Overwatch announces sweeping changes to Competitive Map and Hero Pools - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch announces sweeping changes to Competitive Map and Hero Pools

Published: 9/Apr/2020 19:11 Updated: 9/Apr/2020 19:18

by Bill Cooney

Share


Overwatch will be rolling out substantial updates to its Hero and Map Pool systems, after going through feedback from fans and the community.

Map Pools were introduced in late 2019, and Hero Pools were added in March 2020. Now, devs say they’ve gotten plenty of feedback from players and fans to make substantial changes to both.

Advertisement

Based on these community responses, devs will be implementing sweeping changes for Map Pools, some that were suggested before, and to make Hero Pools more consistent.

Paris' incredible skyline with the Eifel tower in the background in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Paris is one of Overwatch’s most controversial maps, but players in Competitive won’t have to worry about it much longer.

In a blog post on April 9, developers explained that they would be “unifying” the hero pools between the Overwatch League and the general game.

Advertisement

Starting April 13, we intend to address this by having a single, unified Hero Pool,” devs said. “Allowing both the Overwatch League and Competitive Play to mirror each other as closely as possible and making a more consistent viewing and play experience.”

To determine the hero pool each week, Blizzard will look at the hero pick rates from “high-level Competitive Play matches from the preceding two weeks.”

Heroes that are picked above a “certain threshold” will be on the chopping block for the week; the more a hero is chosen, the more likely they are to be in the next Hero Pool.

Advertisement

Based on all of that, developers will remove one Tank, two DPS and one Support randomly from play each week. Heroes can’t be removed from play for two weeks in a row, so the bans will be for different characters each week.

Blizzard Entertainment
Popular heroes, such as Moira and Doomfist, could be first in line to sit on the sidelines.

We’ll find out which heroes are removed at the end of Overwatch League matches on Sunday. On weeks where OWL isn’t happening, we’ll find out on Monday morning. The new Hero Pools will still be applied on Monday in both cases.

Developers also admitted that Map Pools hasn’t worked out exactly the way they had intended and would be making all maps, except for Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony, available in Competitive Play.

Advertisement

This was actually an idea suggested by players as well, and devs hinted they would be working on both Paris and Horizon to “improve their play” in the future before adding them back to the rotation.

Blizzard Entertainment
Players won’t have to worry about Horizon coming up in Competitive going forward for a while.

We don’t have any word on when we might see Paris or Horizon updated, but it’s good to see Blizzard is still willing to tweak the maps to make them enjoyable for players.

Advertisement

This update is really a win-win for the community since Hero Pools will have more consistency (we hope), and there will be 19 maps to play on, minus the two least-popular.

Overwatch

Overwatch meets WarCraft with epic RTS custom game mode

Published: 7/Oct/2020 0:12

by Bill Cooney

Share


Overwatch and RTS games like WarCraft and StarCraft might seem like complete opposites, but the two styles have been combined into a very promising-looking Workshop mode that lets you control multiple heroes as if they were individual units.

If we look at Blizzard games like one big family tree, then the StarCraft and Warcraft franchises could probably be considered something like Overwatch’s grandparents.

Advertisement

Back in the day StarCraft especially was one of the biggest esports on the planet, but the RTS genre has sadly fallen to wayside in recent years. Both still have dedicated communities though (even after the disaster that was Reforged) and it’s safe to say a good number also play Overwatch now as well.

Irish Overwatch manager Andygmb clearly hasn’t outgrown his love for real-time strategy, not that one ever does, decided to take the top down style from those games and apply it to all of our favorite heroes using Josbird’s cursor tool in the Workshop mode.

Advertisement

Demo of a MOBA / RTS style control scheme in the Workshop! The possibilities with the workshop are endless! from Overwatch

You can scroll around the map, and drag the map to select multiple units and control them all at once. Like an RTS game, you can tell them where to go, and when to attack something.

Right off the top of our heads if they ever were to make an Overwatch game like this, we’d wager that Roadhog rush would be a great opening build to start with.

But it doesn’t take much to imagine a League of Legends-style game as well being made playable with this type of game either. Sure, Blizzard already has Heroes of the Storm, but that only features a few Overwatch heroes to choose from, where this could add the whole roster.

Advertisement
Overwatch heroes 2020
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch has over 30 different heroes that could make all kinds of different units.

With Heroes of the Storm already existing (and producing cooler skins for D.Va than Overwatch itself) our chances of seeing an official RTS featuring the game’s heroes are unfortunately slim to none.

That has never stopped players before though, so we’d keep our eyes out for some kind of League clone to appear before too long on the Custom Game browser. Until then, you can always waste more time playing Among Us there as well.