Competitive Season 3 has just begun for Overwatch, and with it a pile of bug fixes and changes, some of which aren't the most crowd-pleasing. Season 2 of competitive was hailed as a major improvement by everybody once it landed, throwing out the very controversial coin flip system that often left who the victors were up to chance, and improving the skill ranking system to more accurately and broadly represent each player's skill across a set of tiers instead of just individual levels. No alterations quite as major have been made this season, but Blizzard does seem more content with how season 3 works in regards to evenly scaling the playing field across Overwatch's massive player-base.
Some more new additions to Overwatch this update don't come in the form of content additions, but rather in bug fixes. With a new hero arriving recently in the form of Sombra, it was almost inevitable that there would be some issues needing to be patched up, and Sombra apparently needed quite a few of these patches.
Bug reports aren't always the most exciting thing to read through, so I'll try to get through these as painlessly as possible: Reinhardt's Barrier Shield can now be deactivated after he has been hacked by Sombra, as he would previously be stuck using it if he was hacked while it was up. Sombra's hack now disables Soldier: 76's Sprinting ability (I don't really understand how, but alright), and using her ultimate, EMP, on Symmetra's turrets no longer gives her credit to her "on-fire meter".
Next up, when two or more Sombras are hacking a health pack at the same time, the Sombra that began the hack first will now have the hack go in her favor. Previously, the Sombra that began hacking the pack last was the one who'd get the last laugh, so it's nice to see this oddity patched out. The last two things for Sombra are fairly minor, with her aiming reticle now properly expanding when firing, and her passive ability now being able to see training bots in the practice range below 50% health through walls, as it should.
The last bug fix actually doesn't apply to Sombra at all, instead changing Mercy's damage boosting beam to no longer give her ult charge while boosting someone who is not dealing any damage (on another side note, I'm amazed it took this long to realize and fix something this major).
That wraps up the bug fixes, so that means it's time to cover what Blizzard has decided to change about competitive season 3. Something new that many have likely already noticed before season 3 even launched was the arrival of a new "Off-Season" gamemode taking the place of competitive play while it was down. This will now be a regular thing, allowing players to keep using competitive mode's rulesets during the downtime while not having to worry about losing Skill Rating, allowing players to freely test new strategies and try new maps and characters.
The only other major change that Blizzard has made to the system is that people are now almost guaranteed to place in a lower skill tier than they did previously after their placement matches, with Blizzard commenting that far too many people were placed in higher tiers than they intended, and that this should be balancing out the system more.
This has been met with some mixed feedback, as many find the new placement system to feel much less rewarding, trapping them in lower tiers than they feel they deserve. I personally do see the merits in raising the bar for higher tiered placings, but do still enjoy ranking higher than lower, so I'd have to say I'm not the change's biggest fan. Whether or not Blizzard decides to maintain these changes remains to be seen, but it is likely that they will.