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Blizzard Entertainment has released a new developer update, whereby Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan gives an in-depth look at the game’s newly overhauled matchmaking and queuing system, which allows players to select their role before the match even begins. Check it out below.
 


 

How Role Queue Works

 

With Role Queue, we’re updating the matchmaking and queuing systems in Competitive Play and Quick Play so that players choose which role they want to play—tank, support, or damage—before a match even begins. The matchmaking system will then match two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes to create a team, and upon entering match, players will select heroes within their chosen roles. At the end of a match (in both Competitive Play and Quick Play), players will return to the main menu and select their role before queuing for the next game.
 

Role Incentives and Queue Times
 

Each of the three roles will have its own queue, and players will be able to see estimates for the wait time for each at the role-selection screen. Several factors go into those estimates, but they’ll generally reflect the number of players queuing for a particular role. To help incentivize a more even distribution of players across all roles, players who queue for roles that are currently in high demand may get a reward.
 

We believe that Role Queue will improve match quality, give players more control over their gameplay experience, and provide more positive social experiences between teammates.
 

Hero Updates
 

While Role Queue will shake up the team composition meta-game, we also wanted to do a balance pass to make sure every hero is still viable and useful to play. Role Queue affects hero balance significantly, especially for heroes such as Brigitte who was most potent as a third Healer or Tank. With our Role Queue hero updates, we’re updating Brigitte’s kit to provide more healing overall while decreasing her survivability to help solidify her as a Support hero. Read more about Brigitte’s changes and all hero updates in the Patch Notes.
 
Quick Play Updates

In Quick Play, the Role Queue system will allow us to determine each player’s matchmaking rating (MMR) on a per-role basis. This enables us to matchmake Quick Play games based on the MMR for each player’s chosen role. In addition to giving players more freedom to play the roles they want, we believe this will also result in games that are fairer, more appropriately matched, and ultimately more fun overall.
 
Competitive Play Updates
 
Role-specific Skill Ratings
 

Once Role Queue is live, players will earn separate skill ratings (SR) for each role in Competitive Play, for a total of three distinct SRs. This rating will be a number between 1 and 5000, with higher values indicating a greater skill level. Players will also be assigned a tier per role based on their rating—Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, or Grandmaster.
 

As player’s skill rating between roles can vary widely with Role Queue, matchmaking will be calculated using the SR of players’ selected roles. We believe this change will help players feel freer to choose different roles while also creating matches that are fairer and more fun.
 

Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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