The game mode isn’t launching until later this month, but Blizzard has already confirmed that it’s looking at removing sudden death from Overwatch‘s competitive play.
As we fast approach Overwatch‘s one month anniversary, game director Jeff Kaplan takes to the Battle.net forums in order to discuss the game’s competitive play, which is set to release next week. Kaplan explained that the game’s competitive play has been in a testing period for a while now and two features that haven’t been so well received were the coin flip system, as well as how sudden death is handled.
For those who don’t know, players in Overwatch‘s competitive mode swap sides halfway through, meaning that each team gets the chance to attack and defend on the same map. However, if the teams are drawn with one win each after both rounds are played, the game simulates a coin flip to decide which side will be attacking and which will be defending, leading to some unfair matches due to certain maps being seen as better for one or the other.
In the future, though, Overwatch‘s competitive gameplay might be rather different, with sudden death removed entirely. Kaplan explained that one direction that the company is thinking of going is the “time bank” system.
“If both teams push the payload all the way to the end of the map with time leftover, you’ll go into a second round on the same map. We’ll remember how much time was on the clock for each team, and then you’ll have that amount of time to push the payload as far as possible.”
This system might prove to be fairer on all players, with their extra effort pushing a payload weighed against how far the opponents managed to move theirs in order to determine the victor. However, its effectiveness remains to be seen.
As announced in its recent developer update video, Blizzard isn’t happy with how many matches currently go to sudden death, something it is aiming on fixing in the near future. In terms of immediate changes, the company has reduced the initial match times for Assault, Escort, and Hybrid maps from 5 minutes to 4 minutes. The sudden death timer will also see a 15 second reduction from its current 2 minute setting.
The director thanked players who were testing Overwatch‘s ranked game mode before its official launch, commenting that there are a number of changes that Blizzard hopes to make, based on the player feedback. According to the company, players responded well to seeing their skill ratings, the changes made to the assault maps, and the visibility of pre-made groups in the game’s UI. The harsh leaver’s penalty that was recently announced has also gone down well with fans who want their games quit-free.
Kaplan finished off the post by confirming that competitive play is still in Overwatch‘s next update. However, getting rid of the coin flip and sudden death mechanics may take a little more time, with the Fall season set as a theoretical release date.
What do you think about the proposed changes to Overwatch‘s competitive game mode?
Overwatch is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.