Blizzard Entertainment developers took to Reddit on Wednesday to answer questions from the community about Monitor 2the free semi-sequel to the hero shooter which will be released in October. Surveillance 2 the developers, including game director Aaron Keller, answered burning questions about Blizzard’s next game, like what will happen to your existing credits and unopened loot boxes in Surveillance – but left a few questions unanswered.
Here are five things to know about Monitor 2especially if you are an existing Surveillance player.
What happens to your existing Surveillance Currency and loot boxes?
The short answer is that all of your unspent currency will roll over to Monitor 2, and all of your unopened loot boxes will automatically be opened for you in October. What is unclear is what you will be able to spend the old Surveillance currency activated, if you have already unlocked all cosmetic items from the original game.
“We will share a more detailed explanation on all these topics before Monitor 2 will go live in October,” Jon Spector, Chief Business Officer and Vice President of Overwatch, said on Reddit. “To give you a quick answer now, these existing currencies (Credits, OWL Tokens and Competitive Points) will accompany you in Monitor 2. We don’t turn loot boxes into Monitor 2and before launch, all unopened loot boxes will be automatically opened and your account will receive all content directly.
Spector later clarified that “OW1 the credits accompany you for OW2but our new virtual currency will be the main currency, and there will be things in OW2 which will not be purchasable with those OW1 credits.”
What has the Overwatch team been doing for three years?
When Monitor 2 launches in “early access” in October, players will have access to three new heroes (Sojourn, Junker Queen and an unannounced support character), a variety of hero reworks, six new maps, a new game mode called Push, a bunch of new cosmetics and the game’s first battle pass. This launch content has given some die-hard fans a boost Surveillance players to ask, “Is that it?” After all, it’s been almost three years since Blizzard announced Monitor 2 and over two years since the game’s last hero, Echo, was added to the roster.
Here’s what game director Aaron Keller had to say when asked about the surprisingly low number of new heroes on day one:
“For context, the development of Monitor 2 was initially split between the PvE and PvP parts of the game, and the way it was planned was to complete most parts of the game once the game was ready to ship,” Keller said. “To be clear, there is no secret chest of completed heroes and other content that we are saving for future seasons. As we continued to iterate on the PvE side of the game, this meant that the content schedule and PvP features was longer. Many PvE features, such as enemy units or hero talents, use the same team resources as heroes. For us, it is more important to start shipping content as soon as possible rather than delaying the release of the game in order to create more heroes. This is also the reason why we are so excited about moving to F2P and releasing content on a seasonal basis, namely to publish the content when it is finished rather than saving it to put it in a box.
“In order to achieve our new long-term plan, we have expanded and restructured the team. We are more than three times larger than when we launched. We have big plans for the game beyond new heroes, maps, and game modes, and accomplishing them while creating content for our seasons requires a lot of resources and a lot of planning. For example, we have several heroes deep in development. The Season 2 hero is almost complete, and we are at various stages of testing for the next 3 heroes, 2 of which are supports!”
OK, so what’s going on with Monitor 2 PvE missions?
Whereas Surveillance was strictly a multiplayer game, the sequel will bring story-driven, mission-driven single-player and co-op content with it. Blizzard’s plan is to launch the PvE side of Monitor 2 in 2023, and the developer didn’t share much about the game’s other half during its Reddit AMA.
However, Keller noted that Monitor 2 will launch in “early access” to “indicate that this is just the start of many new things to come to the game”, and that the PvE campaign will be released as part of Blizzard’s live service approach.
“We’re not ready to talk about our PvE plans yet, but it’s really important for us to make sure people understand the lore and the stakes,” said Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, lead narrative designer and writer on Monitor 2. “We are working on new bios and have other extremely interesting projects that will surprise even long-time fans of the lore.”
Gavin Winter, systems designer for Monitor 2also hinted that some technologies developed for the game’s PvE campaign component could make it easier to replace Assault-style maps in Monitor 2, which disappear in the sequel. (In case you haven’t kept up with the times, maps like Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, and other “2CP” maps won’t be playable in the base game modes of Monitor 2with Blizzard citing player dissatisfaction with assault maps.)
Blizzard is studying guilds for Monitor 2
Overwatch, as is, is not a particularly social game. But that can change.
“We are looking to add more social systems to Monitor 2, and a guild system is high on the list for us,” Keller said. “A feature like this is a great opportunity and something we’re really excited about, but it’s a huge boost, not just for large sections of our team, but for several other departments at Blizzard. We have a lot worked on this feature, but it’s too early to talk about specifics or when it might come out.
Keller added that the Overwatch team is “starting to dig” into in-game tournaments for the sequel.
More existing heroes change, existing assault maps are not
Overwatch heroes Moira, Symmetra, and Brigitte will all see changes during Monitor 2the next beta of and when the game will go live. Moira will get an unspecified “additional utility” during the beta. Symmetra’s “don’t-call-it-a-rework” will improve his mobility and allow him to react better to the faster pace of 5v5 [team compositions]said Josh Noh, Lead Hero Designer. Symmetra players should expect a shorter teleporter build time and faster secondary fire speed. Brigitte will get an unspecified modification to her Ultimate when Monitor 2 spear.
Blizzard also clarified that the Hanamura assault map is not currently being reworked into a payload map, despite what a menu screen prototype is for. Monitor 2 shown last week. “Convert [Assault] maps to payload would be a massive effort and it’s not one we’ve undertaken,” Winter said.