The Overwatch 2 developers have revealed a lot more information about how they plan to go about balancing the game’s heroes, including potentially revamping abilities, switching roles, and modifying ultimates.
Overwatch 2 may not have a release date planned just yet and while there is still lots we don’t know, the developers have finally been more transparent about how the sequel is coming along and some of the changes we’ll see.
In a private content creator Q&A, YouTuber Freedo from YourOverwatch, along with other streamers, got to ask the devs some questions, which were later shared on social media.
Needless to say, many of the game’s heroes could be radically different than what fans have come to expect from the live version of the original game.
Hero ability reworks
After being asked about if they will need to revisit all of the 32 heroes currently in the game to make them work for Overwatch 2’s 5v5 format, the devs assured players that they want to “keep the spirit” of every character alive, but within reason.
According to Freedo, who documented many of these answers in a YouTube video, the devs said a lot of the heroes are being reworked. We had already learned that Bastion was being changed from the ground up, so this shouldn’t be so surprising, but the devs also provided an interesting example in the case of McCree.
For instance, the cowboy hero could potentially lose his Stun in 5v5 , but in that case, Tracer may need to be looked at because of how that ability counters her. And that’s just one example, so we can assume many other abilities are up for debate.
The devs were also asked about how ultimates could be changed, such as their charge time or what they are in general. It’s important to note, however, that tanks in Overwatch have a new passive where they don’t give players as much ultimate charge for shooting them.
Outside of some considerable balancing to a few heroes, the devs think things are fine at the moment, but will adjust as needed.
“We’ve been talking lately about looking at ults that feel kind of cheap and adding more reasonable counter play,” the devs explained. “For example, Pharah can basically blow someone up nearly instantly, but she usually dies for it. It might be more healthy if she wasn’t so suicidal to use, but maybe gave a bit more warning to the enemy as well.”
Pharah’s Rocket Barrage is certainly high risk, but can have a big reward, so it will be interesting to see how the devs evaluate that ultimate specifically.
Hero role swaps and “brawler” category
The devs went on to discuss the possibility of some heroes changing roles, such as Mei becoming a tank. According to the team, it’s still on the table, but they haven’t made any swaps internally.
However, the tank role in general may be completely renamed. While the community considers Roadhog, D.Va, and Zarya to be “off tanks,” while Reinhardt and Orisa are “main tanks,” the change to 5v5 limits teams to only one of each, and now, they may not even be called tanks in the future.
When asked about if the Overwatch 2 tanks would be better if they were called “brawlers,” the devs gave a resounding “yes.”
“Brawler is a great term. In fact, we’ve gone so far as to consider changing the name and icon of the category away from tank and into something like brawler,” they replied. “It’s something we might still do.”
The idea of running Roadhog as a tank against a Reinhardt may not make sense within the confines of the current game, but the devs insist that this is perfectly fine in the sequel as they’re constantly balancing to make it work.
It’s going to be wild to see what else the devs have in store for players, and with even more developer updates set for the future, it’s clear they’re not even close to done with what they have to reveal.