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A lot of tanks

Of course, I’m excited that Overwatch 2 features some new hero looks inspired by “technical wear” and “techy fabrics” such as cowboy McCree, who is now waterproof by serape. But Blizzard’s plans to shake up the tank role in PvP by transforming them from beefy damage sponges into aggressive brawlers are what I’m really into.

Blizzard delved into how they want to “change the tank role entirely” in Overwatch 2 in their ‘behind-the-scenes’ presentation at BlizzConline, and “try to make them more toe-to-toe brawlers, and less characters that just stand back and protect other people”

Blizzard turned to hammer-swinging Reinhardt as one major example of how this role tweak is being experimented with. They’ve given him two Fire Strike charges, allowing him to chuck harmful fireballs far more often. Plus, its charge is easier to direct, and mid-animation can be cancelled. Their hope is that more often than just being the guy with a shield, he is able to “unleash his full arsenal more often than just being the guy with a shield”

Blizzard turned to hammer-swinging Reinhardt as one major example of how this role tweak is being experimented with. They’ve given him two Fire Strike charges, allowing him to chuck harmful fireballs far more often. Plus, its charge is easier to direct, and mid-animation can be cancelled. Their hope is that more often than just being the guy with a shield, he is able to “unleash his full arsenal more often than just being the guy with a shield”

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However, I strongly appeal to the idea that Reinhardt’s Charge may feel less like steering a cruiseliner, and more like a, err, fishing vessel. And canceling the animation is also a cool change, as it would remove the overwhelming risk currently presented by pressing the Charge button. Finally, without fear of plunging headlong into death’s clutches or leaving my team completely wide open, I could break free from the shackles of being the shield-bot of my team, and dive into the fray.

Game director Jeff Kaplan makes it clear that these changes may not be made, but they are trying to embrace the instinct we have as players, that it should feel aggressive if we want to play a “big, burly character that looks aggressive” Listen to Jeff.

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