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Overwatch 2 dev says revealing controversial healing changes without context was “mistake”

Last week, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller caused controversy among players by revealing major gameply changes that’ll see tank and damage heroes receive a “modified, tuned-down version of the Support self-healing passive” in Season 9 – and Keller has now admitted it was a “mistake” to make the announcement “out of context”.

In his original announcement on the Overwatch blog, Keller explained the changes – part of a wider gameplay overhaul intended to reduce ‘frustration’ when teams aren’t working together – should “give non-Support players more options in terms of sustaining themselves” and “take some of the pressure off Support players to keep everyone alive since individual players now have more control of their own health pool.” The idea, he explained, was to shift the balance “between the power of a team and the power of an individual hero or player.”

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Since that announcement, there’ve been concerns among the Overwatch community that the changes might fundamental undermine the team-based spirit of Overwatch, while others have worried the shift may risk making Support characters redundant.

Overwatch 2 added 39th hero Mauga in November last year.

In response to that outcry, Keller (thanks IGN) has now admitted, “It was a mistake to talk about this lone change out of context, since it’s a part of a much bigger set coming to Season 9.” Self-heal will arrive alongside adjustments focusing on “damage spikiness in game, the role of DPS in securing kills, and the strength of healing,” he added, before apologising and noting, “I look forward to more discussion around S9 balance changes when we drop more details.”

This is hardly the first controversy to blight Overwatch 2, of course – last August it earned the dubious accoalde of becoming Steam’s worst reviewed game of all time, with reviewers highlighting a lack of content, pricey cosmetic skins, and balance issues – but hopefully Keller can at least temporarily calm community nerves when he fully details the team’s planned changes for Season 9 ahead of its arrival, likely in a little over a month’s time on 20th February.

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