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    Overwatch 2

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Oct 04, 2022

    A free-to-play sequel to the first-person hero-shooter Overwatch, revamping the monetization and multiplayer while adding new Heroes, locales, game modes, and a new PVE story mode.

    Overwatch 2 Had A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week (Also Overwatch 1 Servers Go Down Soon)

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    ZombiePie

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    #1 ZombiePie  Staff

    Let's just jump into it without any preamble. Overwatch servers will go down on Oct 2nd. The game will essentially cease to exist, but the good news is that on Oct. 4th, Overwatch 2 will be out. Unfortunately, literally every single bit of news about Overwatch 2 this week has unsold people on the game. First, Blizzard clarified that "New Overwatch 2 players will have to grind for its original roster of heroes." On top of that, To be clear, first-time players will have an entirely different player progression system that does not communicate or relate to the Overwatch 2's Battle Pass.

    Speaking of which, to not jeopardize Overwatch 2's move towards free-to-play economics, the Battle Pass will ask players to grind until level 55 to unlock a final hero, but hey, you can also just shell out $10 for the hero. Oh and I should mention that Forbes did a rundown of the cost of everything as part of their review for Overwatch and found that every cosmetic upgrade in the game costs significantly more than it did in the first game. For example, they noticed Team Skins cost 50 more tokens and whole character skins jumped up by 100.

    And then, before the end of the week, Blizzard announced that Overwatch 2 would require you input your phone number into your account before it allows you to boot the game. Blizzard state this policy change is meant to limit alt account and bot account abuse that hit the first game pretty hard. However, privacy concerns are certainly there and there's also the issue of how minors and younger kids, a huge part of the player population in ANY F2P game, are going to get around this requirement.

    Oh, and PC Gamer published their review in progress with the byline "A messy sequel that tries to erase one of the best shooters in the last decade."

    So... yeah... it's a mess. Blizzard desperately needs to dig up and it doesn't look like that is happening soon.

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    Efesell

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    The phone number thing is a lot.

    Like okay maybe bots are a problem but hey you're a video game fuckin Relax.

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    daavpuke

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    They've been doing the phone number thing for a while, because Top 500 was plagued with duplicate accounts (still is, but less so). They HAVE to do something, because half of the game are people smurfing. Free to play would make that a hundred times worse. That said, it's definitely not an elegant solution, but it's Blizzard; you're gonna get the bare minimum effort.

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    Efesell

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    Apparently prepaid doesn't work with that system either which... is definitely going to go well.

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    MindBullet

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    I've actually seen a decent amount of players defending this stuff.

    The argument for the locked roster is that OW2 has an overwhelming number of heroes to play that are increasingly difficult to understand and utilize properly.

    The phone number thing is being lauded by some as the only real deterrent for an apparently rampant problem of smurfing that I'm guessing players have been complaining about for a while.

    And the cosmetics... Well, we just kind of live in a F2P world now. This is an era where people will look at this kind of monetization and say different variations of "it's not that bad" or "it could be worse".

    I've never been interested in Overwatch much myself, but it has been interesting to see the different reactions to the OW2 changes. I could be way off, but it seems like a fair amount of long time players are actually pretty happy with a lot of what is happening.

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    clagnaught

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    I skimmed that PC Gamer article and oof that sounds like a mess.

    Overwatch was one of my favorite games of all-time when it came out, but I fell off of it due to not having great internet for a minute. But after that, nothing seemed that interesting. They kept tuning it to balance it for the competitive aspect, instead of just trying to be fun. Doesn’t seem like they fixed any of those problems and created more issues with unlocking stuff. Loot boxes for cosmetics may have actually been better this. I’m shocked they just didn’t let you buy skins for $10-20 and just called it a day.

    It’s kind of amazing how they messed up Overwatch year after year just to get to this point.

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    MobiusFun

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    I remember I stopped playing R6 Siege when they started requiring 2FA for ranked games. I didn't care enough about that game to give Ubi my phone number which they'll probably sell or lose somehow. I bet some feel the same about OW.

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    bigsocrates

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    It absolutely sucks that they are taking down the servers for Overwatch 1 immediately. I can't think of another company that did that when putting out a new version of a live service game. I believe Destiny 1 and The Division 1 both still have their servers up. Heck EverQuest 1 still has ITS servers up. Now I understand that Overwatch 2 is more of a "2.0" type content update than a new game, but some people will prefer the old game, especially because the new one appears to be full of F2P bullshit at a maximum level, which existed in the first one but could be mostly ignored if you don't care about cosmetics.

    If you paid for Overwatch 1 (which I did) you basically lose the product you paid for and in return get some benefits in a product you may or may not like. That sucks, especially considering how crazy successful Overwatch was.

    I don't quite understand why so many companies are going balls to the wall with the worst aspects of F2P. The most successful F2P games tend not to be quite so exploitative, and Blizzard itself should have learned this lesson with the fiasco that was the Diablo 3 launch.

    If the Microsoft deal goes through they need to clean house of more than just Bobby Kotick. Microsoft might not have totally clean hands when it comes to microtransactions and cosmetics (a lot of people don't like Halo Infinite's system, though I think Forza Horizon's is very fair) but it doesn't tend to be this alienating to the player base.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens to Overwatch's numbers and if Blizzard is forced to take the L and retrench again. There's a lot more competition out there today than there was when Overwatch launched, and while a lot of people are very attached to the specific heroes and IP of that game that isn't always enough to make a sequel into a big hit.

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    Panfoot

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    Everything I read about the unlock system and battle pass, something I already despise, seems like the worst version of it in any game. I honestly haven't played much in quite a while, except for booting it up one last time last week, but I think I can confidently say at this point I'll never play 2.

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    Lego_My_Eggo

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    Some of these things i get, like the phone number stuff. But if its such a problem for games i think the real solution is for Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Vale and any other major platform holder should start optionally asking for this info and giving a verification to whatever game that asks for it. I would list Battle.net on there as well. But if im playing on a console, there verification checks should be enough to say im a unique account. I don't really want all my information going to every developer, when it could probably be handled by a handful of companies. Most if not all of those companies have multiple pieces of information on me basically verifying who i am already.

    Everything else is stuff i don't want in my F2P games. So i imagine there are going to be massive changes soon after launch. Unless its another CoD boycott situation and it still gets a good playerbase.

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    brian_

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    #11  Edited By brian_

    As a weirdo who doesn't own a cellphone in 2022, I'm not too keen on a video game requiring SMS. Not that I was very likely to give Bobby Kotick any more money anyways. But I did pay for Overwatch on launch day, and now I'm locked out of it.

    Are there any of these Activision-Blizzard games that require SMS on Switch? I'm surprised Nintendo doesn't take some weird Nintendo-esque stance on requiring kids to give out their phone numbers.

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    eccentrix

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    I just saw this thread, it's the first I've heard the news. I went to Twitch to see some final gameplay and the category for Overwatch is just gone. So now I'm over on Youtube watching someone stream it there.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    Wow, I hadn't heard that the OW1 servers would immediately go offline. That really sucks.

    I mean, all of this other stuff also sounds bad, but I was actually unsold on OW2 a while ago when they announced the new 5-person team composition with only one tank. As someone who mained tank hard in OW1, I can barely imagine a change that would drive me away more than that one. Especially with the new F2P nonsense, I just don't see myself ever jumping into OW2 at all.

    But I thought that despite that, I might at least still go back to OW1 every once in a while and screw around with it for old time's sake, as I put between 500 and 1,000 hours into that game and mostly really enjoyed myself. Now I learn it's just gone forever. Geez. I get that they don't want to split the playerbase, but it really sucks for people who don't like what OW2 is doing.

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    BladeOfCreation

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    There's shooting oneself in the foot, and then there's whatever the fuck this is. This is more akin to, I dunno, strapping a stick of dynamite to one's foot.

    Jesus Christ. What an awful end to what started out as a great shooter.

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    RagTagBag

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    #15  Edited By RagTagBag

    There are a lot of wild overreactions here to some very minor issues from people who don't seem interested in playing the game anyway. From the early reviews, the game seems to be in a great place but needs some minor adjustments that'll definitely happen.

    Having to unlock the original characters if you're new is a good thing and lots of games do something similar. It's extremely overwhelming to start Overwatch these days and it gives you a gradual ramp-up. 35 heroes is a lot. You also left out the part where it's 100% free, extremely easy, and relatively quick to unlock the full roster if you're starting from scratch.

    Losing access to old versions of games is something you have to live with if you play live service games. I used to play LoL and DOTA and now play DBD. They've made just as significant changes to those games as what's happened to Overwatch and there's no way to play my favourite versions of those games anymore.

    Grab some friends, play the game, you'll have a blast. Stop worrying about the price of cosmetics that don't matter.

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    SgtBlumpkin

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    @ragtagbag: This. The competitive/hardcore ow scene has been highly critical of how the game's been managed for the last few years, but they are pretty much in consensus about this: ow2 is way more fun to play than ow1 and the f2p battle pass model is an unfortunate but necessary change. This launch has been covered as if it were as egregious as FIFA, but its honestly a more consumer friendly bp than ow's competitors. Where's the outrage that new Apex and Valorant characters are behind a paywall? SMS has been a thing in comp fps for years now.

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    eccentrix

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    Losing access to old versions of games is something you have to live with if you play live service games. I used to play LoL and DOTA and now play DBD. They've made just as significant changes to those games as what's happened to Overwatch and there's no way to play my favourite versions of those games anymore.

    Sounds like a bad thing, something to complain about. Does the old version usually get taken down a day or more before the new version becomes available? Also, since when is Overwatch a live service game? I thought it was just an online shooter.

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    jacksukeru

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    Feeling nostalgic for the good old days of a version of a video game that's long since gone? They've got a product for you! Overwatch Classic, coming to you in 2025!

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    Panfoot

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    @ragtagbag: This. The competitive/hardcore ow scene has been highly critical of how the game's been managed for the last few years, but they are pretty much in consensus about this: ow2 is way more fun to play than ow1 and the f2p battle pass model is an unfortunate but necessary change. This launch has been covered as if it were as egregious as FIFA, but its honestly a more consumer friendly bp than ow's competitors. Where's the outrage that new Apex and Valorant characters are behind a paywall? SMS has been a thing in comp fps for years now.

    How is it more consumer friendly? I'm not well versed in all the battle passes, but it seems pretty rotten. Battle Passes already by design are FOMO garbage, and OW2's doesn't even give back enough of it's credits to buy the next one. That combined with the other unlock changes, with loot boxes gone, the only way to get skins now is through buying or earning credits, and your capped at only earning 60 credits a week if you do all the weekly challenges. Also, Legendary skins cost about 1,900 credits (and all old skin prices have increased) so that will take you roughly 7 or 8 months to unlock a single one. Loot boxes are a whole other issue, but i'm pretty sure I unlocked a hell of a lot more Legendary skins than 1 over that time frame with the old system.

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    HeelBill

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    Can’t wait to buy Overwatch Classic in a few years.

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    Kyary

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    The SMS thing is...whatever. I've never had to do that, but it's apparently very effective in preventing smurfing and in making bans much harder to evade which is good. Hard for me to get mad about that. Likewise, the cosmetic thing is not ideal but also like, I dunno I cared more about getting every single cosmetic when I started playing. I'm also like, fine buying skins when they're good. Sorry for literally destroying videogames or whatever.

    I guess I'm bummed they're killing OW1, because I think that game started out in a really cool place. There were some balance issues at the start of course, and it's always fun to get new heroes, but as the game drifted more and more into the "make top 500 DPS streamers happy" and further from a game to play with your friends I think it lost something. Specifically, it was cool that there was an FPS that catered to tons of different playstyles and rewarded different skillsets, even if the community of 17 year old boys only understands and praises "aim" as the one true skill, and even if that design decision made the game a little less perfectly suited to adderall-slamming professional shooter players.

    So yeah, I'll play it, because I loved the first game for a time and I'm interested in forming my own opinion. But given that none of my other friends are talking it up, and given that Blizzard is only really interested in attracting one kind of audience I can't imagine sticking with it for the long haul unless the game really hits it big.

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    RagTagBag

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    @ragtagbag said:

    Losing access to old versions of games is something you have to live with if you play live service games. I used to play LoL and DOTA and now play DBD. They've made just as significant changes to those games as what's happened to Overwatch and there's no way to play my favourite versions of those games anymore.

    Sounds like a bad thing, something to complain about. Does the old version usually get taken down a day or more before the new version becomes available? Also, since when is Overwatch a live service game? I thought it was just an online shooter.

    How is it not a live service game? It's been consistantly evolving and changing over the past six years. And the number one signifier if something is a live service game is how many skins can you buy, and oh buddy does Overwatch have skins.

    And yes, the old version of all those games disappears forever when a new patch comes out. The only issue with Overwatch is the 2. It's really not a sequel. It's a 2.0. It's not really something you can avoid. People will whine and cry about every change made to a game even if it's undeniable that it's moving the game in a better direction. A lot of people would stay on the old version of a game if given a choice simply because they don't like change, and that's going to fragment the player base and lead to unhealthy situations. I'm sure they'll add in a 6v6 mode in the future if there's still a demand for it.

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    DocHaus

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    Imagine being so beaten down that you accept having even less control and functionality over a game as an "improvement" dear lord.

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    Bogard

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    I think a lot of the negative press this week has largely been overblown. I'm ready to come back to Overwatch (which will still exist tomorrow, despite the new name), and this update is bringing the game back to a place I'm actually interested in again. And anyone who is going to miss classic Overwatch? You couldn't play classic Overwatch before the conversion either. Overwatch stopped being what they sold you on launch day long ago.

    This mostly boils down to a vocal minority being upset over the conversion to free to play, which ultimately is going to blow over in the next few weeks.

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    NotSoSneakyGuy

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    You know I thought the Castle Super Beast podcast clip about the diversity scoring of Overwatch characters would be on the list.

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    WhiteForestParkRangr

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    Forcing the shutdown of OW1 when there are still plenty of people happy with it, especially for a company with a storied history of going above and beyond to continually support their games for free throughout the DECADES, is a real bad look for Blizzard.

    I don't understand why they can't stand side by side if the sequel can truly justify its own existence.

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    eccentrix

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    @eccentrix said:
    @ragtagbag said:

    Losing access to old versions of games is something you have to live with if you play live service games. I used to play LoL and DOTA and now play DBD. They've made just as significant changes to those games as what's happened to Overwatch and there's no way to play my favourite versions of those games anymore.

    Sounds like a bad thing, something to complain about. Does the old version usually get taken down a day or more before the new version becomes available? Also, since when is Overwatch a live service game? I thought it was just an online shooter.

    How is it not a live service game? It's been consistantly evolving and changing over the past six years. And the number one signifier if something is a live service game is how many skins can you buy, and oh buddy does Overwatch have skins.

    I think you might be joking, but I can't tell. How many skins do you need to qualify? Is Dead Rising a live service game?

    I don't know how much Overwatch has changed, I thought it was just new characters and balance patches, etc. I've always thought of live service games as being like MMO-lites. They're worlds you take part in where everything is fluid. Destiny; The Divison; Fortnite, I guess. They're games that are experienced as a service until the service shuts down. TF2 has changed a lot and has unlimited hats, but I wouldn't call that a live service game because it has the same maps and characters and modes as when it launched. It's pretty much static. Like I said, I don't know which side Overwatch falls into, so I'll take your word for it, but it's always looked the same to me. It's always felt like a game to be played, potentially forever, not a service to be experienced for a limited time.

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    RagTagBag

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    @whiteforestparkrangr: Because it's not a sequel. It's an update and basically the same game. The only stupid thing they did was calling it Overwatch 2 and not Overwatch 2.0.

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    RagTagBag

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    #29  Edited By RagTagBag

    The entire point of live services games is to get people hooked forever. Apex, Fortnite, Warzone, DBD, and Seige are all live service games. It just means the developer is going to keep pumping out content until people stop buying it.

    And I know it was a joke, but no Dead Rising is not a live service game. All the "skins" were in the game when you started and that was it. For it to be a live service game, they'd have to be adding new stores to the mall with new "skins" every month. That would be awesome.

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    eccentrix

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    @ragtagbag: By that definition, Overwatch wasn't a live service game because they shut it down before people were done buying things. You can say Overwatch 2 is an update and not a sequel, but the developers/publishers would obviously disagree. Overwatch is a game that doesn't exist anymore.

    Does the new content have to cost money or can it be free? Would you say Skyrim is a live service game?

    I'm not really arguing, I'm just trying to understand; I've always thought of "live service game" as more of a genre than a business model. Before, I never would have thought of Train Simulator or American Truck Simulator as live service games, but from what you're saying, they must be.

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    sparky_buzzsaw

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    Blizzard snatching at fast-grab cash and continuing to shit their reputation down their pants' leg? Shocked. This is me, shocked.

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    DocHaus

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    #32  Edited By DocHaus

    @sparky_buzzsaw: I had a brief flare of hope that it was going to stop with Diablo Immortal but then the rage died down, and if Blizzard is telling the truth about hooking enough whales to turn a massive profit in a much shorter time, then why would they stop now? They'll gladly weather a storm of empty threats against Bobby Kotick for that.

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    pauljeremiah

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    Efesell

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    Will be curious to see the ratio of People Mad Online to Actual Players on this one.

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    AV_Gamer

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    Blizzard seems to be going out of their way to disrespect and abandoned their once core audience for perhaps another audience. The fact they took away OW1 and are now forcing people to give up more privacy in form of personal phone numbers is just bad business. Or at least I'd like say as much, but the sad truth is, enough people will conform to this new standard to play the game and Blizzard knows this. A lot of developers now are trying to find a way to make their games live service under the false claim of improved security because they see how much of a cash grab it is.

    I played the original OW for many hours and enjoyed myself before I fell off of it. Was looking forward to jumping back in with OW2, even though I knew it was pretty much more of the same. Too bad that is likely not going to happen for me now.

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    brian_

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    #40  Edited By brian_

    Somehow, the fact that I can't play Overwatch 2 without a cellphone isn't the biggest factor in why I'm not playing Overwatch 2, but for a company with billions of dollars, that wants to make infinite income through service games, they sure don't seem willing to invest any of that money into actual security and moderation solutions.

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    Sandwich_Jones

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    every time i've tried to play overwatch people yelled at me for picking the blue grappling hook lady

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    theonewhoplays

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    People really are over-reacting about OW2. They changed the predatory business model to another predatory business model, and made it f2p to lure in more players. Basically all the game modes are still available. Apart from pre-paid phones not working I fail to see what the big deal is. It's just a giant sidestep. I would personally love it if B.K were kicked out and OW switched to a non-predatory model, but it's not like anything in OW2 is all that worse than before.

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    Ginormous76

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    @sandwich_jones: How DARE YOU?! But seriously, the people that care THAT much should always run with a full-team. IMO, if you aren't running with a full-team, you have no ground to stand on to tell someone else how to play without them asking.

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    Bogard

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    #44  Edited By Bogard

    Well it happened. And it's still, still Overwatch. Apart from the constant DDoS attack and the restrictions on pre-paid cellphone accounts, thing appear to be going pretty well. Having a lot of fun with Sojourn and Kiriko. It's nice that FPS gameplay appears to be the focus of Overwatch again.

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    gamer_152

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    #45 gamer_152  Moderator

    Not acceptable stuff. I hate this new trend of monetisation strategies that encourages publishers to remove perfectly funcional and even beloved games from stores.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #47  Edited By AtheistPreacher

    Well, it's been almost a week, and the servers now seem more-or-less completely stable. I haven't had any queues to enter the game at all for the last few sessions.

    I am still annoyed by the move to 5v5. I understand the move from a design perspective, they're trying to move away from the previous wars of attrition in which both teams used tanks with high-HP shields (hell, Orisa even lost her shield completely and isn't really the same character at all anymore). But as a tank main, the change in team composition from two tanks to one means I went from having the shortest match queue times among the three classes to the longest queue times, and it feels like as the sole tank there's more on my shoulders than before. Moreover, my favorite character, Zarya, was fundamentally designed to be an off-tank, which isn't a thing you can be anymore.

    Also, wow, the F2P elements here are as gross as I've ever seen them in any game, even if it's mostly just cosmetics. You can at most earn 60 credits per week if you complete all the weekly challenges, the real-money equivalent of 60 cents. To put that in perspective with the price of cosmetics, it would take 5 years of weekly grinding to earn enough credits (15,600) to buy all non-seasonal unlocks for just one of Overwatch's new heroes, Kiriko (the real-money equivalent of $156). Again, that's one hero. And even if you did that, you'd still have to pay for the seasonal battle passes separately, which are ten bucks a pop.

    As someone who put about 1,000 hours in Overwatch, I admittedly care less about new cosmetics because I already have most of the ones I care about, and I've still got 7,000 "legacy credits" lying around (though those can only be used to purchase old OW1 cosmetics). But at least before I knew that playing would earn me loot boxes that would give me a steady stream of unlocks. With Overwatch 2, my playtime now earns me next to nothing. As already stated, the credits gained from playing is practically zilch, and unless you pay for the battle pass, you're stuck with a tiny smattering of free seasonal unlocks. In short, playing the game no longer feels rewarding at all from an unlocks perspective.

    I may screw around with it for a few more days, but yeah, this isn't a game I'm going to sink any significant amount of time into. For me all they've done is make the game worse: my favored role has half the spots it used to have, and the new F2P nonsense means I'll likely never again get any cosmetics I care about without having to pay real money for them. Thanks a lot, Blizzard. What an "improvement"!

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    Bogard

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    I was playing a lot prior to the weekend (Street Fighter 6). I actually like the changes (5v5, new role queue) a lot, but it must be tough for people who actually liked where OW was before the transition. A lot of the changes make the game feel (to me) like more of a shooter than it has for a while. The F2P stuff just wasn't going to land with everyone, especially coming from a premium model, but it doesn't bother me. I don't expect to collect every cosmetic in a game like this.

    I'm going to keep playing, but it has a lot of competition for my time. Apex Legends will likely stay my go-to FPS, but it's nice to have other games to fall back on when I'm not feeling BR.

    Soljourn is a blast to play. All of the new heroes since I last played are fun.

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    brian_

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    #49  Edited By brian_

    I haven't noticed much of a difference moving to 5v5, but I am mostly playing healer, a Mercy main, and I think I've always been good about getting out of dodge with her mobility skills.

    The shop prices of the in-game store and the minuscule rate at which they dole out currency is pretty gross. Either in pure greed or in a complete misunderstanding about how anyone plays Overwatch. You can charge people $20 for a skin in something like Fortnite because you only have one character there. Why on earth anyone would pay $20 for a skin in a team shooter, where you're not always going to be in a situation to use the character with your expensive new skin, baffles me. Unless the thinking is "The super competitive Top 500 rank is usually full of people playing the one character they've mastered. Those are going to be our whales", I would think you'd probably make more money just selling a bunch of skins for a couple of bucks to as many people as possible. But hey, just don't give Bobby Kotick your money regardless.

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    isomeri

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    This is the first time I've played any significant amount of Overwatch. The game seems fun, but I have encountered tons of bugs so far. A bug which kicks me out of a game when getting an achievement on the Xbox has been the worst one by far.

    As a novice I'm a bit miffed that nobody seems to want to play the healer class. I don't mind playing as the healer, but long queue times for the other classes has pretty much forced me to play healer exclusively thus far. It'd be nice to try the other classes and characters, but I don't want to wait over 6 minutes for a game to do so or lose an open class game because everyone's going in guns blazing.

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