Director’s Take – Looking Ahead To Season 4
Season Four starts in just a few days! Over the past week, we've revealed a lot about what's coming next Tuesday and beyond. There's a lot to look forward to and I’m going to go a little more in depth on some of the pieces that we've already revealed.
One of the biggest releases of Season Four is our newest Support hero, Lifeweaver. If you'd like to see more about Lifeweaver, you can find his trailer here. I'll wait while you watch it… :)
This hero can do quite a few things that are totally new to the game: some, like his Petal Platform, we've been talking about since before the original game shipped! His wildest ability is Life Grip, where Lifeweaver can grab an ally and pull them to his location. It happens almost instantly, without any confirmation from that player, and it can have a huge impact in a fight. The first thing that many people question when they see this ability is whether it could be used to grief teammates. It can, but it can also be used to save them or to set up even bigger plays. Teamwork—including depending on and trusting your allies—is crucial to Overwatch combat. It's possible to use different abilities in ways that don't always have a positive outcome for your team: think of Mercy using her rez at just the wrong moment. We’re always looking for opportunities to evolve Overwatch, and to give players new ways of interacting with the game. When creating new heroes, we want to pursue abilities that make them feel powerful as well as let teams work together in ways that they never could before. Sometime this causes a little friction, but we think it's worth it. If you want to practice this ability, jump into the new B.O.B and Weave game mode, where you can use Life Grip to position your team’s B.O.B. It’s a whacky mode, but a total blast!
Lifeweaver is the fifth new hero for Overwatch 2. The following hero, slated for Season Six, will also be a Support. Before Lifeweaver, there were eight Support heroes in the game: three less than the Tank role and a lot less than our Damage role. We think that this gap is too large, and we'd like to start correcting it. However, we don't want to abandon either of the other two roles. We probably won't stick to an exact formula, but we'll be shooting to release roughly 2 Supports to every 1 Damage and Tank hero.
We're releasing a new game mode in Season Four called Starwatch. Players take the side of a Watcher or an agent of the Infinite Empire. It’s a lot of fun and takes a page out of Junkenstein’s book, in that it tells a story that is set outside of the Overwatch universe. Who knows… if players enjoy Starwatch, it would be great to be able to expand this story in the future. One of the things that I'm most excited about with Starwatch is that it introduces some PvE elements into a PvP match. Turrets are placed for the Infinite Empire and Doomfist will play alongside the Watchers. We've been talking about game modes like this lately and would like to explore them more. We've done experiments like this before. The Archives missions were design and technology testbeds to allow us to start creating the upcoming Story Missions for Overwatch 2. I'd love for us to think of Starwatch in the same way; the first step into something bigger and more ambitious that we could be doing for the future.
Pride is coming to Overwatch this year! I'm so excited about this, and I'd like to briefly touch on why.
This is an important subject for us. It's easy to get called out for talking about a fictional character's queerness without the proper setup, or to get accused of adding inclusivity for the wrong reasons. We've always thought of Overwatch as a game that portrays a bright, hopeful, and inspirational future. The world is a diverse place. We would not only like Overwatch to reflect that, but we want players to be able to see a part of themselves in our game. To have it showcase who they are. We’d like Pride to feel like it's being recognized and celebrated within our game world. Before June, we will share how we are celebrating Overwatch 2’s first Pride, and we will also share the values that drive this team every day to bring our game’s vision to life.