Server browser and more coming to PTR
Overwatch‘s current seasonal event, Year of The Rooster, added a Capture the Flag mode that proved to be quite popular. So popular, in fact, that game director Jeff Kaplan went back on his previous claim that CTF would be limited to the run of the event. In today’s developer update, Kaplan said that CTF would be available as a custom game mode once the next patch rolls out, after testing on the Public Test Realm. What’s more, he said that the Overwatch team has converted nine more King of the Hill maps to work with the Capture The Flag rules to provide a little more variety. Presumably, these will be based in Ilios, Nepal, and Oasis.
The Capture the Flag mode sounds like it will be the enticement to play custom games, which will be a big focus of the next patch. Blizzard promised that Overwatch would gain a server browser at Blizzcon, and it looks like the feature is nearly ready to deploy. The server browser will allow players to create and search for custom games in a public list divided by region. Once the patch goes live, players will be able to gain experience in custom games just as they do now in Quickplay, Arcade and Competitive modes.
Kaplan spoke a bit about some of the features you’ll be able to play around with. In the CTF mode, you’ll be able to set the flag to have more or less pickup time, or to drop if an evade ability is used. You could also make it so you have to have both flags in your base to get a capture, or turn off specific hero abilities if you think they’re overpowered.
These options won’t be limited to just CTF mode, though. All maps and gametypes will be available to play around with, and Kaplan suggested a couple of the modes people might want to experiment with. He said his team was enjoying a mode where Widowmaker’s grappling hook refreshed quickly, allowing the entire team to “Spider-man” their way through the levels. Another suggestion was a “Boss fight” mode with a team of low-health players trying to take down a triple-health Roadhog.
Kaplan closed by saying that Blizzard will be watching to see what modes become popular in the custom game browser. This is hardly surprising, considering that both the tower defense genre and Defense of the Ancients were spawned from Warcraft 3 mods.