Since it’s debut Overwatch has attracted a vast and diverse playership by appealing to both casual and hardcore gamers. But now Blizzard is choosing sides.
Recently a PTR patch introduced role queue, enforcing the two tank-two damage-two healer strategy. Youtubers, pro-players, and high tier competitive players have long demanded this mechanic be added for comp. However developers have gone beyond enforcing the 2-2-2 in just competitive. Now its becoming the standard across the board. In a previous update, Jeff Kaplan stated that the original quickplay would remain playable but will move to the arcade, insinuating limited access.
Theory and Practice
Now in Beta, the feedback remains initially positive, with many claiming it has saved the game. And there’s truth to that. With the change including three separate class-based SR scores, players are able to get a more accurate placement. Already players have cited improvements to their rankings, which has helped reduce complaints. As a result, the changes have been praised on social media. And the response has piqued the interests players who long deserted the game.
The DPS Dilemma
Unfortunately it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. A side effect of role queue has caused wait times to skyrocket, namely for DPS. Queue times now recorded lasting from 9 to even 20 minutes. Though it’s unsurprising as DPS mains disproportionately outnumber tanks and supports, the backlash continues to grow.
However DPS mains are not alone. Some backlash has come from the decreased amount of placements and “broken” SR as a result. Opposed to the original 10, each base ranking requires only 5 placements. This has left players with base SRs that don’t accurately match their performance.
Many players have also accused Kaplan of not keeping his word. Originally he has mentioned that rankings would undergo a soft “reset”. Yet some have noted that the new rankings still reflect previous seasons, affecting overall placement. It’s unconfirmed whether the ranking algorithm was corrected for the soft reset.
New Tricks, Old Dog
Despite efforts to balance the playing field, more players argue that role queue has made comp worse. In reality, players tend to main heroes from different roles. Aside from trolls, when it came to determining comps, freedom of choice was essential. It allowed players to swap roles in order to meet the needs of the team. Now that’s no longer an option. With the restriction, comps are taking bizarre shapes in efforts to make due with the progression of the match. And these team comps aren’t always for the better.
As a result non-hitscan DPS, off-tanks or off-healers are praying they don’t get stuck on the same teams together. The role queue has become a punishment for players who can’t or don’t play heroes that match the pro comps, leaving to more stress than innovation. With all the new problems role queue has brought to the table, it begs the question whether it was worth the change at all.
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