Overwatch’s ranked mode will hit sometime later this summer, and it will be pretty different from what was in the beta. Here’s what you can expect.

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In a developer update, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan talks about some of the changes players can expect in the new, reworked version of competitive play:

Some highlights:

  • The season length is increasing, and will now be around 3 months. More specifically, it’ll technically last about 2 and a half months, with a couple of weeks of downtime in-between different seasons.
  • They’re tweaking overtime, so that it happens less often. The idea is to make it more exciting when it does happen.
  • The “Assault” format has been changed in certain maps, like Hanamura and Temple of Anubis. Specifically, they want to make sure there is more back and forth between the teams, rather than having these maps flip quickly.
  • There will be no more tiers. Instead, players will get something known as “MMR” (which you’re probably familiar with if you play MOBAs.) Players will also get a skill rating that is between 1-100, and when you finish your placement matches, the game will show you your specific skill rating relative to other players.
  • Everyone can see your skill rating when you go into a match. Matches will also inform you of team’s overall skill rating. Sometimes, you’ll be in matches with people who are not at your exact skill rating. Underdogs in these matches stand to gain more and lose less under this system.
  • You’ll be able to tell at a glance if people came into the match partied up.
  • There will be rewards for players who do well, and these rewards will be cosmetic. Sprays and player icons for people who participate in the season, and a “golden gun” system as well, which will make your weapons cooler. Kaplan also said that top players will get unique exclusive rewards too.

This new system may not be perfect, but Blizzard hopes it is evident that it is the result of listening to player feedback. “The downside of a system like this, just to be frank, is that you’re gonna go down [in rank] sometimes,” Kaplan said. “It’s not always a climb up the ladder, there are gonna be times when your skill rating is actually gonna go down.”

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And, if it turns out that players don’t like this new framework for competitive play, Blizzard says it is open to changing ranked even more once another season starts again. So far, all of this sounds good to me. I’m already salivating at the idea of running around with a golden gun while playing as Mei...it would probably piss people off all the more, heh.

Oh, and if you’re wondering: no word on increased tick rate. Sorry, guys!