Overwatch 2 Giving All Heroes Healing, Director Promises More “Context” Regarding Decision

Veloz Lamma

Overwatch 2 Giving All Heroes Healing, Director Promises More “Context” Regarding Decision

Another day, another blowup over Overwatch 2 changes. In a recent blog discussing balance changes coming in Overwatch 2 Season 9, Blizzard revealed that all heroes will soon be given passive healing abilities. That certainly raised a lot of eyebrows, considering Overwatch already has an entire class of characters – the Support heroes – dedicated to healing. Blizzard claims the change is designed to reduce “damage spikes” during combat, although some may argue the cost of achieving that is too great.

“In Season 9, both Tank and Damage heroes will get a modified, tuned-down version of the Support self-healing passive. This should give non-Support players more options in terms of sustaining themselves. It should also take some of the pressure off Support players to keep everyone alive since individual players now have more control of their own health pool. In Overwatch, there is a constant tug of war between the power of a team and the power of an individual hero or player. A change like this shifts that balance a bit. This is something that we are constantly evaluating. We still want Overwatch to be defined by team strategy and mechanics, but we feel this can be pulled back a bit now and possibly more in the future.”

Needless to say, this change was not received well. Not long after the blog post went live, Overwatch 2 director Aaron Keller took to X to insist that the healing change will make more sense once all the balance changes planned for Season 9 are revealed…

“Clarifying a few things with the self-heal. It’s one part of a much larger set of changes coming to the game in S9. Internally we’re talking about, and targeting some of these changes at damage spikiness in game, the role of DPS in securing kills, and the strength of healing. It was a mistake to talk about this lone change out of context, since its a part of a much bigger set coming to Season 9. Sorry for that, and I look forward to more discussion around S9 balance changes when we drop more details.”

Will this all make sense in context? Maybe! But recent Blizzard history of baffling decisions doesn’t fill me with confidence. It seems self-evident to me that giving everyone powers once assigned to a specific role won’t help with strategic balance. Would Tanks still be as useful if every character had a big shield? Of course not. But I guess we’ll see.

Overwatch 2 can be played on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Switch. Season 9 should launch in mid-to-late February.

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