Overwatch was a huge success. The game won several awards for its fast-paced gameplay, including Game of the Year 2016. While the game had pretty good fundamentals, Blizzard decided to stir it up a bit for Overwatch 2.
Competitive 5v5 Mode
As shown during a gameplay stream by Blizzard on Thursday, Overwatch 2 will be going through some massive changes for the player-vs-player modes, but one of the biggest has to be the change to a 5v5 competitive mode.
Previously assumed to be 6v6 like the first game, where each role had 2-player space, Overwatch 2 is axing the second tank slot and providing beneficial changes to compensate for this loss.
The change has huge implications for the future of the competitive scene in Overwatch. Removing a tank from the team will likely bring entirely new team compositions into the meta as defensive, barrier-focused teams can’t overlook the loss of a second tank on the team.
While this change will be heartbreaking for the tank players, this change is just creating a foundation for additional changes that could be introduced to the game down the road.
New Abilities and Possibilities for Tanks
The change from 6v6 to 5v5 will mean big changes for tank characters. Overwatch’s game director, Aaron Keller, noted to make them more aggressive and “more hybrid-y on the damage side.”
Lead hero designer, Geoff Goodman, detailed some of the changes added to the game which includes an alternate fire mode for Winston that fires a condensed blast of lightning for a longer-range blast attack.
Further experimentation required.
All new abilities updates for Winston’s Tesla Cannon and Mei’s Endothermic Blaster coming to Overwatch 2. pic.twitter.com/adGLsGYLD2
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 20, 2021
Reinhardt is also getting some major changes; he can now cancel his mid charge animation and he will also be getting a second charge for Fire Strike, his range attack. Zarya has two charges of her bubble shield split between her self-shield and ally-shielding abilities. She can use any combination of the two before having to wait for a recharge.
If you hate getting frozen by Mei, good news for you, she won’t be able to freeze enemies with her primary fire anymore. But she’ll still slow them down and her blaster will deal more damage.
“We’re not taking every tank and just making them super aggro,” Geoff Goodman added. “In some cases, we’re pushing some of the more aggro tanks and making them a little tankier. In a lot of cases, they have more health … D.Va has a lot more Matrix juice in the can. We didn’t just give her more missiles and let her go kill everybody, she can actually protect her team a little more.”
Role-Based Passive Abilities
As mentioned at BlizzConline, Blizzard is working on role-based passive abilities for all heroes. For tank character, they will be getting reduced knockback as well as providing less ultimate charge to attackers.
Damage heroes like Genji will get a speed boost while support heroes will have the ability to heal themselves passively. The rate of the passive healing will be slower than Mercy’s healing to balance the passive.
While these changes make sense with the removal of a tank from each side, these passives are not yet finalized.
Other Minor Changes
Aside from the major changes, other smaller changes were announced. New maps will be added to the game.
We saw five new maps, with one match on each: New York City, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, and Monte Carlo. They’re all super beautiful and on their way to be added.
There are also some HUD changes added to the game; it will be much clearer now which ally Mercy is healing and on which heroes Zenyatta has placed his orbs. Moreover, they’ve added a more obvious directional indicator for Mercy’s location whenever her beam is on you too. Winston players will be happy to know that they can see a timer to know how long their shields will hold up.
Aside from all this, there is a new game mode that Blizzard is rumored to be working on, but hasn’t announced yet.
Let us know whether you are happy with the direction Overwatch is going in the comments below! Or tell us directly on our Discord server!
Playing games since I was 5, tilting since I was 6.