Hey guys, before I get into this, I want to say I have been thinking about this for quite a while, and I wanted your thoughts on this. I have a question about the game’s engine optimization, and I feel the answer could greatly affect the future of the game, and possibly even solve a lot of the game’s current problems. Before I get into it, I want to give a little back story:
1-3-2 experimental was a game structure change that was meant as a drastic attempt at solving Overwatch’s potentially largest issue: Queue times for the damage role. Logically, it made a ton of sense! That said, in practice, the overwhelming majority of the players did not like it. Due to the overwhelmingly negative feedback, the devs felt they had to back off of it, and go back to the drawing board. Later on, Jeff said they could revisit the idea of a major structural change for OW2, since it would be a fresh start on the game anyway, hinting that 1-3-2 (or possibly some other structural change) may still happen.
When Jeff spoke on the experimental 1-3-2, he was asked if maybe 2-3-2 could ever be a potential change, as it would add 2 DPS players to every lobby, without forcing a solo tank. I think this is a horrible idea. Think about how much visual clutter, ability/damage spam, ultimate spam, etc there is in the game with 6 heroes on each side, and now imagine it there were 7.
Either way, Jeff quickly shot this down (thank goodness), because he said “the game is highly optimized” for 6v6. I know I’ve beaten around the bush quite a bit, but here is where my question comes in: does that mean the engine is optimized for up to 12 players at once, or does it mean it is optimized for 12 players (exactly) at once?
There is a major difference here. I think the way we solve queue times for damage role is by solving the bottle neck: the tank role. Tank is by far the least popular role, and most of the hold up for Damage players is that there simply are not enough to go around. What if each lobby only had 2 tanks, instead of 4? What I mean is, what if we went to 1-2-2?
This would make Overwatch a 5v5, of course. It would reduce visual clutter, make cool down/ultimate tracking more approachable, change the pacing of the game, make certain chokes not as punishing due to lessened damage/cooldown spam, maybe help with end of map stalling (due to one less staller), etc. It would help with queue times for damage and support as well (though it would increase tank queue times).
I think 1-2-2 is the next thing logical step that we need to try. I don’t think solo tanking in that kind of environment would be nearly as daunting as 1-3-2, either, since there would be less damage being flung around, anyway.
Sorry for the long post, but this has been on my mind for quite some time, and I think it is the next logical thing to try. I know some people might hate this idea, but something drastic needs to be done about damage queue times. As Jeff says, there are no silver bullet solutions. It’s always a trade off.
Of course, 1-2-2 would require balance changes, as 1-3-2 did, but I think it could work. At the very least, I think it is something worth trying.