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Overwatch Role Queue Solves Far More Problems Than It Causes

Despite seemingly creating a rigid system, the role queue in Overwatch serves to create a much better team comp more consistently.

Role Queue was one of Overwatch's most anticipated features before its release. Earlier this month, it was implemented into Quick Play after previously being in comp only.

While some fans have complained that Role Queue has introduced problems, it's worth remembering why it was implemented in the first place. Players previously assumed a lot of responsibility in choosing their hero before the match even started, often leaving players with the choice to instant-lock their favorite damage hero or wait to make a responsible pick, which almost always ended in playing tank or support. Or, you might end up choosing a tank only for nobody to select a healer. Matches feel a little bit fairer now, and it's hard to screw up a team comp too badly under the new system. Gone are the days where a team could have three snipers and no tanks, or the only healer getting tilted and switching to damage. You no longer have to worry about joining a game where a teammate complains that there are no healers, but refuses to switch to a support hero themselves. Every game will have a balanced team (more or less) which makes strategizing much easier. Overwatch is a team-based game after all, and it's comfortable to know that your teammates will (at least in theory) be playing heroes that support the team.

via: playoverwatch.com

On a competitive level, Role Queue will allow Blizzard to more easily balance the meta. While some players may complain that it stifles team comps and kills creativity, it will probably allow the meta to diversify. Oppressive team comps like Dive or GOATS are no more. While it's sad we'll never see another hybrid hero like Brigitte in her original design, we'll also see heroes that will more easily fit into the established meta.

In the Overwatch Pro League, we've seen a few instances of teams switching up their comps wildly for last-minute plays or to try to catch the other team by surprise. While this is no longer possible, we're also seeing the emergence of heroes who previously didn't see much play. We used to only see Zenyatta, Lucio, or Brigitte in high levels of play, but now every support hero sees use. Reaper and Mei have seen a resurgence too. It's also a good change for viewership because matches are more exciting with diverse hero picks.

via: playoverwatch.com

The change to determine a player's MMR on a per-role-basis gives players the freedom to experiment with heroes they might not have played before. In addition, the small incentives given to players who play support or tank roles (lootboxes and credits) further incentivizes players to cooperate.

Despite all the positives, there are a few negatives. The wait time for damage can be pretty high. It's harder to adjust a team comp if someone quits, or if someone is just plain bad at their role. Maybe a Bastion is destroying your team, and you know you could take them if you switched to Genji, but you're stuck on tanks. Maybe you wish you could switch to Widowmaker to clip that Pharah's wings, but you're stuck on support. While it may lead to a better meta, it could also lead to a stale one.

Still, the positives outweigh the negatives. Players choosing their role beforehand creates a better mindset, as players don't feel pressured to choose the role that will best benefit the team. Cooperative players won't find themselves stuck on a team where four people instant-lock damage and are too stubborn to change. Every fight is a fair one, and Overwatch is at it's finest when everyone is working as a team. Role Queue is not a perfect solution to every problem, but it's an incredibly welcome change.

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