Overwatch Role Queue System Review – Pros, Cons and Suggestions
The Overwatch Role Queue System was created with good intentions by Blizzard’s Overwatch Development Team. We believe their goal was to improve the matchmaking experience by removing the pre-game animosity that occurs when the players are determining their team composition. Blizzard believed this was a pain point for many Overwatch players and the new Role Queue System is their new attempt to improve the matchmaking experience. So, in today’s review, I will discuss the pros and cons of the new Overwatch Role Queue System. I will also suggest a feature that I think would improve it. In my opinion, I believe, that while the current system needs more work, Blizzard has the right idea.
The Old Way
Before we talk about the new Role Queue System, let’s take a quick refresher on the old matchmaking system. Before the new Role Queue System, you would choose the game mode you want to play and then search for a match. Upon joining a match, you would choose your hero from the complete list of heroes at the start of the first round and play the game! Lastly, in competitive matchmaking, you would only have one Skill Rating to worry about for your entire account.
The New Way
Now before you search for a match, with the new Role Queue System, you must first choose a role, such as either tank, damage, or support. You can select as many, or as few of the roles that you want to play. However, the fewer you choose, the longer it will take to find a game. After you pick your role or roles, the Role Queue System will assemble two teams, each with a 2-2-2 team composition based on the roles chosen by each player. For those of you who do not know what a 2-2-2 team composition is, it is where you have a team consisting of 2 damage heroes, 2 tank heroes and 2 support heroes. Once the teams are assembled, each player will choose their hero before the start of the first round. There is one caveat, though. You can only choose a hero from the selection of heroes based on the role you chose. You no longer have access to the complete list of heroes and cannot switch roles. Lastly, in competitive matchmaking, you now have 3 Skill Ratings for each role to be concerned about for your account.
1) For those of you who have been playing Overwatch for a long time, you will know that a 2-2-2 team composition is one of the most common compositions. It is so popular that even the Pros use it. It provides any team with a well-rounded and balanced selection of heroes that complement each other, while also countering the composition of the opposing team. So, by having a well-planned 2-2-2 team composition, your chances of winning are significantly greater. In addition, to giving you a higher success rate, Blizzard is attempting to prevent insta-lockers from ruining your team composition. For those who do not know, an Insta-locker is a player who chooses their hero based on what they want to play regardless of the team composition, and they will continue to play that hero throughout the entire match. In most cases, they ruin your team composition so that you do not have a 2-2-2 team composition. As a side note, the new Role Queue System does not protect against insta-locking within a specific role. It just stops insta-lockers from breaking your team composition. So, by forcing the 2-2-2 composition, Blizzard is ensuring that each team will have a fair fight and an equal chance of winning because each team is made up of players at any skill level.
2) By separating the skill ratings amongst the roles, I find it helpful that players will now have a better understanding of the roles they excel at and the roles that they need more practice with. Therefore, separate Skill Ratings will help players improve their skills from on all levels.
1) If you have played many Overwatch matches, like me, you have probably been on a team where you had some ridiculous team composition that still worked and resulted in a win. Well, say goodbye to those days because now you can only play Overwatch with a 2-2-2 team composition! In my opinion, this approach will kill player experimentation and creativity with regards to team composition. No more six-player damage hero madness!
2) Also, because of the new Role Queue System, there is no way to swap roles in the middle of a game. Therefore, if any part of your team is underperforming, you are unable to swap heroes to solve the problem. For example, if your healers or damage players aren’t keeping up, there is nothing you can do about it. You are stuck with them for the rest of the match. In my opinion, this is one of the major issues with the new system.
For me, the biggest pain point with the new system is that you can’t switch roles with other players during the game. I usually fill in the holes in my team’s composition and the new Role Queue System makes this impossible. If there is any weak point for my team, I am unable to change roles and fill in the gap. Therefore, I would suggest that the development team make some sort of request and approval system that would allow players to change roles mid-game to swap out under-performing players and shift roles to players who may be more suited to fill them. With an in-game request and approval system, we can all adjust who is playing what role without ruining the 2-2-2 team composition.
So, in conclusion, the Overwatch Role Queue System was created with good intentions. However, I think that it will still require more work and effort on the part of the Overwatch Development Team for it to improve. I have suggested a change I think would help improve the system and I am curious as to what your experience has been. Do you have any pros, cons, or suggestions that I have missed? Meet me in the comments below and let’s have a discussion. I would love to add to this article.