The original Overwatch’s days are numbered. Blizzard announced in a Reddit AMA that when Overwatch 2 takeoffs on October 4th, it will overwrite Overwatch prime, completing the six-year-old game.
“When OW2 pitches on October 4th, it will be a substitute for the current live service,” reported game director Aaron Keller.
While the changeover will count a wealth of new content — new heroes, maps, and more — classic Overwatch will discontinue being, ending the 6v6 format and dismissing the assault game type to the relative anonymity of the custom game corner. Blizzard disclosed in a Reddit AMA that the two games would merge on October 4th.
The announcement was a surprise since, initially, Overwatch prime and Overwatch 2 were supposed to coexist. However, Aaron Keller, the game’s recent director, and Jeff Kaplan, the former game director who quit Blizzard over a year ago, related a scenario in which players who upgraded to OW2 would still be competent in playing with those who didn’t.
With players’ unlocked skins and different cosmetics transferring over, and Overwatch 2 switching to a free-to-play model, it seems there was no longer a reason to keep the two games siloed. The Overwatch development team said:
“Our goal is not to divide our player base and to make the transition to Overwatch 2 as seamless as possible. When Overwatch 2 launches as a free-to-play live service play on October 4th, it will replace the current Overwatch body. Content players have unlocked in Overwatch will automatically carry over to players in Overwatch 2.”
For players worried about the Overwatch prime features being sunset with the arrival of Overwatch 2, the AMA revealed that any unopened loot boxes would have their contents automatically added to your inventory, and any new coins will also transfer over. However, Blizzard plans to create a new currency with OW2, and the old coins won’t be able to purchase everything on offer.
There also won’t be a matchmaking rating reset with the appearance of Overwatch 2. For fans hoping OW2 would carry with it a mass competitive ladder equalization, Scott Mercer, principal system designer, noted that “A complete reset would mean that games would be imbalanced for weeks or longer across the entire service, and we don’t think that will be a great experience for everyone.”
Mercer did, however, reveal that OW2 will feature a new decay system that will lower the MMR of accounts that haven’t played in a while to ensure matches at all ladder levels are as equal as they can be.
While you will be excited for Overwatch 2, you might be a little sad that all the new arrives at the expense of the old. You may be one of the exceedingly rare Assault fans, and relegating the game mode to custom matches means that you will no longer play it, not to mention the many-minute adjustments, like changes to the UI and sound design, will fundamentally change how you play the game.
Overwatch 2 launches on October 4th, so, Assault fans, it’s time for us to get in our last licks.
Overwatch 2 is a hero shooter where participants are divided into two teams and choose one of the higher than 30 selected hero characters as of 2022. Characters are split out into damage class, doing most of the team’s violation against the opposing team; support class, providing remedies and buffs to teammates; and tank class, holding a high damage threshold that absorbs damage for their teammates.
Each character has a distinct skill kit with a combination of active and passive abilities and an extraordinary Ultimate power that can be used after it is charged. The base Overwatch 2 game, like Overwatch, primarily features player-versus-player battles across several modes and maps and includes casual and ranked matched play.
A notable departure from the first game was driving to a five-on-five player-versus-player (PvP) mode, with a restriction of only letting one tank play on a team. According to Aaron Keller, the preliminary budget for six players per team and two tanks made gameplay more uneventful than they would have liked.
By pushing to five players and removing one tank, they thought this sped up play. It also streamlined how much action there was to care for players and spectators. New maps were thus planned to include more options for cover due to the reduced presence of tanks.
Heroes have a broad reworking within their classes to make the game generally faster. Damage heroes have improved movement speed, while Support heroes gradually self-heal. Tank heroes experienced the most significant change to make them able to take on more gross roles.
Heroes also shared a visual update to recall the few years of in-game time between the events of Overwatch and Overwatch 2. The game possesses a ping system similar to Apex Legends for players to quickly alert teammates to points of interest on the map.
A new PvP mode, “Push,” will be submitted, which serves as a tug of war, where each team is vying for command of a robot pushing a team’s payload to the opponent’s side of the map when a batch controls it. Push will become the domain of the standard map rotation in the Overwatch League and be available for Quick and Competitive play.
Some existing gameplay modes may be dropped in Overwatch 2; Kaplan has stated that two control point maps, like Horizon Lunar Colony, will likely not be available in Overwatch 2. These have been difficult to balance due to monitoring gameplay and player feedback.
The game will have uncompromising player versus environment modes. These are similar to the unique seasonal affairs, which will feature four-player cooperative missions against computer-controlled rivals. In this mode, players can acquire background for the hero they are using and, at certain experience levels, unlock new passive skills called talents that boost the hero’s current abilities, allowing them to customize how the hero plays. In addition, at least two PvE modes will be added: a story-based mission mode, where players are limited to their hero selection in replaying missions based on Overwatch’s lore. Hero missions allow all heroes to be used in fending off waves of enemies at various locations.
Blizzard anticipates that Overwatch 2 will ship with over 100 different missions, utilizing new maps and existing multiplayer maps to include new areas and adding dynamic effects, such as night and day modes and weather effects. Additionally, enemy types will be expanded from the Null Sector robotic opponents used during seasonal PvE mods, adding new types with unique behavior.
Overwatch 2 will be unleashed as a free-to-play game rather than a premium-priced game. It will also eliminate loot boxes in favor of a battle pass system to be submitted on a seasonal basis which will correspond with the introduction of new maps and heroes. The game will also have an in-game store where players can employ real-world funds to buy items directly.