Here’s how the Overwatch 2 battle pass works

Less than a month before its October 4 launch, Blizzard is revealing even more details about the game, clearing up some rumors, and showing off the latest hero, Kiriko.

Screenshot from Overwatch 2 featuring Kiriko, a shrine maiden/Japanese ninja dressed in a stylized red and white combat gi wielding magic ofuda, healers and throwing knives

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Since being teased at Blizzcon in 2018, Monitor 2 has been this great gaming monolith, a target that Blizzard and its fans are slowly moving towards. Over the past several months, and as part of Blizzard’s commitment to better communicate its progress on Monitor 2, we learned a lot about the game. We saw new heroes, new maps, a new progression system and a fundamental change in the way the game will be played. But there are other equally fundamental parts of Monitor 2 which were only revealed by leaks and backed up by somewhat vague tweets.

Last week, due to a confusion with the description of the Monitor 2 Watchpoint Pack, fans have inadvertently learned that the heroes of Monitor 2 would be locked behind battle pass progression. Later, Surveillance Business Manager Jon Spector, confirmed that yes, heroes will no longer be automatically granted to players as they were in Surveillance premium, but would be accessible through the premium and free versions of the Battle Pass. Spector did not elaborate further in the flurry of questions that followed, but in an interview with The edgethese questions and many more have been answered.

The main question for many players was why? Why change the way heroes are hit? The answer is quite simple: this shit is not free.

“When we considered making this transition to free play, one of the big goals we had was to be able to give [original] Surveillance players what they wanted, which is continuous delivery of content,” said Surveillance managing director Walter Kong. “Our core development team has nearly tripled since the launch of Surveillance and we have a lot more people working on the game in partner teams, and we want to be able to continually invest in this live game service. So from a business perspective, it’s not free.

Screenshot of the Overwatch 2 store selling Overwatch Coins, the new in-game currency, at different prices

Overwatch Coins are the new in-game currency that you can purchase with real money or earn through Battle Pass progression. Use coins to buy skins, poses, sprays and more.
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With Monitor 2 become free-to-play, the initial investment Surveillance the main fans put into the game no longer exist for the sequel. But making games costs money, and making a good game that improves on its predecessor requires a substantial commitment. A commitment that Monitor 2 the developers decided it could be better monetized through a battle pass model.

“Heroes are the most engaging content we have in the game,” Kong continued. “And when we were designing this model, it felt very appropriate to put these heroes into our new engagement systems.”

It’s a job I think. Blizzard is telling its players that they no longer have to pay for this game, but to make up for that, it needs to put in place a way to keep playing. Locking heroes for battle pass progression keeps players hoping that they’ll occasionally throw in a few bucks here and there to make this grind easier or buy some other new premium shininess. This is business price and it looks like fair trade. So what does this mean for the way the game is played?

“Heroes are the most engaging content we have in the game,”

Right now, a match on the competitive ladder is heavily dependent on the composition of the teams, what the pros call “the meta”. Whatever hero is in the current meta is the one being played and most often the meta hero is the newest. Take a look at any chance Surveillance Championship game over the last three weeks and you will see Junker Queen front and center. Locking new heroes behind a progression gate might frustrate people who want to be on the cutting edge of all the metas that come out Monitor 2. The developers know this is a huge stumbling block for players, but they’re reasonably confident that the new hero system won’t impact the competitive ladder the way players now fear.

Screenshot from Overwatch 2 showing the hero Junker Queen flying towards the screen with several ghostly weapons spinning around her

Long live the queen. No, not that one.
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“When you look at the data on how often people switch heroes and how many heroes they typically play at once, the majority of our players are playing a relatively small number of heroes,” the director of the game said. Aaron Keller game. “And when they switch to heroes, we think it’s because they switch to a hero they’re familiar with, a hero they’re efficient with, or a hero they’re having fun with.” So it seems that the complaint that players might lose their competitive edge because they don’t have the latest hero, isn’t indicative of how players actually play.

In our interview, the devs also explained that new heroes won’t be immediately available on the competitive ladder for several weeks as they tweak and tweak them so they’re not overpowered. They hope the delay between arrival and availability will give players time to earn the hero. They are also changing the way they design heroes so that matches don’t depend so much on the strongest hero.

“One of the big differences with 5v5 combat is that we’ve tuned many heroes in-game and made changes to reduce the number of hard counters that Surveillance a,” Keller said. “We want the game to be a bit more organic, we want people to have more impact, but we also want them to have more freedom as to which hero they choose for a particular situation.”

Surveillance at the moment extremely depends on the composition of the hero. If a Tracer is harassing your team, someone moves on to Brigitte and locks her up. This sort of pick and counter pick style of play has been central to the game for the past six years. But that will no longer be the way of the world.

“Going forward, what we’ve done is we’re trying to take some of those very harsh rock-paper-scissors interactions out of the game and replace them with more choices for players,” Keller said.

Promotional image for Overwatch 2 featuring heroes Roadhog, Kiriko, Zenyatta, Hanzo, and Sojourn in new cyberpunk-inspired cosmetic skins

Skins that will be available in Season 1 of Overwatch 2
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The choice of players is always excellent. This hopefully means more hero diversity across the board. There are certain heroes (a Torbjorn attack for example) who never see serious playtime due to their perceived unviability. There is hope that the changes made by the team will result in the best levels of competition Surveillance aren’t just mirror match after mirror match. At a time, SurveillanceThe heroes of and the way their different abilities interact is what makes the game unique. In the quest to do Monitor 2 appealing to the maximum number of players, the developers could inadvertently lose the spirit of what made Surveillance so different from his contemporaries.

“We’re trying to take some of those very harsh paper scissor interactions out of the game and replace them with more choices for players.”

The developers have acknowledged that Monitor 2 introduces so many changes that can be alienating for long-time players. But also Surveillance prime. (Day one Mercy hands, let me hear you make some noise!) These changes weren’t made arbitrarily but because, according to the developers, they were simply giving players what they wanted.

“All this change over the last year with the release Surveillance the way we do it is to fulfill that desire of our players to be able to put more content into the game,” Keller said. “I hope the players can recognize that the thing they ask for more than anything else is the thing we have focused on as a team more than anything else.”

Content is king and the battle pass system seems to address the biggest complaint about Surveillance prime. And while the devs have finally addressed some of the concerns players have, the real test will be on October 4, when we can finally play. Monitor 2.

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