A huge change is coming to Blizzard’s hero-shooter, Overwatch, and is aimed at making matchmaking a better experience. The new Role Queue system, which helps with team balance and composition, will require players to pick their favourite team roles before even matchmaking for a game.
You can then pick whichever hero you want in those roles. Now available in the public test realm (PTR) server on PC, this new feature will be in beta come August 13 to September 1.
Be it tank, support, or damage, these roles can be chosen first before heading into Competitive or Quick Play modes in Overwatch. This way, the Role Queue system will match two tanks, two supports, and two damage players and put them together as a balanced team.
Once matched, you will be able to choose which specific hero you want to play as, and the cycle repeats once a match is over in Overwatch.
As Blizzard explained:
Currently in Quick Play and Competitive Play, a lot of important decision-making happens in the 40 seconds before a match even begins, as everyone selects their heroes and responds to others’ role choices.
It’s not uncommon for players–who may all have different goals and play styles–to feel tension, pressure, disappointment, or even hostility as a team composition comes together. The Role Queue system is designed to help take the edge off this process, ultimately leading to matches that feel fairer and more fun, where players are in roles that they want to be in.
As there are three distinct roles, each will have its own queue and estimated wait time will be displayed in Overwatch. If there is a high demand for a specific role, joining that queue may net you unannounced rewards. Under the hood, the Role Queue system will allow Blizzard to rate players’ proficiency in each role individually, allowing Overwatch to match players of similar skill level much easier.
In Competitive play, players will also get a separate Skill Rating (SR) for each role, ranging from 1 to 5000. These numbers will correspond with the existing tier ratings: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster.
Completing a season will net you a reward of Competitive Points (CP), but CP totals have been reduced per tier for each individual role, but more total if you play all three roles.
Leaderboards will also be separated into four Top 500, one for each of the roles, and one combined average.
Players will need to complete five Overwatch placement matches at the beginning of each competitive season to obtain their SR for each role. That is 15 total if you want an SR for all three roles. Doing so will reward you with a special spray and player icon each season in Overwatch.
Blizzard also stated that the new Role Queue system will be paired with a balance check on existing heroes, with Brigitte the only one thus far to have her changed revealed. She will be a better healer but with decreased survivability, making her a better Support character.