Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard held a Developer Update stream with game director Aaron Keller, who gave new information about how Overwatch 2 will change up its release pipeline. This includes addressing one of the biggest complaints around the hero shooter sequel: new heroes will now be free to all players without having to buy each season’s battle pass, just like they were in the first game.

This change will be implemented in season 10, which will introduce Venture, a new Damage hero (and Overwatch‘s first non-binary character). They will be the first Overwatch 2 hero to be available freely to all players at launch. This change will be retroactively implemented for previous heroes, meaning that all Overwatch 2 heroes from Sojourn to Mauga will be freely available to all players.

Heroes aren’t the only thing Overwatch 2 is making more readily available to all players. Mythic Skins, the customizable looks for heroes that usually act as the final reward at the end of a season’s battle pass, are getting their own shop tab in the game’s store. This will allow players to earn Mythic Skins from previous seasons, even if they missed them in the battle pass. Keller says the team will have more information on “how it works,” but looking at the image shown during the presentation, it looks like it might not be as simple as dropping money to unlock the skin and its customization options in full. Each skin is shown to have a “level” that may unlock through some means. We’ll know more as we get closer to the end of the current season on April 16.

Keller closed out the presentation with an extensive talk about how Overwatch 2 will handle maps moving forward. Some of this was pretty standard stuff, like releasing a new push mode map called Runasapi in season 11 that offers a glimpse into Illari’s backstory. Two more maps planned for 2024 are for the new Clash mode detailed during the team’s Blizzcon 2023 presentation. One of these will be playable during season 10 as part of a limited-time playtest. But on top of new maps, Keller also talked about plans to rework old maps similar to what the team recently did for Junkertown. Colosseo will receive a rework in season 11, and then sometime after season 12, Blizzard will be doing a season of map reworks rather than releasing a new map. The map list isn’t finalized, but Keller specifically pointed to Dorado, Circuit Royal, Havana, and Numbani as maps that might see changes.

Check out the full video below:

Blizzard Entertainment

Notably, Keller didn’t mention Overwatch 2‘s story missionswhich have been absent from the team’s updates since the first batch’s launch in August 2023. Speaking to Kotakuseveral ex-developers are worried these missions may not be released following the company’s layoffs in Januarywhich affected several employees working on that pillar.



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