During a panel on the second day of BlizzCon 2023, Blizzard shared a lot of new details about Overwatch 2.
Following yesterday's reveal of the Samoan hero Mauga and more, we start by hearing about the new mode Clash and its first map Hanaoka, which brings back the beloved Hanamura.
The developers wanted a way to bring back some of the iconic maps that had to be retired.
Hanaoka portrays a new section of Hanamura right by the original one, in fact, some sections of the original map are visible in the background. Part of the map hints at the history of the Shimada and Hashimoto clans and Kiriko's Youkai group.
Creating a new game mode affords the developers the ability to create completely new maps.
Clash has 5 control points laid out in a row. Only one capture point is active at any given time. The match starts with a capture point in the center, and players can capture a point simply by standing on it uncontested until it's fully captured.
At that point, a new control point activates. If the team reaches the opposite side of the map and captures the last point, they win. Yet, that's rare as things tend to get back and forth a lot.
Every time a point is captured, a point is awarded to that team. Victory is also awarded by reaching a certain number of points.
Moving on to PvE, Season 8 will bring major updates for Hero Mastery, including an expansion of the roster with 5 new heroes, D.Va, Echo, Genji, Lúcio, and Mei. We'll also get leaderboard resets and replay bookmarks.
A new feature is Hero Mastery Gauntlet, which is similar to Hero Mastery but it's co-op with 3 players. You have to defend towers from attacking bots. The available heroes rotate seasonally.
We hear about competitive play, and below you can check out the key problems the developers are facing, and their key goals.
In Season 9, there will be a number of changes. We're getting the Competitive Overview screen that you can see below and it's completely transparent on how your rank changes.
Ranks will also be reset and players will be redistributed across all ranks. This will happen every year.
A new rank above Grandmaster will be added, called Ultimate, and new rewards will be added, called Emerald weapons. These will also be changed annually. The developers want to give Competitive an annual cadence.
Competitive challenges are also gone, replaced by the menu below. The bar at the top right shows how both wins and losses contributed to points payouts.
Rank range in matches will be showcased and most grouping restrictions will be removed. If there is a lot of distance between the ranks, it will mark the group as "wide" and the matchmaking will try to match it against other wide groups.
There will also be narrow groups, which will improve the matchmaking quality for solos. This should also reduce Smurfing.
We get to see more of the new heroes teased yesterday. 2024 will bring a tank, a support, and a damage hero, and they're already being tested alongside others.
The first we see is the hero code-named "Space Ranger" for Season 12.
Next, we get to take a look at the next Damage hero Venture, a Canadian "swashbuckling archaeologist" coming in Season 10.
They can use their drill to go underground and attack enemies by popping out of the ground. You can even dash underground, where you can't be hit.
We also get to see them in action in footage from a gameplay test (recorded by YouTube user GamersPrey)
Lastly, we hear about a redesign of the Battle Pass for next year, and the developers are deep within that process.
One goal is to offer players more agency when it comes to the Mythic Skin reward. Players will get the option to unlock any mythic skin ever released by playing through the premium battlepass. The developers also want to make the Battle Pass more rewarding.
Overwatch 2 is available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S Xbox One, and PC. A collaboration with the K-pop band Le Sserafim is live in the game now and the group will perform at BlizzCon later today.