Blizzard has said in a developer blog that it intends to beef up Support heroes in Overwatch 2 after the role has been left out in the cold.
The Overwatch 2 beta brought with it massive reworks to Tank and DPS heroes. As part of the game’s shift to a 5v5 format, Tanks have been overhauled, with only one now appearing on each team. DPS players, meanwhile, got a new hero in Sojourn, and reworks to Bastion and Sombra. On top of that, Damage heroes are fun to play and now have a massive impact on matches.
On the other hand, Supports have had a rougher go of things. They’ve been hit hard in the shift to Overwatch 2 in just about every way. With one less Tank on the field, they have less protection from DPS heroes, and none of them saw significant changes. The one that did, Brigitte, saw her best utility – her shield stun – taken away. Supports are still powerful heroes that can have a massive impact on matches, but everything about playing them right now is much harder, and they feel more vulnerable.
Because of this, queues on roles like Tank and DPS are much higher than Support. In a weekly developer blog, Blizzard acknowledged this, saying: “We’ve also seen queue times increasing for Tank and Damage players, as those roles have been relatively more popular vs. the Support role during this test. We understand the need to make playing Support more attractive to players.”
Further down in the post, the development team said that the best way to combat this is with new heroes, which are on the way.
“We have heard clearly that Support players feel both Tanks and Damage players have more new content to enjoy and explore in this Beta. Longer term, we believe the most effective way to tackle this issue is to add exciting new Support heroes to the game, and that is part of our plans”
Support for Supports
While things like new heroes will take time to emerge, it seems there are plans to make Supports more appealing to play. What’s great is that we could see some pretty radical changes to the Support heroes and their abilities during this first beta phase.
It seems some of these ideas aren’t just moving sliders for damage or healing numbers, but reworks to abilities. In the post Blizzard says: “In the near term, our hero design team is also experimenting with significant, but shorter lead time, ideas including new and refreshed abilities for some existing support heroes. These types of ideas could be deployed later in this first Beta test but more likely would be in our next test.”
The first beta for Overwatch 2 is set to end on May 17.
While these more radical changes may not make the first test, it’s awesome to see work on pain points like this happening so fast. If anything, this level of communication from the Overwatch 2 team is refreshing, as we’ve had radio silence for so long. Here’s hoping these constant updates from the team keep up and players feel more informed about the game moving forward.