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The Overwatch team held a PvP-focused stream for the sequel, talking about changes to the game with the release/upgrade of the second edition, including a swap to a 5v5, 1 tank, 2 damage and 2 support format, new maps, new game modes and more.
OW2 PvP (Source)
The Overwatch team put together a live broadcast to showcase changes coming to PvP in Overwatch 2. Missed the stream? Get all of the updates and see how the team is rethinking Overwatch’s PvP experience.
TEAMS OF FIVE
The core Overwatch PvP experience will shift from six players per team to five players per team. In the standard PvP game modes of Overwatch 2, each team will contain one Tank, two Damage, and two Support heroes. This evolution introduces a major shift in the way that the team approaches all aspects of the game, from map design to the dynamics between roles and how they interact as a team.
At the heart of this change lies the change in mentality surrounding the role of Tank, previously discussed during BlizzConline, towards one more focused on brawler-style gameplay. This shift from focusing on the protection of your team to in-your-face battling is anticipated to have impacts to the flow and pacing of the PvP experience. During the livestream, we got a firsthand look a new secondary fire mode for Winston and changes to Reinhardt’s abilities.
That said, Tanks aren’t the only role undergoing adjustments to account for this shift to five-versus-five. The livestream gave us a live look at the new Role Passives, introduced during BlizzConline. In its current iteration, these new passive abilities will have Damage heroes moving slightly faster than other roles, Support heroes regenerating health automatically after staying out of combat for a short period, and Tanks taking reduced knockback and providing less ultimate charge to opponents who damage them (compared to other roles).
On the level of hero-specific changes, we showed off updates to Mei’s Endothermic Blaster, which will slow and deal damage, but not freeze enemies in Overwatch 2. Other heroes like Bastion are being reviewed and reworked from the ground up, which will result in major changes to how the hero plays. This shift will result in rebalancing and adjustments across the board – We’ll aim to give you a sneak peak on how things are coming for some heroes later this year.
WAYS TO PLAY
Overwatch 2 introduces new ways to play the player-versus-player experience you’re familiar with today. During the livestream, we got a fresh look at Push, an Overwatch 2 game mode where players will clash to take control of a robot that starts in a central location and “push” it toward the enemy team’s base. First introduced during BlizzCon 2019, it’s undergone a number of updates now that team structures have changed!
In addition to Push, the team is currently working through introducing an additional new game mode to Overwatch 2. We don’t have any details we’re ready to share just yet, but we can’t wait to share more ahead of the Overwatch 2 launch. During the livestream, we also confirmed that the Assault (known colloquially as “2CP”) will be leaving the Competitive playlist in Overwatch 2, to be replaced with a new game mode. We intend to still have the existing Assault maps available for play in some capacity (Custom Games, etc) with the release of Overwatch 2.
EXPLORING NEW MAPS
We visited five maps and saw live gameplay footage from the Overwatch developers! After seeing Rio de Janeiro’s story mission during BlizzCon 2019, we got our first look at Rio’s Escort PvP map. As introduced during BlizzConline, we also got to explore New York City (Hybrid) and Rome (Push)! Finally, we revealed the never-before-seen illustrious Monte Carlo (Escort)!
Building upon the ever-growing roster of new looks coming with Overwatch 2, we revealed Torbjörn’s new look! Plus, we got to see other new hero looks in action during the livestream, including McCree and Widowmaker.
These new looks also bear important changes to the UI and HUD for some heroes, including Mercy and Zenyatta. Check out the livestream to see how we’re improving these displays to better communicate important gameplay details.
The livestream is available in VOD format right now! We’re excited to share more about the development of Overwatch 2 later this year.
Here are the key details and the full VoD of the Overwatch 2 Behind the Scenes panel!
Overwatch 2 (source)
Game director Jeff Kaplan and a host of Overwatch team members gave players a look at what the game’s sequel has in store for them. Missed the video? Catch up on the latest news from BlizzConline and find out more about what’s coming in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 brings new, iconic locations to life for players to experience as they trot the globe in their efforts to keep the Null Sector threat at bay. One of the locations the team is most excited for players to experience is Rome, a map that marries romantic old-world architecture and emblematic locales like the Coliseum and the Seven Hills with futuristic tech in a uniquely Overwatch style. Players also glimpsed the art deco-inspired New York City of Overwatch 2, a map that mixes a high-tech vibe with the familiar bodegas, fire stations, and mom ‘n pop pizza shops authentic to the city.
PVP ROLE UPDATES
Overwatch 2 brings major updates to PvP, with new maps, changes to traditional roles, and upgraded systems to make the combat experience feel new and different. One update the team is experimenting with is the concept of passives: abilities that heroes intrinsically have based on their role. Passives take on different forms—tanks have knockback reduction and generate less ult charge for enemies shooting at them, damage heroes have a move speed bonus that allows them to flank better, and support heroes have auto-healing that kicks in after they haven’t taken damage for a while. Beyond passives, a revamp to the tank role as a whole is being explored that will give them more utility—for example, giving Reinhardt two charges of his Firestrike and the ability to steer and cancel his charge—and transform them from backline protectors to beefy toe-to-toe brawlers. The updates are still being iterated on and may be changed or not make it to the live game.
In addition, the team has been working hard on updating the feel of combat to make it more visceral than ever. From sound to visual effects to game design, the way players experience combat has been overhauled and modernized to make even the most minor of melee attacks look and feel more satisfying and riveting. One of the biggest upgrades is the new convolution reverb system that has allowed the team to capture the acoustics of an environment and adjust game sound accordingly. Whether players are outdoors, in an urban area, trailing their teammates through a warehouse tail, or in a tight tunnel, the sound of a hero’s weapon reacts to the area around it, creating an immersive and responsive combat experience.
Since Overwatch 2’s showcase at BlizzCon 2019, the team has worked to develop and refine Hero Missions with new technology, updated enemy units, and a branching hero progression system. Hero Missions are a new experience coming to Overwatch 2, expanding on the co-op PvE that players have previously tasted in Overwatch seasonal events. They’re a massive undertaking; for a system like this to really sing, it needs a lot of missions. The team’s goal since the beginning has been to make as many as possible, giving players hundreds of new worldwide assignments to embark upon as their favorite characters. Heroes will bring personality and light story, and missions feature different types of enemies, objectives to accomplish, expansions built into existing multiplayer maps that will take players down new routes they’ve never experienced, and a living environment that gives the world a cinematic feeling.
At BlizzCon 2019’s first demo of the game, the team felt that combat wasn’t engaging enough. They’ve worked hard since to make missions feel exhilarating, crafting a slew of enemies for players to encounter and updating the hero progression system. Players will face down a new and improved Null Sector that developers have spent the past year fine-tuning to be more engaging. Unique enemies like objective units and elite units and responsive attacks amp up the fun during Hero Missions and vary combat to keep players on their toes while they quell Null Sector uprisings around the world. Alongside new enemies to face, updated hero progression allows players to choose from an arsenal of talents to unleash upon their omnic foes. Break established rules, experiment with different skills in an RPG-esque manner, and control the battlefield in novel ways as you explore new abilities and find the build that best fits you.
With the advent of Overwatch 2, each hero will be receiving a visual update that preserves their core essences while showing evolution in their stories. The team revealed new looks for four fan favorites: McCree, sporting his familiar cowboy hat and an updated red serape that’s been given a techwear treatment, along with a longer beard for a more aged look; Pharah, now outfitted in colors that hearken back to the original Overwatch white and blue with a transparent visor; Reaper, looking edgier than ever dressed in a deadly new ensemble complemented by his sleek silver mask; and Widowmaker, whose classic bodysuit and ponytail have been overhauled in a cyberpunk femme fatale style complete with a striking new braided ‘do.
Along with a cavalcade of other content, Overwatch 2 expands upon what Overwatch truly means, bringing story to the forefront with an expansive narrative experience and exploring what happens after the events of “Zero Hour.” Players will learn more about the second omnic uprising and the newly-recalled Overwatch team through story missions, in-game cinematics, a branching dialogue system that brings heroes to life with banter, and lore-rich new maps to explore. Where are the characters in their lives? How will they respond to this new global crisis? Overwatch 2 will take heroes on a globe-spanning adventure, integrating story with gameplay and pushing the bounds of the game’s narrative with new technology and a surfeit of choices for players to make.
The behind-the-scenes segment is available in VOD format right now! To stay up to date on all things BlizzConline, follow along on Blizzcon.com or on the Battle.net desktop or mobile apps.
We have a rumor/potential leak/potential mistake or assumption on Overwatch 2's release window, as the PlayStation Brazil official twitter posted (and quickly deleted) this, caught by Voxel:
The above translates to "2020 will be the year Overwatch 2 comes to PS4, and for that we prepared, we talked to some of its developers, who gave us hot information. Read the Interview". The interview linked is actually from back in November and doesn't actually contain any new info, let alone any mention of a 2020 release, so this may have just been a mistake by someone posting an old interview and misunderstanding its contents. But considering it is an official PlayStation twitter, and we don't really have any idea of a release window for the game, anything is possible.
You can check out more info on the upcoming game in the official What's Next panel recap, and take a look at the gameplay video below:
Here comes the official look at what's next for Overwatch 2, featuring details and information on the new PvP map type, story missions and events, items, hero missions, leveling up your hero, and a lot more!
Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for more details!
What's Next (source)
At the “What’s Next” panel led by Game Director Jeff Kaplan and Assistant Game Director Aaron Keller, BlizzCon 2019 attendees learned about Overwatch 2’s all-new co-op missions, the new map type Push, updates to the original game, new heroes, and even some story details.
New PvP Map Type: Push
In this new map type, players will clash to take control of a robot that starts in a central location and “push” it toward the enemy team’s base. Push maps are symmetrical, and the team that guides the robot farthest by the end of the time limit wins the game.
Jeff and Aaron revealed one new Push map: Toronto. The map aims to be a faithful adaptation of several Overwatch developers’ home country, featuring snow, red maple trees, multicultural storefronts, and even a glimpse of the Toronto subway. The map also has a great number of flanking paths; true to Overwatch form, players of this mode are encouraged to coordinate team-play to achieve victory.
In addition to multiple new Push maps, Overwatch 2 will feature multiple new locations for each existing PvP mode.
Story Missions and the Events of Overwatch
Since the original game launched, we’ve learned more about the events leading to the shutdown of Overwatch. Following the infamous Petras Act that disbanded our heroes, new threats emerged: Null Sector, Talon, and others still lurking in the shadows. In the face of global unrest, Winston initiated the Recall, issuing a plea to all former Overwatch agents to reunite and stand against injustice.
In Overwatch 2, the heroes finally answer that call. Story and gameplay come together in co-op Story Missions, where players will be able to have an active role in the next chapter of the Overwatch saga through a series of intense four-player missions. The selection of heroes in each Story Mission is specific to the objective, so players will be able to experience a thoughtfully crafted narrative experience. Story Missions will also feature pre-game and post-game cinematics to further immerse players in the rich world of Overwatch.
The team is also experimenting with items in Story Missions. The items featured in the BlizzCon demo are reusable throughout the mission, and vary in function and rarity, allowing for different approaches for different playstyles. Items in the demo include the Healing Station (restores HP to all players in a radius when activated) and Corrosive Grenade (deals damage while making enemies take more damage from other sources).
Hero Missions: Level Up and Power Up
In addition to Story Missions, Overwatch 2 will introduce co-op Hero Missions, where players will be able to answer the Recall as any of their favorite heroes. In Hero Missions, players will travel to varied locations in the Overwatch universe and level up their heroes by going head-to-head with enemies like Null Sector, Talon, and perhaps even others who have yet to be revealed. Objectives on each map vary, offering hours upon hours of replayable content.
As players level up their heroes by tackling Hero Missions, they will unlock talents: powerful, customizable modifications to a hero’s abilities. One sample talent shown at BlizzCon was Chain Reaction, which enables Tracer’s ultimate, Pulse Bomb, to cause secondary explosions on enemies that are damaged by it.
Talents allow progression for every hero on the roster, giving players the opportunity to branch out, customize their play experience, and feel overpowered as they tackle missions.
Along with the gameplay, Overwatch 2 will feature a complete visual enhancement. Heroes will have a brand-new look, with greater detail and higher fidelity, and a revamped engine allows for more expressive faces and emotive storytelling. The HUD is also receiving an update, making text more readable and the UI easier to parse without intruding on the on-screen action.
Redefining a Sequel
Sojourn, a character you might remember from the Storm Rising event, is one of the new heroes who will be joining the fight in Overwatch 2. We will share more details on Sojourn and other Overwatch 2 heroes in the future.
Current Overwatch players will battle side-by-side with Overwatch 2 players in PvP multiplayer; they’ll also be able to play Overwatch 2 heroes and maps. Additionally, any unlocks that Overwatch players earn on their accounts will be transferred to the sequel, which means players will keep their skins, player icons, sprays, emotes, and more!
We’re really excited for everything Overwatch 2 has in store. Check out the website for more details and stay tuned!