‘Overwatch’: Season 2 Kicks Off With New Map, New Skins, & Skill Tiers

Fans who compete for glory and fun in Overwatch will be going into the game’s second season.

We’ve seen quite a few changes from Blizzard in regards to gameplay, the modes available, and how each character performs. While fan feedback continues to pour in, Overwatch continues to evolve from its original release. If you’re looking to get into the competitive scene, the new season is the perfect time to gear up and get ready for battles across explosive plains.

In a report by GameSpot, Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer discusses one aspect of the changes: sudden death being removed and draw games rewarding players who participated. The end result of sudden death was said to be unfair, tipping the scales in the favor of those who were attacking or defending on certain maps. With this in mind, Blizzard took note and patched this process to be more fair to all parties involved.

We definitely want players to feel like if they had a tie, their time wasn’t completely wasted,” Mercer said back in July. “So we’re trying to find the sweet spot of a lot of players feel like, ‘Oh, well, we got something out of it,’ but at the same time not create situations where players might collude and create some nasty situations there. We’re still discussing that.”

Alongside tie games and the rewards that come with them, Blizzard has announced that they will be changing the way that skill tiers work. Overwatch allows players to test their skills against the mettle of random opponents. For those interested, any given player can track how their performance stacks up in an overall sense. Mashable reports that the tiers will vary by skill rating, placing an individual in a given ranking based on scaling.

Why the tiers instead of a number? Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan expresses that he doesn’t want the number to associate the player with their competitive level.

“We’re also trying to take the focus a little bit away from skill rating,” Kaplan stated. “We don’t want that number to be what you associate with you as a competitive player.”

It appears that Blizzard wants to cater to all manner of player, and the tiers will assist in doing that. Whether you’re competitive or casual, it’s the “Gold” or “Silver” that a person should label themselves as.

Season 2 of Overwatch also comes with a new map: Eichenwalde. According to its description, players will be thrust into a forest that holds a village that has long been abandoned.

“The forest has slowly begun overtaking the abandoned village of Eichenwalde, but the scars will never completely fade. During the Omnic Crisis, Eichenwalde was the site of a key battle. General Balderich von Adler took a handful of crusaders to the village in an effort to outflank the Omnic army. Balderich’s soldiers were able to break down the enemy forces, giving the German military an opportunity to push back, but the Crusaders didn’t make it out of the battle. General Balderich finally collapsed in the castle’s great hall.”

The map will be your standard assault and escort mission, though the new environment will give players reason to carefully familiarize themselves with the terrain and act accordingly.

Characters in Overwatch have also been tweaked. McCree is one of these examples, whose Ultimate has been changed to reflect a gradual drain over 25 seconds instead of its normal use. PlayStation Lifestyle details the specifics of the patch notes, displaying what characters may have been buffed or nerfed.

What do you think about the patch for Overwatch and its second season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

[Image via Blizzard]