Heroes Never Tank Spam!
Do you remember the launch of Blizzard’s Overwatch? When heroes were varied, kills were varied, and it all seemed so compelling? Well, in theory, Blizzard aims to recapture that and break up the current GOATS Meta (see: Three Support Heroes, Three Tank Heroes, all the time) that’s been dominant in more competitive sectors of the game. How? Simple, role-locking, which is to say, every team will now have two heroes of each class. TWO supports, TWO damage, and TWO tanks.
In fact, Blizzard is so determined to ensure teams remain on point, they’ll be incorporating a new Role Queue where you can choose which role you want to fill in a given match. Which is good, because you won’t be able to swap role mid-match; not great news if you, for example, equally main Mercy, Junkrat, and Zarya. On the upside, you’ll now have three separate SRs (skill rating) across each of the three roles. If you play competitive, this means potentially triple the number of points you’ll earn per-season to get Golden weapons.
Role-Locking Things Down
Now, if you don’t feel all too keen on role-locking, Blizzard has assured that there will be a new Arcade variant of Quickplay that won’t enforce role-locking. Which has the upside of potentially unlocking arcade loot boxes more rapidly in a way you’re used to playing. It just also has the downside of having that style of play available on the whims of the Arcade menu.
For the time being, you can play without role-locking to your heart’s content until September 1st, when the update should go live. If you’re game, you can test the new style on the Overwatch PTR server, though bear in mind it’s currently restricted to just Competitive variant matches for testing purposes. More than fair, given the latest official update to the main game had some sweeping changes of its own.
Another wide-sweeping change in PTR is a potential cost hike for every hero’s Ultimate ability. The current nerf in testing will increase the maximum points needed by 12%. This isn’t to say it’ll count up to 112% mid-match, but Blizzard feels there have been far too many matches decided by overt Ultimate usage. In this regard, one can’t help but agree; Ultimates are fun, but you can’t have too much of a good thing. For additional info on hero changes, you can read the full PTR patch notes here.
Is role-locking a welcome change to your Overwatch experience? Is there something else Blizzard could be doing that you’d rather see? Let us know in the comments section below!