Overwatch 2

Director's Take - Mapping Out the Future

Director's Take - Mapping Out the Future

Hi all! We’re back a little earlier than we had originally planned. Think of this as a bonus Dev Chat!

We’re going to mostly focus on maps and level design this go around.

Off we go!

Map Pools… You were right. We were wrong. Map Pools are going away starting in season 4. We aimed to provide a bit of freshness each season and concentrate the number of maps that people were playing, however player sentiment around map pools was pretty low, the map roster doesn’t have enough maps where we truly need them, and the impact they had on seasonal identity was fairly low. Additionally, the cadence for maps leaving and returning to the pool didn’t align with the time it took to make changes to the maps. Gibraltar was supposed to return in Season 4 but the playtesting and iteration we were doing for the map started calling that deadline into question. There’s the possibility that we bring map pools back in the far future when we have a lot more maps in the game. If we were to bring them back, they would probably rotate at a faster rate, potentially every week. If you hate this idea, set a reminder for 2 years from now and let us know!

Map frequency. Some players seem to think that we set the frequency of maps in the pool higher for new maps and game modes. The example we hear a lot is that Colosseo comes up much more frequently than other maps. We don’t have any special code that prefers one map over another. However, it’s not entirely random. We have been looking into this based off of player reports and there is a detail of the matchmaking system that does elevate Push maps a bit. The matchmaker tries to avoid people playing the same map as well as the same game mode over a short period of time. Since Push has fewer maps than other game modes this could cause those maps to come up more frequently than game modes with more maps. We’re looking into a way to mitigate this, targeted for a future season. This is even more important considering that we have another new game mode with new maps scheduled for a seasonal release later this year.

Do you ever spawn on defense in Gibraltar right before the first checkpoint is reached and wonder whether you’ll get back to your team alive without getting caught outside of spawn? This problem has gone on too long. We’ve looked into level design changes to fix this problem in several maps, and will probably use that in a few places, but those have the possibility of opening new flanking routes for the offense that we’d prefer to avoid. So, we’re talking about solutions that don’t necessitate map changes. This probably won’t hit Season 4, but it’s in the works.

One last, non-map related item. We heard from players that event challenges focused too heavily on playing the event’s game mode. We’ve changed our values here. We’re shifting direction to include more challenges that let you play the way you prefer, while still introducing event game modes. Some of the event challenges will reflect these changes in Season 3. We’ll continue to monitor this and change it in the future if it doesn’t feel right.

That’s it! Keep the feedback/critiques/communication coming. :)

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