It’s a brand new game, baby.

The rumors are true. Leaked last week by a former OWL player, the rumored Overwatch 2 Season 9 gameplay changes came as a shock. If the leaks patch notes were real, it would mean almost a full overhaul of how the game operates. Well, speculate no more, as Blizzard confirmed in a massive blog post today about the upcoming Overwatch 2 gameplay changes.

The development team stated three goals at the core of these changes, including:

  • Deliver a more consistent feel to firing and landing your shots on your opponents.
  • Lessen the impacts of burst damage to allow for greater counterplay.
  • Adjust where in-game healing and damage are effective to reduce stagnant team fights.

Does it pass this sniff test? Let's look at the major overhaul coming to the game next week.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 gameplay changes: Shot size

<em>Credit: Blizzard</em>
Credit: Blizzard

"When it comes to aiming as a mechanical skill requirement, even players with excellent aim often mention how it can feel random whether a shot hits or not," says the blog. And, boy, ain't this the truth. Anyone that's played Overwatch for more than five seconds knows that what you see and what you shoot aren't always equal. How many times have you been Hanzo'ed from a football field away, only to see the replay show that his arrow didn't even seem to connect?

A lot.

Here's the Overwatch 2 Season 9 projectile gameplay changes, in full:

  • +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)

What does it mean? Projectiles move faster. Or, according to Blizzard, they are "improving hit consistency by making both damage-dealing hitscan and travel time projectiles larger."

What else is in store for Overwatch 2 Season 9 via gameplay changes?

Health pools, improved

<em>Credit: Blizzard</em>
Credit: Blizzard

Most Overwatch heroes feel far too squishy--and I don't just mean Tracer. Not to pick on Hanzo, but we've all been one-shotted from full health before and it feels bad! To adjust, Overwatch 2 Season 9 will bring higher health pools based on HP ranges. This includes:

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

Blizzard states that all of this is to create more self-reliance in battle, allowing team members to function more autonomously and worry less about relying on someone else to keep them alive. "Changes to projectile size and health pools effectively reduce the impact of burst damage and tones down the relative strength of healing." Likewise, this will also make it harder to heal a player from 1HP to full.

Part of that autonomy comes from the new class passives.

A passive class

<em>Credit: Blizzard</em>
Credit: Blizzard

The long-rumored passive HP buff for all classes isn't quite what is happening with the Overwatch 2 Season 9 gameplay changes. Instead, we have:

    • Passively regenerate 20 health per second of not taking damage for 5 seconds.
    • Dealing damage reduces the target's healing received by 20%.
    • Will now begin regenerating health after 2.5 seconds.
    • Reduces knockback received. Less Ultimate charge generated by healing and damage received.
    • Increased health in Role Queue game modes.

That's a lot to take in, so don't feel bad if you're overwhelmed. The most interesting change has to be the DPS passive, which will now reduce healing. Are these changes shocking? Will they amount to making the game feel dramatically different? Find out on Feb. 13 when Overwatch 2 Season 9 launches.

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