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Is Blizzard Overwatch 2 PvE Cancelled? What You Need to Know About the Latest Changes That Disappointed Fans

If you are a fan of Overwatch and its lore, you might have been eagerly waiting for the PvE modes that Blizzard promised for Overwatch 2. However, you might also have been disappointed by the recent news that Blizzard has scrapped its original plans for PvE and pivoted to a different approach. In this article, we will explain what happened, what you can expect from PvE in Overwatch 2, and why this change might not be as bad as it sounds.

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What was the original plan for PvE?

Back in 2019, when Blizzard first announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon, they showcased a new mode called Hero mode, which was supposed to be the main PvE component of the game. Hero mode would feature long-term progression and skill trees for each hero, allowing players to customize their abilities and playstyles. Hero mode would also include story missions that would advance the plot of Overwatch and reveal more about the characters and the world.

Hero mode sounded like a dream come true for many Overwatch fans who wanted to dive deeper into the lore and experience more co-op gameplay with their friends. Blizzard also teased some of the hero talents that would be available, such as Reinhardt’s Fire Strike becoming a flamethrower, Tracer’s Pulse Bomb splitting into multiple bombs, and Mei’s Ice Wall becoming a ring of frost.

What changed?

Unfortunately, it seems that developing Hero mode was not as easy as Blizzard had hoped. In a dev chat on May 17th, 2023, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller and executive producer Jared Neuss announced that Hero mode was no longer happening. They explained that the team had created a lot of amazing content for PvE, but they could not deliver it in a Blizzard-quality experience that they could ship to the players. They also said that focusing on Hero mode was taking too much resources away from the live game, which they did not want to neglect.

Instead of Hero mode, Blizzard decided to pivot to a different direction for PvE. They said that they would still include story missions in Overwatch 2, but they would be part of the live game roadmap and released periodically as events. Some of these story missions would be canon to the Overwatch lore, while others would be non-canon and more experimental. They also said that they would still have some hero talents, but they would be more limited and only available in certain modes.

What can we expect from PvE now?

Blizzard revealed their current roadmap for Overwatch 2, which includes several PvE modes and events coming in the next three seasons. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Season 5: Questwatch, a new limited time event mode that lets players choose their own objectives and rewards; Mischief & Magic, a Halloween-themed event that features new enemies and cosmetics.
  • Season 6: The first major story-based event that will kick off a new story arc for Overwatch; a new support hero named Echo who can mimic other heroes’ abilities; Starwatch, a new mode that blends PvP and PvE elements.
  • Season 7: A new map set in Rio de Janeiro; another story-based event that will continue the plot of Overwatch 2; Winter Wonderland 2023, a festive event with new skins and modes.

Why is this change not as bad as it Sounds?

While many players might feel betrayed by Blizzard’s decision to abandon Hero mode, there are some reasons to be optimistic about the new direction for PvE. Here are some of them:

  • More frequent and varied PvE content: Instead of waiting for a big one-time PvE release, players will be able to enjoy more PvE content more often and with more variety. Blizzard said that they want to experiment with different types of PvE modes and events that will appeal to different players and keep them engaged.
  • More focus on the live game: By shifting resources away from Hero mode, Blizzard will be able to devote more attention and support to the live game. This means more balance updates, bug fixes, quality of life improvements, and new features for the PvP side of Overwatch 2.
  • More flexibility and feedback: By releasing PvE content as part of the live game roadmap, Blizzard will be able to adjust and iterate on it based on player feedback and data. This means that they can improve and refine their PvE offerings over time and make them more fun and satisfying for the players.

Overwatch 2 PvE might not be what we expected or hoped for, but it is not cancelled either. Blizzard has made a major pivot in their plans for PvE, but they have also shown their commitment to delivering quality PvE content that will enrich the Overwatch universe and gameplay. While we might miss some of the features that were promised for Hero mode, we can still look forward to experiencing more co-op gameplay with our friends and exploring more of the lore and characters of Overwatch in the upcoming seasons.

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