One of the Overwatch community’s most beloved maps is also one of the game’s most unbalanced.
The German fun factory that is the Eichenwalde map has been a fan favourite since its release. However, due to a number of questionable design decisions and tough choke points, the winrate currently sits well below the 50/50 benchmark.
That benchmark is important to Blizzard, and it’s continuously working to bring the map up to that standard.
The studio has already applied for minor changes to the map, namely the door checkpoint. A defending Widowmaker or Hanzo could initially just sit directly in front of the door on the last line of defence at a distance, and pick off respawning attackers.
Blizzard fixed this by simply blocking off the door once the payload moved through it.
Game director, Jeff Kaplan, and his team are once again at work to improve the map’s fairness.
“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,” Kaplan explained. “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 first choke is arguably the toughest across all map. It’s literally the only entry point for non-airborne heroes, which is majority of the roster. A D.Va and Pharah could easily boost across, but defenders still have clear advantage of them, with two splitting alleys that make it tough for attackers to prioritise.
One common boots-on-the-ground tactics for getting past it is by using Mei’s icewall to block the entire gap under the bridge, and then to rush through and catch the defenders off guard. This is a common tactic used by pros.
It may no longer be necessary in future updates, however, with Blizzard looking to improve the rate with which attackers can push through it.
What are your thoughts? How would you like to see Blizzard improve the Eichenwalde map? Sound off in the comments below!