A while ago, Overwatch introduced “role queue” which has put me in a bit of a quandry over the past few months.
Is it working? Is it a good idea? Or is it a bad idea?
I don’t have any definitive answers to those questions. I know that Overwatch is in a very very different state to where it was in Season 2 when I started to play.
In fact, I play mostly on Switch now. I miss all the stuff I unlocked on Xbox, but I love the portability and ability to dip in and out wherever I am.
So yeah, Overwatch has changed, I’ve changed how I play, and I’ve been really trying to get my head around the role queue system. I think it’s good?
Roles, roles, roles
The core of Overwatch relies on teamwork and people working together to achieve the objective. Which is fine, hell, it’s sensible!
The problem comes when people just pick a whole team of damage (dps) causers, and nobody wants to play a healer to keep the team alive.
I mean, where’s the glory in healing? You never see highlights of the best healer. It’s always down to massive amounts of damage and team wipes.
Sure, you can get that as a healer, but if you’re focusing on kills and not healing and the objective, why are you playing in a support role like that?
This is where Overwatch has a problem.
The bulk of the heroes are in the “damage” role. Nobody wants to play as a support, and tanks are only a half-way point between supporting and damaging.
I love playing as a tank, I play D.Va, Reinhardt and Wrecking Ball more effectively than other heroes anyway. But never getting chance to try out others is rough. Overwatch has removed my opportunity to play as Mei or Genji.
Worse still, is that apparently people only want to play as dps, so the wait time for that role is significantly higher that other roles. It’s dampened the joy of playing different Overwatch heroes .
Being forced into a role is fine, it encourages teamplay and stops lone-wolves going off just to get kills. But it’s segregated a massive amount of heroes and potentially, fun for people.
I don’t want to have to wait potentially double the time of other roles, just to play in Quick Play and try out new people.
Overwatch has lost an element of fun because of it.
A good thing?
As much as role queueing is a pain in the arse, I think Overwatch is benefitting from it.
Now, I’ve only just worked my way back into ranked matches and I’m rocking Gold rank for the first time ever, thanks to some sweet Wrecking Ball action. But I’ve put in a lot of time into quickplay and even when we’re getting smashed to bits, we’ve always had people in support roles.
I remember playing ranked matches and having to pick a hero that I wasn’t good with, just to meet a need that the team had. Others weren’t so thoughtful or bothered.
A full team of six in Overwatch only works when people are working together. When everyone has the opportunity to do what they want, and they’re not accountable (it’s only a game after all!), they invariably do, and that’s a bummer.
When people only want to use “their favourite” despite not being particularly good with them, it causes problems and can cost a match.
I miss using DPS heroes, but I care more about getting the win, and honestly, I’m just better with tank heroes.
Overwatch forces us to queue for these roles, and drops us in. If you want to wait, good for you. But I’d rather get in matches and be useful.
Better still, if you’re happy to choose tank/support, you often end up earning credits and loot boxes, too. Showing just how desperate people are to play dps.
All in all….
I’m really quite conflicted here. I totally understand and see the benefits of good team composition and forcing it. But I miss knowing that if I was struggling with my usual choices, I could mix it up and make an impact in a different way.
Overwatch players are……..erm…..intense. There’s a lot of toxicity and unless people play at high-levels (I don’t….), people don’t care too much about climbing through the ranks. So they queue for ages to play in damage roles.
Of course, there are arcade modes and ways to play any hero you want, but the heart of Overwatch is in the competitive play, even in quick play.
I guess it comes down to what experience you want? I just miss the freedom, even though I always played a role to support the team. Perhaps if there were more new tanks and support characters, it wouldn’t be quite so stark.
No doubt the game will continue to change and evlove with player habits. Plus, Overwatch 2 is on the horizon and I would hope that they apply some of the lessons learned there?
Either way, right now I’m having a good time and if you’ve read all of this, I think it’s just a weird ramble about the old days…..so I apologise.