Overwatch principle game designer Scott Mercer reveals the details behind the scenes for the recently released Competitive Mode in the wildly popular online shooter.
After launching in late May, Overwatch has proven to be a massive success for Blizzard Entertainment already sporting impressive player numbers even after its first week on the market. Not content to sit back on its early success, Blizzard has been hard at work to continue improving the experience for players through balance updates, bug fixes and now, the first major addition to the game with Competitive Play. With the mode starting to roll out, additional details surrounding the highly competitive mode have started to come out.
In a recent interview, principle game designer Scott Mercer has revealed the mission statement his team has been following for the Competitive Play system. Considering Overwatch has a healthy mix of both casual and hardcore fans, the team designed the new mode with the idea that players would be able to use it to gauge just how good they actually are. While the mode is intended to be a bit more serious than the weekly Brawls or Quick Play options, the ranked mode will still reward players for trying it out by offering a unique Spray and Player Icon for finishing all ten placement matches. Players that opt to continue will earn one competitive currency for each win, with 300 unlocking a gold weapon for a character.
For the truly elite players who finish in the top 500 once the competitive season ends, they will be rewarded with a chunk of competitive currency and a unique spray and icon letting others know just how good they are. Unlike Hearthstone, which lets players keep their rank once they reach the specific tier, Overwatch does not lock players in the top tier, as wins and losses and overall player performance will affect skill ranking, which makes getting into the Top 500 extra challenging to pull off.
For fans of hero stacking, where either team decides to roll multiples of the same character, Blizzard isn't putting a limitation on which heroes or how many at one time can be selected. At this time, Blizzard isn't interested in negatively impacting player creativity, though if a balancing situation does arise in the first season of Competitive Mode similar to the recent Torbjörn turret nerf, the studio will look into it. Mercer went on to confirm that hero synergy is still pretty important however if teams wish to be successful.
After a slow roll out, both PC and Xbox One players who have hit level 25 in the game can now test their limits within Competive Mode in Overwatch. PlayStation 4 players should expect to see this mode arrive sometime next week as originally announced, though it's entirely possible that this could come earlier than expected like it did for the Xbox One crowd.
Have you tried out the Competitive mode yet in Overwatch? How do you think it compares to the other base modes within the game? Feel free to share your strategies or sound off on the mode below in the comments.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.