With the first beta of Overwatch 2 nearly complete, the devs posted an update for the second week on their blog. Discussions inside include more info on the support role and general balance changes.
Week 2 #Overwatch2 The PvP Beta blog is live – has more perspective and support performance data and information on some of what the heroes and balance teams are currently investigating.https://t.co/p1FBGaZVmB
— Jon Spector (@Spex_J) May 12, 2022
Support improvements continue
At the start of the blog, the team looked at recent patch notes which have changed the supports significantly. This includes Ana’s biotic grenade and rifle changes, Zenyatta’s kick, and Lucio’s nerfed self-heal. Zenyatta’s pick rate and win rate increased after the patch, putting him in a more viable position than before. With Ana’s changes, her win rate only dropped by 2%, but her pick rate remained roughly the same.
But, the biggest problem with the supports at the start of the beta revolved around the waiting time. According to the blog, “players on average spent 48% less time waiting for a game, gradually stabilizing at around 22% improvement over the weekend.” The queue time has decreased so much that the beta’s damage and support queue are faster than the original Overwatch’s respective queues.
More issues addressed
Still, the mounts were part of a bigger issue that the team noticed as the beta continued. Supports and tanks died more frequently on average in the Overwatch 2 beta, and the team attributed this to several things. For tanks, this was mostly due to the new Orisa rework and D.Va’s weird stance in 5v5, both leading to more kills than usual. The team said that these two heroes in particular are getting more attention from the team.
As for supports, the devs said that in diamond-rich lobbies and above, a good tank or damage player will consistently send support players to their doom. According to the blog, “the most significant difference was in Grandmaster, where the support role saw a 15% increase in the frequency of deaths compared to lives.” The team acknowledged that this was an issue, but also mentioned that they will need to be careful with mobility, as it was one of the main issues with Lucio from the original beta.
Specific Hero Balance Changes
The blog went on to detail a few heroes, hinting at the upcoming changes.
Essentially, even after the support hero change, Moira remained a “stable” pick in 5v5. But just because it’s stable doesn’t mean it should stay the same. The team acknowledged this, mentioning possible changes to reduce both his healing and damage while giving him increased utility.
The main topic surrounding Mercy was her unofficial Super Jump ability, a way of using Angelic Descent mixed with her Guardian Angel to propel herself high into the air. Originally a bug, the developers kept the ability in-game as it required some challenge and helped Mercy players stay alive longer. The developers talk about trying to make this ability more consistent, with higher verticality so casual players can learn it and use it to its full potential.
Junkrat and Symmetra
Simply put, Junkrat and Symmetra are DPS designed to break shields, which 5v5 has limited. The team considered changing the rate of fire of Junrkat’s grenade launcher, but it looked too much like a Pharah rocket launcher. Thus, the team aims to reward more direct hits from the Junkrat Grenade.
As for Symmetra, its kit suffers from some overlap with the new Mei changes. At close range, Mei’s wall ability proves better than Symmetra’s teleport or turrets. According to the message, “although these heroes are not our current focus, they are on our radar for future adjustments and continued monitoring.”
Week three seems to be the last week of the first Overwatch 2 beta, but week two provided some insight into the developer’s focus on the PvP side of the game.