Today feels like a particularly fateful day for Overwatch. Along with the new gravity-manipulating hero Sigma, Blizzard has pushed out Role Queue – a system in which players will lock down their role as either tank, support, or damage prior to entering a Quick Play or Competitive Play match.
In other words, you’ll matchmake for a specific role first, enter a game, and only then choose your applicable hero. Going a step further, Role Queue will limit team compositions to an evenly split 2-2-2 structure. The days of filling out your team with three tanks and three supports are gone.
If this sounds like it’ll have significant repercussions for balance and player behavior and countless other facets of Overwatch, you’d be right! Some people are for Role Queue, others are opposed, and the rest of us are waiting to see how it all pans out. If there’s one constant in Overwatch, it’s change.
For its part, Blizzard issued a round of balance changes with today’s patch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Aside from global tweaks like raising the cost of ultimates by 12 percent, the August 13 update also has numerous buffs (Reinhardt is more resistant to knock-back effects), nerfs (Orisa’s Protective Barrier cooldown is a second longer), and reworks (Brigitte has less survivability, but more healing).
“As any new feature as significant and complex as Role Queue, we’ll be actively iterating on and improving the system over time,” Blizzard said when it announced the approach. “We’ll also be actively monitoring and collecting data throughout the public test region and the Role Queue Beta Season.”
I’ve been sitting out for more than a few months now and as curious as I am to see the queue in action, I definitely feel like I want the dust to settle before I recommit to regularly playing Overwatch.
Overwatch Retail Patch Notes – August 13, 2019 [Blizzard]