The build up to Overwatch 2 has been years in the making. While there has been a recent shift from the developers, committing to regular update streams and breakdowns, there’s still an itch for more and more content. Today we’re taking a look at what we know and what’s being speculated for Overwatch 2. There’s a good few years of speculation to breakdown, so let’s keep it recent to save us all a headache. Overwatch 2 has been a slow burning project that has seen numerous leaks that seem to outnumber the actual developer updates.
Switching between Valorant and Overwatch, one of my main frustrations has been the lack of a ping system in Overwatch. Luckily, a developer update on the 24th of March has announced the introduction of a ping system to Overwatch 2! Pinging allows for players to make visible marks on the map to aid in player communication, allowing for seamless gameplay. This can help in situations where players may not be comfortable jumping into voice coms, or more often than not, can be of added benefit simply to mark exactly where the enemy is hiding. The introduction of a ping system isn’t solely beneficial to player communication, but the updated accessibility of the game as a whole. Overwatch added features for colourblindness back in October 2018, a welcome feature that allowed for clearer differentiation between enemies and team mates for those who are colour blind. The introduction of a ping system isn’t just a simple marker on the map, but the combination of audio queues and option wheels shared with it. The ping system will include voice lines, such as “Tracer here” when pinging the enemy Tracer. These audio lines help communicate with teams without the pressure of using voice coms. This only extends further with Blizzards highlighting of the option wheel within the ping system. Through this, players will be able to communicate a wide array of messages, spanning from messages to watch this location, plan to attack from here, or even active countdowns. A lot of the above are featured as voice lines in Overwatch, but the addition of visual ping systems paired with these queues, will hopefully add an additional level of use and benefit to them being in the game.
Now, time for some speculation. In a recent article from IGN, a series of image leaks featuring early stage UI design for the Overwatch 2 menus included the phrase “battle pass”. Now, this one tends to be a bit of a divider, with some players happy to pay extra for additional and exclusive content, while others feeling the frustration and financial burden of plugging more money into a game that they’ve already paid for. Going back to the previous reference, Valorant is a free to play game, and my own mindset with battle pass content tends to be “sure the game was free, and this is a way of me paying for the free fun I’m experiencing”. This has often led me to relieve a little guilt when buying a battle pass, but I fear this won’t be the case with Overwatch 2. At the moment it still is not clear how much players can expect to pay for Overwatch 2, but the addition of a battle pass system may isolate players and leave a bit of a sour taste. Outside of the possibility of the Battle Pass, this art leak shows off the new direction the Overwatch team are going for, with a slick minimalist menu design, keeping it less bulky than the current Overwatch menu. It must be kept in mind that these aren’t necessarily final products or confirmed information, as they are just leaks after all. With that in mind, the debate on Battle Pass inclusion is one I know I’ll certainly be waiting to find out more about.
Last off, we’re going to have a look at when leaks becomes reality. With the announcement that Overwatch 2 would switch to 5v5 gameplay rather than 6v6, the entire team dynamic was sure to change. There was a lot of debate and speculation regarding what form this would take, especially since the introduction of a strict 2-2-2 team composition in the primary Quick Play and Competitive game modes in Overwatch. Speculation was rampant regarding the possibility of hero roles changing, and it wouldn’t be a first considering Symettra’s role change back in June 2018. Blizzard confirmed that Doomfist would have a role change, switching him from DPS to Tank. This shift first and foremost highlights the swift change in team dynamics we can expect to see in Overwatch 2. The necessity for a solid shield tank seems to be getting sidelined, with heroes such as D.Va and Zarya being singled out as especially strong in the current closed beta. Doomfists inclusion in the tank pool only highlights this further, with a kit that’s far more crowd control based. The move to off-tanks and direct crowd control versus indirect damage prevention will see a massive shift in the experience players can expect from Overwatch 2. It’s been kept no secret that the developers are massively reworking a whole array of heroes, so the real question is, who else is getting a role change?
There’s been a lot of questions surrounding Overwatch 2, and a whole array of speculation to match. While there’s been some elements confirmed, we’re still massively in the dark about a whole array of elements. At the end of April 2022 the beta is moving to open, and general players will finally get a look at the new game in all it’s glory. If you’re looking to get stuck in, you can sign up for beta access here.