On April 9th, Blizzard announced in a developer blog post that Overwatch would be receiving some much-needed adjustments to two of its maps.
From the eradication of map pools to the long-awaited reformation of the Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris maps— not to mention Echo’s release on April 13th— Overwatch fans should have much to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. However, the most exciting update resides in the suspension of the two maps in competitive play.
Assault (more commonly referred to as 2-control-point, or 2CP) has been the least popular game-mode since the inception of Overwatch. Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris, both 2CP maps, will see a significant reduction in play-rate as Blizzard works to find a solution to make these options more enjoyable.
Horizon Lunar Colony
When Horizon Lunar Colony was first introduced to the game on June 20th, 2017, there were clear issues with the map right away. The defensive spawn on point B was too close to the point, and there were not enough stairwells or access points to high ground throughout the map. Most importantly, the entry points to point A on the map were only accessible from the sides; additionally, there was no feasible defensive high-ground option due to the lack of staircases. While visually stimulating, HLC was too flawed for players to enjoy. In the summer of 2018, Blizzard introduced a re-work to the map, adding much-needed stairwells and additional cover for both attacking and defending sides. Since then, Horizon Lunar Colony has been much more bearable, but its legacy as one of the most talked-about and hated maps remains today.
Paris was released on February 19th, 2019, and quickly became one of the most hated maps in Overwatch history. Its lack of cover and defensive advantage on point A contrasted the large, open area that gave the offense too many entry points on point B. This, combined with defensive spawns that were simply too close to the second point, led to much frustration— even to the point where players would disconnect from Paris matches altogether. Cries for help began flooding the online forums, but no major changes would be made to the map. Now, over a year later, Blizzard has finally admitted to the problematic aspects of Paris, and will work on “updating the map’s layout and making it more fun to play.”
For a better future?
While many have been disappointed with the lack of transparency and slow response to much-needed changes throughout Overwatch’s history, these newer adjustments will hopefully be the start of more favorable moves by Blizzard and its developers. There’s no doubt that every map in Overwatch is carefully and beautifully designed, but functionality always comes first.
What other maps are in desperate need of adjustment? Let us know!