FACTS & RUMORS - Discussion of Hero Bans (updated)

I would like to thank you for taking the time to make this post and keep everyone up-to-date on the facts of the situation currently.

59 shots, 1 kill,

Very much true. All they do is yell at the microphone for ten minutes. It’s kinda soothing audio, but at the end of the day you’ve learned nothing new. nothing. they are really talented at telling us nothing.


I’m not wholly against the idea of hero bans

But I’m not sold, either. Definitely in the “need to know more” camp as far as how it’d look in-game, how Blizzard would handle it WRT balance, etc. Biggest concerns right now are A) tank and support rosters not really being adequately sized to justify it, and B) in the instances that we’ve seen bans being used in tourneys, they’ve been used to reinforce rather than eliminate troublesome metas, which lends itself to more aggressive (and bad) balancing than what we currently have

And yet people still watch them for some reason.

I find it hilarious that all those discussions are based on one streamers wink basically :laughing:

He doesn’t even wink, he raises his eyebrows…


I’ve seen a lot of discussion about hero bans the past few days and I just wanted to offer some perspective on the topic. As always, the OW has a wide variety of opinions about the concept. Interestingly, we don’t have many people on the team vehemently arguing for the feature. More of us, including myself, are reluctant to add hero bans to Overwatch. As I’ve said before, we’re not of the mindset that we’re opposed to the idea entirely and will never add them. But overall, there are a number of issues that make us want to proceed carefully.

Coming at this from a game design focus, the number one thing we ask is, “what is the problem that we’re trying to solve?” We’re not fans of just adding ideas that are in other games “just because”. We call this bottom-up design. Sometimes the right design decision for one game, is a terrible decision for another game – even if the two games are very similar. For example, with World of Warcraft we did not impose forced grouping, a slow leveling curve and a punishing death penalty with level loss “just because” the other successful MMO’s had those features at the time. And as a player of those other MMO’s, I thought they were the correct decision for those games. But not for WoW.

When I hear why people want hero bans, the conversation usually revolves around a few reasons (I’m sure there are more):

 People do not like that the meta stagnates. They believe with hero bans, they will be able to “ban out” the meta heroes thus moving the meta. In general, the meta not moving is perceived by the player-base as bad
 People are frustrated with the balance of certain heroes. With hero bans, they feel like they can “ban out” the heroes they are frustrated with
 People do not like playing against certain heroes. With hero bans, they feel like they can “ban out” a hero they don’t want to play against

As a team, we agree with and understand that players want the meta to be more fluid and move more frequently. Even though the vast majority of players only experience the meta through OWL, feedback from GM’s, streamers and YouTubers, we get that the perception of a stale meta is not good for the game. We absolutely have plans to help move the meta more and we’ll be talking about these in an upcoming developer update. We get it. We agree. Make the meta move faster. Ok.

But just implementing hero bans does not mean the meta will move. Studying other games, the end result is usually a “ban meta”. The downside of a ban meta, is that players are often at odds with each other when someone on their team bans an “off-ban-meta” hero. The same frustrations that players experience with the meta exist in a ban meta. Hero bans are not a silver bullet solution to making the meta move. If the problem we are trying to solve is that the meta needs to change more, hero bans might actually make the problem worse, not better. We do a have a solution in mind – an actual system – that we’ll talk about (next week’s dev update) but it is not hero bans.

In regards to players wanting to ban for balance reasons, the way we plan to address this is with more frequent balance updates. The upcoming dev update will go in depth into the plan and shed light on how we’re going to accomplish this. So we agree that there are balance issues. We agree balancing needs to happen more frequently. We disagree that hero bans are a good solution to balance problems. To us, removing a hero from play because of balance reasons feels like a sledgehammer.

The other reason I listed was that people do not like playing against certain heroes. To this, I am going to give an answer that is not going to be very popular. Basically, it’s a PvP game. You don’t get to pick what the enemy team does. The challenge is overcoming the enemy team with teamwork, ingenuity and skill. It feels really off to me that the other team dictates how or what I play. So if your reason is that you don’t want to play against certain heroes, I think we’ll agree to disagree on this point. We’ve changed out minds in the past. But that’s where we’re at for now.

I hear a lot of people attack hero bans because they only want to play one hero, or “one trick”… To this, I think our stance is pretty clear. Overwatch is a game about mastering many heroes. We don’t expect you to master them all, but you should play a few of the characters. Now, we don’t explicitly prevent you from only playing one hero. But we also don’t encourage it. We think the game is more fun for everyone involved if you play at least a handful of the heroes. That’s how the game is designed. So defending “one tricking” does not factor in for us when it comes to our opinion on hero bans. We want the meta to move more and one tricking contributes to meta issues. Again, we’re not against one-tricking but we’re not going to overly enable or encourage it. That’s our stance.

There are a few other reasons, we’re reluctant to pursue hero bans at this time as well. We’ve been really pushing for faster match times (there’s a lot going on under the hood on this one). Our philosophy is the game is better if you have quicker matches. The sting of defeat is much less if the match took less time. We’re constantly talking about ways to speed up rounds of OW to allow you to play more. Introducing a “ban phase” to the start of every OW round would add significant time. Your overall time spent on an average night of OW actually shooting stuff would be less. This concerns us a lot. There is also a huge development cost to adding the feature as well (the time commitment would be significant). This last reason is not the one that’s driving our decision making. If we thought it was right for the game (like with Role Queue) we would absolutely make the investment.

I’m looking forward to sharing next week’s development update with you all… I think it will clarify things a bit. But in the meantime, I wanted to tell you where we’re at with hero bans specifically since so much misinformation is being spread right now. I hope those of you in favor of the system don’t go too “doomsday” over this news without having the full picture. Information will be available next week on the plan to balance faster and keep the meta moving. We agree on the problems. That’s the important thing.

Stop pandering to control freaks
💥 Hero bans confirmed not coming
Kill role Q but put in hero bans
What are Hero bans?
OTs should not be a hero ban excuse
Maybe the community needs to learn, leaks aren't always true
:white_check_mark: Get rid of the 40 second setup phase
Please dont ban reaper!
Brawl meta might be coming
Why is everyone obsessed with "fast OW"
Is one tricking really okay?
Hero bans sucks :peach:
Metro confirms hero bans
Why Hero bans wouls be basically backtracking everything
Blizzard need to do something about OTP players
(STATEMENT) No Hero Bans
More and more control - it is not the way
Hero bans are GOOD for the game
Papa Jeff not putting hero bans
Papa Jeff not putting hero bans
💥 Hero bans confirmed not coming
:large_blue_diamond: Get ready, the meta is about to get crazy
Papa Jeff not putting hero bans
Papa Jeff not putting hero bans
Please Activision Suits--- No Season/Battle Pass system for OW 1 or 2
Recent stance on one tricks
Hero ban? only if
The new update will make the meta move regularly. What can it be?
About "Sledgehammer" nerfs
Hero bans is a horrible idea
So, they've deleted another hero I play
:white_check_mark: Get rid of the 40 second setup phase
People not wanting to play against certain heroes
If rumors are true I don't see bans being great for game
What the heck is wrong with overwatch?
Thought I asked y'all to help people with mental defects win games!
:white_check_mark: 3-2-1 would reduce pressure on Damage players
Are we about to get an item system?
Soldier, Symm, Pharah, Ashe, Junkrat Buff idea
Papa Jeff, we're all waiting for the dev update
Hero Ban Rumors
What do you think its going to be in dev update video?
Its not fun to play against
Overwatch Dev Post Archives & Overwatch 2 Facts & Beta Info
Instead of hero pool why not players choice of ban?
"We're reluctant to add hero bans"
Developer video update - Experimentation & Hero Pools
Terrible Idea Nice Job
"We're reluctant to add hero bans"
What do you think the first "Expiremental" thing is going to be?
Instead of hero pool why not players choice of ban?
Hero pools= one tricks not playing comp
"We're reluctant to add hero bans"
Hero Pools: My Opinion, Food for Thought
Experimental Card Ideas
This is why hero pools is not going to work -- And why Hero bans is a better option
I was loving the dev update until i hear hero pools
One tricks part of the game
I was loving the dev update until i hear hero pools
Re: Hero Pools - restrictions on player choice have gotten out of control
Hero Pools Pros and Cons
SOMEONE please explain
Role Que has ruined overwatch
Why is everyone obsessed with "fast OW"
An interesting point about the last two PTR patches
Hero bans are GOOD for the game
Hero pools are the wrong way to go about banning
Week 13 Hero Pool Draw - Wrecking Ball, McCree, Widowmaker, and Mercy Removed
Banning system change
Why don't we have pick and bans
Hero pools needs some changes
Moira experimental change + support changes
Moira experimental change + support changes
No Hero Bans. BUT what if the idea were different?
What's with all this standing around?
What's with all this standing around?
What's with all this standing around?
Remembering Sym 2.0
Remembering Sym 2.0
QP Shouldn't Be Excuse to OneTrick or Throw
I'm honestly coming round to the idea of hero bans
Overwatch Dev Post Archives & Overwatch 2 Facts & Beta Info
Why does this forum focus on cassidy so much?
I don't understand win-rate balancing and hero power
Hitscan is still stupid
Why does this forum focus on cassidy so much?
Please dont ban reaper!
:large_orange_diamond: Discussion on Why I'm Against Hero Bans

Thank you Jeff. We can live in piece now :innocent:


Jeff, cool to see you here! Please add a “Competitive Classic” mode without Role Queue restrictions. Please do also let us try out 3-2-1 on the Arcade.

I couldn’t agree more. This is precisely why I think that prior to Role Queue, just after you implemented the “matchmaking rewrite” that allowed for looser matchmaking and near-instantaneous queues in Season 17, was by far the best Overwatch I’ve ever played. Being able to get a game instantly was wonderful - but of course then Role Queue came along and the queues were worse than ever.

Jeff, why don’t we get rid of the 40 seconds “set up phase”? Especially for Quickplay, it feels so pointless. It would make games go much quicker without that - especially in Competitive where there are multiple rounds. I’ve suggested this before. Is there a reason for the setup phase beyond “planning” which no one does anyway?

As a Doomfist one-trick, I strongly disagree with this. I would NEVER have climbed to Master had I not one-tricked him. The reason I’ve climbed so much is, I believe, precisely thanks to specialising rather than trying to learn multiple heroes. I’ve obviously been more of an asset to my team(s) than a detriment, overall, or I wouldn’t have climbed.

You say you don’t explicitly prevent us from one-tricking, but of course the incredibly easily abused report system may mean that one racks up reports very quickly doing this - despite in fact being a strong asset to their team and helping them win more. Thankfully, I haven’t been victim to the report system recently. Have any improvements been made in that regard?


Please bring back Sym 2.0, nEw Sym lacks ‘spirit and flare’ i love OW best fifty quid I ever spent


No, the next hour will spawn tons of threads full of junk that barely reference anything Jeff said but will create wild speculations anyway.


Thank you so much, Papa Jeff.

are any of my heroes getting nerfed?


that’s exciting

I can’t wait

actually the best decision you could make

I’m happy

how would this translate into comp?

like making the payload/capture rate faster?


You say this, but then consider what you did to poor Sombra or Symmetra.


Big Kudos
It’s great that the devs are more active and we see a change in communication


I don’t think that is the main problem with lfg.

I think the problem is it doesn’t just queue you up for that game.

The leader system and having to queue twice is super painful.

If we could skip that whole phase and just queue for the group we were looking for I think it could have worked.

1 Like


Balance changes without patches, maybe? :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Just go to an admin version of a custom game settings that affects all of Quickplay/Competitive.


Best news I’ve heard all week! Hero ban is one of the worst ideas at this point. RQ times are already high and players would just leave if they can’t pick their favourite hero. And Blizzard made all these heroes for the reason to be used by all types players.

Keep up the good work Blizzard! :+1:


Lol @ metro.


Ya know with the confirmation of how hero bans are not coming in the near future, I’m curious as to what exactly the “big feature” the devs plan on releasing soon is.