After a shaky development cycle and numerous delays, Overwatch 2 is now on track to release in early access later this year. Recently, the developers at Activision Blizzard hosted an AMA on Reddit to answer any questions that fans may have ahead of its incoming beta. One of the most notable takeaways is that Overwatch 2 will remove player levels in favor of Battle Pass progression.

As Blizzard prepares Overwatch 2 for its launch on October 4, the studio has decided to offer a handful of beta tests in the months before release. Fans received their first look at the game on April 26 during Overwatch 2’s first beta, which was still only a brief glimpse at the full game. Before the game’s next beta testing session begins on June 28, the developers at Activision Blizzard partook in an AMA on Reddit, wherein they answered lingering questions regarding Overwatch 2’s monetization plans and how the game will take the place of its predecessor. Notably, Overwatch 2 is removing loot boxes for a Battle Pass system and replacing the first game altogether.

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Knowing Overwatch 2 will overwrite the original Overwatch at launch, fans had questions regarding the in-game progression system and how Blizzard will handle player levels and skins. Reddit user timberflynn asks, “Do you mind elaborating about cross platform progression? Will we all be reset to level 1 when OW2 comes out?... If I have a bunch of skins on PS4 and it transfers over for OW2, will I be able to get my skins on Xbox?” Blizz_Jodie, a member of the Overwatch Community Development team, responded by stating that Blizzard will remove levels from the game entirely, and players can carry any Overwatch skins into Overwatch 2 and across all platforms. Blizz_winter further clarifies and states that players will only be able to level their Battle Pass, and their profiles will not display an actual level.

Fan reception to this news has been mixed. Most notably, fans feel like the removal of levels in Overwatch 2 takes away the sense of progression and accomplishment that players enjoy every time they log on to play the game. Due to the studio's decision to make Overwatch 2 free-to-play, Blizzard appears to be trading in player levels for Battle Pass ranks and following the trend of recent free-to-play shooters that have found plenty of success with that business model. Some fans respect that change but would appreciate it if Blizzard showcased a fan’s legacy ranks in their Overwatch 2 profile.

While the Overwatch team’s recent AMA sheds light on how Overwatch 2 will move on from its predecessor and offer a fresh experience for players, some questions still remain. Blizzard removing levels from Overwatch 2 has left fans wondering how competitive mode will now work, seeing how it was previously level gated until rank 25. Overwatch 2’s early access launch is right around the corner, and the next beta starts soon, so it won’t be too long until fans have their questions answered.

Overwatch 2 will launch on October 4 in early access for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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