Okay, first of all when I say “We sat”, it was basically a virtual, interview, Zoom media session around the globe with the Overwatch team: Game Director Aaron Keller, Art Director Dion Rogers, Overwatch VP and Commercial Lead Jon Spector, Lead Hero Designer Geoff Goodman, Senior Outsourcing Supervisor Kacey Helms, and Lead Narrative Designer Gavin J Jurgens-Fyhrie over two separate sessions.
So here are some more info that you probably won’t find elsewhere in the developer update video circulating today.
- According to Aaron, the Overwatch team is now 3 times as large as they were before. This means they can work on multiple heroes, maps, and game modes at the same time thanks to the team restructure.
- Overwatch 2 Beta also felt like everyone is playing for themselves and it may look like the 5v5 doesn’t encourage team play as much. This can be true compared to the slower-paced Overwatch 1, but can also be caused by beta players trying out new heroes and things – instead of working together.
- The Orisa rework is praised by many. At the moment, Symmetra and Moira seem to be next, but there won’t be other major rework planned after Orisa (in which the team had to redesign her whole personality, artwork, voice lines, etc).
- No more lootboxes in Overwatch 2 as it doesn’t give players a good experience if they want a specific skin or item. You can get it directly in the shop or through Battle Pass.
- More details about how Battle Pass works to be revealed closer to the official launch.
- There will be weapon charms you can collect now, banners, and there might be more that haven’t been disclosed yet.
- We aren’t sure yet how the team is going to monetise Overwatch 2. People are surely concerned after the heavy monetisation in Diablo Immortal but apparently each team at Blizzard manages their own way of monetisation strategy. So we shouldn’t see the same monetisation tactics in Overwatch 2.
- Cross progression system means you’ll be able to merge your skins/items/etc from PC and consoles into a single library system.
- Assault game modes are totally removed due to gameplay issues, so maps like Hanamura are gone – but you may still be able to play in the Workshop or Arcade. New maps can also be built out of the original maps artwork so they are not totally gone in a sense.
- When we had the goats and double barrier meta, updates and communication to address were kind of slow from the team. But this time, they have promised to be more communicative (as you can see now) and faster patches/updates is more possible now, due to rapid patching and testing strategy, according to Dion. And worst to worst, if this thing ever happens in Overwatch 2, it will only be there for one season maximum.
- I also asked them to talk more about Overwatch 2 Mythic Skin and what’s the difference between that and the current unique Overwatch League Skin. They said it’s a higher tier than the Legendary skin in a whole new level. Each skin has unique artwork, animations, particle effects, and there are degree of customisations you can do (such as selecting different weapons, assigning colours). You can see these on the Genji Mythic Skin artwork from the video released today. The Genji Demonic Cyber Punk is cool because as the team described it, when he ults, his mask opens up which reveals his glowing, demonic skull face.
- There will still be seasonal skins in Overwatch 2, but now there are themes within the seasons so you’ll have skin themes too.
- Overwatch 2 now has 25,000 voice lines which is crazy. And it’s one of the many ways the team can tell the backstory of each character (and how one character’s relationship with another).
- The Junker Queen is the first hero they designed on the 5v5 meta. They did the whole planning for her playstyle, art, music in the video clip, cinematic, motion movement concepts, voicelines, personality, and more. She’s 7″ tall, a brawler type of tank – so she’s not a dive/flanker tank like Winston or Doomfist, but more like in the middle between a defensive and dive tank. She’s better in a team composition where everyone wants to stay close.
Overwatch 2 is a big update especially to the team, even when some of you think that there are not much as some of these are happening behind the scenes, or something that you may not be aware of just yet: new & pre-recorded voice lines, new graphical updates per hero (double the poly counts, better eye and hair tech, more facial animations, weapon sounds, and animations + effects).
As you play the game more like I did during the Overwatch 2 first PvP beta, you’ll appreciate more and more. The future of Overwatch 2 is definitely brighter this time but the bad news is that you’ll have to wait until October.