Overwatch Update: new season, new rules
This is a guest post by Bill Cooney @WhoistheCoon7
It’s that time again, time for season five of Overwatch to come to an end and to start getting ready for season 6. It’s not just players getting ready for the new season, Blizzard is making some major changes to the way competitive will be played. They also announced major overhauls to D.Va, Mercy, and some changes to other heroes as well. So, let’s dive right in and see what’s in store for season 6.
The announced changes to Mercy, which went live on the public test realm on Aug. 24, are substantial. Her ultimate will no longer be Resurrect, instead she’s getting a new ultimate ability called Valkyrie. This is a game changer, literally. The usual strategy with Mercy’s Resurrect is for Mercy to hide and wait for her team to die, then fly out and rez everyone all at once. What was once her ultimate has now become a secondary ability, but it can only resurrect one teammate, and comes with a substantial cooldown, around thirty seconds. This completely changes how Mercy is going to be used strategically.
Her new ultimate, Valkyrie, is a god send for the battle-Mercy’s out there. When activated, Mercy can fly around and not Pharah boost-flying either, actual flying. When in Valkyrie, everything she does is better: healing and damage boost are better, guardian angel flies farther and even her pistol shoots faster while doing more damage. But that’s not all. Her beams can now chain and heal/boost multiple targets at once. This should be great for holding points during an enemy push. Her resurrect cools down faster while using her ultimate as well, so players might not be able to resurrect an entire team but they might be able to get a couple. Mercy has basically been reworked top to bottom on the PTR, but she’s not the only hero getting an overhaul.
D.Va is seeing some changes to her current kit, as well as a new ability. Defense matrix’s uptime will be reduced by fifty percent, lasting half as long as normal. She can now use her cannons while flying, which should increase her disruptive capabilities. But the biggest change the South Korean Pop Star will be seeing is the addition of a new ability: micro missiles. This ability fires a small salvo of missiles that deal damage to a small area around impact. Based on the early PTR footage, this should give D.Va a much-needed offensive boost.
Reinhart is also getting a minor tweak in the next patch. He will now be able to rotate the camera while holding primary fire while his shield is active. This will be a huge help to Reinhart players and really increase his situational awareness while being able to keep his shield on his team. It also could be useful for looking around corners or in blind spots.
Finally, Blizzard is changing competitive play yet again. Instead of a 3-month season, season 6 will only last for 2 months. This means more frequent end-of-season rewards, and Blizzard is increasing the number of competitive points players receive for each win. For higher level players, skill rating decay will only require 5 matches a week to avoid, instead of 7, and the amount of CP lost to decay is decreasing from 50 to 25. To reduce the amount of time it takes to play a match on control maps, these games will go from best of 5 to best of 3. This means teams only need two wins to take the match, just like in quick play. Blizzard is looking at player placements as well, players will now be placed at their appropriate skill level, instead of a slightly lower one.
“It felt wrong deflating you on purpose just so you would have a sense of progression later,” Overwatch Developer Jeff Kaplan said in an update on Aug. 24.
Kaplan also said Blizzard is looking at changes for season 7 and 8, but first fans and the community will be anxiously waiting to see how season 6 and the new patch changes play out and affect the game.
Plus, how about that Mei short? She is just the CUTEST!