The Overwatch triple damage mode begins today

Blizzard just announced that triple damage lineups are coming in the next Overwatch update. What does this mean exactly? Game director Jeff Kaplan explained it in the latest developer update video. To keep it short, Blizzard will be testing a 3-2-1 role system which will include three damage players, two support, and one tank. This will be a major change to the current 2-2-2 system, which many players have come to enjoy.

Last September, Overwatch released the role queue system. It has been in effect for five months now and has been considered very successful by the developers themselves. Kaplan expressed that this new 3-2-1 idea is completely experimental, and will not be implemented into the actual game anytime soon.

When can I expect this?

There will be no PTR trial for this: both PC and console players will be able to test out 3-2-1 starting today. As to why this is being tested, Kaplan says it was brought up as part of the discussion as a way to potentially resolve the long queue times for damage players.

It’s an idea that has experimented with internally and has been a very controversial system among the staff, apparently. There were very strong reactions both for and against the 3-2-1 role system. Once the update goes live, Overwatch developers will be looking for two things: the effects of queue times for damage players and player feedback.

The biggest concern with this system is what it will do for off-tanks like D.Va, Roadhog, and Zarya. These heroes are currently useful when paired with a main tank, but might lose relevance completely if they have to compete for slots with one. Kaplan mentioned that because of this, players will see big – but temporary – balance changes to these characters. He also made it very clear that these balance changes will not be implemented into the game unless 3-2-1 is officially introduced into the game.

Why should I try this?

Kaplan also mentioned that all players can still level their accounts in this Overwatch test mode. Loot boxes and rewards will still be given out for leveling, as well as any and all events that coincide with this experiment. Players who participate in this will also earn credit towards unlocking skins for events.

More importantly, players should take advantage of this mode because any data Blizzard collects through it would be used to develop a more balanced and fun Overwatch. If you do play, you shouldn’t just do treat it as a limited time event mode that you play and forget. Instead, make sure to submit feedback so the game can stop getting stuck in perpetual meta prisons.

FInally – and this bears repeating – Kaplan warned everyone not to panic. These are changes that the Overwatch team is totally unsure of and that’s why they want our feedback. This doesn’t mean that these changes are coming to the game anytime soon, but this is a chance to give players an insight into what developers are doing. It also lets developers hear some (hopefully constructive) criticism on how we feel about the system ourselves.

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Natalie Pack

Professional nerd. Average console player who plays insane amounts of Overwatch. Occasional Twitch streamer.
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