More health, more healing, and bigger bullets.
In Overwatch 2’s upcoming season, known as Champions, players can anticipate significant alterations to the gameplay, including a major rework for at least one hero and adjustments for every hero in the game. The developer aims to implement “major changes to the fundamentals of Overwatch 2 gameplay” with season 9.
At its core, each hero in the Overwatch 2 roster will experience an increase in health and the size of their projectiles, such as bullets, missiles, and arrows. Additionally, as hinted by game director Aaron Keller, all heroes will receive some form of passive self-healing.
These modifications are intended to enhance the consistency of firing and hitting shots on opponents, diminish the impact of burst damage, and alleviate stagnant team fights characterized by endless healing and frustrating stalemates.
Moreover, Overwatch 2 season 9 will introduce larger projectiles universally. Detailed specifics regarding these changes are provided in a blog post by Blizzard, accompanied by an infographic for clarity.
The post acknowledges that even players with exceptional aim often feel that whether a shot lands can seem random, particularly due to factors like Overwatch 2’s fast-moving and teleporting characters.
Maintaining crisp and responsive movement is crucial to the core gameplay experience, so rather than slowing down player movement, the team is enhancing hit consistency by enlarging both damage-dealing hitscan and travel time projectiles.
Even heroes unaffected by these changes will receive some balance adjustments. However, the team is cautious about implementing too many hero tweaks until they have a better understanding of the effects of these initial changes.
In line with the introduction of larger projectiles, heroes’ hit points are also undergoing adjustments. Here’s a breakdown of the changes:
- Heroes with 150-175 HP will see an increase of 25 HP.
- Heroes with 200-300 HP will receive a boost of 50 HP.
- Tank heroes with 300+ HP will experience an increase of 75-100 HP.
The rationale behind these health adjustments is to maintain consistency in time-to-kill throughout Overwatch 2.
Expect significant changes in the realm of healing as well. Further details are elaborated upon:
The changes to projectile size and health pools effectively reduce the impact of burst damage and tones down the relative strength of healing, meaning it will take longer to heal someone from 1 HP to full health. To ease the friction of an increased time to fully heal allies out of combat and enable Support players to make more informed decisions on who to heal, everyone can now regenerate health passively at a rate of 20 healing per second after 5 seconds of not taking damage, and the Support role passive heal has been adjusted to 2.5 seconds.
An increase to health pools and weakening of burst damage means that heroes live longer, and team fights will take longer to conclude. To combat some of the potentially extreme situations there, we’re also introducing a new Damage passive empowering them to more easily fulfill their role in securing eliminations, reduce in-combat healing, and potentially add an additional strategic layer to focus firing targets.
Here’s how role-specific passives are changing with the new healing rules:
Season 9 of Overwatch 2 will introduce notable adjustments to Competitive play, particularly in how players progress through ranks. The team aims to enhance transparency regarding how performance influences rank, providing players with detailed insights after each game.
Additionally, players’ Competitive rankings will undergo a reset, requiring them to establish their new rank through 10 Placement Matches, a feature returning from the original Overwatch. This reset offers players the chance to significantly impact their starting rank, with matches tailored to their predicted initial ranks. Importantly, this reset will occur only once per year.
The post also elucidates the intricacies of how rank changes are determined on a game-by-game basis, offering valuable information for players invested in their ranking progress.
Overwatch 2’s season 9 is set to commence on February 13th. Additional insights into upcoming features can be found in the provided post. Furthermore, players can anticipate reworks for Pharah and the Junkertown map during season 9, along with an exciting crossover event featuring Cowboy Bebop, to be unveiled in the near future.