Blizzard admits its mistake, map pools are being taken out of Overwatch 2 in Season 4
No more swimming in the map rotation waters.
In a surprise short blog update, Overwatch 2 Game Developer Aaron Keller has come out and said that the Overwatch team agrees with fans that map pools don’t belong in the game, at least yet. Starting in Season 4, map pools will no longer limit the areas you can see in Overwatch 2 matches. This alteration will join other announced changes for the future season, including changes to your ranked status and skill decay. When explaining why the team changed its mind on this, he cited the community not liking it and the lack of maps in the game not necessitating limiting where you can go.
The removal of map pools is a great relief for many players who came from the original Overwatch because we are months into the game being out and we have yet to see Numbani, a map that’s been in the game since the beginning but just happened to be on the outside of the map pool in Seasons 1 and 2. Each season lasts nine weeks, so these are big stretches to never see what could potentially be your favorite arena in the game.
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Keller also stated that the team were trying to introduce big map changes in their downtime, but the work proved too much. Gibraltar was available in Season 1 but removed in Season 2. It was supposed to return in Season 4 with some significant changes, but it was beginning to look like the map would be delayed, which wouldn’t feel good for a map players have been able to visit for the past six years to be gone for that amount of time.
There is potential for map pools to return in the far future after the game has brought a lot more maps to the game, says Keller. With every other season introducing a new location, Season 3 brings Antarctic Peninsula, that might be in a couple of years. He promised if that happens, the map rotation will be much more frequent than it was in its first iteration, likely done every week.