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Overwatch 2 Beta is now over. The Overwatch team will continue to balance heroes based on Beta feedback. Over the coming weeks, they will share more details about the game as we approach launch on October 4, 2022.
The Overwatch 2 Beta comes to an end—and with that, we’re one step closer to a new beginning on October 4.
Watching our players across different platforms take Junker Queen for a spin, run wild across Rio, and try out a slew of other new features for the first time was an awesome experience for the team. Each piece of feedback we received was incredibly valuable, and we were able to focus on both our technical and gameplay goals throughout the testing period!
We’ll continue to balance heroes—based on our findings from the beta, and perhaps based on some additional considerations (like a certain unannounced fox-related hero who will be joining the support roster).
Over the next few weeks, the team will share more information about the data we've been collecting. We have new features and content that we look forward to sharing with you as well over the next couple of months. We’re one step closer to launch now, and we can’t wait to share more with you soon!
With the first week of Overwatch 2 Beta behind us, the developers shared their thoughts on the Mercy and Symmetra changes, Junker Queen and queue times.
The first week of the Overwatch 2 Beta is behind us—time flies when you’re having fun! The team has been hard at work compiling player feedback, squashing bugs, and gearing up for the mid-cycle patch. As we mentioned on the Overwatch forums last week, we’re going to talk a little more about the Mercy and Symmetra changes, as well as initial thoughts on Junker Queen and queue times!
Guardian Angel gives Mercy important mobility that is key to her survivability. Over time, players learned that if you jump during the ability at a specific time, you could launch Mercy up into the air. This is super cool; however, it was completely unintentional. Mercy’s “super jump” was the result of a bug that occurred during Guardian Angel, but players made it a part of her utility. We liked the idea of a bug turned into a feature, so the changes to Mercy in this beta were meant to make the super jump more reliable and consistent.
We saw some issues with the implementation of this latest version throughout the first week of the beta, so we’ll be changing up the ability in the mid-cycle patch. Our goal with the next change is to give players even more control over Guardian Angel while also increasing its flexibility.
After the patch, Guardian Angel will not automatically launch Mercy into the air, but it will now have a meter that charges while the ability is active. When cancelling Guardian Angel with Jump, Mercy will now be launched into the direction she is facing. The more charge she gets during the ability, the more momentum the launch has when she cancels it with Jump. We’re looking forward to seeing how the community engages with this ability in the beta to get Mercy ready for the Overwatch 2 launch!
We recognized in the first beta that Symmetra didn’t quite fit into the play space Overwatch 2’s changes were defining: Faster paces, more engagements, less barriers. There are fewer tanks that Symmetra can use to charge up, and the removal of Assault (2cp) maps takes away a defensive stage that she previously shined on.
We expected the changes to Symmetra’s Teleporter and secondary fire projectile speed to be the primary solutions, but we overshadowed these with other nerfs. One of these nerfs was no longer gaining ammo from barriers, which we removed to put power back into her ammo capacity since barriers are much less prevalent. Our reasoning for some of the other nerfs was that Symmetra is already a statistically strong hero, and we feared these changes alone would push her over the edge. That said, one of the benefits of this beta is that we can make changes and iterations prior to launch. We’re currently trying out the following changes in internal tests:
Secondary Fire projectile size increased from .4 back to .5 Secondary Fire charge time reduced from 1.2 seconds back to 1 second Teleporter cooldown reduced from 16 seconds to 12 seconds Additionally, we have another change for her in mind that we’re currently testing internally. This iteration charges her primary fire beam to level 3 faster to help compensate for less tanks and shields to charge it up. We’re not sure if this change will stick, but our goal is to make Symmetra feel more natural in Overwatch 2.
Junker Queen and continued testing
Over the past week, we've seen tank queues surge with the release of Junker Queen as many players wanted to try out our newest hero. While this is generally something we expect when we release new heroes, we've been encouraged to see queue times improve and even out somewhat already.
Our initial thoughts on her gameplay are that she fits well into the more offensive, aggressive playstyle in Overwatch 2. We’ve fixed a few of her bugs in the upcoming mid-cycle patch, but she’s still early in the testing phase. We're going to continue to watch how she performs in the beta to prepare her for our launch.
There are some other heroes we are watching, like Zenyatta and Sojourn, who may need to be tuned down a little prior to launch. We like the direction of Roadhog’s ultimate changes in the beta, and we’re now working on making it feel more intuitive and polished.
The team will continue to work on these improvements leading up to launch. In the meantime, you can expect some changes to Moira and Mercy in this upcoming mid-cycle patch!
Please keep sharing your feedback and thoughts. This beta brings us one step closer to launch, and we are thankful our community is involved in the testing!
Junker Queen joins the Hero roster in Overwatch 2 as the newest tank! Here's the official preview of the new Hero and her kit.
Junker Queen's kit revolves around applying dots and the passive heals her for all the damage over time inflicted. She has the following abilities at her disposal:
Scattergun -- Pump action shotgun. Jagged Blade Passive: Quick Melee wounds enemies, dealing damage over time. Active: Throw your blade. Can re-activate to return it. Commanding Shout -- Increase health by 200 and nearby allies health by 100. Increase movement speed by 30%. Carnage -- Swing your axe to wound all enemies in front of you dealing damage over time. Rampage (Ultimate) -- Charge forward. Wound enemies, dealing damage over time and preventing them from being healed. Adrenaline Rush (Passive) -- Heal from all damage over time dealt by wounds. Below is the official preview of the latest Hero coming in Overwatch 2.
Junker Queen joins the Overwatch 2 roster as the newest tank hero with a big axe and even bigger ideas. As we saw in The Wastelander cinematic, the Scrapyard’s sovereign is fierce, resourceful, and no stranger to survival. And now, she’s come to claim her rightful throne.
Junker Queen’s playstyle and kit were built from her pre-existing Overwatch lore. The Junkertown map showcases her tough, almost brutal, personality, and we wanted her abilities and playstyle to match that energy. This type of design—constructing a character’s kit to match their established identity—is called top-down design. Junker Queen was in Overwatch’s narrative well before we had a design for her kit, which meant she had big community expectations resting on her stately shoulders. Now, as she steps out of the lore and into the light, let’s jump into the design of her kit and check out how you can expect her to play.
Adrenaline Rush and Scattergun
Adrenaline Rush is the cornerstone of Junker Queen’s identity as a tank. The passive ability heals her from all damage over time dealt by wounds. Many of her abilities apply wounds that cause enemies to slowly drain health. This life-steal passive adds to her survivability and aggression. Pushing the boundaries of brawling, Junker Queen feels more like a berserker tank whose survivability is directly connected to how many enemies she’s wounding.
All of Junker Queen’s abilities encourage her to get up-close and personal with her enemies, so we equipped her with a primary fire that fits her playstyle. Scattergun is a pump-action shotgun with a small spread that makes it extra scary at short range.
Adrenaline Rush and Scattergun enable her to play into enemies while giving her the survivability she needs to make space for her team and fulfill her tank role.
Junker Queen’s character has always been depicted with an axe, so that was the starting point for her design. Carnage consists of a big, sweeping swing that wounds all enemies in front of her, dealing damage to them over time and activating Adrenaline Rush. Junker Queen refers to her axe as “Carnage,” further inspiring the importance of this ability in her kit. We thought her axe might work as her primary weapon, but historically, making a melee hero in Overwatch has come with its own set of challenges. For example, Genji’s Dragon Blade used to be his primary weapon, but didn’t translate well in-game; in the end, it was transformed into the powerful Ultimate players know today. We didn’t want to take Junker Queen down a similar path, so we incorporated her axe into this ability.
The original iteration of Carnage let her throw her axe following the initial swing before recalling it back to herself with her magnetic gauntlet; however, when implemented, the practice of throwing her axe felt wrong. It led to a rigid playstyle that didn’t allow for the use of other axe-based abilities while her weapon was out-of-hand, so the throw was swapped to a slash with a wound effect. The concept of throwing and recalling her weapon eventually led to her next ability: Jagged Blade.
Jagged Blade is Junker Queen’s secondary fire and comes with both active and passive abilities. The active ability triggers when you press secondary fire, causing her to throw the knife in her off-hand. Her knife, which the Queen calls “Gracie,” applies a wound that causes damage over time if she lands a direct hit on an enemy. Her magnetic gauntlet can recall the knife by re-activating secondary fire. Recalling Gracie will pull any enemy that’s been directly hit, so be wary of your surroundings—if you’re struck by Gracie, you’re heading straight for the Queen.
Jagged Blade isn’t the first time the team has experimented with throwing a weapon. When Reinhardt was first prototyped, he was able to throw his hammer into the enemy team—an ability that was cool in theory, but awkward in practice, requiring him to go pick up his hammer to defend his team any time he threw it. Despite not making it into Reinhardt’s final kit, this prototype ability heavily inspired Jagged Blade. Throwing a weapon made more sense for Junker Queen, who possesses a special magnetic gauntlet that she can use to pull things around her. We didn’t want the gauntlet to make her feel too mage-y or similar to Sigma, who can lift people up and throw them around. Instead, Junker Queen uses her magnetic powers to control her axe and knife as a vicious means to serve her brutal ends.
To make her even more intimidating up close, Jagged Blade’s passive ability wounds enemies when using Quick Melee when the knife is in her hands. These abilities that apply wounds all serve her life-leech passive, Adrenaline Rush.
To enhance her tank-iness, Junker Queen is equipped with Commanding Shout, an ability that heightens her own survivability while also helping her teammates around her, increasing the health and movement speed of both herself and any nearby allies. As the first team movement speed buff since Lúcio, Commanding Shout helps Junker Queen close the gap between her and the enemy team. Her ability to close distance was intentionally designed as a movement speed buff, rather than something sneaky like a short dash or teleport, because this helps reinforce her nature as someone who sprints headfirst into battle. She brute forces her way through her opposition with a relentless aggression that demands space. It furthers her effectiveness to take charge and lead her team into battle through tight chokepoints or to cut off flanking enemies.
Like, Commanding Shout, Junker Queen’s ultimate ability charges her into the fray.
Rampage is Junker Queen’s Ultimate. It charges her forward, grievously wounds enemies, and prevents them from healing. It’s the first ability since Ana’s Biotic Grenade to apply an anti-heal. Paired with Adrenaline Rush, Rampage is one of Junker Queen’s strongest survivability assets; it applies a deadly wound to anyone in its path, giving her the potential to restore a significant amount of health with Adrenaline Rush depending on the number of wounds she manages to apply.
Initially, her Ultimate was a spinning whirlwind-type ability, but we wanted to incorporate her magnetic gauntlet into her Ultimate ability. We didn’t want it to feel elegant or magic-influenced, either, because it didn’t align well conceptually with character, so we tried to push her magnetic gauntlet to its limits. Rampage charges her gauntlet and creates a cloud with her knife and axe around her while she charges into the enemy team—it’s a display of the raw, visceral power she possesses as Queen.
A new Queen, born to rule
Junker Queen was built for Overwatch 2's 5v5 playing field. She has an unparalleled ability to claim space, and she is terrifying to deal with up close. She’s brawly, toeing the line of a berserker tank, and we were cognizant of that in this new tank paradigm. Tanks play more aggressively in Overwatch 2, and Junker Queen is certainly no exception—in fact, she’d consider herself the rule.
We're excited to see players Rampage through the upcoming beta with our newest tank!
Blizzard have summarized all the big news that came out of the Overwatch 2 reveal livestream event, including:
Loot boxes removed Free to play live service/seasonal model (new one every 9 weeks) Battle pass added New hero every other season Content roadmap starting from October 4th and leading into 2023 3 new heroes at launch 1 new game mode at launch
This week, we shared something near and dear to the team’s heart—Overwatch is back.
Overwatch 2 is releasing on October 4 as a free-to-play live experience, and we'd like to explain exactly what that means for our game. Overwatch 2 will have seasonal updates on a regular cadence and a Battle Pass that will feature new content including new heroes, game modes, maps, cosmetics, and more! We’ll also be outlining Seasons One and Two and plans extending into 2023 with a roadmap for the game.
A free-to-play, live experience
Making Overwatch 2 free-to play is a natural step forward for our game and our players. Overwatch, even since its debut, has always been a social game, and our community has always has the most fun when we come together. Free-to-play removes the barrier to entry, allowing anyone, anywhere to jump into the game, group up with friends, or find people to play with online. Along with this shift to free-to-play, we’ll be adding cross–progression, enabling everyone to play, progress, and access their unlocked content seamlessly across all game platforms.
There will be no Loot Boxes in Overwatch 2. Instead, the modernized live service will give our players the power to shape their own experiences. Players can acquire the items they want directly through the Battle Pass and an all-new and consistently updated in-game shop. Our team will create and deliver seasonal content every nine weeks to ensure there's always something fresh and exciting waiting for everyone.
Roadmap and seasons
On the roadmap below, you can find our short-term plans for Season One and Season Two, as well as our long-term goals to grow and develop the game into 2023 and beyond. Players can expect to see a new hero every other season, with elements like new maps and game modes in the seasons between.
Season One will feature Sojourn, Junker Queen, and an unannounced support hero, as well as the new 5v5 PvP experience, reworked heroes, new maps and modes, and more. We’re also releasing a reimagined competitive experience that was created to give players more tools to improve gameplay and feel a sense of progression in competitive play. Players will have more of an impact on individual matches with the shift to 5v5, and there will be additional systems in place to help you discern your contributions per match. More details on the competitive overhaul will be shared soon!
Season Two will introduce a new tank hero, map, and a collection of unique skins. We‘ll also move the story forward with the release of the new PvE experience in 2023, along with more new heroes, maps, and game modes. We can’t wait to share more information closer to release!
A living, ever-evolving game
We‘ve always believed that Overwatch, at its core, should be a living game. Overwatch stands for inclusivity, open-mindedness, and community. These pillars led to the change in our strategy to deliver new heroes, maps, and modes on a frequent basis because we believe this is what’s best for our players and our game.
We are bringing the game to more people than ever before and expanding the world of Overwatch in a way that has everyone more excited than ever!
There are incredible times ahead of us, and we can’t wait to share them with you.