Blizzard Entertainment staff sat down for a live stream on Friday that discussed numerous subjects related to the Overwatch 2 beta, including its April 26 public release date and early impressions of the alpha build. While the stream only lasted about 45 minutes, it was the longest update on the game since game director Aaron Keller acknowledged the team has fallen short on communicating about the state of the game.
#Overwatch2 PVP Beta is coming April 26.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 18, 2022
Alpha talk and hero changes
When the stream began, the desk included Keller, Overwatch League host Soe Gschwind, commercial leader Jon Spector and lead hero designer Geoff Goodman. The group first focused on Overwatch 2 as a live service and addressing criticism from fans still skeptical about the company’s promise of communicating more to the public.
Keller specifically mentioned two core values at Blizzard: putting the game out when it’s ready and keeping the game alive and fresh. With Overwatch 2 and its predecessor, those values clashed, and the team decided to put all of their focus into Overwatch 2.
This left the original Overwatch in a limbo state with no new changes or heroes. Keller claimed the developer video and this stream were first steps to build the trust they lost by going silent about the state of Overwatch.
As for the alpha, they said the experience has been typical with most early builds of any game: it is unbalanced and in need of improvements. Spector confirmed that the players in the alpha ranged from Blizzard employees, to their friends and family to Overwatch League players.
With feedback from audiences with a wide range of experience with the franchise, the team has already put out two patches within a week. These mostly addressed the power of off-tanks, including Doomfist, who has moved to the Tank role. Another big change involved all stuns and slows in the game shifting to tanks.
Beta coming on April 26
Along with news that the beta is a little more than a month away, the team also confirmed that the current beta site will be updated with an FAQ section. Beta participants will be chosen based on a myriad of things, from their PC builds to their skill rank. The panel said this will all add up to a very wide range of data the team can learn from.
As for console players, the team also confirmed that while PC will get the beta first, they consoles won’t be left out forever.
To end the stream, the team acknowledged the lack of gameplay shown while reminding the audience about the alpha’s early state. Considering much will change within the next month, more details concrete details will be saved for the coming weeks.
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Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.