It’s been tough going trying to defend the current state of Overwatch. Blizzard continues to support and patch the game, offering new heroes, maps, and events to keep the highly-competitive community alive. However, it’s been hard not to see the experience getting a little stale, even with the Competitive meta going through such diverse alterations on a consistent basis. Thankfully, Overwatch Workshop adds some much needed excitement to the experience.
It also stands as somewhat of an ode to a dedicated community, making for perhaps the best addition to Overwatch since the game launched. Overwatch Workshop, which hit the PTR on PC yesterday, is a mode that takes an initially limited customisation suite, transforms, refines, and expands it, and then opens it up to the community to have fun with. It’s far deeper, involved, and open to creativity compared to anything else we’ve seen in Overwatch before, and it could well open the door for something special.
Over the past 12-or-so months, Overwatch has been growing increasingly stale, even if this author has put countless hours into continuously trying to master its slick fundamentals. The Workshop throws a lot of Overwatch‘s stringent competitive rules out the window, but in doing so it offers an insanely flexible and creative environment that could well redefine the broader Overwatch experience.
The Ultimate Overwatch Battle Royale
With the Workshop, Blizzard is simplifying game scripting, expanding it to offer a wide range of customisation features for players. The Game Browser attached to this mode is now available via the PTR, and players are already going well above and beyond what I ever thought was possible within Overwatch.
Taking already established game modes, you can create a script, redefining hero codes, abilities and skills, and then turn everything on its head with a totally unique — and probably crazy — Overwatch game mode. So far, Blizzard has shown us a “Floor is Lava” mode created in the Workshop, in which players catch fire as soon as they tough the ground.
We’ve already seen an Overwatch Battle Royale mode created, and while things will undoubtedly get crazier and more complex as the community comes to learn how to use the system, it’s already proving to be a huge success amongst the Overwatch faithful.
Overwatch Workshop Console Love
Love or hate the current state of Overwatch, you can’t ignore Blizzard’s consistent commitment in supporting and balancing the console version of the game alongside its PC counterpart. Yes, the broader experience across platforms is widely different, but patches hit public servers on console at the same time as they do on PC, with the PTR standing as the only exception to the rule (and for good reason).
Overwatch Workshop on console has been confirmed, and it’ll definitely be interesting to see how Blizzard works the complexity of the scripting system into the feature for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Power to the Programmer
For those of us with a smigen of coding and programming background, and an obvious love for everything Overwatch, the Workshop looks to be something special. Game director, Jeff Kaplan, said that it’s built so you can “prototype” your own hero, and that it’s designed with “power” users in the mind, which is soft PR talk for “people with the commitment and patience to build something worthwhile”. For example, programmers.
The Workship isn’t simply a map editors: it’s a scripter, open to the many different types of game modes and Overwatch hero that comes to mind. That’s what makes it special, and why it stands as perhaps the most welcoming and exciting addition to Overwatch since the game’s launch.
What are your thoughts on the Overwatch Workshop? Sound off in the comments below!