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One of the more subtle adjustments to Overwatch following last week's patch is actually causing the most waves in terms of gameplay, slightly altering the way win conditions are determined across some modes.
In short, victory conditions on Assault and Assault/Escort maps have been altered, beefing up the claim percentage needed for a win in order to keep players from feeling like they got robbed of a victory due to a miniscule difference in the competition. As Principal Designer Scott Mercer explained in a recent blog post about Patch 1.10, this change means that the number of ties in competitive play will go up a bit but, otherwise, the response from the community has actually been pretty positive.
If you haven't played Overwatch, perhaps a little backstory is required. Back in the day, a team needed to capture one more objective than their opponents to win an Assault or Assault/Escort game. In highly competitive matches, that would frequently lead to a tie, as both teams would struggle to push the capture objective all the way to victory. In the most recent version of the rules, teams only needed to earn a single percentage of progression more than the opposing team in order to claim that victory. That meant fewer ties, but it was also kind of frustrating.
Imagine a close game of Overwatch where two teams are oh-so-close to victory. Well, if a team managed to push their capture percentage up by a single digit higher than the opposition, that would end the game in their favor. It was abrupt and often felt like an unsatisfying way to end a close match.
As Mercer explained in his blog post about the victory condition switch, teams now need to reach 33 percent of a capture in order to claim that victory. That means that we'll see a few more ties popping up in Overwatch, but at least those ties will now feel like the result of two well-matched teams literally battling it out to a draw rather than one team standing on the objective a second longer than the other.
Mercer offered a couple of examples to help clear the air. In the first example, Team A is on the attack and only gets 10 percent progress on their capture. Team B is on the attack next and gets 20 percent. A game like that would end in a tie, as neither team reached the minimum 33 percent victory condition. In the previous rules, had Team B achieved just 11 percent progress compared to Team A's 10 percent, they would have claimed the win.
In the second scenario, Team A attacks the objective and gains 90 percent progress while team B attacks and gains 40. In that scenario, team A wins as the minimum 33 percent was reached.