Hero Pools Will Kill Overwatch and Here is Why

"…Hero Pools will premiere in Overwatch Competitive Play during Season 21. The Hero Pool system will feature a weekly rotation of playable heroes intended to improve the quality of play…"

I’ve never made a post on this forum before, but I was compelled to make a post because of this ‘Hero Pool’ development update. I’ve followed Overwatch news since it was just a rumor, during beta and before the game was released, I’ve played every season like clockwork, I have Overwatch posters all over my room, I wear the merch, I even built a new computer just to play Overwatch and when that computer was built I shoved Overwatch stickers all over the case - I’m very much in love this game like no other game I’ve played before. Having said that, Season 20 will be the last season I play until hero pools are removed.

This isn’t a sort of game modifying change like implementing 2/2/2 or something that changes the dynamic like back when they changed mass resurrection for Mercy and made it an ability for one hero at a time. This takes something away from the game. This ruins the competitive experience. I could see it during Jeffs developer update they aren’t sure if this a good thing. I’ve talked to players during matches and the forums speak for themselves. This is a bad idea.

  1. No one asked for this. As someone who plays Overwatch almost daily, this will have the opposite effect and ruin the quality of play.
  2. Players identify with certain heroes in the game, that’s the whole point and beauty of this game.
  3. This is something that belongs in an arcade mode or experimental. Not competitive.
  4. Overwatch has a finite amount of heroes to play as it is. Why do something like this now?
  5. Overwatch will see a decline in players. I’m one of them. Those players will replace Overwatch with something else and won’t look back until hero pools are removed.

I’m not the best player, but I love this game dearly. At the time of this posting I have over 1,408 hours played in this game, because it’s fun. Because I enjoy it. Because I get to play my favorite heroes. Don’t take that away.


Jeff has said they considered applying this only to the higher ranks, where players can’t play their favorite heroes because the meta is mandatory. Maybe in season 22 they will revert hero pools to only 3500+ games. Give it a try first


Can’t we give it a try? I’ll try comp just for it, I’m flexible.


Can you imagine logging in and not being able to play Reinhardt, he’s like the most lovable character in the game.


That means I get to dominate as Sigma


The worst that happens is a one-trick has to take a week off from comp. It’s certainly an inconvenience for those few people but I don’t think it’s a disaster.


These posts are humourous. “It will make people leave”.
Really? That’s what you take from it?
What makes people leave is broken heroes and comps left to run riot for 6 months at a time.

Heck Brig and GOATs caused a cataclysmic exodus to OW, one that could have been prevented if something like hero pools or hero bans existed.

This change is long overdue, and it is likely too late to bring back the players who left.
But it goes a long way to keeping the few of us left from giving up playing in to the same meta heroes over and over and over again, in a monotonous cycle between metas and meta heroes.


I understand that you haven’t frequented the forums, but the idea of hero bans have been begged for for what’s probably been at least 2 years now. Ever since Goats, and maybe as far back as Mercy’s rework, people have been wanting a way that removes certain heroes from play because leaving them in stagnates the meta and makes the game outright punishing to just have fun with if you play anything else.

While hero pools aren’t specifically hero bans, the idea is still there, but in an arguably more fair way such that everyone can always have their time to shine.

And those heroes are still in the game. They’re even still playable, just not in competitive, and even then it’s only for a week or so.

I can see that argument, but the truth is the whole purpose of the change is to specifically make competitive more fluid and interesting while still “playing to win”. It’s hard to get a feel for how that’d work if they put it in a gamemode where no one would take it seriously.

I mean, if you want to be technical, there always will be a finite number of heroes. It’s impossible to reach a point of literal infinity.

But if you’re talking about how right now, only select heroes are options for select strategies, that’s the point. If one strategy is dominating, it makes the game repetitive. Banning the hero that strategy is revolving around means that the doors for possibility just swung open.

Yes. Rein is by far my best and favorite tank to play.

Should he get banned, then I’ll just roll with another tank for a little bit, or spend that time focusing on another role. There’s no reason to stop playing all together so long as you’re willing to play multiple heroes, which is what this game has always been all about.

The truth of the matter is that’s already been happening, again for years.

The name of the game is stagnation. Things get stale so quickly here that people leave for months at a time to wait for “that one balance patch that’ll finally shake things up.” Then that patch comes out, they come back for maybe a week… then get bored again and leave.

Rotating hero pools will keep things constantly changing between balance patches, which will keep giving players a reason to return and try out the new state of the game.

It’s unfortunate that some people will leave purely because they don’t like the idea, but in practice it can easily be one of the best changes we could get.


I honestly couldn’t have said it better myself. This addresses almost everything the op said.


I like how so many people against it are conveniently ignoring:

What is so bad about at least trying something before getting out the pitchforks?


Im kinda on the fence with this one.

On one hand, reducing choice is never a good thing when there are so few heroes to choose from. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had more tanks and supports.

But on the other, I can see the opportunity for characters like 76 or Torb getting their chance to shine as they haven’t had much use in the last few metas.

It is also hard to tell when we do not have a lot of information to work off of.

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I really want this to be something they implement instead of hamfisted sledgehammer nerfs that ruin heroes. Like, maybe we could have just banned Orisa or Sigma and not ended up having to completely ruin them both.

I think the game’s bad balance might have always been an intentional way to force people to mix it up and play different things, and maybe we can drop the balance charade and just have this instead.


The problem is you’ll get those that leave and won’t come back. Mercy players left after her botched rework. Flex players left after RQ ruined the game for them.

The game can’t afford to lose more players but at the same time doing nothing will be as bad, if not worse.


And that’s completely fair.

Blizzard has made a very clear effort to make every hero as unique as possible, each with their own playstyle. Getting some of those heroes taken away from you is undeniably a loss.

But the way I see it, the trade off is worth it. The game’s main problem is that people are playing one specific playstyle constantly, some of them even feel that they’re forced into it. Banning heroes means that you have to play different styles with each rotation, which ultimately makes the game as a whole more interesting.

Worst that happens is a one-trick plays against certain heroes for a week, takes a week off when their main is banned, then plays against a completely different set of heroes when they come back. All around, it’s a win-win (in my personal opinion).


high rank players have been asking for some form of hero bans for ages

Players identify with certain heroes in the game, that’s the whole point and beauty of this game.

they can play them in QP or wait a week for them to come back. I’m sure people spam moira and orisa every game because they “identify” with her and not because they like abusing a broken low skill hero

This is something that belongs in an arcade mode or experimental. Not competitive.

nobody takes/will take those too seriously so theres nothing to learn from them

Overwatch has a finite amount of heroes to play as it is. Why do something like this now?

theres more than enough for short time hero bans.

Overwatch will see a decline in players. I’m one of them. Those players will replace Overwatch with something else and won’t look back until hero pools are removed.

nobody puts in over 1hr/day (and thats if you played since launch) and will leave over something like this for long. You will be playing again by Archives at the latest.


if your hero gets a banana just pause a week, or play qp etc… its not end of the world.

Or just don’t play the game at all because it’s retarded and move on to something that’s more fun. this is hands down one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard come from the OverWatch team.


thats an option too, farewell

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I mean I don’t see how unless you’re a literal 1-trick?

This is probably one of the best changes they could have done.

Rather than a “ban meta” if it was in the players hands, it’s more of a revolving meta that doesn’t really have the chance to sit or settle on ONE thing for months, and then forcing the balance team to ruin a hero (Sombra, Symmetra, Orisa, Baptiste)

One week the meta could be dive focused, the next bunker, the one after that double barrier, the next one no barrier

There’s so many different options that will be open and actually not force one set list of heroes to be the only playable options from Masters up

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I couldn’t agree more! I already have swapped from DPS to tank so I don’t get ten minute queues, but if I come home from working 10 hours and I just want to play a couple comp games as Reinhardt to unwind… You take that away? I’m playing another game, not another hero.