Blizzard overhauls controversial Overwatch tiebreaking system

Blizzard is listening to its fans.

After receiving negative feedback from the Overwatch community, the developer is adjusting the way that its popular multiplayer shooter determines the winner of competitive matches, according to a blog post on Blizzard's website.

Last week, Blizzard changed the win-conditions for Overwatch's Assault and Assault/Escort modes. Previously, in matches that required teams to capture objectives on the map, players needed to fully secure one more objective than their opponent in order to secure victory. With the new patch, that changed. After the update, a progress dial is attached to every objective. To win a match (assuming everything else is equal), all that you need to do is make more progress towards securing a point than the opposing team.

Blizzard's goal was to make ties less common, leading to more satisfying matches, but the new system had some unexpected side-effects. As Blizzard explains, "If Team A is on Hanamura defense and prevents Team B from ever gaining any capture progress, then when Team A is on offense they only need to reach 1% capture progress to win the game."

That lead to some confusing results, and players weren't happy. Blizzard understands. In an upcoming patch, the system will change so that teams need to get at least 33% of the way towards capturing an objective for the progress to count.

So, for example, if Team A makes 20% progress towards capturing a point, and Team B captures 25%, the game will be a tie. If both teams make it over 33%, then the team with the highest completion percentage gets the victory (Blizzard's post explains what'll happen in some other scenarios, too, if you still need more information).

According to Blizzard, after the adjustment more matches will end in ties, but the developer is confident that the number of draws will still be "less than the 6% rate across all competitive matches we saw before." The change should make competitive Overwatch a much more satisfying experience—unless your opponents are cheating in some creative ways. Even with the update, that'll still suck.