In a new developer update, director Jeff Kaplan outlined Overwatch's latest addition, the all-new Server Browser. The browser was first mentioned at Blizzcon, allowing players to create and search for custom Overwatch games. The server browser will let players see all custom games in their region - Americas, Asia, or Europe - with additional filtering options for specific game types. According to Kaplan, the server browser was added because Blizzard didn't have a great way to have matchmaking feed into custom games.
"If you know ahead of time that you want to play a certain mode only, or if you really want to find a certain map because that's what you want to play on right now, you can search the Server Browser for that particular map and get right to it," explained Kaplan. "We have a really cool filter option that lets you filter directly for things like maps or heroes that are enabled and disabled."
In Custom Games, players can turn off individual hero abilities, change their cooldowns, lock out certain characters, change the payload speed or capture speed on control points, or even lock those options on a per team basis.
"The creativity is really limitless in what you can do," said Kaplan. "In a Custom Game that you put up, you can have one team with a single Roadhog with triple his normal health against a team of six other players at lower health. Wherever your creativity takes you, we're trying to give you as many options as possible to play around and come up with fun different ways to play Overwatch."
Custom Games are getting a slight overhaul, with players now able to gain experience within custom matches. Capture the Rooster, Overwatch's Capture the Flag game mode has proven rather popular, so the match type will remain in Custom Games. Blizzard is also adding more maps to CTF, all of which are conversions of the existing Control mode maps.
"What Custom Games have added are tons of new options for you to play around with," said Kaplan. "I'll use Capture the Flag as an example. We've been reading a lot of the feedback, listening to a lot of feedback on Capture the Flag, and we've heard things like, 'Well you should require my team to have the flag if we're going to capture the enemy's flag.' We now enable this is as an option."
"You can set it, if you think that the game mode should work that way, he added. "Or people have vastly differing opinions on whether or not the flag should have a pickup time. Some say it should be longer. Some say it should be shorter. It's up to you now. You can set it to whatever you want to be. If you want to be instant, that's awesome."
The server browser is currently on the Public Test Realm. Blizzard will also be monitoring how players use Custom Game options, to see if modes and maps need some tweaking.