- Overwatch 2 developers detailed upcoming competitive mode changes at BlizzCon 2023
- A progress bar will now show SR gains/losses after each match instead of requiring wins/losses
- A new Ultimate skill tier above Grandmaster was announced for top players
- Emerald weapon skins will be rewarded for participating in competitive
- New tank hero Mauga was also highlighted, with dual-wielding guns and damage focus
- Mauga’s kit includes a charging bash, area trap ultimate, and team heal ability
- The Mauga reveal provided insight into Overwatch’s iterative hero design process
- He was originally planned for Season 2 but spent more time in development to polish
Overwatch 2 Competitive Mode Rework Aims for Clarity
During their BlizzCon 2023 Overwatch 2 deep dive, the developers revealed an upcoming rework to the competitive ranking system in response to player feedback. The changes aim to better communicate skill progression after matches.
Currently, competitive skill tier updates in Overwatch 2 only occur after winning 5 games or losing 15. The new system will instead provide instant visible progress updates after each match through a post-game skill rating (SR) bar.
This live SR feedback mirrors the previous numbered system in the original instalment to help players better understand where they stand. Developers feel it improves transparency regarding competitive advancement.
Additionally, a new Ultimate skill tier will sit above Grandmaster to better differentiate top players. Competitive participants will also unlock Emerald weapon skins as rewards for playing.
The competitive revamp will reset ranks for all players when it goes live. But Blizzard say placement matches will now be better tuned to slot players into accurate skill tiers.
Alongside new hero Mauga, Blizzard outlined Overwatch 2’s 2023-2024 seasonal content roadmap:
- Season 8 (now live): Rollout 6v6 map
- Season 9: Greece Arena map, Greek Mythology battle pass
- Season 10: New damage hero Venture, Esports Stadium map
- Season 11: India Palace map, Holi Festival event
- Season 12: New support hero Space Ranger, Moon Base map
Hands-On With New Overwatch 2 Tank Mauga
While the competitive changes headlined the showcase, Blizzard also provided updates on upcoming new Overwatch 2 heroes. Most notably, new tank Mauga was playable on the BlizzCon show floor.
Lead hero designer Alec Dawson highlighted Mauga’s damage-focused playstyle unusual for tanks. His dual-wielding chain guns excel at close range, while abilities like a charging bash and area-denial ultimate cement his bruiser role.
A key ability allows Mauga and teammates to heal when they damage enemies, rewarding aggressive tanking. However, the developer said the hero still requires strong healer support in turn due to his large hitbox.
Dawson reiterated that all of Mauga’s kit was designed holistically around his signature twin guns. The team always envisioned him as a multi-gun tank, ensuring both weapons felt equally viable.
Behind the Scenes of Mauga’s Creation
While playable at BlizzCon, Mauga was originally slated to release back in Season 2 of Overwatch 2. The development team chose to push his launch back to continue refining the character.
Producer Kenny Hudson said Mauga’s traditional Samoan tattoo art was created with extensive cultural consultation to ensure authenticity. A Samoan tattoo artist helped guide designs.
The team also explained how Mauga’s kit contained ideas recycled from prototypes for other heroes. His area trap ultimate was initially designed for D.Va, showing how abilities get iterated between characters.
Lead test analyst Foster Elmendorf noted that Mauga’s team healing Cardiac Overdrive underwent revisions to make the visual cues clear amidst combat chaos. This refinement exemplified the rigorous testing new abilities undergo.
According to the developers, such prototyping and polish time for Mauga was essential to making his unconventional tank style feel complete and balanced. Though delayed, his impending release is a testament to the FPS’s iterative hero creation process.
More Overwatch 2 Content:
- Season 7 Skins Revealed in New Trailer
- Devs Disable Broken Anniversary Credits
- Season 7 Adding New Samoa Map
PVE content like story missions and the anticipated PVE Raid mode will also continue releasing. Competitive changes, new heroes, maps, and themes will bolster the FPS title’s offerings through 2024 while keeping the experience fresh.
Overwatch 2 is currently available on Switch, PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
About The Author
Stephen is the proud owner of a popular gaming news website GLN, where he provides the latest updates on everything gaming-related. With a passion for video games that dates back to his childhood, Stephen is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow gamers around the world.