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Fans are baffled by Blizzard's Overwatch 2 Season 9 self-healing plans

There's no "I" in team

Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller announced plans for self-healing passives on all Overwatch 2 heroes, and fans aren’t happy with the prospect. The news comes from Blizzard’s first director’s take of 2024, where Keller discussed his desire for Overwatch 2 to remain a team-based multiplayer game that people can play together, before outlining plans to reduce the importance of team support.

In Overwatch 2 Season 9, Blizzard will give all tank and damage heroes a reduced version of the self-healing passive perk that support heroes have now. That means that, outside of combat and with no enemies around, your Reinhardt or Sombra will start healing on their own. The goal is reducing frustrating situations when team members in the support role don’t actually support, so rather than dying while the healer is off doing who-knows-what, heroes can sustain themselves alone.

Those situations are, indeed, quite frustrating, though it’s also hard not to see them as problems Blizzard created itself. Overwatch 2 is gradually moving away from distinct roles that encouraged players to stay in their lane, so to speak, and it emphasizes movement and damage from every hero, regardless of their role – hence Junker Queen essentially being a beefy DPS and Illari prioritizing damage over healing.

“Tell you what, the continuous gradual deconstruction of everything that made Overwatch 1 excellent in Overwatch 2 is certainly something — not the worst idea but also feels like another decision that will continue to damage what makes Overwatch unique,” one Twitter user wrote.

“So they're giving heroes a CoD heal then?” another said. “So like, this is just a shooter now.”

Other comments followed similar, if slightly less pleasant lines of thinking.

"Never let bro cook again," one user said in response to Keller's post.

"Respectfully, do you even play your own game," was another.

While the self-heal change will probably smooth out some of those annoying teamplay issues, it’s another step away from what the game started life as. Blizzard took a reactive - sometimes a too reactive - stance on fixing Overwatch 2's problems since it launched in 2022. If the feature is a disaster, you can probably expect Blizzard to alter it or even remove it entirely at some point in the future. 

Meanwhile, Blizzard is testing another future change during the weekend of Jan. 12, 2024, a tweaked version of quick play where everything happens faster.