Blizzard finally announced Overwatch 2 earlier today, and we already know several details about the upcoming game, including the fact that it will introduce new progression system mechanics in the brand new PvE modes. These include a levelling system and new unique talents (skills/abilities) to unlock.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has clarified in the post-announcement Overwatch: What’s Next stream that these new progression system mechanics will not be available in the game’s multiplayer PvP modes.
He also explained that the progression system mechanics shown so far in the trailers are anything but final, as the game is still in development, which means that they could very well change into something much different by the time the game eventually launches.
The reasoning behind that decision to omit the new progression system mechanics from the PvP modes is simple. Introducing levels and new talents into the mix would destroy the delicate line that’s required to maintain a fair and balanced multiplayer for everyone.
For example, let’s look at the list of talents that Tracer has access to and will unlock as she levels up. Each skill makes her considerably more powerful, which is the goal of the progression system in the first place (according to Kaplan).
It wouldn’t be fair if your Tracer is more powerful or has different abilities than the opposing team’s Tracer. This situation would throw any kind of established meta out the window, to the point of making any kind of meta impossible to achieve. The very concept of the meta would be meaningless if a progression system comes into play.
For instance, the Adaptive Reload talent automatically grants your Tracer a full clip every time you use any ability. By taking advantage of this talent, it essentially means that you’d never run out of ammo, making your Tracer ridiculously OP from the get-go.
Now, look at the Chain Reaction talent in action, killing a group of enemies in an instant.
Imagine the same thing happening in multiplayer PvP and you can see how talents would work all well and good in PvE modes where the enemies are just bots, but the same thing would break the game when applied in multiplayer PvP.
Hanzo has a similar talent to Tracer’s Chain Reaction called Sojiro’s Guidance. It allows any arrow that hits an enemy detected by Sonic Arrow will seek and pierce all other detected enemies. You can check out Hanzo’s Sojiro’s Guidance talent, and a few more noteworthy ones from the rest of the cast, in action below.
It’s ultimately a good thing that the new progression system mechanics will be limited to the PvE modes, and won’t be applied to the multiplayer PvP modes.
Overwatch 2 is slated to release for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. However, no release window or date has been revealed, other than Kaplan repeatedly stating that development “is a long ways to go”.