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Overwatch 2's Game Director Aaron Keller and Lead Hero Designer Geoff Goodman have revealed substantial character reworks for Bastion and Sombra that have been made for the upcoming sequel.
As well as sporting a charismatic new cap and slightly streamlined design, Bastion will see a number of changes in Overwatch 2 to make the battle automaton play rather differently.
"For starters, he no longer has his Self-Repair button at all. It's just gone," says Goodman. "Instead, he now has a brand-new ability that's bound to alternate fire. This ability fires a projectile that can bounce off of walls and stick to players, and does a ton of damage, has a really big radius, and is super fun to fire."
Goodman then went on to explain that Bastion's Recon form weapon has also changed, with his machine gun arm now more precise as it won't feature any spread at all. However, to compensate for this, players will notice that the weapon's fire rate has been significantly reduced. Goodman says the changes mean that Bastion will now be able to "poke at much longer ranges and play a little more like a pseudo-sniper".
In Sentry form, Bastion will now also be able to move around the map. Movement in this form seems to be similar to that of the character's tank-based ultimate in the original Overwatch, although at a much-reduced speed. In an attempt to ensure that the mobility of Bastion's Sentry form doesn't make the character too overpowered, the developers confirmed that it will feature a cooldown so that players won't be able to use it all the time.
Perhaps the most notable change for Bastion comes with its ultimate. As part of a complete overhaul, Bastion's tank-based ultimate has been traded out in Overwatch 2 for a brand new artillery mode. When deployed, players will gain a top-down perspective of the map from which they can pinpoint three zones that Bastion will then rain down rockets upon.
For Sombra's rework, Keller says that her crowd control abilities have been reduced, and her potential damage has been increased. Sombra's key ability, Hack, now lasts for eight seconds and has a reduced three-second cooldown, but will now include two components to it.
"The first component of the ability works exactly like it does in Overwatch 1, disabling abilities," says Goodman. "However, that effect has been reduced to one second. The second component of Hack is a brand-new effect that reveals Hack targets to Sombra and her team through walls and it lasts the entire duration of the hack."
While this might initially seem to be a poor trade-off for greater crowd control options, Sombra's passive has gained the ability to do 50% more damage to hacked targets. If that isn't enough to convince players of this rework, it has also been revealed that the Sombra will now also be able to use Hack while in stealth mode. Although using the ability will briefly reveal Sombra to opposing players, she will then quickly re-enter stealth mode as opposed to removing stealth completely.
Similar to Bastion, Sombra has also seen changes to her ultimate. "For her ultimate ability, we tweaked it so it no longer removes all shields," explains Goodman. "But instead, it now just deals damage to enemies up to 40% of their current health. Combined with her new passive effect this gives her even more finishing potential."
With Overwatch 2 set to feature a number of other changes including a switch in team sizes from 6v6 to 5v5, fans will be eager to see how character tweaks and reworks create changes to the game's overall flow and pacing in the upcoming sequel.
At present, Overwatch 2 does not yet have an official release date. However, for more Overwatch news, make sure to check out this article detailing how Overwatch League's 2022 Season will use an early build of Overwatch 2.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.