to win at least 50 games while remaining active throughout the season, especially if they want to hold on to their spot. Any player that doesn’t play at least one competitive match within seven days will automatically drop out of the Top 500. Looks like it’s going to be a little rougher this season for Overwatch players.
Leaver Penalties additions
To encourage even less leaving during competitive games, Blizzard has added on some new penalties for leavers. A 10-minute penalty for players who leave an in-progress match has been instituted and if players want to get back into good standing, they’ll have to complete even more matches than before.
Brand new map
The new map Eichenwalde, is an Assault/Escort hybrid map that sees one team lead a battering ram to Eichenwalde Castle while the other tries to defend the castle. The map is set in a rural village outside of Stuttgart, Germany and Was the site of a famous Omnic Crisis battle where the Crusaders leader Balderich von Alder and his soldiers made their “last stand” against an army of Omnics.
So there you have it, the new changes you can expect when you fire up Overwatch. It’s now available on both PC and the Xbox One, with the update for PS4 coming soon.