There’s only so many times someone can talk about “meta” before they go nuts. I’m surprised Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan is still mentally stable since he has to hear that darn word every single time “Overwatch” and “competitive” are in the same room.
In a recent developer update video, Kaplan talks about how Overwatch faced a lot of criticism regarding its slow-moving meta. So they will be changing it up with a few new initiatives. Let’s break them down:
- The game will be getting a new “card” alongside Quick Play, Competitive, and Match Browser called “Experimental”. This mode will focus on gameplay changes that won’t go live yet; that’s where you as a competitive player send your feedback via to.
- The team will be changing up its overall balance philosophy. Instead of focusing on “stability”, they will be targeting the meta “more frequently, more aggressively”. So basically like how devs change up a fighting game like Tekken 7 when they introduced some black guy who knows Wing Chun.
- Overwatch will soon feature hero pools to the game’s competitive mode. They will function like map pools, but with heroes (duh). Starting March, a selection of heroes will be disabled from play for one week at a time. This will be decided by the design team, like an “Orisa, Sigma, Mei, Moira” week for example. The team will do this to “keep the meta fluid” and encourage “more hero diversity”.
- To add on further, Overwatch League will also feature a version of hero pools. Starting 7th March, the league will take out one tank, one support, and two damage heroes from the roster each week. “The heroes will be randomly selected from a group of eligible heroes based on play-rate data from the previous two weeks of Overwatch League matches—only heroes that are being played regularly can be pulled from the next hero pool.”
I think this is a good step to keep players and teams on their toes. Keep in mind that this is all meant for competitive play; casual modes are untouched. With a possibly-changing meta and shifts in power, the world of Overwatch will start getting a tad more interesting from March onwards.