Could Hero Pools be returning to Overwatch with a new format? - Dexerto
Overwatch

Could Hero Pools be returning to Overwatch with a new format?

Published: 10/Jul/2020 0:23

by Michael Gwilliam

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Hero Pools have been disabled in Overwatch ranked after several different incarnations that didn’t quite sit well with the userbase, but there’s a strong possibility they could be returning in a future update.

At the higher levels of play where the meta is more established, teams often find themselves defaulting to the best possible composition. Unfortunately, this also can lead to a stale gameplay experience.

While Hero Pools were designed to fix this problem by banning certain characters (two DPS, one tank and one support), they also meant that players may not be able to play their main on ladder.

Additionally, while Hero Pools spiced up the Overwatch League and Contenders, aligning the two proved to be difficult. With the player base alienated, Blizzard decided to remove them from the game, while OWL kept the bans on a two-week basis with them disabled the week prior to monthly tournaments.

Overwatch Hero Pools
Blizzard Entertainment
Hero Pools are a controversial Overwatch feature.

Thus far, the changes have been well-received with the Overwatch League community, but not everyone is exactly on the same page.

After the Paris Eternal emerged victorious in the Summer Showdown, their coach Hee-won ‘RUSH’ Yun spoke to Dexerto about possible format changes.

According to RUSH, because Overwatch League is in a short tournament format anyway, the pools should reflect that.

Sigma from Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Hero Pools can spice up the Overwatch meta.

Will month-long Hero Pools come to Overwatch League?

“Why don’t we make the Hero Pools a month long?” he suggested.

One of the issues that players had with Hero Pools was that they changed the meta far too quickly, with teams not getting enough time to practice and perfect. By making them last one month, each tournament could be unique.

Of course, there is a major difference between Overwatch League and ranked play, so while it’s unlikely that month-long Hero Pools hit ladder, one place they could be included would be the creation of a new team queue.

Zenyatta and Dva from Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Could Hero Pools return in a team queue?

While a team queue has been a long-requested feature, it seems more like something that will come with Overwatch 2. With a team queue, teams of all ranks may have the coordination needed to make the most out of a Hero Pool system and merge the OWL experience with the traditional player base.

We’ll have to see what the future holds, especially as this seems like a format that would be pushed come season 4 of the Overwatch League. Only time will tell if RUSH gets his wish.

Overwatch

Overwatch battle pass? Blizzard teases major changes for franchise

Published: 29/Oct/2020 23:00

by Nate Searl

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An Activision Blizzard investor reveals that the Overwatch franchise is in for some major innovations that should help bring in consistent revenue. It sounds like the game might be getting a Battle Pass. 

Overwatch has been one of the most consistent games since its release back in 2016 with a very basic business model. The game has a set cost and the only microtransactions are loot boxes that provide cosmetic items.

New cosmetic items only come out during seasonal events, which are the same every year, and there isn’t currently any form of Battle Pass. According to an Activision Blizzard investor, the business model is going to change soon.

Is Overwatch getting a Battle Pass?

Most popular online multiplayer games like Fortnite, League of Legends, Valorant, etc. are free to play and have some form of Battle Pass that helps them bring in money. Overwatch never did this, and currently relies on game sales and loot box sales to bring in revenue.

Overwatch Battle Pass
Epic Games
What the Battle Pass looks like in Fortnite.

With Overwatch 2 on the horizon, Activision Blizzard will likely change their business model for the game. A Battle Pass would be a great solution. It gives players new cosmetics along with an extra incentive to play, and it gives Activision Blizzard a new way to profit off the franchise.

Battle Passes are generally great ways to get players involved in a game by giving them quests and other incentives to play while offering players exclusive cosmetic content to flex on their opponents with. In Overwatch, this could be skins, sprays, voice lines, highlight intros, or new items that haven’t been revealed yet.

Overwatch 2 surveys

Activision Blizzard has also sent out surveys about Overwatch 2. YouTuber Stylosa went over the survey, which asks questions about potential different features and editions of the game. It seems like they are mulling over several different ideas.

In addition to a potential Battle Pass, it seems like Overwatch 2 will have new ways to customize skins. This could mean changing the color of the skins or maybe changing clothing items or weapons like in Dota 2.

If Overwatch goes free-to-play when Overwatch 2 comes out, a Battle Pass seems inevitable. We will undoubtedly learn more about it in the coming months.