After a solid wait, Overwatch is finally getting a public custom game browser and improving on many of the features in its custom game-making. Alluded to at Blizzcon several times, the server browser now allows people to join games set to exactly the parameters they want, as specific as they want, and whenever they want. And if the game you’re looking for isn’t up for play, you can just as easily create your own public custom game for people to join in on. This opens up a wide variety of content that players initially had to just hope would show up in a Weekly Brawl, back when those were still a thing.
And to make custom games well worth your time, they now provide XP upon completion, so you can have fun playing however you want and still get lootboxes out of it. On top of this, there’ve been some balancing changes to certain heroes and one map that are now up for testing on the PTR, and lots of new options for making custom games. And when I say lots, I mean lots.
To start, a lot of sensitivity options have been added for many different abilities. Specifically, Ana’s Nano Boost’s targeting sensitivity, Mercy’s Guardian Angel and Beam sensitivity, Sombra’s Hack, Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook, Zarya’s Projectile Barrier, and both of Zenyatta’s orbs. This should serve to help you less frequently target someone or someplace you were completely not trying to hit. Mercy is also now invulnerable while using her Revive ultimate, which gives her enough time to stick around till her teammates come back to life to protect her. D.Va’s also now able to instantly eat up projectiles with Defense Matrix; originally, there was a minimum amount of time the projectile had to be in the air to be eaten.
The biggest change this patch comes to Bastion, who’s been reworked a good deal. There’s too many changes to list out completely, but his damage output has been reduced a large amount, and he no longer gets a bonus from headshots. Despite this, he’s been buffed in the defensive department, able to now heal himself while on the move and he’s received a new passive that lowers all damage to him by 35% in Sentry and Tank modes, effectively making him more of a, well, tank rather than a defense hero.
To these changes, Blizzard stated “The goal of these changes is to move some of Bastion’s power from Configuration: Sentry to Recon, while keeping its sentry mode a strong option, especially versus tanks and barriers. Overall, Bastion should feel stronger and more flexible with these changes.” Time will tell if these alterations will be for the better in the long run. To me it seems they’ve greatly reduced how useful he is when it comes to quickly shredding down opponents, but his increased survivability could potentially give him more usage, I’m just not positive how.
As for the massive update to creating your own custom games, there’s a plethora of new content to create just about anything you’d like. In response to the massive positive feedback over the Capture the Flag Brawl over the Year of the Rooster event, Blizzard has decided to make Capture the Flag a choosable gamemode in custom games, and it can now be played on nine different maps instead of just the three on Lijiang Tower.
There are many more ways to customize games now, of course, such as disabling specific abilities on specific heroes, providing different modifications depending on which team you’re on, altering the speed of the Payload as it moves or making it so that you capture maps much faster or slow: There’s really too much to list out here completely, and will surely provide dozens of hours more fun for you and everyone else playing. You can go create your own custom games right now and test out these new features on the PTR, and I highly recommend you do.