Big maps and bigger ambitions: Talking Overwatch 2 Flashpoint PvP with Blizzard’s team cover image

Big maps and bigger ambitions: Talking Overwatch 2 Flashpoint PvP with Blizzard’s team

The new Overwatch 2 Flashpoint maps are Suravasa and New Junk City. We interviewed Blizzard about them for unique insights and details!

The brand-new Overwatch 2 Flashpoint maps are here! They include Suravasa and New Junk City, which arrived alongside the Overwatch 2: Invasion Story Missions, support hero, and Overwatch 2 Season 6 Battle Pass. We interviewed Blizzard about these Flashpoint maps for unique insights!

Overwatch 2 Flashpoint map screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Overwatch 2 Flashpoint map screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Overwatch 2 Flashpoint interview: Creating a balanced game mode

Flashpoint is a new game mode in Overwatch 2 that includes the Suravasa and New Junk City maps. Lead level designer Ryan Smith described it as two teams battling over five capture points. These points are also spread out evenly on each map, and only one point is active at a time.

"The first active capture point is always going to be in the center of the map," Smith added. "And then every point after that is randomized. So the first team to capture three control points wins the match."

Overwatch 2 Flashpoint gameplay screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Overwatch 2 Flashpoint gameplay screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

He noted how Flashpoint's layout makes the game mode balanced for both teams as well.

"I think that by the nature of the mode and how things are laid out on the map and the fact that it is a map that is focused on capture points and then it's a symmetrical map — this lends hand to the mode just being very balanced from all sides," he said.

Capturing the objective (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Capturing the objective (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Daniel McGowan, the principal environment artist, agreed about the balance in Flashpoint maps. He noted that unlike push maps, Flashpoint has potential for turnarounds thanks to omni-directional combat strategies at play and various flank routes that keep players alert.

"Like Ryan was saying, the map is symmetrical left to right," McGowan continued. "But it's also symmetrical top to bottom." He then reiterated that late-game turnarounds are possible thanks to map knowledge, blocking off critical routes, and player swaps.

Overwatch 2 Suravasa map screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Overwatch 2 Suravasa map screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Overwatch 2 Flashpoint PvP map spawn rooms and gameplay

According to Smith, there were some challenges in creating the new Flashpoint PvP game mode. For example, spawn rooms were carefully considered because of the sheer size of each map. The Overwatch 2 team did not want a scenario where a player must take extra time to regroup with their teammates. To address this challenge, the developers added spawn points influenced by the active capture point's location.

Smith explained that the starting spawns are located on each side of the map. Then, there are four points located in each corner alongside one point in the center of the map.

"But then there's also the four spawns which are closer to the center. And so depending on which point is active, those forward spawns are going to be also adjusted," Smith added. "So the run-back times are going to be the same. Teams are going to have the same distance to the next capture point from their spawn and also from the last active capture point."

Caputuring a point in New Junk City (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Caputuring a point in New Junk City (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

In terms of a balanced gameplay experience, McGowan described how Ryan's team carefully fine-tuned factors such as combat timing, distances, sightlines, and the amount of cover.

"We're making sure that all of those things are meticulously balanced," McGowan added. "And we playtested it over and over and over. Player experience is always at the forefront of our mind, and so [we're always asking questions like] 'Does this feel balanced? Even if there isn't an advantage, is there the perception of an advantage?' And so these are things that we've worked really hard to iron out."

As for how long the average Overwatch 2 Flashpoint match takes, Smith said 10 to 15 minutes or even longer. McGowan added that from his experience, matches can get intense and run longer when everyone is fighting over the last capture point.

Suravasa and New Junk City lore in Overwatch 2

When asked about the environmental storytelling in the Suravasa and New Junk City maps, McGowan described the Suravasa's omnic temples, beautiful gardens, and the location's proximity to where Mondatta taught Zenyatta and Ramattra. He also emphasized the importance of injecting narratives and showcasing culture in the world of Overwatch 2.

"In Junk City, something that I really like that we did is that we have all these really cool graffiti everywhere," McGowan told esports.gg. "Sometimes, they're a little joke. Sometimes, they point you in the right direction. Sometimes, it was a junker just messing around and scribbling on something. So we have lots of really fun little things like that for players to discover amidst the combat and everything."

Overwatch 2 New Junk City map screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Overwatch 2 New Junk City map screenshot (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Meanwhile, Smith noted that Junkertown is one of his favorite maps from the first iteration of Overwatch, and getting to expand on that through environmental storytelling was a treat. Like McGowan, Smith pointed out New Junk City's graffiti and Easter eggs.

"So it was really fun for me as a level designer to watch the art team kind of be super creative there with all of that stuff," Smith said. "And then in terms of my personal favorite, I really like the crocodiles in India and Suravasa."

Suravasa has crocodiles (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Suravasa has crocodiles (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Will there be competitive Overwatch 2 Flashpoint PvP?

In terms of the availability of Flashpoint in competitive play at the start of the new season, Smith said that his team would like to get Flashpoint into competitive mode as soon as possible. However, the Overwatch 2 team will observe the performance of Flashpoint in quick play first to ensure gameplay consistency.

"And so we want to see how the mode does in quick play first to see if we need to do any tuning with like cap times or other various gameplay stuff," Smith said. "And then we'll push the button on it for comp. But when I say that we want it in comp soon as possible, I really mean it. We're aiming to have it in a lot sooner, but the most would probably be two weeks tops."

That's all for now. Are you excited for the new Overwatch PvP game mode? Stick around on esports.gg for more news, interviews, and updates!