The players should imagine for a moment, a world in which Overwatch allowed them to select a role—tank, DPS, support, etc—and hop into a match expressly for the purpose of playing that role. No more squabbling over as to who does what and there could be peace and serenity. People have asked it but Blizzard has not delivered.
During an interview earlier this week with Jeff Kaplan at Blizzard HQ, it was asked to the Overwatch director as to why the game does not have role-based match queuing, even though it sure seems like it would solve a lot of headaches. Kaplan replied that his team discussed it at length, but they do not think Overwatch is ready yet for something like that. Kaplan said that there are two versions the community has proposed, and neither is fully satisfactory to him. He added that one is the honor system version where he queues up as a tank, but actually, he wants to play McCree, and the game lets him do that since Overwatch is very much about fluidly responding to the enemy team’s composition and the other version is that it locks one in. Further, he said he thought even that hurts the spirit of the game.
He added that he thought those ideas are good “starting points,” but they are flanked by minefields. He pointed out to the pitfalls of a similar feature in the World of Warcraft: the group finder that allows people to queue up for raids, dungeons, and PVP matches in accordance with a number of factors that include the roles of the players. Kaplan said that the issue he has with it right now which the people would run into if they are not careful is that tanks and healers get matched just like that. He added that it takes a second and one is in a dungeon but if the player is DPS, it takes like 30 minutes. He said that he did not think that is what the people are expecting right now hence he wants to be careful.
However, Kaplan stressed that he thought the complaints that have led the people to ask for role-based queuing are valid. He just wanted to solve some of the problems the people think role-based queuing would address before trying to implement such a system and that starts with grouping. Kaplan figured that if the people grouped-up more, they would find more people amenable to the idea of allowing them to play the roles and heroes they really enjoy playing, rather than getting disappointed by the hands that fate and matchmaking deal them. The issue, he explained, was that Overwatch does not do a great job of helping out the players find people they would actually want to group up with at the present.
He said that he does think people know what role they want to play before they play, he does think people would have more fun playing in a premade group than just sort of randomly hoping the matchmaker find them someone with the same values as them, and he does think people’s reasons for not wanting to group are actually valid right now. He further added that he thought all those things need to be addressed at once before just getting to a role queue.