Blizzard announced several new features and changes to Overwatch during the week of Gamescom 2017.
The most recent announcement involves major changes to the 6th season of Competitive Play. Announced by director Jeff Kaplan in a video, Overwatch Season 6 will be two-months long, a month shorter than previous seasons. Kaplan said this move is an experiment because “engagement is a lot higher at the beginning of the season.” Due to the shorter length, Competitive Points will be adjusted accordingly, but the overall rewards at the end of a year should be “roughly the same amount,” said Kaplan.
Additionally, Season 6 will have changes to matchmaking, placement matches, and Skill Rating decay. Season 6 aims to make matches more balanced in high-tier Competitive Play, but matchmaking queues will now take longer. Placement matches will also place players more accurately, which the team withdrew from doing in past seasons to give players a sense of progression. Finally, Skill Rating decay has been loosened in Diamond rating and above, now only requiring five matches per week and a penalty of 25 for failing to comply.
Lastly, Competitive Play rounds in control maps have been decreased from a best of five matches to three. Kaplan said an “inordinate” number of matches took “very long” to finish because of going into overtime. Additionally, this was done to make losing control maps “sting less.”
Blizzard showed a new Overwatch short at Gamescom 2017 featuring the Aussie duo Roadhog and Junkrat. In the video, the two baddies hatch an “inconspicuous” plan to get inside Junkertown and steal money.
Junkertown will also become a playable escort map soon. In the map, players will push a payload filled with gold. No launch details were provided, but the team released a video narrated by the queen of Junkertown showcasing the map’s level design and key areas.
D.Va & Mercy Rework
A huge rework for D.Va and Mercy was announced. Aside from being able to shoot while boosting, D.Va will now have a rocket barrage ability called Micro Missiles, however, her Defense Matrix energy drain has been increased by twofold to make her a more aggressive character, principal designer Geoff Goodman announced on the Overwatch official forum. Meanwhile, principal designer Scott Mercer said during a Gamescom 2017 livestream that the team has “very interesting and sweet changes” for Mercy.
More Overwatch Gamescom 2017 announcements are expected to trickle in with the event still ongoing. A new Overwatch animated short is also planned by Blizzard for Wednesday, August 23.
Did any of Blizzard‘s Overwatch Gamescom 2017 announcements surprise you? What announcement got you most excited? Share your thoughts in the comments below.More About This Game