Overwatch 2 players new to the series will have to unlock the original characters, meaning that cast won’t be available on day one.
This news comes from a new Overwatch 2 blog post, as reported by Destructoid. In it, Blizzard says a consistent piece of feedback it has received is that new players feel overwhelmed by Overwatch’s hero pool and various modes. As such, the team has implemented a new First Time User Experience, or FTUE, designed for Overwatch 2 players who have never played Overwatch.
The new FTUE addresses that feedback directly. In phase one, players will need to unlock the game’s modes and chat functions – this happens “rapidly,” Blizzard writes in the blog post. Then, in phase two, players will unlock the original Overwatch heroes by playing “approximately 100 matches,” according to Destructoid. It’s important to note this is just for the original game’s heroes – new heroes will be unlocked through Overwatch 2’s battle pass system.
Competitive play can be unlocked by winning 50 Quick Play matches. However, Blizzard says, “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, though.
“While this [new FTUE] process helps players join the fun, it’s also an effective way to discourage disruptive behaviour and cheating,” the blog reads. “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 have to play through this experience, giving us the chance to identify suspicious accounts before they enter other game modes.”
If you have an account with Overwatch playtime on it, or if you own the Watchpoint Pack, you will not have to play through the First Time User Experience, Blizzard says.
There’s plenty more in the blog post, including details about Overwatch 2’s Ping system, Endorsements, machine learning and audio transcriptions, and its overall Defense Matrix Initiative experience, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested.
Overwatch 2 hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on October 4. While waiting for its free-to-play release next week, read about how Overwatch 2 devs spent a year making Genji’s customizable Mythic skin and then read about how Overwatch 2’s vice president is interested in exploring brand collaborations similar to Fortnite’s Naruto crossover.
What do you think about this new First Time User Experience? Let us know in the comments below!