Overwatch 2 might not be coming our way this year but Blizzard has started sharing all sorts of gameplay details players can expect to see when they get their hands on the game. During the 20 May Overwatch 2 preview event, the developer highlighted some of the biggest changes coming to the game. For example, PvP will look very different, matches will be made up of 5v5 instead of the standard 6v6. In addition, teams will have to revolve around a set role layout.
Blizzard says that matches will now include two damage dealers, two supports and one tank. This means that Overwatch 2 has dropped the second tank. However, the developer is confident that these changes will drastically change the game’s playstyle. Blizzard also says that they are rebalancing heroes to work around the new 5v5 mode and lack of a second tank.
According to the developer, tank heroes will have more focus put into their “brawling” skills, attacks and abilities. They are designed to attack more and defend teammates less. Other heroes such as the damage dealers and supports are also being rebalanced around the new 5v5 gameplay. This especially goes for the new passive role abilities.
While many heroes in the original game already had passive abilities, in Overwatch 2, Blizzard has incorporated passive abilities into each role. Tank heroes, for example, gain a passive that reduces knockback from heroes such as Lucio. This will put non-Reinhardt heroes in line with his ability called Steadfast. Blizzard has also countered the size of these tank heroes by reducing the amount of ultimate energy players get from attacking tanks.
Support heroes can now self-heal using new passive abilities. This means that heroes such as Ana and Baptiste won’t need to waste their abilities to top up their health. This aligns them with Mercy’s self-healing. As for damage dealers, they can get a mobility passive that makes them faster. This allows damage dealers to take flanks. Especially useful for those fast-paced characters.
Blizzard showcase a number of new hero abilities during the Overwatch 2 stream. One of which was Mei’s Endothermic Blaster. Her Primary fire will now slow enemies but no longer freeze them (thank goodness). This aligns with Blizzard’s goal to rebalance the amount of crowd control abilities there are available in the game.
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
Winston is also getting a long-range alternate fire mode as part of his Tesla Cannon. This now acts as a rail gun and allows him to send a charged bolt of electricity towards enemies at a distance. Great for those players who keep running away.
These new hero abilities are added to the current list of new ones including Reinhardt’s double Fire Strike and Zarya’s two charged bubbles that can protect her and another player at the same time.
Overwatch 2 Maps and UI
Overwatch 2 is getting a new user interface that gives players a broader look at the current progress of the match as well as the health of other players, downtime for their respawn and more. Zenyatta can now see the portrait of the person he has tossed his healing and discord orb onto in the skill icon. Blizzard has also reduced the amount of spam text that displays throughout the match.
Overwatch 2 is also getting new maps and tweaks to current ones. Blizzard showcased five new maps as well as two Push game mode maps. One of which is Toronto and the other is Rome. Rio de Janeiro, New York City, and Monte Carlo make up the other three.
Watch the full stream down below: