Overwatch 2: Blizzard admits mistakes and wants to improve some of them

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On October 4, 2022, Overwatch 2 completely replaced the first part of the first-person shooter and turned the in-game progression and monetization upside down – the result was frustration and anger among many players. Blizzard now admits that the game is currently suffering from numerous problems and promises improvements.

Missing free rewards are causing frustration

With the move from the MMO shooter Overwatch, released in 2016, to Overwatch 2, Blizzard fundamentally changed the business model: the iconic loot boxes gave way to a battle pass and the action game became a free-to-play title; in turn, the free cosmetic progression the game was once known for has been almost entirely scrapped. If you want to unlock a legendary skin in Overwatch 2, you have to do weekly challenges for at least 35 weeks. This is also a very long time compared to other games, which has already brought frustrated players to creative solutions: The time required can be reduced to around two to three weeks if Blizzard's MMORPG World of Warcraft is played instead of Overwatch 2 and gold is collected in it .

Alternatively, the only option is to dig deep into your pocket for new and old skins. A single legendary costume costs around 19 euros, with new content in particular often only being offered in bundles with plenty of by-catch for 25 euros and more. In addition to numerous content from the first part that has been deleted without replacement, some technical problems and the constant appearance of new glitches, this is causing the players a lot of frustration – a look at the Overwatch subreddit speaks volumes, ComputerBase has reported in detail. For many players, the current cosmetic progression is so poor that they yearn for the otherwise hated loot boxes of the first part.

Blizzard gives errors and praises the improvement – ​​at least partially

On the one hand, Blizzard reports high player numbers and “strong” income in the first season, but now admits numerous of the problems mentioned in a blog post. The developer is also not satisfied with the current reward and progression system, assures Jared Neuss, who has recently acted as Executive Producer. He understands that the switch from Overwatch 1 to Overwatch 2 in particular represents a turning point in this regard and that there are currently “opportunities for improvement”. Players should be rewarded more for just playing Overwatch 2, and even outside of Competitive Mode' and the Battle Pass' to celebrate success.

I could say a lot here, but I think a good place to start is saying that we aren't completely satisfied with how everything feels right now. There's a lot we like about it—knocking out a bunch of daily/weekly challenges or getting something new for a hero you love can feel great! But we also recognize that today's experience has opportunity for improvement that we need to focus on.

We want you to feel more rewarded just for sitting down and playing. We want you to have new accomplishments to chase outside of your Competitive Rank and Battle Pass level. When you finish a session, we want you to feel good about the time you just spent in the game – even if you ended on an epic losing streak at 2 a.m. after saying that you wouldn't end on a loss.

Jared Neuss, Executive Producer for Overwatch 2

As early as the second season, which starts on December 6, 2022, it should be possible to unlock some skins – as before – just by playing. There will also be new twitch drops, i.e. in-game rewards for watching Overwatch 2 live streams. The Battle Pass is to be revised for the third season, which will again begin in early February 2023. A look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, for example, shows that Activision Blizzard can also book financial successes with models in which premium game currency once spent for a Battle Pass is redeemed as part of the Pass' is to be earned back. In Overwatch 2, on the other hand, the Battle Pass does not reward you with currency, even in the premium version.

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Players can unlock the new heroine Kiriko for money or at level 55
Overwatch Coins are primarily available for money
The high prices in the in-game shop are causing resentment
A legendary skin costs up to 26 euros with bycatch

Apart from that, Neuss speaks of “more interesting challenges and more playful progression”. The omission of numerous game mechanics that gave players positive feedback is currently also being criticized – in contrast to Overwatch 1, for example, the “on-fire” feature, the medals, the voting for four player cards at the end of a game or a general player level are missing. The “Endorsement” system has also been streamlined.

Almost nobody wants to play the support role

In addition, Blizzard is also aware of the high queue time for the Tank and Damage roles in particular. In Overwatch 1, it was mainly the latter role that had to contend with high demand and long waiting times. Tanks, on the other hand, hardly anyone wanted to play, which is why a corresponding slot in Overwatch 2 was canceled without further ado: Only 5 versus 5 instead of 6 versus 6 players are fighting. Since the tank heroes were largely reworked to become stronger damage characters, the calculation no longer works – and it's mainly support players who are missing. Also, because the role with the faster gameplay, damage focus and only one tank is simply less fun, players complain. The Overwatch development team is currently considering adapting some support heroes or even adjusting the game system. Increased Battle Pass XP rewards for support players should help in the short term.

With the move to 5v5, we're seeing longer queue times than we'd like for both tank and damage players, and while there's no silver bullet for this issue, the team has a LOT of ideas that we want to experiment with in the upcoming seasons.

Many of these ideas are focused on the support role and how we can make it more fun and more rewarding to play. We're discussing targeted support hero reworks, game system updates, and even some role-wide changes to improve support quality of life.

As we settle on specific changes, we'll make sure you know about them. In the short term, we've made queue-time estimates more accurate in the UI (support queues are less than one minute, in most cases) and we're going to experiment with our Battle Pass XP rewards for those who queue as support /all roles.

Jared Neuss, Executive Producer for Overwatch 2

Players are skeptical about the second season

< p class="p text-width">In addition, Neuss comments on problems with the competitive ranked game mode and balancing discrepancies, but not on the future unlocking of new heroes. The behavior of the players in the second season is eagerly awaited. This is unlocked at level 55 out of 80 of the Battle Pass' bring the new tank hero Ramattra with them. In contrast to Junker Queen, Sojourn and Kiriko, this will no longer be available to all Overwatch 1 players from the beginning of the season, but will only be activated after weeks of grinding – or ad hoc with the purchase of the Premium Battle Pass, which players are already criticizing. The community fears that Overwatch 2 will hardly be able to retain players in the long term without significantly more free or at least cheaper innovations. Blizzard now seems to have become aware of the issue.

Sharing plans before they're finalized is risky. Development on a live game like Overwatch 2 requires constant juggling of urgent player needs, long-term ambitions, and live issues. It's easier, and safer, to talk about the work once it's nearly done and ready to deliver. That said, I think sharing our thoughts early is the right thing to do, so we can create a better dialogue between the development team and the community.

Please keep your feedback coming: we read it, we're inspired by it, we use it in our development plans. Ultimately, we need it to ensure that we're building a game that you want to keep playing for years to come.

Jared Neuss, Executive Producer for Overwatch 2