Does Overwatch need a map ban system? - Dexerto
Overwatch

Does Overwatch need a map ban system?

Published: 10/Sep/2019 18:02 Updated: 10/Sep/2019 18:12

by Bill Cooney

Share


Overwatch has never allowed players any say in map selection for Competitive play, but some people think that it’s time for a change.

It’s no secret that there are some Overwatch maps that almost no one enjoys playing on (looking at you, Paris), and with 2-2-2 now here to stay, some have started looking to the maps as the next big change.

Advertisement

There’s never been any kind of map picking or veto system in Overwatch, unless you’re in Overwatch League, and developers have said that it’s not something they want to add to the game, but that hasn’t stopped the community from bringing it up.

Blizzard EntertainmentParis is probably the last map you want to see come up for your last game of the night.

Overwatch players want a map veto option

One of the biggest memes along with Paris (and any 2CP map, really) is the instant hero status for any player who leaves at the beginning of the match, therefore cancelling the map for everyone else.

Advertisement

“You are doing God’s work. Thank you,” Reddit user DiamondRacer told so-called queue dodgers in a highly-upvoted post. “Maybe if those maps get dodged enough, the leaver stats will push Blizz to implement some kind of map veto system. One can hope, anyway.”

To the people who queue dodge Paris and Horizon: from r/Competitiveoverwatch

Another Reddit user, feck1t, had several suggestions to implement a map pick/ban system, but each has their own downside.

“A mode vote so the lobby can vote on a game mode at least and then the game autopicks a random map of that type?” feck1t suggested. “This just would suck for the few people that actually DO like 2 CP, since that map never would come on.”

Advertisement

“Maybe some algorithm that makes sure no map will come up twice when other maps of the pool were not played yet,” they suggested next. “So you at least go through every map once before you end up on Horizon or Paris 3 times in one evening.”

Blizzard EntertainmentHorizon Lunar Colony isn’t as despised as Paris by players, but it’s pretty close.

What do the developers think about map bans?

Overwatch Developer Jeff Kaplan talked about a map ban all the way back in 2017 during an interview with Gamespot, where he also shot down the idea of the now-implemented Role Queue system, interestingly enough.

“So, there’s two types of pick and ban systems, one that relates to maps and one that relates to heroes. I’m not a fan of either.” Jeff told Gamespot. “I think they work very well for a MoBA where you don’t have hero switching. I think the problem with Overwatch as it pertains to pick and ban systems is that the game was designed to have a certain level of fluidity to it. I think that fluidity would go away [with a pick and ban system].”

Advertisement

Blizzard EntertainmentJeff wasn’t a fan of map bans in 2017, but has his opinion changed?

Uncle Jeff obviously wasn’t a fan of a map ban system back then, but with Role Queue now implemented, it could be time to take another look at the way stages are assigned for matches.

Overwatch is also about due for a new map, since Havana came out back in May 2019, but so far we haven’t heard any word on what it could be, yet. But please, no more 2CP for awhile.

Advertisement
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

Share


Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

Advertisement

In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

Advertisement
Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

Advertisement

It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

Advertisement

While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

Advertisement