After hinting at it for weeks, Overwatch has finally debuted the long-awaited Role Queue system into the PTR which will overhaul the matchmaking system as players know it, along with a plethora of other changes.
Role queue will allow players to select their desired role on a team whether it's being a tank, DPS, or healer, and go into a game locked into that role.
Currently, the system is a bit of a free-for-all as players rush to select their unit so Blizzard hopes this will help streamline the experience a bit more.
For example, a player who queues in as a healer will only have the option to play healer for that match, but they will have the option to re-queue in the next game in a different role if they so choose.
This system will eliminate the problem of not having enough healers in a match or having too many DPS heroes in a round. It's important to note that this new system will be coming to both Quick-Play and Competitive.
Perhaps the biggest news of all with this update is that it will shift the meta away from GOATS and force competitive players to try different methods.
The meta in its current state has grown increasingly stale and many pro players have expressed their displeasure with it and Blizzard's inability to shake it up. This change has the potential to be controversial but it's hard to argue against this being a positive change overall.
Role queue isn't the only big thing coming with this patch as numerous heroes have received some balance tweaks and the rate at which Heroes gain their Ultimates has been slowed down.
Blizzard claims Ultimates were coming up too often and this change will help more fights feel less reliant on what Hero is able to get theirs off first. The cost of an Ultimate went up 12% with this update but there's a chance that number could be tweaked depending on how things play out in the PTR.
You can read the full patch notes below.
New Feature: Role Queue
Role Queue is an update to Overwatch’s matchmaking and queuing system that gives players the power to choose which role they play in their games. In Competitive Play and Quick Play, players choose their role before finding a game. The matchmaking system will create a team that is comprised of two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes. Upon entering the match, players select desired heroes to play within their chosen roles. At the end of a match, players will return to the main menu and select their role before queuing into the next game. For more information about Role Queue, read the detailed blog post 30.
For the time being, we’ve only enabled Competitive Play for 1.39 PTR. Stay tuned for updates.
Developer Comment: Ultimates are coming up too often considering how high impact they are. We are reducing how quickly they are built so less fights will be determined by ultimate usage. The slows change will mostly impact heroes which can slow themselves, such as Widowmaker while scoping, or Reinhardt while holding his shield. In these cases, enemy slows such as Symmetra turrets or Mei’s freeze will not hinder these heroes unless they stop slowing themselves or the enemy slow value passes their own slow value.
Developer Comment: Ashe’s time to fully reload felt overly restrictive. However, a long reload time is an intended downside to balance out the power of her gun so we want to be careful not to eliminate that completely.
Developer Comment: The overall damage output of Storm Arrows was too high so we’re reducing the maximum number of shots.
Developer Comment: Moira has always been good at healing and dealing damage, but she offers very little utility compared to the other healers. This change reinforces her evasive nature and allows her potentially save her team from area stuns such as Reinhardt’s Earthshatter.
Developer Comment: A common point of feedback for playing against Orisa was that it doesn’t feel useful to shoot the barrier as it comes back so quickly. Increasing the cooldown of Protective Barrier will make destroying it more rewarding.
New Passive: “Steadfast”
Developer Comment: As a frontline, melee-range tank Reinhardt was more adversely affected by knock back abilities than most heroes. To reduce some of this frustration and enable Reinhardt to more easily fulfill his role, he is now more resistant to being knocked back.
Developer Comment: Hack is a potent disable with a long duration. Reducing the duration slightly will make it feel less oppressive as the hacked player without reducing its effectiveness too greatly. The increased cast time on EMP allows for more time to react and opens up more counterplay for the opposing team.
Developer Comment: Symmetra’s Teleporter is an interesting tool but often felt too restricting to use. Making the Teleporter last forever opens up new opportunities for how Symmetra is used in various maps and group compositions.
Developer Comment: Pulse Bomb was reduced in power some time ago to make sure it was not overly punishing to Tanks, which are much easier to stick the bomb to. While this is still a goal, we’re restoring some of this lost power to help deal with other hefty targets such as Bastion, or enemies with bonus armor from Brigitte.
Developer Comment: Wrecking Ball has a very active playstyle, but often it felt difficult to make good use out of his ultimate. This change allows him to spread out his Minefield further if he wants, while still allowing for a tighter cluster if he activates it near the ground.