The Skill Rating decay system, introduced for Overwatch back in the second season, is being changed to make placements in the ranked ladder more meaningful.
Previously, players placed in Diamond or above tiers were required to complete at least one competitive Overwatch match every week in order to maintain their rank. Failure to do so would result in the automatic decay of their Skill Rating.
With the dawn of the game’s fourth competitive season, Blizzard is increasing the number of games required from one to seven per week. In other words, a single competitive game will set the Skill Rating decay timer back by one day.
The developer believes that the new change to the system will “improve the accuracy of the player’s skill rating, make maintaining multiple high-level accounts more difficult, and make upper-tier placement more meaningful.”
It should be noted that the decay changes will only affect players with a skill rating of or above 3000.
Seven competitive games shouldn’t take that much time, with players having the option of playing either a single game everyday or running through all of them at once in a single sitting.
According to Blizzard, the changes are based on feedback gathered from the past three months. However, some portion of the Overwatch community is not too happy with the new decay rules. For them, the changes make Overwatch to be a chore, which shouldn’t be the case.
On Reddit, several players have pointed out that they usually invest time in the ranked ladder over the weekend, being busy with work and travel throughout the weekdays. Hence, the new mandatory seven-game rule will prove bothersome for such players.
“I have school to do, I can fit in at least 2-3 games but not 7 in a week,” reads one such thread. “We have lives.”
Going from one to seven games is obviously a major change for the community. However, it must be taken into account that Blizzard wants more activity in the top-tier ladder to help matchmaking and the growth of the game’s competitive aspect. The previous rule saw many players ditch ranked queues because there was little incentive of dealing with the anxiety of fighting on the ladder. In Season 4, that aspect will totally change.
At the end of the day, Skill Rating is simply a number. Overwatch is designed for fun, and players should just enjoy their stay.
Patch 1.8 went live yesterday for Overwatch, bringing a slew of changes across the board. You can go through the changes here.