Overwatch 2 dev update addresses ranked play, one-shots, and rewards

An Overwatch 2 developer update discusses changes coming to the Blizzard multiplayer FPS game in season 3 and beyond, with changes to ranked and rewards pacing.

Overwatch 2 dev update - Widowmaker in her summer outfit and white sunglasses

An Overwatch 2 developer update details some of the focus points the team is working on ahead of the arrival of Overwatch 2 season 3. The blog post from Blizzard game director Aaron Keller addresses “poor comprehension” leading to confusion around ranked play, balancing for one-shots and “frustrating hero mechanics,” the general Overwatch 2 patch pacing, the promised ultimate charge changes, and improvements to reward frequency in the multiplayer FPS game.

This blog looks to be the first in a promised rollout of more frequent updates promised by Overwatch 2’s executive producer, Jared Neuss, in a series of tweets talking about “foundational issues” that the team is focusing on. Keller notes that the blog post “won’t be comprehensive enough to look at everything that players are talking about, but our intent is to do this every few weeks,” echoing similar sentiments from Neuss about more regular, focused communication from the team.

Addressed first is Overwatch 2 ranked mode. Keller notes that there is a current lack of clarity that has lead to “confusion around players’ real rank and how that translates to their skill level, difficulty forming groups with friends, and a negative impression of the matchmaker when players of different ranks were put in the same match (even if their skill levels were similar).” He says changes are coming for season three, but that “quite a few more” are planned to land in season four.

Keller also expands on this on Twitter, explaining that the team is considering showing “average rank/match balance as well as the spread of ranks/match volatility” on the pre-match loading screen. He notes, “a large portion of the time there isn’t an interesting story here, but when there is we think players would like to know it.”

Rewards have been a hot topic among the community, with the ongoing Overwatch 2 Lunar New Year event leaving many fans underwhelmed at the number of skins available to be earned by playing rather than spending real money. Keller says, “We’ve gotten feedback from players that the game doesn’t feel rewarding enough to play and that players can’t earn the items they want in a short enough period of time.” He says changes are coming in season three to address this, but notes that this is just a “first step” and to expect more details next week.

As for the state of balancing, Keller says the team is still planning to focus on its initial plan of two main patches per season – one at launch and one midseason patch – but says the team now has the “full ability to fill in between those as necessary” with hotfixes. He points to the dominance of Roadhog in the early stages of the season 2 meta as something that should be easier to address on the fly in future seasons.

Overwatch 2 dev update - Roadhog in his pig-headed Bajie skin, firing off his whole hog

“One-shots and frustrating hero mechanics are being discussed a lot in the community and on the team,” Keller says, noting that such mechanics are always under consideration but that “the topic has a lot of nuances” and that the ability to wipe out squishier targets can have notable implications on certain characters’ overall power level, “as well as things like a hero’s fantasy.” He doesn’t offer any additional word yet but promises that the team will “come back to this when we have more to share.”

As for the promise of more regular and clear communication, Neuss adds on Twitter that the team is “starting small and scrappy with these updates so that we can build muscle around doing this consistently without going silent.” He says that future updates will focus more on specific balance issues or discussions of certain features, and that the team wants to be more open about development, though he acknowledges in replies that it’s “totally fair” if players are waiting to see them follow through on this promise before making their minds up.

Take a look at our Overwatch 2 tier list to find out who the best characters are in the current meta, and keep up to date on Overwatch 2 PvE release date news and other details for when you’ll be able to get some cooperative action. If you’re looking for more of the best multiplayer games on PC, we’ve got plenty of fantastic recommendations for you.