Junker Queen will not tolerate Overwatch 2 smurfs.
The time has come, Overwatch fans. The second Overwatch 2 PVP beta is now live, and Xbox and PlayStation players are getting to join the party this time around. While beta signups are closed, you can still get in by buying the Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack.
There are a lot of changes from the first beta, so much so that I can't include the full 2,000+ words of the patch notes here, since I wouldn't be able to include any commentary. It's worth reading the whole thing to get a sense of all the changes. That said, let's dive into what's new.
Both Role Queue and Open Queue are available for Quick Play (y'all ready for 5v5 tank battles?). There's still no Competitive mode, but Blizzard promised a "partial competitive ruleset" for this beta. On a temporary basis, Hybrid and Escort maps will have a version of competitive rules — you'll play both offense and defense. However, other players will be able to backfill should anyone leave and there’s no punishment for ducking out early.
Meanwhile, Push maps will last for 10 minutes instead of eight. There's a new Hybrid map called Paraíso, which is set in Rio de Janeiro. Busan and Watchpoint: Gibraltar are back in the mix with new time-of-day lighting.
The second Overwatch 2 beta has a new Hybrid map called Paraíso, which is set in Rio de Janeiro.
One of the big changes everyone's looking forward to checking out is the introduction of a new tank, Junker Queen. I played around with the hero in the training mode before writing this post and she already seems like a blast. I'll have more to say about her later. Here's a breakdown of her abilities:
If the blade passes through the enemy when you recall it, the wound effect will apply to them too. Wound deals damage to enemies over time. If you Quick Melee an enemy when the knife isn’t in your hand, you’ll deal regular melee damage.
This is a blow with the ax that's part of her kit.
You can’t control the charge after it starts, so be careful about falling off the map.
I discussed Junker Queen with some Overwatch 2 devs recently. You can read what they had to say here:
All of the original Overwatch heroes have a new look in Overwatch 2, including Hanzo.
This beta includes new looks for every Overwatch hero. You can check them out by accessing Classic II from the skin options in the Hero Gallery.
Blizzard has also upgraded the ping system, which should make it even more useful. For instance, after you're killed, you'll have three seconds to ping the enemy that took you out. Team 4 says this should minimize ping spamming. Ana will have a unique ping for sleeping enemies. Junkrat will be able to ping the location of trapped enemies through walls and Symmetra can pin her teleporter locations.
Now when you open the ping wheel, a contextual ping will also be triggered (just in case you open the wheel accidentally). There's now a back button for the ping wheel too.
I'm still not a big fan of the new scoreboard, but Blizzard has made it better with some changes. It's good to have numeric values for teammates' Ultimate charge back, for one thing. The layout has been updated to focus on what's seemingly the most important information, even though objective time apparently doesn't matter for all heroes anymore. The main scoreboard includes stats for eliminations, assists, deaths, damage, healing and damage mitigated.
Assists brings together defensive assists and offensive assists stats from Overwatch. That's good, since it wasn't always super clear to me how those stats were tabulated.
Damage mitigated accounts for not only damage absorbed by barriers, but mitigations from abilities like Ana’s Nano Boost or Orisa’s Fortify. The stat's a work in progress and will eventually account for damage mitigated by more abilities, such as Lucio’s Sound Barrier.
There are also stats that are private to each player during a game, namely those for specific heroes — essentially the ones that appear in the bottom right of the Overwatch 1 scoreboard. Some stats haven't been implemented yet, though. It looks like there are role-based ones: objective contest times for tanks, final blows for DPS and “heroes saved” for supports. I think all heroes should have these three stats, though.
On the technical side, ambience soundscapes have been mixed for surround sound. Xbox players have access to Dolby Atmos for home theater and 3D audio over headphones, while PS5 supports Sony's 3D audio via headphones and TV.
PS5 players can now choose between three display modes, one favoring resolution, another focused on framerate and one that’s in between. However, there's no adaptive trigger support or haptic feedback yet. Boo.
PC players, meanwhile, can use a dynamic render scale feature to boost performance when the GPU is limited.
Supports will now start passive self-healing after 1.5 seconds instead of 1 second. There's a bigger change for damage heroes, however. Instead of making them faster across the board, Blizzard will allow DPS players to retain up to 30% of their Ultimate charge when they swap heroes. Damage heroes have been reverted to their previous, pre-role passive speeds.
And now for the balance changes...
Reinhardt's in line for some big changes when 'Overwatch' moves to 5v5.
Orisa's rework is one of the biggest and best changes in Overwatch 2.
Bastion, Winston and Torjorn are all getting balance changes in the second Overwatch 2 PVP beta.
Phew. I'm digging the changes for Orisa, who was already incredible in the first beta, as well as Doomfist, Pharah and Junkrat. The Symmetra teleporter changes are interesting, since the cooldown will effectively be as low as six seconds. The Mercy super jump change will take a bit of getting used to, though, and there’s no world in which Bastion needed a buff.
There are a host of bug fixes and a few known issues that Blizzard has flagged as well, but you can check out the full patch notes for those.
If you have any other questions about the beta, I’m happy to help as best I can. Hit me up on Twitter @krisholt.