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Overwatch 2 launch: lengthy queues, prepaid phone plan, more

The launch of Overwatch 2, the highly-anticipated, free-to-play sequel to the iconic hero shooter by Blizzard Entertainment, has been plagued by issues, including long lines of server queues, prepaid phone plan issues, and missing items.

Blizzard said the long queues were being addressed, and the team was “working hard” to improve server stability as it faced at least two DDOS attacks.

But even when the player manages to get past the long queue, that is not the end of their woes. Blizzard’s SMS two-factor authentication, intended to assist the company in removing cheaters and “disruptive” players, happens to be problematic as well.

“SMS Protect helps verify ownership of your account in the unforeseen event of an account compromise,” Blizzard wrote. “Similarly, if a disruptive player has been suspended or banned, SMS Protect makes it more difficult for them to return to the game.” There is, however, one issue — the system doesn’t accept prepaid numbers, landlines and VOIP lines.

And yet, there’s more — with the release of Overwatch 2, cross-progression is now possible. If a player owns multiple copies of Overwatch on PC, PS4, Xbox One or Switch, their accounts can be merged with their Battle.net account to allow cross-progression between the platforms. However, many players have encountered problems when they try to merge their accounts. Some also found their cosmetics missing when they logged into the game.

Blizzard has responded to these reports, saying that it is working to fix player accounts that are missing numerous items, play history and other associated data. Approximately half of the reports the company received were about accounts that had not been merged, while the other half were about accounts that had merged but not properly integrated.

“In all cases, no player data has been wiped or lost,” said Blizzard. “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.”

Prepaid problems

As previously mentioned, prepaid phone users are currently unable to play Overwatch 2 due to Blizzard’s SMS Protect requirement. To play the game, all players will need to provide a valid post-paid phone number.

“I’ve been a Cricket Wireless customer with my bill on autopay for like six years,” player Matt Laser told The Verge. “Upon entering my number, I am met with an error message that says ‘Please enter a post-paid number,’ indicating that my phone provider is not suitable to be used for Blizzard’s account protection.”

Laser claimed to have lost six years’ worth of cosmetics, including premium, limited-edition skins and others. “[It’s] annoying, arbitrary, and classist,” he said.

Outside of the U.S., prepaid appears to be a more popular plan, particularly in large gaming markets such as South America and South Asia.

“Here in Indonesia, I have never met anyone who uses post-paid,” one player wrote. “So I’m locked out just when I was going to try OW again. My total playtime is 1,500 hours or so, and Blizz slams the door in my face.”

In response to the complaints, Blizzard said that existing Overwatch 2 players with Battle.net accounts would be exempt from the SMS Protect requirement. It also announced plans to change the phone number requirement by Friday.