Jeff Kaplan talks Hero Pool changes and Teemu Selanne…

Image result for jeff kaplan

Yesterday Jeff Kaplan dropped a huge developer update for Overwatch talking about the introduction of Competitve Hero Pools, a Experimental Mode, replay sharing and UI changes. After the video released Jeff took to the Blizzard forums for about an hour, here’s all his replies to people.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change

Blizzard kept saying that this game is about being able to play several heros and flexing between them, but this is basically the first time when Blizzard supports this statement with an in-game mechanics.
Which, I think, is good for the game overall.

And I’m sure it was a very hard change for Blizzard, since the whole idea goes against basic game marketing – most people buy the game to play a character they love, not to be an flex-champion.
So whatever I like this change or not, I applaud Blizzard for making it.

Thanks for the feedback!

Oddly, we’re not viewing this change as dramatic, scary or impactful as the decision to pursue Hero Limits or our decision to implement Role Queue. Hero Pools will be introduced for Season 21 of Competitive Play only. Unlike Role Queue or Hero Limits, Quick Play and the Arcade will be completely the same as they are today with Hero Pools. This alone already means the number of affected matches is FAR less than those two prior systems.

Also, we’re super open to change with Hero Pools. If we (the dev team and the community) don’t feel like it’s a positive change during Season 21, then we won’t bring it back in Season 22. We get a lot of feedback asking for Competitive seasons to feel “different” from one another. Season 20 and Season 21 will certainly feel different!

Also, something we talk about a lot in game design is the that there is often no one, correct answer. Design is all about tradeoffs. If the thing that the community decides is “the most egregious” is a “static meta” and they “want the dev team to do something about it”… we’re going to take steps towards change. We can’t force the meta to move and not make the game work differently. Last year was great proof that player creativity and balance changes alone weren’t enough to move people off of 3/3 fast enough for the community to feel satisfied. The meta would have moved on it’s own… just slowly.

We’ve decided to help you move it along. If there are things we don’t like about Hero Pools, we can change it. Maybe they don’t come back for Season 22? Maybe they rotate faster? Maybe more or less heroes should be in the pool? We’ll all find out in Season 21.

But really this should be viewed as a fun an exciting change to Season 21 (we wanted Seasons to feel different, right?). And time will tell what happens after…

Either way, hearing your thoughts and feedback is really helpful to us.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Any information yet on how many heroes will be available in a week of hero pool?

For the first 5 weeks, we will be trying a range to see what feel right. We’ve architected this system so that we can update the hero pools without the need to patch. So we’ll be monitoring feedback very closely, experimenting a bit with the pool and adapting our strategy as time goes on.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Idea, bring it to the experiment card before season 21 for players to test it

The card won’t be ready until end of Feb.

For now, you can test it by not playing Torb for the week.

Next week, don’t play Symmetra.


only playing with ya…

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Would you consider rotating hero pools once every few days instead? one week is far too long, in my opinion, and once every match may come across as too hectic.

Yes. We’ve definitely considered it. Let’s try a week and see how it feels and if we need to make adjustments we will. But yeah… we’ve talked about rotating every day. We’ve also talked about rotating every match. We don’t like going longer than a week because we want more heroes played… but open to feedback.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Would it be possible if we’d got scoreboard in the future too?

The discussion is open for OW2.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Is the profile update gonna bring new level borders?

no [i have to type twenty characters even though i work here]

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Please do this, more stats would be awesome to have.

regardless of if we do a different scoreboard for OW2, we definitely want to do more with stats and provide more statistics to players

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


What about maybe a seasonal rotation?

we talked about a season rotation but taking a hero out of play for 2 months makes us a bit nervous. never say never but it’s not our first instinct…

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


You may create a card so users can create the hero poll, that could be great at least to try!

you can limit heroes in Custom Game. give it try!

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Thanks for the communication, hope those features are gonna be good and can’t wait to see the new workshop additions.

workshop creators will really love some of the changes Zach and Dan made to the feature. they listened to their feedback very closely and all of it is in response to what creators wanted. really proud of them for their work!

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


I have to ask though, what is the point of having super fast and drastic balance changes if we are just going to be enforcing weekly metas with hero pools anyways? Like what is the point of nerfing or buffing a hero if they can only be played whether they are in that week’s pool or not?

Historically, even when we have done consistent and dramatic balance changes, it takes the meta a long time to shift. We’d love it if balance or player creativity alone would shift the meta fast enough to meet player’s demands.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


I’d love to be able to see stats associated with each replay on my profile page. Hopefully that’s under consideration.

we want this too. more likely for OW2 at this point…

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


If the Dev team decides to change up the Hero Pool functionality quickly, how would that effect the OWL Hero pool system?

we work closely with OWL on all decisions. we’d just chat with them.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


is there a ban protection for popular heroes?
will lets say mercy, banned one week, than played alot next week, will she be protected not to be banned 3rd week again?
whats the plan?

we’re curating the list ourselves. we have some philosophies and guidelines we’ll be following (and evolving as we hear your feedback). we will do our best to be judicious and make sure no hero is getting the “horizon” treatment, as with our map pools…

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


I’m sorry but I can’t see how any of this is “fun” or “exiting”. I love tanking. And outside my horrible D.Va I love using all the tanks.

we would never limit the pool to just one tank. you’ll never be forced to play a single tank, such as as described above… if you love playing all the other tanks, you’ll be fine.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


How will you be choosing which heroes don’t make it into the pool? Will it be heroes that are “meta” or will it be a bit more random than that? Or a combination of the two?

it’s curated by us. so it will be a combination of targeting metas that players are being vocally negative about (recent examples: double barrier, goats) and slightly encouraging other playstyles (i.e. “more mobile” comps might be fun for a week…)

but i am sure we’ll refine our approach over time.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Will the 1-3-2 system you talked about earlier in another post be in the experimental mode? You said you wanted us to try it out for ourselves.

ooooh sounds like fun… we should let you all try, huh?

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Also, can you provide a hint on the next hero?

you know that i can’t ><

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Is the hero pool going to be different for each rank?

not in this version. interesting idea though.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


An Experimental mode is very interesting. Are the new possible systems will be tested here? How is it safe for OW client? What if the new possible system will make a major bug in the client and what will happen to the PTR?

we’ll still use the PTR for major patches and major changes. for example, if we were testing a new hero or map, that would be on the PTR and not in the Experimental Card.

the experimental card uses a different data set and was engineered by people far smarter than i am. it’s going to work and be magic and nothing could possibly go wrong… right? =]

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Jeff hello! Sorry for questioning here, but can you please say something about smurfs on consoles? You know they can create unlimited accounts with one copy of the game. May be some changes specific for consoles?

this is a very hard problem to solve but we have some ideas. any solution is more long term, though. possibly OW2 or later. sorry i know that’s not the answer you wanted but it’s actually very complicated with the way consoles work and the rules regarding account creation.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Who is the best overwatch waifu

  1. hammond
  2. mei
  3. tracer

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


I really, really like the Experimental Card plan. It seems like it’ll help with testing out small changes or shifting concepts for heroes with more people being able to try them out. Smaller and more tested changes is a good way to go!

totally. we’re so excited for this. we’ve wanted this for so long. it was a ton of work but it’s going to be really cool. plus i am super excited to get console players involved with testing changes (right now they cannot play the PTR)

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


i think a hero pool would be more beneficial for higher ranks (masters and up) and may have a negative impact on competitive gameplay for the average ranks. although players should be more diverse, having random banned heroes may result in people playing heroes they arent very good at which would hurt the entire team.

we’ve considered having the system only apply to players above a certain rank (diamond? masters?). it’s definitely on our minds.fumingǃ:

ps have yall considered adding a finnish hero? im from finland

i’m not sure we can make a hero great than teemu selanne?

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Will OWL affect the hero bans pool of the live game? Or the Live game will affect OWL bans pool? Or these things are separate and does not interfere with each other?

these are separate things that will not affect each other.

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change


Out of all the things you’ve talked about so far today to us, what are you the most excited for?

your feedback…

JeffreyKaplan commented on Hero pools is a brave and holistic change

going to go get some tea now. thanks for all of the great thoughts and thoughtful questions. we’ll make changes as needed. thanks again! <3

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed reading some of Jeff’s thoughts, there were some real good ones in there and lots to think about. What are your thoughts on the future of Overwatch?

Wrecking Ball Mains rejoice


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


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


Overwatch 2 Report: Jeff reveals more details on story cinematics

Overwatch 2 Lucio

We got a new bit of information on the Overwatch 2 cinematics that will be included in the story missions on the forums from none other than Jeff Kaplan himself. November 2019 Blizzard had a playable “demo” version of Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon (see ohnickel play-through video below for reference). During this demo of the story mode there were cinematic (cut-scenes) before and after the mission that advanced the story / lore of the Overwatch universe (post zero hour).

Overwatch 2 first story mission demo

Durring Blizzcon Jeff stated that the demo map ends on a cliffhanger but “spoiler alert” Lucio doesn’t die. In a forum post he extended this comment…

Jeff Kaplan: “Both the introduction and outro that we showed at Blizzcon were not the final pieces. The planned introduction is a little bit longer. The planned outro (which is still in development and we were reviewing yesterday) is much longer and not intended to be a cliff hanger. Spoiler alert: Lucio doesn’t die. For Blizzcon, we could only final so many shots… so we did an abbreviated cliffhanger for the demo. The final piece is much longer and shows Lucio’s rescue as well as “more awesome story stuff” that sets up the next mission.
We appreciate the feedback and glad you’re asking for more and not less ;]”

WyomingMyst (asked): Jeff, will every mission in Overwatch 2 have an intro and outro?

Yes. not all will be the same lengths or carry the same level of importance… but for now, the plan is yes, intro/outro for all story missions

See the fourm post Here

Zero Hour cinematics

We have a lot to look forward to with the release of Overwatch 2. Hopefully Activision / Blizzard will follow suit of many other game companies (example: CD Projekt delays Cyberpunk 2099 for 4 months for more play testing) and holds back the release until it is 1000% ready, instead of pulling a UbiSoft and release it because they need money. Anyone that follows Blizzard knows they will release it when they are ready which is why we got no definitive date on release yet. Stay tuned here for all the latest Overwatch 2 details.

Thanks for reading

~Big Fisch

Flying D.Va’s and Face Changing Sombra’s in the January Overwatch patch


You can also find the official patch notes at this link here

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.


Get ready to celebrate the Year of the Rat!

This year, we’re celebrating Lunar New Year with new seasonal items including legendary skins like Face Changer Sombra, Mask Dancer Moira, Samul Nori Lúcio, and Opera Brigitte. Experience the third competitive season of our Capture the Flag mode, in addition to a brand new game mode called Blitz CTF.

To learn more about the new mode, click here.


Feature Update: Party Flex for Role Queue

Unsure of which role you want to play? Now, party members who queue for any game mode with Role Queue enabled can select multiple roles, indicating what they’re willing to play in the next game.

Your other party members’ role choices and Competitive Play skill ratings may affect which roles you are eligible to choose, or which role you can play. For example, if you selected all three roles (Tank, Damage, Healing) to indicate your willingness to play any of them, and then two other party members choose Support, you will not get to play Support in the next game.

Custom Game Options

The Lobby section of Custom Game Settings has a new option “Data Center Preference”. This option provides the game creator with more control over where the game will be hosted. The default “Best Available” choice automatically provides the creator with the best quality connection available to them. We only suggest choosing a specific datacenter if no single datacenter can simultaneously provide the best connection to all players. This is usually only the case when the players participating in the custom game are located in different geographic regions of the world.

Spectate and Replay Updates

  • Added a new hotkey, “Spectate toggle 3P camera side”, which changes the shoulder you’re looking over for the player you’re spectating while using the simple third-person spectator camera option
  • Added a new hotkey, “Toggle normal / simple 3P spectator camera”, which toggles between the two third-person camera modes while spectating
  • Updated the death camera to quickly shift from where you were looking to where your killer is, to make it easier to see if you were killed by someone behind you or to your side
  • Updated the simple third-person spectator camera position for several heroes to have them cover less of the screen
  • Fixed an issue that caused zooming in and out while in the simple third-person camera to appear choppy
  • Transitioning into or out of first person no longer causes the camera to clip inside the hero’s head
  • Fixed several camera smoothness and popping issues



Immortality Field

  • Maximum duration reduced from 8 to 5 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 20 to 25 seconds

Amplification Matrix

  • Ultimate cost increased by 20%

Developer Comment: Immortality Field ended up being too powerful when placed in locations that were safe from enemy fire, such as around corners. Reducing its uptime will help address this case while remaining strong at saving teammates out in the open.


Endothermic Blaster (Primary Fire)

  • Slowing effect now reduces enemy movement speed from 20-70%, down from 30-90%
  • Slowing effect duration reduced from 1.5 to 1.0 second

Developer Comment: The slowing effect of Mei’s primary fire can sometimes feel too difficult to escape. Lowering the amount it slows by and the duration it lasts for will make it easier to react to. The time required to completely freeze a target remains the same.



  • Cooldown decreased from 5 to 3 seconds

Developer Comment: The lower cooldown on her mobility will enable D.Va to more readily swap between playing offensively and defensively.



  • Damage reduction reduced from 50% to 40%

Developer Comment: Orisa has been a little too difficult to deal with while Fortify is active, so we’re reducing the amount of damage reduction to give enemies more effective damage during this time.


Storm Bow (Primary Fire)

  • Maximum projectile speed reduced from 125 to 110

Developer Comment: The increased projectile speed Hanzo received in his rework ended up making his arrows too good at longer ranges. Decreasing the speed will reduce his sniping capability while still keeping him strong at mid-range.


Rising Uppercut

  • Recovery time increased from 0.2 to 0.35 seconds

Developer Comment: Rising Uppercut followed immediately by his primary fire is a little too effective of a combo on its own, so we’re increasing the time enemies have to react to it.



  • Fixed a bug that caused toggle crouch to work inconsistently when high precision mouse input is enabled
  • Fixed a bug that caused a small number of games containing very high-skill players to have greatly reduced SR gains and losses
  • Workshop
    • Fixed an issue preventing Go To Assemble Heroes from working in Assault and Hybrid
    • Fixed an issue preventing Sombra Dummy Bots from being able to hack health packs


Temple of Anubis

  • Fixed a bug where some heroes could get stuck behind one of the rocks outside of point B


  • Fixed a bug that could cause Wrecking Ball to become temporarily stuck when using his Piledriver in a specific location
  • Fixed a location where Doomfist could get stuck


  • Fixed a bug that allowed some players to stand on a wall near the final checkpoint
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra’s Translocator and Baptiste’s Immortality Field to land in an unintended place between the stairs and wall near point A


  • Fixed a bug that caused the ivy growing on the wall between points A and B to block projectiles


  • Fixed a bug that could cause Winston and Sigma to become stuck between the wall, bridge, and gondola outside of Point A

Watchpoint: Gibraltar

  • Fixed a bug that caused Baptiste’s Immortality Field to disappear when thrown in a specific spot outside of the first Attacker’s spawn



  • Fixed a bug that could cause Immortality Field to not deploy or get destroyed while deploying in some situations


  • Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s gold staff and pistol to disappear while using Valkyrie when viewing in 3rd person


  • Fixed a bug allowing players to swap heroes while using Recall


  • Fixed a bug that could cause Sigma’s shield to fail to deploy


  • Fixed a bug where destroying Symmetra’s teleporter during construction briefly allowed her to make another without going on cooldown