Overwatch 2 Developing new Crossovers and bringing back On Fire Feature

31 Mar 2023

Featured: Overwatch 2 developers continue to try and make it up for a sluggish start and a problematic launch of the game nearly half a year ago. Presently, a lot of energy is going into figuring out what could be the next crossover event in the game, following the current process with One Punch Man that will end in April. At the same time, developers are listening to the community, which is why there is so much impulse behind bringing back the On Fire feature that marks out successful players in matches.

When the developers of Overwatch 2 announced that they are preparing a crossover event, the gaming public was immediately interested. As an original game with its own series, Overwatch has not been so far big on the introduction of other IPs into their realm.

However, the latest collaboration took place between Overwatch 2 and a manga heavyweight of One Punch Man. The decision turned into a big success with countless players enjoying this blending of fictional universes. Now, the developers are certain that new crossovers with greater variety will happen soon.

At the same time, the community of Overwatch 2 fans and professional players have something additional to look forward to. That is the re-introduction of the On Fire system for marking out the most successful players on a team. Both developments showcase a revitalized gaming ecosystem around Overwatch 2, which many have been waiting for since the game launched.

Overwatch 2 promo poster.

Source: https://news.xbox.com/

Overwatch 2 Era

Things were not going smoothly inside of the Blizzard teams working on Overwatch 2 after it launched late last year. While things like the in game shop and other essential elements worked just as well as they did in the first game, there have been other issues with server response times and similar technical issues.

These got ironed out after several months but there has been a strong sense that Overwatch 2 is on the back foot, especially in comparison to otherwise much smaller competitors like Rainbow Six Siege.

However, the present crossover event, combined with active work on an important new system that is familiar to the veteran players shows a different trend. This trend might prove crucial for the battle pass player interest in the coming months.

Crossover Events Potential

In the game development community there is presently little doubt that crossover events and activities are a win-win for everyone involved. Last year, Fortnite, one of the leading games in terms of these campaigns, did a crossover event with Rocket League.

Presently, it is doing one with the Attack on Titan, a massive anime and manga series that is both specific in terms of its visuals, but also hugely recognizable even to those who never watched it. It proved to be a huge success, while games like the Call of Duty series are presently working with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe.

Even very niche gaming domains, like the ones around Nintendo Switch are working on collaborations. In other words, every big global video game making plays for other IPs is now a standard feature of the industry.

All of this means that Blizzard has to dig deeper for any future update related to a crossover. Ideally, that will include some larger hero characters coming to the forefront, along with skins for the same unique heroes.

One Punch Man crossover promo poster.

Source: https://www.rivalry.com/

Player Progression System and Battle Pass

Along with the crossovers, developers at Overwatch 2 want to make the game feel a lot more rewarding. Events in the game now have skins that players can earn and the Battle Pass system comes with Credits.

Additionally, the team increased the amount of experience (XP) points that the players earn after matches. Finally, the developers are working on the new player progression system.

Thus, as the new system replaces the old player level system, Overwatch 2 should get a reimagined PVP experience. But, that might be more demanding than it first seems.

Dynamic of Support Heroes vs Offensive Heroes

Right now, the Overwatch 2 players in a match can basically be divided between offensive and support heroes. That means that playing the game breaks down into either pushing for the enemy base or supporting those who are doing it.

That core nature of Overwatch 2 might play a big role in the reintroduction of the old feature, which is the On Fire notification. It allows players to easily distinguish who is doing well in the game and apparently, Blizzard is working on returning the same feature to the game.

On Fire Feature

For the fans of the On Fire feature, the biggest benefit that it offers is the ability to signal who is doing well in a particular match. When a hero is performing well during the fight, the On Fire system would light up the same portrait while other heroes would comment verbally on their success.

This way, it was easy to track the effectiveness of players in a team without having to examine the statistics at the end of a match. It would work when a team takes off to ambush enemies, but in any other part of the match.

Now, Blizzard officially confirmed that the old feature will become the new feature in Overwatch 2. It will likely change in terms of visual and audio notifications, but the concept will remain the same as it was in the beginning of the original game.

Original Overwatch On Fire feature design.

Source: https://www.polygon.com/

Divide Community

Similar to many other moments where a big multiplayer game listens to the fan community, the picture with On Fire system has been mixed as well. Those who enjoyed it in the old game want it back.

Others are not so happy about it, saying that it was more of a gimmick than anything useful, as well as a system that rewards offensive players more. These players believe that a new scoreboard would be more applicable for the same purposes.

But, Blizzard found a middle ground here with a redesign and reintroduction of the On Fire system. More importantly, the developers are showing with crossover initiatives that the future of Overwatch 2 lies in building and expanding the game, not simply patching its initial problems.

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