Overwatch's Eichenwalde map is up for another round of changes

By Kurtis Chan on Mar 16, 2017

Overwatch's German map, Eichenwalde will be receiving additional changes soon according to Game Director, Jeff Kaplan during his recent AMA session in Overwatch subreddit.

Eichenwalde's second checkpoint, the castle door recently got changed from fully closed off after the payload went inside the castle to rocks and bricks rumbling down and it creates an extra pathway that is not a chokepoint. However, the winrate at Eichenwalde favors more to the Defense team and Blizzard wants to make it a more even map for both attacking and defending teams.

Kaplan mentioned that they have a team of hardcore gamers who also monitors the data collected from Overwatch. "We have an entire Business Intelligence group here at Blizzard -- and they are amazing. I know the name sounds scary and corporate. But in addition to providing our business guys with analytics, they work with the design team very closely to look at everything: heroes, maps, matchmaking, progression items (unlocks), queue times, game mode popularity, trends etc. The best part about the BI group is they are hardcore players of the game. We often use ourselves as guinea pigs for analysis or testing... we'll look up our accounts and see what's going on. It's a lot of fun to look at the data but you also need to have an idea of why you're looking at it and what are you trying to accomplish with it." He also took Eichenwalde as an example and also hinted that more changes will be made to the map, specifically to the first choke point. "For example, we try to keep all maps balanced as closely to a 50/50 win rate as possible. Eichenwalde has never achieved 50/50... but players love the map. We made changes to the door... and we have one more round of changes coming (to the first choke)... these are largely driven by the stats showing us the imbalance. But left to our own feelings, we love the map and feel like it's one of our best."

The Overwatch community has been complaining about Eichenwalde's first choke point as it is one of the hardest chokepoints to pass for the attacking team. Most of the time when I lose a game in Eichenwalde is because the entire team was not coordinated enough to get through the first chokepoint and capture objective A. Hopefully the change coming will be enough to make Eichenwalde a fun map for the attacking team as much as the defending team.

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Kurtis Chan
About the Author
Assistant Editor at Gamehubs who is an e-Sports enthusiast (mainly on League of Legends and Overwatch). Still saving up for a PS4.....
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