Big changes are coming to Overwatch matchmaking. The team-based shooter is introducing a role queue system that has players queue for individual roles: damage, tank, and support. Players choose what role they want to play in a match, queue for that role and are matched with other players in different roles.
Developer Jeff Kaplan announced in a developer update that role queue will be implemented on August 17th, and will appear on the Public Test Server on PC before then. The new system locks in players to a balanced 2 damage, 2 support, 2 tank comp, with different queues for each. Matchmaking skill rating will change as well. Instead of one rating for a player’s overall skill, each player will have three ratings, one for each role. So if someone who usually plays support wants to change things up and play damage for a game, they will be matched against players based on their damage skill rather than their average skill. Ranked skill will be separated in the same way and players can earn ranked points for each role.
Jeff Kaplan reassured players that Blizzard is working to make sure that the transition goes smoothly. He said that the developers would be keeping a “very close eye” on the process and would adjust the system in response.
Kaplan also addressed concerns about the new system. He said that some of the heroes would need to be adjusted to fit into a 2-2-2 comp, like Brigitte, who works better with two other supports and can be a detriment if there are only two supports on a team. He addressed possible differences in queue times, saying that roles that are less popular would have benefits to queueing into them, such as XP boosts. He also addressed players’ worries that the change would lead to less creative team comps, explaining that if Shakespeare could write some of his best work in the limited poetic form of the Sonnet, Overwatch players would find creative gameplay in this new system.
This is not the first time the system has changed in Overwatch - plenty of players complained when Overwatch stopped allowing multiple heroes on the same team as well, since they could no longer pick six Hanzos on a single team. Still, the role queue system will most likely be a positive change, especially for tank and support players that no longer have to worry about protecting an entire team of damage heroes. If players do want to play with the old queue system, Quick Play Classic will be available as an Arcade Mode when role queue goes into effect.