Overwatch 2 still has queue time problems
The developers haven’t released a new support hero since 2018, and queue times for the latest beta show that players noticed
Game developer Activision-Blozzard Entertainment opened up the second round of its Overwatch 2 beta with decent fanfare. The new tank hero, Junkerqueen, has spawned an equal number of insane clips and horny posts.
The game’s 5v5 format is new and somewhat refreshing compared to the 6v6 format of the first game. But taking away a tank has left the game’s support players more vulnerable to taking damage, lowering the appeal of playing the role.
Add to this the fact that the game’s developers haven’t released a new support hero since 2018, while adding new damage and tank heroes for Overwatch 2, and you get significantly more players queueing up to play damage and tank compared to support. But you need two support players for every two damage and one tank player, so this imbalance means that support players get near instant queues, while players for the other two roles sometimes have to wait ten to twenty minutes for a game.
Queue time issues have notoriously plagued the game over its history. In Overwatch 1, playing tank was a frankly miserable experience as more and more high damage heroes were released, driving tank players into other roles that felt more rewarding, or away from the game altogether.
This meant that tank had the instant queue, support had a shortish time, while DPS players often had excessive wait times for a game.
It was partly in response to this problem that developers decided to cut out one tank entirely from the game for the sequel. However, they’ve also over-tuned tanks to compensate for only having one in a team lineup, meaning that a bunch of players wait to play tank again.
Simultaneously, the support hero lineup is the same it’s been over the last four years, and players have responded to this lack of flavor by just avoiding the role altogether.
Developers have said that they will be releasing a new support hero, the Kanesaka fox girl teased in a recent developer video, for the launch of the game, or possibly in a third beta sometime before the game’s launch October 4.
They also said that two of the first three new heroes released after game launch will also be supports. The issue is that the queue times still haven’t been fixed because the developers cannot balance the roles across ability levels. They knew lack of support players was a problem in the last beta, but they did nothing at all to fix it.