Overwatch 2 is on the horizon, with Season 5 of the Overwatch League confirmed to be played on an early version of Overwatch 2 starting next April. With that, there is still a bunch of content left to be announced prior to the release of that early version. Let's it break it down:
As of right now, very little is confirmed about what the OW2 client for the OWL Season 5 will look like, other than that it will be an "early version." The main piece of news shared by Game Director Aaron Keller is that the team plans to have every character balanced (in some cases reworked completely) and playable by the start of the season, as well as "maybe a few more," referring to the new heroes promised with OW2. That gives us a good springboard to continue this post: we're expecting the OW2 versions complete with reworks, balance changes, and cosmetic redesigns.
ALREADY ANNOUNCED: HERO REWORKS
In order to go through everything that is upcoming, let's first look through what has already been announced on the front of hero reworks.
– Blizzconline, February 2021: Reworks for Reinhardt and Zarya are announced
– Developer PvP livestream, April 2021: Reworks for Winston and Mei are officially announced, additional changes for Dva are shown
– OWL Grand Finals, September 2021: Reworks for Sombra and Bastion are announced, additional changes for Brigette are shown
TBA: HERO REWORKS
Officially, we do have a list of characters facing imminent reworks for OW2. According to super and Space, who playtested OW2 at the OWL playoffs in Hawaii, 5 heroes were unavailable during their playtest due to them receiving reworks. These heroes were:
ALREADY ANNOUNCED: COSMETIC REDESIGNS
– Blizzcon, November 2019: Redesigns for Tracer, Mei, Winston, Reinhardt, Mercy, Lucio, and Genji are revealed
– Blizzconline, February 2021: Redesigns for McCree, Widowmaker, Reaper, and Pharah are revealed
– Developer PvP livestream, April 2021: Redesign for Torbjorn is revealed
– Summer Game Fest, July 2021: Redesigns for Baptiste and Sombra are revealed
– OWL Grand Finals, September 2021: Redesign for Bastion is revealed
TBA: COSMETIC REDESIGNS
As it currently stands, 17 heroes have not had official redesigns announced. During the initial announcement of OW2, it was stated that every hero from OW1 would receive a cosmetic update. However, I think it's safe to assume that one hero, that being the most recent one, Echo, may not receive an updated look. Here are all the other heroes awaiting an official redesign update:
– Wrecking Ball
– Soldier: 76 (was teased, possibly on accident, at Blizzconline)
ADDITIONAL TBA CONTENT (NOT CONFIRMED FOR OWL 2022 SEASON)
– Official reveal/ability breakdown for Sojourn
– Additional hero reveals (the rumored number is four)
– Additional map reveals (few confirmed details, it should be noted that no new control maps have yet been announced for OW2. Additionally, there are only two Push maps currently announced)
– Reveal of the 5th competitive gamemode (teased by the developers in a recent Reddit AMA as likely being the gamemode for the announced Gothenburg and India maps)
– More details on PvE
– Pure speculation: additional reworks for potentially problematic heroes, including Roadhog, Wrecking Ball, Torbjorn, Symmetra, and Mercy (again, none of these heroes have been confirmed to be getting reworks, but they are all either heroes that are too weak/too strong in the OW2 client (based on accounts from OWL playtesters), or that simply don't fit with the more FPS aligned vision of OW2)
SPECULATION ON CONTENT RELEASE SCHEDULE:
We've currently got around 27 weeks until the start of the Overwatch League season. Until then, we've actually got a ton of OW2 content to get through in a fairly short amount of time. Feel free to speculate in the comments, these are just some of my thought on what is going to be announced with what, and possibly when:
– McCree is the only character who is both confirmed for a major rework while also already having his cosmetic redesign revealed. My guess is that his rework will be revealed alongside his name change and new lore, which has been confirmed to be releasing in a mini event later this year (likely in November so to avoid overlap with the Halloween Terror and Winter Wonderland events)
– I would not expect Doomfist's rework to be announced soon. From what has been said by the devs, it seems to be in the early stage, and they are struggling to figure out how his mobility and CC-heavy kit fits into OW2. I could see this one possibly being announced at Blizzconline 2022 along with his new cosmetic design.
– Orisa and Sigma kind of go together. It would be a missed opportunity to not announce their reworks at the same time. As for a timetable, these seem to have been in the pipeline for a while, judging by comments made all the way back during the developer PvP livestream. Blizzconline feels a little late for these two, so I predict that their reworks and cosmetic redesigns will be announced in late December or early January.
– Not much is really known about Moira's rework, I'll go out on a limb and guess that it'll be announced at Blizzconline along with Doom's.
– As for the additional redesigns, I'm predicting these to get bundled together and revealed at staggered intervals. While I think most of the reworks will be announced by Blizzconline, so that OWL teams can have ample time to practice with them, they'll be able to stagger out cosmetic design released past then.
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