Blizzard has unveiled an official roadmap for Overwatch 2, shedding light on the anticipated content in the upcoming Seasons 5, 6, and 7. The emphasis, interestingly, appears to be on Player versus Environment (PvE) gameplay. The reveal comes alongside the news that Blizzard has ditched its original plans for the PvE expansion of Overwatch 2, opting instead for a more scaled-back, seasonal approach to PvE content.
Unveiling the Official Overwatch 2 Roadmap
Currently, Overwatch 2 is in the throes of its fourth season of live content, with just over three weeks to go before Season 5 kicks off. Each of Overwatch 2’s seasons so far has boasted a new battle pass teeming with cosmetic rewards to unlock, a reset of the competitive ladder, limited-time events, and premium shop deals. Fresh heroes also make regular appearances, complemented by frequent balance updates. Until now, Blizzard had been tight-lipped about the status of PvE, leaving players in the dark about the future of this gameplay mode.
Season 5: Questwatch Event and More
The just-released Overwatch 2 roadmap outlines the intentions for Seasons 5 through 7 and gives a nod towards what lies ahead. While the roadmap provides a broad overview of each season, more granular details were divulged in a Blizzard live stream. Season 5 is set to host the time-limited Questwatch event, a new cinematic narrative, the return of the Summer Games event, and a feature intriguingly named Mischief & Magic. With the commencement of Season 6, players can expect the release of narrative-driven missions, a new Support hero, the Flashpoint game mode, and the introduction of Hero Mastery.
A New Approach to PvE: What to Expect in Season 6
However, it’s important to clarify that the narrative missions slated for Season 6 and subsequent PvE content are not what Blizzard initially promised. In a comprehensive interview with GameStop, Blizzard confirmed that its original plans for PvE have been shelved. The once-promised features for Overwatch 2’s PvE mode, including talent trees, levelling, progression, and Hero Missions, have been abandoned. The focus of Overwatch 2 henceforth will be Player versus Player (PvP), with PvE missions and story content playing a more auxiliary role. The exact nature and extent of this role remain somewhat nebulous.
Teasing Season 7 and Beyond: New Heroes and Reworks in the Pipeline
Blizzard has also teased some of the content for Season 7 and the seasons to follow. A new Tank hero is set to join the roster following the Support hero of Season 7. Reworks for the characters Roadhog and Sombra are also in the pipeline. Other plans include the revival of competitive Mystery Heroes and other game modes, a fresh cinematic story, a new winter event, and more.
Related: Free rewards await players in the new Overwatch 2 event
While the Overwatch 2 development team may be stepping back from its original vision of a substantial PvE experience, it’s recommitting to its seasonal live service. It’s clear that there’s been significant internal restructuring within the Overwatch 2 development team over the years. Though not an ideal scenario, there’s a silver lining – for those who are enjoying Overwatch 2 in its current form, a host of new content is in the offing for 2023 and beyond.
Overwatch 2 is currently playable on Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and PS5.