Here’s why the new ‘Overwatch 2’ heroes are locked behind the battle corridor

Last week it showed how Monitor 2 Players’ access to new heroes will be completely different than in V Note and watch. Instead of everyone immediately being able to try out new heroes at the same time, Monitor 2 will Lock new faces like Kiriko behind the Battle Pass. You’ll either need to pay $10 for the Premium Battle Pass to unlock each newcomer instantly or grind through the free Battle Pass to unlock new characters for the base game modes.

In an interview this week, members Note and watch The team explained why they decided to build new champions as part of the switch to a free business model, rather than sticking to the previous approach to rolling them out.

“Heroes are the single most attractive content we have in the game. While we were designing this model, it seemed very appropriate to put these heroes into our new engagement systems,” Note and watch Franchise General Manager Walter Kong said.

The idea is to keep players engaged by playing the game more or encourage them to pay for a premium Battle Pass to help fund a future Monitor 2. There are a lot of employee salaries to be paid, as it turns out.

“Our core development team has nearly tripled in size since launch Note and watch “We have a lot of people working on the game on partner teams,” Kong said. “We want to be able to continually invest in this live gaming service. So, from a business perspective, this is not free.”

Kong noted that the team thought long and hard about the business model and how to keep things fair for everyone. The goal was to “be able to not only deliver a great experience at launch in October, but be able to consistently deliver content and experiences for years and years to come.” This is in the service of having the ability to give Watch 1 Players have what they want, which is to provide content continuously. We know, because the players told us, that’s what keeps them busy in the long run.”

New heroes, or at least requiring players to put in an unlimited number of hours to access the Battle Pass level that will unlock a new hero, has prompted fears from the community that Monitor 2 It will be pay to win. This perception is not aided by the fact that new heroes tend to be heavily outmaneuvered when they first appear, before changing the balance inevitably lowers their power level. The Note and watch The staff gave the impression that they put a lot of care into how these concerns were addressed.

For one thing, switching to 5v5 has brought about some major changes to many of the characters that exist as part of a different hero design philosophy. Team 4 wants there to be less focus on difficult counters, such as a DPS player turning to Cassidy to take on a tracker who’s harassing the backline. Cassidy won’t have a Flashbang to stun and kill the Drone so quickly Monitor 2while the likes of Zenyatta would be able to create a space for Tracer by kick her away.

In a blog postThe Note and watch The team said it wants to enable players to have a greater impact on games through a wide range of strategies and heroes. “We’ve made changes to reduce the number of challenging counters Overwatch has,” game director Aaron Keeler said in an interview. “We want the game to be more organic, we want people to have more impact, but we also want them to have more freedom in the hero they choose in any given situation.”

When a new hero is introduced, it will not be available in competitive modes immediately. Kiriko, for example, won’t make it to Comp for two weeks. Blizzard says this delay will help players feel comfortable with each new hero and have more time to earn them, while giving developers a chance to reset the balance.

“Because of this shift in the design approach to Heroes, we believe a new launch Monitor 2 Champions through the Battle Pass system are fair to our players, respect the competitive nature of the game, and align with our goal of supporting Monitor 2 As a direct service moving forward,” the blog post continues.

On top of that, most players don’t use that many heroes anyway. “The majority of players in Watch 1 You have the most playtime on two heroes or less, and you get 99.9% of the playtime for the majority of our players with 12 or fewer heroes,” Note and watch said Commercial Leader and Vice President John Spector. “They use two heroes for most of their gameplay, and then sometimes they’ll swap and they’ll add more heroes. And so when we go and say, ‘Will that really affect the gameplay experience if someone has 34 out of the 35 heroes?’ When we look at the data, We feel really confident that she won’t.”

As for the amount of time people in the free Battle Pass route will need to unlock heroes like Kiriko, Spector said, “We want those heroes to be reasonably achievable for people who play regularly. If you’re going to play for free and earn the hero this way, we want you to play the game regularly. During the season to get there.” The grinding could have been worse. The developers thought about putting new heroes at the end of the 80-level battle corridor, but in the end decided that was too harsh.

As I listened to the team give their explanations, I began to understand their point in the sense that they don’t see the adoption of new champions as a pay-to-win mechanic. I’m not a fan of the decision, but I get it. I see how this approach can work Overwatch 2, But making sure new champions are balanced fairly when they debut (or shortly thereafter) will be critical to keeping the playing field level.