Overwatch 2 Removes Map Pool System in Season 4

Aaron Keller announces the removal of map pool rotations for Overwatch 2 season 4. Other map changes are also mentioned, but won't be seen until further in the future. Changes such as problematic map spawn design and map frequency are all being worked on.

Overwatch 2 Removes Map Pool System in Season 4Aaron Keller announces the end of map pool rotations beginning season 4 of Overwatch 2 in a new blog post.

The system was meant to bring a new, fresh feeling after each season, rotating their maps in and out. However, after the increased backlash following the implemented system, they decided to scrap it. Keller’s reasoning for this change is that the current map roster is too little to justify keeping the system ongoing. In addition, the impact it had on seasonal identity was scarce. They seem keen on addressing many complaints following the release of Overwatch 2

Along with those reasonings included the fact that it simply didn’t work with their current work process for maps in general. Aaron Keller brought up Watchpoint: Gibraltar as an example. Planned for return in season 4, the map might see delays due to playtesting issues.

 Although the system is going away, Keller imagines it coming back someday in the future. However, this will be an altered, faster system to hopefully cater better to their desired ideas of map freshness between seasons. 

One of Overwatch 2's control maps.

One of Overwatch 2’s control maps.

Other Upcoming Map Changes

One of the other problems addressed was the current accidental favoritism towards maps. Overwatch 2’s map frequency is pretty finicky, with plenty of fans claiming to play on Push maps quite a bit. The programming for the map matchmaker has it so players don’t play on the same game mode or the same map. As a result and since Push has fewer maps than the other game modes, you would play Push maps more than intended. They’re currently working on a fix for that, coming in a future season. 

They also planned to alleviate some design flaws featured in some map spawns. For example, if the team captured the point right as you just respawned, you would be stuck on the first spawn point. This would consequentially put you in more danger as you’d be heavily out of position since your team is far away due to spawn change. The Overwatch devs wish to fix this ongoing problem in a multitude of maps, but also hope to avoid creating accidental flank routes. 

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…

-Aaron Keller

Toronto, a Push map.

Toronto, a Push map.

Hopefully, all these fixes help improve the player experience of Overwatch 2. While it addresses many problems regarding maps, it does finally get rid of the map rotation system. Players alike can finally play on their favorite maps without having to wait months for a return. 

SOURCE: Overwatch 2 Director’s Take – Mapping Out the Future

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