Overwatch map editor is a long-term goal for Blizzard

Blizzard do hope to one day add a map editor to Overwatch, but you shouldn’t expect it any time soon. That’s the word from game director Jeff Kaplan, who says there’s a lot of technical work between now and this future dreamtime. Overwatch has started dabbling in kinda-sorta mods, with the confusingly-named Server Browser letting players fiddle with game settings enough to essentially create new modes, and a map editor would be a welcome addition. I’m guessing it’d take, what, two days for Overwatch’s first DE_Dust remake? Three for CP_Dustbowl?

In other Overnews, patch 1.9 is due to launch today, adding new character Orisa.

First, back to maps. Responding yesterday to an Overwatch forum thread about the possibility of letting players create their own maps, Kaplan said:

“We are extremely open-minded about releasing a map editor for Overwatch someday. But because Overwatch was made with a brand new engine, this is not a small task or one which can happen any time soon. We have this on our long-term road map and believe heavily in user-made content. But there are many challenges ahead of us and it will be a very long road before our editor can be made available to the public.”

I do hope they reach that point on their road map. Player-made maps can do so much to keep a game fresh for years. It’s good that Blizzard have many more updates of their own for now, though – Overwatch is hardly abandoned.

Today will bring the official launch of Overwatch update 1.9, which has been on the test servers for a few weeks. Check the PTR patch notes for a gist of what’s coming. Orisa, the four-legged robot, initially won’t be available in Competitive Play, mind. Designer Scott Mercer explained, “We want to give players some time to learn about and play Orisa before she’s placed into the crucible of Competitive Play.”

Blizzard are already looking to update 1.10 too. It’s already on the PTR, with changes including rebalancing Lucio. Full details are in the notes but here’s Blizzard’s summary:

“Lucio has often felt like a must-pick due to his raw healing output and the versatility of providing a speed bonus to your entire team. The goal of these changes is to keep those elements feeling strong, but making them harder to apply to everyone on your team at all times. The end result is that he should feel stronger with teams that he can stay close to but not as strong when on teams with heroes that are often spread out (such as Pharah, Widow, Genji, etc). Much of Lucio’s character power was tied up in his large passive auras, which caused other elements of his kit to be weakened over time in an attempt to balance him. Now that his auras are more focused it will allow them to be much stronger and allow Lucio to be more active in his role.”

His buffed Soundwave blast certainly can lead to hijinks.

Oh, and Blizzard are planning to launch some sort of replay system by the end of summer.

There’s your Overnews newsblast for today.

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8 Comments

  1. Seafoam says:

    koth_orange
    achievement_lucio_surf
    zs_hanamura

    I wonder if they will allow custom models or scripts. I have fond/horrifying memories of servers like this in tf2:
    link to youtube.com

    I’m both exited and scared for that map tool. It opens up a new realm of possibility, both good and bad.

    • Pich says:

      Please, we all know that the real king of custom maps is MARIO_KART

      • Seafoam says:

        Oh, all these memories, brings a tear to my eye.
        Anime and old memes on the walls, getting run over by the cars, hosting your own little club in the 4-chan party van.

        I wonder what that map will be that to the newer generation, what Overwatch map could rise to such a legendary status as that one. Only time will tell.

  2. Michael Fogg says:

    I’m not seeing this, given how Overwatch is generally designed as this slick, uber-balanced experience.

    • Zorgulon says:

      No reason they couldn’t go into the new Custom Games area though. It’s currently host to various experimental unbalanced game modes.

      • int says:

        And really good maps, they could do like Valve did with TF2, make them official.

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        reddog says:

        Yeah, and it could be something like maps built using predetermined assets, like building blocks. “On the long-term road map” does sound like it’s really just an idea jotted down somewhere, though.

        • April March says:

          It’s hard to say when “we’re open-minded about this but our game engine is too new for this to happen in the near future” means what it says and when it means “we think that would ruin our game and we don’t want to give you players that much power, but if we say that outright we’ll come across as jerks”.