Overwatch screenshot of Brigitte with her shield

[Update]: Blizzard has now announced significantly faster balance changes and weekly hero bans in order to keep Overwatch fresh and interesting for years to come.

According to multiple developer comments, Overwatch will soon be getting a major new feature. What exactly this feature will be, nobody outside of Blizzard currently knows, but its goal will be to ensure that no team composition remains dominant for long periods of time, as well as to make the overall gameplay feel fresh and interesting again.

As you might imagine from that description alone, a good chunk of the community immediately assumed that Overwatch will be getting hero bans like Dota 2 or League of Legends. However, in a uncharacteristically fast response, Blizzard have now come out to say that they have indeed considered adding hero bans, but have opted against the idea due some of its downsides.

"But just implementing hero bans does not mean the meta will move," reads the lengthy response. "Studying other games, the end result is usually a 'ban meta'. The downside of a ban meta, is that players are often at odds with each other when someone on their team bans an 'off-ban-meta' hero."

"The same frustrations that players experience with the meta exist in a ban meta. Hero bans are not a silver bullet solution to making the meta move. If the problem we are trying to solve is that the meta needs to change more, hero bans might actually make the problem worse, not better. We do a have a solution in mind – an actual system – that we’ll talk about [likely this week] but it is not hero bans."

While that might not be the response many of you were looking for, it's important to mention that Blizzard isn't ignoring the current problems and the over-representation of certain heroes. As such, you can expect to see significantly more frequent balance changes, many of which will be gentle nudges rather than the usual sledgehammer that catapults heroes from being underpowered to overpowered and then back again.

Personally, I'm rather optimistic about Overwatch's future as the last few updates have gone to great lengths to tone down the power creep and make it so there's a lot more viable heroes to choose from. There's still more work to be done, especially when it comes to the overabundance of stuns and one-shot moves, but I do believe Overwatch is currently going in a good direction. Hopefully this upcoming major update will only further reinforce this!

Once the update arrives I'll make sure to let you know, but until then you can read Blizzard's stance on hero bans over at the official forums.