Blizzard’s live stream on Overwatch 2’s PvP changes brought out plenty of new information about the game. The biggest of these changes is undoubtedly the switch to 5v5 from the predecessor’s 6v6 and the decision to allow only one tank hero per team.
Blizzard also showed off a new map based on the luxury tourist destination, Monte Carlo. Moreover, they talked about the introduction of role passives, some hero ability changes, tweaks to hero UIs, and a lot of other things.
Overwatch 2 is the sequel to the hugely popular hero shooter Overwatch. Players who own the latter will get access to Overwatch 2’s PvP for free. However, the sequel’s PvE and co-op content will lie beyond a paywall.
Overwatch 2 PvP will be shrunk to 5v5
The move away from 6v6 may seem like a small number change, but it will have an immense impact on the meta-game. On top of this, teams will only have one tank each.
These two changes entail a lot of meta-shifts:
- Healers can now focus on healing one tank, which frees them up to engage in aggressive combat a bit more.
- It simplifies the gameplay as it is easier to keep track of 9 other players compared to 11.
- It increases the potential for a player’s individual impact on the game.
Overwatch 2 gets a new map: Monte Carlo
Toward the tail end of the live stream, Blizzard revealed the new map, Monte Carlo, which will be coming to Overwatch 2. This hybrid arena is based on the real-life luxury tourist destination.
It offers a lot of verticality as there are many tall buildings on the map situated on steep hills.
Overwatch 2 will have role passives
The new game will introduce role-specific passives, present on all heroes of a particular role. Although Blizzard has not yet finalized the numbers on them, the role passives are:
- Tanks have knockback reduction, and damaging them nets fewer ultimate points.
- DPS heroes have movement speed bonuses.
- Supports get automatic health regen if they don't receive damage for a certain time.
General map changes
The PvP live stream showed five maps for Overwatch 2:
- New York City (Hybrid)
- Toronto (Push)
- Rio (Hybrid)
- Rome (Push)
- Monte Carlo (Hybrid)
What seems like a more or less common feature across all the maps is the departure from clearly defined choke points compared to maps of the first Overwatch. There are lots of alternate paths to the objectives.
This will surely encourage flanking, and DPS heroes with their role passive of increased movement speed already have an incentive to do so.
The Overwatch 2 maps also feature an abundance of cover objects, meant to encourage more tactical gameplay.
Overwatch 2 seems to be coming with many quality-of-life changes to hero user interfaces. For example, the healer UI now shows the portrait of the hero getting healed.
Overhealth, overshield, and overarmor have been simplified to only one green bar, which is being referred to as overhealth now. The sounds of the weapons have also been overhauled. As a result, they feel much more crisp and visceral.
There have been ability tweaks to a lot of heroes as well; the ones that came to light in the live stream are:
- Winston’s attack is now ranged. His ult has been reworked to offer combo potential to players.
- Reinhardt’s charge is now cancellable and also provides more control direction-wise.
- Zarya has two charges on her bubble.
- Mei can no longer freeze enemies in place but can deal a lot more damage.
Overwatch 2’s Associate Art Director Dion Rogers also confirmed in the stream that the heroes in Overwatch 2 will have facelifts. As an example, Torbjorn’s new look was shown.
The first Overwatch’s hero cosmetics will also carry over to Overwatch 2, and with the new lighting engine and improved shaders of the sequel, they are meant to look even better.