In a post on Blizzard’s forums, the Overwatch team addressed the multiple issues users have been experiencing since the free-to-play game’s launch on Tuesday, and outlined its plans to fix them.
“While millions of people have been enjoying the game, the launch has not met your, or our, expectations,” the company said.
“First, we want to apologize to our players. We expected the launch of Overwatch 2 to go smoothly. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and we are working hard to resolve the issues you are experiencing.”
Overwatch 2 Launch Trailer
Blizzard’s controversial two-factor authentication system, SMS Protect, which locks out users on pre-paid plans from playing the game, will be removed for the “majority of existing Overwatch players” via an update expected to be released on October 7.
“Any Overwatch player with a connected Battle.net account, which includes all players who have played since June 9, 2021, will not have to provide a phone number to play,” Blizzard said.
“We remain committed to combating disruptive behavior in Overwatch 2—accounts that were not connected to Battle.net as well as new accounts will still have to meet SMS Protect requirements,” it added.
Blizzard said it’s working on patching servers to improve stability and increase login reliability. While some issues have been addressed, there’s more work to be done, so players should continue to expect to see queues and experience disconnects in the short-term.
The studio also addressed reports from players whose inventory in-game has been partially or totally reset following the sequel’s launch. Blizzard said the cause for this in about half of reported cases is players having not yet completed the account merge process, which lets them carry progression and in-game cosmetics into Overwatch 2.
“In the other half of reported cases for this issue, things are just taking longer than expected for items from the original Overwatch to transfer and populate in Overwatch 2,” it said.
“In all cases, no player data has been wiped or lost. We have a client-side fix for this that cannot be deployed until next week, so we are exploring server-side fixes and will provide updates as more information becomes available.”
Blizzard said other cases of heroes and items being incorrectly locked for existing players is due to a separate issue, although the player experience is the same as with the account merge problem.
Overwatch 2 players who are new to the series have to play 100 matches to unlock all of the original heroes. Blizzard said this new introductory process, the ‘First Time User Experience’, appears to have been incorrectly applied to some existing players.
“We have seen relogging into the game resolve this issue in most cases. If you’re still experiencing this issue after taking these steps, please open a support ticket, that data is very helpful for our team.”
Overwatch 2’s launch issues were exacerbated by two distributed denial of service attacks.
“While they did not directly cause any of these issues, they made the environment in which we work on these issues more challenging,” Blizzard said. “We have not suffered any further attacks.”