A new Developer Update discussed some incoming changes to Overwatch.
Ahead of the March 7 launch of Hero Pools, the Experimental Card feature was announced. Blizzard exec Jeff Kaplan explained that the Experimental Card is going to be a place where the developers can test possible future patches and features they are thinking of adding to the game.
The first new mode to drop is Triple Damage role queue. The change to the role queue is a shift from the 2/2/2 role lock to a 3/1/2 role lock, which is a composition of three DPS heroes, one tank, and two supports. The developers are looking for a way to make queue time for damage players shorter, which is why the change is being tested.
The Experimental Card function will likely arrive on February 25.
The developers will be monitoring how it impacts queue times and studying the changes. They are also looking for player feedback, given the magnitude of how this change will affect the game.
Kaplan mentioned that big changes would also be coming to heroes, particularly those that are considered off-tanks.
The Experimental Card doesn’t halt a player’s progress towards leveling and loot boxes, which is why the developers wanted to put it in the main game instead of the PTR. Kaplan also stressed multiple times in the video that these changes are purely experimental, and the Experimental Card would not be implemented into the game unless it is something the fanbase is enjoying.
Balancing tanks in Overwatch has long been incredibly tricky, and their strength has hurt the watchability of Overwatch League in the last two years thanks to the uninteresting GOATS and Double Shield metas. The role lock was introduced to combat this, but had little effect. Kaplan and the Overwatch development team will undoubtedly be interested to see if a 3/1/2 role lock makes for a more entertaining viewer experience.
Something Kaplan didn’t address are the possible Twitch leaks of an Overwatch Mardi Gras event. Much like the Experimental Card update, Mardi Gras this year happens to land on February 25.