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Overwatch 2 developer blog: Season 1 updates with new executive producer, Jared Neuss

Overwatch 2 developer blog: Season 1 updates with new executive producer, Jared Neuss

Hey everyone!

I’m Jared, the new Executive Producer for Overwatch 2, and I’m so incredibly excited to be working with this team and community. There are a ton of exciting things happening on the Overwatch team right now, and I wanted to take a few moments to share an update with you.

But first, a quick note: Sharing plans before they’re finalized is risky. Development on a live game like Overwatch 2 requires constant juggling of urgent player needs, long-term ambitions, and live issues. It’s easier, and safer, to talk about the work once it’s nearly done and ready to deliver. That said, I think sharing our thoughts early is the right thing to do, so we can create a better dialogue between the development team and the community.

Please keep your feedback coming: we read it, we’re inspired by it, we use it in our development plans. Ultimately, we need it to ensure that we’re building a game that you want to keep playing for years to come.

Ok, let’s get into it.

Rewards and Progression

With the move to a free-to-play model, Overwatch 2 has been able to welcome a large number of new players across the globe. That’s super exciting! More people in-game means more folks in every playlist, more potential new friends to meet, and more teammates to play with in inexplicably sweaty unranked games.

We know this change has been a big shift, though, bringing with it a new business model and new systems for unlocking heroes and getting new skins.

I could say a lot here, but I think a good place to start is saying that we aren’t completely satisfied with how everything feels right now. There’s a lot we like about it—knocking out a bunch of daily/weekly challenges or getting something new for a hero you love can feel great! But we also recognize that today’s experience has opportunity for improvement that we need to focus on.

We want you to feel more rewarded just for sitting down and playing. We want you to have new accomplishments to chase outside of your Competitive Rank and Battle Pass level. When you finish a session, we want you to feel good about the time you just spent in the game— even if you ended on an epic losing streak at 2 a.m. after saying that you wouldn't end on a loss.

We’ll have a lot to say about these things in the coming months, but I’ll start with a couple of quick updates:

Short Term

In Season 2, we’ve changed up our rewards a bit so that each event has a skin you can earn by playing, in addition to the other cosmetic rewards we already offer. We’re also going to continue our Twitch drops programs so that you can earn skins and in-game goodies by supporting your favorite creators. While we're working on the long-term plans, we want upcoming seasons to feel more rewarding than Season 1.

Long Term

For Season 3 and beyond, we’re looking at a mix of Battle Pass changes, more interesting Challenges to pursue, and more exciting play-focused progression systems for you all to dig into. We’ll be able to talk about some of these changes soon, but other changes may take more time to lock-in.

Queue Times

Contrary to what your DPS Moira may tell you, Overwatch is a role-based game. As such, queue times are a very real, very consistent focus area for the team. 

With the move to 5v5, we’re seeing longer queue times than we’d like for both tank and damage players, and while there’s no silver bullet for this issue, the team has a LOT of ideas that we want to experiment with in the upcoming seasons.

Many of these ideas are focused on the support role and how we can make it more fun and more rewarding to play. We’re discussing targeted support hero reworks, game system updates, and even some role-wide changes to improve support quality of life.

As we settle on specific changes, we’ll make sure you know about them. In the short term, we’ve made queue-time estimates more accurate in the UI (support queues are less than one minute, in most cases) and we’re going to experiment with our Battle Pass XP rewards for those who queue as support/all roles.

Competitive

We recognize there are aspects of the experience that we need to improve. The team is full of folks who live and breathe comp, so making this mode feel dynamic and fair is a high priority.

We’ve been making some adjustments to the matchmaking system, and we implemented some changes that should help the system more accurately determine a player’s skill tier and division. While this change is already in-game, you can expect the effects to be even more noticeable at the start of Season 2. 

The Competitive system is more than just matchmaking, though, and we’ve heard your feedback about unexpected rank changes, rate of feedback and more. This is a topic that I can't do justice with just a paragraph or two, so you can expect a deeper dive on our plans soon.

Hero balance

Multiple heroes saw balance changes and adjustments in the patch. Notably, Genji and D.Va are a bit less deadly, Zarya is less shield-y and Sombra is less hacky. We feel the changes in this patch are good for the current state of the game, but we’re already planning ahead for more changes at the beginning of Season 2.

We'll be talking more about those Season 2 changes (including some for your favorite cybernetically-enhanced Canadian) soon but we want to see how the current set of updates for this mid-season patch play out first. 

In closing

Players who’ve stuck with us, players who’ve returned, and players who are just now jumping in the fun—thank you for playing Overwatch 2. Reading your posts, watching your clips, and playing alongside you always leaves me humbled. We have an incredible community, and I hope that by opening up about what we’re thinking more, we can keep growing together.

Season 2 is right around the corner, and we have a ton of awesome stuff planned (you saw the Ramattra reveal, right?!). We’ll be sharing lots more on what’s coming in our second season very, very soon. 

Until then, I’ll see you on the dropship.

-Jared  

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