Blizzard is planning to address feedback about its hit game Overwatch with a new test that will prevent competitive games from getting repetitive (for viewers). Starting with this competitive season, Blizzard will disable some characters during competitions, forcing teams to shake up which characters they play with and keep things interesting. Similar methods are used by other popular games, though Blizzard has been criticized for moving slowly in this regard.
These changes will arrive in Overwatch Season 21 and will prevent players from stagnating on a single character or two for too long, according to the most recent developer update on the game. This is described as a test and it will only affect the competitive play that kicks off in March.
The Hero Pools will last for one week at a time; during each week, different characters will be disabled so that players will have to choose different characters and use a different strategy. “This is targeted at keeping the meta fluid … and from stagnating,” according to the developers.
This is a big and welcomed change that will hopefully make Overwatch competitive matches more interesting. Each character has its own unique abilities, meaning teams that constantly play with the same characters will start to show very little variations in their game strategies and gameplay. This is quite boring for viewers and makes the game feel stale.
As expected for any kind of test, Blizzard says that it may make changes to its Hero Pools over time — the week may be extended to longer periods of time, for example, or the Hero Pools could be designed to change for every single match rather than on a weekly basis. Whether any of these changes will be made are yet to be seen.