Overwatch 2 developer Blizzard has updated its controversial “Defense Matrix” and started rolling out an audio transcription mode in an effort to combat toxicity.
“Audio transcription has been added with limited availability for PC players in select countries,” Blizzard explains via its recent Overwatch 2 release. (opens in new tab) patch notes (opens in new tab). “As part of our Defense Matrix initiative, audio transcripts allow us to analyze a transcript from a temporary voice chat recording of a reported player.
“Players will now see a notification when entering voice chat for the first time during a play session indicating that the voice chat may be recorded,” the update continues. “Be sure to report as close to when disruptive behavior occurred to maximize the effectiveness of this feature.
Once you mention someone, a “temporary audio recording will be used to transcribe a text file via speech-to-text programs,” though Blizzard is quick to stress that “no one hears the temporary audio recording, which is quickly deleted after it’s transcribed.”
“Transfers are only made for reports of disruptive behavior in public voice channels, which include team and match chat – the ‘party’ group chat is excluded,” the update concludes (thanks, TheGamer (opens in new tab)).
Setting up Overwatch 2 SMS protection on your linked Battle.net account is no longer a requirement to play if you are a returning Overwatch 1 player. However, the security measure – which is part of the Defense Matrix (opens in new tab) initiative – means you can only play Overwatch 2 if you link a unique mobile phone number to your Battle.net account, even if you play primarily on console. This has also resulted in many players who paid for Overwatch 1 losing access to Overwatch 2 because they cannot provide a phone number.
Blizzard recently admitted this Overwatch 2 queue times are longer than expected, mainly because support is not popular (opens in new tab). Consequently, he makes changes in an attempt to make the role more appealing. As Jordan summed it up perfectly, it sucks to be an overwatch 2 support player (opens in new tab)and since fewer people want to play that role, Tank and DPS players suffer from long queues (opens in new tab) to enter competitions. Now we see that Blizzard is officially acknowledging the issue and at least starting to talk about addressing it.
Executive producer Jared Neuss said queue times are “a very real, very consistent area of focus for the team” and pledged to make supporting the game more fun. While he admits there isn’t a “silver bullet” that will fix everything right away, there are “A LOT of ideas” being considered for future seasons.
Blizzard also wants you to know that they know you haven’t been completely happy with how Overwatch 2 made the leap to free-to-play (opens in new tab)and they are making some progression changes and applying more free skins for events.
In case you want to do your part to reduce wait times, here’s the full one List of Overwatch 2 support tiers (opens in new tab) to help you choose a major.