Overwatch 2 And Other Blizzard Games Are Coming To Steam

Lucio, Tracer, Reinhardt, Brigittie, and Mei are seen looking out at a ship invasion.

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

If you, like many others, are very particular about which PC launcher you like to open to play your games and are partial to Steam, you’re in luck. Blizzard has announced it’s bringing some of its games to the platform, starting with Overwatch 2. So you won’t have to worry about keeping the Battle.net launcher that’s taking up precious hard drive space.

Overwatch 2 will debut on Steam on August 10, which will also make the game compatible with Steam achievements and your Steam friends list. While you no longer need Battle.net installed to play the hero shooter, you will still have to link to your Battle.net account, as is the case across all versions of the game. As for what other games Blizzard is bringing to Steam, the company says it will be “sharing more about potential other games coming to the platform when the time is right.” So sit tight, World of Warcraft sickos.

As a pretty casual PC player, this means very little to me as I already play Overwatch 2 on console. But it’s impossible to deny that PC game launchers are a hot topic for some people, as some folks like the ubiquity of having all their games, achievements, and friends in one ubiquitous space. Plus, it’s pretty frustrating juggling several accounts across different platforms that mostly do the same thing. Who’s thrilled about signing up for Bluesky and Threads when you’re already on the sinking ship that is Twitter? None of us, that’s who. The same applies to Steam, Battle.net, Epic Games, and some other PC launcher I’m forgetting about, I’m sure.

The Steam version will launch the same day as Overwatch 2’s first set of story missions, which will cost $15 to play, and will likely be the only set we get in 2023. If you’re at all interested in that and want to catch up on Overwatch lore before the plot finally moves forward, here’s a handy guide to pretty much every piece of extended media that tells you why everyone in that game is shooting at each other.

The Overwatch League As We Know It Is Dead

Things are looking dire for the Overwatch League (OWL), the competitive esports scene built around Activision Blizzard’s popular hero shooter, as the company laid off some 50 employees on July 18.

According to a report by The Verge, OWL’s fate after the current season, which is slated to end in October, is up to team owners. Later this year, owners will determine a new operating agreement or choose to terminate the league entirely, Activision Blizzard laid out during its Q2 earnings call on July 19.

“If the teams do not vote to continue under an updated operating agreement, a termination fee of $6 million will be payable to each participating team entity (total fee of approximately $114 million),” Activision Blizzard said.

The Overwatch League already has issues

This year’s OWL season was already fraught with various complications. One fan favorite team, the Chengdu Hunters, completely dissolved this past June after Chinese publisher Netease declined to keep Overwatch playable in mainland China, according to a June report by GGRecon. Meanwhile, other teams have switched countries. The Paris Eternal team moved to Vegas and Fusion went from Philadelphia to Seoul. As all of this happened, rosters were completely shaken up, with the Eternal adding three players who started right in the middle of the Midseason Madness tournament, OWL’s halfway point leading up to the Grand Finals in October. All this is to say that OWL was already in a pretty precarious place.

Now, though, things only look worse. In addition to the 50-person layoff, viewership isn’t what it once was, per The Verge. Still, OWL commissioner Sean Miller underscored Activision Blizzard’s commitment to esports.

“I want to be clear on one thing in particular, that Overwatch remains committed to a competitive ecosystem in 2024 and beyond,” Miller told The Verge. “And we’re building toward a revitalized global scene that prioritizes players and fans.”

Activision Blizzard’s esports senior director of global communications Brad Crawford echoed Miller’s sentiment to The Verge.

Activision Blizzard remains committed to OWL esports

And in an email to Kotaku, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson stuck to the same script as Crawford and Miller, confirming that esports is still important to the company, despite the layoffs and impending owner vote.

“We remain committed to a competitive ecosystem in 2024 and beyond and are exploring a variety of options that prioritize players and fans with a revitalized global scene,” the Activision Blizzard spokesperson said.

However, The Verge reported that impacted employees didn’t feel this commitment or support, with one former staffer saying the layoffs were “a complete shock to everyone” and no one was “offered any opportunity to switch roles or teams.” Many of the main faces of OWL, such as the casters, eulogized the seeming end of OWL online and thanked the league for all it did for fans and players.

It’s unclear, too, what Activision Blizzard support and commitment for OWL through 2024 and beyond will entail. And it doesn’t help that this all comes as the company admits player engagement and investment in Overwatch 2 is on the decline. Yeah, it’s really not looking too good.


Overwatch 2 Players Are Playing And Spending Less Now

Overwatch 2 is in a rough spot as Blizzard prepares for one of its biggest content drops yet next month. After a collection of bad news since its October 2022 launch, including the gutting of PvE content and charging $15 for story missions, Overwatch 2’s engagement and money investment has declined—despite the promise of more content on the horizon.

News of this comes from Activision Blizzard’s latest earnings report (thanks, IGN), which says that people aren’t playing the game or spending money in its store like they were at launch, but the team is hoping that changes with Season 6’s big content drop on August 10.

“While engagement and player investment in Overwatch 2 declined sequentially in the quarter, the Overwatch team is looking forward to the August 10 release of Overwatch 2: Invasion. This will be the largest seasonal update yet, planned to include new PVE Story Missions, a new game mode, and a new hero progression system as well as an additional hero.”

Decline in player engagement is natural for most games, even popular ones like PUBG. You get a lot of people playing at launch, then the sickos are the ones that stick around long after. But even if a decline in engagement is normal, Overwatch 2 still seems to be struggling right now. While the core game is still strong, everything that surrounds it has been annoying at best and extremely worrisome at worst. Since launch, players have taken issue with the grindy battle pass model replacing loot boxes, expensive cosmetic items, and new heroes locked behind the battle pass. And recent seasonal events haven’t felt substantial enough to keep folks around.

Those are just issues within the game—outside of it, Activision Blizzard is laying off people in the Overwatch League, and it looks like the game’s esports division may be in trouble.

Because I’m a clown, I still play Overwatch 2 almost daily, have completed every battle pass in each season, and even last night I caved and bought the $20 Lifeweaver Cleric skin. But I’d be lying if I said my enthusiasm for the game hadn’t dropped off significantly in recent months. Which is wild to say, because between Overwatch 2’s launch and Lifeweaver’s announcement, I was probably the most enthralled by the game I’d been in years. Hell, it might’ve had some issues, but the Pride event was also an example of the clear love Blizzard’s team has for this game. It just feels like it’s been marred by a lot of bad business decisions the team is still struggling to unravel.

What will be interesting to see is how Overwatch 2’s player count changes when the game comes to Steam on August 10. For a long time, Overwatch 2’s PC player numbers have been obfuscated by its singular availability on Battle.net, which does not reveal player count. Compare this to Steam, which shows concurrent player numbers, and we might get more sense of what the community looks like. This will, of course, not account for Battle.net players or those on console, but it will be some context for what Overwatch 2 player engagement actually looks like nine months after launch.

Overwatch 2 Is Getting A New Healer With A High Skill Ceiling

Unleash the power of the sun.
Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

On Tuesday, Blizzard released a new trailer for season 6 of Overwatch 2. Titled Invasion, the season will see players fighting against a legion of Null Sector omnics with the help of a new support hero named Illari, who unleashes the power of the sun in her giant rail gun.

While the fifth season of OW2 left a lot to be desired with its Dungeons & Dragons-inspired PvP mode and its take on popular hide-and-seek game mode Prop Hunt, the sixth season of the hero shooter looks to rein its focus back in on OW2’s ever-elusive story by putting its heroes on the backfoot against Null Sector omnics in a PVE event, adding two new PVP maps, and shaking the meta up with the launch of a new gun-toting healer who appears to have as high of a skill ceiling as Ana.

Illari will be Overwatch’s 38th hero, and in keeping with her Incan name (which means “sunrise”), she has a bunch of sun-infused motifs baked into her toolkit. Her rail gun, for example, which appears to have both hitscan and projectile-based attack modes, is seemingly powered by a sun-like ball of light she harnesses from the palms of her hands. Her healing ability, which is similar to Baptiste’s healing grenades, is a projectile that sticks to surfaces and shoots a beam of light to nearby allies. Her ultimate sees her fly in the air and blast enemies with a powerful ball of light. Basically, Illari looks to be yet another high-skilled healer on par with Ana in terms of how many things she can do while micromanaging healing her teammates and dishing out damage.


Read More: Sounds Like Overwatch 2 Isn’t Getting More Story Until 2024

The trailer also teases all-new story missions where a fleet of Null Sector bots, some as fast as Tracer and some as sturdy as Bastion, run amok in a city not for the sake of starting a war with the heroes but to liberate the omnics from their subjugation by humanity. Suffice it to say, the levels of property damage dished out by both Null Sector and the Overwatch team in their firefight are pretty high. But property damage be damned, I’m just happy to finally see more story content that isn’t non sequitur events like last season’s tabletop RPG-style plotline.

The latter half of OW2’s season six trailer blitzes through a bunch of new content coming to the game which includes:

  • Flashpoint: a new PvP mode
  • New maps: Survasa and New Junk City
  • Hero Mastery: a new game mode called where you can test your skills with characters like Mercy and Reinhardt in a battle simulation against bots
  • A new “underworld” co-op event
  • New omnic-looking hero skins
  • Overwatch 2’s anniversary event (can you believe it’s already been a year?)

Overwatch 2 season six will launch on August 10.


Overwatch Fans Worried Reaper Is Getting Deleted After Hoax

Overwatch 2: Invasion may be moments away from dropping, but the dominant dialogue isn’t about the new PvE mode, the new support player, or even the new map—it’s whether or not Blizzard is deleting Reaper. A viral TikTok sent players into a frenzy worrying about whether or not the staple character would be removed in the upcoming Invasion patch. Kotaku can confidently report that no, Overwatch 2 isn’t getting rid of a DPS character who’s been there since the original game’s 2016 release, and you should probably not believe a TikTok at face value.

An August 8 TikTok from KnockKnockOW, a self-proclaimed “guy who was [top] 500 in OW1,” shows Reaper gameplay with a picture overlay that appears to be an official Blizzard blog penned by game director Aaron Keller. The “blog post,” titled “A Farewell to Reaper,” reads:

Arriving with Season 6: Invasion we have made a very difficult decision with regards to Reaper. Due to ongoing development and balance considerations, Reaper will be removed from Overwatch 2. We understand that Reaper has been a staple of the game since its inception, but we believe this change will allow us to explore new and exciting gameplay dynamics while addressing some long-standing concerns.

The voiceover goes on to complain about a Sombra hack orb (which doesn’t exist) and a Roadhog movement ability (which also doesn’t exist), and wonders in an impressively flat deadpan how Blizzard can “keep getting away with this.”

“I’ve been making this satirical style Overwatch content for a while now, but I never expected to become ‘The Onion of Overwatch,’ KnockKnock told Kotaku via DM. “I usually make custom patches within the Overwatch Workshop and play them off as patches, sneaking the game codes into videos so observant viewers have a chance to play them. The Reaper one is particular isn’t even one of my more popular ones, so I’m surprised it’s blowing up as much as it did. I guess players just really love Reaper and were sad to see him go.”

This is so obviously a joke, and another example of silly, trolly TikToks spreading misinformation about Overwatch updates and reworks—like this one from July 1 that claims a Sombra patch was giving her an ability to spawn three decoys with 50HP each. Comments on that video include people lamenting Sombra’s “ruin” and yelling about Blizzard.


I didn’t even know about the Reaper rumor until last night, when one of my friends who I regularly play with asked “so are they really getting rid of Reaper?” (bless his heart) in the middle of a match. Luckily for him, I was a little stoned, and glossed over it, believing he was just saying silly shit. But when I logged on today and saw that there was a drastic increase in Google searches for “Overwatch Reaper removed,” I knew something was up.

Sadly, this is yet another reminder that media literacy is vitally important in this increasingly digital age when AI language processing tools like ChatGPT are being used to generate articles (to varying levels of, um, success) and misinformation flows freely. Reaper is still in Overwatch 2, guys. Chill.

Overwatch 2’s Latest Patch Buffs Tanks, Nerfs Damage Heroes

Overwatch 2 Season 6, AKA Invasion, is upon us, and with it, the new support hero Illari and a new game mode called Flashpoint. While the aforementioned new arrivals are exciting additions to the team-based hero shooter, any seasoned Overwatch player knows the real question is whether or not its tandem patch update will nerf your main into the ground or elevate them to new heights. If you’re a tank main, this patch is what you’ve been waiting for. Damage players, not so much.

Read More: Overwatch 2’s New Healer Could Be Your Worst Nightmare

Tank heroes got buffed overall

Doomfist, a tank that Overwatch 2’s developers acknowledged has been seeing more deaths on average compared to his fellow tanks, had his survivability increased, along with his seismic slam cooldown being reduced from 7 to 6 seconds and his power block reducing damage from explosive projectiles regardless of what direction he’s facing when hit.

The cooldown on D.Va’s boosters has been reduced from 4 to 3.5 seconds, meaning she’ll be able to bully stragglers on the enemy team even harder. And she is now immune to damage while ejecting out of her exploding mech for 0.4 seconds. While those seconds might seem insignificant on paper, that slim window of time means enemy combatants can’t damage her with a quick melee attack before a D.Va main like myself can collect their bearings and take control of a “baby D.Va.”

Here’s every other tank change:


  • Fusion Driver damage falloff range increased from 15 to 20 meters
  • Bonus health from Fortify increased from 75 to 125


  • Block now reduces damage from explosive projectiles
  • His ultimate now costs an additional 12 percent to fully charge


  • His base movement deceleration increased so he’s less flat when knocked back


  • His Tesla Canon’s recharge time has been reduced from 1.2 to 1 second and his recovery time has increased from 0.5 to 0.75 seconds. Basically, he’s a juiced monkey.


Read More: Overwatch 2’s Story Missions Are Good, But Not $15 Good

The attack heroes who got nerfed

While tank characters experienced an overall buff this season, attack characters were somewhat nerfed this time around. That is, unless you’re a Bastion main. Bastion got a lot of changes. So much so that my brain whirls just trying to compute how many bells and whistles this bird-loving bot can now use to wipe me off the map. Here’s a list of his changes that might make sense to Bastion mains:

A-36 Tactical Grenade

  • Maximum explosion damage falloff was reduced from 70 percent to 50 percent
  • Detonation time was reduced from 0.5 to 0.35 seconds
  • Recoil adjusted so it recovers quicker
  • The projectile size of bullets increased from 0.2 to 0.25
  • Impact damage increased from 15 to 30 (holy shit)

Configuration Recon

  • His reload time was reduced from 1.5 to 1.2 seconds, so he’s a lil faster now.

Configuration Assault

  • Transforming into Configuration Assault mode now repairs 50 of his armor health

Configuration Artillery

  • His targeting state movement speed increased from 20 to 25 meters per second

Cassidy’s health has increased from 200 to 225. His Peacekeeper damage was also reworked, making its damage falloff happen at 25 to 35 meters, and his Magnetic Grenade got its distance reduced as well to make him more of a mid-range hero.

You can no longer preserve your Storm Bow’s draw strength while wall climbing as Hanzo because it “often resulted in some frustrating behavior for enemy players” according to developers. They never outright say what that behavior is, which leaves me to believe that it’s being tilted.

Sombra’s ultimate now costs an additional 15 percent to fully charge because developers say her EMP frequency has been “a little too high,” and it will no longer cancel out Lifeweaver’s ult, Tree of Life.

Soldier 76’s Helix Rockets (those things players panic use to kill their opposition with ease) have had their damage reduced from 90 to 80 and his ultimate now costs an additional 10 percent to fully charge.

Torbjorn’s weapon swap time is slightly faster (0.5 to 0.4 seconds) and his recovery time from his Forge Hammer has been reduced (0.75 to 0.6 seconds). Additionally, the recovery time of his Rivet Gun has been reduced slightly, too (0.55 to 0.48 seconds), to make up for his turret damage being decreased.

Read More:  The New Overwatch PvP Mode Is Just What The Shooter Needs Right Now

Support heroes got a bit of both

If you’re wondering what has become of my support characters, their updates are a bit of a mixed bag. Here are their changes:


  • Her Biotic Riffle damage and healing have been reduced from 75 to 70
  • Her unscoped projectile size has been slightly reduced from 0 to 0.1 to help you heal allies and damage enemies


  • Her Barrier Shield’s health went from 300 to 250
  • Her ultimate, Rally, now costs an additional six percent to be ready to use


  • She no longer has knockback when she uses Protection Suzu
  • Her healing has been reduced from 50 to 40
  • She now heals an additional 30 of health when she’s having a teammate’s negative effects like poisons and whatnot
  • Her kunai damage increased from 40 to 45
  • Kunai recovery time reduced from 0.55 to 0.5 seconds
  • Kunai critical damage multiplier has been nerfed from 3 to 2.5


  • His health reduced from 200 to 175 but this shield health has gone from 0 to 50
  • The spread of his Torn Valley projectiles has been reduced by 25 percent
  • The healing from his Rejuvenating Dash has increased from 25 to 50 HP
  • Life Grip duration has increased from 0.45 to 0.75 seconds.
  • His ultimate, Tree of Life, now has 50 percent of its haling converted into Overhealth.


  • His self-heal with Amp It Up no longer has a penalty, which means he can survive longer while you wallride on the point to keep overtime alive.


  • Damage boost was reduced from 30 to 25 percent, so pocket-boosting nice teammates will no longer be as effective.

Overwatch 2 Steam Reviews Are Brutal, Say Porn Is The Best Part

Blizzard added first-person shooter Overwatch 2 to Steam on August 10 alongside its stacked Invasion chapter, and the game is already getting review-bombed to the lowest circles of Hell.

The contentious but, relatively, still tremendously popular shooter was previously only available to download for PC on Blizzard’s proprietary online shop Battle.net, which does not allow users to leave public comments. The game’s unwilted Steam page, then, which went up nearly a decade after the original Overwatch came out in 2016, is getting dirtied by years’ worth of unsaid rancor.

Overwatch 2 has, as of writing, over 42,000 reviews lending itself to an “Overwhelmingly Negative” rating (“11 percent of the 42,107 user reviews for this game are positive,” Steam offers sheepishly). The most popular review with over 25,000 “helpful” ratings is a declaration that “The people who make Overwatch porn work harder than the people who make Overwatch.”

Read More: Overwatch 2‘s New Content Drop Is Its ‘Broadest’ Ever, Blizz Says

The few popular positive reviews also commend Overwatch 2 for its porn; “Bad game, good porn,” says one well-liked comment. “Buen porno,” says another for the bilingual crowd.

OK, yeah, high-def cartoon porn is cool. Whatever. What’s wrong with the actual game?

Nothing immediate. Devoted players just really miss what they feel Overwatch used to be—a good shooter that didn’t constantly beg for your money with a battle pass. Though Invasion introduces a new support character, PvE mode, a free seasonal event mission, and much more, players are feeling too slighted by its pay-to-play system, which has been mostly lackluster since its 2022 introduction, to care.

“If you like collecting cosmetics, Overwatch 2 expects you to hand over your entire wallet,” one negative Steam review with over 13,000 upvotes said. “The game is fun, I still feel the experience I love so much in there, it’s just damaged by such intrusive greed I can’t recommend it to anyone.”

OW2 is a cash grab—a wicked attempt to generate more revenue on a popular game [Blizzard] made years ago,” says another sour Steam review.

Read More: Overwatch 2’s Story Missions Are Good, But Not $15 Good

Players are coping by delivering flippant one-liners and dramatic bad reviews. But can you blame them? They just found out that a $72 billion company that allegedly systematically harassed its employees has no scruples about making more money at the cost of consumers’ happiness. It’s almost unbelievable.


Overwatch 2 Is Steam’s Worst-Rated Game, But It’s Complicated

Overwatch 2 is, by far, the worst rated game on Steam, and developer Blizzard’s messy breakup with China in 2022 is, in part, responsible for it.

Many top-liked negative reviews are bitter posts written in simplified Chinese, though, most reviews, regardless of the language they’re written, share the same few gripes. They cite the first-person shooter’s highly unpopular battle pass model, which Blizzard added in 2022, and its good, but not as good as it was seven years ago PvE mode as the roots of their disillusionment.

All Steam reviewers are, clearly, taking the game’s brand new page as an opportunity to air out harbored resentment that its previous online storefront, comments-free Battle.net, wouldn’t allow them to set free. But this sudden opportunity to be vocal impacts China-based fans differently; not only does Steam allow those fans to more easily play Overwatch since service provider NetEase ended multiple Blizzard licenses earlier this year, but also, it enables them to say exactly how they feel about it.

Read More: Activision Blizzard May Have Pulled Out Of China Over Messy Miscommunication

In March, NetEase told Kotaku that its “recent negotiations revealed a clear misalignment between [NetEase and Activision Blizzard], both in commercial terms and in corporate values

“Therefore we decided it was not in our long-term interest to serve the short-term goals of Activision Blizzard’s current leadership or to deviate from our founding principles,” the company continued.

Sure, OK. But Niko Partners, which collects market intelligence for countries across Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, director of research Daniel Ahmad says on Twitter that Chinese gamers are nonetheless “upset over losing their accounts and ability to play on the national server, with no announcement of a return so far.”

“Complaints have mostly revolved around: […] lack of national server and existing game account, slow [log-ins] and poor online connection, [and] criticism over shutdown of national server and impact on gaming communities,” he said.

Read More: Overwatch 2 Steam Reviews Are Predictably Brutal, Say Porn Is The Best Part

Still, the throughline in the majority of Overwatch 2’s staggering (at the time of writing) 107,425 bad reviews is that players think pay-to-play sucks. Oh, and porn. The most highly rated bad review, with 56,948 “helpful” ratings, determines that “the people who make Overwatch porn work harder than the people who make Overwatch.”


Blizzard Responds To Overwatch 2 Review Bombing On Steam

On Friday, Overwatch 2 director Aaron Keller responded to the hero shooter’s Steam review bombing which led to the game becoming one of the most “overwhelmingly negatively” reviewed games on the storefront.

When Overwatch 2 season six, titled Invasion, launched earlier last week, it brought with it a new support hero, a new game mode, PvE story missions, and the free-to-play game’s debut on Steam, Valve’s popular PC gaming storefront. While the game’s Steam launch was supposed to give players another, potentially more convenient way to play the colorful team-based shooter, it instead led to an incredible influx of negative reviews. Though some players merely left reviews joking about Overwatch 2’s Source Film Maker porn-creation scene being better than the actual game, a majority of players voiced their disappointment with Overwatch 2 failing to deliver on its once-promised story mode.

Read More: Overwatch 2 Is Steam’s Worst-Rated Game, But It’s Complicated

Keller acknowledged OW2’s less-than-stellar Steam reviews in a recent blog post, saying:

…Although being review-bombed isn’t a fun experience, it’s been great to see lots of new players jump into Overwatch 2 for the first time. Our goal with Overwatch 2 has been to make the game more accessible than ever for more people than ever before.

Many of the reviews on Steam mention the cancellation of the much larger component of PvE that was announced in 2019 as one of their primary reasons for dissatisfaction with the game. I get that. That announcement was about an ambitious project that we ultimately couldn’t deliver.

If we can’t turn back the clock, then what can we do? We can keep adding to and improving Overwatch 2. That is how we move forward. This means more maps, heroes, game modes, missions, stories, events, cool cosmetics, and features—an ever-expanding, evolving, and improving game. This is the future of Overwatch. One where we will continually create and innovate on what is making the game great now for the players who are playing now.

Keller ended his remarks by noting that Overwatch is “such a unique game and world,” especially when players remember to actually work together on in-game objectives, and encouraged people to give the hero shooter an earnest try on Steam.


Overwatch 2 Nerfs Illari Into The Sun

It’s only natural that after Overwatch 2 heroes debut, Blizzard starts turning the knobs up and down to try and balance them out. Sometimes you’ve just gotta put something terribly disruptive into the game and see how the community reacts to know exactly how a character will affect the meta. That in mind, it’s now time for Illari, the game’s latest support hero, to suffer some major balance changes that will rein in all her raw power.

In its latest patch notes, Blizzard outlines the latest changes to Illari’s kit, most of which the studio says are in service of balancing her healing and damage output. When she first debuted, players (including us here at Kotaku) noticed she was less heal-oriented than her support peers, feeling more like a DPS hero who happened to have some healing abilities. With the tweaks, her utility hasn’t changed, but the numbers have shifted around so she can’t just passively heal with her placeable Healing Pylon and will have to rely on her secondary fire more often.

The Pylon itself is becoming much less durable too, with its shields decreasing from 75 to 50, making it easier to destroy. Its healing is also being dropped from 40 health per shot to 30. A lot of Illaris I’ve played with and against tend to set and forget the Pylon while it heals their team instead of doing active healing. So this change might at least incentivize players to use their secondary fire to heal while their Pylon is recharging after being destroyed.

The patch’s last major change is to her Ultimate Captive Sun. This ability sticks an explosive orb onto enemies that, when the afflicted hero is damaged up to a certain threshold, will explode and damage nearby foes. This can cause catastrophic damage to an enemy team, especially when paired with other high-damage, area-of-effect moves that can deal enough damage to ignite Captive Sun. Now, Blizzard has put a few new counters into the game. You can now block the initial Captive Sun projectile with barriers, as well as the explosion. So if one of your teammates gets got by Illari and her team, throw up a shield to defend yourself and others from the explosion.

On top of this, Blizzard is also decreasing the size of the projectile itself, which Lead Hero Designer Alec Dawson said on Twitter is a buff, as it allows aiming it with more precision and a lesser chance of it being blocked by barriers.

The full patch notes read as follows:

Healing Pylon

  • Shields decreased from 75 to 50.
  • Heal decreased from 40 to 30.

Captive Sun

  • Projectile Impact and explosion are now blocked by barriers.
  • Projectile size decreased from 1.5 to 0.75 meters.
  • Sunstruck duration decreased from 7 to 6 seconds.

“Illari has had a strong showing since her launch,” the patch notes read. “The following changes are meant to promote a better balance between healing and damage while adding more counterplay against her abilities. We are making the Healing Pylon weaker, as it’s often placed out of line-of-sight or at odd angles and isn’t being destroyed as often as we expect. Captive Sun ignoring barriers is not immediately intuitive, but we are also reducing the projectile size, so blocking or destroying will require more precision. Finally, the Sunstruck effect lasts too long to reasonably avoid the detonation damage threshold.”

All these changes come as Illari is unlocked for competitive play, as new heroes aren’t added into ranked games until a period of time after launch.

For more on Overwatch 2, check out our thoughts on the game’s new story missions.


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