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Overwatch is massively shaking up it's matchmaking system with this new update, where you'll be able to select which role you want to play as before entering matchmaking! The system will then match 2 tanks 2 support and 2 damage characters and once in a game you'll be able to select appropriate Heroes! You'll get time estimates for the individual roles and additional rewards for playing roles that are especially needed.
You can also check out the patch notes for more details on the many Hero changes.
Some Heroes are also getting significantly reworked, since they wouldn't otherwise fit the new system, Brigitte being an example, as she's changed to be more of a support than tank. There's also changes coming to the quickplay and competitive playlists you can check out below.
The new system is live on the PTR now and will be coming to live in the form of a "beta" season on August 13th.
Role Queue (source)
The Overwatch community is always evolving alongside the game, becoming more in tune with the game’s intricacies and discovering and sharing new high-level approaches to play. Today we’re introducing a brand-new Role Queue system to help ensure Overwatch matches continue to be fair and fun well into the future, and create an environment that fosters teamwork and encourages players to bring their very best to every match.
Currently in Quick Play and Competitive Play, a lot of important decision-making happens in the 40 seconds before a match even begins, as everyone selects their heroes and responds to others’ role choices. It’s not uncommon for players—who may all have different goals and play styles—to feel tension, pressure, disappointment, or even hostility as a team composition comes together. The Role Queue system is designed to help take the edge off this process, ultimately leading to matches that feel fairer and more fun, where players are in roles that they want to be in.
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.
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.
Once Role Queue is in the game, players will be required to complete five placement matches in a selected role to obtain their seasonal skill rating for that role at the start of each Competitive Season. If a player would like to earn their seasonal SR for all three roles, they will need to complete 15 placement matches in total—five each per role.
Anyone who completes their placement matches in any role during a Competitive Season will receive a special spray and player icon. And as before, players who complete competitive matches will earn Competitive Points (CP) to spend on golden versions of their favorite heroes’ weapons.
When the season concludes, players also receive CP based on the highest Skill Tier they obtained during the season per role. Instead of granting a single pool of Competitive Points, we’re separating the total across three pools earned by completing placement matches in each role. This change allows for players to earn more Competitive Points overall if they complete their placements in all three roles.
Skill Tier Before After New Total Bronze 65 25 75 Silver 125 50 150 Gold 250 100 300 Platinum 500 200 600 Diamond 750 300 900 Master 1200 450 1350 Grandmaster 1750 650 1950
Top 500 Leaderboards
The best of the best players will now be tracked across four separate Top 500 Leaderboards—one for each role, along with an additional combined average leaderboard. The combined Top 500 Leaderboard will be based on the player’s average skill rating across all three roles. To be eligible for a role-specific leaderboard, players must complete at least 25 games in that role (down from 50 games). To qualify for the combined Top 500 Leaderboard, players must be eligible for all three role-specific leaderboards. At the end of the season, players who earn a spot within the Top 500 players for any of these leaderboards on their platform and region will receive an additional player icon and animated spray.
When is Role Queue available?
Role Queue is currently available on the public test region on PC, and will be coming to live servers starting with a Role Queue Beta Season in Patch 1.39. In an effort to give time for additional testing and feedback, we’ll be running the two-week Role Queue Beta Season from August 13 to September 1. Players can earn Competitive Points similar to other competitive mini seasons and qualify for Top 500 Leaderboards during the beta season. However, beta season stats will only be available for a limited time and will not count toward a player’s permanent Competitive Season stats. (Note: Competitive Season 17 will be shortened by approximately two weeks in order to accommodate the Role Queue Beta Season.)
Role Queue will be fully available for Quick Play and Competitive Play beginning on September 1 for the start of Competitive Season 18.
A 2-2-2 role lock will be implemented for all Overwatch League matches in Stage 4, which starts Thursday, July 25. To learn more about how 2-2-2 works in OWL, please visit their full blog here.
Getting this new Role Queue system right has been a huge priority for us—and after more than a year’s worth of work, we’re excited to finally make it happen. As you’re playing, please bear in mind that this is a brand new skill rating system—you shouldn’t compare it directly to your previous SR, and it may take a while for your role-specific ratings to properly adjust.
As any new feature as significant and complex as Role Queue, we’ll be actively iterating on and improving the system over time. We’ll also be actively monitoring and collecting data throughout the public test region and the Role Queue Beta Season—and as ever, we’re always eager to hear feedback from the community.
We hope that you enjoy the new Role Queue feature—please let us know what you think!
Here come the patch notes for the huge new PTR addition, bringing not only the massive new matchmaking Role Queue system, but also a whole lot of Hero changes to get them ready for the new system. Aside from individual changes, we're also getting a 12% increase in ultimate costs, as well as a change to how slowing effects work, while the biggest individual Hero changes are for Brigitte and Symmetra, with Ashe, Doomfist, Hanzo, Moira, Orisa, Reinhardt, Sombra, Tracer and Wrecking Ball also getting tweaks.
PTR Notes July 18 (source)
New Feature: Role Queue
Role Queue is an update to Overwatch’s matchmaking and queuing system that gives players the power to choose which role they play in their games. In Competitive Play and Quick Play, players choose their role before finding a game. The matchmaking system will create a team that is comprised of two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes. Upon entering the match, players select desired heroes to play within their chosen roles. At the end of a match, players will return to the main menu and select their role before queuing into the next game. For more information about Role Queue, read the detailed blog post.
For the time being, we've only enabled Competitive Play for 1.39 PTR. Stay tuned for updates.
Global ultimate cost increased 12% Slowing Effects: Instead of stacking together, friendly and enemy slowing effects are now separate and movement speed will be reduced by whichever is slower. Developer Comment: Ultimates are coming up too often considering how high impact they are. We are reducing how quickly they are built so less fights will be determined by ultimate usage. The slows change will mostly impact heroes which can slow themselves, such as Widowmaker while scoping, or Reinhardt while holding his shield. In these cases, enemy slows such as Symmetra turrets or Mei’s freeze will not hinder these heroes unless they stop slowing themselves or the enemy slow value passes their own slow value.
Reload Time per round decreased from 0.3 seconds to 0.25 Developer Comment: Ashe's time to fully reload felt overly restrictive. However, a long reload time is an intended downside to balance out the power of her gun so we want to be careful not to eliminate that completely.
Healing amount increased from 100 to 130 Self-healing from Inspire is now halved Repair Pack
Now has 3 charges Healing amount changed from 150 to 120 Now heals over 2 seconds instead of instantly If you throw multiple packs at the same person, the current duration will be extended by 2 seconds Whip Shot
Out-going velocity increased from 60 to 80 Retracting time reduced from 0.6 seconds to 0.3 Barrier Shield
Barrier health reduced from 500 to 200 Shield Bash
Stun duration reduced from 0.9 seconds to 0.75 Rally
Ultimate cost increased 10%
Quick melee no longer pauses ammo reload.
Storm Arrows ammo reduced from 6 to 5 Developer Comment: The overall damage output of Storm Arrows was too high so we’re reducing the maximum number of shots.
Can now be used while stunned. Developer Comment: Moira has always been good at healing and dealing damage, but she offers very little utility compared to the other healers. This change reinforces her evasive nature and allows her potentially save her team from area stuns such as Reinhardt’s Earthshatter.
Cooldown increased from 8 seconds to 9 Developer Comment: A common point of feedback for playing against Orisa was that it doesn’t feel useful to shoot the barrier as it comes back so quickly. Increasing the cooldown of Protective Barrier will make destroying it more rewarding.
New Passive: “Steadfast”
Reduces knock back effects by 30% Developer Comment: As a frontline, melee-range tank Reinhardt was more adversely affected by knock back abilities than most heroes. To reduce some of this frustration and enable Reinhardt to more easily fulfill his role, he is now more resistant to being knocked back.
Duration on enemy players reduced from 6 seconds to 5 EMP
Activation time increased from 0.5 seconds to 0.65 Developer Comment: Hack is a potent disable with a long duration. Reducing the duration slightly will make it feel less oppressive as the hacked player without reducing its effectiveness too greatly. The increased cast time on EMP allows for more time to react and opens up more counterplay for the opposing team.
Now lasts an infinite duration until destroyed Players can destroy their Teleporter with the ability 2 input Cooldown now starts when Teleporter is destroyed Cooldown increased from 12 seconds to 15 Maximum range increased from 25 meters to 30 Teleporter breaks if the entrance is more than 40 meters from the exit. Teleport re-use time increased from 1 second to 1.5 Developer Comment: Symmetra’s Teleporter is an interesting tool but often felt too restricting to use. Making the Teleporter last forever opens up new opportunities for how Symmetra is used in various maps and group compositions.
Damage increased from 300 to 350 Developer Comment: Pulse Bomb was reduced in power some time ago to make sure it was not overly punishing to Tanks, which are much easier to stick the bomb to. While this is still a goal, we’re restoring some of this lost power to help deal with other hefty targets such as Bastion, or enemies with bonus armor from Brigitte.
Increased projectile speed from 10 to 13, causing the mines to spread out more. This makes it easier to create a wider minefield, especially from the high in the air. Reduced the activation time from 0.25 seconds to 0.1 Developer Comment: Wrecking Ball has a very active playstyle, but often it felt difficult to make good use out of his ultimate. This change allows him to spread out his Minefield further if he wants, while still allowing for a tighter cluster if he activates it near the ground.
Subtitles: Subtitles now display when spectating while waiting to respawn. Fixed a bug that could cause damage to not be dealt if a damage dealing ability was rapidly gaining/losing targets, like a Zarya trying to track a fast moving hero. Charging heroes (Reinhardt, Doomfist, Brigitte) should more consistently knock each other down when colliding. Some abilities will now appear smoother during slowed down time (end of round or custom game), notably Dragon Strike and Roadhog Hook
Improved ability for Doomfist to get through doorways while using Rocket Punch and clipping the corner. Rocket Punch will now consistently destroy translocator and not be stopped by it, similar to Symmetra turrets. Targets hit by Rocket Punch will now go directly backwards, instead of maintaining any lateral momentum they had. Targets that are stun immune but not knockback immune (Zarya's Particle Barrier, Zen during Transcendence ) are no longer able to affect knockback trajectory. Fixed a bug where if Doomfist used Meteor Strike while crouched he would move slowly for the entirely of the ultimate. Fixed a bug where Doomfist would move backwards slightly slower during Meteor Strike D.Va
Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va's Defense Matrix from pointing down when D.Va was aiming downward while moving. Lucio
Fixed some false positives with Lucio's animation land prediction when wallriding. Zarya
Fixed a bug that caused Zarya's weapon and arm to animate oddly during her emotes when viewed in third person. The new matchmaking system has shaken things up, Brigitte and Symmetra get a lot of changes.
It's time for another Overwatch event and this time around it's the Summer Games' turn to make things more interesting. This year we get weekly challenges to win 3, 6 or 9 games, with the rewards being a spray, icon and skin! The three skins for the challenges in the event will be for Reaper, Mei and Reinhardt and Lucioball also returns along with the usual new cosmetics as well!
Summer Games (source)
HOT NEW SKINS, WEEKLY CHALLENGES, AND MORE
This year, we’re challenging Summer Games participants to win games in Overwatch and earn weekly rewards, including athletic new skins for Reaper, Mei, and Reinhardt. We’re also adding leagues of other new seasonal items, available alongside our growing collection of summer gear from previous years, and bringing back Lúcioball!
WEEKLY CHALLENGES PLAY TO EARN
Win games in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or the Arcade to unlock sprays, icons, and epic skins for Reaper, Mei, and Reinhardt. Each week brings new rewards to earn!
Lúcioball, Overwatch’s futuristic spin on soccer, is back!
How to Play
Team up to boop the ball into the opponent’s goal. The team that scores the most points before time runs out wins the game.
Sate your competitive appetite with skill rating, leaderboards, and the toughest opponents Lúcioball can offer.
Test your skill in Rio de Janeiro’s beautiful Estádio das Rãs, the scenic Sydney Harbour Arena, and the striking Busan Stadium.
STOCK UP FOR THE SUMMER
Celebrate another season of thrilling competition with Summer Games Loot Boxes, brimming with new skins, player icons, voice lines, emotes, victory poses, and more. Items from previous years’ Summer Games events are also available. Don’t wait too long—like any vacation, the Overwatch Summer Games will be over before you know it! Here are the new skins this year:
There's also two new emotes and a highlight intro, which you can check out here along with the previous years' skins.
We have a whole lot of Hero bug fixes today, including Doomfist's Seismic Slam sometimes not hitting enemies, as well as some more workshop tweaks.
June 26 (source)
Workshop: Fixed the “Disable Built-In Game Mode Respawning” and “Set Respawn Max Time” actions. Custom Game: Fixed a bug where Widowmaker’s Venom Mine damage wasn’t affected by custom game damage scalars. Replays: Fixed a bug that caused the FOV button to not function when watching a replay. Heroes
Fixed a bug where Seismic Slam could fail to register. D.Va
Fixed a bug where D.Va’s Defense Matrix would fail to absorb projectiles around a corner in certain circumstances. Baptiste
Fixed a bug where Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix was not boosting healing effects. Sombra
Fixed a bug where Sombra’s Translocator would be on cooldown after respawning. Fixed a bug where an enemy could sometimes use an ability if Sombra hacked them while they were already hacked via EMP. Torbjörn
Fixed a bug that made it possible to use Torbjörn Molten Core and hammer at the same time.
We have a new patch headed to the PTR with this one adding a subtitles feature. You can choose between three levels of depth, depending on whether you want everything subtitled, just the critical stuff, or something in between. The Workshop is also getting more options for content creators, mostly focusing on the performance of the map on servers so creators can predict when the maps might shut down due to excessive load.
PTR June 24 (source)
New Feature: Subtitles
Choose between 3 additive levels of subtitling: Critical Gameplay, Critical Gameplay + Conversations, and Everything. This new feature was created to improve the gameplay experience for players that are deaf or hard of hearing, and also for players who enjoy reading closed captions.
Added the ability for scripters to measure the server performance of the current game instance. Three new values make this possible: Server Load - Provides a percentage representing the CPU load of the current game instance. Server Load Average - Provides a percentage representing the average CPU load of the current game instance over the last two seconds. Server Load Peak - Provides a percentage representing the highest CPU load of the current game instance over the last two seconds. As these numbers approach or exceed 100, it becomes increasingly likely that the game instance will be shut down because it is consuming too many resources. A new preset example displays these values as HUD text in the upper-left corner of the screen. The rule in the preset can be copied into other scripts to help identify performance problem areas. When a game instance shuts down due to excessive Workshop script load, a new error message is displayed in the chat window (instead of the “unexpected error” message). Additional strings added. BUG FIXES
Fixed a bug that could cause players who have selected a hero during the Hero Select Phase to have their hero deselected when the Setup Phase begins. Workshop
Fixed a bug that caused "Set Invisible" to function incorrectly for Reinhardt when using secondary fire while viewing in 3P. Custom Game: Fixed a bug that could cause AI bots to become stuck on their way to the capture point on the Oasis: University map Heroes
Fixed a visual inconsistency with Baptiste’s head with his Spec Ops skin equipped. Hanzo
Fixed a bug that could cause a dead Hanzo’s bow to appear floating above the ground, when that Hanzo had his Kabuki skin equipped. Roadhog
Fixed a bug where Roadhog’s chain would sometimes not render in first person Moira
Fixed a bug where Moira’s Coalescence would sometimes not render in first person There's also already a list of known issues in this iteration of the PTR, with Doomfist's Seismic Slam sometimes not hitting targets being the biggest.
Known Issues (source)
Patch 1.38 Known Issues
Disclaimer: This is not a complete list of all currently tracked issues affecting this build of Overwatch, rather this is a targeted list of some known specific issues with this release.
Some of Wrecking Ball’s voice lines are missing subtitles. Winston is missing subtitle information when he activates his ultimate. Junkrat is missing subtitle information when he activates his ultimate. NPC voice lines are missing some subtitles. Some heroes are missing subtitle information during the hero select screen. Heroes
Sometimes Seismic Slam fails to hit targets. Mercy
Sometimes when Mercy transitions from Valkyrie flying to normal gliding, her wing’s visual effects don’t display. Console
CTF flag carriers will not see the flag on their screens if non-default color blind options are being used.