That you never stopped playing Overwatch or you want to get back into it with the new season: the upcoming update will catch you off guard. Since its launch in October 2022, Blizzard’s FPS tries as best it can to regain its letters of nobilityinitially attributed to the first iteration of the game. Following a massive overhaul to accommodate a new free-to-play business model, Overwatch 2 seems only a shadow of itself to early players. So it’s been almost a year and a half now that the studio has been trying different waves of adjustments over the seasons, in the hope of forging an experience that is once again unanimously appreciated.
Unfortunately, the competitive shooter is still struggling to regain momentum. The lackluster deployment of PvE has already been enough to tarnish the reputation of the title and the previous more or less discreet seasons have not had the desired effect. Against all expectations, Blizzard is trying a real gamble with an update that is drastic to say the least. When season 9 arrives on February 13 – which will benefit from an astonishing collaboration with a cult anime – players will have to get used to new mechanics which could well overturn the balance of the game.
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The case of passive care
At the start of the year, we already told you about one of the major changes of this season. Well in advance, the development team revealed its ambition to provide passive healing to all heroes. This mechanic, previously reserved for support characters, is therefore exported to the entire roster for an effect that promises to be destabilizing. Now, Tanks and DPS will receive 20 health per second after five seconds without taking damage. The initial passive of Supports is reworked at the same time: they will also receive 20 health points per second, but after only 2.5 seconds without being hit.
To make matters worse, life bars are also increased for all characters, according to the following values:
- Heroes between 150 and 175 HP will show 25 more HP
- Heroes between 200 and 300 HP will display 50 more
- The Tank role will benefit from 75 to 100 more HP depending on the character
Part of the survivability will therefore be entirely different in a few days. If the studio nevertheless reserves the possibility of canceling this overhaul in the event of imbalance, another measure hopes to maintain a satisfactory dynamic. DPS characters will now apply a 20% healing reduction to heroes hit. Some very powerful healers will therefore no longer be able to increase the life bars too quickly. Blizzard hopes this new feature will force players to think about other ways to focus their attacks.
The changes applied to care will also be accompanied a redesign of certain projectiles. Dodging attacks may become more difficult, as shot distance and speed will be adjusted on many heroes. This mainly concerns hitscan projectiles, like Tracer’s pistols or Soldier:76’s rifle, as well as certain projectiles with travel time like Zenyatta’s orbs or Pharah’s rockets. Characters who do not receive changes to their projectiles will benefit from other balancing adjustments Blizzard explains, without further details.
Other systems are also evolving, such as rank progression in ranked play or end-of-season rewards. The precise details can be consulted on the infographics produced by Blizzard, directly from the blog page reserved for these announcements.
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