Blizzard launched Overwatch‘s competitive mode on its public test realm recently—and has been listening to players who’ve given it a try.
Players haven’t been enjoying the Sudden Death round that comes when teams are tied. Blizzard feels like it’s close to figuring out the balance issues, but it’s the public’s perception that it’s unbalanced that makes things hard.
The developer has a few tweaks it’ll try out to “balance out attack/defend win rates in Sudden Death.” Blizzard also mentioned that it’s “looking to to remove the coin flip and Sudden Death from the game altogether,” though that’s a more long-term change.
In the meantime, Blizzard will change the initial match time for Assault, Escort, and Hybrid maps from five minutes to four minutes, and the Sudden Death timer will be reduced from 2m00s to 1m45s. Shorter games will give players the “opportunity to play more of them,” game director Jeff Kaplan said.
In the long-term, Blizzard is considering ending matches that would continue on to Sudden Death with a draw. With the tweaks its making already, Blizzard expects draws would be pretty rare.
Kaplan didn’t give an exact release date for the official launch of competitive play, but he did mention Blizzard would kick-off the Summer season with the current ruleset, instead of holding it until all the tweaks were worked in.