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Overwatch tie break rule set for change

Blizzard’s controversial changes to tie breaks in Overwatch Competitive Play have led to an outcry from the game’s passionate community, forcing the developer to make some subtle refinements to the system.

Last month, Blizzard revealed plans to change the way the game dealt with tiebreaks on “defensible maps” such as Hanamura, which Blizzard says has an abnormal rate of ties.

Principal designer Scott Mercer detailed the changes on the forums, explaining how Blizzard was looking to change the way players defend and approach close matches.

At the time, Hanamura had a roughly 1-in-5 draw rate, which Blizzard considered way too high. Changes to the Eichenwalde map revealed how Blizzard was planning to address unbalanced maps in an effort to make for 50/50 win/loss between attack and defense.

So what actually changed? Well, the changes meant teams no longer have to capture one more objective than the opposition to win: it’ll simply be a case of having a greater capture percentage, even if both teams have captured the same amount of points.

The problem with this system, as has been discovered by the community, is that should a defending team hold the attacking team to 0% capture with perfect defense, all they would need to do is capture 1% of the objective when it’s their turn to attack.

That seems like a fairly reasonable approach, as good defense should be rewarded. The problem was that many players weren’t quite aware of this, and so they would perhaps forego a percentage in order to get the high ground, or take out attackers from a distance. Then, within a split second, the match is lost.

To address this, Blizzard has set a capture cap of 33%, meaning a team that has held the opposition to <33% capture, would need to themselves capture at least 33% to win the match.

Principal designer, Scott Mercer, detailed the changes on the forums with some examples.

Example 1

  • Team A attacks the first objective on Hanamura, but only gains 10% progress after a really rough offensive round.
  • Team B then attacks, but they can only gain 20%.
  • This is a TIE. Neither team achieved the minimum of 33%.

Example 2

  • Team A attacks the first objective on Hanamura, and gains 90% progress. (So close!)
  • Team B attacks, and only gains 40%. progress.
  • Team A WINS, as they had a minimum of 33% and more progress than their opponent.

Example 3

  • Team A attacks the second objective on Hanamura, and fully captures it with 3:00 left.
  • Team B attacks the second objective on Hanamura, and captures it in overtime with 0:00 left.
  • Team A now is back on the attack, trying to take the first objective. They can only reach 20% progress after their time bank of 3:00 elapses. This is a TIE. They did not meet the minimum target of 33% progress. If Team A had reached 33%, then they would have won the match.

What are your thoughts on the changes? Sound off in the comments below!

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