Overwatch community outraged after "flawed" hero pool system bans Echo - Dexerto
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Overwatch community outraged after “flawed” hero pool system bans Echo

Published: 20/Apr/2020 18:18

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch players, pros, and community members were left baffled when the game’s newest addition, Echo, was banned as part of the April 20 hero pools.

This is the second week where pickrates from high-ELO games in ranked play have determined which heroes are ban-eligible. Of the DPS, Echo, Tracer, and Ashe had a chance of being banned, with the latter managing to remain in rotation.

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Despite the hype for Echo and the character not even seeing play in the Overwatch League yet, the 32nd hero will be unavailable in competitive from 2PM EST on April 20 to one week from then.

Blizzard Entertainment
Echo was banned after only one week in ranked.

The ban also carries over to Overwatch’s newest arcade mode, Competitive Open Queue.

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Many in the Overwatch community were furious at Echo’s removal. Prominent content creators such as former Contenders pro Sam ‘Samito’ Dawahare urged Blizzard to reconsider.

“Blizzard, we should not ban Echo less than one week after she came out,” he said. “It is not in the game’s best interest to ban it less than a week. It’s crazy! It’s actually unfathomable.”

Samito made a few notable observations, stating that Echo’s playtime would be artificially high because she’s the newest hero in the game and people are going to want to play her. Additionally, Blizzard needs more stats to be able to better tune her.

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“This time is very important to figure out how to balance the character!” he exclaimed, and suggested she get a bye from the hero pool system.

The complaints were echoed in the r/CompetitiveOverwatch subreddit too where many users voiced concerns.

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Hopefully Blizzard doesn’t “duplicate” the same mistakes with Overwatch 2.

“This week’s hero bans do not make sense. The system itself is deeply flawed,” wrote user darklord12121.

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“The hype around playing a fun high skill ceiling hero after just having a big tournament centered around her would be massive and would incite people to want to play her. But then she is banned for the entirety of the following week,” the confused fan stated.

Others took issue with the fact Echo wasn’t even played in Overwatch League yet. “This new system is a disaster because no matter what combo of eligible heroes, the DPS in OWL will rarely, if EVER, change because there’s so many DPS options,” Apexe blasted.

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Houston Outlaws coach Harsha Bandi called the Echo ban in both ladder and pro play “nonsensical.”

On the official forums, Game Director Jeff Kaplan anticipated the backlash and noted in an April 14 comment that the team, “debated this but did not want to interfere with the algorithm.”

“Worst case, if she is removed from the pool, she’ll be back a week later. Plus there are always plenty of ways to play a hero outside of comp,” he added.

Hopefully, the developers reconsider their approach to the algorithm and adjust accordingly with reworks and new heroes in mind when Overwatch 2 is finally released.

Overwatch

Overwatch meets WarCraft with epic RTS custom game mode

Published: 7/Oct/2020 0:12

by Bill Cooney

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Overwatch heroes 2020
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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.