Blizzard is very excited about Overwatch 2’s first new hero, Sojourn, which will be played in the upcoming closed beta.The studio is eager to show her off, not only because she was the first black woman After six years of updates, she’s on the hero list, also because she’s packing a formidable FPS staple: the railgun.
Blizzard has long considered adding a railgun to its Overwatch arsenal, but struggled with how to balance such a powerful, accurate weapon. The first prototype resembled the classic Quake 2 railgun, with high damage, instant hit accuracy, low recoil, and no scope required.
“It’s a balance disaster,” as lead hero designer Jeff Goodman described in an article. Sojourn Q&A Live today. “You can basically fire widows[maker] Shooting with no cooldown or anything, just constantly. “What’s important is that it still feels like a railgun without becoming overwhelming,” Goodman said. “Eventually I think we found a solution that we really like.
A sort of new blog post An overview of Sojourn’s abilities, detailing how her railgun works:
- Major fires: Rapidly fires projectiles that generate energy on impact
- Secondary fire: High-impact shots that consume stored energy
As such, the railgun’s primary firepower is a rapid-fire machine gun that fires a projectile (in other words, not an instant hit) and accumulates energy to fire a high-damage charged beam. Senior hero designer Josh Noh describes her as a “mid-range hero that rewards accuracy” but is still fun at any level of the game. It’s an interesting compromise – based on the description alone, Sojourn is a bit like Soldier 76 when left clicked and Widowmaker when right clicked (minus the range). It’s easy to see why Blizzard finds her difficult to grasp. Depending on how slowly her energy builds up on right click, if she’s not firing her railgun, she may feel under-damaged (unlike Widowmaker’s hard headshot score).
Complementing her weapons are two other abilities: saboteur shot and Power Skateboard. Disruptor Shot is fun: an AOE field that “traps enemies and eats their health”. This sounds like a weaker version of Mei’s ultimate, even though it’s meant to give Sojourn a chance to hit with precision. “…if you’re caught by her distraction shot, there’s a good chance she’ll see you,” the blog post said.
A short Sojourn gameplay clip shared at last year’s BlizzCon online.
Power Slide gives Sojourn a little mobility, but in a different way than Overwatch’s other resilient heroes like Lucio and Baptiste. She went low because of the slide and immediately canceled a jump high enough to get into the “high vantage point.” To me it sounds like she’s at least able to jump up stairs or on top of buildings, which is a lot bigger than similar heroes like Soldier 76.
As for overlock, Sojourn’s ultimate, Blizzard’s description is pretty clear: “We wanted it to feel almost like an instant-scan version of Genji Dragonblade,” Noh said. Sojourn can use her railgun and serial kills with quick releases while using penetrating shots, but only “if he’s accurate.” You’ll have limited time for a big game…otherwise you risk missing all your shots.
We also got some gorgeous glimpses of Sojourn in the gameplay trailer above, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see a proper match from Sojourn’s point of view.Overwatch 2 beta starts April 26, Blizzard will still accepting registration.