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Jeff Kaplan Confirms no Hero Bans in Blizzard Forum Post

owl 2019

A few hours ago Overwatch’s Director Jeff Kaplan took to a Blizzard Forum post to speak about the recent rumors of hero bans in competitive Overwatch. This also comes a few days after Metro, known leaker in the scene, reported the possible introduction of hero bans. For more context, read Big Changes Rumored for Overwatch in Coming Weeks, Hero Bans Possible.

Blizzard Forum Post Summary

Jeff took to the Overwatch Blizzard forums to discuss not only the recent rumors of Hero bans. But many designs and balances decisions the Overwatch Development team has taken as of recent.

He went on to explain the approach the team has taken calling it a “bottom-up design” defined by their focus on “what is the problem that we’re trying to solve?”. Stating that was the philosophy that led them to many of the successful mechanics in World of Worldcraft. But also noting this is not the best approach for every game.

On the specific topic of Hero Bans Jeff listed the main issues that were raised by the community to call for the introduction of Hero Bans. At the same time suggesting that while those issues do not affect the majority of players they are listening to the community’s feedback.

Hero Bans For a More Fluid META

First on the list was the concern over the stagnation of the META. To this Jeff suggested that Overwatch would fare far worse under a Hero Ban competitive scene. He added that this would not be a “Silver Bullet” to fix the slow-moving changes in the META. Still, Kaplan reiterated that the Overwatch team agrees that a stagnant meta is not what the community desires and as such will discuss their new approach in the upcoming Developer Update.

Hero Bans For Balance Reasons

The second complaint Jeff tackled was the balancing of heroes. He wrote in his post that the main reason this issue exists is due to the team’s slow balance patch cycle. He has assured the community that within the next developer update, slated to release in late January, there will be more information about the new approach the team will be taking on balancing.

Hero Bans For Eliminating “One Tricking”
Genji
Courtesy of Overwatch League

First Jeff lays out his views on PvP class-based competitive games. Stating that one does not simply choose who they play against and banning a hero goes against that.

Subsequently, he repeated the already known stance of Blizzard on “One tricks”. That hero expertise is a core part of Overwatch’s game design while at the same time encouraging players to master a wide range of heroes.

Other Reason to be Against Hero Bans

Jeff finished his post by going through some other reason as to why the introduction of Hero Bans would hurt the game instead of helping it grow. Some of these shed light as to what the current objective inside the Overwatch Development team’s offices might be.

  1. The reduction of Queue times for the DPS role is a major focus of the team at this moment.
  2. The team is exploring ways to reduce the amount of time a round of Overwatch takes.
  3. They are not investing in big design changes, at least not on the level of Role queue.

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Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

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