New custom maps and functions also introduced to the Workshop.
Hero Pools are now available to try out in Blizzard’s Overwatch, at least on the Public Test Realm server for PC. As announced last week, Hero Pools consist of a random pool of heroes that will be banned from Competitive Play. These will change each week and shake up team compositions over time.
Blizzard did note that the types of Hero Pools would be “adjusted” through the season. “In addition, it is possible we will also adjust the frequency with which they change,” which means it the pool could change several times a week, if not daily. Hero Pools will become available when Season 21 of Competitive Play starts so we’ll see how it pans out on live servers.
The Workshop has also seen some significant new additions, particularly with new custom game maps. These are the Workshop Chamber, Workshop Island and Workshop Expanse. A Script Diagnostics Panel and Subroutines have also been added along with new actions. Check out the full patch notes here for more details.
New Feature: Hero Pools
We will be introducing Hero Pools starting in Season 21 of Competitive Play. Much like Map Pools, rather than having all heroes available for play at all times, a weekly changing list of heroes will be available. The list will include the vast majority of the hero roster, with only a few being excluded during any given week. We think this feature will help keep Competitive Play interesting, as team compositions will change more frequently during a season.
It is important to note that Hero Pools is a new feature that may not last past this initial season. Throughout the season, we will be adjusting the types of Hero Pools available. In addition, it is possible we will also adjust the frequency with which they change.
- The Game Mode selector in the Career Profile is now sorted more logically to make it easier to use.
- A group leader may not use the Leave as Group option while a competitive game is currently in progress.
- The initial Assemble Heroes timer for games using the Assault, Hybrid, Control, and Payload game modes has been reduced from 40 to 35 seconds.
- Mei’s Ice Wall now has a visual damaged state when under half health
- Updated the interactions between all stuns (Flashbang, Earthshatter, Freeze, Sleep, Accretion) to be more consistent.
Developer comment: New stuns will only replace existing stuns if their duration is longer than the time remaining on the current stun. For example, a Flashbang stun will not apply to someone who has just been Earthshattered. We use the minimum guaranteed stun time for Ana sleep, which right now is 1.5 seconds (time to fall down + time to stand back up).
New Workshop Features
Custom Game Maps:
- Workshop Chamber
- Workshop Island
- Workshop Expanse
Script Diagnostics Panel
- We’ve added the ability for rules to call subroutines (which are rules with a Subroutine event type) using the new Call Subroutine action. When a subroutine is called, execution is temporarily shifted to another rule while keeping contextual values such as Event Player, Attacker, and Victim the same. When the subroutine rule finishes or aborts, the original rule picks up where it left off. Subroutines may call other subroutines or even themselves, though we enforce a maximum depth of 1024 calls. Waits are allowed in subroutines, and if such a Wait is ever interrupted (and the interruption isn’t being ignored by the Wait), the entire call stack is aborted, and the original rule is restarted or aborted.
- Subroutine rules may also be started in parallel using the Start Rule action. Unlike with the Call Subroutine action, the original rule continues execution immediately, and the subroutine rule executes on its own some time later (either on the same frame if below the original rule or on the next frame if above). As with Call Subroutine, contextual values such as Event Player, Attacker, and Victim are copied over to the subroutine rule.
- Subroutine names can be added and modified using a new button at the top of the editor.