During their latest Developer Livestream, Blizzard Entertainment talked about how Overwatch 2's testing has gone, revealed the beta's release date, and went over how the game's gameplay has changed. Additionally, they provided additional information on what can be expected from the beta.
Here's what we learned from the latest Developer Livestream, including Overwatch 2's release date, its gameplay and changes to it, the new ping system, and more!
Overwatch 2 Beta Release Date
According to Blizzard Entertainment Overwatch 2's Beta will go live on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
This will only be available for the accepted participants who signed up when the beta was initially announced. Players will be granted access in phases, meaning that more and more players will be added as the beta progresses.
Overwatch's 2 Gameplay
Overwatch 2 signifies the franchise's transition from 6v6 to 5v5. Instead of the usual 2-2-2 composition that usually houses two tanks, two supports, and two DPS, the teams will now have one tank, two supports, and two DPS.
The 5v5 change has greatly affected certain aspects of the gameplay, which according to Game Director, Aaron Keller, have made it feel like "there's more space to move around the map."
"It's not crazy fast but it's sped up a little bit," said Keller. "They're (the players) getting stuck at chokes, especially behind something like a double barrier less than they were before."
This change opens the door to better flanking potential and puts support players at greater risk, making for more dynamic and exciting gameplay in the end.
A key part of the alpha and later when released, the beta, is a focus on hero changes and reworks as Overwatch 2 will rework four heroes, Orisa, Bastion, Doomfist, and Sombra.
The dev team elaborated on the Doomfist changes, which will move his role from DPS to tank. These changes have reportedly gotten positive feedback so far, something we can only hope carries over to other hero reworks as well.
New Ping System
Overwatch 2 will introduce a heavily requested new feature to the series, the Ping System, and the stream elaborated more on how this will function in-game.
With many players not wanting to communicate over voice chat and the difficulties of strategizing over in-game text chat, the Ping System is set to give players another way to do call-outs that will flow better with gameplay.
It'll use in-game real-world locations, in-game context and it's very "context-sensitive". Depending on what a player is pinging, who their hero is, what the enemy team is, the ping will dynamically change.
The Ping System is interactive with Hero abilities as well. Such as being revealed by Hanzo or Widowmaker, or if Moira fades. Additionally, players can ping non-heroes in the game like Bob to cover those situations as well.
For more information on Overwatch 2's beta, check out the dev stream in full below!