Emotional Support Healer
In Overwatch 2 beta 5v5 matches, players with a single tank often assume the “off-tank” role, meaning they play as tanks without shields. The Orisa (which was the main tank in Overwatch 1 with a foldout shield) has moved into the off-tank role thanks to a major overhaul that makes it much more aggressive and diving. As such, it’s a popular choice for tankers looking to test their new skill set – and it’s a ton of fun, so I understand its appeal. The same is true for Doomfist, which has undergone a major overhaul that moves him from DPS to defender (although he’s another hideous tank).
Only one tank slot and two major Overwatch 2 modifications go to tanks outside of tanks, which leaves DPS and player support vulnerable to enemy flanks. And since the 5v5 Overwatch is so much faster, with far more deaths than its predecessor, it means supports have a seemingly insurmountable feat that pops overhead at the start of every match. Faster matches and more deaths mean your squad’s eyes are on the supporting players tasked with healing. But without the shielding tank protection to give them the necessary cover, slower support players like Zenyatta and Ana can easily be eliminated.
If you’re not playing a hypermobile healer, you’ll spend most of your matches jumping into combat to try and heal DPS and one player, all three of whom dive into fights with reckless omission, only to be flattened as no one is protecting you. It’s a frustrating way to play, and it comes from someone playing a hypermobile healer.
Supporting the supports
Blizzard doesn’t ignore requests from support players for help, but it’s hard to imagine how anything other than a major overhaul will fix the healing. All healers in Overwatch 2 can now passively regenerate health, something only Grace can do in Overwatch 1 – but a bit of passive healing doesn’t make much difference when you’re hit by Doomfist, Widow, and The Streak simultaneously.
Healers have been practically ignored in Hero Updates in Overwatch 2: Brigitte’s Shield Bash has been buffed as it no longer stuns enemies, Baptiste’s healing has been increased, Ana and Lucio have been weakened. There have been no major rework like Doomfist or Orissa for any of the support characters, which only makes players feel even more left out. In last blog updateBlizzard admits it has “observed Support Heroes feel too vulnerable to flanking and flanking attacks with fewer shields and without a second tank focusing on protecting them.” The blog post suggests that “the most effective way to solve this problem is to add exciting new Support Heroes to the game,” but as this is a much more long-term perspective, Blizzard plans to come up with ways to refresh skills for existing Heroes that may come in the next Beta Test.
And even after I finished writing this introductory draft, Blizzard made changes to poor Zenyattta, which suffers most in 5v5 format. The latest Overwatch 2 patch notes don’t give Zen any shield or better mobility, but weirdly add a passive melee kick ability to him. Now Pushes back enemies it connects to, as does Lucio’s hum. As this Reddit user shared, it’s amazingly OP, so at least it will help Zen make some space between him and any melee foes.
But as long as the team builds consist of one player outside of the tank and aggressive DPS, many random healer players will suffer in Overwatch 2. As I wrote in my Overwatch 2 beta, “a meta dive that had an early Overwatch in a vise-like grip. returns. “And without a shield tank to protect our asses, support players are doomed.
Do you want to try the game for yourself? Here is a guide to How do I get into the Overwatch 2 beta?.