I can't believe Blizzard made babysitting the payload worse in Overwatch 2

Support hero crouching
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Playing attack on Kings Row, what a great way to start the day. Fighting through the narrow cobblestoned streets of London at dawn or dusk, this Overwatch map is one of my favorites for a reason. It has everything you need, from great vantage points for snipers like Widowmaker to make use of to choke points that tanks like Reinhart can valiantly defend. The only problem is that I can’t experience these when I’m stuck babysitting the payload. 

Left alone again while my team pushes forward further up the map, which seems like a world away. I can’t leave; otherwise, the payload, which is essentially a ticking time bomb on wheels, will stop moving, and unless we escort it to the next checkpoint, we won’t be winning the game. So I get comfy and take in all the sights Kings Row has to offer. The morning sunlight reflects off the chalky stone walls, quaint little storefronts are scattered along the route, maybe this isn’t so bad. 

That’s when I hear it: “Bombs away!” My head snaps around, eyes open wide, as I see the pulse bomb that’s been placed next to me. It explodes feet away from where I had been sitting. My quiet trip through King’s Row is over, now I have to babysit the payload and deal with a Tracer. 

A damage hero who can move in the blink of an eye, Tracer is a persistent wasp to payload babysitters. Although her two pulse guns don’t deal much damage, her speed makes her a frustrating target. Especially for me, playing an aging support hero called Ana. 

By this point, Tracer is literally running circles around me. I try to keep up, but my mouse sensitivity is way too low to deal with this ambush. As she peppers me with bullets, I yell for help, but no one comes. My team seems to be having too much fun without me. In seconds I’m lying dead on the floor. I respawn to my teammates, yelling that not only has no one been pushing the payload, but they haven’t had my healing either. Ana and I are too old and tired for this. 

Overwatch 2 battle

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Out with the old

Pushing the payload is no one’s cup of tea, but it has to be done if you want to win the mode. It was never fun before, but Blizzard has somehow made it that little bit worse in Overwatch 2

Payload duty is a thankless task, so having a medal felt like a deserved pat on the back

Originally, in Overwatch, there was a system of medals awarded per team based on the most kills, objective kills, damage done, healing provided, and objective time. The medal for the objective time was a godsend. It meant that if you were left alone to babysit the payload for a match, you would still get a gold medal for spending the most time on the objective. Payload duty is a thankless task, so having a medal felt like a deserved pat on the back. 

Sadly, this is no longer the case. Blizzard has removed the medal system in Overwatch 2, replacing it with statistics and a scoreboard that everyone on both teams can see. Kills, assists, healing, and so forth. However, there is no objective time to be seen. So not only is there no medal, but there is no marker that payload babysitters helped the team at all.

The medals and objective time aren’t the only systems that Blizzard has scrapped. It has also removed the ‘on fire’ system, where your portrait would be surrounded by blue flames whenever you played well. Weirdly, Blizzard dumped the visuals but kept the audio for the ‘on fire’ system, so you’ll still hear heroes shouting, “I’m on fire”, which comes across as a little braggy... 

Overview of battlefield

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Gratitude 

While not world-shattering changes, it has made it a little bit less rewarding to do the often thankless task of sitting on a payload as it slowly trundles toward the objective. I do really enjoy Overwatch 2, and I understand the reasons for changing the medal system to a scoreboard. You used to get people using medals as a way to vent frustration at their teams, like players who don't think their damage hero-playing teammates are doing enough shouting “I’m a healer, how the [redacted] do I have four golds”. But I think the pros outweigh the cons.

The 'on fire' and medals systems worked as incentives. Only one person per team could get a gold for each category, and I always needed to be first for healing. I played better to secure that gold, and in turn, my team got better healing. 

Furthermore, now Blizzard has scrapped the objective time information, I have no way to qualify my games statistics. It may look like less healing or kills, but that’s because I spent half of the match too far away from my team to help as I was pushing the payload. At the end of the day, any kind of information helps gauge performance, and Blizzard knows how to provide this, so the removal of it is frustrating.

I want my team to win, so I will gladly babysit the payload if I must. But I’m not going to pretend I don’t want a medal for my heroism in the face of Tracer mains. 

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.