Hero bans have become a divisive issue in the Overwatch community, which would enable players to block certain heroes from matches through a team vote.
It’s a system implemented by titles like Dota 2, League Of Legends and Rainbow Six Siege, but after speculation mounted the feature would arrive in the impending major update, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has clarified why this isn’t something they’re interested in pursuing.
In a comprehensive post on the Blizzard forums, Jeff wrote: “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.
Should hero bans be included in Overwatch? (Picture: Blizzard)
“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.”
Kaplan believes people want the hero ban feature for three reasons, citing that “people do not like that the meta stagnates... people are frustrated with the balance of certain heroes” and “people do not like playing against certain heroes”.
He believes these issues however won’t necessarily be solved with a hero ban feature, explaining how they’re hoping to tackle these issues in different ways.
“In regards to players wanting to ban for balance reasons, the way we plan to address this is with more frequent balance updates,’ Kaplan adds.
“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.”
While this means hero bans won’t be addressed in the next update, it does suggest changes are coming to keep the meta fresh and alter the role queue system.
Kaplan previously confirmed a developer update would be arriving “towards the end of the month”, although it’s unclear when exactly it will be released.
This update will arrive ahead of the Overwatch League 2020, which kicks off on 8th February.