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Overwatch 2 – Everything We Know About The Sequel To Blizzard’s Multiplayer Shooter

PREVIEW – The upcoming sequel to Blizzard’s popular first-person hero shooter will offer a host of new features for players old and new, including story missions, hero redesigns, new maps and new characters.

 

 

The sequel to Blizzard’s popular first-person, team-based hero shooter, first announced at Blizzcon 2019, will offer a host of fresh features for new and returning players, including story missions, redesigns of old heroes, new maps, and new characters. While Overwatch 2 still has no release date, the plethora of trailers, tweets, blog posts and even the first round of beta tests certainly gives us a clearer picture of the exciting changes coming to the hit series. To ensure you have everything you need to know about the game ahead of any non-E3 event announcements and the upcoming Overwatch 2 event on 16 June, we’ve put together all the essential details in one handy feature.

 

Publication date

 

Despite being almost halfway through 2022, Overwatch 2 still has no confirmed release date. While it seems likely that we’ll get one at one of this summer’s “non-E3” events or Summer Game Fest Live, don’t expect a quick turnaround. At a recent Activision Blizzard meeting, the studio suggested that they don’t expect sales of Overwatch 2 (or another big title on the calendar, Diablo 4) to “surge” during the 2022 fiscal year. ‘ This could mean that Overwatch 2 could be released in 2023 at the earliest, but that’s a bit uncertain for now.

 

Egy Overwatch 2 bétajátékos egymás melletti képeken mutatta meg a legfontosabb különbségeket az eredeti Overwatch térképek és új társaik között, a közösség pedig nincs elragadtatva.

 

Platforms

 

At BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard confirmed that Overwatch 2 would be coming to all platforms that currently support the first Overwatch, including Nintendo Switch. However, it is still uncertain if it will come to PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

 

Beta testing

 

Overwatch 2’s first PvP beta took place this spring, allowing players to try out all of the game’s revamped characters and the newest hero, Sojourn. During its time with the beta, we found it more like “Overwatch 1.5” than a completely new experience, though the return to the series was still delightful.

Following the end of the beta test, Blizzard released an in-depth report detailing hero usage rates, win rates, and the effects of recent buffs and nerfs. The blog revealed that Sojourn understandably had an extremely high usage rate at the start of the beta, peaking at around 80%. However, this number quickly dropped as time went on, and more and more players got the chance to try out the latest hero. Orisa was the most used of the reworked characters, followed by Doomfist, Bastion, and Sombra.

Although the first beta test was strictly for PC players, Blizzard has announced that future playtests will be available on consoles. For more information on the next playtest – and how to get involved – sign up for Blizzard’s next Overwatch 2 event on 16 June.

 

Director Jeff Kaplan resigns

 

After nearly 20 years at Blizzard, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan announced his departure in April 2021. In addition to having worked on several beloved Blizzard titles while at the company, including World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3, Kaplan was essentially the public face of Overwatch before the first game’s release in 2016, and his departure comes as a significant shock to Overwatch and its sequel. Co-director Aaron Keller will succeed Kaplan.

 

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Stormy times for Blizzard

 

With Kaplan’s departure, Activision Blizzard has had a tumult past few years, as the company has also come under fire for sexual harassment, discrimination, and workplace abuse allegations. In July 2021, the California Fair Housing and Employment Department sued Activision Blizzard, claiming the company “fostered a sexist culture” in which women were paid far less than men and people of colour experienced discrimination. The lawsuit says sexism has “plagued the male-dominated gaming industry for decades” and brings this legal action to “remedy, prevent and deter” Activision Blizzard from violating California’s civil rights and equal pay laws.

The lawsuits have caused a significant backlash in the games industry and within the company. Workers staged a walkout to protest the working conditions and how Activision Blizzard management handled the situation. Blizzard’s president J. Allen Brack resigned, replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra; Oneal later announced that he would step down at the end of 2021 and revealed that he was earning less than Ybarra, despite holding essentially the same position. Recently, the company hired its first chief culture officer to help make more tremendous strides in diversity and inclusion.

There is much more to be said about the internal situation at Blizzard, including more lawsuits, many accusations against CEO Bobby Kotick, and further actions by the company’s management.

 

Game modes and maps

 

Overwatch 2 and Overwatch PvP modes will be compatible with each other – so even if you stick with the original game, you’ll still be able to play with anyone who buys the sequel.

However, Overwatch 2 will include some reimagined versions of the combat seen in the original game. One of these is a brand new game mode called Push, in which two teams fight to escort a robot into enemy territory. The team that pushes the robot furthest into the other team’s territory before time runs out wins the match. As the robot moves along a linear path towards enemy lines, it occasionally encounters obstacles that must be pushed past to unlock checkpoints. This slows the robot momentarily, but the checkpoints open up new spawn points.

The most significant change is that the game will be changed from the current 6v6 model to 5v5 matches. Team composition will also change so that teams will play with only one tank.

Overwatch 2 gets all-new PvP maps for Push mode and all current “base” game modes. The team wants to ensure that players get a “whole new experience” thanks to the new maps coming to the original Overwatch. Blizzard discussed several new maps and revealed two more in May 2021.

The new maps currently confirmed for Overwatch 2 are:

* Gothenburg

* Toronto

* Monte Carlo

* Rio de Janeiro

* New York

* Rome

Blizzard has also tweeted some short videos of the various new maps, so you can get to know them a little better.

 

Story missions

 

A new feature in Overwatch 2 is story missions. These will be heavily curated PvE missions, where players will only be able to choose from a limited list of characters related to the context. Each story mission will have its cinematic intro and outro video.

 

Hotmail

 

Hero missions are another new PvE feature designed to make the game “thoroughly replayable” thanks to three factors outlined by Overwatch 2’s directors: varied locations that will take players through new and old maps; constantly changing objectives that will keep gameplay diverse and fresh; and different enemy groups such as Null Sector, Talon and “other threats”. Particular objectives or enemy types may require specific types of heroes to defend against, so players stuck in PVP with their main character will have more hands-on time, Kaplan explained at BlizzCon 2019.

 

Ping system

 

Are you tired of your teammates not staying on the payload? You’re lucky because Overwatch 2 introduces a new and significantly improved ping system designed to enhance communication between teammates. The new system will include more commands than ever before and allow players to ping locations accurately, alerting teammates to enemies and enabling strategic play. According to Blizzard, “The inspiration behind the ping system comes from a value that the Overwatch team holds dear: Every voice counts. It’s a core Blizzard value, and the Overwatch team wanted to personify that value in the game. ”

 

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System of objects

 

The newly introduced item system is exclusive to story missions. Instead of a loot system similar to Diablo, Kaplan says Overwatch 2’s item system will work similarly to games like Apex Legends and PUBG: temporary item pickups that you can use for the mission’s duration. These include things like a corrosive grenade, a healing station or an obstacle fence. Items are also categorised into levels, such as Legendary.

 

Talent system

 

Overwatch 2 introduces a new progression system designed exclusively for hero missions. This will allow heroes to level up and unlock talents that will give them additional advantages in combat and is intended strictly as a PvE, non-competitive mode feature. At BlizzCon 2019, a set of skills for Tracer were shown off, but Kaplan cautioned that the progression system is still very much in the early stages of development and could change a lot.

 

The Tracer’s example capabilities are:

 

Level 1:

 

(Pulse guns are reloaded when using any skill.)

Chain Reaction (Pulse Bomb causes secondary explosions on enemies it damages)

 

Level 10

 

Flash (Damages enemies by flashing over them)

Hindsight (Recall deals damage to all recently damaged enemies)

 

20th level

 

Vortex (Pulls enemies towards the Recall Point and traps them)

Speed Kills (Killing blows speed up the cooldown)

 

theGeek Overwatch 2 Sojourn

 

New heroes

 

Overwatch 2 will introduce new playable heroes, including brand new characters and “characters you’ve been waiting for”. It will also carry over all the heroes from the first Overwatch.

The new heroes currently confirmed for Overwatch 2 are:

 

So far, Sojourn is the only new character announced for Overwatch 2. She’s the first black woman and Canadian hero to grace the game, and according to Kaplan, she’ll be “at the heart of the Overwatch 2 story”.

Described as a medium-range specialist with incredible agility and artillery skills, Sojourn’s primary weapon is a railgun that generates energy with every successful hit and then uses that energy to fire a powerful shot. This makes Sojourn suitable for players with sniping skills, as they can use the accuracy to deliver devastating blows with the railgun’s secondary firing mode.

In addition, Sojourn has an area of effect ability that traps enemies and consumes their life force, a rocket-powered slide, and an ultimate ability called Overclock. During Overclock, Sojourn can fire shots that penetrate enemies. The railgun’s secondary fire allows him to quickly take out enemies with high-powered bursts, which Blizzard likened to a “hit version” of the Genji Dragon Blade attack.

 

Skins and development

 

Kaplan previously confirmed that all the progress and cosmetics gained in the first Overwatch would carry over to Overwatch 2. According to Kaplan, “We want to make sure that all Overwatch cosmetics move forward with you in Overwatch 2. So all your progress counts. Nothing is left behind, and no one is left behind. ”

 

What does Overwatch 2 mean for current Overwatch players?

 

To keep the Overwatch community united, Overwatch and Overwatch 2 players will be able to play the traditional PvP mode together. The original Overwatch will also get new maps, new heroes, and Push’s new tournament mode. However, the new PvE elements will only be available in Overwatch 2.

 

Redesigning heroes

Overwatch 2 will not feature a new engine but a “heavily updated” version of the Overwatch engine. Overwatch 2 gets a new HUD for all heroes and, perhaps most importantly, a redesign of all existing heroes. The team wants Overwatch 2 to have a “new look, look fresh, and look awesome,” according to their BlizzCon 2019 panel discussion.

Blizzard has released a presentation detailing the changes to Sombra and Bastion. Since then, we’ve gotten a few glimpses of how the heroes will change in Overwatch 2. You can check out the trailers running through the changes below.

Thanks to the changes, Sombra will be more aggressive, with his hacking ability cooling down every three seconds. They will also be hacked, making them susceptible to even more damage. Hacking will still disable the characters’ abilities; it affects them for a short period of time, but more importantly, it will increase the damage they take by 50% for eight seconds. Ultimate also changes, so it no longer affects shields but damages enemies trapped between shields up to 40% of their total health.

Bastion’s changes completely overhaul the robot, removing its self-repair ability and Ultimate’s ability to transform into a tank. Bastion’s alternate fire provides an explosive projectile that is good for area defense. Its Ultimate now converts it into an artillery cannon that can fire three explosive projectiles anywhere on the map. The sentry mode, however, has been significantly reworked. Bastion can now move while transforming, turning the character into a moving gatling gun. While the ability now has a cooldown, it’s safe to say that Bastion will be an indispensable tool for players.

We also got a brief insight into Mei and Winston’s weapons changes. In a tweet, Blizzard revealed that Mei’s blaster would be made more lethal but no longer freeze enemies solid and showed off the alternate sniper-style fire mode for Winston’s Tesla cannon.

Doomfist and Orisa also underwent some changes, with Orisa gaining three new abilities and losing her character-defining defensive barrier, making her more of a frontline fighter. Doomfist, on the other hand, is transformed into a tank with significantly more health and a new defensive ability, Power Block.

 

Pre-order

 

As of now, Overwatch 2 is not available for pre-order. If you visit the game’s website, clicking on the “Buy Overwatch” button will take you to the original game’s storefront, not the upcoming sequel.

 

The possible acquisition of Microsoft

 

Amid Blizzard’s legal battles, a shocking announcement has been made: Microsoft is buying the company. On 18 January, parent company Xbox announced that it would buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, making the deal the largest in gaming history and Microsoft the third largest gaming company globally. At the moment, the agreement is still under review, although it seems overwhelmingly likely that the sale will be approved.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said the acquisition of Activision Blizzard would help “accelerate” the company’s cloud gaming plans and boost the value of the Xbox Game Pass. Spencer also addressed the reputation for Blizzard’s inappropriate behaviour and shared that he wants to help change things: “We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand in hand with treating all people with dignity and respect. We hold all teams and all managers to this commitment. We look forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams at Activision Blizzard.”

If the deal goes through, current CEO Bobby Kotick will reportedly leave the company.

-theGeek-

 

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