A new Public Test Realm was made available for public testing and so far the vast majority of fans seem to prefer playing the PTR over the base live game without the upcoming features. How does the community truly feel about all of this?
What’s so special about this PTR?
For those unfamiliar with the PTR (The Public Test Realm/Region), it’s a special service from Blizzard where you can test patches before they are released to the public. In a recent Overwatch PTR Patch, it seems like Overwatch players weren’t too happy about it. There was very little that was added, and only one hero had an update as well as one general bug fix. From the Blizzard Blog:
- Sigma: Sigma’s cosmetic progression content is now available to view and unlock.
- General: Fixed a bug that could cause players to appear invisible in-game when certain skins were equipped (PTR only).
However, it’s not specifically these new additions that make PTR preferable to live for players. On July 18th, a new and heavily requested feature was made for public testing. This feature being Role Queue. With Role Queue, queuing systems in Competitive Play and Quick Play makes players choose which role they want to play such as tank, support, or damage before a match even begins.
The system will then match two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes to create a team. Each of these three roles will even have its own queue with an individual wait time. Role Queue was made with the intention to improve match quality, give players more control over their gameplay experience, and aid in creating positive social experiences between teammates.
How do players feel about the PTR?
For many, Role Queue is considered “heaven” in comparison to games in live. Some players even go so far as to say the difference is “night and day”. The following is from Reddit user Kua_Rock’s post on r/Overwatch titled “PTR is so much better then live atm”: “It’s like night and day, Live is a cesspool PTR is a heaven of balanced games and good team comps. Role que should of come a long time ago, now if only they get it out faster.”
Some players even went as far as saying they won’t play Live anymore:
“Oh yeah, I’ve barely touched live since role queue dropped. I was a bit on the fence about whether role queue was a good idea or not but PTR has definitely sold me on it.”
In addition to the well-balanced games caused by Role Queue, some players even say those on PTR are kinder: “[A]nd people are friendly on PTR as well 😀” -u/vintagevaper
Although there seems to be a majority in favor of Role Queue, there are others that feel a full integration would be terrible.
The following are comments taken from the page on the official PlayOverwatch website discussing Role Queue::
- “I think QP differs from competitive in that people don’t wanna play competitive in quick play. Please don’t enforce this for quick play.” -Mitsuwho
- “[F]orcing it on QP is not the way to go, and putting QP classic in arcade won’t work. it will either be a perm mode like MH, which takes up a slot for the dynamic play, OR it [itself] is a dynamic one which won’t always be available. a split mode in an arcade style (click QP then chose between role queue or standard) could work. or even when you click it, have QP (classic) and Competitive training or something to make it clear it’s intended to train for comp.” -Linesey
- “Pls no. quick play must be exactly like competitive in term of roles , just without rank. In QP , people may relax more than comp and play with less stress , but having a proper team that has Tank and healer is essential for having fun! A mode without role lock can have a place in arcade…. just like the “no limit” mode which doesn’t have hero lock…. that makes better sense and i’m sure most of the community will agree to this…. we are all sick of chaotic QP games which end up not being fun at all.” -Arya
In an effort to give time for additional testing and feedback, we will see a two-week Role Queue Beta Season from August 13 to September 1. Soon we will see whether this breaks the community in two or not.