Overwatch screenshot of Hanzo getting hit by a snowball

[Update #2]: Blizzard has now officially removed Hero Pools from Competitive Play.

[Update]: The Season 21 update has finally brought in Hero Bans, a brand new map rotation, and even more balance changes.

According to a recent developer update, Overwatch will soon be getting its own take on hero bans - Hero Pools. These Hero Pools will be manually curated by Blizzard, and will briefly remove a couple of heroes from Competitive Play in order to shake up the meta. As of right now, the plan is to remove two DPS heroes, one tank and one support each week.

If you're curious about what sort of effects on the meta this could have, as well as whether the system is even any fun, you might want to check out the newly released PTR update. Since it's the test server, Blizzard is currently rotating through the Hero Pools on an hourly basis, so you should be able to get a pretty good impression of just how heavily this new system will impact the competitive balance.

The second major feature of the PTR update is the massively improved set of Workshop tools. Not only has Blizzard added three empty maps for the community to experiment with, but they have also greatly increased the amount of scripting that can be done through the Workshop. In other words, expect to see some pretty darn impressive custom games coming in the next few months!

Finally, Blizzard has also changed how stuns stack together. Instead of new stuns always overriding the previous ones even if they are shorter, the new system will make it so the longest stun is the one that remains. This might not sound like a big deal, but it will prevent some of the annoying interactions like stunned characters constantly bouncing up and down as new stuns are added onto the pile.

You can read more about these changes, as well as the developer decisions behind them, over at the Overwatch forums. Have fun, and here's to hoping we get some awesome Workshop modes out of this!