Overwatch 2’s map and game mode pools keep continuously growing and with them, the desire for more selection is understandably rising in the game’s player base.
Different from other FPS games, Overwatch 2 does not currently allow its players to pre-select what kind of maps or modes they queue into.
Even a voting system that lets the lobby decide by consensus to which location they’d like to be heading is out of the picture.
During a developer Q&A, Game Director Aaron Keller, unfortunately, closed the door on either option. However, he gave several reasons as to why a map voting or veto system was not the right choice for Overwatch 2 at this time.
During the developer Q&A, Aaron Keller listed multiple arguments as to why his team didn’t believe map voting or vetoes to be the right choice for Overwatch 2 at this point in time:
“We think there is a value to having a variety to the maps and the experience in Overwatch. You look to the other games and especially the other shooters on the market right now and they might take place on just a few maps.”
No natural home for map voting
Map voting, much like character bans in lobbies such as in League of Legends, requires a dedicated interface.
In Overwatch 2, you directly jump into the action and start loading a randomised map upon being grouped by the matchmaking system.
In order for a map voting system to take place, a specific lobby would have to be created during which players vote and discuss their choices, so Keller.
Negative impact on matchmaking
One major issue in map voting or vetoing systems is that it further separates the pool of players queuing for each individual map at any given time, limiting the number of players the matchmaker can choose from and making it even harder to find fair matches.
According to Game Director of Overwatch 2, Aaron Keller, creating a map voting or selection system for players leaves the team with two undesirable choices. He explained:
“Doing that [Creating a map voting system] would either up our match-making times or we would have to be more flexible with how balanced some of the matches were.”
Overwatch 2’s core values
According to Keller, his team has a certain set of core values it takes to heart when designing systems in Overwatch 2.
One of them is to champion diversity both in the origin of its characters and the locations the action takes place. He elaborated:
“There’s not just a skill expression in being able to master all the different maps in Overwatch but there is also the expression of variety and this journey that we take you on across the world.
“That’s always been a value for the game. When Overwatch 2 launched we had a map catalogue that we put out with the game and it took 3-4 maps out of rotation every season. Our players universally spoke out that it’s not something that they wanted to have.”
The current direction is not set in stone
During the Q&A session, the development team argued on several occasions that their decisions were made with the feedback from their player base in mind.
Aaron Keller, therefore, concluded that at this time for the aforementioned reasons, they don’t see a need to move forward with a map voting system as it would not be in the interest of Overwatch 2’s player base.
“With all of those together right now, we are not in a place we’re looking at adding a map voting system. It could always change in the future as our game changes and our player’s preferences change,” he concluded.
For more on Overwatch 2 Season 6, check out the developers’ comments on increasing the release cadence of Heroes, as well as lessons learned since the game’s controversial launch.