- Mauga hero will receive significant buffs and tuning changes before Season 8 launch to improve his survivability and damage.
- Overwatch 2 director gave insights into Clash mode, competitive updates, and the game’s core vision as an intense PvP shooter.
- Roadhog’s rework is already being buffed just days after release to improve his self-healing from Take a Breather.
Overwatch 2 has seen some major updates over the past few weeks, most notably the reveal and release of the new tank hero Mauga as well as a significant rework for Roadhog. At BlizzCon 2023, game director Jeff Kaplan provided an overview of these updates and insights into the development process and overall vision for the game.
Mauga Hero Tuning and Buffs
Mauga was introduced at BlizzCon 2023 through a limited in-game event that allowed players to test out the hero. Kaplan acknowledged that feedback showed Mauga feeling a bit weak, which was confirmed by the team’s internal data.
As a result, the Overwatch team is implementing a series of buffs and tuning changes to Mauga before his full launch with Season 8.
The main goals are to improve Mauga’s survivability, make his damage more reliable against smaller targets, and reduce his output versus tanks. Some of the specific changes being tested internally include:
- Adding 150 armour to increase his total health pool
- Reducing the head hitbox size
- Increasing his Overrun damage reduction from 30% to 50%
- Making Overrun uninterruptible by Hack
- Buffing his lifesteal from Cardiac Overdrive
- Adjusting his gun spread, fire rate, damage, ammo, and falloff when using both guns simultaneously
By starting Mauga a bit weak and making significant improvements during the PTR process, the Overwatch team hopes to have him tuned to feel strong but not overpowered at launch. Kaplan said this test event format could be a template for introducing new heroes and major content in the future.
Competitive System Overhaul Coming
At BlizzCon, Kaplan reiterated their plans to overhaul the competitive system in Season 9. This will include changes to the ranking system, skill tiers, and matchmaking algorithms. The goal is to improve the quality, fairness, and transparency of competitive matches.
Other competitive updates coming in Seasons 10 and 11 will include wider grouping restrictions to prevent extremely unbalanced matches. For example, Bronze players may be restricted from grouping with Masters and Grandmasters.
Quick Play and Gameplay Improvements
Updates are also aimed at improving the overall gameplay experience beyond just ranked competitive matches. For example, Overwatch 2 developers have managed to reduce leaver rates in quick play modes by almost 20% since the start of Season 7.
The team is also working on backfill systems so new players don’t enter matches with only seconds left. Spawn time reductions are another experimental change meant to increase the pace and intensity of matches.
Exciting New Modes Still in Development
While major announcements focused on core gameplay, Kaplan emphasised that the team is still developing fun limited-time modes and PvE experiences. However, the developers want these to be a surprise for players rather than pre-announced features.
Philosophical Vision for Overwatch 2
Kaplan also discussed their vision for Overwatch 2 as an intense, competitive PvP shooter appealing to millions of daily players. The terms “intensity” and “sweaty” highlight the demanding, fast-paced nature they want to emphasise and improve through updates.
At its core, the FPS will focus on delivering this polished 5v5 team-based PvP gameplay. Brand new maps, heroes, and modes will all complement and enhance this fundamental experience.
Roadhog Rework Buffed Just Days After Release
In other news, Roadhog received a significant rework in Overwatch 2 earlier this week. However, the developers determined that their initial tuning was a bit too conservative. As a result, they quickly pushed out a buff to his self-healing Take a Breather ability just days after his rework launched.
The November 16th patch increases the total healing from Take a Breather from 450 to 500 health. It also boosts the damage reduction during the channel from 30% to 40%.
Additionally, the maximum duration was reduced from 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds. This means Roadhog heals faster but for a shorter time. The cooldown was also lowered from 12 to 10 seconds.
Combined, these changes allow Roadhog to use Take a Breather more frequently and make it more effective at keeping him alive. Blizzard explained that their initial tuning led to players feeling forced to use the ability for too large a portion of gameplay. By increasing the healing and reducing the duration, it becomes a more dynamic and engaging part of his kit.
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The quick turnaround on buffing Roadhog demonstrates the Overwatch team’s commitment to rapid iteration and improvement in response to player feedback. Players can likely expect more hero tuning in the coming weeks as the meta continues to evolve.
Source – Blizzard
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