Overwatch 2’s fourth season is bringing a lot of new content and events to the hero shooter in mid April, and just based on what Blizzard’s teased, there’s a lot to look forward to and possibly be wary of.
What are Overwatch 2’s season 4 events?
In the season’s trailer, Blizzard teases not only Lifeweaver, the game’s newest support hero, but limited-time events that will bring new skins and modes to the game. Lifeweaver is the star of the show this season, however, and will be available either immediately through the premium battle pass or unlocked through the free battle pass as soon as the season starts on April 11. As soon as Lifeweaver is available to the public, Overwatch 2 will add a limited-time event called B.O.B. and Weave. In this 3v3 death match mode, two teams of three all play as Lifeweaver in a while both groups have a B.O.B. (an omnic mech usually only seen as Ashe’s ultimate ability) on the field as an assist. Using his Life Grip ability, players can pull their respective B.O.B. around the map as he rains down bullets on the opposing team. The event ends on April 25.
On the 25th, the seasonal event will change to allow players to have it out on Talantis, a fan-made Control mode map Game Director Aaron Keller and Art Director Dion Rogers made with a Twitch chat back in December. The map will be playable in the Arcade menu until May 1.
Next up is a PvP mode called Starwatch: Galactic Rescue, which riffs on Overwatch characters in a non-canon setup similar to the Halloween Junkenstein event. It will be restricted to specific characters who get their own skins in the battle pass (some confirmed playable heroes include Lucio, Winston, Mercy, and D.Va.) and will take place on a reworked version of the Horizon Lunar Colony map. Many Overwatch 2 players haven’t seen this map in a minute. While it and maps like it have been accessible in custom games and Arcade modes, the sequel did away with the original game’s two-point capture maps like Horizon Lunar Colony as part of the game’s usual quickplay and competitive rotation. On top of the new mode and cosmetics, Blizzard is releasing a Starwatch comic that will detail the alternate universe versions of Overwatch’s heroes. The event will run from May 9 to 22.
Read more: What Your Overwatch 2 Skin Says About You: Brutal Callout Edition
The last new event will be the Symettra Challenge, which will allow players to unlock the legendary Gardener Symettra skin from May 23 to 29. While most of season four is new content, Overwatch 2 will bring back a previous event with the Battle for Olympus mode, which will be featured from May 23 to 29. This was just featured as part of season two, so if you missed this free-for-all mode before, there’s a second chance to play through it. I thought it was pretty meh, but it will at least be a chance to get some event cosmetics you might have missed.
Following all this, Blizzard plans to hold the game’s first-ever Celebrate Pride event starting June 1. Though details are scarce, the trailer shows Progress Flags flying on the Midtown map. After the hero shooter has existed in a state of plausible deniability regarding its queer characters for years, it’s nice to see Overwatch 2 really acknowledging its queer players and queer characters like Lifeweaver and Baptiste.
What’s in Overwatch 2’s Season 4 battle pass?
While the events are all well and good, those are temporary. Cosmetics are forever. Season four’s customizable Mythic Skin goes to Sigma. The Galactic Emperor skin will be obtainable at the end of the season’s battle pass, which leans into the season’s Starwatch theme. The skins featured in the Starwatch mode seem to make up a lot of the unlockable cosmetics this time around and lean into a dark sci-fi aesthetic. But there are still some skins that will be available in the rotating shop, such as a terrifying Zenyatta skin that makes him look like a creepy doll.
What are the balance changes in Overwatch 2’s season four?
As far as balance changes go, Overwatch 2 has a few pretty significant tweaks coming to key heroes, especially in the support role. Mercy is getting some tweaks to her mobility to make her more flexible for skilled players. Moira can now Fade and move quickly during her ultimate ability Coalescence, making it possible to make more tactical plays rather than just shooting a giant beam of healing and damage. But the biggest changes seem to be coming for Brigitte, whose Rally ultimate is getting a significant revamp.
The live version of Brigitte’s ultimate gives her increased movement speed, as well as gradually giving surrounding allies some extra health. Starting at the beginning of season four, Rally will give Brigitte an instant boost to her own health, a wider shield with a larger health pool, and when she uses her Shield Bash move while ulting, it will stun enemies as it did in the first Overwatch. With a shield of this size, it looks pretty easy to stun multiple enemies at a time if your positioning is right.
Brigitte is my secondary support main, so any boost to her capabilities is a plus in my book. But this does have the potential to be pretty disruptive. Crowd control and stun attacks like Brig’s original Shield Bash were either altered or removed from most hero kits at the launch of Overwatch 2 in order to make the game more frantic and fast-paced. Now, most of these attacks are solely wielded by Tank characters. This means Brigitte has a lot of play potential most supports don’t have. The other exception to this is Ana, who still has her Sleep Dart that temporarily knocks enemies out.
It remains to be seen how this will affect the meta, but some players are already wary of returning to a time when Brigitte was considered an essential pick in competitive games. Overwatch 2 has changed a lot from the original game, but Brigitte has a lot of baggage for some veteran players, with some considering her to have been the hero who broke the game when she arrived at the scene. It even escalated to the point where toxic players harassed the character’s voice actor.
The full balance patch is as follows:
- Armor health reduced from 300 to 250
- Base health increased from 175 to 200
Developer Comment: Reinhardt has been overperforming after the recent increases to his offensive capabilities. Those changes have been playing well, so to adjust his overall power, we’re reducing his overall health through this armor reduction.
- Impact damage reduced from 60 to 40 (80 damage total with explosion)
- Knockdown duration increased from 0.8 to 1.1 seconds
Developer Comment: Like Roadhog’s Chain Hook, Sigma’s Accretion and primary fire combo can be highly lethal and can feel like a guaranteed kill against 200 health targets. We’re reducing the damage slightly to require an additional volley of primary fire but are also increasing the stun duration to provide allies with more opportunity to follow up on successful impacts.
- Base health reduced from 225 to 200
- Damage reduced from 131 to 120
Developer Comment: Magnetic Grenade only requiring one additional primary fire shot after sticking to a target was too reliable to execute on, even though it only works at close range. We’re reducing the total damage on Magnetic Grenade, evenly split between the direct target damage and explosion. The reduced falloff-damage buff his primary fire received recently enables Cassidy to play from safer engagement ranges now, so we’re reducing his health back to 200.
- EMP can now disable Blizzard
Developer Comment: We are expanding what Sombra’s EMP turns off to keep it consistent with how it affects other device-controlled ultimates.
- Maximum duration on Tank heroes reduced 30%, from 5 to 3.5 seconds
Developer Comments: We’ve been watching how effective Sleep Dart has been in 5v5 gameplay. It hasn’t been overly disruptive as a whole, but since it is significantly more reliable to land against Tank heroes due to their large hit boxes and even more valuable to do so with only one tank on the field, we’re reducing its maximum duration against those targets.
- Brigitte now gains 100 restorable armor health pool for the duration of Rally
- Brigitte no longer gradually builds temporary health like her nearby allies
- Rally now upgrades her Barrier Shield, increasing both its size and health
- Barrier health increased from 300 to 750 during the ultimate
- During Rally, Shield Bash now impacts multiple enemies and briefly stuns them
- Bonus movement speed reduced from 30 to 15%
- Range reduced from 30 to 25 meters
Developer Comments: Rally lost some of its power with the change from granting allies additional armor to temporary health, and overall took a relatively long time to build up its defensive benefits. This rework is intended to keep it as a defensive ultimate ability but with a more immediate impact due to gaining an increased armor health pool upfront and the enhanced barrier, which can be utilized to block for teammates while their temporary health builds or interrupt enemies with the stun.
- Healing-per-second increased from 45 to 55
- Healing is no longer increased for allies under half health
- Cooldown reduced from 2.5 to 1.5 seconds
- Jump and Crouch cancel active ability state duration increased from 1.0 to 1.5 seconds
- The Jump and Crouch cancel active ability state can no longer be manually interrupted to begin the cooldown early
- Support role passive healing is now active for the duration of Valkyrie
Developer Comment: The recent increase to Guardian Angel’s jump-cancel mobility still needs to be kept in check in some way, but while the last iteration was simple, it also had some unintended effects, such as not being ready to use GA again after flying in and using Resurrect. This revision provides more flexibility, and allows Mercy to opt into an additional 1.5 second cooldown when using the increased mobility from the jump/crouch cancel options or otherwise waiting for the base cooldown time.
The increased healing multiplier condition on Caduceus Staff was intended to help Mercy players feel more agency in trying to save critical-health allies and to add depth to the healing mechanic without changing the total time to heal to full health. However, the overall rebalance of the healing values received significant negative feedback, both from those playing as Mercy and those playing against it. There wasn’t a satisfying middle ground where we could reduce the potency of this effect while still having it feel impactful, so we’re reverting it.
- Can now be activated during Coalescence
- Bonus movement speed reduced from 50 to 40%
- Lingering heal duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds
Developer Comments: Being able to use Fade during her Coalescence ultimate gives Moira more playmaking ability by being able to reposition even more quickly and avoid potential threats with quick reactions. Due to the more spread-out playstyle of 5v5, we’re increasing the lingering heal duration from her primary fire, meaning it will heal more in total.
If you’re still behind on your Overwatch 2 season three battle pass, you still have a few days to get as far as you can before the season ends on April 10.