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Long queue times have been a given in most online games, and Overwatch is no exception. To curb that problem, game director Jeff Kaplan announced that players will be able to play different modes while waiting to join a match.
Speaking at Overwatch’s “What’s Next” panel at BlizzCon, Kaplan revealed that the developer will add ways to kill time while queuing for a match, including a unique deathmatch mode designed specifically for the occasion.
“If you’d like to go to the training room, we’re gonna let you do that,” Kaplan said. “If you would like to play a new deathmatch mode that we’re adding just for waiting, you can play that.”
The feature will arrive “very soon,” according to the game director. Kaplan also clarified that players will be allowed to boot up custom games and the Overwatch workshop while waiting for a match.
Players don’t have much to do while waiting for a game. Even simple modes such as the practice range are locked when entering a queue, leaving players no choice other than to view replays and browse the hero gallery—which can only keep one busy for so long.
Long queue times became a problem after Blizzard implemented the role queue system in Overwatch earlier this year. Before joining a game, players are required to select at least one role and will be allotted into a team based on their choice.
As a result, queue times sometimes became much longer, especially in the higher ranks where there are fewer players. Additionally, DPS players looking for a match tend to outnumber the other roles by a large margin, forcing them to possibly wait dozens of minutes between games.
Overwatch’s future addition promises to be a great way to keep players entertained, as well as a good means to warm up, even if it doesn’t fundamentally make queues shorter.