No need to shout Reaper Reaper Reaper anymore? Well… maybe
The countdown to Overwatch 2 is already underway and slowly but surely fans are getting more information. In their latest blgpost, Activisoin Blizzard have announced significant changes to the way ping works in Overwatch.
If you have seen (and more importantly, heard) the comms of an Overwatch League team, it is very likely you will hear players shout one hero’s name. The consistent need to draw attention to focus on one hero, or to alert teammates about a hero’s flank or unique position in Overwatch will not change with the new game. Blizzard devs have brought about some changes to the game that will benefit casual and ranked players. We still expect OWL comms to be similar to OW1.
This is a core value at Blizzard, and the Overwatch team wanted to personify this value in our game. We wanted to create a system that would enhance voice communication as well as provide alternative ways to share information with your team,” says systems designer Gavin Winter. “One of our goals was to augment speech and give people a way to visually interpret voice communication. We also wanted to support all voices and create a system to communicate for players that would prefer to avoid voice chat.”
What are the ping changes in Overwatch 2?
“With the press of the button, you will activate a contextual ping depending on what you’re aiming at within your line of sight.”
Let’s say you have muted your teammates in matchmaking. While you are bereft of their toxicity, you will also lose out on valuable comms which usually point out the location of the enemy heroes. These comms also detail strategy at times and muting voice comms is both a boon and a loss.
In the new game (Yeah, it’s Overwatch 2), players can use the ping to point out specific opponent heroes. This means if a Tracer pings on the enemy Genji, the game will show a visual ping on Genji.
This visual ping will remain on Genji as long as the DPS hero is visible (or in line of sight). If Genji moves away from the line of sight, the visual ping will remain on his last known location. This is a useful quality of life change for heroes that can quickly change position, such as Reaper, Genji, Pharah, Widowmaker etc.
Is the Overwatch 2 Ping system better than Overwatch 1?
“It’s a more accurate, clear, and understandable way of communicating rather than hearing someone yell, ‘Reaper behind,’ or, ‘Reaper, Reaper, Reaper!’
The ping will be stuck to the hero as long as he is in line of sight. So if Reaper teleports from one location to another, completely visible both times, then the ping will shift to Reaper’s new location.
The ping shifts with Reaper as long as he is visible before and after the teleport. Image Credit: Blizzard.
Improvements in Reply Pings
Yes, reply pings also have significant improvements, wherein you can use pings such as calls to go, or reply yes or no to someone else’s ping. You can also ask your teammates to group up which will activate a ping at your location.
“We are hoping this system will help with toxicity in-game,” says Winter. “If you don’t like a person pinging so much, you have the option to turn the ping system off through block or squelch for that specific person. We do have heavy spam protection right now that we are open to adjusting, but we really want to see what works best for the community.”
This is definitely a signficant quality of life improvement in Overwatch. However, the game is yet to be revealed to the public and Overwatch fans are eagerly waiting for any news or glimpses of Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 is currently in closed Alpha testing, which means only a select few, mostly Blizzard employees have access. More recently, Blizzard opened the closed alpha to a few select content creators, pros and streamers. The beta version of the game will release in April and feature a new hero, a new game mode and four new Multiplayer maps.