Overwatch 2 Season 9 Brings Divisive Healing Changes, Competitive Revamp, More Tomorrow

Veloz Lamma

Overwatch 2 Season 9 Brings Divisive Healing Changes, Competitive Revamp, More Tomorrow

Overwatch 2 Season 9, entitled “Champions,” kicks off tomorrow, and while players won’t be getting a new hero, Blizzard is promising some pretty major under-the-hood changes. These include the controversial decision to give all characters passive healing abilities, as well as boosting heroes’ health stats and increasing the actual size of projectiles in order to make shooting more accessible. Competitive play is also getting a full revamp, with all skill ranks being reset. Before we go on to the rest of the details, you can check out a quick trailer for Overwatch 2 Season 9 below.

In addition to the changes noted above, players can look forward to the new “Cosmic Crisis” co-op event.

“Join forces with your teammates in a new non-canon Co-op event to complete challenges and branching objectives as you explore the unknown, making each mission you play uniquely different. Survive the Crisis as Sigma, Roadhog, Soldier: 76, Mei, Torbjorn, Widowmaker, Lifeweaver, Moira, Ana, and Illari. Work together to uncover the truth behind your crash landing and escape the mysterious threat that lies beneath the station at Antarctica Peninsula. But beware, because a traitor in pursuit of incredible powers may be in your midst!”

Here’s a bit more detail on the general gameplay changes coming for all heroes this season…

General Hero Updates

Most damage-dealing projectile sizes have been increased by a new modifier added to their base size.

  • +0.05 meters for hitscan projectiles with a high rate of fire or spread (e.g., Tracer’s Pulse Pistols or Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns).
  • +0.08 meters for hitscan projectiles that are more precise (e.g., Cassidy’s Peacekeeper or Soldier:76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle).
  • +0.05 meters for travel time projectiles that are shotguns or have a very high rate of fire (e.g., Roadhog’s Scrap Gun or Ramattra’s Void Accelerator).
  • +0.10 meters for travel time projectile with a speed greater than 50 meters per second (e.g., Zenyatta’s Destruction Orb).
  • +0.15 meters for travel time projectile with a speed less than or equal to 50 meters per second (e.g., Pharah’s Rocket Launcher).
  • Very large projectiles with a base size greater than 0.5 meters have been excluded from these increases (e.g., Orisa’s Energy Javelin or Reinhardt’s Fire Strike).

Hero combined HP (base health/armor/shields) increased by 15-25%.

  • 150-175 HP heroes increased by 25 HP.
  • 200-300 HP heroes increased by 50 HP.
  • 300+ HP (Tanks) increased by 75-100 HP.

Ultimate Charge

  • All Ultimate ability costs increased by 10%.

Regenerative Passive for All Heroes

  • All heroes now regenerate 20 health per second after 5 seconds of not taking damage.

Support Role Passive

  • Now reduces the delay before regeneration begins by half (2.5 seconds).

Damage Role Passive

  • Reload speed bonus on elimination has been removed.
  • New role passive: Dealing damage reduces enemy healing received by 20% for 2 seconds.

Quick Melee

  • Damage increased from 30 to 40.

Every hero in the game is receiving some tweaks, but Pharah is receiving a major update, designed to make her more able to make plays on her own, rather than having to rely on Support heroes.

“Pharah’s Hover Jets passive has been reworked to limit her time in the air, with fuel being recharged only while she is touching the ground. To compensate for this large change,  Pharah has more speed and acceleration while in the air, allowing her to traverse between areas quicker. Jump Jets also now provide bonus fuel (50% of the total tank) and that overflows if you hit 100% fuel. So, while there are moments of downtime introduced, Pharah players will have much more control of where they want to be on the battlefield during that time in air.

Pharah also has a new ability called Jet Dash. When Pharah uses Secondary Fire she will dash in the direction she’s moving. When combined with Concussive Blast and the enhanced mobility from Hover Jets, Pharah can quickly navigate herself into positions where she’s highly lethal.  This more active Pharah means a healthier game and offers new levels of skill expression. We’re looking forward to your feedback on these Pharah changes.”

Overwatch 2 Season 9 will include the usual battle pass and array of cosmetics, including some Valentine’s Day goodies, and some changes to the Junkertown map. Of course, the update will also include the usual array of bug fixes and minor tweaks – you can check out the full Season 9 patch notes here.

Overwatch 2 can be played on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Switch. Season 9 kicks off tomorrow (January 13).

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