Overwatch

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan confirms no more Skill Rating decay on Seagull's stream

by Alan Bernal

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Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan is dropping bombs on July 18 about incoming features that will be changing how players interact with the game, but the more competitive side of the community will be interested in how Skill Rating will now be changing.

In a series of updates from the latest patch to the game to a dev update that gave players more insight on Overwatch’s state, the Blizzard devs revealed how they’re going to be mixing up plenty of elements in their 3-year-old team shooter.

For a long time players have been consistently grinding games to keep their SR at a competitive standing but an imminent update is going to change how they approach Ranked in the near future.

Blizzard
Blizzard
Looks like players will be able to take breaks from Overwatch without worrying about their SR.

Kaplan joined former Overwatch pro and top player Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned for a special stream at Blizzard HQ when he had a big announcement that he actually “forgot” about, but many were relieved he eventually got around to it.

“This is a big announcement for players like you,” Kaplan said to Seagull. “There is no more SR decay. We’re just getting rid of it for right now.”

Seagull and his Twitch Chat were obviously stunned at the news as Kaplan went on to explain the effects that the major decision will likely bring.

The Blizzard devs are going to prepare for the “issues” that they’re aware will happen because of the change, such as possible leaderboard stagnation and the like.

But the devs think the change will be great to relieve a lot of “fatigue and stress” that they’ve seen in players due to the untimely decay of SR throughout breaks of playing Overwatch.


How will non-decaying SR affect matchmaking?

Players need not fret about the actual number that is used for Overwatch’s matchmaking system which is the elusive Matchmackin Rating (MMR).

“To us at Blizzard, SR is never used for matchmaking,” Kaplan said after announcing that there will be no more SR decay in Overwatch. “We never even look at it, it’s just this number that gets displayed to players.”

Blizzard
Blizzard
While MMR won't be affected, players who've been idle from Overwatch come back to this.

Furthermore, the MMR that players have earned to this point will not be reset because of the new change to SR decay, according Overwatch developer Josh Noh.

While Kaplan emphasized that SR decay would only be gone “for right now” it could be a permanent change if they see it positively affecting their Overwatch player base.