The sequel to Blizzard's prominent hero-shooter franchise, Overwatch 2, had quite the rough launch Tuesday as it suffered DDoS attacks, faced scrutiny by players over its SMS requirements, and queue issues alongside problems with merging accounts from the previous title. In the wake of the damage, the devs have posted an Overwatch 2 Launch Status Update on their forums to address their approach to resolving the situation, problems fixed, and ways to improve moving forward.
First on the list was the elephant in the room: The phone number requirement needed to play Overwatch 2 that ousted players with pre-paid cellular devices. Blizzard has decided to put it halfway on the chopping block sometime on October 7, which makes any Overwatch player with a connected Battle.net account since June 9, 2021, not provide a phone number to play. New accounts will still need to meet the SMS Protect requirements so Blizzard can continue "protecting [their] community against cheating."
We want to provide an update on what we have been doing behind the scenes to get more players into #Overwatch2 and make your play experience smoother.
Read more here https://t.co/YmTcxm3Zh0
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 6, 2022
Next, they've intertwined the bulk of in-game problems, such as login queues, server crashes, and stability issues. Blizzard stated player queue numbers are jumping around because two are available through Battle.net and the game itself concurrently. They have made it to where players will enter one queue before entering the game, but as for server crashes, it will take a while as Blizzard slowly adds nodes to ease the pressure on the player database. Moreover, the devs are "throttling queues" to protect the database and improve the player experience across multiple fronts.
The player onboarding experience for Overwatch 2 has been just as dicey as elsewhere for the game. The issues mainly focus on players missing items/data after an account merges from the franchise predecessor to the young successor, which spins into heroes/items getting locked behind progression. For players reporting their in-game inventories are wiped out or partially unavailable, Blizzard has determined two causes:
1) Players have not completed their account merge entirely due to a bug with the launch build, and 2) The client side of the sequel is having trouble transferring and populating data. Blizzard will roll out fixes for these issues, the former receiving an update earlier to help console players progress through the account merge and the latter sometime next week. Though, in the case of locked heroes/items for existing Overwatch players, you'll have to open a support ticket. Supposedly, their First Time User Experience (FTUE) system flow is incorrectly flagging existing players that you could solve by re-logging into the game.
Regardless of initiatives, fans are having a field day on the forums. Between headlines like "The Battle Pass is Garbage," "Toxicity Out of Control," "Overwatch freezes completely," and plenty more, the game has stirred up more infamy than excitement. In light of the downsides, Blizzard aims to patch in bugs related to account merge, login, First Time User Experience, database upgrades to address player queues, solve crashes, and black screen issues today. So, not all doom and gloom!
How long do you think it'll take for Blizzard to get a handle on Overwatch 2? And, I gotta ask, did you manage to get into a match yet? Let us know below!
About the Author
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.
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