The Overwatch 2 devs are detailing the PvP side of the game today in a developer livestream, and the first announcement is a big one: the game is now 5v5. There will be role lock, as well – every team will have two support heroes, two DPS heroes, and one tank. Blizzard hopes that this will make the action easier to read and give certain hero types a better chance to shine.
“If you think about it, there is a lot going on in an Overwatch map,” game director Aaron Keller says. “It is incredibly fast-paced. We have always tried to make our combat easy to read and very understandable, and even with all of the work that we have put into that, sometimes it is just hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield. Removing two of those simplifies everything, and it allows players to understand everything that’s happening around them, and to be able to make better choices because of it.”
Of course, tanks will be the most heavily impacted by the change. “Tanks can be problematic,” Keller explains. “A DPS hero is simple – they’re shooty. But a tank has abilities that can be noisy, or when stacked with other tanks, can cause problems for other teams to try to overcome and counter. A great example of that is two main tanks on the field. Sometimes, that can be very oppressive to another team.”
Keller says that “with five players out there, there is a greater chance of certain people being able to carry. Whether that’s the tank on the team, or some of the DPS, there’s just one less player on the other team that you need to take care of. Each player now has the opportunity to have a larger individual impact on their own team.”
The devs say that they’ve tried a lot of different versions of team size, from 4v4 through 7v7. At one point, they even tried a 6v6 role lock with four DPS, one tank, and one support – a playtest that happened only once, and “we swore we would never do it again.”
You can see more PvP action in the stream above. The Overwatch 2 release date is still a long way off, so you’re gonna want to savour it.