Fans of Overwatch's Mystery Heroes mode have been grumbling lately that their experience gains seem to be down a little in the current live build. Less experience points means slower level gains, and that in turn means it takes longer to earn a Loot Box.
It turns out that this reduction is very much working as intended, as principal designer Mike Heiberg explained on the game's official forums:
”This is an intentional change that is meant to account for the removal of Assemble Heroes for this mode,” his post begins. “Some of the experience that we award is for non-combat time, like when players are in Assemble Heroes or waiting for the doors to open. Now that we are skipping Assemble Heroes, there is less of that non-combat time to account for.
”Mystery Heroes games will generally be faster now, and the amount of experience earned per minute should be roughly unchanged.”
For those unfamiliar with the game mode, Mystery Heroes assigns each player a random choice of hero, and they're then stuck with that character until they die in battle. Back at the spawn room they're given a new random hero once more, and the cycle repeats throughout the match.
This automatic hero pick makes the Assemble Heroes phase - where players in Competitive and Quick Play matches plan their team composition - redundant.
Assemble Heroes was only removed from Mystery Heroes in a recent patch, however, and so this tweak has been put in place to ensure players don't gain an experience advantage by playing the mode exclusively.