As the entire Overwatch community awaits the release of the game's sequel, Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that the existing servers of Overwatch 1 will be permanently shut down to facilitate their transition to OW2. Depending on the time zone, October 2 or 3 will be the final day that OW1 will be playable.
Overwatch 2 is scheduled to be released for the Nintendo Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC on October 4, 2022, but the exact timing of the game's release is currently unknown. However, Blizzard has revealed that the game's servers will be down for maintenance on October 2/3, 27 hours prior to the official OW2 launch.
What to expect from Overwatch 2 Season 1 update
In the transition to its sequel, Overwatch underwent significant changes, both visually and in terms of gameplay. The first major change was Blizzard's decision to shift to a free-to-play model. Next, the developers changed the PvP game mode from 6v6 to 5v5, altering the game's existing meta and playstyles.
Here are some of the most exciting changes that the game's community can look forward to in Season 1 of OW2:
Three new heroes
Overwatch 2 will witness the additions of three new Heroes: Sojourn (Damage), Junker Queen (Tank), and Kiriko (Support). Sojourn and Junker Queen have already been through several playtests during the first and second editions of the OW2 beta. Kiriko, however, is a fairly new addition; one that OW players can't wait to try out.
All three new Heroes will make their way into the game after OW2 officially launches on October 4. Sojourn and Junker Queen can be redeemed by players as soon as they enter OW2 after Season 1 commences.
Kiriko will also be made available to OW1 players in a similar manner. However, players who are new to the game will have two options to unlock Kiriko: either by purchasing the Battle Pass or earning enough XP to reach Tier 55 of the Battle Pass without purchasing it.
Blizzard has also revealed that, similar to unlocking Kiriko, players will have to either invest their time or pay to unlock future Hero releases.
Season 1 Battle Pass
Blizzard Entertainment has introduced a new seasonal model in Overwatch 2, where they deliver new content to the game every nine weeks.
The very first season of OW2 will commence with the game's official launch on October 4 and will continue until December 5/6. Season 2 will follow on December 6, introducing a variety of new additions such as a new Tank Hero, a new map, and more.
By implementing a Battle Pass system, the game's developers aim to release regular content for their playerbase to enjoy. Players will be able to grind over the course of nine weeks to progress through the seasonal event and earn various exciting rewards like hero skins, emotes, weapon charms, and more. On that note, the Season 1 Battle Pass will cost 1000 Overwatch Coins ($10).
Six new maps and gamemode
With the game moving towards a 5v5 PvP format, the team composition now consists of 1 Tank, 2 Support, and 2 Damage Heroes. To build the game around this new playstyle, OW2 will not feature the Assault game mode and its maps.
Instead, OW2 will witness the introduction of a brand new game mode called "Push" and six new maps:
- Circuit Royal (Escort)
- Midtown (Hybrid)
- Rio de Janeiro (Hybrid)
- Colosseo (Push)
- New Queen Street (Push)
- Esperança, Portugal (Push)
New skins and other cosmetics
With OW2 moving towards a free-to-play model, Blizzard Entertainment has introduced purchasable in-game cosmetics. In addition to existing items like sprays and voicelines, OW2 will also feature brand new additions like weapon charms, emotes, and more that players can either purchase from the in-game store or redeem by progressing through the Battle Pass.
Furthermore, Season 1 of OW2 will introduce Mythic skins, a category of skins set above Legendary skins. The Cyber Demon Genji skin, which can be availed from the new Battle Pass, is the first item to be released as a Mythic skin in Overwatch.
With Overwatch 1 permanently shutting down in the coming days, the game's community that was formed in 2016 can close an exciting chapter in their lives and look forward to new beginnings.