Players who have never played the first Overwatch will need to spend a lot of time with the sequel, Overwatch 2, in order to unlock the 32 heroes that are already in the game. As part of the Overwatch 2 “first-time user experience,” Blizzard Entertainment stated on Tuesday that brand-new users will “over the course of approximately 100 matches” acquire all of the game’s modes and original Overwatch heroes.
In a blog post describing how the game developer planned to handle an influx of new players with Overwatch’s free-to-play transition, Blizzard cited “consistent feedback from new players feeling overwhelmed by numerous game modes and heroes.”
According to Blizzard, new players to Overwatch 2 will be able to access all game modes and in-game chat after just a few matches, but they will need to win 50 games in Quick Play to access Competitive games and play approximately 100 games to unlock nearly all of the game’s characters.
With Competitive mode being the exception, Blizzard stated that most of those new-player limitations are removed when playing in a group. As a result, “so new players can team up with their friends at any time to play almost any game modes.” 34 of the game’s 35 characters will be available to players who transfer from Overwatch to Overwatch 2 at launch. The battle pass for Overwatch 2 places additional restrictions on the new support hero Kiriko.
Players who already own Overwatch may expect some changes in version 2, as features like player photo borders, player levels, and Competitive skill tiers won’t appear in the game. The Endorsements for Overwatch have also been simplified, going from three to just one.
All players of Overwatch 2 will have to comply with a new requirement: Players will be required to have a phone number associated with their Battle.net account starting on October 4, the day Overwatch 2 launches. This function, known as SMS Protect, is marketed as an extra security measure designed to deter cheating and other ethical player behaviours. The Battle.net account’s phone number “cannot be used on multiple accounts at the same time, and players can’t use the same phone number to create multiple accounts,” according to Blizzard. Additionally, “certain types of numbers, including pre-paid and VOIP, cannot be used for SMS Protect.”
The SMS Protect technology will be used in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which debuts in October, according to Activision Blizzard.
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