Tanks have been an ongoing headache for Blizzard’s balancing team. From the double shield meta to GOATs, it always seems that the tanks are the core of all frustrating compositions. That might not be the case for much longer though with Overwatch’s latest Experimental Mode dumping a tank slot entirely.
Originally announced in the latest Developer Update, Overwatch’s first Experimental Mode will test out a 1-3-2 role queue. Effectively, you will no longer queue with two tanks, two supports, and two DPS. Instead, one of those two tanks will be dropped in favor of adding a third DPS.
Overwatch Experimental Mode
Before you start panicking, this won’t affect the core game for the time being. Instead, Blizzard will be testing the new Experimental Mode on a separate playlist. Although playing games on this will still contribute to your experience and any progress toward specific ongoing events. Given the leaked Ashe skin event, expect that to tie in somehow.
As for why Blizzard is doing this, it’s linked to Overwatch’s ongoing queue time issue. Currently, DPS players have to wait far longer than other roles in order to get into games. Regardless of if you play Competitive or Quick Play, the wait is almost always longer for damage. By dropping a tank and adding a DPS, queue times should drastically decrease for damage players.
Overwatch lead designer Jeff Kaplan makes it clear that his priority isn’t to encourage more tank players. As he puts it, it’s better to supply more of what someone wants than to convince them they want something different. In other words, rather than force people to play a tank, he can just offer players more DPS opportunities through this Experimental Mode.
For now, all we can do is see how this test turns out. Even if you disagree with the idea of a 1-3-2 role queue, there’s certainly no harm in trying something new. Who knows, maybe this Experimental Mode will end up discovering something that saves Overwatch competitive once and for all.