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

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

Published: 26/Aug/2019 21:43 Updated: 26/Aug/2019 23:06

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 EntertainmentSigma 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 EntertainmentRole-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. 

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Why an Overwatch 2 delay could be a blessing in disguise

Published: 17/Jan/2021 23:38 Updated: 17/Jan/2021 23:41

by Bill Cooney

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We’ve been waiting for what seems like forever on Overwatch 2 and everyone wants to see big news at BlizzConline 2021. But if we don’t get a release date, we shouldn’t be treating it like the end of the world.

The hype around Overwatch 2 was incredible when the first trailer and gameplay were revealed at BlizzCon 2019 but, after that, it steadily died down to little more than background noise with no official updates or news whatsoever coming from Jeff Kaplan and the team since.

Really, it’s only coming back on everyone’s radar because of BlizzConline, the online replacement for the canceled 2020 convention starting on February 19. Of course, we don’t know anything about what’s officially going to be covered there, but so far people have been saying we could see anything from just a few shots of new heroes, maps, and other content, all the way to a full-on release date.

But, drawing a line in the sand with a set date could be one of the worst things to do to the game before it even comes out.

Everyone obviously wants to play a good game day one on release, but, we’ve all come to expect to be drip-fed information on the newest upcoming titles at every stage, and to know roughly when they’re coming out. This hasn’t happened for Overwatch 2, and to say people are starting to get anxious over it would be arriving very late to the party.

The way it works though is if a game has a set release date from developers of publishers, then it becomes news when or if that date gets delayed or pushed back, and you better believe the pitchforks will come out on Twitter when people find out they’ll have longer to wait.

You may have seen where this is going, but take Cyberpunk 2077 for example — from E3 through the lead-up to the release (which was delayed multiple times) we were shown video after video of incredible-looking gameplay and promised an immersive, futuristic world to get lost in. We got neither.

Instead, most of us got a bug-filled mess that barely worked unless you had a high-end PC or the latest gen console, and even then it still didn’t deliver everything that was promised. It was so bad, Sony even pulled it from the PlayStation store. Now, just imagine that happening to Overwatch.

Overwatch 2 concept art
Blizzard Entertainment
Concept art, screenshots, trailers, and a bit of gameplay are basically all we’ve had to tide us over since 2019.

Not to say Jeff and the Overwatch team aren’t capable of delivering an amazing product — they’ve proven they can do that already — but for the sequel to be the best that it can be, they should take all the time they need. We all want to play OW2 ASAP, but if they need to hold off on a release date a while longer to avoid a broken, buggy joke, then so be it.

“I don’t know, I have no idea,” Kaplan said about a release date all the way back at BlizzCon 2019. “Just let us make it great, that’s all we care about more than anything, we don’t have a date in mind.”

That kind of thinking might be a bit of what endears Jeff to the community, as someone who worked on World of Warcraft when today’s “Classic” was just the entire game, he’s one of the last links to the “old Blizzard,” one that even had its own definition of the word “soon™” coined by fans, which is good to keep in mind as we continue to wait for Overwatch 2.

“Soon™: Copyright pending 2004-2021 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. “Soon™” does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. “Soon” shall make no contract or warranty between Blizzard Entertainment and the end-user. “Soon” will arrive some day, Blizzard does guarantee that “soon” will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on “soon” as Blizzard will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at “soon.”