Overwatch

Is Overwatch 2 switching to 5v5? Players notice key clues in sequel’s gameplay footage

Published: 22/Feb/2021 0:31

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch players wanting to see some radical changes with Overwatch 2 may be in luck, as it seems the game could be changing from its current 6v6 format to 5v5.

Fans got to learn more info about the upcoming sequel during a BlizzCon 2021 presentation and while there were a couple of hidden secrets such as the unannounced Junker Queen hero and even a clan system, one of the larger features seemed hidden in plain sight.

Players observed how seemingly all the PvP footage shown had five heroes on both teams – a big departure from the six-on-six matches we have now. Most notably too, is the fact that it appears that teams have just one tank each.

In a way, despite the fact the developers never outright said the game would move to five-on-five, it was potentially hinted at.

Reinhardt and McCree are happy
Blizzard Entertainment
Tanks in Overwatch 2 getting major overhauls.

Early on in the presentation, the developers discussed role updates and new passives for the three roles: supports, DPS and tanks.

DPS heroes could be getting a movement bonus, supports have automatic self-healing that kicks in, and tanks have less knockback in addition to generating less ultimate charge for enemies shooting them.

“One of the more shocking changes that we’ve been exploring in Overwatch 2 PvP is a change to the tank role entirely,” Game Director Jeff Kaplan said. “We want to try to make them more toe-to-toe brawlers and less characters that just stand back and protect other people.”

Some of the examples given were that Reinhardt could have two Fire Strike charges and even cancel his pin mid-charge – something many tank players have wanted for a long time.

Making tanks so much deadlier by themselves could very well indicate that teams will now consist of two DPS, two supports, and just one tank.

One of Overwatch’s first-ever Experimental Cards even let players try out the game with three DPS, two supports, and one really over-tuned tank, so there have been some clues that this is the direction Blizzard has wanted to take things.

There is, however, one image floating around that very well could undo all this theory-crafting by fans and it’s of the lifeless corpse of a Roadhog on the freshly unveiled New York map, presumably on the same team as an enemy Winston.

The Roadhog model does look smaller than the one currently in Overwatch, suggesting a few possibilities: Roadhog be moving to the DPS category, the devs were using it as a placeholder for a new hero, or the game is staying six-on-six.

Nonetheless, it’s definitely an interesting development and one that fans are certainly going to be watching closely as more information about Overwatch 2 rolls out in the months ahead.

Gaming

Diablo 2: Resurrected devs reveal biggest challenges of pulling off remake

Published: 23/Feb/2021 17:06

by Lauren Bergin

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BlizzConline was a treasure trove of new content for Diablo fans. We spoke to two of Diablo II: Resurrection’s art devs on the game’s remastering. 

BlizzConline 2021 certainly has made some waves among the Blizzard fanbase. World of Warcraft fans have been gifted a new Shadowlands expansion and Overwatch fans were given more of a glimpse into the title’s highly anticipated sequel.

Diablo fans, however, possibly emerged the most hyped. While further details dropped about Diablo IV, the next installment in Blizzard’s landmark franchise, the most exciting announcement was Diablo II: Resurrected, a 2021 remastering of the original game.

Being dubbed ‘the best game ever made,’ Dexerto were invited to BlizzCon’s Q&A with Game Designer Andre Abrahamian and Art Lead Chris Amaral to find out more about what it’s like to remaster an icon.

Blizzard devs on remastering Diablo 2

diablo_2_resurrected
Blizzard Entertainment
The new Diablo II: Resurrected trailer took fans’ breaths away at Blizzconline.

Remastering Diablo II in no mean feat. The game’s commercial success, coupled with it being the beating heard of the Diablo fandom, makes remastering it a pretty daunting task.

When I asked the duo about this, Andre responded that “we quickly identified what was important about Diablo II so that kept us on track of going down the path of a remaster. There’s a lot of quirks and interesting things that are still relevant and made this game such a legacy that players know and love.”

“There’s a lot of things that define the ARPG genre over these past 20 years Diablo II is still relevant today so we knew that we had to stay as close as we could so that’s why we went that path of remaster.

“I think we’ve stuck with that and have stayed very true to the experience.” Andre certainly adds some hype to the already flaming hellfire that is the rebirth of Diablo II.

Resurrecting Diablo II with modern art

diablo_2_resurrected_tyrael_screenshot
Blizzard Entertainment
Tyrael is back, but he looks better than ever.

Andre’s comment about maintaining the soul of Diablo II is clearly what both devs and the wider team deemed the most important. It’s a challenge, though, especially when part of the task is bringing the title’s arcade-style art aesthetic into the modern-day.

Chris sheds some light on this, commenting “this game has been around for 20 years, it’s basically inspired many, many ARPGs out there. It has a very unique look that also kind of established the look of ARPGS. So for me, as far as on the art side, it was more difficult because you don’t want to ruin what people have remembered.”

“Like the Necromancer’s heavy armor, it has a look and feel a certain way or it won’t look like Necromancer. You can’t veer off too far otherwise it becomes something entirely different.”

“So for me on the art side I’d say it’s more difficult to do a remaster than a remake because you have the limitations that you have to adhere to or else you’re messing things up.”


It’s pretty clear that Chris, Andre, and everyone working on Diablo II have hardly messed up. Looking at the side-by-side comparisons of the original gameplay versus the Resurrected world on the official website, the game maintains that nostalgia.

So get ready to strap on your armor the prepare for hellfire, because the angels and demons are at war all over again and we can’t wait to jump into the fray when it releases later this year.