What will supports look like in Overwatch 2?

We’ve gotten lots of info on how tanks will change to fit Overwatch 2 (thank you, AndyB!), and even some hints on changes that dps heroes may face.

Supports remain a mystery, however.


Will they be guardian angels, or angels of death?

The reason I originally fell in love with Overwatch was that agressive gunplay wasn’t the only path to victory. I like playstyles that focus on helping my team, and I enjoy the challenge of keeping my team alive much more than fighting enemies.

Overwatch scratched that itch, and even made it ​possible to carry matches by honing a defensive mindset - outplaying the enemy by countering their attempts to kill your teammates was just as viable as out-fragging them. And it was a blast!

The devs have previously mentioned heroes in OW2 getting more individual carry potential… but going by the balancing history of OW1, I wonder if “carry potential” is being used as a euphamism for “make every hero focus more on dealing damage.”

Are there any significant changes to how supports are expected to function/feel to play in Overwatch 2?


How will 5v5 and the new role passives affect support balance?

As I understand it, all of the post-launch supports were designed with a secondary healing ability (e.g. biotic grenade, biotic orb, regenerative burst), so they’d have some way to self-heal.

But in Overwatch 2, supports will passively self-heal when they’re out of combat. I’m wondering if that will affect the support’s old methods of self-healing: will abilities like Biotic Orb/Grenade and Regenerative burst stay the same in Overwatch 2, or are they being altered with the new support passive in mind?

There’s also the loss of a tank to consider. With less health bars to juggle, how does that affect single-target healers in playtesting?

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Unkillable annoyance.

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Really depends on the hero. I think for example, moira will be kinda bad because her main gimmick has always been AoE healing strong frontlines to rush down the enemy with lucio. Meanwhile mercy will probably be stronger because she is very bad to play with rush, which will be very bad in OW2. She also centers more around putting resources into the DPS like ashe, echo or pharah, and keeping the other support up.

I personally think, unless proven otherwise, that 5v5 was developed later in the games cycle, so all these support heroes were built with the intention of double tank comps. You have to account for new supports and reworks shaking up the entire role.

So we really can’t know until a beta or something. The best we can estimate is how supports would look in in OW1 5v5, which is nowhere near the same

I think they are likely to be more straight out dangerous in their own right.

You can’t have a tank acting as a bouncer, so double flanker will be super common. If they can’t fight back effectively, they won’t keep the support players, and moving to single tank to help with DPS queue times won’t help at all.

So, I expect they will have more close up damaging options to even up the fights with the flankers - even more so, since the DPS will be even faster in OW2.

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Well since there is only 1 tank majority of the time you dont need a main healer and can get away with brig zen into every comp. Heal botting will be even more punishing for players who dont know how to do damage.

I loved the defensive brilliance of Overwatch, especially for the golden era. Overwatch was a unicorn in the sense that a team shooter had the motor skills of a twitchshooter, but the cerebral aspects of Mobas/chess.

There will be, we will practically be able to forensically deconstruct how much time they had to change supports for OW2 by what we will see in the OWL teasers.

If they really needed more time, then we will see more offensive changes to support like Ana doing 110dmg. This is a feasible solution to the peeling issue, but it isn’t the best solution for most support players ideally. We don’t want to be dps-lites, we want strong defensive options for player agency. But giving us great defensive options in the 5v5 environment will take more time imo.

This is a very scary time for PvP players who have enjoyed the fine balance of offense and defense OW1 has offered. After the honeymoon period is over, quite a few supports will feel alienated if they go the offensive route for supports.

I wish they were more transparent for support changes like they were for damage and tanks. Our feedback would be very important.

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I imagine support-only playstyles will still exist, but there will be more required to make them as viable as they once were.

Such as bodyblocking damage for a critical teammate with your own self-heal to do-so reliably (Like Brig+) or creating self-healing distractions for your teammates to exploit (Like Lúcio+).

Supports will need to be more disciplined and more active, but I don’t think that necessarily means they need to be chasing kills to be effective.

I feel like supports should focus more on utility rather than just healing their team. So like symm’s teleport for rush comp, sombra’s hack for health pack denial, mei’s ice wall for singling out enemies, zarya like bubble for temporarly protection etc. They will all still have the ability to heal, but these utilities will be given to each support varying the playstyle.

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They’re gonna give em all cowboy’s gun or ashes rifle, nerf all the stuff that makes em fun and call it a day.

From what I gather from Andy’s posts, it will be more flanker oriented making the passive pretty worthless. You’ll also have to hard pocket the tank due to more brawling but less defense. No word on changes to long range burst damage. So sounds like complete hell for supports in general and even worse for low mobility supports.

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Probably more towards the Angels Of Death side of things from what we’ve seen so far.
Edit: makes perfect sense. Without the extra tank soaking up heals, the rest of the team gets big spilllover.

I’ve been seeing this question pop up quite a bit since our post last week, so I grabbed some time with Geoff and Josh from the Hero design and balance team this afternoon. Here’s what they had to say;

So far, we’ve not made a ton of changes to how the Support role works in OW2. There are some meaningful changes, such as removing the stun from Brigitte (more on her specific rebalancing efforts in the future), however for the most part the playstyle of your favorite support heroes should feel familiar and similar to retail.

As of now, we have no plans to remove self-healing from these heroes. Abilities like Regenerative Burst and Biotic Grenade remain a powerful part of their respective hero’s identities, and will be tuned to account for the passive self-healing abilities also available.

In our playtests, having one less tank made it clear to us that tanks generally contribute much more damage than they mitigate, even on retail. Because of the drop in overall damage being dealt out, Supports were actually too effective at keeping the entire team alive, so we’re 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.

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you are the hero, not one we wanted or deserve, but we needed anyways.

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Andy you are a blessing for this community, thank you for your time and commitement in these dark quiet times.

(By the sound of it though, Tank and Support jobs are about to be harder than they already were :grimacing: )

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Thank you for taking the time to communicating for us!

During the PvP stream back in May I had the feeling that Zen and Mercy were played very often, due to damage boost and discord orb. Is there a chance that these abilities are getting slightly nerfed? It was crazy to see how a Winston or Reinhardt got melted from a Reaper + discord orb on him.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply!

I think I speak for the entire overwatch community, when I say that I really appreciate that you guys are communicating with us!

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Isn’t this kinda based on the hero you play? Like I’m not sure you can pin the current batch as a whole into either/or…you get varying amounts of both depending who you play….not sure why that would change come OW2….it’s not like tanks where they’re kinda redoing the role

You understand that even with less damage, mercy’s healing for example, feels very anemic and bad at 50hps? Same for bap, unloading an entire clip into someone’s back in exchange for middling healing feels bad. It makes you feel impotent and unimpactful because the health values are the same.

It doesn’t make supports feel like active and powerful participants. Hopefully their utility will be buffed to compensate.

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Lol her armor replaced by some green goo looking thing, and removing also her stun. Seems like Brig is nothing like her character anymore.

If that “re-balance” is something along the lines of “She does more damage” (just like how they are treating Mei), I think I’m done with OW2.

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Idk but for me, longer more drawn out team fights are kind of fun. It feels more intense and gives more time to think about what to do and where I need to be going, rather than fast team fights where one side gets rolled over immediately and has to wait to regroup for another push. Time to kill needs to be increased imo.

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