Overwatch boss Jeff Kaplan has promised to overhaul queue times and complaints about Damage roles with a new Priority Pass that will reward flexible players.

10:39, 17 Nov 2020

Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan has unveiled his plans for the future of the hero shooter and confirmed Blzizard Entertainment's long-running title is anything but dead as we head toward Overwatch 2. As well as influencing more recent games like Apex Legends and VALORANT, Overwatch was one of the first big names to get in on the esports scene and adopt the professional scene.

In Kaplan's latest Developer's Update, he spoke about the Symmetra's Restoration Challenge, where players can earn her a brand new skin in this epic yarn. Alongside getting rewards for watching partnered streamers, you'll unlock a prize with each three wins. Those who secure nine wins between November 17 and November 30 will unlock Symmetra's snazzy new wardrobe choice. It's all well and good, however, the real talking point is the introduction of the Overwatch Priority Pass. 


Overwatch Priority Pass: What Is It?

The Overwatch Priority Pass will reward players who are flexible in their role and hopefully alleviate some of those notoriously long wait times. Kaplan explained, "If you are playing an impacted role, and if we're being honest and direct with each other, that's probably the Damage role, meaning that has the longest wait time. If you are somebody who has a Priority Pass, you will get a faster queue time for that role".

He continued, "When you enter the Flex queue, you are in essence queuing for every role available, Tank, Support, Damage, and the game will put you into the role that is currently most needed to speed up queue times for everyone". Winning when in a Flex role will earn you extra Priority Passes, while you can hold up to 40 of them at any time.


Discussing how the Priority Pass could evolve, Kaplan confirmed, "We might tune this differently...The goal of the system is to speed up queue times for everybody, and the way this is done is by highly encouraging the behaviour that people queue for as many roles as possible, that’s the way to make the queue move as fast as possible". 


Overwatch Priority Pass: When Can We Expect It To Arrive?

Unfortunately, Kaplan couldn't give an exact date for when we'll get the Priority Pass - he simply said it would be "soon". Kaplan reiterated that the Priority Pass will first hit the Public Test Realm (PTR) to be tested for bugs before it lands on the live servers at a later date.


Looking at the highest levels of play, reports of waiting over 20 minutes to play in a Damage role are nothing new. Both casual and competitive players have called out Overwatch for this issue, meaning flexibility could be key to solving it. Whether the Priority Pass will fix complaints about achingly long DPS wait times remains to be seen, but either way, at least Kaplan and co. are listening to fan feedback.



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