Blizzard Entertainment has released many shorts over the years that build on the lore established found in its games. Overwatch got its fair share of them, but it’s been almost four years since the last one released, which centered around Cassidy and Ashe. Blizzard remedied that by debuting a new animated short based on the upcoming hero, Junker Queen. This short also came alongside a whole lineup of Overwatch 2 updates and a detailed roadmap of Blizzard’s plans for the free-to-play game after it launches on October 4.
Junker Queen and the Upcoming Slate of Heroes
The Wastelander shows Junker Queen, whose name is Odessa “Dez” Stone, on her journey to become the actual Junker Queen in a gladiatorial arena (which also has short cameos from Junkrat and Roadhog). This expands on her backstory in the origin story animatic that also released in conjunction with Blizzard’s stream.
The stream in question also went over her abilities that have only been teased thus far. She’s an aggressive tank that uses her axe and knife, both of which are different abilities. The former appears to just have a regular axe swing, while the knife throw will pull the stuck enemy toward herself when she calls it back as if it were a serrated Mjölnir. Her melee attack also does more damage and wounds enemies (which seemingly is Blizzard’s term for a status effect that keeps the enemy from healing). Her other normal ability is a shout that boosts the speed and armor of her nearby allies. Junker Queen’s ultimate shooters her in a straight line, wounding all she comes into contact with, which, as appears to be the case with her melee swipe, lessens the healing they can receive to zero for a limited time. Some of these moves drain enemy health and increase her health, as well, but Blizzard didn’t spell all of that out just yet.
The Roadmap and Beta
Junker Queen is a part of the game’s roadmap that Blizzard also detailed. There will be new heroes every other season and maps in between each hero, in addition to a steady flow of new cosmetics. This will include the current lineup of cosmetics like skins and voice lines, but there will be some new ones, too, like thumbs up and down emotes, first-person weapon inspection emotes, banners, and weapon charms, in addition to a new tier of skins.
This Mythic tier will be the highest tier and the stream showed off one of these for Genji. These skins can be further customized through different pieces. For example, the Genji one can have one of a few different tattoo patterns. All the cosmetics will travel across systems since it has cross-platform progression and they’ll all be found in the in-game store, battle pass, or given as a reward for completing weekly challenges.
Each season will be nine weeks and will begin on October 4, which will bring three new heroes, six new maps, over 30 new skins, a battle pass, the first Mythic skin, and another game mode. Season 2 will then start on December 6 and bring a new tank hero, map, over 30 skins, another battle pass, and one more Mythic skin. It looks as though getting a hero every other season and map in between those drops will start after it launches, given how the first two seasons both have a new hero.
There will be two new supports and a tank in the first few seasons. The new support was hinted at in the release date trailer and will seemingly involve some sort of animal spirit. The heroes beyond that will be a mix of characters players have seen in the story before as well as ones that haven’t shown up in the lore yet.
The new beta will have some of this when it opens on June 28. And unlike the last beta, it will be on consoles, too. It will have the Rio de Janeiro map and Junker Queen as a playable hero. The beta signups are now live on the game’s website.
The Long-Awaited PVE
And while PVP has been the focus, Overwatch 2 also has PVE, which is way down the roadmap in 2023. Blizzard’s comments during the stream weren’t as detailed, but there will be PVE map drops in the PVP seasons. It will further the lore and show how Overwatch comes back together. Players can also use the gear earned in the competitive multiplayer in the co-op mode.