6v6 engine optimization question

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.



It’s probably up to 12.
But a lot of the map geometry is meant to fit 6 players.

Also they’d have to redo the UI.

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That was my line of thinking, as well. Heck, the game might even run better with 10 players.

That is a very good point.

They are going to redo the UI anyway.

Less players in a lobby also means one person can impact the game more. That’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, one person could carry harder, which is a common complaint about the game (not being able to carry hard enough). On the other hand, one thrower impacts the game more.

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Yeah that said, here’s my best interpretation of 1-3-2, that has the potential to play likes 2-2-2.

✅ Modified 1-3-2 that can be 1-1-2-2

Good point.

I’d argue that one person throwing, even in the current 6v6 format, makes the game unwinnable anyway. Yeah, maybe that game becomes even more unwinnable in a 5v5, but were you realistically winning a game with a thrower on your team in the current system anyway?

Edit: it is still a good point though.

@Grey I DONT KNOW WHY IT MADE ME RESPOND TO YOU but ignore it please :> it was meant for Frage.

I like the idea. I think 1-2-2 wouldn’t fall as flat as 1-3-2 did, mainly because not having that extra DPS player would make solo-tanking not only more approachable and less daunting, but it also means that the balance changes given to the tanks during 1-3-2 might actually work in this scenario. It still enforces that the team needs to work together, but it doesn’t overload or put pressure on any one player too much.

My biggest concern is map sizes, like Grey pointed out. A lot of modes tend to fall flat when you do less than 6 people per team just because they’re a lot bigger and there’s less people to take actions at a given time. Given that OW2 would be a new game and a fresh start, I don’t imagine that adjusting the maps for this would be too bad.

Another concern is that this won’t necessarily attack the problem with DPS queue times. If we’re still allowing only 2 DPS, and assuming that we get the same number of people who primarily play DPS going into OW2, it’ll still bottleneck the queue times with only 2 DPS. That’s not a make-or-break for me, though - I’ve sort of accepted that this is my life now, and I’d rather do 1-2-2 than 1-3-2. There might be some people who would be willing to tank instead of DPS, but I imagine a lot of players land where I am - I just don’t enjoy tanking. The playstyle is not something I resonate with, and I don’t think 1-2-2 or 1-3-2 would be different enough to entice more people to play tank. At least, not enough to impact the queue times. Might be wrong on that, though - maybe a lot of people are closet-tanks lol.

One thing I do agree with is that it’s less pressure to solo tank against 2 DPS who are going to try to take you out first, than it is to take on 3. I’d be willing to try it out for that reason a lot.

Less clutter is also definitely welcome. Echo’s addition just completely threw the visual clutter over the absolute top. -_-

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To be honest, I didn’t consider this too much before GreyFalcon mentioned it, but it’s a very valid point.

I think it would though. Not directly, but indirectly. Yes, the number of Damage players in a given lobby is the same, but the number of tanks required to fill out a lobby is cut in half. Right now, for a lobby to be filled, there needs to be one tank for every one damage player. Under this system, you would only need one tank for every two damage players. This (in theory) would make damage queue times faster. Not as much as 1-3-2 did, but the queue times would be faster than the current 2-2-2 format.

Edit: THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK!!! :slight_smile:

I should have elaborated on this more >_<

With 1-3-2, having one less tank made matchmaking faster. That was half of it - the other half was adding another DPS.

I’m not sure how 1-2-2 would balance out. There’s a lot of factors that could sway it either way. Maybe more people are inclined to play tanks and that makes it better, but also maybe there’s more DPS players in OW2 or it makes tanking less fun for tank players.

Either way, I’d love to give it a try.

Thought about this more: Do you think supports would need to be toned down slightly to for 1-2-2?

Yeah, possibly. If sustain were brought down across the board that would probably be a good thing (specifically in a 1-2-2 environment). With the current amount of healing that can be dished out, I wonder if it would be too much, without having to juggle healing one extra person, especially if that person that is missing was a tank. Pumping all of that resource into one tank could make things a little tough since there isn’t another damage dealer to compensate.

No one but the developers can tell you what this means in detail.
Here are a few more things I don’t know what they mean:
“throwers who intentionally play outside their rank should prepare to receive a ban.”
“There are still some things under the hood of our matchmaking that we cannot talk about in detail.”
“I have personally reviewed the details of the action. I have confirmed our initial findings,”

At Blizzard everything is very mysterious and secretive.
The game is not bad, certainly no longer a “game of the year” candidate, but still good.
You just have to get used to the fact that the rules are unjust and secret and Blizzard can do whatever they want with the game and their playerbase.

At the moment it definitely looks like the responsible people don’t want more or less players per match. By saying that the game is not optimized for more or less players, such discussions can be brought to an end very quickly.

I wish the game director had said that he thinks the idea is bad and had explained his point with more convincing arguments.