Role Queue is now live on the Overwatch Public Test Realm (PTR) and is due to arrive on live servers for Quick Play and Competitive Play beginning on September 1st.
With Role Queue, Blizzard’s updated the matchmaking system in Competitive and Quickplay so players choose which role they want to play - tank, support, or damage - before jumping into a match.
The matchmaking system will sort two tanks, two supports and two damage dealers into a team, and once players have entered a match they’ll select heroes within their chosen roles.
Of course, some roles will be in higher demand than others. Players who queue for roles that are in high demand may get a “reward” - likely a loot box.
Role Queue is set to shake up Ranked play too, as players will now earn separate skill ratings (SR) for each role in Competitive, which’ll total three distinct SRs. Instead of taking an average SR and running with it for every role, matchmaking will calculate things using the SR of the player’s selected role only.
For those who want to relive the good old days, there will be a Quick Play Classic mode in the Arcade which retains the original playstyle and matchmaking experience.
In the latest Developer Update video, game director Jeff Kaplan explained Blizzard’s decision to implement Role Queue:
”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.”
Kaplan also made clear the system wasn’t introduced to steer the meta away from GOATs compositions (three supports, three tanks) which has dominated competitive play for several seasons now.
I want to dispel any misconception that the reason we're implementing this feature is to change the meta...we don't believe a rule like this is intended to target any one specific meta.
Role Queue is currently available via the PTR on PC and will be coming to live servers starting with a Role Queue Beta Season in Patch 1.39. To allow time for bug-fixes and community feedback, Blizzard’s planning on running a two week Role Queue Beta Season from August 13th to September 1st.