In this article, we are going to be covering the high likelihood of Overwatch 2 new hero Kiriko might not being free, as new heroes for the game are probably going to be added to the premium battle pass.
Fans of Overwatch 2 may need to grind their way to the newest characters when it comes on October 4. The commercial head for Overwatch, Jon Spector, tweeted that “new Overwatch 2 heroes will be available on the free track of the Battle Pass,” suggesting that new heroes will be gated behind battle pass progression.
Overwatch 2 new hero Kiriko might not be free
Spector’s tweet appears to refer to a description of the Watchpoint Pack for Overwatch 2, a downloadable content package that offers purchasers a variety of perks like skins, in-game money, and access to the season 1 premium battle pass.
Addressing some incomplete info posted early about our Overwatch 2 Battle Pass – we'll be sharing all details ahead of launch, but want to confirm that new Overwatch 2 heroes will be available on the free track of the Battle Pass.
— Jon Spector (@Spex_J) September 8, 2022
According to the description on the Competitive Overwatch subreddit, Kiriko, the newest hero from Overwatch 2, is available to premium battle pass holders. (In a one-two punch of unintended information leaks, the most recent support hero was hinted at in earlier Overwatch 2 previews, but specifics were never confirmed until her identity leaked accidentally.)
Later, the information regarding Kiriko and the premium battle pass were removed from the description of the Watchpoint Pack. Spector’s tweet appears to clarify that new heroes would indeed be locked behind battle pass progression, but on the free track rather than the premium one, even though the original text has been deleted.
Since the beginning of Overwatch in 2016, new characters have been free and available right away. Overwatch 2 is making numerous modifications to the game, as sequels often do. In particular, the game is moving from a boxed retail model to a free-to-play model. Fans responded to Spector’s post by pointing out that other free-to-play games like Apex Legends and Valorant routinely gate heroes behind battle pass progression.
Fans on the opposing side of the argument, however, drew attention to the fact that, in contrast to Apex or Valorant, players in Overwatch are free to switch heroes midmatch and frequently do so in order to pick characters that counter the opposition’s heroes and composition. New heroes frequently become significantly more powerful as Overwatch is now, dominating all play tiers, especially the more competitive ones.
When Brigitte was introduced, she became the rock to Tracer’s paper. If your team didn’t field Brigitte in the Overwatch League and on the competitive ladder, your chances of victory were slim. Competitive players, therefore, suffer greatly when they are unable to use a new hero since they haven’t been unlocked.
Houston Outlaws player Dante “Danteh” Cruz responded to Spector’s tweet by saying that, while he is aware that such a feature is typical in free-to-play games, “you’re just at a huge disadvantage if you don’t play them,” because new heroes dominate the higher stages of competitive Overwatch.
understandable for a f2p system but kinda concerning considering how many new heroes have made extremely oppressive metas when paired with the right heroes. brig sigma and jqueen all made extremely oppressive metas where you're just at a huge disadvantage if you don't play them https://t.co/W7VhJvq2BY
— danteh (@danteh) September 8, 2022
Cruz and others have legitimate worries about the competitive viability of the game, but they only make up a small portion of the player community. People will target Torbjörn, Wrecking Ball, and Symmetra in quick play games, careless of people in the Platinum to Grandmaster rankings.
How new heroes will function in Overwatch 2 hasn’t been officially confirmed or denied by Blizzard. As long as Spector’s tweets are active, it appears to be at least a subtle assurance that battle pass-related hero unlocks will exist. Prior to the October 4th launch of Overwatch 2 on consoles and the PC, there will be additional details available.
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