When Overwatch 2 was first announced at Blizzcon 2019, Blizzard promised an ambitious “highly replayable” PvE component that somewhat justified the ‘2’ at the end of the title. Last night, the Overwatch 2 development team announced that they’ve scrapped most of their ideas including the Hero Missions mode which had skill trees, levelling up, and other light RPG elements shown off in the trailer below. Instead, they’ll be gradually releasing co-op story missions and integrating them into their ongoing seasons, similar to how PvE operated in the first Overwatch.
Blizzard recently confirmed that it no longer plans to release the long-anticipated co-op Hero mode for Overwatch 2. Like its predecessor, the game will focus primarily on competitive multiplayer with occasional co-op events.
Blizzard has revealed the roadmap for the rest of 2023, including details on when the first story missions are coming to the game. They’ll be available in season six, which should start in mid-August.
Story missions are part of the long-awaited co-op side of the game. When Blizzard released Overwatch 2 last October, the player vs. environment (PvE) aspects of the game that it first were not available. That’s because the team to work on the PvE modes.
The studio didn’t want to keep fans waiting much longer for an overhaul of the traditional, competitive (or PvP) side of Overwatch 2 after what was effectively a two-year content drought. So, Blizzard split development of the two halves so it could get the sequel out faster. There have been PvE experiences in Overwatch 2, but so far they’ve been constrained to limited-time events.
#Overwatch2: A Look Ahead ✨
Join us as we share more details about everything we have planned for 2023, including new events, PvE, new Heroes, new maps, & more.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 16, 2023
It’s worth noting that this won’t be the full PvE vision that Blizzard laid out almost four years ago. “Development on the PvE experience really hasn’t made the progress that we would have hoped,” Overwatch 2 executive producer Jared Neuss said. The team had created “a bunch of amazing content,” including “ridiculous” gameplay augmentations for heroes. “Unfortunately, the effort required to pull all of that together into a Blizzard-quality experience that we can ship to you is huge,” Neuss said. “With everything we’ve learned about what it takes to operate this game at the level you deserve, it’s clear that we can’t deliver on that original vision for PvE.”
Hero missions have been cut in order to not pull too many resources away from the live game, which is the priority for Blizzard. As such, talent trees, an RPG-style feature of hero missions that would have enabled players to customize hero abilities, have been scrapped.
That’s not to say there aren’t intriguing PvE features coming. A single-player version of a PvE experience with a leaderboard is in the works. A ton of co-op features are planned and Blizzard will continue to add content on a frequent basis, including more story missions.
Before the story missions debut in a few months, there’s a whole new season in between. Season five will arrive in June with what appears to be a fantasy theme. Fans can expect a new limited-time event called Questwatch, a new cinematic, the Summer Games event and updates for the Workshop mode, in which players can create custom games. The On Fire system, which lets everyone in a match see when certain players are performing especially well, will return in season five too.
Story missions aren’t the only big change on the docket for season six. The developers say this season will mark the biggest update since launch. Blizzard will add another support hero, a firing range and an overhauled player progression system. The Anniversary event will return as well. Perhaps most intriguingly, there will be a new map type for the PvP modes called Flashpoint, which will debut with two new maps.
There will be a bigger focus on building out the story of Overwatch 2 as well. For one thing, seasons will be named and, with the help of in-game cinematics, season six will “push the narrative arc of Overwatch forward for the first time since the original game release.”
Looking ahead to season seven and beyond, Blizzard is promising reworks for Sombra (yes, another one) and Roadhog. Also in the pipeline are another collaboration following the One-Punch Man crossover, a fresh tank hero, a control map, a winter event, a lore database and, most excitingly for me, the return of competitive Mystery Heroes.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-2s-long-awaited-co-op-story-missions-will-go-live-in-august-193108073.html?src=rss
Overwatch is a game that rose from the ashes of Titan, an ambitious MMO that Blizzard pulled the plug on. In the wake of this decision, developers at the studio reworked ideas they had for Titan into what would become Overwatch, a hero-based multiplayer shooter that was critically acclaimed and hugely successful. Blizzard’s Team 4 is no stranger to picking up the pieces of a shattered project, but this process has been kept behind closed doors. The Blizzard way was to keep games out of public view until they were ready to be seen and to release them only when they were as close to the ideal vision as they could possibly be. That isn’t the way anymore–not for Overwatch 2 anyway.
When the sequel to Overwatch was announced at BlizzCon 2019–where the game was also playable–it was with the promise of a PvE Hero component that would allow players to gather their squads and play through a narrative-driven multiplayer experience. On top of that, each of the heroes that they’d come to know and love would be reworked for PvE and given progression systems that would allow players to unlock new talents. It was an ambitious new mode that, in many ways, was used to justify the “2” at the end of the title.
Now, however, Blizzard has confirmed that the promised PvE Hero component will not be released at all. In a video, game director Aaron Keller and executive producer Jared Neuss said that the team had made the decision to take the PvE elements of Overwatch 2 in a different direction and detailed a roadmap for upcoming seasons that reveal a new hero, maps, rebalances, and a number of story-focused additions.
Following Blizzard’s announcement that Overwatch 2’s highly-anticipated PvE Hero mode has been scrapped, the studio has revealed a first look at the game’s 2023 roadmap. While not particularly descriptive, the image offers players a glimpse at Overwatch 2’s upcoming game modes, cinematics, themes, and seasonal events, as well as two new Heroes.
Based on the details provided, it appears as if Overwatch Season 5 will have a medieval-fantasy setting, perhaps titled Mischief and Magic. The highlight of this theme is the season’s limited-time event, Questwatch. No additional information about this event has been revealed, but its image on the banner depicts a fantasy map with a castle, mountains, towering evil lair, and more. Season 5 will also feature a new cinematic starring one cute-looking canine companion, the return of Overwatch’s Summer Games, a 5v5 mini Competitive season, a Creator Workshop, and content celebrating Overwatch 2’s one-year anniversary.
For those still reeling over Blizzard’s decision to cut the game’s story mode, it appears that at least some narrative is coming to the game in the form of Story Missions in Season 6. In addition, both a Hero Mastery section and Player Progression system are listed as coming to the game. While it’s unclear if these will function similarly to the versions shown back in 2021, the names of these features make it sound as if there will be some similarity.
If you’re looking for a list of all Overwatch 2 maps, then we’ve got you covered. Overwatch 2 brings back many of the maps from the previous game, several of which have been adjusted to give them a different feel.
Alongside all the new Overwatch 2 characters and its fresh-look 5v5 gameplay, we’ve got details on the Overwatch 2 battle pass rewards that can ensure you’re navigating the Overwatch 2 maps in style. If you’re just jumping in and getting your bearings in the free PC game, we’ve collected every new and returning map, plus what game modes can be played on each of them.
The Overwatch 2 midseason update is here, and it looks like things are about to get brawly. With big buffs to Junker Queen and Brigitte headlining the Overwatch 2 patch notes, the second half of Overwatch 2 season 4 looks set to be all about close-quarters, back and forth scrambles with plenty of yo-yo-ing health bars. Also arriving alongside the update is a new Star Wars-inspired event mode for the Blizzard multiplayer game.
Overwatch 2’s latest update adds a new limited-time event that has players picking sides in an intergalactic struggle between rebels and an evil empire, alongside a significant batch of balance updates and the addition of hero-specific settings.
From May 9 to May 22, players will be able to queue up and compete as either the Watcher rebels or the Infinite Empire in a new limited-time game mode called Starwatch: Galactic Rescue. Those fighting for freedom will need to escort the rebel leader Bonebreaker (aka Doomfist) as he seeks to free the imprisoned droid 3CH-0 (aka Echo) from the clutches of the empire. The rebels will need to hold various capture points, but it won’t be easy. Players on the side of the Infinite Empire, led by Galactic Emperor Sigma and aided by security turrets, will be there to hold the line. Completing event challenges will unlock various cosmetics, like the Asteroid Wrecking Ball skin, a weapon charm, and more.
While the event is the star of the space-themed update, various balance changes have also been introduced to many of the game’s heroes. As detailed in the official patch notes, those changes include a damage buff to Orisa’s primary weapon, a Biotic Grenade healing nerf for Ana, and an increase to the damage radius of Winston’s Jet Pack ability.