Overwatch: is it time for a brand new map?

Better but, how about one thing slightly totally different…


“Clever level design can lift unused heroes to new heights. Where many Overwatch players seem happy to have a new hero once every three months, the arrival of a new map between these vacant periods could comfortably satiate the need for something more.”

Regardless of how good the gunplay is in a primary particular person shooter, the maps that its gamers play on are an extremely vital a part of guaranteeing the general expertise is fulfilling. Poorly designed areas that lack a cohesive theme, layering or verticality, can typically lead to play feeling boring and lifeless. Well designed maps not solely remodel a sport, however they typically stay memorable for years to return.

Overwatch has 21 maps in whole if we’re to additionally embrace seasonal variants and Arena. 14 of these are set throughout Assault, Escort, Hybrid and Control and the final to be launched, Oasis, was in January 2017. I’d think about it a comparatively massive quantity in whole however there’s additionally an imbalance proper now, with Hybrid and Control having 4 a bit and Assault and Escort solely three.

There’s no suggestion that Overwatch has to have an equal variety of maps throughout its sport modes, however it’s honest to say that Assault and Escort have a substantial amount of potential. Although they’re extremely easy in design, there’s an immediacy to the playstyle they provide that’s moreish. Volskaya is a specific favourite of mine just because the nuances of its design create a difficult ebb and circulation of fight. Its mixture of bottle necks, open areas, flanking routes and cellular platforms – wrapped up in a fantastic snow setting – permit it to face out.

To be fully honest to Overwatch, all of its maps are sturdy. I’d argue nevertheless that the lineup of Control maps are the weakest just because it’s a sport mode with so few transitions. Fundamentally, success or failure on all of them revolves fully round one set space and all the pieces on the surface is essentially irrelevant.

The addition of any new map to Overwatch can massively have an effect on the meta and whereas it may not push change so far as the arrival of a brand new hero, intelligent degree design can raise unused heroes to new heights. Where many Overwatch gamers appear pleased to have a brand new hero as soon as each three months, the arrival of a brand new map between these vacant durations may comfortably satiate the necessity for one thing ‘more’.


With Overwatch drawing its map inspirations from the actual world, albeit a future one, it did get me enthusiastic about how Blizzard may enhance on their present sport modes, but in addition what map could possibly be subsequent. Considering we’ve already been to most ecosystems and world areas which have a transparent theme, there’s inevitably a danger of overlap. It’s when wanting again over previous first particular person shooters then, that my favourite ever map sprang to thoughts: AS-Convoy from Unreal Tournament.

The map in query see gamers battle throughout a sequence of shifting automobiles and because it hurtles forwards, gamers must undertake quite a lot of goals, whether or not attacking or defending. Objectives embrace opening the transport panel to create a better spawn level for the attackers, opening the rear door of the convoy to permit a aircraft to carry out a bombing run or bomb the doorways for entry to the restore vessel.

With the Convoy continuously in movement, mixed with its a number of goals, there’s an unquestionable pleasure to the whole map. There’s not solely the chance of falling from the shifting vehicles and the transport provider, however the dynamics of the map altering in actual time – relying on the success of the attackers or defenders – makes for nervy and thrilling play.

Even in any case these years I’ve nonetheless but to play something that comes near AS-Convoy and in some ways it might be wonderful to see one thing related in Overwatch. With all present maps largely static, something with movement to this diploma would immediately stand out, particularly as an Assault map.


Choosing a setting for one thing of this type can be somewhat troublesome, however I did ponder whether the Orient Express could possibly be a risk. Although Overwatch is about a while in 2070, I think retention of key landmarks could be very a lot the norm and contemplating Hollywood and Route 66 nonetheless exist, it appears wise to recommend the Orient Express – an iconic prepare – completely may.

“Dynamic maps that change direction based on the success of the attacking or defending team could drastically alter the design approach to Assault and Escort, to the point where they’d not only have more originality, but potentially greater longevity.”

My thought surrounding the prepare and this map is that it might be extra akin to the Snowpiercer however on a a lot grander, futuristic scale. Glass carriages, a number of flooring, vast balconies and open decks in addition to quite a lot of holds would make up the prepare. These layers would add verticality, shut quarter play and selection. Not solely this, however because the prepare sped alongside – levitating above the rails beneath – hover automobiles would pursue the prepare and frequently change formations. These would supply hazards for the participant however would additionally grant additional width to the map as gamers would be capable to freely transfer throughout them.

I think an preliminary reservation would be the prospect of repeated deaths for anybody who lacks shore footing when enjoying from a primary particular person perspective, however this could largely be balanced by the very fact everybody would spawn on strong floor and entry to the Orient Express can be assured. Using the flanking routes on the surface of the prepare (technically the encompassing automobiles) can be excessive danger, excessive reward paths. Despite these dangers, there would nonetheless be some dependable paths to cross over.

The lore surrounding the map would see the differing Overwatch factions all trying to intercept and/or defend a dignitary on board the prepare. Widowmaker can be trying to assassinate, whereas heroes equivalent to Winston and Tracer can be hoping to extract the goal. Roadhog and Junkrat would merely be alongside for the gold bullion within the maintain.

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In some ways the map would play out just like the multi-stages supplied by these in Brink or Powerstone 2. It would undoubtedly be technical and little doubt a problem for Blizzard to implement one thing of this scale, however lots of the goals of the map can be Capture Points that resulted in a big change to the map.

If Blizzard is to proceed as it’s by merely implementing fastened location maps of a conventional nature, regardless of sport mode, I think issues could get stale shortly and the need from gamers to have extra maps delivered at tempo would develop louder. Ensuring that new maps retain their simplicity, however with larger layers to their supply (equivalent to my hopes above), wouldn’t solely preserve issues attention-grabbing, however add life to sport modes which are already rising stale.

The response to Capture the Rooster, one other conventional sport mode that makes use of present maps, completely highlights the participant base’s need for one thing new. Dynamic maps that change route primarily based on the success of the attacking or defending group may drastically alter the design strategy to Assault and Escort, to the purpose the place they’d not solely have extra originality, however probably larger longevity. They successfully develop into an evolving sport tug of conflict the place the maps are continuously altering: to me, that sounds an excellent factor.

What would you wish to see from new Overwatch maps? Would you want extra dynamic options? Are you proud of what we have already got, so long as a brand new setting is supplied? Let me know.