Blizzard Entertainment is implementing significant changes to Overwatch 2 with Season 9: Champions, such as overhauling Ranks, strengthening all heroes, and more upon its release on February 13.
Commencing with the core gameplay, Blizzard has stated that it has taken into account community feedback and is making modifications as a consequence. Weapon accuracy has been enhanced across the board, and every hero in the game will experience a health increase to accommodate the additional bullets taken.
“One of our primary objectives with these adjustments is to make firing your weapons and abilities feel more consistent without affecting the time to eliminate a target, without nullifying the overall feel of gameplay we all know and adore,” Blizzard said in a supporting blog post. Heroes who don’t fire weapons will undergo other adjustments to ensure balance.
Heroes between 150 and 175 HP currently will see a 25 HP increase, heroes between 200 and 300 HP will see a 50 HP increase, and those above 300 HP will see a 75 to 100 HP increase. All heroes will regenerate health passively too, at a rate of 20 HP per second after five seconds of not taking damage. The Support role passive heal has been adjusted to 2.5 seconds.
“The alterations to projectile size and health pools effectively decrease the impact of burst damage and lessens the relative strength of healing, meaning it will take longer to heal someone from one HP to full health,” Blizzard said.
Blizzard is also fundamentally altering ranked play mechanics, as competitive ranks will be reset complete. Players will instead have a new rank determined through 10 initial Placement Matches. “With everyone’s ranks being reset, 10 matches for each role provides a high-stakes opportunity to make significant gains in determining your new starting rank,” Blizzard said. “You’ll only have one shot this year to run your Placement Matches, so pick your best heroes and stay hydrated because these games count for a lot.”
“>”We’re also displaying Modifiers that affected your last match below the rank progression bar. Feedback is a driving force behind these changes, and we want to hear your thoughts on Competitive Play now that you’ll have more context for each game.
“Season 8 Competitive Points will be turned into Legacy Competitive Points and used to unlock Golden weapon variants. The same will happen when the competitive season ticks into 2025, with all 2024 Competitive Points also being converted into Legacy points.
Another feature fans are eager to hear more on, but wasn’t mentioned in the Season 9 reveal, is a change to Overwatch 2’s monetization model. Blizzard has said it’s “actively working towards” giving away new heroes to all players, not just those who buy a premium battle pass, but hasn’t commented on the subject again since December 2023.
Blizzard was also heavily criticized when Overwatch 2 launched as it forced its premium predecessor to update into a free-to-play sequel, rendering the original Overwatch unplayable. Since then, Overwatch 2 has endured a number of controversies including the cancellation of its long-awaited PvE Hero mode — the one feature, players said, that justified the sequel’s existence.