Overwatch 2 developers talk about SMS Protect, queue problems, and missing items


In terms of the connection issues and long queues for entry that are keeping many of us stuck at the loading screen (Login queues, server crashes, and stability problems), a critical login server has been patched to help it hold up under the load. Blizzard says it’s also slowly scaling up the nodes in its player databases to help them handle the onrush of players diving in.

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

Beyond the ability to connect to the servers is issue number one for a game that takes place entirely online, but there are other major headaches for Overwatch fans, and Blizzard discussed those too. For the SMS Protect system, which required all Overwatch 2 player accounts to have a registered postpaid phone number (blocking some prepaid services like Cricket Wireless and VOIP setups like Google Voice in an attempt to cut off smurfs, trolls, and hackers), it’s relaxing that requirement for any people who’ve both played Overwatch 1 and have a connected Battle.net account.

If you ever played the first game on PC then that definitely includes you, while anyone who played the console editions since June 9th, 2021, is also definitely in that group. The change won’t take place immediately but is expected to roll out on Friday.

Hopefully, it should address players who found themselves cut off from the game, as well as accounts they’d poured time and money into when Overwatch 2 launched on Tuesday. It’s unlikely to fix everything for everyone, however, and restricting the game to only people who have approved postpaid phone service is still going to be an issue for many people in the US and around the world who either share a phone number, don’t have one at all, or simply use a provider Blizzard doesn’t approve of.

Last but not least, for those of us who have overcome all of those hurdles and logged in only to find our accounts missing many items, play history, and other associated data, Blizzard says there are a few problems it’s working to fix, with about half of the reports concerning accounts that haven’t been merged, and the other half are accounts that have merged, but the data hasn’t populated within Overwatch 2 yet.

According to the post, “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.”

It’s also already rolled out one UI fix to help console players get their prompt to merge accounts if necessary, but the basic details on cross-progression and account mergers are listed here. If you’re still not getting the prompt, Blizzard said there are more fixes on the way. It’s also resolved a bug that stopped many people with properly merged accounts from logging in at all. For people who are missing characters that should be unlocked, logging back in should fix it, and if it doesn’t, then they’re encouraged to open a ticket with support.