In another classic “Jeff from the Overwatch team” video , an announcement and briefing about the new method for matchmaking in Overwatch shook the foundations of what the game has been for the past three years. Soon, rather than queuing up and trying to form a cogent team through varying levels of heated debate or outright rage, you’ll be queueing up as either a tank, support, or damage. Each of these will have their respective queue times depending on how many people are playing, but more interestingly, they’ll also have their own matchmaking rating. This means you could be the world’s greatest tank and the world’s worst support and get in matches that correspond to your skill level in each.
This is going to come with some upheaval to the way people put together their team structures. More coordinated teams, especially in competitive, use team setups that have a variety of different roles and hero use. Having to conform to the “2-2-2” (two tanks, two supports, and two healers) design will mean that individual character choice will have a larger impact than simply stacking healers or tanks. This also means some characters will need to be rebalanced. Some of the more recent characters that could be defined as “cross-role”, such as Brigitte, will be rebalanced to better fit into their primary roles. Brigitte will be shifted more toward healing and have less survivability in order to be better at keeping the team alive when only one other healer is available. This could extend to other characters as well and be a defining factor in those developed in the future.
What this means to me, and probably many other people who have moved on from a game that that seemed to get a bit stagnant, is that we finally have a new reason to get back into it. It has the potential to limit toxicity from reactions to what heroes players pick and will streamline the team forming experience as a whole. While it obviously will still be necessary to switch characters on the fly if things aren’t going well in a match, there’s now going to be less of those moments where you question how you ended up with four damage heroes. In addition, if you have a hero you enjoy playing and practice with a lot, you have a much better chance of playing them as much as you’d like. That’s a huge positive for people who don’t want just may not be into other types of gameplay. I am still curious about a couple of things, such as which characters are going to be rebalanced and how pro teams are going to adjust, but I’m excited nonetheless.
Will you be jumping back in Overwatch to try this out? Does it make it sound more appealing if you’ve never tried the game before? I’d like to hear how other players who have moved on are reacting to this change in the fundamental matchmaking process.