Overwatch 2 Hero Missions Will Be in the Hundreds and They’ll Feature Dynamic Weather
Overwatch 2 wasn't a big part of BlizzConline's opening ceremony, but Jeff Kaplan and other key members of the development team did share a 'Behind the Scenes' video where we learned several new tidbits about the sequel to 2016's first-person shooter game.
To begin with, the video showcased two brand new locations that are based on iconic real-life cities: Rome and New York, with the former set to be one of the maps used in the brand new Push mode. Combat is being improved in a variety of areas, ranging from animations to sounds, with all weapons getting a '2.0 sound pass'. All of this should improve the visceral feeling of hitting stuff.
Internally, testing is underway to assess new role-specific passive abilities. Tanks have knockback reduction, for instance, but they also generate less charge for their Ultimate when enemies shoot at them. Damage dealing characters have a movement speed bonus and support heroes have automatic healing that starts ticking after they haven't been damaged for some time, similar to Mercy's passive (though a bit slower than that). Tanks are actually going to have their tactical role modified a bit, in that they will be more toe-to-toe brawlers than characters who have to merely stand back and protect their teammates. For example, Reinhardt will have two charges of his Fire Strike ability, allowing him to use the skill more often; additionally, his Charge skill can now be canceled if need be as well as steered more aggressively to let him better navigate the environments.
The discussion then moved onto the big new feature of Overwatch 2: Hero missions. There will be 'hundreds' of those, apparently, and they also come hand in hand with character progression, and Blizzard showcased the newly introduced talent system where players will be able to customize their characters in very different ways. Given that this is the cooperative, PvE side of Overwatch 2, balance is less of a concern and the designers can implement some rather wild options, such as skills that can stun for far longer. Missions will also feature dynamic weather (including sandstorms and snowstorms) and they can take place at different times of the day.
Last but not least, the team debuted updated looks for McCree, Pharah, Reaper and Widowmaker. Facial animation as a whole has been overhauled in order to better convey emotions during story moments.
Overwatch 2 isn't coming this year, but the developers have promised a lot more communication to come in the next few months. Stay tuned for more coverage.