Season 3 Competitive Changes on PTR

Competitive Discussion
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Also the fact when ppl loose connection while playing....I got banned for the entire of season 2 cause i have been getting kicked from matches on the random
Thank you Blizzard for confirming that a lot of the QQers running around here weren't as good as they thought they were because of an initial high placement. At least next season they'll be able to QQ that the new system placed them too low because they're OBVIOUSLY better than this...
10/24/2016 07:19 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
Right now on the PTR, we’re starting to test out changes for Season 3 of Competitive Play. While there’s one big change to Season 3, there are also some behind-the-scenes adjustments to how we’re calculating Skill Rating and Skill Tier placement that I wanted to discuss with everyone.

The largest visible change to Competitive Play will be to the off-season between Season 2 and Season 3. Based on community feedback, we’re going to shorten the off-season downtime to just one week, with Season 2 ending at 00:00 UTC on November 24, and Season 3 beginning on December 1. Additionally, during the off-season, we’ll display an in-game countdown to when the next season begins.

Before explaining the changes to Skill Rating and Skill Tiers, let me explain some of the goals for matchmaking in Competitive Play. First and foremost, we always want to provide the fairest matches that we can. Fair matches of skill between the teams provide the greatest chance for you to have fun in Overwatch. At the same time, we’d also like every new competitive season to feel like a fresh start. These two goals end up being somewhat contradictory. If we completely reset everyone’s Skill Rating (SR) at the start of a new season, then players of all skill levels would end up playing against each other and having poor quality matches until the system could reevaluate each player’s skill. Because of this, we don't fully reset your SR when a new season begins, and instead use your SR from the previous season as a starting point.

Another area of Competitive Play we’re trying to improve for Season 2 is how we distribute everybody into their Skill Tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, etc.) based on their SR. When Season 2 started, we had WAY more players in Gold and Platinum than we initially intended, and way fewer in Bronze and Silver. This was the result of how we calculated your initial SR for Season 2. We tried to partially reset player SR at the start of Season 2, but the results were not as we expected. Instead, below-average players started Season 2 at a higher SR than they should have been given their performance in Season 1. This meant that as they played in Season 2, their SR would often drop to a lower value, which didn’t feel great. It also meant that there was a much wider variation of skill in the Gold and Platinum tiers than we wanted. This is something we want to avoid in Season 3.

As a result, we’re testing a different way of determining your starting SR for Season 3 on the PTR. We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start. 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.

This change will mean that some players will not start in the same tier for Season 3 that they were placed in for Season 2, and that your SR gains from winning will be a little higher at the beginning of the season. After you play enough matches, however, your SR gains and losses will go back to normal.

We’ll be looking closely at the results of players placement on PTR and see if our goals are being met, and might make further adjustments during this testing cycle that might require a reset of placement matches. If that’s the case, we’re try to provide advanced notice whenever possible.

In the meantime, we really appreciate your feedback, and thanks for everyone who is helping us test on PTR!


This is great hopefully you guys implement an organized quickplay mode with 1 hero limit as well. And with this new system will you get penalized more still for trying your hardest and losing than trying your hardest and winning??? That's literally what detours me from playing competitive. You win it's a a nice +20-25 and you lose it's a -50 or so. Very unrewarding in my opinion.
I'm excited about these changes, I think this will work out quite nice. It's also good to see Blizzard continue to listen to us.
My biggest complaint is that the imbalanced S2 ranking will be the starting point for the changed S3. I don't really see how that makes sense.

One thing that I think would be really neat, is that each tier should be divided into percentages of players. like gold being the 40 - 50% range of players (those numbers are just examples not actual percent suggestion.) That way each tier has the correct bell curve amount of players, with the average being placed right into the average tier.
The one problem with the percent system is that it would be difficult to know what you have to work up to to achieve a higher tier. This problem could be addressed by simply putting the current calculated SR for the next rank into the main competitive display on the menu.

Obviously typing this is much easier than implementing this system, and as a game developer myself I am actually curious if this would be possible with the insane number of players Overwatch has.

Thanks Blizzard for continuing to evaluate your game and adapt it to be the best it can :)
I'd like to agree with most everyone in this thread asking for a fresh start. I honestly think that would be best since most have gotten better than their S1 ranking and no one seems to like S2.

Something that I think desperately needs to be taken out though is the win/loss streak. Sure it feels amazing when you are on a win streak, but it blows when you have a losing streak. (Which does carry over the next day even when you've logged out I do believe) So if I could only choose one thing to change it would be that.

I also don't think we should be losing more than we gain. Which maybe that's due to the streak system, but if it's not it would be nice if that was also changed. Even a simple +20 for a win -20 for a loss. I would much rather have that than +18 for a win and -30 for a loss.

Now I don't have 100 hours into the comp season, so maybe i'm talking out my !@#- but I think if those changes were made it could help improve the system slightly. If it matters at all I placed at 2.5k with two losses, solo'ed and dropped to 2.1k only to latter go to my season high of 2.8k with mainly only playing lucio. I feel I was fairly placed, but as I can see from these threads many did not get placed well.
10/24/2016 07:19 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
As a result, we’re testing a different way of determining your starting SR for Season 3 on the PTR. We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start. 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.


What does this mean for healers? I think it's undeniable that support mains were placed lower in Season 2 than any other group of heroes. I shudder to think how much climbing they'll have to do in Season 3 if everyone is placed lower.
Consistent SR is all I ask for season 3...

I swear if season 3 consists of me rising and dropping 600-700 SR and from tier to tier I've done in season 2 I'll give up on competitive. You guys have one more chance to bring me back into this game. Don't disappoint...

but I really don't like this "start lower than your SR" idea.. I think it's really foolish.

edit: And please take out losing/winning streaks... they are really unnecessary and nobody likes them.
At this point just wipe and reset everyone's rank. The system has already been heavily gamed. No matter what you do it will be !@#$ed unless you hit the reset button.
What about us that normally play on a much higher SR when playing solo, but have gone down A LOT in S2 because we have been playing with lower skill friends, are you only going to calculate the starting point in S3 from current SR (at the end of season 2) or are you going by highest? Because there is a 1k difference there..
Dear Blizzard,

I am loving the season 3 changes! :)
Thank you for your hard work, we really appreciate it!
Pls no cooldown, i don't wanna play quick's for a week(
10/25/2016 10:12 AMPosted by Taionyr
My biggest complaint is that the imbalanced S2 ranking will be the starting point for the changed S3. I don't really see how that makes sense.


The matchmaking system is actually pretty resilient and it naturally improves match quality as more matches are played. Even now the current SR curve for the entire population is much healthier than the beginning of the season, and it will be even better by the time the season ends.
I feel like none of these changes address the larger problems in competitive mode--namely the point distribution after a match. Support (and often tanks) get so little for winning that there's little to no incentive to play them, encouraging teams to be comprised of entire assault characters. You gain so little for the amount you lose--for example, I played a match with no underdog bonus for either team, got 4 medals as a support, and lost 50 points. On the other hand, I played another match with no underdog bonus for either team, got 4 medals as a support, and only won 3 points. When I lost a game as a tank with 4 gold medals, I only lost 20 points--somehow, that was still more than an assault I was paired with, even though we shared no medals. I know medals aren't necessarily the best judge of how much you helped your team, but that plus my high on fire percentage is the only way in which you can really measure it in the current system.

It's frustrating, and honestly, makes me hate playing a lot of the characters I love (tanks and support) in competitive. There's an obvious bias toward assault characters, which just honestly isn't conducive to a team based shooter that depends so heavily on character pics.

edit: Also, yesterday, I had about 5 games in a row in which someone left or dc'd on my team. Each game I lost 20 points at least. Either make the penalty more strict or make their teammates lose less points.

Also points for a draw with good performance would be really helpful and make draws less frustrating.
How about changes on matchmaking on quick play? If I would get 3 or 4 gold medals (Elim, Damage, Obj. Time or Healing) it doesn't mean that I can carry a bunch of trolls and dumba**** or low levels against level 90 above enemy team.

And probably better to have solo and party SR, so I wont get stomped by premades.
10/25/2016 10:44 AMPosted by Scott Mercer
10/25/2016 10:12 AMPosted by Taionyr
My biggest complaint is that the imbalanced S2 ranking will be the starting point for the changed S3. I don't really see how that makes sense.


The matchmaking system is actually pretty resilient and it naturally improves match quality as more matches are played. Even now the current SR curve for the entire population is much healthier than the beginning of the season, and it will be even better by the time the season ends.


I'm stuck at 43% winrate for 2 weeks now at QP and Low level players vs High level players... resiliant indeed...
The real problem is there is basically 0 calculation of personal skill. I'm on a losing streak which is fine no big deal and I'll climb back out like I have 2 other times this season already. However your personal skill can only skew games in your favor based on the skill or willingness to try to win of the other people on your team.

Yesterday I played 3 matches lost all 3. First game I played reinhardt/winston we had a person playing widow and 1 playing symmetra. I had gold Elims and dmg no teleporter was ever up longer than 2 seconds widow killed literally no one and both refused to switch.

Second game I played tracer/mcree ended in a draw. During our second point defense on volskya our suicidal Reinhardt who had been suicidal all game. Charged past there entire team to die instantly for the 85th time that game with 15 seconds left to defend. He also managed to get our ana killed who was playing behind him until he went Rambo. So we lost the point 4v6 and ended up with a draw that could have been a win very easily with any other person playing or someone who would simply listen. I went 56-8 4 golds.
3rd game we had a torb main on attack and a bastion to go with nothing else needs to be said.

The point is I've been diamond everytime I drop out I end up back there eventually. But due to how poorly the system places individuals it becomes a true grind to regain your lost Sr instead of a enjoyable experience and depending on your luck it could take a day it could take 3 weeks. I'm sure a system that puts heavier weight into Indivdual performance could be implemented.
I think with all the mess ups in SR placement, perhaps a fresh start to being placed is warranted.
In "real life" sports, like say Hockey, last season's results do not impact your start to the next season. If I got better this season, I am hamstringed by previous season performances......seems wrong on many levels to me.
10/25/2016 10:44 AMPosted by Scott Mercer
10/25/2016 10:12 AMPosted by Taionyr
My biggest complaint is that the imbalanced S2 ranking will be the starting point for the changed S3. I don't really see how that makes sense.


The matchmaking system is actually pretty resilient and it naturally improves match quality as more matches are played. Even now the current SR curve for the entire population is much healthier than the beginning of the season, and it will be even better by the time the season ends.


Resilient? Not when I'm dropping and rising 700 SR only to find myself dropping well below where I was supposed to be only to find myself getting back up and back down again. I wish the matches were better or else I would be in a stable rank not having to worry to much about dropping rank to low. The system was definitely not improving for me... the inconsistently of the gold/plat ranks in unbearable. There was no sense of achieve, I felt like there is no skill involved, it feels like luck and my games were not getting better. In fact it felt like my games were reasonable after my placements. Yes I've dropped but it was a reasonable drop where you can improve... after that it's been hundreds of SR Dropped and risen again... the SR system is really inconsistent and it's been like this for mostly Gold and Plats.

I'm sorry Scott but even season 1 was better in terms of the SR system in comparison to season 2. At least the fixes were tolerable at the end of the season. But this season I've seen so many people quit to wait for season 3.
10/24/2016 07:19 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
Based on community feedback, we’re going to shorten the off-season downtime to just one week, with Season 2 ending at 00:00 UTC on November 24, and Season 3 beginning on December 1. Additionally, during the off-season, we’ll display an in-game countdown to when the next season begins.


I like.
As for the SR... it's so flawed with win/lose streaks that no matter how you change it, it will always feel bad. Not being able to drop out of diamond/gold is also a big problem.

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