Overwatch lead game designer Scott Mercer deepened his views on the future of Overwatch, including the upcoming competitive season 21. In his interview, Mercer (not to be confused with Matthew Mercer’s critical role) discussed the concept of hero pools and the seemingly stagnant meta of Overwatch.
Hero Pools is a competitive mechanic who introduced a rotation organized by the developers of Overwatch. These heroes are available in competitive play and constitute a tank, a support and two damage heroes not available in competitive play. The philosophy here is that it keeps heroes from becoming dominant and allows other heroes to shine in their absence.
Of course, not everyone is a fan of it. It’s a strange method of balancing, making heroes completely unavailable instead of just balancing things properly or making less-played characters more viable. Many players find themselves unable to play their main hero in which they have put in hundreds of hours of practice, which immediately handicaps them for competition.
Overwatch’s Scott Mercer Goes In Depth On Competitive Play’s Hero Pools
“We receive feedback from our players on the fa
available for more than two weeks straight, which the team hopes to give the champion time to shine upon his return. Still, this is a considerable drawback for players which could be a bit of a ride as we see in other games.
“In the Overwatch League, analysts will review the previous two weeks of hero game data, and if a hero is played more than 10% of the time, they are eligible to be removed from the rotation.”
Speaking about why they are opting for this type of style instead of a field ban system like many other games do, Mercer said it didn’t seem like “the right solution” for them. players to have a ban system. He talks about wanting to avoid the phase where the players look at the screen for five minutes before the match while they banish the champions and argue. Instead, they take the duty on themselves.