Starting on March 7, the Overwatch League will be implementing a new mechanic to the game in the form of hero pools. Blizzard hopes Hero Pools will lead to players using a greater range of characters, though you'll still be able to pick from the full roster in Quick Play and Arcade modes. Hero Pools will not be used for midseason tournaments, the play-in tournament, playoffs, or Grand Finals.
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A hero pool, however, may prevent Mercy-Pharah combos some weeks, and Orisa-Sigma combos the next. Along with balancing, the cards might have to do with adjustments such as buffing heroes or changing game modes. Kaplan said this wasn't set in stone and that this could all change if it doesn't work out.
Unlike the PTR, the Experimental Card is not for bug testing. "This Experimental Card will be some number of changes-they might be related to hero balance, they might be related to other things, we might be testing changes to the way one of our game modes works, like the Control game mode and how it works in Competitive". Though he declared that hero bans were not something the development teams was considering, he alluded to some manner of change being in the pipeline. The Experimental Card will enable more frequent and aggressive changes by making a PTR-like environment, which is now restricted to players on PC, readily available to everyone. All we do know is that this is a big mark in Overwatch's history, for better or worse, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Competitive reacts. Previously, balance changes have been focused on the game's "stability" for all players, but going forward it will balance "more frequently, more aggressively, and be less concerned with trying something out, and maybe pulling it back later". According to the announcement the decision of what heroes will be there to select or not there will be handled by the design team and it will be closely monitored to see if the Hero Pool rotation needs to be adjusted via extending the time or reining it in right down to a particular match. Experimental mode promises to bring some exciting new ways to play to the game. But these changes are also experimental, and some of the changes may or may not stick. "We really welcome all of you to check this out". And since hero pools are dictated by two weeks of data, a hero banned in Week 1 would have to be significantly played by nearly everyone in Week 2 to see it banned again for Week 3. The next two patches have extensive anti-cheat measures in them and will also have some quality of life changes, too.