Overwatch 2's redemption arc begins with free heroes for all as Blizzard lays out its plans to 'give the game a regular heartbeat' this year

PC Gamer

Blizzard is finally rethinking one of the most controversial changes in Overwatch 2. Starting in season 10, new heroes will no longer be on the battle pass or need to be unlocked.

New players will still need to unlock the original Overwatch roster first, but every Overwatch 2 hero will be free going forward.

In the latest developer update video, game director Aaron Keller described what 2024 will look like for the hero shooter, and how Blizzard plans to "give the game a regular heartbeat." That starts with free access to the entire roster of heroes, including new DPS hero Venture, when season 10 begins next month.

The season will also introduce a new way to get previously released Mythic skins, Overwatch 2's customizable cosmetics that unlock at the end of each premium battle pass. A new "Mythic Shop" will let you unlock specific color or model variations for Mythic skins from season 1 through 7. Future Mythic skins will be added to the shop two seasons after they debut.

Keller said the specifics of how it'll work will come later, but footage of the shop page suggests they'll have "levels" to unlock via a new type of currency with a triangular icon. Curiously, he mentions "upgrades", which could mean there will be new color schemes to unlock even if you already own them. Valorant has a similar upgrade system for its highest tier of gun skins.

Overwatch 2 ranks - Tracer

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
Season 10 kicks off a year of changes that would've made Overwatch 2's original launch a lot less bizarre, but are welcome now all the same.

Additionally, you'll now earn Overwatch 2's premium currency, Coins, on both the premium and free battle pass. A total of 600 Overwatch Coins can be earned for free from the battle pass and weekly challenges—which will "be more flexible to fit with your playstyle" and will reward battle pass XP.

Season 10 kicks off a year of changes that would've made Overwatch 2's original launch a lot less bizarre, but are welcome now all the same.

Here's what's coming to Overwatch 2 this year:

  • A limited time playest of new game mode Clash at the start of season 10
  • A new Push map set in Peru, called Runasapi, coming in season 11
  • A rework of Push map Colloseo in season 11
  • A season focused on existing map reworks "sometime after season 12"

Keller said another video will go out before season 10 that will cover updates to competitive mode grouping restrictions, "disruptive player behavior", and "player anonymity."

The 2024 plans come across like Blizzard trying to create a clear identity for a sequel that's struggled with consistency from the start. Before the recent PvP overhaul, it felt like Overwatch 2 lost more than it gained after replacing the original game. Heroes and cosmetics came with a price tag and its ambitious PvE plans were ditched.

Whether it was forced by the massive layoffs at Blizzard earlier this year or the plan all along, Overwatch 2's new roadmap seems like it's scaling down on brand new additions, and instead refocusing on improvements and changes its most dedicated fans have wanted from the start. New PvE missions might not be a part of it, however, but a healthier core game could set the foundation for bigger things down the line. Even if it's too early to call it a success, it's definitely a promising start.

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