Blizzard Entertainment is set to make a big change to its Overwatch series with a major shift to the player-versus-player (PvP) mode.
During a recent livestream on Thursday (May 20), the developer revealed that the PvP for the forthcoming Overwatch 2 will move from two teams of six, which is the current group size in the original Overwatch, to two teams of five. Moreover, the composition of the teams will now be limited to one tank character, two DPS and two support.
“We feel like this is the next step in the way that Overwatch ought to be played,” said game director Aaron Keller. “If you think about it, there is a lot going on in an Overwatch map. It is incredibly fast-paced.”
“We have always tried to make our combat easy to read and very understandable, and even with all of the work that we’ve put into that, sometimes it’s just hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield,” he added. “Removing two of those simplifies everything, and it allows players to understand everything that’s happening around them, and to be able to make better choices.”
Keller also pointed out how change isn’t something new to Overwatch, from the additions of role queues to limiting players to one hero per team. However, with this new change to game mechanics, the developer also has had to rethink the way tank characters are made.
“This change obviously has a really big impact on tanks […] but tanks can be problematic,” he said. “A DPS hero is simple, they’re shooting. But a tank has abilities that can be noisy, or when stacked with other tanks can cause problems for other teams to try to overcome and counter.”
“We’re not taking every tank and just making them super aggro,” added Lead hero designer Geoff Goodman. “In some cases, we’re pushing some of the more aggro tanks and making them a little tankier. In a lot of cases, they have more health … D.Va has a lot more Matrix juice in the can. We didn’t just give her more missiles and let her go kill everybody, she can actually protect her team a little more.”
Blizzard first announced Overwatch 2 during BlizzCon 2019. The company has yet to reveal a release date for the game, but it is not expected to launch this year.
In other Overwatch news, game director Jeff Kaplan, who was vice president of Blizzard Entertainment, has left the company after 19 years. “It was truly the honour of a lifetime to have the opportunity to create worlds and heroes for such a passionate audience,” he wrote at the time.