Overwatch 2 devs reveal they’re testing smoke-based hero abilities

reaper on new ow2 portgual mapBlizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 is right around the corner and will be implementing a slew of new features in addition to multiple new heroes, but it seems like smoke-based abilities have posed a big problem for the devs.

Blizzard tries to bring something new to the table with each hero they add and some sort of smoke grenade has long been a fan-favorite concept, but it has yet to be implemented.

As it turns out, the Overwatch 2 team has a good reason for this and has admitted to recently testing smoke abilities in the game.

In a developer blog post, Blizzard revealed that Kiriko, the game’s newest support hero actually had a smoke bomb in place of her Protection Suzu, but it created some big problems.

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Overwatch 2 Kiriko ability listBlizzard
Kiriko used to have a smoke ability in her kit.

Overwatch 2 devs canceled Kiriko’s smoke bomb ability

According to the developers, problems began when they first tested the ability to be a smoke bomb inspired by Kiriko’s ninja training.

“We tried a vision occlusion that blocked enemies’ sight, but the game would become one giant smoke cloud with a Kiriko on both teams,” hero designer Josh Noh explained.

The team then began playing around with the ability, noting that it became quite useful as a disengagement tool with players using the visual cover to pop in front of the enemy to surprise them.

overwatch reaper using shadow step and pointing his hellfire shotgunsBlizzard Entertainment
Smoke was proving to be a challenge for the devs.

In the end, the devs went with the version we have now, which grants brief immortality while cleansing status effects, but it’s very interesting how the devs tried to go with a smoke ability at first.

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Even though Kiriko may not have the smoke ability, it is possible that another hero coming up in the future has one. Game Director Aaron Keller teased that an upcoming hero will have a mechanic that fans have been asking for for a long time.

It remains to be seen how or if the devs can get over their difficulties implementing smoke and not having it become an issue with multiple of the same hero, but one solution could be to make it an ultimate and not a standard cooldown-based ability.