Image: Activision Blizzard
Ten seconds is a long time when you’re in Overwatch 2 and the other team lets loose hard on you. Well. Not even the other team. One lone character. One lone character with an ultimate ability that extends indefinitely so long as it’s dealing damage, letting them wipe your team completely.
“Lol,” came the match chat message from the Ramattra in question. “His ult is so overpowered right now”
In an often toxic game that yet increased in toxicity after going free to play, those words drove home just how terrible Overwatch 2 has been. The source of my team’s pain was apologetic. That person knew exactly what the rest of us did—OW2’s character balance is still never quite right. And even after Blizzard’s recent promises to address Season 2’s issues, this interaction remains the closest I’ve ever gotten to hearing someone say sorry for the all problems.
Everyone who played Season 2 deserves a dang apology, too. At the end of Season 1, things were looking up—server issues solved and gameplay feeling more balanced. I even came to enjoy ranked play more than unranked, because I got sorted with all the other noobs and we did fun, dumb noob stuff together. I loved it. My Diamond- and Master-ranked friends would watch my game replays and hurt inside; I simply looked forward to the next round of us clumsy puppies tripping over ourselves.
Then came Season 2. My friends warned me the matchmaker would be broken for the first week or two, but I never anticipated the slaughter awaiting me. I queued for game after game in ranked, only to eventually realize I wasn’t getting paired with similar skill level players. The matchmaker was filling in with veterans on both sides. Occasionally, my team’s strongest players carried us newbs and weaklings, but mostly we all suffered through complete carnage. After dozens of matches in the first two weeks where I tried and failed to help my team, I gave up. So did most of my friends, which then killed the appeal of unranked mode—it’s easier to suffer through unbalanced teams when you can sigh about it with people you know.
Blizzard seems to finally be addressing player concerns about ranked mode, Ramattra’s ridiculous ultimate, and even the lack of earnable in-game currency in the upcoming Season 3, but it feels a little late. Especially since the developer seems to hold the player base responsible for their own discontent—in its blog post about Season 2, the developer said that “The new ranked mode suffered from poor comprehension” and “There was confusion around players’ real rank and how that translated to their skill level.”
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to take blame for not understanding a system when the people in charge can’t (won’t) clearly explain the system they created. Blizzard is the only entity in Overwatch 2 determining someone’s real rank and classifying the skill levels, much less how the designations change over time. However, instead of explaining it to the audience, we’re apparently the problem. If a developer doesn’t care enough about its players to properly explain things to them, what’s even the point of playing?
The good news is my investment in the franchise is relatively low. I started just six months before the end of the first game, and only for social reasons. I’ve cycled through Sea of Thieves, Halo Infinite, and now Overwatch 2 as a way to stay current with my buddies, and there’s no shortage of other games to continue in.
Blizzard probably doesn’t care if I quit, nor if my friends do. We’re not buying the battle passes each season. I’m not supporting a game in this state with my money—nor am I eager to with my time after the emotional dumpster fire of Season 2. But you know what? I paid for Overwatch. I would have paid for Overwatch 2 in a similar fashion if the tuning were better. Hell, I spent $30 last year on a cat game. All I ask from video games are enjoyable mechanics that I can learn and eventually master the basics. Overwatch 2 ain’t it right now, and I fully understand my colleague Michael Crider’s switch from loving the original to having zero interest in this successor.
Author: Alaina Yee, Senior Editor
Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.