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This New Policy Makes Overwatch 2 More Accessible

 

Overwatch 2
This New Policy Makes Overwatch 2 More Accessible


Overwatch 2 has updated its phone number policy regarding Battle.net accounts. This update is good news to new players with prepaid phone plans who were previously prevented from creating accounts because of Blizzard’s SMS Protect requirements.

Blizzard announced that it will expand SMS Protect to all prepaid plans. However, it said that VoIP is not accepted for SMS Protect. It was also stated that there were no changes in who needs to activate SMS Protect. "This change does not affect any existing Overwatch 2 accounts regardless of whether they have SMS Protect or are exempt due to their previous Overwatch game licence."

You don't need to create a new phone number if your account doesn't have one. This allows prepaid phone users to have easier access to the game. Overwatch 2 has had a difficult time with the SMS Protect requirement.

How did we get here?

Blizzard published a blog post describing several systems that were being implemented by the game, collectively called Defense Matrix. These systems are all intended to improve security and enhance the in-game experience. Overwatch 2 will be adding SMS Protect to assist with account verification and banish disruptive players, according to the blog post. Sometimes, free-to-play games have higher cheating rates. These are known as smurfs (experienced gamers who intentionally lose matches to play at lower skill levels) and other disruptive players. One way to stop these types of players is to add phone numbers.

The requirement was subject to restrictions. Blizzard stated in a blog post that the same phone number can not be used for multiple accounts simultaneously and that players cannot use the same number to create multiple accounts. A phone number cannot be used more than once to create a new account. SMS Protect can not be used with certain numbers such as pre-paid or VOIP.

SMS Protect and other modifications are intended to keep bad actors from the game. However, some of them, especially the experience for new players, are a fundamental shift within the game experience. It is similar to new heroes being locked into the battle pass.

According to YouGov data, the restriction on prepaid phones plans was a major barrier for many players. For example, 38% of US adults between 18 and 29 have prepaid plans. Blizzard changed the requirement based on community feedback, but not completely.

Blizzard posted another blog post a day after the launch of the game. It stated that phones would no longer need to be verified for most existing players. Anyone who played the original Battle.net game will no longer need a verified number beginning Oct. 7. However, new players won't need to have a verified number. "Accounts that are not connected to Battle.net will still need to meet SMS Protect requirements. This helps us to protect our community from cheating."

Blizzard stated in a blog post that they would continue to listen and make any necessary changes.

Overwatch 2 made several changes to minimize disruptive behavior.

Changes in the first-time user experience

Overwatch's original tutorial was brief and didn't take long to get you in the mood for more. Overwatch 2 seems to take a more deliberate approach.

The post states that the first phase of the new [first-time user experience] unlocks all game modes and allows you to chat in-game. The second phase unlocks all Overwatch heroes and lasts approximately 100 matches. This focused experience helps new players to get into Overwatch. It teaches them how to use different modes and rules in an easy-to-understand way.

Quick Play matches can take between 5 and 15 minutes. This is a significant time investment for new players in order to unlock every hero or game mode. If you are concerned about missing the right heroes and game modes if you don't group up with your friends who have played Overwatch for a while, this blog post explains that most restrictions can be lifted when you are in a group.

One exception is Competitive mode. This mode requires that a player win 50 Quick Play matches to unlock it. This is a requirement that allows new players to adjust to the game and gives the game more matchmaking information.

The blog post explains that it's designed to keep disruptive players out of the game. Voice chat unlocking and match chat unlocking are some examples of how this will be done later in FTUE. This experience will allow us to detect suspicious accounts and prevent them from gaining access to other game modes.

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