OVERWATCH 2 Is Dropping One Of The Tank Roles For A 5v5 Core PvP Experience

Overwatch 2 PvP will go from 6v6 to 5v5 as Blizzard hopes to clean up and simplify the combat experience by removing one of the Tank roles. Teams will now consist of 1 Tank, 2 Damage and 2 Support heroes.

Blizzard hosted a lengthy livestream today, giving fans the most in-depth look yet at Overwatch 2's player-versus-player experience. From new game modes to new maps to new looks for our heroes, there was plenty of exciting announcements, but perhaps none of the reveals were as shocking as the change being made to the core PvP experience.

The core Overwatch PvP experience will shift from six players per team to five players per team. In the standard PvP game modes of Overwatch 2, each team will contain one Tank, two Damage, and two Support heroes.

In Overwatch 2, the core PvP experience will shift from six players per team to five players. Overwatch 2 will drop the second tank in standard PvP game modes, meaning a team will now be comprised of one Tank, two Damage, and two Support heroes.

“We have always tried to make our combat easy to read and very understandable, and even with all of the work that we’ve put into that, sometimes it’s just hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield,” explained Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller. “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.”

Keller went on to explain how tanks can be "problematic" and their abilities "noisy" -- especially when stacked with other tanks. In addition to dropping one of the Tanks for each team, the characters themselves are being slightly reworked and adjusted to be more aggressive and "more hybrid-y on the damage side." Winston, for example, will have an alternate fire mode that condenses his blast and allows for longer range; Reinhardt is getting dual Fire Strikes and can now cancel his Charge; Zarya will have dual bubble charges to be shared between Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier.

“We’re not taking every tank and just making them super aggro,” noted lead hero designer Geoff Goodman. “In some cases we’re pushing some of the more aggro tanks and making them a little tankier. In a lot of cases they have more health … D.Va has a lot more Matrix juice in the can. We didn’t just give her more missiles and let her go kill everybody, she can actually protect her team a little more.”

While the team size change has likely already been accounted for in the new maps coming with Overwatch 2, the game's older maps are being adapted for the single-tank-per-team change. Maps will have more environment objects for players to take cover behind and Role Passive abilities are being introduced.

Damage heroes will move slightly faster than other roles, while Support heroes will regenerate health automatically when not in combat. Tanks will take reduced knockback and provide less ultimate charge to opponents who damage them.

The new 5v5 team sizes will apply to the Competitive, Quick Play and Push PvP modes across Overwatch 2 and the original Overwatch. Unfortunately, Blizzard still did not announce a release date for Overwatch 2.

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