Overwatch 2 is introducing hefty adjustments to core aspects like projectiles, HP, healing, and passive abilities in the game’s first major slew of changes since its release.
From season nine—which begins on Feb. 13—onward, there will be notable changes to projectile size, alongside health pool changes and new passives that revolve around each character’s health regeneration. In short: most projectile objects will be slightly larger, but every hero will have more health to combat this change.
Blizzard said the main goal of these impending changes is to make aiming more consistent across the board and give a more satisfactory feeling of consistently hitting your shots. Reducing the “randomness” of projectile damage, including reducing burst damage, is the intended result of these February tweaks.
Most heroes will get adjustments to the size of their projectiles. These mostly refer to projectiles coming from the respective hero’s main weapon, like Zenyatta’s Orbs of Destruction or Pharah’s Rocket Launcher.
There are four tiers of adjustments. Projectiles will be increased by size by 0.05, 0.08, 0.10, or 0.15 meters depending on their travel time and fire rate. Any projectiles that are already larger than 0.5 meters won’t be getting any bigger, so if you’re like me and can’t dodge Fire Strikes, don’t worry. Any heroes that don’t fall into the buffed categories will be getting additional adjustments to make sure they don’t get left behind.
Since most of the projectiles are being increased in size, the anticipation is that targeted damage should land more often and get more value. This may discourage players from spamming projectiles and instead focus on hitting shots more reliably. In the season nine blog post, Blizzard also spoke about the skill ceiling of Overwatch players being higher than it was many years ago—meaning more players are better at hitting precise shots and utilizing strong movement abilities, hence the need for adjustments.
But if more damage is going to be landing more consistently, OW2 heroes need a larger health pool to keep things in balance, the devs added.
Squishy heroes like Tracer and Widowmaker—anyone with less than 200 HP—will now have an additional 25 HP. Heroes between 200 to 300 HP get an extra 50 HP, and tanks will get between 75 to 100 extra HP depending on individual balancing.
In the season nine blog, Blizzard indicated that despite these changes, the hope is the time it takes to kill an enemy will not change, hence the projectile size and HP balancing.
The last major adjustment being made to all heroes is their passive abilities. OW2 launched with new passives for each role—DPS heroes charged ultimates faster, for example—but each role’s new passive is now more concerned with health pool adjustments.
All heroes, not just supports, will now regenerate their own health after five seconds of taking no damage. This will put greater emphasis on the pace of fights in each Overwatch 2 match since heroes that escape won’t need to use many resources to heal back up. Supports still have a bit of an edge, as they begin healing passively again after just 2.5 seconds.
DPS heroes will now also have an incredibly powerful passive that reduces the amount of healing their enemies can get if they deal damage to them. If you have a DPS player focusing on an enemy, it will be easier to kill them, and DPS heroes should be able to take one-on-one battles more easily and fulfill their role in getting kills.
The tank role hasn’t had any adjustments aside from the global passive change. This, Blizzard said, is to give DPS and Support players authority to make more impactful decisions.
The season nine changes in Overwatch 2 will likely be felt by those who play the game every day or play at a very high level. These adjustments are very major changes across the board and could result in a significant metagame shift. Players should keep an eye on what heroes emerge stronger or weaker after these changes.