Changes are on the way to the Overwatch meta. As confirmed by Blizzard today during a developer PvP livestream, the sequel is going to shake up the team dynamics in a major way. Overwatch 2 multiplayer will change from 6v6 to 5v5 teams, with fixed roles and only one tank. I hope you’re not a fan of the double shield meta, because that’s looking to go away when the game lands.
During the livestream, Blizzard showed off a few rounds of Overwatch 2 to give players an idea of how it all works. Team construction in Overwatch today consists of three roles of two: two support roles, two damage roles, and two tanks. Overwatch 2, with 5v5 matches however, will keep the initial damage and support makeup intact while allowing only one tank per team. Naturally, this means an end to the double shield meta, in which teams used two shield tanks together: like Reinhardt and Orisa, for example.
At the last BlizzCon, the developer championed the idea of a more versatile tank role. Basically, tanks will be far more aggressive with expanded abilities. With the shield meta done away, Blizzard instead wanted to make tanks more viable as fighters. In the livestream, we see Zarya equipped with two charges for her bubble shields, each with cooldowns. Another change comes to Winston, who gets an alternate fire in which he charges up a condensed bolt of lightning that can cover long distances. Blizzard talked about how players could utilize his new lightning blast by leaping into the air, firing it at an enemy below, and then dishing out more damage with his landing area of effect (AoE).
From abilities to UI, some of the new changes for Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 will present more than just tweaks to teams and tanks. The livestream offered us a look at the UI changes when it comes to support characters. Zenyatta, for example, will be able to see an image of the heroes who’s attached with his Harmony or Orb of Discord on either side of his Ultimate charge icon. Fellow team members are also shown with a health bar that slowly goes up as the Orb of Harmony does its work. Players who are getting healed by a support character will also see who’s doing it, along with a picture of the hero. Another change comes to Mei’s Endothermic Blaster, which can still slow down enemies but will no longer freeze them in a block of ice.
Check out the rest of the livestream, which has been going on for about two hours now, below.