Biggest highlights of March 18 Overwatch 2 developer livestream

We now have a confirmed beta start date and a new tank to look forward to.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Last week, the Overwatch development team announced a closed beta for Overwatch 2, giving concrete information to fans after numerous delays and lapses in communication.

Taking things one step further, developers held a livestream today that confirmed the beta’s start date and also gave insight as to how internal testing in the Overwatch 2 alpha is proceeding.   

Overwatch 2 lead game director Aaron Keller joined commercial lead Jon Spector and lead hero designer Geoff Goodman in a conversation with Overwatch League host Soe Gschwind to give fans more information about upcoming communications, alpha hijinks, and how the beta will proceed.  

The most important news out of the livestream is a confirmed date for the Overwatch 2 closed beta: April 26. Players can sign up at PlayOverwatch.com to be considered for beta access. 

Much of the livestream was spent discussing how the Overwatch 2 closed alpha–populated by developers, Blizzard employees, Overwatch League players, and other select members–is shaping up. 

A key part of the alpha revolves around hero changes and reworks. Doomfist enthusiasts should be prepared to enter a new era when Overwatch 2 launches since the damage hero has now been reworked as a tank with a leap for initiation, according to the developers. Goodman confirmed he does less damage as a tank than in his current base game form.  

The announcement of five-vs-five competition led some players to believe that main tanks would be the wave of the future. Goodman, however, noted that off-tanks seem to be stronger in the alpha. This could result in some balance changes to main tanks.  

Goodman and Keller were open about the number of balance changes required to tune up heroes, which have been called “overpowered” by some alpha players. According to Goodman, an alpha patch went through on March 18 to address some of these issues. 

Overwatch League players joined the fray in the alpha a little over a week ago and the developer team has enjoyed seeing them tackle “something they’ve never played before” in the form of Sojourn, the game’s newest hero

As balance changes settle over the next month, Spector noted that the team is looking forward to sharing full information about reworks, such as Doomfist’s updated tank kit. 

Until then, however, players will just have to mark their calendars for April 26 and hope for that elusive beta invite.