Hero pools is a brave and holistic change

Blizzard kept saying that this game is about being able to play several heros and flexing between them, but this is basically the first time when Blizzard supports this statement with an in-game mechanics.
Which, I think, is good for the game overall.

And I’m sure it was a very hard change for Blizzard, since the whole idea goes against basic game marketing - most people buy the game to play a character they love, not to be an flex-champion.
So whatever I like this change or not, I applaud Blizzard for making it.


I like it because it shows they’re starting to take a firm stance towards the competitive aspect of the game. They’re pretty much saying, “If you’re going to queue for competitive, be ready to actually have expectations placed upon you.”

It’s not just quickplay with a visible mmr anymore, and that’s a great thing. :smile:


Yeah, true, actually this is another thing I didn’t think about - Comp and QP will be different from now on.


Role Lock already did this though.


It is a band-aid solution.

At first you’ll think it’s adding variety because different team comps will show up.

However, flow-charty metas will develop and you’ll be yelled at for experimenting even more than before.

Trying to confuse players into having diverse play styles doesn’t work in the long run. But that is the story of Overwatch: Throw new things into the game hoping to distract players until they exploit said things for the simplistic additions that they really are.

Overwatch would ideally be balanced around high skill ceilings. The meta would be less intrusive in this way, since hero picks and counterpicks would be decided by how adept individual players are at particular heroes. This is how balanced fighting games thrive.


Thanks for the feedback!

Oddly, we’re not viewing this change as dramatic, scary or impactful as the decision to pursue Hero Limits or our decision to implement Role Queue. Hero Pools will be introduced for Season 21 of Competitive Play only. Unlike Role Queue or Hero Limits, Quick Play and the Arcade will be completely the same as they are today with Hero Pools. This alone already means the number of affected matches is FAR less than those two prior systems.

Also, we’re super open to change with Hero Pools. If we (the dev team and the community) don’t feel like it’s a positive change during Season 21, then we won’t bring it back in Season 22. We get a lot of feedback asking for Competitive seasons to feel “different” from one another. Season 20 and Season 21 will certainly feel different!

Also, something we talk about a lot in game design is the that there is often no one, correct answer. Design is all about tradeoffs. If the thing that the community decides is “the most egregious” is a “static meta” and they “want the dev team to do something about it”… we’re going to take steps towards change. We can’t force the meta to move and not make the game work differently. Last year was great proof that player creativity and balance changes alone weren’t enough to move people off of 3/3 fast enough for the community to feel satisfied. The meta would have moved on it’s own… just slowly.

We’ve decided to help you move it along. If there are things we don’t like about Hero Pools, we can change it. Maybe they don’t come back for Season 22? Maybe they rotate faster? Maybe more or less heroes should be in the pool? We’ll all find out in Season 21.

But really this should be viewed as a fun an exciting change to Season 21 (we wanted Seasons to feel different, right?). And time will tell what happens after…

Either way, hearing your thoughts and feedback is really helpful to us.


I don’t think Hero pools will have a positive effect on the game, especially for queue times.

The amount of Tank players is already at an all-time low, and now add on top of this, an even smaller pool of tanks to play on a weekly basis. Paired with some tanks being extremely weak after recent nerf-hammers. —> Queue times WILL get longer for support && DPS

Please! For the Sake of your game, start looking at DPS numbers instead of just nerfing Tanks!

Why does Hanzo have no counter + shield break + Mobility + a 1 shot ability?

Why is Mei able to freeze multiple targets with NO DR? Why is she able to separate one person from their team and basically guarantee a kill on them? Why does she also get a “get out of jail free” card?

Why is the Time To Kill so incredibly low now?

Why do tanks still have crit boxes the size of cars if all of their tanking abilities are being taken away / severely nerfed?

Why was the only tank that was pickable against these dps (Orisa) just severely gutted? This in turn, is a BUFF to those dps!

  • Halt will now slow them for less time, meaning they will have more uptime on her
  • Her damage has been lowered so now they can survive longer against her
  • AND her fortify was made less effective so she can’t survive as long against them!!!

These DPS are the entire reason why she became so popular in the first place!


I’m looking forward to seeing how pools turns out


Hero pools is a brave and holistic change

You’re right. It’s exactly like holistic medicine, in that it hurts more than it helps.


I’m definitely excited. Thanks for the hard work, all of you. And thanks for being super flexible with hero pools.


im kinda ok with the idea, but 1 week is too long

i like to play genji, but if my hero was banned for 1 week i might not played that much anymore, Qing for DPS are long enough for me

atleast make it change banned hero every day, and no repeated ban for 7 days for same hero

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I’m not entirely sure how to feel about hero pools just yet, but I’m open to the idea of trying it!
Thanks for the communication, it’s great to see the devs doing better in talking to the community more often.


Yesssss more communication from Jeff himself is always good!

Thank you so much Jeff!! ;D


This is just a bandaid change forcing restrictions on players because the devs can’t actually balance the game.


If Hero pools are designed to keep the game fresh and move the meta along, then what is the point of doing frequent balance updates to target the meta? Doesn’t that do enough to make sure one static meta doesn’t stay at the top for very long?

I am very for the constant updates targeting meta. I think its a good idea and applaud it. I think hero pools on top of that is overkill.


Can we get gold guns outside of ranked now? I dont want to play it…


Any information yet on how many heroes will be available in a week of hero pool?

i supose that if you are willing to get rid of it its okay…

Jeff thinks gold guns were a bad idea, he’s said as much before. Making it comp exclusive is what makes comp more worth playing

Its make people play it who dont want to