Overwatch

Overwatch devs reveal changes to DPS queue times, no SR reset and more

by Michael Gwilliam

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In a new forum post on the Blizzard forums, Overwatch developer Scott Mercer addressed the state of role-queue, several issues they’re working on and why certain players are at the rank they’re at. 

Overwatch role-queue was first announced on July 18 in a developer update by game director Jeff Kaplan. The feature had been long sought after the community as a way to create more balanced matches.

As Kaplan explained in the video, while queuing, players would get an individual skill rating for the role they select in competitive play. One of the drawbacks of this has been the amount of players wanting to play as DPS, creating very long queue times.

We reported earlier in August that some players, including streamers such as Kephri, were getting queue times of over an hour before they could play a game.

Now, Mercer has revealed that these issues are being worked on. “We’re monitoring the data very closely, and I can share some information here. Across all skill ranks, we do see higher queue times for players who specifically queue for Damage Only,” he wrote. 

“Most damage players usually see 3-6 minute queues, unless they’re in the masters or grandmaster skill tiers. Players with very high SRs will always see higher queue times because there’s fewer players of similar skill to match against them, but we’ve seen reports and have data showing some players are waiting 20-30 minutes,” he added.

The developer then revealed that a fix is coming in the future and provided some suggestions for DPS players to find games quicker. “We’re investigating this and are already working on some matchmaker adjustments for future updates to help address the issue. If you can find a friend who plays Tank or Support, queuing together as a Damage/Tank or Damage/Support duo drastically reduces the queue times you’ll face.” 

Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment
Sigma went alive alongside the role-queue beta.

Mercer went on to addresses such as DPS being blamed for losses, enemy opponents not dying and reaffirming that Overwatch is a team-based game. He did not address the fact that the game is in a double barrier meta or the healing output support heroes have.

He did, however, bring up players’ SR after placements and why a reset would be a bad idea.

“We’ve actually tried in a few seasons doing something that amounts to a partial SR reset across seasons, but the results were pretty horrible. When you queue for a match with an SR that doesn’t accurately reflect your skill, the quality of the match drops tremendously. Therefore, we try to quickly change your SR as a new player to more accurately determine your SR, and we can’t ever really consider implementing a full SR reset,” he said. 

“Match quality would be harmed for months until everybody played a lot of games and the matchmaker could properly identify everyone’s skill again.” 

Additionally, he may have referenced xQc’s problems with role-queue. The streamer didn’t believe he should have placed in GM as a support player and would ruin games if he was allowed to stay at that rank. 

Mercer responded to this criticism by saying, “We saw a few reports from very high skilled players who were incredulous that they seeded so high at an off role, but then we looked, and they had performed well on that off role in a significant number of games in the past. When we seeded their role SR, we used that prior data.” 

Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment
Role-queue has been met with a mostly-positive result.

The developer ended the post by reinforcing the fact that feedback is important and there are more updates in the works. 

“There are still more exciting changes to come! On September 1, Season 18 of Competitive Play begins and we’ll introduce Role Queue into Quick Play. We’ll closely monitor queue times, match quality, and all your comments across our forums and other social platforms. We’re excited about the future of Role Queue!” 

In a reply to the post, Mercer also revealed that while players' stats for the role queue beta season would be removed from their profiles, the results of the matches will still help with matchmaking and skill in season 18.

Role queue will go live across the game, including quick play, on September 1.