Overwatch 2’s developers have been gradually revealing some of the adjustments coming in season three, which starts on February 7. Ramattra experts may need to make plans around a recently nerfed ultimate, but competitive mode enthusiasts have already received good news in the form of matching adjustments and simpler rank-ups.
While game changes are important, the atmosphere around matches themselves is a critical part of keeping Overwatch 2 enjoyable. In today’s Defense Matrix update, the developers talked about some of the ways they’re working to keep games safe, fair, and free of harassment or toxicity.
Streamers and content creators are the lifeblood of the Overwatch 2 community, keeping the excitement going and facilitating cosmetic drops and viewership incentives. For Overwatch’s entire lifespan, popular streamers have had to deal with a phenomenon called “stream sniping,” where viewers intentionally queue into a game at the same time as the streamer. Beyond that, they can use information from the stream to gain a gameplay advantage.
In season three, stream sniping should be a thing of the past thanks to the developers adding a long-awaited Streamer Mode to the game. “Players will now be able to hide their current BattleTag or hide the tags of the other players in the same game they play in on their own game client,” the devs said in a blog post.
Not only will this keep a streamer’s BattleNet tag hidden from viewers, eliminating the possibility of errant friend requests or abusive messages, but the tags of others in the game will also be hidden to keep other players’ identities private. Streamers can even hide the current queue time or put a delay on the queue to truly eliminate stream sniping.
These features will launch for everyone when season three begins and can be found under the “Social” settings in Overwatch 2.
Beyond that, the devs updated fans on the progress made in their Defense Matrix initiative, which was launched with Overwatch 2 to facilitate a less toxic gaming experience. Monitoring of abusive voice chat using voice-to-text technology has been “exceptionally accurate and effective,” developers said. More moderation options will be coming to custom game modes and the Workshop in season three.
Cheating is still an issue in Overwatch 2, but the developers noted that they’ve already taken action on over 50,000 accounts they believe to have been using cheats since the game launched.
As usual, the team reminded players to make use of the report function to bring issues to their attention.