What happens when you give someone full control over Overwatch game slider-settings? Sliders controlling character health, damage dealt, damage taken, ultimate charge and so on? Well obviously you go wild, and so people have.
Custom Games rolled out yesterday and there are pages and pages of them, settings all over the place. Try one, it's carnage. Go to the Arcade menu and then Find Game. In one I kept Zarya's bubble up constantly, rendering her invincible; in another, Soldier 76 could drop an entire team in a heartbeat with his ultimate, which seemed to charge every second. And Torbjorn? Oh my god Torbjorn. It's a lot of short-lived fun.
But beyond the mayhem, beneath the mayhem, you can see glimpses of more considered Custom Games. There are many themed around training, be it headshots or other aspects of the game; and there are many based around teams fighting one opposing hero, which has been boosted to boss proportions. Hey the 4v1 genre lives on! Most are slapdash first attempts but others clearly have thought behind them. Indeed, there's now an Overwatch Custom Games subreddit devoted to them - sharing the settings you need to replicate them.
Listen to this, it's called Overwatch: The Hidden, an elimination mode (no respawns). In it, Sombra fights McCree, Reaper, Soldier, Tracer and Widowmaker. No Ultimates are allowed and there's no healing. Sombra has 5x damage and health, and no cooldowns, and moves faster than normal. But she can only use melee attacks.
On the opposing team McCree has no stun; Reaper has no teleport and only 200 health; Soldier has no heal; Tracer has no Recall and has 200 health; and Widowmaker has no gas trap.
"The fun thing about this mode is how terrifyingly deadly and mobile Sombra is, and the fact that you literally can't see her unless she's either is about to hit you or is already attacking," said Overwatch: The Hidden inventor supersonic12.
"Sombra can only quick melee but it does 150 damage and no one can heal. The beauty of this comes from Sombra herself: tagging anyone drops them to 50 health and gives you wallhacks on them, and that makes it even scarier for the Hunted because you literally can't hide.
"Another thing about this mode: Elimination shows the enemy after a while, which completely switches the teams; The Hidden becomes the Hunted but sudden aggression from the Hunted could be their downfall, as I have exploited in playing.
"It's been very fun so far for both teams and I've played against some very clever people on either side. Some Sombras have completely destroyed us while I've been completely destroyed as Sombra by a well-positioned team. I've even jumped in my seat from the jump-scare of Sombra's 'HERE I AM' and beating me to death."
Another Custom Game riffs on zombie survival, pitting a team of Mercys against Roadhogs in an elimination mode, the fat pigs being the zombies. Attributes are tweaked and the idea is that the Mercys try keep the Roadhogs at range and pick them off, resurrecting fallen comrades and gradually turning the tables.
Yet another mode hacks together a single-player Zarya experience - Zarya's Last Stand - her facing off against hard Bastion bots and one Zenyatta.
I wonder whether any Custom Games can gain such community momentum Blizzard acknowledges and somehow officially recognises - or even implements - them.
Overwatch was patched yesterday to introduce the Custom Game mode and permanent Capture the Flag. Roadhog and Bastion are also significantly changed. Competitive Season 4 has also now begun. However, there was no apparent further teasing of a new hero, nor any continuation of Efi Oladele's story, so we wait and we watch.