Blizzard has made a number of tweaks to Overwatch’s Arcade mode over the past 48 hours, which has seen the shooter’s 1 vs. 1 mode removed in favour of the re-introduction of Mystery Heroes – which itself had been removed a day earlier.
The studio originally rolled Mystery Heroes into the Arcade’s All Brawls option to make way for a mode exclusively featuring new map Oasis, as explained by game director Jeff Kaplan: “We wanted to make room for an Oasis Map mode so we rolled Mystery Heroes into All Brawls.
“If demand is high for Mystery Heroes, we’ll definitely consider removing one of the other modes in favor of Mystery Heroes. It’s not a hard change so we welcome the feedback.
“3v3 is generally the most popular mode (except during the Winter Wonderland event — then Mystery Heroes took over). The least popular modes are 1v1 and No Limits. No Limits sees more play time on Xbox One and PS4 than it does on PC.
“With No Limits, we could make it an “All Brawls” mode very easily. But 1v1 requires it’s [sic] own queue and without the server browser, removing 1v1 would mean the only way to play the mode would be in Custom Game with a friend.
“Our goal with the Arcade was to have modes occasionally cycle. The addition of the server browser will make this better as cycled-out modes will still be available for public games through that feature.
“But we’re listening to feedback. So if it seems that the community would rather have Mystery Heroes be in the rotation and something else be out, we can make a change.”
As it turned out, the Overwatch community was not at all happy with the removal of Mystery Heroes, which by Kaplan’s admission had been the Arcade’s most popular game mode over the holiday period. Within hours, Blizzard instead decided to re-introduce the game type in favour of 1v1, which has been relegated to custom games.
In a later post on the official Battle.net forums, Kaplan explained: “As some of you have noticed, based on overall popularity we brought Mystery Heroes back in place of Mystery 1v1.
“We’re working on a Server Browser feature now that will allow players to find other game modes that are not in the Arcade for public games. For now, however, you can play 1v1 in Custom Games.
“We deliberately want to keep the Arcade a small, curated list of Game Modes to ensure viable queue times based on player population.”