Hello, heroes. Yesterday was an exciting day for the Overwatch team—a day that we know you have been looking forward to for a long time. While millions of people have been enjoying the game, the launch has not met your, or our, expectations.
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.
We want to provide transparency on the issues, fixes we have made so far, and give you all insight as to how we’re moving forward.
We are keeping a list of known issues here, but here we’ll take a deep dive into the top issues.
We designed Overwatch 2 to be a live service, which enables us to be responsive to a variety of player feedback. We have made the decision to remove phone number requirements for a majority of existing Overwatch players. 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. We are working to make this change and expect it to go live on Friday, October 7. We will update players once it is in effect.
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, which helps to ensure we’re protecting our community against cheating. If a player is caught engaging in disruptive behavior, their account may be banned whether they have a new account or not.
As a team, we will keep listening to ongoing feedback and will make further adjustments in this area if it is required.
Queue Issues, Server Crashes, and Stability
Tl;dr: We have addressed some issues and are in the process of addressing others, but players should still expect to see queues.
Login queues, server crashes, and stability problems are intertwined, so we’ll talk about them together. Players may have been seeing their queue numbers jumping around, going from a small number to a larger number. This is due to there being two queues for players—one through Battle.net, then one through the game itself. This process is usually invisible to players, but was being seen in real time. We have made changes to simplify the queuing process, so players should now only be experiencing the one queue before entering the game.
There are several areas where we’re working to improve stability. Today we’ve patched a server that is critical to the login experience, and this change has increased login reliability. Beyond queues, we’re in progress with another server update that will reduce the occurrences of players being disconnected once they’re already in game.
Finally, the player database is being overloaded, which cascades and causes a backup in the login system, which eventually leads to some people being dropped out of queues or being unable to log in at all.
We’re continuing to add nodes to ease the pressure on the player database. The process of adding nodes requires replication of data, which inherently adds pressure to an already stressed system, so we’re doing it slowly to not cause any further disruption as devs and engineers work through separate issues. We are also currently throttling queues in order to protect the player database as much as we can while we scale—this feels bad in the short-term, but once it’s done, will greatly improve the experience for players across multiple fronts moving forward.
Problems with Account Merge (Missing Player Items/Data)
Tl;dr: You have not lost any items or progress, though some players are logging in and seeing some/all elements missing from their collection.
We’ve received a number of reports from players that their inventory in-game is partially or totally reset. We’ve determined that the cause for this discrepancy in approximately half of reported cases is players having not yet completed their account merge. This is understandable—one cause for this is due to a bug with the launch build not providing an account merge prompt on some consoles. We rolled out a partial UI fix earlier today to help some console players progress through the account merge flow, however, we are still working on fixes for additional UI issues.
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. 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.
There was a separate issue with account merge where players who had merged their console and PC accounts were experiencing problems logging in. This bug is now resolved. If you watched any community streamers on launch day, you might have noticed some had more trouble logging in than others; this bug was the primary cause for that.
Incorrectly Locked Heroes and Items for Existing Players
This is an issue separate from account merge but the player experience is the same as the above, where heroes and items that should be unlocked for existing players are appearing as locked. These cases are almost certainly related to our new First Time User Experience (FTUE) flow incorrectly being applied to existing players. We have seen relogging into the game resolve this issue in most cases.
On the day of launch, these issues were exacerbated by DDoS attacks—while they did not directly cause any of these issues, they made the environment in which we work on these issues more challenging. We have not suffered any further attacks.
We are committed to keeping you all informed, and will provide more information as it becomes available. Please keep an eye on @PlayOverwatch for additional updates.
Thank you, heroes,
The Overwatch Team