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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.
Blizzard had a surprise for us with a new patch released today, right after a Developer Update from Jeff Kaplan (who expertly hinted nothing about the release date). The patch contains the Baptiste Reunion Challenge event, as well as everything that was added in the last PTR build.
With a Baptiste short story just released, it is time for Overwatch's newest hero to get some attention. Jeff announced a themed event, similar to the Bastet and the Nano-Cola one, which is called Baptiste Reunion Challenge. You will unlock an Epic Baptiste skin by winning 9 matches in any mode and there will be other rewards too!
The newly released patch contains some new features and changes, with the most important ones being Replays. You can access them from your Career Profile: you will be able to view your last 10 played matches by any angle you want, you can use all spectator tools, as well as the spectator overlay (similar to the OWL broadcast).
Moreover, on PC you will be able to rewatch OWL matches shortly after they have happened on the special Overwatch League viewer.
The patch includes some minor balance changes, that are already available on the PTR.
Changes have been made on Assault mode: after you've captured Point A, you will have 1 minute less (compared to now) to capture Point B. In addition, immediately after wiping on Point A with the other team capturing it, you will spawn on Point B.
Lastly, the new competitive season approaches and with it, there will also be a competitive free-for-all death-match season.
And here are the patch notes:
Baptiste's Reunion Challenge
We’re bringing Baptiste's journey in the short story “What You Left Behind” to Overwatch with some special, unlockable in-game content. Wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade will all earn you themed sprays, a player icon, and a new epic skin – MEDIC BAPTISTE!
Tune in to participating Twitch broadcasters while they’re playing Overwatch anytime through July 2 to earn six Baptiste's Reunion Challenge sprays!
To learn more about Baptiste's Reunion Challenge, click here.
New Feature: Replays
Experience your past Overwatch games from a whole new perspective with Replays. Replays allows you to watch your ten most recent matches from any vantage point. Whether you want a first-person, third-person, or bird's-eye view, you can see it all with this tool. Hone your strategies by slowing down or speeding up the game to see exactly how a critical moment played out, get a better view of the action from above, or even turn off the UI completely.
Learn more about Replays: Blizz.ly/OverwatchReplays
Increased heal ammo from 10 to 12. Amplification Matrix
Ultimate duration increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds. Developer Comments: Given the dual nature of Baptiste’s weapon, he ends up having to reload often. We’re increasing the amount of ammo he has to work with so he can get more firing time while healing. Similarly, increasing the duration of Amplification Matrix will allow allies more time to get into position to make use of it.
Reduced length of Defense Matrix from 15 meters to 10 meters. Developer Comments: Defense Matrix is a very powerful defensive ability and can often feel oppressive from far away. Reducing the range on it will require D.Va to position herself more carefully to take advantage of its effects.
Primary fire recovery reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.42 seconds. Developer Comments: On average, McCree’s damage output wasn’t quite making up for the relatively low mobility or utility in his kit. Reducing his weapon’s recovery time improves the potential damage output without affecting the number of successful shots to kill an enemy.
Barrier can be deployed without interrupting reload. Developer Comments: Orisa has one of the longest weapon reloads and interrupting it to deploy a new barrier felt too disruptive to her gameplay. This change allows her to reload as needed while still being able to protect herself and her team.
Teleporter interact range increased from 1 meter to 1.5 meters. Developer Comments: This is primarily a quality of life improvement as it was possible to create a teleporter that Symmetra was unable to interact with unless she moved toward it.
Secondary Fire damage per pellet reduced from 12.5 to 10.5 (105 dmg total per shot). Developer Comments: The combined damage output of Torbjörn’s secondary fire with his Overload ability was too high given his recently increased survivability.
GAME MODE UPDATES
Time awarded for capturing Point A on all Assault maps has been reduced from 4 minutes to 3 minutes. Upon losing Point A, any defenders that are dead, or that die shortly thereafter, will have a maximum respawn of 3.5 seconds. Developer Comments: Assault match lengths are averaging higher than we're happy with, particularly in Competitive where there are multiple rounds. We're also concerned with how often Offense fully captures Point A and Point B. Reducing the round time from 8 to 7 minutes should address both these concerns, as less overall time rewards better Defense.
Additionally, sometimes Defenders fight late with good intentions at Point A and end up staggered from their team when A falls, leaving their team with uneven footing to defend a rush to B. In these situations, temporarily lowering the respawn time to get those Defenders back with their team should be a better match experience and doesn't punish players so harshly for wanting to defend Point A.
Visual update applied Check boxes added to support operations on multiple conditions/actions/rules. You can now disable conditions/actions/rules without deleting them. (PC) When copying conditions/actions/rules, the contents will also be copied to your clipboard in a text format. (PC) When pasting conditions/actions/rules, the editor will use the text from your clipboard. Increased maximum number of effects from 64 -> 128. Added ‘Modify Global Variable At Index’. Added ‘Modify Player Variable At Index’. BUG FIXES
Communication Wheel: “Acknowledge” pings triggered through the Communication Wheel can now target objectives. Fixed a bug where explosions could play in the wrong position if a mispredicted impact happened on the client. Fixed an issue where some UI effects weren't being properly colored when color blind settings are set on console. Tutorial: Weapon UI is now hidden until your weapon is available. Havana PvP – Fixed a bug that could cause the payload to get stuck leaving the Distillery checkpoint. Fixed a bug that could cause the Play of the Game animation to be cut off before it ends. Fixed a bug that could limit the number of effects displayed on screen at the same time.
Custom Game: Fixed a bug where AI Soldier: 76 wouldn’t fire his Helix Rocket at the same target twice. Custom Game: Fixed an issue where ‘Nearest Walkable Position’ would use a location in a spawn room instead of the specified location when the spawn room doors were closed. Custom Game: Fixed a bug that could cause AI Soldier: 76 to be unable to use Biotic Field. Custom Game: Fixed a bug where disabling primary fire doesn't disable it for transform effects like Hanzo's Storm Arrows, Genji's Dragonblade, Soldier: 76's Tactical Visor, Torbjörn's Molten Core, Bastion's Configuration: Tank, and Winston's Primal Rage. Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra and D.Va from using their Ultimate abilities when using the ‘Set Ultimate Charge’ action to grant 100% Ultimate charge. Fixed a bug that prevented players from focusing on the Rule checkbox when using a controller. Fixed a bug that prevented the "Stop holding button" from clearing the action when using a wait before the action. Fixed a bug that caused players to always be returned to the Custom Game Browser when backing out of any game, if the player had been to the Custom Game Browser previously. Fixed a bug that forced Console Players to press the button twice when attempting to enter a numerical value when using a controller. Console Players are now able to bring up the virtual keyboard for manual numerical entry via one button press when using controller. Fixed a bug that could cause variable values displayed in the Inspector to fail to update after making changes and restarting the match.
Anti-Heal will be cleared when Sombra uses her translocator to teleport. Baptiste
Fixed a bug that caused Ana's shot sound effects to be played on Baptiste when his Immortality Field is hit by her Primary Fire. Brigitte
Enemy barriers now block line-of-sight for Brigitte's Rally. Fixed a bug where armor damage mitigation was too effective when multiple instances of armor were stacked on top of each other. Doomfist
Fixed a bug that allowed Doomfist to access out-of-bounds areas of the the Havana map during his ultimate. Fixed an issue where Doomfist's Rocket Punch would sometimes impact stairs. Fixed issue where Doomfist's Seismic Slam was not showing its electricity effect on affected entities. Fixed a bug that could result in Seismic Slam not hitting targets when it should. Genji
Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s damage boost from being applied to deflected projectiles. Hanzo
Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo's targeting reticle to appear on kill cam for players killed by his Dragonstrike Ultimate. Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo's hands to clip into his legs during the Meditate emote on several skins (Cyberninja, Lone Wolf, Scion, Young Master). Lucio
Fixed a bug that prevented portions of Lucio's 2019 Pacific All-Stars skin from being visible in highlight and in-game portraits. Orisa
Fixed a bug that caused Supercharger to self-destruct when placed in certain locations. Roadhog
Fixed a bug that allowed Roadhog's hook to function when he was hacked by Sombra. Sombra
Translocator will now escape slippery surfaces more easily and not be able to be stuck to them. Fixed an issue where a material effect on Sombra’s hair would cause it to cast a shadow while invisible. Symmetra
Resolved an issue where Enemy and Friendly UI color options were incorrectly being applied to Symmetra’s Photon Barrier. Torbjörn
Fixed a bug that prevented some of Torbjörn's visual effects from being applied when he used Overload with certain skins equipped. Fixed a bug that caused Torbjörn's turret to sometimes destroy itself. (source)