The first season of competitive Overwatch concluded a couple of weeks ago, on August the 17th. Look, I’ve enjoyed the downtime, but casual play really isn’t clicking with me at the moment. Let’s just say that I’m eager to see the return of serious shooting shenanigans. September 6th can’t come soon enough, and… hang on, Did Blizzard just bring back competitive play a few days early?
They did! A wild Overwatch patch has appeared, and it’s packed to the brim with season 2, a brand new map, and more. Here’s an overview:
Competitive Play Season 2
We’ve made some big changes to Competitive Play in Season 2. The most noticeable change is the introduction of skill tiers, which we hope will better communicate players’ relative skill levels. Competitive Play will put a greater emphasis on skill tiers over specific ratings, and as such, a player’s tier will be more prominently displayed throughout the game. We’ve also switched the skill rating system to a 1-5000 scale to give players more detailed information about how each match affects their specific rating.
Sudden Death is also going away in Season 2. Instead, matches that are tied when the clock runs out end in a draw—though, it should be a rare occurrence. Because of this, we’ve made some changes to our game modes in Competitive Play to help reduce the chance that a draw can happen.
We’ve also made a few minor adjustments to leaver penalties, the top 500 system, and the competitive point system.
The forest has slowly begun overtaking the abandoned village of Eichenwalde, but the scars will never completely fade. During the Omnic Crisis, Eichenwalde was the site of a key battle. General Balderich von Adler took a handful of crusaders to the village in an effort to outflank the omnic army. Balderich’s soldiers were able to break down the enemy forces, giving the German military an opportunity to push back, but the Crusaders didn’t make it out of the battle. General Balderich finally collapsed in the castle’s great hall.
- When activating the “Ultimate Status” communication, Symmetra now reports the number of charges left on her teleporter
- When activating the “Needs healing” communication while targeting a teammate, Ana, Lúcio, Mercy, and Zenyatta will now tell allies to group up to receive healing. A marker will also appear above the player’s head, allowing teammates to locate the healer more quickly
- Added Torbjörn as an AI-controlled hero in Practice vs. AI, Play vs. AI, and Custom Game modes
- Sit and laugh emotes are now unlockable for all heroes
- New Legendary skins have been added for Reinhardt
Hero and Map Balances
There are too many changes to list unfortunately. If you’d like to read them all in more detail, you can do so right here.
To summarise though, D.Va, Genji, Lúcio, McCree, and Zenyatta received some minor nerfs. Mei and Mercy on the other hand, got some healthy buffs, while Hanzo, Roadhog, and Soldier: 76 meanwhile, had quality of life changes applied to them. Soldier: 76’s changes for example, make his burst-firing more reliable, thus increasing his effectiveness at longer ranges.
This patch is out for both PC and Xbox One. PlayStation 4 owners will have to wait a teeny bit longer it seems, up until September the 6th latest I presume.
I’m very happy with this update. Competitive play season 2, a new map, and a host of important changes? What’s not to love? My Overwatch playtime has dipped horribly over the past few weeks, but I fully expect it to return to optimal levels immediately!
Last Updated: September 2, 2016