Overwatch Finally Adding Role Queue
The long-awaited update to Overwatch spells big change for the game's Quickplay and Competitive modes.
Overwatch will be adding Role Queue to its Quickplay and Competitive modes. The announcement was made alongside a huge patch that includes major balance updates. The patch is live now, but Role Queue won’t officially launch until September 1.
With Role Queue, players will be asked to pick a role—support, damage, or tank—before entering the match. When they arrive at the hero-select screen, they will only be able to pick the role that they chose. Additionally, Role Queue will enforce a role limit to team composition: every team in relevant game modes will be composed of two supports, two damage characters, and two tanks. Previously, players have been able to select any role they wanted to, regardless of the number of team members already populating that role.
In his developer update video, Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan acknowledges the unrest and apprehension that accompanies such a big change: “I know it’s dramatic. I know players in general are averse to change. Please work with this on us. We’re doing this to make the game better. We believe that it will make the overall experience for all of you better, and that’s why we’re making the change.”
Role Queue will usher in a new system for player rankings. Previously, players earned an overall Skill Rating (SR) based on their play with all of the heroes in the game. With Role Queue in place, however, players will achieve three distinct Skill Ratings—one based on their support play, one on their damage play, and one on their tank play.
The update is currently available on the Public Test Region on PC, and on August 13, a beta competitive season will test Role Queue on all platforms for two weeks before it officially launches on September 1. For those who still want to play the game with limitless role selections, a “Quickplay Classic” card is going to be added to Overwatch’s arcade mode.
By forcing a 2-2-2 team composition, Role Queue intends to make teams more well-rounded than they sometimes are, particularly in the Quickplay mode. Furthermore, by queueing for a role prior to joining a match, players will avoid the unfortunate experience of being forced to play a role they aren’t very comfortable with.
At the same time, this change will put a stop to certain creative “meta” strategies that are popular in the game today. The “GOATS” team comp, for instance, requires three supports and three tanks. With the addition of Role Queue, such a team composition will be made impossible. Another potential negative change will be longer wait-times to play the role you really want to play.