The hits keep coming for Overwatch fans as another piece of less-than-positive news drops for the upcoming Overwatch 2. Hot on the heels of the news that Overwatch 2 will require players to log a mobile phone number in order for players to utilise voice chat, but by doing it, you’re also granting Blizzard the ability to monitor the chat, the shutting down of the original Overwatch, and the departure of key studio members, like the game’s Lead Hero Designer, is the news that Overwatch 2 is going to be making players grind, and grind for a long time in order to unlock older heroes.
In the latest Overwatch Blog post, Blizzard has revealed that they intend to make the “First Time User Experience” to be a slower build than in the original game. The blog post reads,
We want FTUE (First Time User Experience) to welcome players more gradually to Overwatch 2, as we’ve seen consistent feedback from new players feeling overwhelmed by numerous game modes and heroes. New players begin with access to a limited set of game modes, heroes, and some other restrictions to onboard them more gradually. The first phase of our new FTUE rapidly unlocks all the game modes and the ability to chat in-game, and the second phase unlocks all the original Overwatch heroes over the course of approximately 100 matches. This focused experience eases new players into the world of Overwatch by teaching them about different modes, rules, and other high-level aspects of the game in an approachable way.
Most FTUE restrictions are lifted while in a group, so new players can team up with their friends at any time to play almost any game modes. Competitive is the exception to this rule because new players must complete a specific challenge to access this game mode.
The FTUE also puts the slows on players who want to immerse themselves in Competitive Play,
Requirements to enter Competitive mode are changing with Overwatch 2. We are removing player levels in-game, so instead of having to reach a certain level, new players are now challenged to win 50 Quick Play matches before Competitive unlocks. This gives new players time to prepare for the higher expectations that come with Competitive, while long-term players don’t feel discouraged by teammates who have less experience. In the process of unlocking Competitive, we analyze new player skill levels to optimize matchmaking in a way that feels good to everyone.
The changes to Overwatch 2 have been made with accessibility in mind, but are sure to aggravate some new players who are extremely proficient but will need to engage in the grind before they can share in the same experience that their friends are. Blizzard rationalises the changes, saying
While this process helps new players join the fun, it’s also an effective way to discourage disruptive behavior and cheating. FTUE is an investment to complete because it takes time to unlock game features— Competitive, specifically, cannot be accessed without winning matches. Disruptive players are unable to immediately affect the larger community, with things like voice chat and match chat unlocking later in FTUE. Brand-new accounts made by cheaters or disruptive players will all have to play through this experience, giving us the chance to identify suspicious accounts before they enter other game modes.
FTUE was designed to make Overwatch 2 a welcoming, approachable, and fun game for everyone who chooses to play. This experience only affects accounts made on or after the October 4 release date: anyone who played prior, as well as Watchpoint Pack owners, will not have to play through the First Time User Experience.