Overwatch 2: Data and Grind to protect against cheats and misconduct

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Overwatch 2 will be accessible for free thanks to a free-2-play model. The fight against recurring cheaters and outrageous behavior is gaining in importance. The current solution is to collect more data and introduce Grind.

Overwatch 2 wants a phone number

As in other free-to-play titles, the aim of the measures is to make creating multiple accounts or creating new accounts after an account suspension less attractive. Since this increases the cost of breaking the rules, playing by the rules of the game becomes more appealing. For this reason, the system requirements have been expanded to include a telephone number. The system, called “SMS Protect,” will become mandatory for Blizzard accounts with the release of Overwatch 2 on October 4th. A number can only be linked to an account once at Blizzard, but prepaid and VOIP phone numbers cannot be used.

Shortly after the release of Overwatch 2, the automated evaluation of chats is to be expanded. For this purpose, Blizzard expands the monitoring system by evaluating the voice chat. If a player is reported, their voice messages are transcribed via a speech-to-text program and then immediately deleted. Blizzard then automatically analyzes the text form and also deletes it a maximum of 30 days after it was created.

Grind as a protection wall

The constant creation of new accounts makes an indirect shield unattractive. Behind the concept presented as “First Time User Experience” (FTUE) is the idea of ​​gradually unlocking game features, they have to be “bought” with game time. New accounts are limited in the choice of game modes and heroes, features such as the in-game chat are also not available from the beginning, but only “quickly”. Anyone who attracts attention there through negative behavior cannot continue seamlessly.

On the other hand, all heroes from Overwatch 1 can only be accessed after “around 100 games”, which requires a playing time of around 25 hours. In the ranking list mode, however, you will only be released after 50 wins. New players, Blizzard points out, would also have a chance to slowly familiarize themselves with the game content and acquire basic skills.

Gaps per design

However, this protective wall is not waterproof. Those playing in a group are exempt from “most FTUE restrictions”, only the ranked mode remains blocked. Previous Overwatch players are spared the “tutorial”. And one more thing that ends the grind right away: money. Buyers of the Watchpoint package, which costs around 40 euros, can also access all features immediately.

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Although putting a price tag on Grind is consistent with the goal of making compliance more attractive, it no longer fits with the tutorial character of the FTUE concept, which is at least as clearly emphasized. This raises questions about the sales concept and the implementation of microtransactions in the game, which are reinforced elsewhere: new heroes will only be available via the Battle Pass. In the free version you have to reach level 55 out of a total of 80.