Overwatch 2 dev update teases improvements for ranked competitive play, progression, and more

Overwatch 2 Tracer
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Overwatch 2 developer Blizzard has published a developer update post that gives fans a look at improvements coming in Season 3 and beyond.
  • Blizzard is planning to improve the ranked competitive system with more clarity, and is also making a change to make Overwatch 2 feel more rewarding to play.
  • The developers also plan to balance the game more frequently, and in Season 3, Ultimate charge refund when swapping heroes is being reduced from 30% to 25%.
  • Additionally, the studio is collecting feedback about "one-shots and frustrating hero mechanics," and will share more about potential solutions at a later date.

Overwatch 2 developer Blizzard Entertainment has published a new developer update teasing some of the improvements coming to the game in Season 3 and beyond. While the blog post doesn't give many specific details about the upcoming improvements, it does give fans a look at what Blizzard will be focusing on moving forward. Game Director Aaron Keller notes in the article that Blizzard intends to share these quick-and-dirty updates "every few weeks," and that "the goal here is to keep you up to date on what we’re thinking and planning, but not necessarily to be the source for all the reasoning and detail behind those decisions."

One aspect of the game that Blizzard plans to work on is its ranked competitive play. Keller says that Overwatch 2's new competitive system has "suffered from poor comprehension," as many players don't understand how their rank correlates to their skill level, are frustrated with how the current system restricts playing with friends, and have an overall "negative impression of the matchmaker" when players in different ranks get matched together. Changes intended to improve clarity in the system are coming in both Season 3 and Season 4, with Blizzard planning to discuss short-term and long-term changes soon.

Keller also says that when Overwatch 2 Season 3 launches on February 7, a change that enhances the game's progression and reward structure will go live. This improvement is being made in response to feedback 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." Notably, this change was called a "first step" in the post, and that Blizzard will have more information to share next week. We expect to see an increase to XP gain or the addition of more earnable Overwatch Coins, but ultimately, we won't know what's coming until the studio provides more details.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The developers are also planning to balance Overwatch 2 more frequently, with Keller mentioning that Blizzard should now be able to address balance issues quickly with hotfixes. "Balance frequency is a big topic. Bug fixes to hot fixing should enable us to address balance faster and would have enabled us to tune Hog earlier in S2," Keller said, referring to recent Roadhog nerfs that many players felt took too long. "We’re still planning an initial and midseason patch each season, but now have the full ability to fill in between those as necessary."

One particular area of balance that Blizzard is focusing on for Season 3 is Ultimate charge and cost. These changes weren't fully detailed in this post, but Keller did state that the Ultimate refund that takes place when swapping between heroes is being reduced from 30% to 25%. The developers are also gathering feedback about "one-shots and frustrating hero mechanics," and will update players once they have more information to share about potential adjustments.

Overwatch 2 is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. It's arguably one of the best Xbox shooters available, and since it's free-to-play, it doesn't cost anything to check it out. Alternatively, players can purchase the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack that provides access to a Premium Battle Pass, 2,000 Overwatch Coins, and a bundle of unique Legendary skins.


Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack

The $40 Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack offers fans a variety of benefits that will allow them to get guaranteed access to a Premium Battle Pass track, unlock some unique rewards, provides some in-game currency to use, and more.

See at Microsoft | See at Battle.net

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.