The second beta test phase for Overwatch 2 has been running since yesterday evening. Selected players can try out the PVP part of the shooter again until July 18, but there are some changes compared to the first beta . And Blizzard is also causing renewed criticism – it would be difficult to imagine anything else by now.
Beta is starting now – with luck or for money< /h2>
While the first PVP beta was only available for Battle.net on Windows from April 26th to May 17th, 2022, this time Overwatch 2 is also available on PlayStation and Xbox consoles try out. Again, however, it is a closed beta test, so only pre-registered players are allowed to participate with a bit of luck. At least for now, because bit by bit Blizzard wants to invite more players; on July 15, all registered interested parties should be granted access.
The fact that players can then only take part in the test phase for three days doesn't make much sense – but this is explained if you take into account that Blizzard is presumably not just about testing, but about selling Beta access: The publisher offers impatient gamers the Watchpoint Pack, which costs around 40 euros and gives immediate access to the second beta after purchase.
The bundle also includes the Legendary Edition of Overwatch 1 and will be expanded at the launch of Overwatch 2 with the Premium Battle Pass for Season 1, two legendary skins for Cassidy and Reaper, 2,000 units of premium in-game currency and a profile picture. The included currency can also be used to purchase the premium version of the Battle Pass in the following two seasons.
It is not surprising that the comparatively high price for a game that most interested parties already own and that has recently been available for half the price is causing criticism in the Overwatch community. However, the community isn't only bothered by this monetization of the beta test phase: players who pay a total of 15 euros to selected Twitch players during the second beta test phase will receive a legendary skin for the support heroine Brigitte. After the elimination of the loot boxes, Blizzard seems to be extremely creative when it comes to new sources of income – it remains to be seen whether the monetization will degenerate like in Diablo Immortal.
With new heroine, new look and many balancing adjustments
In terms of content, the second beta test phase offers the first playable new tank heroine Junkerqueen, which was only presented at the beginning of the month as part of the Summer Game Fest 2022. In addition, a new hybrid map is available with Rio de Janeiro, and there is now a new look for the base skins of all heroes. However, friends of the classic designs can still use them, they remain as skins. In contrast to the first beta test phase, cosmetic content can generally be used this time; As announced, players will carry their inventory from the first part.
Meanwhile, you can still only play Quickplay in 5v5 mode, both role selection and unlimited play are available. However, Blizzard notes that the games are now run using ranked rules, meaning there are rounds on hybrid and payload maps. The two-point cards known from Overwatch 1 will no longer be available in Overwatch 2.
A lot has also happened in terms of balancing. For example, with the passive ability of all Damage heroes introduced with the first beta to run a little faster than heroes of the other two classes: the ability has been removed, instead Damage characters retain 30 percent of their ultimate charge when changing heroes. In addition, the playtime in the new Push mode has been extended and Orisa and Symmetra are undergoing major changes. These, like all other adjustments, can be found in the patch notes. The changes are based on Blizzard's detailed analysis of the first phase of beta testing.
Technical innovations include the introduction of an optional dynamic render resolution with adjustable target FPS, a visual overhaul of the ping system and the newly introduced statistics overview and new atmospheric surround sounds on all maps. However, the system requirements are still low.
One event and another beta are waiting for the release
Overwatch 2 will be released on October 4th, 2022 as a free-to-play game. Overwatch 1 will end on that day and will no longer be available, which is currently being discussed again – but this has actually been known for a long time. Meanwhile, the third planned remix event in Overwatch 1, which replaces the otherwise held Summer Games, is pending release. Most likely there will also be a third beta test phase, which is expected to start at the end of August or beginning of September.