The highly anticipated Patch 1.8 has gone live for Overwatch, commencing the new competitive season four and bringing a slew of changes across the board.
To promote aggressive tactics, perhaps for the viewer’s pleasure, Blizzard is dialing back on a common defensive strategy that teams adopt on most maps. Under map balance changes, the developer has introduced a new respawn delay timer that limits how the defending side repeatedly piles itself on a specific contested point.
While the spamming tactic doesn’t necessarily change the outcome of battle, it does allow the side to delay the attackers from taking over the objective.
Patch 1.8 makes it so that if a point is yet to be captured, and the defenders have failed to regain advantage, their respawn timer will begin to increase with every cycle. If the defenders are successful in gaining the upper hand, the timer will be reset. If not, it will give the attackers the advantage of quickly moving in.
When attackers outnumber defenders while taking a control point on Assault, Escort and Assault/Escort maps, the defenders’ respawn time will slowly increase until it hits a maximum value or the defense manages to gain the upper hand.
According to Blizzard, the new respawn delay timer should help the attackers to capture points when they have the advantage, and encourage grouping up by defenders to retake objectives.
The change should also curb the tactic of delaying a game in order to get a tie. On that end, Blizzard has revealed that it is working on a more “robust” solution for Assault maps.
Make sure that you go through the new patch notes before jumping into ranked play. One notable change for competitive play in the new season is that skill ratings for players below 500 will no longer be displayed on the leaderboards. They will also not be eligible for rewards at the end.
This is the proposed solution to the problem of some deliberately throwing their Overwatch ranked matches to play against low-tier players.