Overwatch Doesn’t Need More Jump Pads

A key feature of Overwatch's new Oasis map, currently playable in the Public Test Region, is the Jump Pad, a large spot on the map that will launch you in the air and make a new level accessible to otherwise-grounded heroes. It's a new element that will at least slightly change the landscape of games played, perhaps making characters that thrive on high-ground less viable, for example.

The jump pad on Oasis will take you to a higher level that overlooks the control point, giving you more access to make use of heroes like McCree, Soldier, Widowmaker, Roadhog, or anyone else who can exploit a good vantage point.

But some fans are not entirely happy, and Game Director Jeff Kaplan has taken notice. What do they want? More jump pads. If I might offer a contrary opinion, don't add more jump pads.

What the players seem to be wanting when talking about jump pads is for Overwatch to be more like Quake, a game that is frequently name-dropped in the thread linked above. My question: why do we want Overwatch to be more like Quake? Not that I have anything against the classic shooter, but that's just not what Overwatch is.

More than that, the appeal of Overwatch lies in its competitive nature, where the slightest change can make or break the meta. As Kaplan said "We didn't want to overdo things at first," and there is something to be said for both the potential ramifications on the metagame and the fear of drastically changing the fundamental gameplay.

Something like a Quake-inspired, jump-pad-heavy level has no place in Overwatch outside of a brawl on the Arcade. Using a jump pad as a subtle tweak, as Blizzard just did with Oasis, is far and away the more desirable option, just changing it up slightly and seeing what the players make of it.

Perhaps an argument could be made for its location on the level, although I think bringing you to a higher-vantage point directly overlooking the control point denotes the perfect location, but if it ever gets to a point where jump pads are the level and not just a part of it, you've gone too far. So please, Blizzard: no more jump pads in Overwatch. We're fine with just one.