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Overwatch Developer Update - major changes are coming to the game

Published: 13:59, 31 January 2020
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Overwatch is getting a slew of reforms in the coming months. A February update will bring the Experimental Card to the live game on all platforms which will let the players test upcoming changes. The Competitive Season 21 will feature a Hero Pool.

Jeff from the Overwatch team sat down for another Developer Update on 30 January 2020 and this one was a doozie. The Game Director outlined some major changes that will be coming to the live game sometime in early February.

The Meta Shake-up 

Jeff and his team will be working on pushing out more frequent and impactful balance updates to keep the meta in a constant state of flux. Kaplan also said that they are now more open to the idea of reverting the changes they've made once they are already live.

The Experimental Card

The new card will sometimes pop up among the "Quick Play", "Arcade" and "Competitive" cards in the game's menu. The Experimental card will allow players on all platforms to test the changes the dev team has cooked up. 

Furthermore, unlike playing on the PTR - the players testing the latest changes via the new card will gain experience, loot boxes as well as wins that count towards the weekly challenge rewards. 

One more instance where the Experimental Card will differ from the Overwatch PTR is that the card is not meant for bug-testing. The card will be used to experiment with balance updates, game modes, or changes to rules. Additionally, not all features from this mode will make it over to the live game.

Hero Pools

This change will drop along with Season 21 and it will only be for the Competitive portion of Overwatch. The Hero Pools will disable a couple of heroes for a week at a time, changing each week. The devs will be keeping an eye on the rotation and tweak it accordingly, so in the end, we could get hero pools that change daily and even by match.

No need to pray to the RNG gods for this one though as the selection of playable heroes will be in the hands of the Overwatch design team. 

Hero Pool changes won't make their way into Quick Play or the Arcade.

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