Overwatch is having a free weekend next week, but for those who already have the game, you’ll be much more interested in the second season of the game’s Competitive Play. It starts today on PC and Xbox One alongside a new patch, but the PS4 is lagging behind for some reason, so you’ll have to wait a little longer to start earning your stripes.
Alongside Season 2 and a raft of balance tweaks and bug fixes, the big addition in this patch is the Eichenwalde map, which can be used for Assault and Escort game modes. It’s a map with a lovely fantasy feel, set in a German forest and having been the site of a key battle during the Omnic Crisis. It was revealed back at Gamescom with this video:
Season 2 completely overhauls the game’s Competitive Play, expanding the 100-point scale to 5000 points, so you can see much better how you’re progressing. Getting past 3000 points, you’ll have to play regularly, as you lose 50 points for every 24 hours without a match.
There’s now seven skill tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and then Master and Grandmaster – and these come to affect who you can group with before playing competitively. Up until Diamond, you just need to be within 1000 points of one another, but Master and Grandmaster require you to be within 500 skill points.
There’s plenty of other changes, not least to the removal of Sudden Death rounds and a new time back system to help decide tied Escort and Assault matches, there’s now stricter penalties for leaving matches, and gold weapons cost more.
For more details, head over to Blizzard’s blog post.