Jeff Kaplan discusses Sudden Death and its future at length.
Overwatch’s highly anticipated Competitive Play mode is currently only available on Blizzard’s Public Test Region servers but it’s garnering quite the amount of criticism. This is due to its Sudden Death rounds which (a) award victory to the attacker that can capture the first checkpoint and (b) decides who attacks with a coin flip. With attackers receiving quite the advantage in some situations, there have been a myriad of complaints about the system as a whole.
Game director Jeff Kaplan took to the official forums to address this, noting that while the occurrence of Sudden Death for Assault had been reduced, it was still too high for the team’s liking in Escort and Hybrid maps.
For the short-term, Kaplan said, “Based on this data and your feedback, here are a few changes we’re looking to make immediately to Competitive Play: Initial match time for Assault, Escort, and Hybrid maps will be reduced from 5 minutes to 4 minutes. Sudden Death Timer will be reduced from 2m00s to 1m45s.”
He also noted that in the long-term, there will be a “time bank” mechanic for Hybrid and Escort to reduce the occurrence of Sudden Death. You can read Kaplan’s full response on Sudden Death itself – which he believes is currently “very good, and is actually much more balanced (and I’m looking at real stats here) than players are exaggerating it to be.”
However, Kaplan also noted that, “We’re very open to changing and tweaking this system, but we’re also realizing that Sudden Death mechanics, in whatever format we might use, all have problems and we may be in a situation where we won’t be able to please the majority of our competitive players.” This includes eliminating Sudden Death and the Coin Flip in the long run though it most certainly won’t be in this season.