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A video game released in a broken state? Must be a day ending in “Y.” Overwatch 2 is the latest in a long line of titles that received a ton of hype before launch but were crippled by technical issues upon release. The latest issue plaguing the title prevents players from using their favorite characters and leaves them wondering if Blizzard has decided to push the game’s free-to-play mechanics just a bit too far.
When Overwatch 2 launched, the free-to-play game shipped with a roster of over 30 playable heroes, most of which are locked behind a significant barrier of entry (for new players, anyway). Overwatch newcomers who want to use all of the original game’s characters have to slog through 25 to 50 hours of gameplay, but even that might not be enough thanks to that aforementioned new bug.
Players from around the internet claimed they are missing a sizable chunk of the game’s old guard. Kotaku correspondent Patricia Hernandez, for instance, reported that they suddenly lost access to Doomfist, Sigma, Wrecking Ball, Ashe, Echo, Mei, Sombra, Symmetra, Torbjӧrn, Zenyatta, Baptiste, and Brigitte. Even the game’s new character, Kiriko, is missing due to this glitch. However, Hernandez later added an addendum that stated other players reported that a similar bug locked them out of a different set of characters. Needless to say, gamers were not happy.
When Blizzard updated the official Overwatch 2 bug forum, the company claimed it was working on that very issue. According to the official statement, issues with the servers designed to track player progression were to blame. How does this help gamers who want to use Zenyatta but can’t? Simply put, the problem is on Blizzard’s end, so gamers can only sit and wait for the issue to, in a sense, fix itself. Of course, that means our ability to play as characters rests on the shoulders of Blizzard’s technical support team, which is a very “your mileage may vary” situation.
As reported by Hernandez, many players are no longer locked out of their characters, but many more still can’t access a large portion of Overwatch 2’s hero roster. This development is especially aggravating since this server issue is only the latest bug to essentially prevent access to certain characters. At launch, many veteran players reported that Overwatch 2 forced them to unlock heroes they already owned. Apparently, the game accidentally flagged the accounts of these unlucky players as newcomers, but that bug was easily fixed by relaunching the game. And shortly before this latest missing heroes bug cropped up, players discovered they couldn’t play as Bastion or Torbjӧrn. But, that was actually by design since Blizzard had to temporarily remove the characters in order to fix their broken abilities.
At the end of the day, players can do very little to fix the missing heroes bug. If they used to play the original Overwatch and don’t have access to pre-existing characters anymore, odds are the game just mislabeled their accounts, which can be fixed by logging out and logging back in. Desperate players can also file a customer support ticket with Blizzard, though there haven’t been any reports that strongly suggest the studio is able (or willing) to resolve this matter on a case-by-case basis. If that doesn’t work, players can only wait, pay close attention to the official Overwatch Twitter account, and keep their fingers crossed. For those affected, best of luck.