Echo Joins Overwatch This Week Alongside Hero Pools Update (VIDEO)
After a bit of teasing beforehand, last month saw the introduction of the synthetic hero Echo as the upcoming 32nd hero for Overwatch, bringing players up to speed on the character’s powerset and backstory. Having spent a few weeks in the Public Test Realm, it appears that Echo is now preparing to officially take flight very soon.
Officially revealed on social media, Echo was confirmed for release on April 14th, the versatile AI arriving with a host of formidable abilities. As per the official bio, the “rapidly adapting” Damage character swoops in with flight and gliding capabilities and comes equipped with a tri-shot primary weapon along with sticky bombs as secondary. Echo also has a few tricks up her sleeve in the form of an explosive Focusing Beam blast as well as the bot’s enemy-copying Ultimate called “Duplicate.”
Following the flight plan.
Echo swoops into Overwatch on April 14! pic.twitter.com/BWO8W6ivDO
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 9, 2020
This addition arrives following the most recent Overwatch update, which makes big changes to competitive Hero and Map Pools for the foreseeable future. Divulged in a recent blog post, Hero Pools see the largest focus as Blizzard has chosen to unify pools for Overwatch League and Competitive Play in order to “mirror each other as closely as possible” and provide “a more consistent viewing and play experience” for players. Going live April 13th, the development team detailed how this would work:
- To determine a week’s Hero Pool, we’ll compile hero play rates from high-level Competitive Play matches from the preceding two weeks. Heroes with play rates above a certain threshold will be eligible to be removed; the higher their play rate, the more likely they are to be removed. Based on that, one Tank, two Damage, and one Support will be randomly removed from play. (Note that heroes will not be removed two weeks in a row.)
- At the end of each Sunday’s Overwatch League matches, we’ll announce the Hero Pool that will be used that upcoming week for both live Competitive Play and the Overwatch League. That pool will go into effect in the game Monday morning.
- This process will occur every week of the Overwatch League regular season; during weeks that there are no Overwatch League matches, the same data will still be used to determine the Hero Pool and you will find out Monday morning.
In addition to this update, Map Pools were revealed to be getting retired, citing “a ton of the feedback from the community about the system.” Originally implemented with the goal of giving each competitive season “a bit more flavor and differentiation,” players were found to be less than enthused by the limited location variety, with Blizzard now opting to remove the system altogether. Staring April 14th, maps will instead be featured all at once, save for the Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony maps, which will arrive in a reworked fashion sometime “in the future.”
Overwatch is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
What do you think? Are you excited about the addition of Echo to the Overwatch party, or are you more pumped for the new updates to competitive pools? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.