Pool’s Closed, Kids
The challenge of keeping a free-to-play, games-as-a-service game popular is constantly battling with your player base it seems. Overwatch and Overwatch 2 have been exceedingly good at the back and forth between game and players. They introduce brand new things, change previous decisions, and add new content just when they need to.
A fairly popular choice multiplayer games make is map-pooling. Having a selected group of maps and game modes in a playlist, sharing a theme or common thread. Overwatch 2 has used a map pool for a while, including in the current season. According to Overwatch director Aaron Keller, this is going to change in Season 4, since Season 3 is already planned out and ready to go.
In a director’s blog, Keller explained why map pools are going away. While it may keep season fresh and distinct from each other, map pools can leave a player’s favorite map out of rotation.
Keller also explains how map frequency works. Overwatch 2 tries to match players with maps they haven’t played in a while, but it does the same thing with game modes. The game mode Push has fewer maps to play on than other modes, so playing that mode will increase the frequency of those maps.
There is also a change coming regarding events. Players have expressed displeasure when an event focuses too much on a specific game mode. Again, playing the same game mode will limit the amount of variety in maps. Keller says their priorities around events will change up, but will not disclose specifics.
Overwatch 2 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. Season 3 begins on February 7th.
Are you glad that map pools are going away? Let us know in the comments below.