Opinions on Overwatch Map Pools and Hero Pools have been somewhat divided ever since they've debuted. Now, Blizzard Entertainment has announced that they're doing away with Map Pools altogether — and they're making some changes to Hero Pools, too.
If you're unfamiliar with these systems, you should know that they only apply to the Overwatch League and Competitive Play. Map Pools restricted the playable maps for a certain time period. Hero Pools, meanwhile, limited which heroes were playable on a weekly basis in order to bring a little more variety to the gameplay.
How Are Overwatch Map Pools Changing?
Map Pools are being entirely removed from the game, but the developers are still seeking to accomplish some of their initial goals. One of the issues identified by players was with the maps Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony; the Map Pools system was meant to help reduce matches on those levels.
While Map Pools are going away, Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony will not be making a return. Starting April 14, 2020, both maps will be temporarily removed from Competitive Play and the Overwatch League so that Blizzard can revaluate them. Horizon Lunar Colony has already had one rework, so that's probably why Paris is getting a makeover first.
How Are Overwatch Hero Pools Changing?
Beginning on April 13, 2020, the Overwatch League and Competitive Play will have "a single, unified Hero Pool." Here's how it will work:
- Blizzard will analyze playtime on all heroes from high-level Competitive Play matches for the preceding two weeks.
- Heros with a play rate above an unspecified threshold will be eligible to be removed.
- One Tank, two Damage, and one Support will randomly be removed from play based on the above data.
- The Hero Pools will be announced on Sunday night and go into effect Monday morning.
And that's that! One hopes that these changes will accomplish Blizzard's goals to keep the game fresh without overcomplicating things. You can say goodbye to Overwatch Map Pools (and hello to the new Hero Pools) on April 14 and 13, respectively.
What do you think of Map Pools being removed from Overwatch? Are you glad to see them go? Let us know in the comments below!