New skins in Overwatch 2 can be earned – in theory. In practice, however, it takes so long that we hardly ever experience it.
Overwatch 2 launched a few days ago, bringing a major overhaul to the base game. There are now 5 vs 5 matches instead of 6 vs 6 like before, Blizzard wants to crack down on trolls and scammers and the controversial loot boxes have been abolished.
Skins and other cosmetic rewards are now part of the shop or part of the new Battle Pass. There is still the option to easily earn skins, voice lines, emotes and more, because the premium currency can also be earned in the game. But to put it bluntly: It’s a joke and unfortunately not a funny one.
As my friends and I played like this for the last two days, while waiting for new matches, we kept coming back to the heroes and their skins. Similar to Overwatch 1, they are provided with a purchase price. What you could previously buy with “Credits” are now “Overwatch Coins” or “Overwatch Coins”.
Overwatch Coins are the premium currency in Overwatch 2. You can either buy them for real money or earn them – at least in theory.
Depending on its rarity, a skin costs between 250 and 1,900 coins. In most cases, the “250” skins are just new colors, i.e. “recolor” of the original with minor adjustments. The really fancy skins with new designs are in the 1,000 and 1,900 category.
Between €2.50 and €19 for a skin, that’s unfortunately normal in the video game industry these days. You can probably come to terms with that.
32 weeks gamble for a single skin
What my friends and I don’t get along with is the “slap in the face” that Overwatch 2 uses to make us think you can just earn the skins. Because that is possible in theory, but in practice it is nothing more than torture.
The catch is that you can only earn a very small amount of Overwatch Coins. Each week exactly 60 pieces via completing all weekly challenges.
Or, to put that in perspective:
- For a “250” skin you have to play for 5 weeks.
- For a legendary 1,000 skin you have to play 17 weeks.
- For a Legendary 1,900 skin you have to play 32 weeks.
In other words, if you want to unlock one of the numerous, expensive legendary skins, you have to play for 8 months and complete all weekly challenges absolutely every week and should never afford anything else.
For. A. single. Skin.
So it’s not surprising that a large number of my friends say after two nights of Overwatch: “The loot boxes in Overwatch 1 weren’t that bad after all.”
Because if you have the choice between “Unlock something randomly every few hours” or “Get a single thing in more than half a year”, then the answer is quite clear.
Play 449 years to “unlock” all skins in Overwatch 2
A little “fun fact” on the side: If you were to try to unlock all the cosmetic rewards of Overwatch 1 with this free version, you would need a whopping 23,359 weeks. That’s just over 449 years.
I really like playing Overwatch 2, but I doubt whether the game offers so much long-term motivation that I still want to play the shooter in 2471.
Now, even if Blizzard declared the “I Must Be Crazy” weeks and changed the game to give you 60 Overwatch Coins daily (instead of weekly), you would still need 32 days to get one of the 1900s skins play – while completing every single challenge every day.
After all, getting everything from Overwatch 1 would only take 64 years.
If you can easily multiply the rate at which you get premium currency by 7x and it’s still such an absurd amount of time, then the whole system isn’t designed for you to get anything that way at all.
Free2Play needs to make money – but does it have to be so overwhelming?
And yes: I am fully aware that Overwatch 2 is now Free2Play and skins will be the primary revenue stream. I totally understand. Nevertheless, this limit of 60 coins per week is almost an insult and actually just a figurehead for the shop.
Because anyone who briefly does the math in their head and calculates what a cool skin requires in terms of playing time can’t help but give up and rather throw euros at the problem. Or to quote one of my friends:
“Honestly? I’d rather have nothing than the 60 coins because they feel like an insult.”
And I can understand.
My group is definitely hoping that Blizzard will tweak those numbers a bit more. Because if Overwatch 2 really wants to have such a constant flow of content that new content and skins appear every 9 weeks, you should be a little more generous with the premium currency. You’re going to have to dig into your wallet anyway if you want all the cool skins.
What do you think of the new system? Are the prices and the amount of currency that can be earned okay? Or do you also think that there is still a lot that needs to be done?
In any case, we found the “Secret Message from Jeff Kaplan” very appropriate.