Blizzard is hard at work trying to please Overwatch with several updates to the game, ranging from balance changes to the return of old modes that have been relegated to the Arcade tab.
In the latest developer update, the game's director, Jeff Kaplan, gave a huge announcement: Open Queue will make its return to competitive Overwatch as part of the core experience.
After implementing a 2-2-2 role lock system halfway through 2019, that saw every team composition be conceived of two damage-dealers, two tanks, and two supports to target the triple tank, triple support meta that was referred to as GOATS, Open Queue was seemingly a thing of the past.
Making a return as a throwback mode in the Arcade tab recently, Kaplan explained that "it's actually been fascinating to watch the response to competitive open queue across the world. For example, in Korea, it's the second most popular mode while in North America is less popular than Mystery Heroes or even workshop modes.”
It's thanks to that overwhelming response that the mode is making its return to Overwatch's main competitive experience next July.
"Very shortly, competitive open queue will come down for a while (from the Arcade)," he started explaining, adding that the mode will be put back for a short period of time back in mid-June, still in the Arcade.
"In early July, when Season 23 starts, competitive open queue will now become an official mode that will be supported alongside the role queue competitive."
Now, what does this mean for the dedicated Overwatch players? First of all, balance changes will still revolve around how the meta develops in role queue, as it's still the main mode in the game's competitive experience.
Role Queue has divided the community since its release (Picture: Blizzard)
Secondly, Kaplan stated that it's all about giving the player more options, with the community still split on the 2-2-2 enforced compositions, and third, having two modes will make queue times faster.
"In all the statistics that we've been tracking on the queuing, we actually see that queue times are better when the open queue exists."
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In terms of the Experimental Mode, a side tab where Blizzard tests more radical changes to the game and heroes, support players have a lot to look out for.
No specifics yet as to what the majority of changes will be or when will they go live, but here's a rundown of every adjustment Jeff Kaplan teased:
- A nerf to Ana’s healing output.
- Buffed Mercy healing stats
- Zenyatta’s discord orb going back to 30% extra damage
- Unspecific buffs to Bastion
- Gameplay changes to Junkrat and Moira.
Do you think these changes will make Overwatch a better experience?