The next new Overwatch multiplayer map will be Havana, based on the map through which players must battle in the Storm Rising mission.
The Storm Rising in-game event introduces a new PvE mission in which an Overwatch Strike Team chase down the omnic Maximilien, a Talon operative who acts as Doomfist’s accountant.
Like last year’s Retribution event, which saw a Blackwatch team fighting through Rialto, the location for Storm Rising is also set to become a multiplayer map.
After the release of Storm Rising, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan joined a broadcast with Overwatch streamer OhNickel to play through and discuss the event’s mission, during which he revealed more details about the upcoming Havana multiplayer map.
Given that the Storm Rising mission involves escorting a truck carrying explosives through the map, it seemed almost certain that the multiplayer map will also involve a payload, and Jeff Kaplan has now confirmed that this will be the case.
It remains to be seen whether this means Havana will be a full-blown Escort map, or a Hybrid map in which the payload is unlocked after the first point is captured. In the Storm Rising mission, the payload doesn’t appear until the map’s second stage, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case in the multiplayer version.
While a Hybrid map is arguably “due” given that the other modes have had new maps more recently, there’s nothing to say that Blizzard have to balance their releases exactly, so it’s very possible that Havana could be Escort like last year’s Archives map, Rialto.
While Havana doesn’t yet have an official release date, Jeff Kaplan has stated that the map will be available for testing on the Public Test Realm (PTR) “very soon.”
Blizzard typically make updates on either Tuesday or Thursday, and with Tuesday April 16 having been dedicated to the Storm Rising patch on the live servers, the next slot for a PTR update would be Thursday April 18, which would fit with Kaplan’s statement that it’s coming “very soon.”
If not April 18, Overwatch players will likely have to wait until at least April 23 for the PTR to be updated with the new map.
How long the map remains on the PTR before going live remains to be seen, and might well depend on how many bugs and exploits players are able to identify that Blizzard need to fix. Typically, however, maps remain in testing for two to four weeks before moving to the live servers.
While the Havana multiplayer map will be largely the same as it appears in Storm Rising, there will be some differences.
According to Jeff Kaplan, these will primarily be time-of-day and weather changes – likely brightening up the map compared to how dark and miserable it appears ahead of the incoming storm in the PvE mission.
While Havana will become a permanent feature of Overwatch in the form of the multiplayer map, those that wish to experience it as part of the Storm Rising mission will have until the event ends on May 6 to do so, after which the mission will disappear until Archives returns the following year.