Overwatch 2 is here. Finally, the much-anticipated sequel to 2016’s game of the year has launched. Activision-Blizzard suffered from studio restructuring around the Overwatch team. This resulted in the franchise suffering from content drought and the sequel taking longer to develop than planned. Three new heroes came with the game’s launch including Kiriko’s debut. Unfortunately, this week was far from ideal for Overwatch fans.
Heroes Under Siege
This week, Overwatch 2‘s servers were flooded with players. The game is free to play, unlike its predecessor. Thus the player population was at an all-time high, probably higher than the original title’s golden era. Besides the server stress, things were not any easier for the development team.
We’re steadily making progress on server issues and stability, as well as working through a second DDoS attack. We’re all hands on deck and will continue to work throughout the night. Thank you for your patience – we’ll share more info as it becomes available.
— Aaron Keller (@aaronkellerOW) October 5, 2022
Additionally, Activision-Blizzard was targeted by mass DDOS attacks. This resulted in irregular player disconnects and extremely high queue times when logging in. These problems persisted across multiple days. Activision-Blizzard applied a patch on Thursday night. This aimed to solve these issues.
This patch mostly accomplished that. However, a new issue arose. Players now experience outrageous wait times for role-que quickplay. This seems to be limited to that mode as open-role and competitive wait times are standard. An additional patch is planned for this and other persisting problems. That aside, Overwatch 2’s new hero has impressed fans and me in more ways than one. Kiriko’s debut is one for the ages.
Protector of Kanezaka
TwitchCon has returned for 2022. This convention celebrates the streaming platform and the community of gamers and content creators who call it home. This year marks a return to normalcy for the convention since the pandemic. Previously, TwitchCon took a year off and tried an online alternative. Aaron Keller ( game director of Overwatch 2) took time to discuss some highlights of the game’s launch at the convention. Additionally, he teased fans about the new cinematic from the team. Aaron described it as “one of his favorite animated shorts ever created.”
This cinematic paves the way for Kiriko’s debut. Kiriko is the new support hero of Overwatch 2. She shares a childhood home with Hanzo and Genji and balances the spiritual and physical planes of life. Kiriko’s kit grants her survivability and synergy with her team, unlike other support heroes. She is a menace on the battlefield in the hands of a skilled player. Her launch brought a small silver lining to a troublesome launch week for the Overwatch team.
History Repeats Itself
I find the game to radiate Halo Infinite energy. The gameplay and world are solid. People love these heroes and the small stories that accompany them. I am not surprised so many are eager for the PvE mode to arrive next year. However, Activision-Blizzard has delivered a poor excuse for a live-service, free-to-play model at launch.
The battle pass has abysmal rewards for the free tier. This unfairly pushes players to spend money. Additionally, each new hero will be locked behind the battle pass starting with Kiriko. Players looking to save money will have to grind the pass to tier fifty-five to unlock her. The alternative is purchasing the battle pass which of course grants her immediately.
It is only the first week. Activision-Blizzard has a chance to right this ship before it sinks too deep like Halo Infinite. The PvE mode will also attract goodwill along with great new content like Kiriko’s debut. However, the developers have to work fast if they wish to retain the massive new audience.
Modern gaming seems to encourage old franchise juggernauts out of retirement. However, I fear they may be doomed to flounder in the shadow of old greatness. How are you enjoying your time with the game? Let us know in the comments down below. Remember for all things Overwatch 2, bend the knee in the realm of Lords of Gaming.
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