In the latest Overwatch Developer Update, Jeff Kaplan helped address many of the grievances players have on balance and meta within the competitive Overwatch community. In the video, Jeff states that Blizzard will be introducing a Hero Pool system to help shake up the meta every week.
Instead of a hero ban system commonly used in MOBAs before a match where teams will get to choose a hero to “ban” from a match, Blizzard will be implementing a Hero Pool system instead where a few heroes will be disabled from Competitive matches weekly. Each week will introduce a new pool of heroes that are temporarily disabled. According to Kaplan, the hero selection will be curated by the Overwatch development staff.
The Hero Pool feature will not impact other non-competitive modes such as Quick Play,
That said, there is a chance that the mode will not be here for long, as it all depends on how it performs and how well it is received by players.
“We’re trying hero pools for Season 21, and depending on how it performs, it may not persist past that season,” Blizzard explains. “We are also going to keep a close eye on this system to see if the hero pool rotation cadence should be changed.”
Aside from the Hero Pool rotation system, Overwatch will also be starting up an Experimental Card. The Experimental Card can be found on the Play screen of the game and will allow the dev team to test major changes before they decide whether or not to actually implement it in-game modes.
The Experimental Card is different from the PTR and will not be meant to test bugs but will instead be used to experiment with balance updates, game modes, and rule changes. It will be available to both PC and console gamers and players can level up and attain loot boxes from playing.
These changes are expected to go live in early February and will hopefully help to breathe life back into the first-person hero shooter game. Aside from these updates, fans of Overwatch can also look forward to the release of Overwatch 2.