One community manager on the official Blizzard Entertainment forums has clarified a few changes coming to the Support role in Overwatch 2.
AndyB, the forum community manager, replied to a post asking fellow players what supports would look like in Overwatch 2. Silawatsi published their thoughts on Monday, Sept. 13, wondering what niche the characters would occupy on the field. With the team count downsizing from 6v6 to 5v5, it's inevitable that some roles would need to be shifted in order to compensate for the heavier load. Supports could be among the most affected.
"Will they be guardian angels, or angels of death?" Silawatsi asked.
Overwatch 2 Support Role Changes Explained
AndyB answered only a few hours later. After a bit of time with developers Geoff Goodman and Josh Noh, two members of the Hero Design team, they had a few answers for Silawatsi and other eager fans.
AndyB answered Silawatsi directly, highlighting and answering certain parts of the user's original post with explanations from the development team. According to AndyB, there have been "a ton" of changes made to the Support role in Overwatch 2. Of these, they highlighted the removal of Brigitte's controversial stun ability, and mentioned more information around her rebalancing would likely be released in the future.
When it came to passives and self-heals, the development team has no plans to remove any associated abilities. Instead, the two will likely work in tandem to keep the support in the fight so the support can keep their team going.
"Abilities like Regenerative Burst and Biotic Grenade remain a powerful part of their respective hero’s identities," AndyB wrote, "and will be tuned to account for the passive self-healing abilities also available."
However, that doesn't mean they're invincible. The developers discovered that tanks dealt a huge portion of the damage during a match—meaning that the subtraction of one player from that role effectively cut the damage down considerably. This means that supports were "actually too effective at keeping the entire team alive."
They explained that, as a result, "[the developers are] testing a tuned down healing output across the board to ensure that teamfights still resolve in a way that doesn’t feel drawn out or frustrating to play against."
Regardless, AndyB indicated that the role would occupy the same responsibilities as it does in the current retail version.
"The playstyle of your favorite support heroes should feel familiar and similar to retail," they wrote.
There is still no confirmed release date for Overwatch 2.