Blizzard Entertainment is still pulling levers and flipping switches behind the scenes of Overwatch. Game Director Jeff Kaplan spoke in a developer update video about changes coming to the Season 6 competitive scene. Meanwhile, Principal Designer Geoff Goodman outlined some major changes coming to D.Va that will change her play style.
Overwatch’s competitive seasons will be shortened from three months to two starting with Season 6, Kaplan revealed. The seasons originally started out as only one month during pre-launch testing but players found that to be too short. Blizzard moved to three-month seasons at launch, but have now found that things stagnate toward the end.
A two-month season may be the sweet spot but it will come with other changes. Competitive Points are being adjusted to account for the shortened time frame. There will be fewer points for the end of Season rewards but wins will earn more Competitive Points overall.
Meanwhile, the Skill Rating decay is also being altered to be less punishing. Competitive Overwatch players will only be required to complete five games per week instead of seven. Additionally, the amount of Skill Rating decay has been cut in half to 25 SR.
Overwatch Control matches can turn into epically long affairs when teams they run the full length of five rounds. Blizzard is shortening this to a best out of three to bring the mode in line with the other competitive modes.
Other changes coming for Overwatch Season 6 includes more accurate skill ratings from placement matches plus better balance for higher tiered matches. Just expect queue times to last a little longer as the matchmaking system attempts to bring two teams of similar skill together.
The Overwatch meta is constantly changing and D.Va is getting a significant overhaul that will change her playstyle. Blizzard has been testing the changes internally but they will likely hit the next Public Test Region (PTR) release for the player to test.
The planned changes will make D.Va less of a defensive tank and more of an offensive character. Her Defense Matrix ability has had its uptime length effectively halved by an increased energy drain.
The Defense Matrix will remain an “extremely powerful tool,” according to Goodman, but will require a player to time it right. The lessening of the defensive ability gives rise to changes to D.Va’s Booster ability plus an all new Micro Missiles ability.
D.Va will be able to fire her Fusion Cannons while using her Booster ability. Additionally, Overwatch players will need to watch out for the new Micro Missiles ability.
The Micro Missiles ability fires a long salvo of small missiles to deal damage in a small area around the target. This can be used in conjunction with her other abilities or firing her Fusion Cannons, which should give opposing Overwatch players a reason to keep their head on a swivel.
“Her new Micro Missiles ability in combination with her ability to fire while flying allow for some more aggressive play, as well as opening up some new options versus heroes such as Pharah,” Goodman explained.
“Overall the goal here is to reduce her reliance on Defense Matrix and make her more fun to play. As far as balancing goes, we want to nerf Defense Matrix as an ability, not D.Va as a hero.”
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[Featured Image by Blizzard Entertainment]