Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals the future of Overwatch role queue

Published: 22/Mar/2020 17:50

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch’s role queue system has been both praised and criticized since its addition to the game in 2019 – but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, according to Game Director Jeff Kaplan.

Role queue was one of Overwatch’s most-requested features and was finally added in September, 2019. The move saw Blizzard’s hero-based FPS change drastically, from being an anything-goes competitive free-for-all to limiting teams to two heroes per role.

However, by forcing teams to have more balanced compositions, players looking to play the popular DPS role saw their queue times increase heavily. That said, for Jeff Kaplan, it’s been worth it.

Blizzard Entertainment
DPS players have longer queues than tanks and supports.

Speaking with IGN, Kaplan said the development team was pleased with the results of role queue. He noted there is less toxicity in games and players are happier, as a whole.

One of the big issues players had prior to role queue was how there were no restrictions on what you or your team could play. This meant that it was common to have teams made up of multiple DPS heroes who refused to play support.

The end result was players being forced to “fill” onto a role they may not have been comfortable with, leading to tilted teams and toxic behavior.

Blizzard Entertainment
Role queue will likely return for Overwatch 2.

With 2-2-2 role queue, players know exactly what role they’re going to play even before they load into a game. This meant that if you wanted to play tank, you’re guaranteed to be able to do so, and you’d also have two healers on your team, as well.

According to Jeff, it’s very likely that role queue returns for Overwatch 2 – and it won’t be removed anytime soon.

He also touched on the idea of 3-2-1 – a concept of role queue that was tested in the Experimental Mode, where teams consisted of three DPS, two supports and one tank. While it wasn’t well-received, he believes he knows why.

Blizzard Entertainment
Winning in Overwatch is tough without a main tank.

“If Overwatch would have released with a 3-2-1 system, everyone would probably be fine with it, but since we didn’t, players got used to something and don’t want to see it be changed,” Kaplan explained.

Could this be a hint that Overwatch 2 will release with the 3-2-1 system instead of 2-2-2? Only time will tell.

Overwatch

Overwatch player discovers secret counter to Mei’s Cryo-Freeze

Published: 1/Dec/2020 19:32

by Michael Gwilliam

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Mei’s Cryo-Freeze has to be one of the most annoying abilities in Overwatch, granting the hero complete invincibility for its duration. Now, a player has discovered a brilliant trick to counter the ice-themed hero.

In Overwatch, there are few abilities as unique as Cryo-Freeze. It places Mei inside of an ice cube that heals her and cleanses any status effects such as Ana’s biotic grenade.

However, the most annoying thing about the ability is how it makes Mei completely invulnerable. For the few seconds she has it activated, she can survive anything from point-blank D.Va bombs to Sigma’s Gravitic Flux.

Some players have found ways to “time” abilities so they connect with Mei as she exits her ice cube cocoon, such as Tracer’s Pulse Bomb or a Reinhardt charge. However, this tactic is reliant on the Mei using Cryo-Freeze’s whole duration. If she cancels it early, then there’s a chance that she’ll end up surviving or dodging the oncoming attack.

Mei uses ice block in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Mei’s ice block is extremely powerful.

Luckily, a new technique has been discovered which should make countering Mei a breeze. As shown by Reddit user bleubey, Junkrat can actually place his trap directly on top of Mei’s ice cube.

This trick should guarantee that the Chinese environmentalist hero gets trapped and is extremely vulnerable to any attacks. With any luck, you can even catch the Mei player completely off-guard and force out her ultimate.

That exact thing happened in bleubey’s clip. After coming out of the cube, the Mei found herself trapped and ended up wasting her Blizzard in the process, only to be taken out of the picture by a damage-boosted Junkrat grenade.

I find it amusing that you can put a junk trap on top of Mei’s head while she’s an ice cube from Overwatch

Users on the site were shocked to see that such a trick even existed. “I’m almost gold border and I never knew this,” wrote marioaprooves.

“I’m GM and I never knew this sh*t. Holy f**k,” stated another, clearly shocked at what they had witnessed.

Mei freezes Roadhog
Blizzard Entertainment
Mei has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.

Bleubey responded in turn that they only found out by complete accident, proving that such a tactic really went under the radar for a long time.

The next time there is a Mei giving your team trouble, try swapping to Junkrat and taking her out with this neat trap hat maneuver.