Console PTR and Hero Pools coming to Overwatch

All good stuff coming to Overwatch soon!

Watch the Update or read whats coming to Overwatch #exciting

Jeff Kaplan in the developer update for January has given us 2 big reasons to get excited about upcoming changes to Overwatch.

The first change is there will be a new game mode called EXPERIMENTAL. This is like a version of the PTR but it will be available for all game systems (PC, XBOX, PlayStation & Nintendo). The experimental mode will allow Blizzard to make hero changes faster nerfing or buffing to change the meta.

The second change will be starting in Season 21 will feature HERO POOLS. Basically a version of hero bans but controlled by Bilzzard. Blizzard gives everyone a “pool” of heroes to play in Competitve only for a week and changes the “pool” every week.

Hero pools will also become an item in the upcoming Overwatch League Season 3.

Another side note change is there will be some “quality of life” design changes to the UI as well but this seems pretty minimal when talking about the other two items.

Jeff also promised us more developer updates in a post so hopefully we will see him more often now.

We will report more on these changes when they go live but reading through a lot of the YouTube comment section they seem pretty darn positive.

What do you think about these upcoming additions to Overwatch?

ohnickel breaks down hero pools


Overwatch Retail Patch Notes – Jan 28, 2020

A new patch is now live on Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes.

To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion 102 forum
For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report 7 forum.
For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support 4 forum.



Storm Arrows

  • Damage reduced from 70 to 60



  • Firing Deadeye no longer locks the player’s aim


The Reaping (Passive)

  • Healing amount reduced from 40% to 30% of damage dealt


Fusion Driver (Primary Fire)

  • Damage reduced from 11 to 10


  • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds


  • Snare duration reduced from 1 to 0.65 seconds


Gravitic Flux

  • Can now be interrupted before targets begin falling
  • Impact slow duration reduced from 0.9 to 0.6 seconds


  • Explosion damage reduced from 60 to 40


Biotic Launcher (Primary Fire)

  • Recovery time increased from 0.35 to 0.45 seconds

Biotic Launcher (Secondary Fire)

  • Heal explosion reduced from 60 to 50

See the official post

How to be a social media master

Master Social Media: BE ORIGINAL

Here’s some advise from a social media power user on how to grow a social media account organically.

Before we get to the list let me explain a few things. I am considered a social media power user which means I don’t have enough followers to be considered an influencer but I do have enough engagement and followers to know what I am doing.

What do I mean when I say grow an account organically? I mean that we are not paying for likes, views, comments or follows. You can purchase ads if you like from others but my budget for all my social media accounts is $0.00 so if you can afford to advertise and you want to go and do it, it will get you some results faster, there are YouTube videos and other people that will show you that method.

What is a social media influencer? That is someone that has A LOT of followers / subscribers, reaches a lot of people daily and is well known in the community they exist in.

My Step by Step Method to being a social media master

For the steps below I will use my own social media pages of Game Watch Today so you can have a point of reference.

  1. Pick a “thing” or “topic” you enjoy (kind of like a hobby you already do). Example: Video Games
  2. Get specific. Your first topic will be too general so pick a sub category of that.
    1. Think of or make a list of types of games you like or specific games that you are into.
  3. Once you pick a focused topic, let’s say we picked Fortnite. Now it’s time to do research.
    1. The importance of a “focused topic” is because the internet is a HUGE place where everyone in the world shares their own experiences, ideas and thoughts on everything. The idea is you want to be known as the EXPERT of that topic you choose, that’s when people really start noticing you.
  4. Research which social media platform you would like to focus on, so let’s say I already spend a lot of time on Instagram so lets choose that as a starting platform.
  5. Research everything you can on instagram about Fortnite accounts.
  6. Let’s say you start doing research about Fortnite and realize the internet is saturated with these accounts and it seems to be slowly dying trend and you want to switch to Overwatch.
    1. In this planning phase you it is okay to switch to a new focused topic just repeat the steps from step 3.
  7. You learn about Overwatch accounts and know that the game isn’t as healthy as Fortnite but you know that Blizzard will support the game for a long time and they are about to release Overwatch 2.
    1. It is important to know the health and future of the focused topic you choose and not to just bandwagon the hottest topic trending today.
    2. Choose something you are really passionate about because people will see that in what you share.
  8. Choose your account type: This is where you decide who to post.
    1. Posts that have you in them, you become the face of your account.
    2. Posts that do not have you in them, you are the silent partner that people ask for a face reveal.
  9. Choose an account name.
    1. If you are an active part of the posts it can be your own username people will identify you by.
    2. If you are not going to be recognized then you can choose a name that people identify your account by easily.
  10. Research the account name
    1. check everywhere and make sure that username is available not just the platform you want to be on. Including a website address. Start with a google search.
  11. Once you have picked a name register that as an email address, then you can use that email to register your social media accounts.
  12. Register your name under all the social media accounts.
    1. YouTube
    2. facebook
    3. twitter
    4. instagram
    5. snapchat
    6. tiktok
    7. twitch
    8. any other accounts you may want to have in the future
  13. Start building your identity. That means logos, profile pictures, account descriptions, banners and anything else you need to show people who you are.
    1. This is called branding and it gives you an identity it will be important later when you want people to find you on other platforms.
  14. We know that for this instance we want to build our instagram empire, however you can apply all these methods to any of the other channels depending on which format you choose to best yourself in.
  15. Decide what you want to post. (just a few examples are below)
    1. news
    2. memes
    3. video highlights
    4. commentary
    5. live streaming (not really a thing on instagram)
  16. After you decide what to post find other people that are doing the same thing and have some success at it. And consider how you can do it better than them.
    1. The real objective is to have fun with your account this will help for longevity.
    2. The secondary objective to focus on is be the best at whatever it is you choose, keep a close eye on the competition and look at how you can improve over time.
  17. Start posting stuff get your friends to like your page to get some initial followers.
  18. After you have a few posts start interacting with other accounts / people in your category. Talk to pages big and small (yes even big names interact with people too but don’t expect it too often).
      1. I know people say just ask for shout-outs even if you have to pay for it, well I guess that’s fine but remember we are working on a $0.00 budget for our account.
    2. Just talk to people. Some people call it community building. But remember you are doing this to have fun with it and talking to people (being social) really is a great part of the fun of having a social media account. You get to meet a lot of great people along the way.
  19. If people comment on your posts reply to all of them. This is easy when you are a small account, it’s when you have a lot of posts and people are commenting a lot all the time it becomes difficult to reply to all of them but replying to comments is an important step (it’s also referred to as “engagement”).
  20. Like and comment on posts that are related to your account.
    1. By liking or commenting on other peoples account starts a conversation with them. Get an open dialogue going. Don’t be disingenuous about it and do it expecting follows.
    2. Do not use the follow / unfollow method. This is where you follow someone so they follow you and then you instantly unfollow them. This is deceptive and trashy way to get followers.
  21. On instagram you have to switch to a creator or business account but you need to review your analytics daily.
    1. Even if you check your statistics by looking how many people liked a post try to do even better with the next post even if it’s by one like or comment.
  22. DO NOT get frustrated, bored or tired of posting.
    1. Remember when I said choose something you will have fun doing, well it may take years before you have success, it’s like grinding levels on a video game you have to keep working at it and never give up.
    2. Do not change your account to something else cause your bored, this will kill your chances of rising to the top. If you really want to do something else start the process over.
  23. Post to other accounts
    1. Use your other accounts to post to, it can even be the same thing but there are people that only use one type of social media so it’s important to grab as many people as you can.
    2. An added bonus is that you may find success on a different platform than you initially wanted.
  24. Be creative not a copy cat
    1. Remember I said do it better than everyone else. That means don’t just go around the internet and steal stuff from other people. People appreciate original content more than copy/pasta content.
  25. Keep it up. Once you get started keep going have clear goals in mind but not to big or you will get frustrated and quit before you are famous.
  26. Something to consider is to not accept advertising or sponsorship’s or endorsements until after you get about 500,000 (not saying this is like an acceptable number but more of a maybe around this time). If you do advertise too soon in your life span of your page people will think you are fake and just in it for the money and turn against you.

That’s about it. Check back on this post or add some more in the comments. Each social media platform has it’s own tricks so once you start talking to other people in the community they will be able to help you get better and define who you are or what your voice is. Hope this helps answer some questions.

Good Luck out there.

~ bigfisch

(edit) – added #26 1/28/2020

McCree gets insane buff.

McCree gets huge BUFF!

Today Blizzard dropped the latest Buffs and Nerfs on the PTR.
And it seems as though McCree gets the latest DPS testing patch with more health and a crazy buff to his Ultimate ability Dead EYE.

link –

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – Jan 23, 2020

A new Overwatch patch is in development and now available for testing! To share your feedback or report any issues, please post in the PTR Feedback or PTR Bug Report forums.

Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes may also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and only reflects changes coming specifically to that platform. HERO UPDATES

Storm Arrows

  • Damage reduced from 70 to 60


  • Base health increased from 200 to 250

Peacekeeper (Primary Fire)

  • Recovery time increased from 0.42 to 0.5 seconds


  • Firing Deadeye no longer locks the player’s aim

The Reaping (Passive)

  • Healing amount reduced from 40% to 30% of damage dealt

Fusion Driver (Primary Fire)

  • Damage reduced from 11 to 9


  • Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds


  • Snare duration reduced from 1 to 0.65 seconds

Hyperspheres (Primary Fire)

  • Range reduced from 22 to 20 meters

Gravitic Flux

  • Can now be interrupted before targets begin falling
  • Impact slow duration reduced from 0.9 to 0.6 seconds


  • Explosion damage reduced from 60 to 40

Biotic Launcher (Primary Fire)

  • Recovery time increased from 0.36 to 0.45 sec

Biotic Launcher (Secondary Fire)

  • Heal explosion reduced from 60 to 50


Jeff Kaplan drops the hammer on hero bans in Overwatch

Fourm post from Jeff Kaplan addressing hero bans link.

Jeff Kaplan

119 posts

Overwatch Developer

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about hero bans the past few days and I just wanted to offer some perspective on the topic. As always, the OW has a wide variety of opinions about the concept. Interestingly, we don’t have many people on the team vehemently arguing for the feature. More of us, including myself, are reluctant to add hero bans to Overwatch. As I’ve said before, we’re not of the mindset that we’re opposed to the idea entirely and will never add them. But overall, there are a number of issues that make us want to proceed carefully.

Coming at this from a game design focus, the number one thing we ask is, “what is the problem that we’re trying to solve?” We’re not fans of just adding ideas that are in other games “just because”. We call this bottom-up design. Sometimes the right design decision for one game, is a terrible decision for another game – even if the two games are very similar. For example, with World of Warcraft we did not impose forced grouping, a slow leveling curve and a punishing death penalty with level loss “just because” the other successful MMO’s had those features at the time. And as a player of those other MMO’s, I thought they were the correct decision for those games. But not for WoW.

When I hear why people want hero bans, the conversation usually revolves around a few reasons (I’m sure there are more):

 People do not like that the meta stagnates. They believe with hero bans, they will be able to “ban out” the meta heroes thus moving the meta. In general, the meta not moving is perceived by the player-base as bad
 People are frustrated with the balance of certain heroes. With hero bans, they feel like they can “ban out” the heroes they are frustrated with
 People do not like playing against certain heroes. With hero bans, they feel like they can “ban out” a hero they don’t want to play against

As a team, we agree with and understand that players want the meta to be more fluid and move more frequently. Even though the vast majority of players only experience the meta through OWL, feedback from GM’s, streamers and YouTubers, we get that the perception of a stale meta is not good for the game. We absolutely have plans to help move the meta more and we’ll be talking about these in an upcoming developer update. We get it. We agree. Make the meta move faster. Ok.

But just implementing hero bans does not mean the meta will move. Studying other games, the end result is usually a “ban meta”. The downside of a ban meta, is that players are often at odds with each other when someone on their team bans an “off-ban-meta” hero. The same frustrations that players experience with the meta exist in a ban meta. Hero bans are not a silver bullet solution to making the meta move. If the problem we are trying to solve is that the meta needs to change more, hero bans might actually make the problem worse, not better. We do a have a solution in mind – an actual system – that we’ll talk about (next week’s dev update) but it is not hero bans.

In regards to players wanting to ban for balance reasons, the way we plan to address this is with more frequent balance updates. The upcoming dev update will go in depth into the plan and shed light on how we’re going to accomplish this. So we agree that there are balance issues. We agree balancing needs to happen more frequently. We disagree that hero bans are a good solution to balance problems. To us, removing a hero from play because of balance reasons feels like a sledgehammer.

The other reason I listed was that people do not like playing against certain heroes. To this, I am going to give an answer that is not going to be very popular. Basically, it’s a PvP game. You don’t get to pick what the enemy team does. The challenge is overcoming the enemy team with teamwork, ingenuity and skill. It feels really off to me that the other team dictates how or what I play. So if your reason is that you don’t want to play against certain heroes, I think we’ll agree to disagree on this point. We’ve changed out minds in the past. But that’s where we’re at for now.

I hear a lot of people attack hero bans because they only want to play one hero, or “one trick”… To this, I think our stance is pretty clear. Overwatch is a game about mastering many heroes. We don’t expect you to master them all, but you should play a few of the characters. Now, we don’t explicitly prevent you from only playing one hero. But we also don’t encourage it. We think the game is more fun for everyone involved if you play at least a handful of the heroes. That’s how the game is designed. So defending “one tricking” does not factor in for us when it comes to our opinion on hero bans. We want the meta to move more and one tricking contributes to meta issues. Again, we’re not against one-tricking but we’re not going to overly enable or encourage it. That’s our stance.

There are a few other reasons, we’re reluctant to pursue hero bans at this time as well. We’ve been really pushing for faster match times (there’s a lot going on under the hood on this one). Our philosophy is the game is better if you have quicker matches. The sting of defeat is much less if the match took less time. We’re constantly talking about ways to speed up rounds of OW to allow you to play more. Introducing a “ban phase” to the start of every OW round would add significant time. Your overall time spent on an average night of OW actually shooting stuff would be less. This concerns us a lot. There is also a huge development cost to adding the feature as well (the time commitment would be significant). This last reason is not the one that’s driving our decision making. If we thought it was right for the game (like with Role Queue) we would absolutely make the investment.

I’m looking forward to sharing next week’s development update with you all… I think it will clarify things a bit. But in the meantime, I wanted to tell you where we’re at with hero bans specifically since so much misinformation is being spread right now. I hope those of you in favor of the system don’t go too “doomsday” over this news without having the full picture. Information will be available next week on the plan to balance faster and keep the meta moving. We agree on the problems. That’s the important thing.

So there you have it no to hero bans what do you think?