How Overwatch Skill Ratings are calculated will change again for Competitive Play Season 3 which, incidentally, begins a bit earlier than expected on 1st December – there will only be one week of downtime following the 24th November end of Season 2.
In a nutshell, Skill Ratings are going to skew lower to begin with but your gains from winning games will be greater early on. Increasing always feels better than decreasing, after all, and I seem to have spent most of Season 2 trying to claw back my initial Skill Rating.
Here’s principal designer Scott Mercer explaining it more betterer:
“When Season 2 started, we had WAY more players in Gold and Platinum than we initially intended, and way fewer in Bronze and Silver. This was the result of how we calculated your initial SR for Season 2. We tried to partially reset player SR at the start of Season 2, but the results were not as we expected. Instead, below-average players started Season 2 at a higher SR than they should have been given their performance in Season 1. This meant that as they played in Season 2, their SR would often drop to a lower value, which didn’t feel great. It also meant that there was a much wider variation of skill in the Gold and Platinum tiers than we wanted. This is something we want to avoid in Season 3.”
“We’re testing a different way of determining your starting SR for Season 3 on the [Public Test Realm]. We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start. We’re also going to initially tune your SR to be slightly lower to start.
“This change will mean that some players will not start in the same tier for Season 3 that they were placed in for Season 2, and that your SR gains from winning will be a little higher at the beginning of the season. After you play enough matches, however, your SR gains and losses will go back to normal.”
Overwatch is currently in the throes of Halloween, offering a rolicking good wave-based Brawl mode called Junkenstein’s Revenge as well as a spooky take on the boring Hollywood map and pumpkin loot boxes stuffed full of Halloween-themed costumes and sprays and so on.