Blizzard needs to improve the original game’s patching habits for Overwatch 2, and find a balance between constant meta changes and fan requests.
Despite advancements in a variety of arenas, Overwatch 2’s beta shows the upcoming sequel will likely still have the original game’s biggest problem through constant updates and changes in its meta. Blizzard’s upcoming shooter has taken some steps towards becoming more player-friendly. Eliminating loot boxes especially was a move that players will benefit from. But despite a number of such positive changes, there is still one major area that Overwatch 2 needs to improve on to surpass its predecessor.
Overall, Overwatch 2 seems to be modernizing the game to be more in line with current live service games. In addition to ditching loot boxes, the game will take on a more structured format, with Overwatch 2 having seasons and battle passes to give players better expectations about what to expect, and in how much time to expect it. The game has been criticized for the gameplay feeling too similar to the first, but the systems around the game seem to be evolving enough to warrant a sequel.
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However, Overwatch 2 seems to be inheriting its predecessor’s biggest problem: the ever-shifting meta can make it impossible for less hardcore fans to keep up. In the latest beta for the game, fans have been vocal about some characters, like Mercy, needing to be nerfed, and wanting Activision Blizzard to address Symmetra, who has been given far less damage output than expected. In addition, Blizzard needs to be smart with which complaints to address. Constant adjustments made it impossible for some players to keep up with heroes in the first game, and constant patches may create the same problem in the sequel, especially with the extent Blizzard has already reworked Overwatch 2’s heroes.
Overwatch 2 Needs To Address Fan Feedback Wisely To Outlive Its Predecessor
Overwatch 2 has already made some changes fans are hoping the development team will reverse. For instance, some players have been unhappy with a change to support hero Mercy’s Guardian Angel ability giving her extra height after using it. This is a change that hasn’t been especially well-received, and the development team has already stated that the ability’s tweaks will be addressed in an upcoming patch. One hero that won’t be addressed, though, is Symmetra. Players have given overwhelmingly negative feedback regarding the hero’s damage nerfs, but the team is yet to comment on them at this time.
The discourse around Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch 2 patch reflect a major problem the first Overwatch’s patching habits had. Too often, Blizzard would instantly address a buff or nerf a hero got in the previous patch, or radically adjust new characters that were introduced, constantly changing heroes and making it difficult for all but the most hardcore players to get the hang of the meta at any given time. If Blizzard wants Overwatch 2 to be a strong live-service game, they will have to find a balance between changing too much, paying attention to fan feedback, and learning when fan feedback is less helpful.
Overall, Overwatch 2’s start could be better. While some changes coming to the sequel are positive, fans are vocally unhappy about many changes that came to heroes since the last beta. Of course the game is still in beta, which is a period in which many changes are expected to be made, so hopefully Blizzard can find a balance in how it updates and balances the game before Overwatch 2 goes free-to-play for everyone on October 4.
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Editor’s Note: A lawsuit has been filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleges the company has engaged in abuse, discrimination, and retaliation against its female employees. Activision Blizzard has denied the allegations. The full details of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit (content warning: rape, suicide, abuse, harassment) are being updated as new information becomes available.
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About The Author
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Parker Johnson is a gaming features writer for Screen Rant, and a current student at the University of Iowa in Iowa City where he studies creative writing and data science. He also formerly served as a drama editor for an on-campus literary magazine, Ink Lit Mag. He previously wrote for his hometown newspaper, The Gowrie News, where he covered everything from high school sports to new local business openings. He also wrote a Substack newsletter called “Hey, Whatcha Playin’?” in 2020. In addition, Parker writes comedic short fiction and plays, both of which earned him a few Scholastic Art and Writing awards. As far as games, Parker’s go-to genres are RPGs and roguelikes, with Hades, Slay the Spire, and Final Fantasy VII being a few of his favorites. If he isn’t playing video games or writing about them, he’s probably running, coding, or complaining about the Houston Rockets on Twitter.
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