Season three of hero shooter Overwatch’s competitive play will get underway on December 1, developer Blizzard has today confirmed.
Based on “community feedback”, the downtime between seasons will be cut substantially compared to previous outings, with season two set to finish on November 24 at 12:00AM GMT – merely a week prior to season three’s launch.
The way the game calculates competitive skill tier placements is also set to change, according to Overwatch’s principal designer Scott Mercer. According to Mercer, season two saw far more players placed in the Gold and Platinum tiers than initially intended, and far fewer in Bronze and Silver. This led to a “much wider variation of skill in the Gold and Platinum tiers” than Blizzard had aimed for, leading to some competitive games feeling unfairly matched.
Mercer added that as a result, Blizzard is currently using the game’s PTR to test a different way of determining players’ starting skill rating for season three. “We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start,” the designer said. “We’re also going to initially tune your SR to be slightly lower to start. In turn, fewer players should start the season having their skill rating drastically drop despite having close to even wins and losses.”
The change ultimately means that while players’ skill ratings from season two will not fully reset, in an attempt to create fairer competitive matches from the outset, some will start off season three in a different skill tier to where they ended the previous one.