Overwatch 2 is set to release next week, and unlike the previous game, it will be free-to-play. Blizzard expects the change will bring in a lot more players, and the developer is looking at ways to improve what it calls the "First Time User Experience," or FTUE for short. In a new blog post, the company outlined its plans to avoid overwhelming those new to the world of Overwatch. Part of that FTUE plan means that newcomers will have limited access to game modes and heroes from the start and gradually unlock them as they play. Blizzard says the goal is to make the game more "approachable" for those new to the series.
"New players begin with access to a limited set of game modes, heroes, and some other restrictions to onboard them more gradually. The first phase of our new FTUE rapidly unlocks all the game modes and the ability to chat in-game, and the second phase unlocks all the original Overwatch heroes over the course of approximately 100 matches," the blog post reads.
While some newcomers might be frustrated by these barriers, the FTUE approach is not just meant to help newcomers; it's also meant to be an impediment to those that would try to disrupt the overall experience. Blizzard hopes that by locking things like chat and Competitive behind these barriers, it will make disruptive players less interested in the game, and it will also give Blizzard "the chance to identify suspicious accounts before they enter other game modes." Blizzard is quick to point out that, with the exception of Competitive, "most FTUE restrictions are lifted while in a group, so new players can team up with their friends at any time to play almost any game modes."
It remains to be seen whether these plans will benefit the overall game, but fans can see for themselves when Overwatch 2 releases on October 4th on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. In the meantime, readers can check out all of our previous coverage of the game right here.
Are you looking forward to next week's release of Overwatch 2? What do you think of Blizzard's FTUE system? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!