Overwatch 2 has now released worldwide, and Blizzard's latest entry into the series has improved in all aspects compared to it's original release.
Competitive, has been soaring with the new 5v5 meta, and with us in the New Year, there's some changes coming to some overpowered heroes.
However, they've now gone ahead and released a new developer update which showcases where the game is going to be going during the next two seasons.
Here we go!
Overwatch 2 Competitive Update - New MMR, Faster Queues and More
Your ranked games are formed based on your internal matchmaking rating (MMR), regardless of your displayed skill tier. MMR changes based on the result of each match, with the amount of MMR you gain or lose depending on several factors like how highly rated your opponents were or how recently you last played.
Our team is aware of some community pain points with competitive and matchmaking. We have a set of improvements coming to matchmaking, and we’re also working on updates to the competitive system.
For competitive play in Season 3, we’ll reduce the number of wins between competitive updates from 7 to 5 wins or 20 to 15 losses. For our matchmaker, we’re implementing role delta changes that will match similarly ranked players within each role.
Season 4 will include additional information about your current wins and losses on the competitive update screens. Our team has begun work on longer-term features and updates for both the matchmaker and competitive game mode, and we look forward to sharing more on those plans in the future!
Here’s what we’re currently seeing in ranked
We’ve seen your feedback on matches with wide skill variation, and we want to talk about a few reasons that could be happening as well as our plans to address your concerns.
We allow players to group together even when there’s a difference in the MMR between party members, and this is a major source of wide skill disparities in matches. We’re working on some changes that will match parties with similar MMR disparities together more frequently, which we expect to noticeably reduce how often we make wide matches. This will make it much less likely for a solo player or a party with a narrow skill disparity to end up in a match with a wide skill disparity.
Often matches with a wide displayed skill tier difference still look very close when looking at the difference in MMR between the two teams. The partial rank reset at the beginning of the season may be exaggerating this by making it look like someone is lower than their actual rank. However, regardless of the seasonal reset, both skill tier and MMR can decay over time for players who are inactive for a considerable amount of time. Players who return may see dramatic shifts to their skill tiers as they resume playing regularly, and the game becomes more certain of that player’s current skill.
We’ve also seen the community talk about inconsistent games or how some games feel incredibly one-sided, and that feedback has been helpful. Understanding what causes one-sided matches and how to reduce their frequency has become a major area of focus for our team. This is a tricky problem because one-sided matches can happen in Overwatch, even between balanced teams. So, our first step has been to study the problem and understand the various factors that can cause one-sided matches, and we’re planning to share what we learn with you in a developer blog down the road.
Competitive updates are another topic we’ve been exploring. We want you to feel a sense of progression without needing to focus on a super granular number like a skill rating, but we feel, and agree with the community, that competitive updates are a bit too infrequent currently.
Here’s the direction we’re taking moving forward
What we’re doing in Season 3
Based on community feedback, we’re implementing some updates to the matchmaker that try to place pairs of players with similar MMR on each role on either team. This means that opposing tanks should be more similarly matched than before and likewise for the other respective roles. The goal with this change is to make the average MMR between each role more evenly matched to each other instead of looking more broadly across the entire team to balance things out. This is a major change to the matchmaker, so we’ll be actively monitoring for any unintended side effects.
We’ve seen feedback that having to play as many as 26 matches to get an update has been discouraging for players. Starting with Season 3, you’ll now get a competitive update with every 5 wins and 15 losses. In the mid-season patch for Season 3, we’re also updating the UI, so information about your progress toward a competitive update will always be viewable.
Also, beginning with our mid-season patch, Top 500 players will see their Top 500 leaderboard rank updated after every match rather than in competitive updates.
What we’re doing in the near future
We’ve heard your feedback and confusion around seasonal rank decay and rank resets. Starting with Season 4, we’re planning to remove seasonal competitive rank resets and all current and past seasonal rank decay.
We’ll continue to build out competitive updates in Season 4 when we add information about your current wins and losses to the competitive update screens. We’re hoping this additional context will help you better interpret changes to your skill tier and division in the update.
We’re also looking into possible ways to provide you with more information about the matchmaking quality of your game.
Long-term plans and goals
In the long term, we’re planning to provide new ways for players to share a challenging and competitive experience in Overwatch 2—we’ll share more on this down the road. That said, matchmaking improvements are an evergreen area of focus for the team, and we’ll stay focused on testing and deploying continuous improvements to our matchmaking algorithm.
Finally, we’ll continue to watch for your feedback and improve upon the overall ranked experience over time. Our goal continues to be delivering matchmaking that feels fair and balanced for everyone.
The goal of our matchmaker is to make each match as fair as possible, meaning your team has an equal chance of winning or losing each individual match. We firmly believe the most fun games of Overwatch are when they are fair, and our team is committed to discovering and implementing new changes and updates that align our game with that goal.
Overwatch 2 is a continually evolving experience with new game modes, new heroes, and new maps to explore. This also means we need to provide a constantly updated experience that can deliver the fairest possible matches through effective changes to how our matchmaker works and through clear communication with all of you.
We look forward to seeing all of you on the battlefield!