April 19, 2021

E-sports

Game CMD 368

Overwatch: Pros and Cons of Priority Pass

Priority Pass

The Priority Pass is the most recent attempt by Overwatch, especially for the DPS role, to reduce queue times. DPS has seen substantially higher queue times than the Support and Tank feature since the implementation of the 2-2-2 position lock. 

Priority Pass

The Priority Pass tries to promote flexing to other positions and, if you can, it rewards this with a ‘cut in line.’ Enrolling in the ‘Flex Queue’ option will grant a ticket that can be used before the player’s next game to speed up the downtime.

Both the Quickplay and Competitive modes have these tickets available. If they lose their flex game, players receive two tickets but win six tickets with a win. Just 40 tickets can be kept for each player at a time.

PROS – Priority Pass

Promotes Flexing

The latest flex queue, in and of itself, clearly facilitates flexing. DPS mains now have an opportunity outside their comfort picks to play heroes. 

They are compensated with quicker DPS queues by learning or practicing various roles. But they also gain more sense of the game and experience of the metagame.

Queue time theoretically decreases

When individuals flex, the crux of how the Priority Pass eliminates queue times is. When people flex, they would possibly end up with a tank or help. This reduces the market for DPS games at least marginally, while increasing the availability of teammates in other positions at the same time. 

This shift acts as a balance, no matter how slight, so that DPS players do not have 10-minute queues while Tanks get games almost immediately.

Provides MMR Rebalancing Role

A problem since role lock came out is that it placed all positions in comparable locations. But if someone, before the lock, was a strict DPS player, their tank and support play are probably not at the same level. 

Yet the game placed all roles in a relatively comparable spot, hoping that as individuals played those roles, it would adjust accordingly.

This new system provides an incentive to flex now and will ultimately bring players closer to their real level of skill in the long run.

CONS – Priority Pass

Thrower

One distinct problem faced by this system is people throwing games to get passes faster. Instead of using the flex queue for its intended purpose, some players have sabotaged their own team intentionally so that the game ends faster. 

Whether they feed intentionally, jump off the map continuously, or just go inactive throughout the game, their team inevitably loses, but the player still gets two tickets for the Priority Pass.

Economy Overloaded – Priority Pass

The sheer number of Priority Passes that a player can accrue is one problem with the new system. It takes an average of 12 games to reach the maximum number of 40 tickets if a player spends the afternoon flexing. 

That means that they can only spend the next 40 games queuing for DPS. Gaining tickets at a much higher rate than being spent implies that the ‘economy’ ticket will eventually be flooded. DPS queues will therefore no longer be shorter because their tickets will be used by most individuals queueing.

This is not to say that the system is bad, it just needs numerical tweaks. But starting with a lot per win is good, otherwise players wouldn’t feel any type of need to use the scheme.

Does not deal with the real problem 

While this system is a Band-Aid solution, the underlying problem is not addressed. That is, far fewer Tanks and Supports than DPS characters are available. Moreover, many players generally find DPS more enjoyable and engaging. Until more characters are added and the roster fills up, there will be no fix for queue time disparities. 

With the release of Overwatch 2, there are a handful of new heroes coming. But no recent news of that release has been made public.