They want to get it right
As one of the most open game directors in the market, Overwatch‘s Jeff Kaplan is constantly sharing news on the project’s latest developments — and the talk of the town right now is the competitive mode, which just hit the Public Test Realm (PTR) this week. Why is it in PTR? Because fans didn’t like the competitive mode’s state in the game’s beta months ago, so they scrapped it and started over — which resulted in it being delayed past launch.
But with the gametype all set for this month (as far as we know), there’s even more feedback that Kaplan is taking into account. He muses on the fact that players like seeing MMR, they like the big penalty for leavers, and generally enjoy the flow of the game — except for sudden death and the accompanying coin flip (which decides which team attacks and which one defends).
Kaplan talked about the features at length, noting while it it can feel exciting and fun for an unranked setting, they can be too big of a factor in ranked play. After tuning it down in the PTR for their competitive mode, his team got even more feedback. Originally sudden death happened 35% of the time back in the beta’s ranked mode, and now it’s down to 9% in PTR. But they want to go further. The short term answer? Making competitive games quicker by reducing the initial match time and sudden death timer for ranked play. Long term, they will monitor the data and adjust — their plan is to possibly remove both features outright — but major changes won’t be made until the upcoming fall season.
If you’re curious I recommend reading the entire post, as Kaplan dives in at length about everything they’re currently considering and struggling with. And since their team listens to fans, boning up on this type of knowledge might help your case. I think the concept still has a ways to go, as accommodating balance is the ultimate goal for a competitive mode — if you just want to relax and enjoy wacky sudden death comebacks, that’s what unranked is for.
Jeff Kaplan [Battle.net]