Overwatch 2’s new Wide Match queuing system is a nightmare to play with friends

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    Overwatch 2 and its predecessor, Overwatch, have gone through many matchmaking changes over the years. Some will share my less than pleasant memories of ranked queues lasting 5-10 minutes or longer before rolelocking existed and everyone and their mother wanted to play DPS, and even after it existed, but 6v6 meant you still had to wait two. tank players instead of one (and tanks/support were less DPS focused at the time and therefore fewer players were interested in playing them).

    However, for years now, the developers at Team 4 have struck a good balance between match quality and queue times, with most queues appearing within a few minutes (at least in the mid-ranges, where most players). However, as of Season 10, they have gone backwards and we are once again having long lines (between seven and 10 minutes, in our experience so far).

    Fix what isn’t broken

    Screenshot of pro game guides

    I’ve been playing Overwatch and Overwatch 2 with the same friend for years. We both live in North America, and our rank gap and roles have fluctuated a bit over that time, but we’ve always been within a full rank or two of each other, and it’s mostly been him on Tank with me on DPS. We generally never wait more than a few minutes to play and the matches are almost always high quality (meaning they’re not a stomp in any sense, or at least not a well-deserved one), but as of the update of season 10 and its ‘Wide Game’ ‘, are now 10 minutes or more.

    Presumably the goal here is to improve match quality at the expense of queue times, but when it’s this extreme and affects the ability of relatively close friends to play with each other, I have to believe changes are coming. The key point here seems to be “Narrow group role configurations will always take priority over wide group configurations.” The best I can understand is that you are making them such a priority that anyone in a Broad Group should consider starting a book club.

    Related: What’s carrying over from Overwatch to Overwatch 2?

    The change in approach to matchmaking and queuing is surprising, as Team 4 has historically been pretty lenient with who you play with, to the complaint of virtually no one. As such, it’s hard to see this as anything more than fixing something that isn’t broken.

    (We’ve reached out to Blizzard for comment and will update this article if we hear back.)

    The test results are in

    Screenshot of pro game guides

    My friend and I tested the queues with our usual Tank-DPS combo, with him Platinum 4 and me Gold 5, plus Support-Tank, and both of us flexing. None of that made a difference, so the message is clear: play someone very close to your rank (i.e. within five divisions, e.g. Platinum 5 and Gold 5) or you’ll suffer very long queues.

    I also tried competitive queue times with locked roles with a coworker and ended up quitting after a staggering 15-minute queue. Although she is new to ranking so some extra time could be expected, I have encountered the same or similar scenarios in the past with relatively fast queues. You could argue against the quality of the match, but 15 minutes or more should be considered unacceptable, regardless of how worried you are about it. At some point, people just want to play.

    The same coworker tried queuing solo in a competitive open queue and didn’t find it much better (although some leniency should be given to the open queue, which is probably much less crowded). After a seven minute queue, someone abandoned the match, resulting in a priority queue which didn’t help as they found themselves in another queue for about the same period of time. The fact that the priority system does not work (at least not in the open queue) only exacerbates an already serious problem.

    The higher ranks seem to have it even worse. Gamer GM and redditor bhu124 has reported queues of 1 hour or more (I wasn’t kidding about that book club).

    You may be wondering if the problem is due to a failed season and a lack of players, but the Steam version of the game is doing quite well with a peak of 57,724 players in 24 hours, compared to its launch number of 75,608. . (Considering that many play using the original version of Battle.net).

    With any luck, Blizzard and Team 4 will recognize the problem and make some adjustments quickly. Until then, see you in line. (I’m enjoying Inazō Nitobe’s ‘Bushido’ right now. Are you?)

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