Ten seconds is a lot when you’re in Overwatch 2 and the other team is letting you loose. Fine. Not even the other team. One lonely character. One lone character with an ultimate ability that lasts indefinitely while dealing damage, allowing him to completely destroy your team.
“Lol,” came a message in the match chat from the Ramatra in question. “His ult is so powerful right now”
In an often toxic game that has become more toxic since it went free to play, these words showed just how terrible Overwatch 2 was. The source of my team’s pain was the apology. This man knew exactly what everyone else was doing – character balance in OW2 was never right. And even after Blizzard’s recent promises to fix Season 2’s issues, this interaction remains the closest I’ve ever heard of someone apologizing for all of the issues.
Everyone who played Season 2 deserves a fucking apology too. At the end of the first season, things began to improve – server problems were resolved, and the gameplay became more balanced. I even started to enjoy playing rated more than unranked because I got all the other noobs out and we did some fun, stupid noob stuff together. I like it. My Diamond and Master friends watched replays of my games and suffered internally; I just looked forward to the next round when we clumsy puppies trip over ourselves.
Then came season 2. My friends warned me that the matchmaker would be broken within the first week or two, but I never expected that a massacre awaited me. I queued up for ranked play after play, only to eventually realize that I wasn’t paired with players of the same skill level. The matchmaker replaced veterans on both sides. From time to time, the strongest players on my team brought us newbies and weaklings, but mostly we all suffered from complete carnage. After dozens of matches in the first two weeks, when I tried and failed to help my team, I gave up. Like most of my friends, which then killed the appeal of the unranked mode – it’s easier to suffer from unbalanced teams when you can sigh about it with your acquaintances.
Blizzard seems to be finally addressing players’ concerns over ranked mode, the ridiculous Ramattra ultimate, and even the lack of earnable in-game currency in the upcoming Season 3, but it feels a little overdue. Especially as the developer seems to be holding players responsible for their own dissatisfaction – in his Season 2 blog, the developer said that “the new ranked mode suffered from poor understanding” and “there was confusion about players’ real rank and how it matched their skill level.
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to take the blame for not understanding the system when the people in charge can’t (don’t want to) clearly explain the system they’ve created. Blizzard is the only organization in Overwatch 2 that defines someone’s actual rank and categorizes skill levels, not to mention how designations change over time. However, instead of explaining this to the audience, we seem to be the problem. If a developer doesn’t care enough about their players to explain things to them properly, what’s the point of playing?
The good news is that my franchise investment is relatively small. I started just half a year before the end of the first game and only for social reasons. I’ve looked at Sea of Thieves, Halo Infinite, and now Overwatch 2 to keep up with my friends, and there’s no shortage of other games to keep going.
Blizzard probably doesn’t care if I or my friends leave. We don’t buy battle passes every season. I don’t keep the game in this state with my money, nor do I want to waste my time after the emotional fire in the garbage can of the second season. But you know what? I paid for Overwatch. I would have paid exactly the same for Overwatch 2 if the setting was better. Hell, last year I spent $30 on a cat game. All I ask from video games is for nice mechanics that I can learn and eventually master the basics. Overwatch 2 is not the same right now, and I totally understand why my colleague Michael Kreider switched from loving the original to not being interested in this successor.