Overwatch 2 Season 4 Deranking Issue Has Fans Up in Arms (Again)

It’s like Charlie Brown and the football.

Originally Published: 
Lifeweaver Overwatch 2
Activision Blizzard

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Overwatch 2 players are mad at seemingly nonsensical changes to the game made by Activision Blizzard. At this point it is a tale as old as time: Blizzard changes something, fans get upset, and the cycle repeats. The latest problem comes in Season 4’s new competitive rankings, specifically with the phenomenon of rank decay. Typically, a player’s competitive rank will go down at the start of a new season, encouraging them to climb back up the ladder. But for some players, that decay heading into Season 4 felt like too big of a freefall.

Update 4/13/2023: A Twitter thread from Game Director Aaron Keller on the evening of April 12 addressed the deranking issues and laid out a plan to fix the problem.

“We’ve identified a fix and plan to include it in the next patch later this month. Impacted players should receive their correct Season 3 ranking and receive competitive points and titles based on where they ended once the patch goes live. To help make up for it, competitive points will be granted again. So these players will get both the correct CP gain, but they also get to keep the original grant we gave them.”

Original story continues below.

To coincide with the release of Overwatch 2 Season 4, the development team released a blog on the game’s forum detailing what players could expect in the new season. One change that sought to address a longstanding issue with the game’s competitive play was the alleged removal of rank decay. The forum post states the following:

The start of Season Four was not smooth for Overwatch 2 players.

Activision Blizzard
“Competitive Play ranks are no longer reduced at the beginning of every season, and all previous effects of this system have been removed. Everyone’s skill tier and division have been adjusted to match the current estimate of your skill.”

Though with the release of Season 4, players have quickly taken to the internet to share that the problem of rank decay has very much not been removed from the game, and in fact may have gotten even worse. A Reddit user shared that they were deranked from Masters 1 to Platinum 4, which is a 13-rank difference. The official forum post is filled with similar stories and complaints from players dismayed about all sorts of extreme deranks.

Some players claimed that their ranks actually went up instead, although these stories are far less common in the threads. Overall, it has left the Overwatch 2 community wondering what in the world is happening with the competitive ranking systems behind the scenes, especially considering Blizzard seems to think they were solving the problem.

Thanks to an official comment from Blizzard devs, we know that there are two different things contributing to the deranking fiasco. The first is that many players are seeing their final Season 3 rank lowered from what it was when Season 3 ended. Overwatch 2 Server Engineer Morgan Maddren answered a fan on Twitter and shared that the “Season 3 rank changes were unintended, we're looking into it!”

Overwatch 2’s newest hero — Lifeweaver.

Activision Blizzard

While good to know, it doesn’t necessarily fix or answer the issues with Season 4 rank decay. However, an official forum post adds that this Season Three ranking issue has caused Season Four initial ranks to seemingly decay because it is the expected rank of the perceived Season Three rank. Blizzard assures players that those. “who reach their next Competitive Update should receive their excepted ranks.”

Another issue appears to be a change in how Competitive Ranks are calculated. As explained by Overwatch content creator Skiesti, the development team is changing rank to focus on MMR and not STD (an unfortunate acronym indeed). “It is not a rank reset like previous seasons,” says Skiesti on Twitter, “You are being moved to your MMR.”

MMR is your matchmaking rank, while STD is your Skill Tier Division. While there is much more behind what is different between these two types of ranks the important thing in the context of the current rank decay issues in Season Four is that they are different. Meaning that a switch between the systems has naturally led to rank problems for players.

Of course, Overwatch players are used to these types of issues and the beginning of a new season always brings issues. Hopefully, the developers are right and the problem will be solved soon. In the meantime, players can keep plugging away at the new battle bass and start mastering the newest hero, Lifeweaver.

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