There’s no ‘I’ in team, and soon, there may be no team in Overwatch 2

Heroes attacking an evil robot
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Recently, Blizzard has announced a few changes scheduled to take place in Overwatch 2’s Season 9, but there’s one potential feature that has support players up in arms. 

In a Director’s Take blog post, the Blizzard team outlined its development values and what it hopes to achieve in the coming seasons. Touching on how Overwatch 2 is predominantly a team-based competitive shooter, strengthened by recent additions like the ping feature, which can point out objects or players to your team, or the spawn together feature. More mechanics that aim to improve said teamwork have been discussed, like a team mini-map, backfill improvements, and Party Frames, which let the entire team see each other's health bars.  

While most of these ideas sound like solid ways to help teams in Overwatch 2 work more cohesively, there is one update that may take things too far. The Director’s Take also mentioned how, in Season 9, DPS and Tank heroes will be getting a “tuned-down version of the Support self-healing passive.” There’s no telling how much of an impact this upcoming mechanic will have on matches, but the hope is that it will alleviate support for players and give other heroes more opportunities to peel off from the team. As if health packs haven’t existed since the very beginning of the competitive first-person shooter’s release.  

Leave no hero behind 

Ana shooting enemies with her rifle

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

As an Ana main, I find this shift to DPS and Tank self-heal slightly hypocritical as it’s come in the wake of some serious support nerfs, which has transformed the once-great sniper into a shadow of her former self. There have been some significant changes to Ana’s abilities, decreasing the time of the effect of her Biotic Grenade from 3.5 to 3 seconds, Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds, and the damage and healing per projectile reduced from 75 to 70. 

While this may not be easy for newcomers, it is what makes this shooter so interesting

While I agree that support characters should dish out less damage, even if it makes them a better target for flanking DPS heroes, the Biotic Grenade and healing projectiles are integral to Ana’s kit and how she keeps her teammates alive. If Blizzard wants to improve the healing aspect in Overwatch 2, then playing with various ways to make it easier for support heroes to do their jobs would be helpful. Whether this be improving high-skill support heroes' healing capacity or mobility. Regardless, it should be higher on the list than simply giving Tank and DPS characters a passive heal ability. This change may be the easier way out, but it also erodes the team aspect of the team-based shooter. 

Overwatch 2, and its various classes and how they interact with one another, is a fantastic feature that demands relatively high levels of skill and a decent understanding of the first-person shooter. While this may not be easy for newcomers, it is what makes this shooter so interesting. 

Hopefully, the heal passive for DPS and Tank heroes won’t impact the role that supports play out too much; it’s tough out here as it is without Genji coming for our jobs. As it doesn’t seem like there will be a test period for this upcoming feature, it looks like we’ll have to wait and see what the outcomes will be with our fingers crossed in hopes it’s not too bad. 

For more great competitive shooters, check out the best FPS games that are available to play right now. 

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.