Overwatch’s plans for 2017 include a server browser

Tracer, one of Overwatch's 23 gay characters.

Overwatch [official site], aka The Shooter Whose Locker You Leave Perfumed Notes In, will be getting a server browser next year alongside other updates, says Blizzard in a developer update. It’ll let you set your daft custom games as ‘public’, and they want to have a working version of it running in “early 2017”. There’s other small changes on the horizon for our best multiplayer shooter of the year, including the ability to have up to four emotes equipped at a time, which is downright obscene.

Firstly, here’s the update vid from Overman Jeff Kaplan.

If you don’t care to listen to that, I’ll give you the diet version. For the emotes, they want you to have four at a time usable through the in-game communication wheel. But there’s also going to be room for four voice lines and four sprays, which I imagine will make the pre-game wreck session even more gabby.

More seasonal events are planned too, some of the kind to be expected and some “you have absolutely no idea we’re working on”. More importantly, they are still clacking away with new hero prototypes, including one which is “promising” and is going through the art department now. We’ve been told previously that Blizzard tend to prototype heroes first by using the body of an existing character as a model, so hearing that a new hero is in the art stages is encouraging – it means the prototype must be feeling essentially good. A lot of fans are expecting a character called Doomfist, whose likeness, name and lost glove can be seen dotted about in maps. Any abilities he might have remains total speculation. I’m predicting a giant hand that slaps you on the bottom.

There’s also talk of new maps, some traditional and some experimental, with new game modes being thought up and toyed with. But apart from all that there isn’t much to go on. A quiet update for a quiet time of year in the gamez newz biz. That’s fine by me.

“I know that there’s a lot there and some of it was kind of vague,” says Kaplan, “but at least its a small glimpse into how 2016 went and how 2017 is shaping up.”


  1. Bobcat says:

    “Tracer, one of Overwatch’s 23 gay characters.” Is this something lots of people say? The first time I heard it was Robert Yang in The Guardian saying it was his favourite game of 2016 and I thought it was brilliant!

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      A lot of people say this, yes. At this point everyone’s been headcanoned as LGBTQIAP*, except maybe Winston and Bastion.

      Except, of course, the folks who are crying over on official forums that the game is now ruined because a comic tie-in to their colourful online team shooter reveals one of the characters is gay, despite Blizzard long saying at least one of the characters is, and the fact that Tracer being officially gay has no effect on their game. Many of them probably cried censorship over Blizzard changing Tracer’s butt victory pose, too.

      • MikoSquiz says:

        C’mon. Before Tracer came out, Winston was the clearly gay one.

        But yes, I’m totally on board with the fan canon of every character in Overwatch being gay, except for maybe Zarya because that would be too obvious.

        I think it would be hilarious to have them coming out one at a time (or two, in the case of the game’s only canon couple, life partners Junkrat and Roadhog) over the years, leaving Zarya for last to unexpectedly pop up with a husband and kids.

        • Cosmos (Yuzhou) Gu says:

          I was thinking exactly that! I really hope Blizzard can break the stereotype that only LGBTQ women dye their hair and have muscles.

      • Porkolt says:

        What I find rather annoying is that it’s apparently a thing to go all BREAKING NEWS: VIDEO GAME CHARACTER IS GAY as though that somehow has any form of impact on the game itself or alter people’s perception of the game itself, which is already so very in your face with how diverse it is that it becomes rather embarrassing.

  2. aircool says:

    Decent colourblind option etc… etc…?

  3. unraveler says:

    Any chance for modding support?

    • int says:

      I want this, and they should add better customization for things cosmetic. Get rid of the skins that are recolors (which are extremely underwhelming to find) and instead let us “find” colors so we can customize the skins ourselves–patterns too like tartan and camo.
      I’m not getting crazy with hats but it would be cool to mix it up by having different weapon models/skins too. For example having Soldier76’s commando rifle for “regular Soldier76.

  4. April March says:

    One of the good things of having my computer recently asploded is that I’ll probably get one that can run this. Hooray for 2017!