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Overwatch • Sep 12, 2019

How a map vote system could look and work in Overwatch

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How a map vote system could look and work in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment

Map voting is becoming one of the most requested features now that role-queue has finally been added to Overwatch. The only question that people have and are undecided about is “what would it look like” and “how would it function”? 

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Banning or voting on maps is common in many esports titles or just competitive games in general. Having control over what map you play gives power to the player and gives them what is, in their opinion, the best chance of winning. 

However, Overwatch doesn’t have any such feature in ranked play and it’s only in some organized scenes such as Overwatch League, Contenders or other controlled environments where map picks or bans become a factor. 

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
In Overwatch League Playoffs, the team the lost the last map can pick the next one.

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As such, a player solo-queuing could end up being forced to play maps he or she doesn’t want to play over and over again with nothing they can do to stop it other than leave early and take a leaver penalty.

This is where Redditor purewasted’s map voting mock-up comes into play. With this concept, each player would have 10 seconds before the start of a match to vote on which two randomly selected maps they want to play. The map with the most votes gets played. 

Reddit/purewasted
A mock-up Overwatch map vote system.

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Purewasted knew there would be some questions and concerns about the system, so he addressed those in the post itself.

One possible problem could be that users play the same map over and over, but according to purewasted, this wouldn’t be the case at all. “Even if we assume King's Row will be picked every single time it appears, it would only appear 9.76% of the time,” the Redditor wrote. 

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Another issue that could arise is some maps never get played. But once more, purewasted had a solution. “Although the choice between King's Row and Horizon will almost always result in KR being picked, the choice between Hanamura and Anubis is a lot less clear. Every map will see some play. Less popular maps will see less play, which is as it should be.”

This is a pretty good point. Why should players be punished by being forced to play maps that are unpopular? And if they are unpopular it could be because people don't enjoy playing them.

The user went on to joke that while “some maps” will rarely get picked, the playerbase is really talking about 2CP/assault game modes. 

Blizzard Entertainment
Volskaya Industries could be an unpopular map if voting became a thing.

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“If that happens, maybe it will inspire Blizzard to rework (2cp is crossed out) that map type to make it more palatable to the playerbase. In the meantime, why should players be forced to play a map type that is so universally frustrating, 1/4 of the time?” 

As we previously reported, some users are actually leaving maps like Paris early just so that they don’t have to play them - a move that is actually being celebrated by playes on r/Competitiveoverwatch. 

“It sounds nice, but Blizz isn't gonna allow the possibility of a map never getting played at some levels,” ELITELamarJackson commented. “You bet your ass in a system like this, Paris/Horizon/Havana are going to have <5% pickrate when they show up (if at all).” 

Blizzard Entertainment
How often would maps like Junkertown be played if voting was implemented?

“Sounds like the system would work as intended then,” Banyle half-joked.

Many Overwatch players think 2CP is in dire need of a rework. The problem with the mode arises from the fact it is by far the most team-centric, requiring the attacking team to essentially score a fast team kill in order to capture the objective. Without coordination this can be extremely frustrating. 

 It will be interesting to see how and if Blizzard tackles map voting or vetoing in Overwatch going forward. With several highly requested features now in place such as role-queue and replays, now would be the time to figure out a way to enhance the experience even more. 

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