Overwatch hopes for more frequent meta changes with version 1.45

The upcoming 1.45 update for Overwatch will look to significantly shake up the game's status quo and will also look to continue doing so on a much more frequent basis.


For one of its big flagship titles, Blizzard has been awfully hesitant to issue any major updates for Overwatch in recent months. This finally looks like it's about to change with a new patch set to hit in early February. And more importantly, Game Director Jeff Kaplan appears to be aware of the lack of substantive updates and is looking to address it.

During a new video address, Kaplan announced that the Overwatch team would look to issue more frequent updates with the intention of shaking up the meta on a more regular basis. With that said, Kaplan unveiled a new variant of Overwatch's main game mode called Experimental Card. Experimental Card will be the team's way of testing major changes, which may or may not make the final version of the game. These changes will include balance adjustments, new game modes, or other tweaks that the team is currently debating. This is not to be confused with the PTR, which is a PC-only client aimed at bug testing. Experimental Card will be in all main versions of the game, including console versions. On top of that, players are still eligible to level up and earn Loot Boxes while playing in Experimental Card.

This announcement in itself would be enough to significantly change what lies ahead for Overwatch, but Kaplan's not stopping there. He also took aim at Competitive Play by announcing the debut of Hero Pools. Each week will see certain heroes completely disabled from play, with the available selection of characters set to rotate on a weekly basis. The affected heroes will be selected by the design team, rather than by an AI algorithm. Blizzard is aiming for more diverse hero selection and a constantly-shifting meta. The Hero Pool will be in place for Season 21 of Competitive Play, but Blizzard will be watching closely. If it doesn't work out, Kaplan notes that the Hero Pool could be tossed out the window. If it works, it might not only stick around, but could also find its way into the Overwatch League.

Look for Experimental Card and Hero Pools to be instituted in a February update. We'll be watching the Overwatch website for more information as it comes in, while also keeping an eye out for any news on Overwatch 2, which is still coming soon.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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    January 30, 2020 11:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Overwatch hopes for more frequent meta changes with version 1.45

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      January 30, 2020 11:36 AM

      Seems like you can’t both screw over queue times because you need 2-2-2 for balance and then just start removing heroes each week.

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      January 30, 2020 11:42 AM

      Hero pool is gonna be so great.

      I love the idea of matches where you have genji/tracer/ball available but no mei or shield heavy weeks with no Junkrat handy. Players will have to know more heroes and know them better.

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        January 30, 2020 12:21 PM

        agreed hero pool sounds like tons of fun. genji and mercy mains are probably very upset.

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          January 30, 2020 1:10 PM

          Moira mains are gonna be hella sad.

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            January 30, 2020 1:20 PM

            Haha I didn’t know there was such a thing. I play Moira a lot just because survivability is high, but I’d rather play Ana or lucio. I’d be like a fish out of water playing mercy or zen. Baptiste I can handle. Brig is eh.

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      January 30, 2020 1:18 PM

      I like games where if we want 6 dps we play 6 dps. I like games where I can play a melee brawler as a support, and a tank as an offensive powerhouse. And an off-tank as a support/brawler. And a DPS as a support CC. ....
      And a Warden as all of those things. In fact, you guys just hang out and chat.

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